What do you believe in and why? Are you a Christian simply because your parents trained you that way from childhood? Are you unsure of what to believe? Have you already labeled yourself “atheist”? Then let’s talk: I am a young, educated millennial with a story.
I grew up in a Seventh-day Adventist home, a pastor’s daughter, never questioning what my parents taught me. In terms of philosophy, morals, values, religion, what they taught me was fact. Contradictions of their teachings were garbage. If I needed to know about evolution to pass exams, I learned what I needed to learn, passed the test, and: garbage. No questions asked . . . until my sophomore year of college.
College sociology taught me social theories that made sense. I accepted them at face value. Later, as I thought more about them, I realized that they walked hand in hand with evolution. I wondered: Is evolution compatible with the Bible? Is what I’m learning about relativism compatible with the Bible? Is it true that there is no absolute standard of right and wrong? I realized that I had begun to question: questioning Old Testament positions, questioning my father.
One day my father asked, “Why are you asking all these questions all of a sudden?”
I said, “Well, if anybody should ever ask me, then I should be able to answer, right?” He agreed. It was a half-truth. The other half of my motivation was my uncertainty about still believing what he taught me. I didn’t want him worrying about my shaking foundations, but I continued questioning, contemplating various theories, their general implications, and their specific meaning for me.
I was close to a moral crisis. I needed to make my own decision; to figure things out myself. So I prayed: God, I’m sorry I am doubting, but if You are real, and You are there, and You care, please show me the way. Give me the answer. If You are all-powerful, You can show me and let me know that it was You who showed me. Someway, somehow, let me know without a doubt. Show me and make me believe it. I do not know how, but You can.
I figured that if God was there, He would show me. If not, then I would not see Him: nothing enlightening would happen.
Soon after that prayer I was sitting in bed, staring out my window at the beautiful day outside. I was thinking about the different issues bouncing around in my head. I was trying to reason: if evolution is true, it means that in the beginning there was nothing—specifically, no intelligence. Somehow, something happened to nothing. There was an explosion, or some sort of strong reaction in which nothing became a bunch of tiny little somethings. Scientists say they became inorganic elements. Then over millions of years tiny inorganic somethings assembled together with more inorganic somethings. Somewhere along the way they went from inorganic to organic. Science and scientists know that inorganic and organic are different. How does organic matter come about from inorganic matter? I don’t know! I don’t have the answer to that question. Science does not have the answer to that question.
But we’ll suppose it for now. The organic, tiny, little somethings continued assembling, and even the inorganic somethings assembled with them. Then somehow, within the organic material, life happened. Before, there was just nonliving organic and inorganic material. But then, somehow, someway, life happened. How? We don’t know. At least to humans, it is inexplicable.
But we must think about it. I must think that as a human being, I am a compilation of organic and inorganic matter put together—with life. If, God forbid, I were to drop dead right now, I would have all my organic and inorganic materials here, assembled, but I would not have life. I could be in the most renowned scientific laboratory or hospital and no one could give me life.
To believe in macroevolutionary theory requires believing all these unexplainable, nonquantifiable, unqualifiable, unobservable things. I came to sense the faith it takes to believe in macroevolution. It was a real epiphany. I realized that evolution was not this hard science that I was choosing to refute. In terms of origins there is no science there. Macroevolutionary theory is a faith-based system. Though these events are unexplainable, I must believe they all took place as described. My choice was not science versus faith. It was faith versus faith!
I needed to make my own decision; to figure things out myself.
But saying that they were both faith was not enough for me. Which faith was I going to believe in, and why? I looked at them both and saw that the Bible gives me reason to believe in it. It is an accurate source of history. People who do not believe in the Bible, who do not accept its religion, have found that the Bible is an accurate source of history, turning skeptical criticism to astonished admiration (the Hittites, Belshazzar, the journeys of Paul, etc.). Its prophecies come to pass, naming Cyrus and his military and political role long before his birth (Isa. 44:28; 45:1); enumerating Daniel’s sequence of empires down to the present day and the end of the world (Dan. 2; 7-9). I remember discovering in world history class in high school that students without biblical knowledge did not know that sequence.
The Old Testament has more than 300 prophecies pointing to Jesus: the fact and unique nature of His origins and arrival on earth; the location and schedule of His birth, baptism, and death; even the nature of His betrayal.
