Dear brothers & sisters in Christ,
Are you nothing more than an animal? Or are you a great work of God’s creation, placed on earth to care for it and those who are around you? Are you an accident of this world, a foreign element introduced to this biosphere that should’ve stayed in your natural habitat closer to the equator? Or are you placed here for a specific purpose of caring for creation, using it to provide for all the needs of your body while also being a good steward of the planet that God gave you to live on? Is your life insignificant and worthless, because you’re a product of chance and a series of mutations that spawned over millions (or hundreds of millions, depending on who you talk to)? Or is your life precious and full of intrinsic worth because you are one of God’s creations whom He has redeemed by the precious and innocent sufferings of your Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ?
There is a lot at stake in the debate between creation and evolution, more than just the question of origins–where did we come from? There’s the question of who we are, what kind of worth do we have as human beings, and our place upon this planet as caretakers and stewards. Even the question of identity, am I who my body says I am, or can I say that evolution, creation by random chance, got it wrong and I can ignore what my body says, is part of this debate of creation.
The theory of evolution says that we get to the animals we have today through millions of years of mutation, death, and the survival of the fittest to get to the strongest variant that survives today. Evolution requires a sequence of mutation, death, and extinction to work and for creatures to get better and stronger. So why should I care that the polar bear is going extinct? If it’s so weak that it can’t survive the ice caps melting then it deserves to die. Why should I care about any endangered species? Humanity is the strongest race, our survival is all that matters and to hell with everything else. But we know that this kind of thinking is wrong, everyone knows that we should take notice and care that there are species in the world that are going extinct. We all know that, but for very different, polar opposite reasons. Evolution says that its all our fault. We are the invading species that’s causing all the problems and that we should be expunged as the foreign element, whether by death or by forceful removal. The doctrine of creation teaches us the truth, that we care because God made us His stewards of creation. It was the job that He gave to Adam even before the Fall. We have the job of caring for those endangered animals and trying to do what’s best for them, while at the same time considering the lives of our neighbours that might be affected by our efforts to save them. We’re not a foreign invader who deserves to die or have our way of life destroyed, but precious caretakers, important to the continuation of creation itself through our work in creation, as well as our prayers for the continuance of creation.
If evolution is correct, then it means that life doesn’t matter, it’s worthless and can be discarded if it gets in the way. The baby in the womb can be killed, the sick, suffering, and elderly can be euthanized like cattle (cause, really, what’s the difference?), and the “unfavourable” can be culled out of the gene pool. Life is worthless. Is it any surprise then when we see people going out and shooting a whole group of people, setting bombs in crowded places, and otherwise treating everyone like dirt? They’ve been taught that life doesn’t matter, so why protect it, why care about it, why not walk into school with a gun and shoot everything that moves? But if life is created, as the Bible teaches us, if God spends time with us, creating us in His image, getting His hands dirty in the clay, and even still knitting us together in the womb, then all life is precious. No matter whose life it is. Old/young, born/unborn, healthy/sick, prospering/suffering, no matter what ethnicity, all life is precious and worth caring for and protecting.
In this way, the First Article of the Creed has taken on so much more meaning than it ever has before. It’s why we teach it in Catechism classes. It shows that your life is precious, not just to God, but it ought to be precious for us as well. And when we start talking about life coming from random chance, we lose any worth or value in life. There’s more that I could say here, but I’ve run out of space. God bless you all.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Tim Schneider