Consider Psalm 100:3. “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
There are three ways to look at this. First: evolution. Let it be known that evolution is not science, but a naturalistic and materialistic belief system very similar to a religion. Call it pantheism (of which Hinduism is an example and Greek and Roman mythology are to a degree) without “gods” like Vishnu, Apollo, Zeus, Mars, etc. In those systems, the “gods” are merely part of nature, the universe, and these “gods” created (or more accurately rearranged) things that basically already existed. Pantheism claims that humans, for instance, were created by beings that were, while higher life forms, still part of creation. In other words, creation “created itself.” Evolution takes the same position: the universe, creation, man, etc. made itself, is the product of its own doing. Its only innovation, or evolution of thought if you will, is to reverse the logic. Where pantheism goes downward, basically beginning with higher life forms who produce the lower life forms, evolution goes upward, beginning with lower life forms that advance to higher ones. Or truthfully using the “primordial soup” theory (that is quite reminiscient of the near east pantheist “primordial seas” that Baal and other gods conquered) the true beginning is with nonliving matter that organizes itself into living matter. What more evidence do we need that this is a belief system rather than a science than the fact that the modern popularizer of this “theory”, Charles Darwin, proposed it without the benefit of any of modern evolution’s underpinnings? Consider this quote
Equating evolution with Charles Darwin ignores 150 years of discoveries, including most of what scientists understand about evolution. Such as: Gregor Mendel’s patterns of heredity (which gave Darwin’s idea of natural selection a mechanism — genetics — by which it could work), the discovery of DNA (which gave genetics a mechanism and lets us see evolutionary lineages), developmental biology (which gives DNA a mechanism), studies documenting evolution in nature (which converted the hypothetical to observable fact), evolution’s role in medicine and disease (bringing immediate relevance to the topic) and more.
So, it was by faith alone that Darwin not only embraced this false gospel (which the article further states that he received by hearing from HIS FATHER). And how amazing that Darwin, who originally studied to be a minister, in renouncing Christianity rejected the witness of 500 people who saw the resurrected Christ, a standard that would be accepted by any courtroom today, in order to become the herald for an idea supported by no evidence whatsoever. How more amazing still that Darwin had so many immediate sympathizers that were willing to reject that established by the testimony so many well known prominent individuals, many of whom died for their beliefs, in order to accept Darwin’s racist and misogynistic ramblings in The Origin of the Species. The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. Here is an excerpt:
Here is what Darwin writes in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex:”With savages, the weak in body or mind are eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”
Not exactly the mindset of the Bible, where the queen of Sheba was the first known convert to Yahwism, the Ethiopan eunuch was was one of the first non – Jewish Christians, and Simeon Niger (Simon the black) was one of the first deacons in the church.
So why did so many people rush to accept the pantheism of Darwin? It is not so much to deny the existence of a Creator, but rather what having a Creator necessarily implies, the “we are the sheep of His pasture” part. Having a Creator means that this Creator is sovereign over you, possessing complete, total, and unchallenged ownership rights, and is able to do with you as He pleases. In other words, a Creator has the right to tell you what to do, and punish you if you refuse.
Now this mindset ruled western culture for centuries: the idea that there was a God and you had to do what He said. Basically, the laws, customs, and other rules for civil society were fundamentally derived from this notion. Naturally, certain people soon found this form of social control too restrictive for their liking. The best way to challenge it? Either deny the existence of God, or deny God’s sovereign ownership over man and his affairs. Darwinism gave these people a way to reject the notion that they were sheep in God’s pasture in favor of the vain notion that they were masters of their own fate, accountable to no one.
So it was because of their desire to reject God’s authority over their lives and His ultimate rule over the nations that they rejected the 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrection of the Great Shepherd who came in the Name of God in favor of a man who came in his own name and possessed no evidence at all. These people stated “we are not God’s creation! Creation made itself, which means we made ourselves!” And do you know what is the logical conclusion of claiming that creation is the creator? Why, creation worshiping itself. The apostle Paul prophesied of just such a thing happening around 50 AD, about 1750 years before Darwin in Romans 1:25 “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Where else do we see the worship of creation manifested more clearly except that of the modern environmentalist movement? And yes, the modern environmentalist movement is little more than the eastern pantheist Gaia religion.
