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Theistic evolutionist ‘Dr. Francis Collins, former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and founder of the evolutionary creation advocacy group BioLogos, has become a lightning rod within evangelicalism for promoting vaccines for COVID-19, especially among pastors and other faith leaders.
In a BioLogos-sponsored webinar last week, Collins chided many of his fellow white evangelicals for not getting the vaccine and alleged “the culture war is literally killing people.”
Collins cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that vaccine hesitancy or resistance contributed to more than 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, the Religion News Service reported. He suggested vaccine resistance was partly the result of Christians falling for misinformation.
Yet in a recent Daily Wire article that’s been widely circulated, conservative writer Megan Basham questioned why evangelicals haven’t interrogated Collins more rigorously before sharing their platform with the federal official she called “Caesar’s agent.”
Citing news reports, Basham accused Collins of trying to suppress questions surrounding the source of COVID-19 and the efficacy of the federal COVID-19 response. She also accused Collins himself of being “willing to compromise transparency and truth for PR considerations.”
Basham also questioned whether it was appropriate for Collins to recruit evangelical leaders like Wheaton College dean Ed Stetzer to help him spread the government’s preferred narratives about COVID-19.
On a podcast with Stetzer in September, Collins said, “I want pastors once again to try to use your credibility with your flock to put forward the public health measures that we know can work.”
But Basham asked, “(I)s it truly the pastor’s job to tell church members to ‘trust the science?’”
Spokespeople for the NIH and BioLogos didn’t immediately reply when The Roys Report reached out asking for a response to the Daily Wire piece. TheDaily Wire didn’t receive a response when it reached out to Stetzer, public theologian Russell Moore, and other high-profile evangelicals mentioned in the piece.
‘Misinformation . . . and conspiracies’
Collins regularly cites his faith in BioLogos podcasts and elsewhere, sometimes comparing his path to Christ to that of C.S. Lewis. Collins, who headed the Human Genome Project, is author of the best-selling book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, which won a Christianity Today Book Award.
Because of his substantial scientific credentials and professed Christian belief, The Washington Post described Collins as being in an “unusual position to address people of faith.”
In last week’s BioLogos webinar, Collins said he was surprised by how much his shared faith mattered to Christians. Researchers, he said, have found that “unless that truth comes at you from somebody you trust, you’re not going to call it truth at all.”
Collins also highlighted how white evangelicals were somewhat less likely than average to have gotten vaccinated for COVID-19.
About two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants had gotten at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine when Pew Research polled Americans in late August. At the time, 70% of black Protestants had done so, and almost three-quarters of Americans in general.
Collins told RNS he blamed “misinformation and lies and conspiracies” for part of white evangelicals’ hesitancy about COVID-19 vaccination. He also thought his messaging about the pandemic could have been better.
Credibility as an evangelical
However, Basham called Collins’ credibility with evangelicals into question.
Under Collins’ watch, she wrote, the NIH has funded research using abortion-derived fetal tissue and factored in diversity criteria when awarding grants. NIH funding has also gone to research on “sexual and gender minorities,” she wrote.
BioLogos, which Collins founded, also advocates for “an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.”
According to Pew Research, only about a third of evangelicals think humans evolved and a majority oppose abortion and same-sex marriage.
Basham suggested Collins gained his credibility from “character witnesses” like Stetzer and former Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore, who praised Collins’ “Christian humility.”
After the article’s publication, Basham noted on Twitter that BioLogos suddenly canceled an interview she had scheduled with Collins on a different topic. When she asked why, an organization spokesperson replied that “the tone and claims” of her article were “inconsistence” with BioLogos’ aims.
Responses to the controversy have been mixed.
Jay Richards, a research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, urged pastors and religious leaders to apologize for “this naïve propagandizing for Collins.”
Kelley Owens, a kids director at a church in Indianapolis, tweeted: “If nothing else, this pandemic has served to increase my discernment and give me pause before I uncritically accept any position . . . Even if it comes from someone I have previously trusted.”
However, a medical doctor noted on social media that Collins was “far from the only medical doctor urging, masking, vaccination, and reasonable public health interventions. In fact there have been doctors and nurses in churches all across the country giving the same message to evangelicals.”
One reader likened the pushback against Collins to how Christians interacted with former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.
Erick Erickson, a conservative Christian pundit, initially said he was “disturbed” by Basham’s article. But later, he published a blog post calling for an end to what he characterized as “infighting” among Christians trying to bolster their own credibility.
