The theme which unites ancient Sumeria to Darwinian scientific humanism, Big Bang assumptions, Luciferian Theosophy, liberal theology, occult New Age mysticism and all other anti-Christian but specifically anti-creation ex nihilo movements is the myth of evolution.
The myth of evolution stretches back to antiquity where it is closely connected to the idea that man is a being who though presently limited in time and space is nevertheless capable of achieving a great leap of being and evolving into a much more powerful god-like being in the future. Thus in the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from Babylonia (ancient Sumeria) Gilgamesh describes himself as two-parts god and one-part man as the result of the evolution of his being.
Long before Darwin, Greek nature philosophers (600–100BC) were teaching primitive evolutionary conceptions, abiogenesis, natural selection, transmigration, reincarnation and vast ages together with many other modern assumptions. The fragments of Anaximander (c. 610–546 BC) show that he taught that ‘humans originally resembled another type of animal, namely fish’ while Democritus (c.460–370BC) taught that primitive people began to speak with ‘confused’ and ‘unintelligible’ sounds but ‘gradually they articulated words.’
The Greek Atomist Epicurus (341–270BC), the father of contemporary materialism and many of its’ modern assumptions, taught that there was no need of a God or gods, for the Universe came about by a chance movement of atoms. (Evolution: An Ancient Pagan Idea, Paul James Griffith, creation.com)
Darwinism affirms the claim made by Epicurus that living beings created themselves, making Darwinism a modern Gnostic myth, said Dr. Wolfgang Smith, physicist and mathematics professor at Oregon State University:
"...As a scientific theory, Darwinism would have been jettisoned long ago. The point, however, is that the doctrine of evolution has swept the world, not on the strength of its scientific merits, but precisely in its capacity as a Gnostic myth. It affirms, in effect, that living things created themselves, which is in essence a metaphysical claim....Thus...evolutionism is a metaphysical doctrine decked out in scientific garb....it is a scientistic myth. And the myth is Gnostic, because it implicitly denies the transcendent origin of being; for indeed, only after the living creature has been speculatively reduced to an aggregate of particles does Darwinist transformism become conceivable. Darwinism, therefore, continues the ancient Gnostic practice of deprecating 'God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.' It perpetuates...the venerable Gnostic tradition of 'Jehovah bashing.'" (From Old Gnosticism to New Age I, Alan Morrison, SCP Journal Vol. 28:4-29:1, 2005, pp. 30-31)
With respect to long ages, Plato and many other Greek philosophers taught that the present Universe came about millions of years ago. Writing in the fourth century AD, Lactantius said:
“Plato and many others of the philosophers, since they were ignorant of the origin of all things, and of that primal period at which the world was made, said that many thousands of ages had passed since this beautiful arrangement of the world was completed … .“ (ibid)
After the Greeks, the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder (AD23–79) said we are so subject to chance,
“….that Chance herself takes the place of God; she proves that God is uncertain.” (ibid)
Greek and Roman philosophers received these ideas from ancient Sumerians (Babylonians), Egyptians and Hindus, whose nature philosophies extended back centuries before Greek and Roman civilization. For example, one Hindu belief was that Brahman (the Void or Universe) spontaneously generated itself (the modern theory of abiogenesis) as something like a seed or singularity about 4.3 billion years ago and then evolved under its’ own power by which it expanded and formed all that exists:
“These Hindus believed in an eternal Universe that had cycles of rebirth, destruction and dormancy, known as ‘kalpas’, rather like oscillating big bang theories. We also read in the Hindu Bhagavad Gita that the god Krishna says, ‘I am the source from which all creatures evolve.” (ibid, Griffith)
In India the doctrine of evolution/reincarnation/karma was thoroughly established from ancient times. It was expounded first in the Upanishads (c. 1000 BC - AD 4), the philosophical-mystic texts held to be the essence of the Vedas.
The idea that the soul reincarnates is intricately linked to karma, the idea that jiva-atmas (souls) pass from one plane of existence to another and carry with them samskaras (impressions) from former states of being. These karmic impressions on the soul are taken to the next life and result in a causally-determined state of being. In some schools of Hinduism liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara), is considered the ultimate goal of earthly existence. This is known as Moksha in Hinduism or nirvana in Buddhism. Other traditions assert that liberation from samsara is merely the beginning of real spiritual life and beyond nirvana, activities continue, but are no longer of a worldly nature. Both sides agree on the phenomenon of evolution/reincarnation.