An example of this religious mindset: Richard Dawkins, that great polemicist against Christianity. When challenged by the very Christian apologists that creation worshipers want to keep out of our schools, Dawkins finally admits that there are severe holes in his precious evolutionary theory that cannot possibly be resolved. But what does Dawkins resort to? Time! He states that over billions of years, so many attempts at evolutionary adaptations took place that some of them HAD to work AND become self – sustaining and self – replicating! How? When? Where? Is there any way to test, verify, observe, measure, or prove it? Dawkins freely admits: of course not. Instead, he demands that the logic be accepted that events occuring over a long enough time made it happen. Except that it isn’t logic. It isn’t science. It is FAITH. Where Christians say that “with God, all things are possible” Richard Dawkins and his evolutionary cohorts say “with TIME all things are possible.” End result: Richard Dawkins is worshiping “father time”, the Greek god Cronus and the Roman god Saturn. Dawkins, then, is not an atheist but a pantheist, and so is every other evolutionist.
If anything, Dawkins and his ilk need more blind faith in Cronus than the God of the Bible requires. The God of the Bible left evidence in the form of 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a host of fulfilled prophecies (and not a single failed one), and lots of other wonders and miracles done before the world. Allow me to say that I have had the pleasure of experiencing at least two of them. A few years ago, I was suffering from worsening asthma, and kidney swelling caused by misuse of my asthma medication. I prayed in the Name of Jesus Christ, and both my asthma and kidney swelling were instantly healed. Both of these were confirmed upon subsequent visits to my primary care physician, who had been prescribing various asthma medicines to me for years (and who also diagnosed my kidney problems and referred me to a kidney specialist), and the kidney specialist that I saw. So, my faith does not require the type of blind faith as possessed by Richard Dawkins and all of the others who followed after Darwin, and it is a good thing too because being someone who has always been somewhat skeptical and cynical, I lack the capacity for that type of faith. I am not from Missouri, but you still have to show me, and Jehovah has shown me much more than father time/Cronus/Saturn will ever show anyone. All to reject the authority of God over their lives!
Now for the second angle. This text was written from the perspective of a Hebrew speaking of God’s creating the nation and people of Israel. Israel rightly viewed itself not as a mere political entity or ethnic tribe, but rather one which owed its existence to a supernatural act, or special creation. Israel’s problem would appear to be that they forgot that their special status was not due to their nationality, lineage, location, religion, priesthood, or temple but instead totally due to God. Because of this, not only were they conquered, sent into captivity, and made into a diaspora, but when God revealed Himself in the flesh in the form of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ right before their eyes, they refused to recognize Him.
Their eyes were blinded and their hearts were hard, so they rejected Him, conspired against Him, convicted Him of crimes though they knew that He was sinless, and sent Him to the Romans to be slain on a tree, in the process having a murderer released in His place. By virtue of a mere technicality they did not commit this deed, for they were not the ones who actually struck the lashes and nailed the nails. But they were every bit as responsible for the deed as is the person who hires a hitman is for murder even though the person who places the contract on someone’s life does not himself fire the gun. Why? Not only did the Jews forget that God sovereignly created their nation, but they also forgot God’s ownership rights. Rather than accepting that they were the sheep in God’s pasture, they felt that because they were the children of Abraham to whom was given the Torah and the prophets that it gave them some sort of claim, some sort of ownership, on God.
First of all, He could only be the God of the Jews and never the God of the Gentiles. Second, He was obligated to restore to the Jews the nation of Israel and the throne of David at the time that they saw fit, and furthermore they could bring this about by virtue of their own piety and religious good works (the stated goal of both the Pharisees and the Essenes). Third, if the Messiah did not come with their mission, political salvation as opposed to spiritual salvation, they had the right to reject Him as a false Messiah. Fourth, God only had the right to reveal Himself to them in a manner that they thought appropriate.
