Hi, this is Pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Survival of The Fittest.
Last evening, I was watching a clip from a nature show on YouTube. I’m not sure why this particular video ended up in my feed or why I was intrigued enough to click on it and watch…but I was. The video was of a fight to the death between a scorpion and a black widow. I don’t know just how long the contest lasted because the video began with the two arachnids already engaged, but I know it didn’t continue longer than a minute or two more. The spider was franticly spinning web material and using its legs to try to secure the scorpion’s tail to its body in order to restrict its ability to sting. While attempting to ensnare the scorpion in its strong sticky silk, the spider was also taking every opportunity to try to puncture the scorpion’s exoskeleton with its fangs and inject a lethal dose of venom, and bring its distant cousin into submission. While this was the Black Widow’s plan, the Scorpion had a strategy of its own, and continued to flick its tail resisting the restraint of the spider’s webbing. Seemingly within the first minute of the video, the spider’s fangs managed to find a weakness in the scorpion’s armor as simultaneously the scorpion wriggled free its tail and the stinger pierced the black widow’s abdomen. In the space of just a few more seconds both had succumbed to their wounds and the venom of the other. Almost as soon as it had begun…it was over…both creatures expired and lying motionless. It was a battle which might have been dubbed “Survival of the fittest”, and though that particular engagement concluded, the question of which was more fit…well that was left unanswered. Both paid the ultimate price and there was no winner, winner scorpion or black widow dinner!
Charles Darwin theorized that human beings arrived on the planet through a process he called evolution which relied heavily on ideas like “Survival of the fittest”. His thought was that God had not lovingly created the universe, our solar system and our planet to provide for the rest of His creation. Darwin didn’t accept that God spoke each of the plants and animals into existence and as the crowning achievement of His immense love formed Adam from the dust of the ground and then offered to him the breath of life. Darwin’s theory couldn’t accept that the first woman would be a gift to the man, taken from the man’s own flesh and blood. The theory of evolution required belief that mankind had evolved along with the rest of creation and had simply won more of the contests of the “Survival of the fittest”, than any other creature. This errant thinking brought forth others like “The process of natural selection”, as well as even farther outlandish, non-scientific conclusions such as “The Big Bang”. With each of these we are supposed to accept that other scientific laws such as the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics are not true at all. We are asked to believe that an initial energy source isn’t actually necessary to input energy into a new process. Furthermore, the theory of evolution requires us to accept that things gain momentum without a renewed input of energy rather than degenerate as we know full well and can prove that they do. I think that it is with innate understanding that theories like evolution can’t possibly be legitimate that we sometimes use references to them with sarcasm and humor. Places like YouTube will also treat you to videos of people doing incredibly dumb and dangerous things, and dub them “Darwin Awards” or opportunities to watch examples of the “Process of Natural Selection” in progress, as people do stupid things that might have taken them out of the gene-pool if it were not for “dumb luck”.
“Survival of the fittest” is contrary to God on more than one level. This is not simply so because it flies in the faith of the truth of Creation week. It is not “Survival of the fittest” that put humans squarely atop the “Food Chain”, God lovingly placed us there when He created us to have dominion over the rest of His creation, Genesis 1:26-27 makes that abundantly clear. However, there is another consideration in regards to “Survival of the fittest” and how it is in direct opposition to God that I want to examine today. In earlier editions of this podcast I have mentioned a particular paraphrase of the New Testament that I enjoy tremendously. It is entitled The Remedy and was written by Dr. Timothy Jennings a highly respected, nationally known Psychiatrist. He uses the phrase “Survival of the fittest” quite often in The Remedy to illustrate how that mindset goes against God’s plans for our best.
Allow me to read James 4:1-10 from the Remedy. Why is there so much hostility, fighting, and arguments among you? Because the Survival of the fittest instinct controls you; If you want something but don’t get it, you are willing to kill. You are selfish, coveting what you cannot have, constantly fighting, trying to get for yourselves. You do not obtain because you do not seek God. And when you finally do ask God – because your motives are selfish, and because you focus only on self-gratification – you don’t get what you’re asking for, because God doesn’t use His power to supply you with means to damage yourselves. You disloyal and unfaithful people! Don’t you realize that embracing the me first, survival of the fittest principle of this world is warring against God? Anyone who allies themselves with this selfish world chooses to be an enemy of our God of love. Don’t you get it? The scripture is clear: God longs intensely for you and gives you His Spirit to live in you to graciously heal you. That is why the scripture says: God opposes selfishness, arrogance and pride, but heals the selfless. Surrender yourselves to God and His treatment. Tell the Devil “No”, and you will escape Him. Move closer to God and God will come close to you. You selfish people! Stop choosing to indulge your selfish desires. Stop going back and forth between love and selfishness, and purify your hearts with love. Stop playing around and get real! Let your hearts break: cry over your terminal condition, admit that you are sick, and stop pretending that all is well. Then go humbly to the Lord, and He will heal and restore you.
God is selfless. He has illustrated that from the very beginning of creation. He spent the first five days creating everything we can see, hear, taste, smell and touch. Then according to Genesis 1:26 and 27 He lovingly created us and gave us authority over everything he had made, so that we could use it to meet our needs. God further illustrated His selflessness by allowing His own sinless Son to sacrifice His life as payment for the penalty of our wrongdoing and acts of selfishness, The Bible tells us He did this expressly so that we could spend eternity with Him. When viewed through the concept of “Survival of the fittest”, that selfless act of love makes no sense at all. But God didn’t give us what He gave us and Jesus didn’t do for us what He did for us, because it makes sense in human terms…they did it all because it makes sense in terms of the Law of Love. God created everything according to the Law of Love, and so, He was willing to give everything, including the life of His One and Only Son, to restore the Law of Love.
That Law requires selflessness and trust in God’s goodness to operate as it should. That is why God wants to see our selfish desires eradicated. He is not against us…He is for us. His great love for us will not allow for Him to let us go our own way and operate by a “Survival of the fittest” mentality without at least attempting to show us the error of that thinking. God does not want us to operate in such a flawed system. He knows that our selfish behavior must be displaced by His selflessness flowing through us if we are to truly be healed. He has no desire to see what our “Process of natural selection” will bring us. His word says that there is a way that seems right to mankind, but in the end it leads to destruction. (Proverbs 14:12). TOAT230504We need to stop seeking “Darwin Awards” and pay attention to God’s word which tells us that God rewards those who seek Him and trust Him and imitate His selfless ways. (Hebrews 11:6)
So now, experiencing the healing God is attempting to bring to your life through selflessness and complete trust in Him…Go be awesome!