Darwin’s Theory Doesn’t Work in The Church

There are numerous churches that are anti-Darwinian because they are anti-evolution. That’s particular debate is for a different day on a different blog by a different person. But this isn’t about the formation of the earth or the evolution of living beings.

Darwin espoused the theory of “natural selection,” also known as “survival of the fittest.” While it’s true that these phrases in scientific circles mean something quite defined, in the wider world it has basically come to mean that the strong survive and thrive while the weak fall by the wayside. Those who make ate are those who deserved to make it. They survived, often at the expense of those who were weaker.

But isn’t that the opposite of what the church is supposed to be? It seems to me that the church should be the place that is definitively UN-Darwinian, where the weak thrive as the strong help them, a place that fosters the ideal of “survival of the unfittest.” What else would the bible mean when it says this in 1 Corinthians 12?

22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

We are called to be a place that is decidedly, intentionally seeking to help the weak survive and thrive. That could mean the weak in faith, social status, spiritual maturity, financial well-being, marital or familial health, understanding of the Bible and doctrine, and any number of other ways. While the culture around us seeks to be the strong and step on the weak, we are called to raise up the weak and find our strength in the Lord.

The church is to be counter cultural and counter natural, a place where the weakest find honor as they discover our unDarwinianism.

I live in the Nashville area and spend my days helping churches with leadership development. My nights are spent writing and rooting for Minnesota sports teams. I also podcast a bit. I'm the author of The Pastor's Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity, Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt is Not the Enemy of Faith, and The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every Part of Life