In its modern version Darwinian evolution describes the progress (or transmigration) of energy as it emerged out of spontaneously generated matter (chemicals) and its successive incarnations within the bodies of different kinds of nonlife-bearing and life-bearing beings over the course of millions and billions of years. Its counterpart, spiritual evolution, bespeaks the progress of spirit or divine spark as it reincarnates within the bodies of different beings over the course of millions and billions of years. In the words of Emergent Church leader Rob Bell, evolution is energy,
"…. a spark, an electricity that everything is plugged into. The Greeks called it zoe, the mystics call it 'Spirit,' and Obi-Wan called it 'the Force'.....This energy, spark, and electricity that pulses through all of creation sustains it, fuels it, and keeps it growing. Growing, evolving, reproducing..." (Love Wins, pp. 144-145)
For Mystery Religion initiates and adepts evolution spiritually transforms man into superman:
"….the evolution of man into superman — was always the purpose of the ancient Mysteries, and the real purpose of modern Masonry is not the social and charitable purposes to which so much attention is paid, but the expediting of the spiritual evolution of those who aspire to perfect their own nature and transform it into a more god-like quality. And this is a definite science, a royal art, which it is possible for each of us to put into practice..." (The Meaning of Masonry, W.L. Wilmhurst, p. 47)
Evolution is an animated energy, serpent power or force which may or may not be divine depending on whether it is of the ‘secular’ Darwinian school of thought or of its’ spiritually pantheist counterpart. In either case, this energy usually emanates from an impersonal substance which from antiquity has been known variously as the Void, Chaos, Ground of Being, and Brahman for example.
Evolution: the Antithesis of Christianity
“May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
According to Christian tradition, man is a tri-partite being, a person consisting of spirit/soul and body because he is the spiritual image bearer of the One God in three Persons.
In this view, the soul is fully embedded within the body and its citadel, spirit (mind, will, conscience), is the part of man that distinguishes him from mere animal life and enables him to have a personal relationship with God, who is spirit (John 4:24). Each of these parts of man’s nature are vitally connected and important in making him who he is: a person. Thus all human beings are people, not evolved bags of chemicals, robotic humanoids, descendants of pig/chimp hybrids, human resources, or mere aspects of the World Soul as Darwinism and pantheism respectively maintain.
In this respect Christianity differs radically from ancient pagan and modern Gnostic pagan dualistic systems that find expression in ancient and modern Mystery Religions (i.e., Masonry), Darwinism, Gnostic-pagan Marxist Communism and occult New Age and Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, where the body (physical matter) is regarded as something evil in which essence, energy, mind-stream, or perhaps divine spark is imprisoned and from which it must eventually escape.
In these views death means either annihilation (reabsorption) , or thousands of death and life cycles of evolution/reincarnation with the hope of eventual escape from the wheel of evolution/reincarnation with either apotheosis or absorption into Nirvana.
In Romans 8, Paul speaks of our adoption as “sons of God” through receiving the indwelling Spirit (v. 15). He goes on to say that this adoption will one day include “the redemption of our bodies” (v. 23). James Packer, in “I Want to Be a Christian,” sums up the New Testament idea of bodily resurrection in these words:
“The raising of the body means the restoring of the person—not just part of me—to active, creative and undying life for God and with God.” (Resurrection, not Reincarnation, Christianity.co.nz)
While Darwinism speaks of annihilation and its’ pantheist counterparts bespeak millions of death and life cycles, the Bible speaks of just one life followed by death and judgment:
“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 14:6).
For post-Christian Westerners and Americans the most tempting of all reasons for embracing evolution and either annihilation or reincarnation over resurrection is that in doing away with Original Sin, it does away with the need of a Saviour as the fall is not ethical but into physical matter thus there is neither judgment nor the prospect of damnation to an eternal hell.
As a philosophical construct, Eastern oriented and Mystery Religion systems of evolution/reincarnation imply an ethical type of evolution by which an individual gradually evolves into moral perfection. And since God is a pantheist conception whereby man has a share of the Divine Substance, meaning God is the mind of man, then man controls his own moral evolution since he is god.
The Revealed Word, beginning with the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo negates both Darwinian and pantheist ideas and Hebrews 9:25-28 demolishes annihilation and reincarnation with its' clear warning to man: you have only one lifetime in which to get right with God. Jesus Christ did not enter heaven to offer Himself again and again and again on behalf of millions of opportunities (lives),
“Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
The Revealed Word therefore, speaks not of evolution/reincarnation but of creation ex nihilo and bodily resurrection, the recreation of the body. In 2 Cor. 5 Paul describes our current bodies as tents, temporary dwellings that we will leave for a new permanent house, a new suit of clothes:
“Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever….As long as we are in these bodies we are away from the Lord…..But whether we are at home with the Lord or away from him, we still try our best to please him. After all, Christ will judge each of us for the good or bad that we do while living in these bodies.” (2 Cor. 5:1-10)
Professor D.M. Mackay of Keele University, who was one of Britain’s foremost experts in the communications systems of the human brain, summarizes Paul’s teaching, saying that in opposition to evolution/reincarnation, it is not as disembodied spirits,
“…that God promises us eternal life, but as personalities expressed in a new kind of body---what Paul calls a ‘spiritual body.’ Just as a message is still the same message, whether it’s spoken in words or flashed in morse code, so, according to the Bible, we shall be the same persons, whatever the material form in which our personalities may be expressed. Nothing in the scientific picture of man, however complete it may one day become, could affect the truth of this doctrine one way or another.” (ibid, Resurrection, not Reincarnation)
It has often been said that those who forget history and its’ lessons are doomed to repeat its’ follies. Solomon could very well have been warning us about the reappearance in our time of a very ancient folly, the myth of evolution/reincarnation when he wrote:
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new?’ It has been already in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.” (Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11)