What is Creation Pacifism?

Creation Pacifism is a movement of Christians to choose peace in the great Creation War.

Creation Pacifism is a movement of Christians to choose peace in the great Creation War. We believe this peace is possible because Jesus is greater than anything we find in science, no human effort can hold Him, and He needs not our defense.

We believe that Jesus (in His physical life, death, and resurrection) is the cornerstone our faith, the starting point from which all else is understood. From this starting point, we find that our world is divided between trusting and rejecting Jesus (John 1:12, Romans 10:9), between His light and our darkness (John 1:5,9, John 8:12), between a named God and “unknown” gods (Romans 10:9, Acts 2:21), between a good God and man-made idols (Romans 1:20-23), where God offers only the Resurrection as the “one sign” to skeptics (Matthew 16:4). God created the universe, but no human study of nature, not even creation science, can bring us to God (Romans 1:20-23); our only path to confident belief in God is through Jesus (John 14:6). Rooted in this understanding of Jesus, we do not believe that any human effort, especially science, could bring our world to God. Instead, we declare about Jesus, “He is Risen,” and point our world to Him.

The opposite of Creation Pacifism is “anti-evolutionism.” Anti-evolutionism, in contrast to the Gospel, teaches that our world is divided between acceptance and rejection of evolution, between theism and atheism, where creation is God’s sign and science becomes a “prize” in an epic culture war. In this false worldview, rejecting the term “evolution” becomes a critical litmus test that exposes true loyalties in the great ideological war. Opposition to evolution becomes the organizing philosophy within the Church; scientific arguments against evolution build our confidence, define our witness, unify our community, and direct our devotion. In anti-evolutionism, we doubt the power of the Gospel among those that believe in evolution, hoping that evidence for creation will point our world to God. Some politically and legally oppose evolution in science education, and political anti-evolutionism comes to define Christianity in science entirely. Anti-evolutionism, instead of Jesus, becomes the cornerstone.

To be clear, personal rejection of evolution alone is not anti-evolutionism. Many Christians personally reject “evolution” because of their understanding of Scripture. This rejection itself is not “anti-evolutionism,” and is an entirely acceptable conclusion to reach within the Church. Accordingly, Creation Pacifism includes the full range of Christian believe about our origins. Including Christians that accept evolution as God’s way of creating us, and also those that reject evolution as a falsehood. Anti-evolutionism takes this personal rejection much farther, attempting to use this rejection as the cornerstone of our faith, in place of Jesus.

Anti-evolutionism leads to war by encouraging us to aggressively attack our culture’s sacred cows. The political battle is over power and challenges how evolution is taught in science classes. Creation Pacifism rejects this war because it misrepresents Jesus. He is not honored by war. The Gospel cannot be overcome by any human effort, especially not science. Nothing here threatens Him. So we confidently choose peace.

Creation Pacifism does not withdraw from science, but enters in to declare Jesus from common ground. We believe that the Gospel still has power, even among those that believe in evolution. Nothing in science diminishes Him. Jesus is greater than evolution. He is greater than anti-evolutionism too.

At the same time, Creation Pacifism emphasizes that no human effort cannot bring us to God, not even science. It is only through God’s work to reveal Himself to us in Jesus death and resurrection that we confidently declare that God exists, is unimaginably good, and wants to be known. Our role is to respond to God’s work on the cross, not argue from human study of nature in a great ideological war.

Creation Pacifism is absurd in our politically polarized world, shaped by conflict in every area. Why would we lay down our rights? Is it not our call to fight the Culture War? We are like the disciples, tossed on the waves while Jesus sleeps (Luke 8:22-39).1 We are threatened by our scientific world, and its trust in science as the final source of authority. Our choice is between the stormy war of anti-evolutionism and pacifism, between trust in human wisdom or reliance on God’s revelation in the Resurrection, between human political power and Jesus’ otherworldly kingdom. Will we choose the worry of war or the rest of peace?

Creation Pacifism is a movement of Christians to rest in the power of the Gospel in our world. Jesus is greater than anything we find in science. Nothing darkens Jesus world illuminating light, not even evolution. Jesus is alive and active in our world. He is not threatened by the Creation War, and He is more compelling than anti-evolutionism. Jesus is here among us, but waits in silence for his disciples to turn from the storm and acknowledge Him.

Choosing between war and peace, between storm and rest, between anti-evolutionism and the Gospel, we choose peace.

  1. The featured image depicts the story of the disciples frighted on the sea, even though Jesus can calm the storm. in a painting by Rembrandt in 1633 entitled “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.” We believe that, even in the storm of the Creation War, Jesus offers us rest. We choose peace, joining His rest, because we have confidence in the Gospel’s power in this world, even among those that believe in evolution. Astute readers will notice that this is a crop of the original painting. We remove Jesus from the image in respect of the Second Commandment and the long tradition of aniconism in Christianity.

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