17-Year-Olds, Evolution, and Atheism
|by||Bert Thompson, Ph.D.|
“[I had] great fervor and interest in the fundamentalist religion; I left at seventeen when I got to the University of Alabama and heard about evolutionary theory” (E.O. Wilson, Harvard professor and the “father of sociobiology,” 1982, p. 40).
Some time ago, I received a telephone call from a distraught Christian mother. Her teenage son came home from school that very day and sat down at the kitchen table to have a snack and began to talk to his mom—as he did practically every day after school. Then, in the midst of their conversation, he announced in a very matter-of-fact tone, “Mom, I think I need to tell you—I don’t believe in God any more.”
It was—literally—every parent’s nightmare. This woman’s precious heritage—the child who was the fruit of her womb and the light of her life—was in danger of losing both his faith and his soul. The mother, as you might expect, was shaken, distressed, and forlorn. With tears flowing down her face, she managed to recover from the initial shock just enough to speak a single word: “Why?”
Her son’s answer? It was essentially the same as another one-time 17-year-old by the name of Edward O. Wilson—except her son didn’t even make it to college before beginning to lose his faith. “My biology teacher,” explained the youngster, “has been telling us all about evolution, and has shown us scientifically that it is true. If evolution’s true, you don’t need God. I’ve seen the proof for evolution—which is why I don’t believe in God any more.”
He’s right, you know—about there being no need for God if evolution is true. E.O. Wilson himself weighed in on this same theme in his book, On Human Nature, when he commented on the very first page: “If humankind evolved by Darwinian natural selection, genetic chance and environmental necessity, not God, made the species” (1978, p. 1, emp. added). The late evolutionist of Harvard, George Gaylord Simpson emphatically stated: “Evolution is a fully natural process, inherent in the physical properties of the universe, by which life arose in the first place and by which all living things, past or present, have since developed, divergently and progressively” (1960, 131:969, emp. added). British atheist Sir Julian Huxley once boasted:
Darwin pointed out that no supernatural designer was needed; since natural selection could account for any known form of life, there was no room for a supernatural agency in its evolution…. The earth was not created; it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion…. Darwinism removed the whole idea of God as the creator of organisms from the sphere of rational discussion (1960, pp. 46,252-253,45, emp. added).
Huxley even went so far as to compare God to the disappearing act performed by the Cheshire cat inAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland when he wrote: “The supernatural is being swept out of the universe.... God is beginning to resemble not a ruler, but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat” (1957, p. 59). Or, as Brown University evolutionist Kenneth Miller put it in his 1999 volume,Finding Darwin’s God:
My particular religious beliefs or yours notwithstanding, it is a fact that in the scientific world of the late twentieth century, the displacement of God by Darwinian forces is almost complete. This view is not always articulated openly, perhaps for fear of offending the faithful, but the literature of science is not a good place to keep secrets. Scientific writing, especially on evolution, shows this displacement clearly (p. 15, emp. added).
Yes, the “scientific writing on evolution” does show this “displacement” clearly! The 17-year-old young man had no trouble understanding that point, did he? To Huxley, Simpson, Wilson, and thousands of others like them, “the God argument” has been effectively routed. And along with it, has gone the faith of many a 17-year-old!
The sad thing is, this young man’s name is “legion.” If you could see the correspondence (coming in the form of both regular mail and e-mail) that arrives in my office on practically a daily basis, you would understand just how serious this problem really is. Several years ago, I received an especially well-written letter from a young Christian who was in a graduate program in the physical sciences at a state university, which had led him to study under a man he termed “a giant in his field...rocket-scientist intelligent...and a devout evolutionist.” In his letter, the student said:
...working this closely with one who thinks as he does is beginning to cause not a small amount of cognitive dissonance in my own mind with regard to evolution v. special creation. I really need your help, both as a Christian and a scientist, to clearly see what it is. Hundreds of thousands of scientists can’t be wrong, can they? Consensual validation cannot be pushed aside in science. How can that many people be following a flag with no carrier, and someone not find out? The number of creation scientists pales in comparison.... I do not want to be a fool.”
