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When He's Right, He's ...

posted May 20, 2015, 2:43 PM by Pastor Chuck   [ updated May 20, 2015, 4:28 PM ]
There are not too many topics that will get Christians much more excited than a discussion about evolution.  For many years, it has been assumed that a true Christian would never endorse the study of evolution.  Evolution represented the humanist's greatest challenge to God's existence.  Many Christians still believe it is totally incompatible with true faith in God.  It is assumed that to believe in evolution is to mean you had ceased to believe in God as Creator.

So the headline of one news article on the internet this week probably drew instant criticism and condemnation from some folks in some Christian circles.  The headline read, John Glenn: Evolution Should Be Taught In Schools.  Has 93 year old John Glenn, heroic astronaut of Friendship 7 who orbited the Earth in 1962, who served as a Senator, who at 77 years old became the oldest space traveler in history, lost his faith (or just his mind?!)  Let's take a look at the article and consider what it is that John Glenn is actually saying.

The article, after its stirring headline, immediately begins with John Glenn's declaration at a news conference from the flight deck of the space shuttle; "to look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible."  Then the writer immediately contrasts Glenn's current belief 'that facts about scientific discovery should be taught in schools and that includes evolution.  Glenn said that he sees no contradiction between believing in God and believing in evolution.  Glenn, a Presbyterian, said it this way, "I don't see that I'm any less religious by the fact that I can appreciate the fact that science just records that we change with evolution and time, and that's a fact; It doesn't mean it's less wondrous and it doesn't mean that there can't be some power greater than any of us that has been behind and is behind whatever is going on."'  

The paragraph above describes three short paragraphs in an article that never mentions its headline again.  By far the article talks more about Glenn's career as an astronaut, his being overlooked for further space flight until he was 77 years old along with items about his work with Ohio State University and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, his military experiences, and the death of fellow astronaut, Scott Carpenter a member of the Mercury 7 team, leaving Glenn as the last survivor of the team.  

The reason I say this is to let you know the priority the Associated Press and Fox News gave John Glenn's comments by making three paragraph's of a 14 paragraph article the headline. Now that they have our attention, let's look carefully at what John Glenn really said.

Glenn is a devout Christian who also happens to be a scientist and an astronaut.  He is a very intelligent Christian who has gone on record about his faith in Christ and God.  People who really know John Glenn will testify about his faith as genuine.  

Yet there will be those whose views on evolution are so strict that anyone who may have a different opinion will be judged as apostate (if he every really had any faith at all.)  Folks with these kind of views will have very little grace for Glenn because he has committed their unpardonable sin.  He has dared to disagree with them.  

Glenn is one of those thinking Christians.  Obviously he believes that Truth as we know it in Jesus can stand the test of public discussion and debate.  The truth, all truth whether scientific or theological or philosophical belongs to God.  God's truth has stood the test of humanities attacks along with the spiritual assaults of powers and principalities.  God's truth has stood the test of all time.  

So John Glenn is not any less of a Christian because he thinks evolution should be taught in schools or even if he sees some truth in evolution.  You are not any more a Christian because you think evolution should not be taught in the schools.  We are Christians because we have trusted Jesus and chosen to follow Him.  Trusting Jesus is what makes people Christians.  We do not have to agree on evolution to be Christians.  Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life can withstand our questions, misunderstandings, mistakes, and discussions.  

At the end of the day, John Glenn is still one of my generations heroes.  He is still one of my greatest heroes because he has had the courage to speak from his heart openly and honestly.  It is alright that John Glenn thinks evolution should be taught in the schools.  He is right that science records what it observes.  Scientific truth belongs to God and our children deserve to learn about scientific truth too.  May we have the wisdom of God to teach our children to be good thinkers and people who spend a lifetime learning the great truths...all the great truths... of our wondrous and glorious God and Savior, Jesus Christ.