A statistician once challenged his students to consider the probability that just eight of these prophecies could come to fruition in the life of one man. The probability of this taking place was 1:1017. The likelihood of 1:1017 is equivalent to (1) covering the entire state of Texas with silver dollars to a depth of two feet; (2) marking one of the coins; (3) blindfolding someone; and (4) sending that person to range across the state and pick out the marked silver dollar.1
Despite thousands of years of distortion, distraction, and obfuscation by the enemy of truth, Jesus’ existence is no longer a subject of historical dispute. Atheists, Muslims, Jews know of the historical reality, even though some choose their own interpretation of His ministry. Interestingly, some attempt to credit Him with greatness while rejecting His supernatural claims and dimensions. This is more than awkward. It is an utter impossibility. Either Jesus speaks the truth, or He is sickeningly arrogant when He identifies Himself as the exclusive way to God (John 14:6). Either He exists in inseparable unity with the eternal God, or He is mad to think or say so (John 10:30). Either He existed when Abraham was around (John 8:56), or He is a deluded buffoon. If He wouldn’t and didn’t rise again from the dead after three days He would be a manipulating liar to tell us so (Matt. 12:40). His enemies trembled at His resurrection prediction and tried to guard against it coming true because they knew He was a man of His word (Matt. 27:63-66). Their guard made no difference when He was ready to rise because He is who He claims to be, the Son of God in power (Rom. 1:5).
I cannot discuss the Bible’s reliability without mentioning its impact on the lives that it has touched. My friend would say to me: “The power that the Bible has, it must be true.” She was right. Not only have I heard stories. I have known its impact on my life.
Speaking negatively, people who dabble in the spiritual realm know that the supernatural exists, be it voodoo, Wicca, spiritualism, Eastern mysticism, etc., and know it has no power against the Word of
God. Its power is the reason a handful of disciples, without modern technology and transportation, could spread the truth about Jesus Christ throughout the then-known world in one short life span (Col. 1:23). Most of them, so cowardly before (Matt. 26:55, 56; Mark 14:48-50), confronted and endured horrible deaths for the cause. They lost all fear when Jesus came out of the grave; and in the Bible we hear their voice of truth down the ages since: the truth as it is in Jesus.
While the Bible gives me reason to believe in it, some say that science gives reason to believe in macroevolution. However, the beauty and weakness of science is that what we believe to be true is true until it is proven to be false, and new textbooks must be written. My faith in science and the scientific method embraces true science that is observable. Science is great when interpreted and applied correctly. Innovation is often the good fruit of science applied. But the idea that science only supports macroevolution is incorrect.2
At the end of the day, creation and evolution both stand on faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God: the God seeker’s pursuit is a faith pursuit (Heb. 11:6). Equally so, without faith it is impossible to support macroevolution. The evolution seeker’s pursuit is a faith pursuit.
What is at stake for our choice between the Creator God and the nothing and accidents of evolution? If evolution is true, there is no God, everything is relative, self-satisfaction is as valid as any other option, and death takes me to oblivion, having lived as I pleased. If the God of the Bible is real, there are moral standards of right and wrong, Jesus is my salvation, and death is not the end. After a life of hope, faith, love, I look forward to resurrection day, when God gives me a new body and a life of eternal happiness in the company of my loving Savior.
Evolution invites: there are no consequences. God’s Word urges: there is joy forevermore, now in service to Jesus, fellow humanity, and the earth for which I care, and then beyond all pain, sin, and death in the land of fadeless day.
I live in gratitude to God for the peace He has placed within me as He has brought me to understand better the value and significance of my choice for His way. The Lord God of the universe, the Creator of the universe, the Creator of all things good, cares about little me; and His answer to my prayer for understanding has given me a testimony that I shall ever bear for Him. I believe in science. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I believe in the Bible.
Sadly, illusions of happiness outside of God’s will and the church lure many youth into partying and dreaming of living the “good life,” such as that of celebrities attempting to drown out life’s pain; attempting to fill the empty space in their brains that comes from thinking of themselves as a meaningless accident. But it is never too late to learn better. And it certainly is never too early.
Belliny Phaeton recently graduated from medical school. She wants to live for Jesus and meet Him in glory.