This young writer expressed what many young people experience, yet are unable to enunciate so eloquently. It is not uncommon to encounter those who once knew what they believed and why they believed it, yet who now are terribly confused. “Cognitive dissonance” is the internal struggle one experiences when presented with new information that contradicts what he believes to be true. As he struggles for consistency, he must change what he believes—or disregard the new information. This young Christian who once knew what he believed, and why he believed it, no longer knew either. He stated: “I am a confused young man with some serious questions about my mind, my faith, and my God. Please help me sort through these questions.”
He’s not alone! Just last month (March 2003), I received an e-mail from a mother, begging for help with her 17-year-old son, who was experiencing similar (but even worse) problems. She lamented: “But what really concerns me most is how he’s drifting so far away from God. I’m fearful of him dying in a lost state. I’m in a tug of war with the devil for his life.”
Yes ma’am, you certainly are! And you are not alone. If the volume and content of the correspondence (and phone calls) that my staff and I are receiving are good indicators (and I have every right to believe that they are), there are many other parents “out there” who are experiencing, to a greater or lesser degree, problems similar to those experienced by these two mothers. It was that e-mail (as you probably have guessed by now) that prompted me to write this article for our Web site.
The young Christian graduate student who had written some time earlier, admitted to being “a confused young man with some serious questions about my mind, my faith, and my God.” While he may indeed have been “confused,” there were two things he did know. First, he recognized that the beliefs he once held were inconsistent with those he was being taught (which is why he was experiencing “cognitive dissonance”). Second, he recognized that if he accepted these new teachings, then not only his beliefs, but also his actions would be inconsistent with his Christianity. His plea—“help me sort through these questions”—has been echoed countless times through the centuries by those who have languished in the “cognitive dissonance” that results from replacing the wisdom of God with the wisdom of man.
The mother (mentioned above) who e-mailed me, cried plaintively: “I’m not sure what the answer is and how you could help. I just felt like reaching out. Can you help me jolt [my son] back into some sense of reality? Thanks again for your time and concern.” The other mother who called me some time ago pleaded with me to meet personally with her son, in a last-ditch effort to help restore his belief in God. A day or so later, in mid-week, I boarded a jet (at no cost to her or her family) on a mission of mercy to a faraway city to do just that. Who among us could refuse such a plea? Who among us—if our child were in the same situation—would dare hesitate to cry out for help in a similar fashion? “Time and concern” may be two of our most valuable weapons! [I also offered to fly to meet with the second mother’s son—an offer she is considering, even as I write these words.]
During His earthly ministry, Jesus taught His disciples an important lesson regarding the precious nature of a child’s soul. Matthew (19:13-15), Mark (10:13ff.), and Luke (18:15-17) all record a conversation between Christ and His disciples on the subject of children. He rebuked those disciples who wanted to prevent the children from coming to Him (Mark 10:13), and warned: “See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I tell you, that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). Jesus wanted children near Him. That has not changed. R.W. Lawrence said of this instance: “And so the invitation of Jesus stands clear: ‘Parents, relatives, loved ones, friends of the little children: bring them to me!’ The invitation never has been modified or rescinded” (1976, pp. 22-23, emp. in orig.). It is the task of parents and grandparents to bring these children to Christ. If we fail in this task, we will lose our children, and our children will lose their souls.
The psalmist wrote: “Children are a heritage of Jehovah; and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (127:3). Our children are, quite literally, gifts from the Lord. As God’s heritage, they are sent to us for safekeeping, which is why we are commanded to rear them “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). The spiritual instruction of a child is not an option. It is not something we do “if we have the time” or “if we find it convenient.” God has given us, as parents, the awesome responsibility of introducing our children to His covenant, and of teaching our children His Word.
