The Current Scene
It is now 57 years since the much publicized “monkey trial” took place. Since then the teaching of Darwin’s evolution has snowballed in our public schools and colleges. The Genesis account of creation has, for the most part, been discredited. In some 25 states the law required a “balanced treatment” of the two positions. On January 5 Judge Overton struck down the law requiring creationism as an alternative to evolution to be taught in the State of Arkansas. Now the American Civil Liberties Union, the plaintiff, is about to test the law in Louisiana. The Fundamentalists, headed by San Diego’s “Creation Science Research Centre,” are strenuously championing creationism. God always raises up those who are equally able to contend for the truth (Jude 3). The controversy, as all verbal and written conflicts, has one good effect, it has stimulated new investigation. Truth has nothing to fear and welcomes the keenest investigation. Stanley Weinberg, a member of the Iowa Academy of Science, regards creationism as “too outlandish to be worthy of scientific debate.” His mind appears to be closed to the great array of evidence for creation. The British Scientist, Sir J. W. Dawson, who lived when the discussion was lively, for he was a contemporary of the Huxleys, stated: “I know nothing of the origin of man, except what I am told in the scriptures — that God created him. I do not know anything more than that, and I do not know of anyone who does.”
The popularity and general acceptance of evolution as the answer to the mystery of existence is amusing. In magazines such as the National Geographic it is treated as a proven fact. At best it is only a reasoned guess. Anything that can discredit the Bible looks good to those who consider it liberation to get out from under its disciplines. It is the modern Adam hiding himself from a seeking, loving God. Actually, evolution does not account for origins; it just puts the beginning millions of years back but has no explanation where the primordial slime came from. “Nothing comes from nothing”; so there must be One who is responsible and above everything. Those who deny this, the Bible says, are fools. Admit what reason and the Bible reveal—a personal omnipotent God. We all accept that existence is a mystery, but also a fact. Faced with this reality the vast majority of mankind accepts some form of the supernatural. Those who are content with the explanations of the wonders of nature as just accidents profess a credulity that invokes more problems than simple faith: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). We justify our faith in the reasoned words of another, “Some have supposed that that which is too wonderful for the mind to grasp, came into being without a mind and thought. That that which is unique and cannot be copied with the human hand came into being without a hand. This illogical reasoning is called ‘Science.’ ‘Come now,’ says the God who has revealed Himself in creation and the Bible ‘and let us reason together’ (Isa. 1:18).”
The Test Of Time
Thirty years ago Communism was to some the inevitable goal of the future. It caught fire, if not in name, certainly in principle among intellectuals and ministers. Just 25 years ago Khrushchev was so confident that he said to the West, “We (Communism) will bury you.” The simplistic formula of Marxism has fascinated the “have nots” wherever they are to be found, especially in the so-called “Third World.” Here is the slogan, “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” From Plato on it has been tried on a small scale—monasteries and the Jamestown colonists, but found unworkable. Today, maybe a third of the world’s population is under the heel of dictatorial Communism. This has been accomplished often by sending military hardware to left-leaning adventurers always to be found, who, in turn exploit the ever present pockets of poverty and malcontents. They can break the eggs (disrupt the status quo) but not make the omelet (bring in the promised workers’ paradise). What the Soviet system lacks in economics it makes up with brute force.
The glaring proof of all this is Poland. This ample country has concluded, after a fair trial, that Communism has not met, is not meeting, nor ever will meet the natural aspirations of an energetic people. True, the West is not without its severe problems; inflation, unemployment and urban decay, but as a system it enjoys far less reliance on rumbling tanks and Berlin walls. Communism is the religion of atheism. One’s view of God (or no God at all) will largely determine his concept of man. To the atheist man is an accident, at best a human animal. The individual is expendable if he does not fit into the common mold. The Biblical creationist believes that man has been created in God’s image and respects man’s natural needs, and even more the yearnings of his soul and spirit. This has been a by-product of Christian influence.
In May ‘81 and two months before “Solidarity” in Poland, the President said in a speech at Notre Dame, “The West won’t contain Communism; it will transcend Communism. It won’t bother to denounce it, it will dismiss it as some bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.” If left in a fair economic race there would be no doubt as to the winner. Ironically, the appeal of Communism has been its formula to cure the world’s economic ills. Instead of being its forte it threatens to become its Achilles’ heel.
The scholar-author Ben Wattenbery makes this observation, “Poland is one of those great events that happen once in a generation to unmask the truth.” Unfortunately, truth does not travel with the speed of lies and is often not palatable even when it does become obvious. Man is even more antagonistic to the truths of Scripture. Yet how gullible has the populace so often been to political and religious quackery.
Russia, from all accounts, has one superiority over the rest of the world. That is her terrifying buildup of military might. Outdone by Western economic achievements, Russia might be tempted to act as a cornered beast. That is, to use her armored might in some power play more daring than her invasion of Afghanistan.
In the setting of the stage leading up to “the great tribulation” and Armageddon is the resurrection of the Roman Empire as an undisputed world ruler (Rev. 13:4). At present an air of pacifism dominates the area, as witness the thousands of protestors in Bonn, Amsterdam and London. This is the weak link in our interpretation of prophecy. We have Israel back in her land (Jeremiah 30:3); Russia, “king of the north” (Dan. 11:40; Ezek. 38), militarily capable of invading Palestine and much in line with her national ambitions. Then there are stockpiles of atomic weaponry capable of matching apocalyptic prophecies. All this, but not the military potential of a confederation of Mediterranean nations. A move by Russia that could threaten Europe’s supply of oil could make Europe and not America the guardian of the Middle East. Certainly America is not in the prophetic theatre. Maybe she will accept the rebuff of the peace marchers and “Go Home.” Prophecies so long ignored by the church at large are now being studied with new fervor. The trend of world events shows a remarkable correspondence with what the Bible predicted centuries ago.