|Chances are you may not have heard of renowned writer and Yale University professor David Gelernter (School of Engineering and Applied Science). He has been making waves since acknowledging that he now rejects Darwinian evolution. In an interview organized in 2019 by the prestigious Hoover Institution (Stanford University, California), Gelernter lamented the obstruction of free speech experienced by anyone trying to voice alternatives to evolution, such as Intelligent Design. Worse still, he said, some pro-Darwinian academics actually seek to destroy the careers of dissenters:|
“It’s a bitter rejection … a sort of bitter, fundamental, angry, outraged, violent rejection, which comes nowhere near scientific or intellectual discussion. I’ve seen that happen again and again. ‘I’m a Darwinist, don’t you say a word against it, or, I don’t wanna hear it, period.’”
Elsewhere, in his review of Stephen Meyer’s excellent book Darwin’s Doubt (see our review here), Gelernter makes this interesting remark about the passionate defenders of evolution:
“They remind us of the extent to which Darwinism is no longer just a scientific theory but the basis of a worldview, and an emergency replacement religion for the many troubled souls who need one.”
Christians are often despised … for their faith-based acceptance of biblical miracles because these cannot be scientifically tested. Yet these same antagonists get very frustrated if their own beliefs are subjected to the same scrutiny!
Everyone knows, of course, that the displaced religion referred to by the good professor is Christianity, more specifically, that which has a high view of Scripture as the inspired, inerrant Word of God—including the belief in supernatural Creation, resting upon a grammatical-historical understanding of Genesis.
Gelernter has many predecessors (including secular humanists) who have admitted the religious and philosophical nature of Darwinian evolution. But surely evolution is science, not “an emergency religion” as Gelernter claims? According to the OED, the word ‘religion’ includes “a pursuit, interest, or movement, followed with great devotion”, and “action or conduct indicating belief in, obedience to, and reverence for god, gods, or similar superhuman power”. If you substitute ‘god’ for the alleged power of Darwin’s theory (in any of its modern forms) and factor in the zeal and fervour of its adherents, these definitions fit perfectly.
Christians are often despised by secular writers and commentators for their faith-based acceptance of biblical miracles because these cannot be scientifically tested. Yet these same antagonists get very frustrated if their own beliefs are subjected to the same scrutiny! They want an exemption, expecting their own unsupported beliefs (their non-scientific assertions) to be accepted without question or criticism.
Far too often, popular science is reported in a way that portrays evolution as hard science—whether radio, news outlets, social media or magazines. Refreshingly honest admissions among evolutionary writers are few and far between, but there are some. Writing about human racial origins Angela Saini acknowledges:
“It’s impossible to escape our beliefs, our upbringing, our environment, even the pressure of wanting to be correct, when it comes to interpreting the facts. Our stories get in the way.” Evolutionists seldom question the narrative because it is their substitute origins story. It permits the secular ‘faithful’ to ignore the claims of the Creator.
Quite right, and we have seen supporting examples of just how true this is for many who tenaciously hold onto evolution. They seldom question the narrative because it is their substitute origins story. It permits the secular ‘faithful’ to ignore the claims of the Creator (see also Getting behind the evolution facade).
But does this replacement religion offer its devotees answers to the big questions of life:
• Questions of origins—Where did we come from?
• Questions of meaning—Why am I here? •
Questions of destiny—What happens after I die?
Many claim that evolution does answer these questions. While it is fundamentally an alternative theory of origins it is far more than that, as a re-reading of David Gelernter’s earlier-quoted words confirms. For example, British physicist and TV personality Brian Cox (a confessed humanist) admits: “… there is self-evidently meaning in the universe because my own existence, the existence of those I love, and the existence of the entire human race means something to me. I think this because I have had the remarkable luxury of spending time in education.”
Sadly, he rejects the existence of his Creator, the One from whom life emanates and whose revealed scriptures give the only reliable answers about the meaning of human existence and destiny. David Gelernter is surely right in his opinion that “Darwinism is … an emergency replacement religion for the many troubled souls who need one.” But that spiritual craving in human beings can only be satisfied by embracing the undiluted truth of the Creation/Fall/Gospel message of the Bible. Compromises like ‘God used evolution’ will not do. https://creation.com/evolution-replacement-religion
|For some believers in restricted nations and hostile areas, following Christ means beatings, torture and even death. For others, the decision to follow Christ means losing jobs, income, homes and relationships. That was the case for a Pakistani man after he placed his faith in Christ.|
Asif was a well-liked supervisor at a garment factory in Pakistan. As a Christian, he led 10 coworkers in prayer before work every morning. But the factory owner, a Muslim man, wanted Asif to convert to Islam and told him to stop the prayers. Asif responded by giving the man a Bible so he could learn about the Christian faith.
The factory owner continued to harass Asif. He brought an Islamic cleric in to persuade Asif to accept Islam, and he tried to force Asif to join in Muslim prayers. But Asif refused each of the owner’s efforts to convert him. Finally, the owner gave him an ultimatum: Accept Islam or lose your job.
“My God will provide me with everything,” Asif replied.