So, they rejected God’s self – revelation through incarnating Himself as a human being subject to natural birth, temptation, and natural death, and they rejected that the Unity of God as expressed in the shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) was actually a Tri – Unity. Now the fact that the very first Name of God revealed in the Torah is PLURAL should have been a longtime question that the Incarnation of Jesus Christ provided an answer to (see John 1:1, a clear reference to and explanation of Genesis 1:1) but because they rejected the authority of God over their lives, being merely the sheep in God’s pasture, they had no interest in the question or the Resolution.
So, they had the Answer slain on a tree and continued to reject Him still even after He overcame their judgment and punishment. (By the way, rabbis to this day have the “not conceding that He ever rose from the dead, but even if He did it still doesn’t prove that He was the Messiah and the Son of God!” argument that they have been practicing and using for a mighty long time.) So where the evolutionary pantheists deny a monotheistic Creator, Judaism purports to allow for it while denying its implications: that this monotheistic Creator retains the prerogative to exist, reveal Himself to, and deal with His creation in whatever manner He sees fit.
Now while a great many evangelical Christians love “Expelled”, the anti – evolutionary polemic by the non – Messianic Jew Ben Stein, the truth is that the position of evolutionary pantheists is actually more consistent and less contradictory and hypocritical than of Jews who reject Jesus Christ. The former merely worships an impotent and silent god Saturn. The latter claims to believe in the Torah while denying that the all powerful God that gave them the Torah had the power, prerogative, and motive to incarnate the Torah as a Man and use this Man save both Jew and Gentile.
The third angle: the church. Just as Israel was a special creation of God, the church clearly is also. However, many professing Christians are making precisely the same error that the Jews did, which is taking God and our status before Him for granted, making it a thing of pride rather than a motive to serve and submit to Him out of humility and gratitude, and thinking that God is just a little bit under our obligation to deal with us as we see fit. The primary way that this manifests itself is a refusal to separate ourselves from the world. On one hand, we confuse the mission of the church – and by extension the mission of Jesus Christ – for being one that is temporal and earthly. We make the gospel a servant of man and his desires rather than making man a servant of the gospel. On another hand, we do what Jude calls in verse 4 “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness.” In other words, we use our status as Christians as license to sin and claim that God is obligated to forgive us. Oh, we obey all right, but only the things that we see fit to obey when we feel like obeying them.
It is interesting that Jude refers to this as “denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Both groups do this by take the Jesus Christ of the Bible and turn Him into the Jesus Christ that they want Him to be, one that is only a Savior and not a Lord. They want a Jesus Christ that will save them but will not rule them because they do not wish to be the sheep of God’s pasture any more than the inconsistent Jews or the father time worshiping evolutionists. That makes such people, who claim to profess Jesus Christ as God while simultaneously denying what scripture plainly reveals God to be, even bigger hypocrites and even more inconsistent than the perfidious Jews are. These are the ones who claim to have such trouble reconciling the “angry wrathful punishing God” of the Old Testament with the “loving merciful gracious God” of the New Testament, and believe that Jesus Christ came to save everyone but the Pharisees because the church folk who refuse to acommodate sin are the only ones that Jesus Christ will ever condemn. Apparently, such people believe that God decided that He was wrong, so He sent His Only Begotten Son so that we could enjoy the same pleasures of sin that Moses refused (Hebrews 11:25). Pardon me, but would not such a God owe the Jews an apology? God forbid!
So whether you are an evolutionary pantheist, a Jew, or a carnal Christian, Psalm 100:3 is still true, and its meaning applies to you. You had best take its implications seriously by obeying the words of Jesus Christ as expressed in Matthew 3:2 and Matthew 4:17: repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! Believe that Jesus Christ is God and Savior, be baptized in His Name, and be saved.