But what is the ultimate goal of this daunting task? Is it not safe to say that the object is to see the soul of a child safely returned to the God of heaven from Whom it was sent originally? Is this not why the psalmist stated that children “are as arrows in the hand of a mighty man” (127:4)? Children, just like arrows, are to be launched toward a singular goal. That goal, in the case of an arrow, is a bull’s-eye. That goal, in the case of a child, is heaven—and we are God’s archers. Without our careful sighting of the goal, and without our purposeful aim, our children most likely will not return to the God Who created them.
Is this responsibility sobering and weighty? Yes. Is it sometimes burdensome or difficult? Yes. But is it impossible to accomplish? No! God never gave a command that we, with His aid and assistance, cannot carry out successfully. Christ, in speaking to the people of His generation, stated that “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). He was not suggesting that the illogical could become logical. He did not mean that God could make such things as a round square, or an acceptable sin. In the context, He was making the point that with God’s help, obstacles that at first glance appear to us to be insurmountable can, in fact, be overcome. Tasks that seem too arduous can, in fact, be completed.
And so it is with the successful rearing of a child. God has given us, as parents, the responsibility of ensuring the safety of our children’s souls. Fortunately, He also has given us tools equal to the task, and the instruction booklet we are to employ as we go about completing our assignment. The tools include such things as love, parental authority, wisdom, and experience. The instruction booklet is His Word, the Bible. Granted, there may be times when parents use both the tools and the instruction booklet to the best of their ability, and yet still fail because a child employs his or her God-given free will to rebel against heaven’s admonition. Samuel and Eli provide just such an example. Both of these men had ungodly children. God chastised Eli (cf. 1 Samuel 2:12,27-36; 3:13), but within the Scriptures there is found no condemnation for Samuel. Why the difference? Both sets of children possessed free will, and both used that free will to rebel. Apparently, however, Samuel attempted, to the best of his ability, to restrain his children, while Eli did not (1 Samuel 3:13). We should not condemn dedicated, godly parents who attempt to turn their children unto the paths of righteousness, but who fail through no fault of their own. At the same time, however, we should not attempt to defend parents who neglect their children, and who thus contribute to their spiritual delinquency.
As the father of two precious sons, I sympathize with the plight of the two mothers whom I described earlier—mothers who stood to possibly lose their sons, even as their sons stood to lose their souls. I, as the friend in whom they had placed their hope for their boys’ souls, trembled at the prospect of failure. In the ninth chapter of Mark’s gospel, the story is told of a father who came to request help from Jesus on behalf of his demon-possessed son. The youngster, who had endured this situation “from childhood” (vs. 21), was in desperate need of a cure, as is evident from the symptoms described early on in the account (vss. 18,22). Jesus—having compassion on both father and son—said to the man, “All things are possible to him that believeth” (vs. 23). With an abiding love for his son in his heart, and a cry of desperation on his lips, the father pleaded, “I believe; help thou mine unbelief ” (vs. 24).
How many people throughout the millennia since then have echoed that same refrain? How many people today—with the same cry of desperation—are pleading for help with unbelief? How many “out there” are groping in intellectual and spiritual darkness for answers to questions that hinder their belief? How many of our friends, relatives, neighbors, loved ones, acquaintances, or children are experiencing the same mental anguish that the father of that son experienced twenty centuries ago? As you read this, are you not thinking of someone—young, old, male, female, former friend, current friend—who is struggling in their own personal battle against unbelief? And would you not like to be able to help them fight that battle—and win?!
At Apologetics Press, we deal with various aspects of unbelief on a daily basis. One of our main goals always has been, and still is, to be able to assist those who cry out, as that father did in earnest almost two thousand years ago, “Help thou mine unbelief.” Those of us associated with this work want you to know that we are committed—unreservedly and wholeheartedly—to the protection of the precious heritage that is our children.
Surely none among us professes to have all the answers. At the same time, however, surely none among us is willing to throw up our arms in defeat, nestle our heads in our hands in quiet surrender, and simply give up. While it is not my prerogative to speak for others, speaking for myself I wish to say: No! I will not accept defeat. I will not walk away in quiet surrender. I will not give up! The costs—a child’s soul and a parent’s grief—are far too high. The consequences—an eternity away from the presence of God—are far too grave.
