If evolution is true, the church—any church—is nothing more than a gathering of—or a building that may be filled with—meaningless talking animals.
If evolution is the true creation story for human beings, then human beings are nothing more than an evolved animal. And, as animals only we exist merely as the unplanned and purposeless creations of matter in motion.
Yes, presumably from the blast of the Big Bang matter in the form of particles burst forth like innumerable billiard balls at the break on a table the size of the universe. And as these particles moved without plan or purpose in their blast-determined trajectories some banged about just so to create you and me. We are nothing more than the matter that jostled and knocked together to make us.
That is the creation story of evolution. And it leaves human beings—you, me, and Jesus—as meaningless Big Bang residue in a pointless universe of other useless flotsam and jetsam of Big Bang space debris. We exist (we muse) for a time in a self-imagined order and then we go back to the random Big Bang detritus.
What is the meaning of “church” to such talking bi-peds as we? In particular, what is the meaning of “church” to Christians for whom a man named Jesus is said to have lived a sinless life, was crucified, and rose again to usher in a new humanity of redeemed souls?
Does any of the language of Christianity, “sin,” “redemption,” “souls,” and even the term “life” itself have any place in a purposeless cosmos of Big Bang chaos? And what about Jesus? Can we assign any meaning to anything?
No. There is no sin in an amoral banging about of atoms and molecules that exist without planning or purpose. And there is no need for redemption in a world without sin. And there is no such thing as a soul in a universe of matter-only conglomerations resulting from the Big Bang.
And Jesus? He was just another in the long line of evolved animals that natural selection prevented from reproducing.
In short, if evolutionary theory is the true creation story for human beings, then we live—no, we exist—in a universe without hope because there is no object or purpose for hope. And we exist without meaning because there is no objective basis for meaning. And we exist without purpose but for that vain and conceited purpose that banging atoms produce in our imaginations.
And yet…there is a different reality that we all know deep in our being probably exists. And while we are told at every turn to ignore and reject this reality, we suspect that this different reality offers genuine hope, real meaning, and true purpose in life. And by observing nature and all the evidence inferred from therefrom, we rationally surmise this suppressed reality to be a true reality.
In this suppressed—yet we suspect true—reality God created the first human soul, Adam, who sinned to plunge the universe into travail. And in this reality a soul-saver, a son of Adam and of God named Jesus entered the world as the “second Adam” to provide redemption for every other soul from the sin-induced effects of the first Adam.
And this Jesus said, “I will build my church.” It was the first time in the New Testament that the term “church” was used. What did Jesus mean by such a word?
To ask and coherently answer the question “what did Jesus mean?” about anything requires an immediate rejection of the evolutionary creation story. Because neither the question nor the answer holds any meaning in a universe in which everything, including Jesus himself, is meaningless.
But what if Jesus is who he and his followers claim him to be? Then we can make a coherent answer to what Jesus meant when he said, “I will build my church.” For what follows we are indebted to the excellent analysis of Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum in their book, Christ from Beginning to End. In it we read the following:
The identity of the church is directly tied to the identity of Jesus Christ. … If we are a new humanity, it’s because we are in union with Christ, the last Adam and the first man of the new creation … If we’re a true temple, it’s because we are in union with him as the true temple, and we are indwelled by the Spirit. If we’re a royal priesthood, it’s because he is the Great High Priest, who has constituted us a kingdom of priests. If we will rule and reign with him, it’s because he is the king who by his obedient life, death, and resurrection has restored us to our image-bearing royal role. Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum, Christ from Beginning to End, How the Full Story of Scripture Reveals the Full Glory of Christ, (Zondervan, 2018), p. 220. (Emphasis in original, scripture citations ommited.)
The church, then, holds no objective value apart from the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A true Jesus, the incarnate Word of God in the form of God-created, purposeful, meaningful human beings is necessary for the very existence of the true church on earth.
If evolution is true, then the church is a meaningless exercise in the purposeless imaginations of worthless and irrelevant talking animals.
It’s time for a creation reformation in the church. Serious Christians must vigorously provide reasons to reject evolution and actively embrace and teach creation of human beings by God in his image.
Otherwise, what is the point?
Think about it.