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Opponents of Christianity often point to instances of evil in the Bible, especially those committed by “good Bible characters,” and accuse God of approving of it simply because it is in His book. For instance, they point to incest in the story of Lot, or the polygamy of Abraham, David, and Solomon, or the fact that Philemon (a Christian) owned a slave.
Christians know that this is not the case. Just because a historical fact is documented in the Bible does not mean God’s stamp of approval is on it. In fact, there is plenty in the Bible that says otherwise. It is a fact that God does not approve of evil, and this truth cannot be tainted simply because it is associated with evil actions. We know that truth cannot be guilty by association… or do we?
"Evolution.” The word conjures up images of the Galapagos Islands, a curious bearded man named Darwin, movies with dinosaurs and Jeff Goldblum, and the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. The word is closely associated with things that are diametrically opposed to Christianity, and because of this use of the word is avoided by many Christians.
The reasons for this are many, and some of them are good. It is a good thing to communicate with clarity and avoid confusion. But there are those who avoid the word “evolution” for the wrong reasons. Some may have the notion that Darwin’s version of evolution is the only kind there is, and so the word invariably means something antithetical to the Bible. Worse, others may reject all science, believing it is completely against the Bible. And because evolution is a science-y concept, they deny even the dictionary definition of it.
Evolution (in the truest, non-Darwinian meaning of the word) is only one example of a scientific fact that has become guilty by association with ideologies that are against the Scriptures. If history proves anything, it is that new ideas are often deemed un-biblical if they come from a non-Christian source or they appear to go against accepted interpretations of the Bible. Galileo was found “vehemently suspect of heresy” by church leaders and sent to prison because he told the truth about the solar system; the same solar system God designed and called good. If we’re not careful, we can fall into the same trap.
There have been many Christian scientists who have spent their lives spreading the message to the world that science and the Bible are not at odds with one another (Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham being a prime example). But this is a message Christians need to hear as well.
Let’s step back and look at truth. Truth comes from God. Anything that has been, will be, or is finds its source in the Creator. We can find truth all around us in the created universe. An often-quoted Scripture tells us “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1-3). Scientists are providing us with a constant stream of images and information about stars, galaxies, and other worlds, every day discovering new wonders. Powerful machines measuring the impacts of particles as they collide together allow us to peer into the very weave of physical reality and watch the smallest bits of the universe dance on the knife’s edge of existence. Everywhere humans go, the universe is there bellowing in our ears that there is a God. This is what we sacrifice when we disregard scientific truth as guilty because it is associated with someone’s unbiblical worldview.
It is only human to want to choose teams. It takes the pressure of thinking off of us when there is a team to follow and agree with. The problem is, there are no teams when it comes to science. It isn’t a God vs. Science situation. He made science. It belongs to Him. We can be comfortable using the word evolution properly. God made living organisms with the ability to adapt to their environment over time, and this is often called microevolution. The word belongs to God.
The God of truth is not anti-science, nor is true science anti-god. Let’s not put truth on the chopping block because the “other team” used it. Truth comes from God, and cannot be guilty by association.
(Editor's note: this blog was first posted on the EngageMagazine.net website here:https://engagemagazine.net/starting-blog/culture/can-truth-be-guilty-by-association/)