The images coming across our TV or computer screens are shocking and barbaric. Men created in the image of God being brutally beheaded or set on fire after being humiliated in the name of a supposed prophet seem to be a daily occurrence in the area of the world where Jesus was born. Even in our twenty-four hour a day news cycle where the mantra of “if it bleeds, it leads” directs what we see come into our living rooms, the level of savagery is unusual and downright disturbing and seems to create an apparent contradiction with the philosophy that underlies much of the worlds current evolutionary beliefs. How can this be happening in today’s world, haven’t we evolved past this point? I would submit that the actions of ISIS and similar groups is just one of the many evidences that the Bible’s view of man is more accurate then the oh so grand evolutionary theory.
Modern society has with some notable exceptions adopted the belief that we are the products of the continually occurring process of evolution. Everything, including the most complex being ever imagined, man, evolved from nothing. From primordial ooze to thinking rational man just required millions of years and the natural requirement of a species to get better regardless of whether the species wanted to actually improve or not. In continuation of this process, man has brought civilization to most of the world, built great cities and even sent men to the moon to plant the flags of humanity. Though individuals may excel with what the random evolutionary lottery has given to them, the overall process cannot be voluntary and proceeds onward and upward regardless of whether an individual agrees or not. The primordial ooze did not choose to evolve upward after all, it simply evolved as part of a process. Thus, we hear the familiar phrases repeated over and over by the politicians and talking heads, “There is no place in today’s world” and “Man has moved past this” when faced with barbaric actions of man in not so subtle nods to the gods of evolutionary theory. The problem appears to be however, much of the world has not, in fact, moved forward and appears to be just the same old sinful man who has been around for thousands of years.
Compare the actions of ISIS or any other contemporary murderous group with those of any of the tribes that bordered the historical Roman Empire. It was these tribes that lead to the creation of the term barbarian. They had no regard for the life of those who opposed them, took what they wanted and killed and tortured prisoners as an aspect of entertainment. The Mongol hordes and for that matter, the Roman Empire would have had little trouble appreciating and identifying the tactics employed by ISIS in attempting to grab and hold power. The Romans once mercilessly crucified 60,000 slaves after they revolted during the rebellion that is covered in the movie Spartacus. Shouldn’t endlessly evolving man be beyond this point in the evolutionary cycle by now or could it be there is simply another more obvious answer?
The Bible sets out that man from the time of the fall of Adam has been hopelessly ensnared by sin. Though we were created by God, due to the fall we are totally depraved and subject to all of the same sins that men have been tempted with for thousands of years. Rather than being the result of an accident with evil being bred out of us over time, our nature is the same as that of Adam and Eve or Cain and Abel and we fail just as badly as the did when we try to live life without God. Thus, it makes sense that the crimes of ISIS look a lot like the Mongols, the Romans or the Visigoths, they are all just men subject to the evil passions of men and who have fallen short of the Glory of God.
There is good news though. The best news ever in fact. For even in the face of the evil done by man, the Roman Empire was nothing if not brutal and corrupt, God was willing to send His Son, Jesus to die to save those sinful, brutal, evil, rebellious men. Roman soldiers and the Jewish leaders who killed Jesus Himself were baptized together into eternal life through His forgiveness. Yes, we are as bad as we ever were and will continue to be for the remainder of history, but Jesus will always be perfect enough to save even the worst sinner.