Committed as Christmas

mangerEvolution is a singular commitment to non-commitment. In fact, it is the enshrinement to the highest humanistic place — which is to say science, the creed of non-commitment as inherently virtuous. Of course virtue and goodness tend to be taken in transcendent, moral categories, but in a purely materialistic, evolutionary universe, goodness is just whatever happens next. But in order for things to ‘happen next’ they must change, adapt, grow feathers or mammary glands, and that requires species not to commit to the last generation’s way of doing business. That backward looking monkey-see-monkey-do stuff gets in the way of progress and opposable thumbs.

This is why marriage, to take one example, is not merely an old fashion custom, it is positively anti-progress. Commitment can only be as permanent as our feelings and instincts and hormones because you never know when evolution will open up new vistas, new avenues, new opportunities. It might be a threesome. It might be transexual surgery. It might be a one night stand. But this kind of kinky is what makes the future bright and happy because let’s face it, it’s been the careless kinky of billions of atoms and chemicals over billions of years that got us this far. Right? Promiscuity is progress. Non-commitment is the only way forward. Let the chaos flow. In fact, the more chaos the better because when you’re dealing with blind chance, the more combinations the better the odds. Remember, evolution just glibly maintains that something like 95% of all species and attempted adaptations have been discarded by nature’s bloody tooth and claw. So you got to throw the dice as early and as often as possible. The more sex the better. The more combinations the better. The more changes the better. More change. Less stability. And since the fossil record contradicts gradual transitions over long periods of times, maybe we can whip nature into a frenzy that will punctuate the equilibrium and create that intense, unstable environment required for new species and new adaptations to suddenly appear without any warning.

Of course few (if any) will consistently think all of these thoughts from right to left in a single sitting. But it’s impossible to avoid the gravity of this logic when you embrace the Darwinian gospel. And people (even many creationist Christians) hitch their lives to this ideological hurricane unwittingly when they settle for cheap and easy divorce, when they break their membership vows, when they shack up without wedding vows, when they are not loyal to friends and family, when their commitments are broken and the brokenness is justified in the name of love. But this is precisely what it is not. Love is commitment. Love is loyalty. Love changes not. Love is constant. Love is the Eternal binding Himself permanently to the finite. Love is an oath, a vow, a promise as strong as death. Love endures pain, suffering, wrongs, injustice. Love loses all for the sake of the loved. Love doesn’t give up. Love doesn’t lose hope. Love endures. This is the gospel of Christmas, the good news of God’s love made flesh in Jesus.

We are fragile creatures. Human beings are fragile, fallible, and we fail. But it is one thing to believe in love, to believe in the goodness of commitment, the goodness of loyalty, the goodness of aiming to be constant, and it is another thing entirely to enshrine disloyalty. It is another thing entirely to lift up a devoted cheer to the goddess of treason. The goodness of God’s love in Christ is not some kind of day old humanistic vomit. This is no promise of human goodness. No, the good news is that the changeless God has bound Himself to us. He has reached down and grasped us with an unbreakable love. He has committed Himself to us. That’s our hope and peace. And Christians are those who despite themselves have decided to run hard after that love. Our hearts are unstable and constantly resist commitment, but He was born in Bethlehem and He holds us fast.

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