Asif’s commitment to Christ cost him his job, and it may be difficult for him to find another source of income. Many Christians in Pakistan are trapped in poverty because they have few job opportunities. “Good jobs are hard to get for Christians in Pakistan,” VOM’s field leader for Pakistan said. “Asif knew exactly what the consequences could be for him, and he chose to remain faithful.”
VOM has been supporting Asif and his family, who are now in hiding after receiving death threats for refusing to convert to Islam.
Chine Creating “system of persecution for the future”, Open Doors warn.
WASHINGTON — China is creating a “blueprint” “system of persecution for the future” that could be sold to persecute people across the globe, head of the prominent Christian persecution watchdog agency Open Doors USA has warned.
Open Doors CEO David Curry, joined by pastors from China, issued the dire warning about how China could be shaping the future of international religious minority oppression through its use of surveillance technologies to monitor Christians and other religious adherents.
Open Doors, which operates in 60 countries, released its influential annual World Watch List data report Wednesday at an event attended by representatives of the Trump administration, Congress and human rights activists. The annual report ranks the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted.
During a briefing, Curry warned that the “greatest threat,” in his opinion, to human rights worldwide is China, which rose in the rankings from No. 27 to No. 23 in the 2020 report.
Although the communist nation is not ranked as highly as other violators on the list, Curry stressed that the implications lie in China’s development of surveillance to control its people.
“Its implications are not just for Christians within China but for every country and for religious freedom generally,” Curry said. “Let me put it together. It is like a puzzle. The pieces are there but it is not until you put it together that you see it clearly. When you see it clearly, it is frightening.”
David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, addresses the rise of global Christian persecution at the 2020 Open Doors’ World Watch List press conference in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 15, 2020. | Open Doors USA
The pieces of this puzzle, Curry said, involve China’s use of a social score system that grades its citizens based on their actions and the government’s creation of a network of surveillance cameras that have been put on street corners and in churches.
“Imagine a system where citizens are given 2,000 points and every time you do something they government disagrees with, you are marked down for it,” Curry detailed. “Eventually, your travel is restricted, your children won’t get into the best schools. You lose points for taking your children to Sunday School. That is what the experience is like for many Christians in China.”
Curry traveled to China just a few weeks ago.
“I saw with my own eyes the surveillance on the street but also in the churches, watching their congregation,” he said. “Facial scans when you come in and then tracking you and generating reports [with] assumptions built into their artificial intelligence system that is tracking Christian behavior.”
Curry said that the more often a person is seen going to church, the more often they are to be labeled a “radical.”
“They are shutting down house churches at a massive rate — 5,596 churches shut down, many because they refuse to put surveillance cameras up to watch their congregation.”
Pastor Jian Zhu, who was raised in China but now is the director of the China Institute at Lincoln Christian University in Illinois, told those in attendance that China’s persecution against house churches is now the worst he has seen since 1979.
“The Chinese government now has placed severe restrictions and policies on the house churches, asking neighbors to spy on one another, pressures school teachers and college professors to betray and sign a statement to denounce their faith as well as to do the same to the students,” Zhu said.
Zhu explained that many churches are asked to take down crosses inside and outside their buildings and put up pictures of President Xi Jinping at the center of their worship stages. Underground churches are also accused of illegally fundraising because they collect offerings from congregants.
Zhu said he has heard of cases where some cities have shut down all house churches.
“Now, they are trying to eliminate Christianity from public life,” he said. “Cameras are all over to watch church and Christians go to Sunday service. Families are threatened to not go to church or they will be punished or their relatives could be in trouble.”
One Christian from China who attended the Open Doors event told The Christian Post that he and his family fled from China after the house church he attended was shut down.
Curry stressed that the data “seems to point to the fact that China seems to be resurrecting the god-as-government state.”
“We are all threatened by this: atheists, Jews, Muslims, everyone,” Curry said.
“They are using this artificial intelligence and surveillance to a whole new level,” he added. “All indications show that in 2020 — and this is why we are highlighting this — they are bringing these two systems together. They are merging the social scoring system and surveillance and artificial intelligence to give them the tools and the power to oppress the people.”
Curry said that the indications are not “just fear” or “unfounded.”
“It is already happening in a very grave way: not to Christians but to Uighur Muslims,” he said, noting that hundreds of thousands if not millions of Uighur Muslims have been sent to “re-education centers” in Western China.
“Muslims are forced to give up their faith and their culture. It’s only a matter of time before the world is going to jump on this technology because China is selling it to Iran, they’re looking to sell it to Egypt and other countries as well.”
When asked why China was not ranked lower on the World Watch List, Curry told CP that the World Watch List scores across measurements of private life, national life, violence, and others.
“So while China is No. 23, we are highlighting it because of what I think is this blueprint,” Curry contended. “They are creating a system of persecution for the future and we have to call it out now. Otherwise, it will be too late. Otherwise, they will sell it to Iran and others to oppress their religious minorities. That is why it needs to be really highlighted. Within five years, it would be almost too late to stop them.
Curry said that Open Doors has asked the White House and others to support proposed legislation that he says would provide steps to “control the use of artificial intelligence and facial recognition around the world.”
“What assumptions are being built into this that we need to know?” Curry asked. “Does going to church make you a terrorist in China? These are things we need to know.”
From The Christian Post