“(M)aybe those in positions of leadership need to realize there are others they’re inspiring to tribalism, not to the trials of the Christian life,” he wrote. “Maybe instead of picking sides, pick Jesus.”’https://julieroys.com/francis-collins-draws-fire-vaccine-advocacy-top-evangelicals/?mc_cid=27c313549b&mc_eid=b13d34ad49
If you have read this far Collins is wrong in both his belief on how God created and on the effectiveness of the Covid vaccines. Genesis 1:31 ¶ And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day and THERE IS NO WAY OF GETTING THEISTIC EVOLUTION out of that!
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
This powerful verse introduces Paul’s burning description of the descent of ancient human societies that once “knew God” (Romans 1:21) into evolutionary paganism, idolatry, and wickedness. This deterioration was willful and inexcusable, for they had abundant evidence of God’s nature and power in the very creation that they had chosen to worship instead of the Creator (Romans 1:25).
Even though God Himself was invisible (being omnipresent), they could easily see the evidence of His existence and His grace in creating and sustaining all things, “for God hath shewed it unto them” (Romans 1:19). “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).
Since these things were “clearly seen” and “understood” by men “from the creation of the world” (that is, from the time the world was created), it is obvious that there have been men and women there to see and understand these things ever since the world was created. This assures us that the creation did not take place billions of years before men appeared on Earth, as theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists would like to believe. Men and women have been on Earth ever since its very beginning (see also Mark 10:6; Acts 3:21), and all should have recognized and worshiped the true Creator God.
That being true, how much more inexcusable are our modern evolutionists—whether atheistic, pantheistic, or polytheistic—who not only reject the testimony of God in creation but also His far more complete testimony in Scripture and in the person and work of Jesus Christ.’https://www.icr.org/article/12755/?utm_source=phplist9385&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=May+23+-+How+Can+Things+Invisible+Be+Seen%3F
Matthew 6:7-8 “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
‘Plants make cellulose. Cellulose is a type of natural plastic made of many sugar molecules linked together. Scientists have known for years how to use the natural plastic qualities of cellulose to make things like cellophane and rayon.
Scientists have also known that animals generate a similar natural plastic called chitin. Like cellulose, chitin is a carbohydrate made of long chains of sugar molecules. Chitin is found in the shells of all insects and crustaceans, like crabs. Each year the crabmeat industry had thrown away thousands of tons of chitin because scientists couldn’t figure out how to extract chitin from the shells in a usable form.
Finally in 1975 scientists discovered how to remove the chitin from shells and change its form so it could be made into whatever forms they needed. Suture thread made from chitin dissolves in the body. This means that stitches don’t have to be removed, and it can be more easily knotted than regular suture thread. Suture thread made from chitin also causes no allergic reaction, and it seems to promote healing. It’s hard to believe that a crab shell, which is usually thrown away, could do so much! Food processing companies are even using a chemical made from chitin to recover protein from wastewater.
Almost everything in the creation seems to have numerous uses for human needs. This is testimony that the Creator has made this universe for us and that He cares about our needs. In the Bible we learn that He has provided for our greatest need through His Son, Jesus Christ.’https://creationmoments.com/sermons/is-your-doctor-an-old-crab-2/?mc_cid=95172e9cf9&mc_eid=00c1dcff3c
“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” (2 Peter 3:17)
False teachers are prominent in almost every field of study including science and religion. Dr. Henry Morris aptly writes that; ‘Peter’s final epistle, especially chapters 2 and 3, is the classic New Testament passage on the false teachers that would plague the church in the “last days” (v. 3). In addition to the characteristics listed in the introductory verse, 2:1 (e.g., slipping in surreptitiously heretical teachings, denying the redemptive work and Lordship of Christ), a number of their attributes are predicted for our guidance, as follows:
They will “wrest the scriptures” (3:16), distorting their literal meaning to conform to their own philosophical preferences. This involves using “feigned words” (2:3)—that is, plastic words, with devious meanings to make them say what their users wish to convey. They may well be very eloquent and seductive in their speech, “when they speak great swelling words of vanity” (2:18).
They will deny the doctrine of special creation and the judgment of the worldwide Flood (3:5-6), teaching instead that “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (v. 4), and will scoff at the Second Coming. They “despise government” and are “presumptuous” and “selfwilled . . . not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2:10).
They both practice and defend immoral acts, “having eyes full of adultery” (v. 14). Yet they maintain their religious ties because they have hearts “exercised with covetous practices” (v. 14), seeing nothing evil in taking money for personal gain from those whose faith they seek to undermine.
This is, indeed, a fitting description of many modern liberal theologians, religious bureaucrats in the big denominations, “New Age” preachers, college teachers of religion, etc. Although this is not a pleasant subject, Christians urgently need to awaken to what is happening and “beware”!’ https://www.icr.org/article/11469
This is a broadcast from ICR’s Science Scripture and Salvation radio programme.