There are a number of reasons why people claim to believe in evolution. We are highlighting five of the most likely ones that most people in our culture would fall into. The first two reasons, already presented, are ignorance and observation. Here are another three…
Reason 3: Fear. People don’t want to be ridiculed or perhaps even lose their job. Fear can be a great motivator. It can also be a means by which people can be influenced. In the first case, no one likes to be ridiculed, mocked, left out, or made to feel inferior. So, often the fear issue is found among those who truly do not believe in evolution, but just can’t say so. Sometimes, it’s a “pride” thing, especially among those with a high degree of education. In the other case, fear is also mostly an influence among those who could lose status, or even their jobs.
Solution: For the Christian, this should ultimately not be an issue. We need to be like Daniel and stand up for what’s true, in spite of ridicule or “wind in the face”, trusting Christ for the results. Anyone in this situation needs to evaluate where they truly stand, and the nature of compromise.
Reason 4: Jesus Christ –the “stumbling block”. Many people have no problem understanding that there is no evidence for evolution. Most can clearly see evidence for design when looking at anything that appears to be designed! Furthermore, many can also plainly see the vast amount of evidence for the global flood. What, then, is the problem? Why can’t they admit that evolution doesn’t work, or that there was a designer, or that there was a global flood? Because to do so would acknowledge biblical truth, and that would include the existence of God, His claim on our lives, and His judgment of sin.
If Jesus wasn’t the creator, people would be much more likely to accept creation. If the flood wasn’t a supernatural act of God and a judgment on sin, people would believe that the whole world was covered by water at some point in the past. The problem is often not physical blindness to the evidence; the problem is spiritual blindness to the person and the cause behind it.
Solution: People in this situation need to be helped to understand that 1) Everyone believes in something, and they are basing their eternal destiny on that something being true. What is their belief founded upon? What are the guarantees? 2) Jesus is love and doesn’t just represent “rules” and “judgment”. His ways can be trusted, are reasonable, peaceable and joyful.
Reason 5: Anger. People are angry at God. Some people have been hurt, either by other people or by events, such as accidents or sickness. The depth of a person’s faith will often determine their response to adverse circumstances. When something like severe illness or severe disappointment hits, sometimes people will lash out –especially at God. Sometimes that anger will include a stated denial of everything they formerly “believed”. It’s a complete reversal of direction, and that would include, of course, creation. Let me recount several stories that will illustrate this point.1.
We personally know two families in which the gospel, for years, was taught to the children and lived by the parents. However, in both cases, either one or both of the parents “fell away” into sin, thus bitterly confusing the children. One young man was so depressed and confused that he sought counsel –from a non-Christian source. That source told him that his main problem is Christianity and the “archaic” beliefs associated with it. He now claims to be an atheist. The same is true for members of the other family, once quite “solid” in every way.
2. In another instance, we are aware of a very vocal “atheist” in our area. He sometimes even goes on the radio to loudly proclaim his anger and disbelief in God. However, when questioned one day by a host, it appears that his anger and claimed disbelief in God stems from a tragic incident in which his daughter passed away. Like others who misapply certain Scriptures, he had faith that God MUST answer his prayer and heal his daughter. It didn’t happen. She died, and the man, understandably, was completely heartbroken. However, rather than seeking God and trusting Him like Job did, he chose Job’s wife’s advice –to curse God and die! This man now claims complete disbelief in God and belief in evolution.
While nobody can fault these folks for their anger, confusion or disappointment, it doesn’t change the fact that God lives! The very fact that these folks are lashing out at God is a good indicator that they probably actually DO believe He exists. They are expressing their anger at Him in the only way they know how –to deny Him, to ignore Him, to lash out at him. How can you be angry at someone who you believe doesn’t exist?
Solution: These folks need to be loved, plain and simple. God’s love can penetrate any wall man builds, any wound he has endured. In many cases, these folks already know what God teaches in His Word. They don’t need lectures. They need what Job’s three friends started out to be. Those men sat with him for a whole week before any words were spoken! Just being a true, Christian friend to folks like this can have a very positive effect in time