Christians always have served God in an anti-Christian environment. That was true in the first century, and it is true in the twenty-first. Similarly, parents always have had to rear children in such an environment. While parents taught one thing, the world taught another. The key to success was, and is, helping children understand that while Christians exist and function in the world, they are not of the world (Romans 12:2; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15). Blurring that distinction in the mind of a child has disastrous results. We can be, however, “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37)—if we will not give up. And so, let us make up our minds, here and now, to do everything within our power to protect our children. Let us teach them diligently the evidences for God’s existence, the deity of Christ, the uniqueness of His church, and their special place in His creation.
Somewhere along the way, it appears that we forgot one important point—it is not a matter of if our children are going to be taught; it is only a matter of what they are going to be taught, and who is going to do the teaching. The question is: Who will we allow to do the teaching, and what will they be allowed to teach? The late Rita Rhodes Ward, a public school teacher with more than fifty years’ worth of classroom experience, knew this firsthand. She once observed: “When a Christian mother leads her 6-year-old to the first grade room or her 5-year-old to kindergarten, she leads him from the sheltered environment of the home into the cold, pagan environment of secular humanism. From that day on, the child will be taught two contradictory religions...” (1986, p. 520).
Certainly it is not the case that all public school teachers are humanists. There are those who approach their job from a Christian perspective. [My own late mother, Mary Ruth Thompson, was among that number.] Nevertheless, the public school environment often creates an atmosphere of hostility toward the belief system that Christian parents attempt to instill in their children. In their volume, The Evolution Conspiracy, Matrisciana and Oakland authored a chapter titled “Children at Risk,” in which they suggested: “Traditionally, the schoolroom has been an open forum of learning. Today it has become a pulpit for the aggressive conversion of impressionable minds. It is the battlefield where war is being waged against the Judeo-Christian God, His principles, His morality, and the Bible” (1991, p. 125).
There is ample evidence that this assessment is correct, and that it has been for quite some time. Dr. C.F. Potter was an honorary president of the National Education Association. As long ago as 1930, he authored the book, Humanism: A New Religion, in which he offered the following assessment:
Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting, for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching? (p. 128, emp. added).
At a seminar on childhood education some years ago, Dr. Chester Pierce, professor of education and psychiatry at Harvard University, told those in attendance:
Every child in America entering school at the age of five is mentally ill, because he comes to school with certain allegiances toward our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural Being, toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you teachers to make all of these sick children well by creating the international children of the future (1973, p. 24, emp. added).
The truth is, some school teachers have a “hidden agenda,” their objective being to destroy our children’s faith. This situation represents a real and present danger to a child’s spiritual well-being. If we allow evolutionists to influence our children—and if they do their job better than, and before, we do ours—our children will lose their faith, and we will lose our children.
Surely, one of the most important causes of unbelief in the world today relates to the kind of education a person receives. [Please notice that I did not say unbelief “relates to the education” a person receives; rather, I said unbelief “relates to the kind of education” a person receives. I do not mean to “throw the baby out with the bath water” by suggesting that all education results in unbelief, for that most certainly is not the case and is not representative of my position.] Generally speaking, the educational system in America is the end product of John Dewey’s “progressive education movement.” Renowned humanistic philosopher and historian, Will Durant, wrote that “there is hardly a school in America that has not felt his influence” (1961, p. 390). But it was not just American schools that Dewey influenced. In his book, The Long War Against God, Henry Morris discussed how the progressive education movement “profoundly changed education not only in America but also in many other countries” as well (1989, p. 38).
Dewey, who was a socialist and materialistic pantheist, was one of the founders (and the first president) of the American Humanist Association, formed in 1933. I have discussed Dewey’s atheistic views elsewhere (see Thompson, 1994, 1999). At this juncture, I simply would like to make the point that as a result of Dewey’s efforts through the educational establishment, the kind of education now being offered in many public schools has the potential to discourage or destroy faith in God, while at the same time encouraging and promoting unbelief. One of the most important tools employed by Dewey and his intellectual offspring to cripple belief was, and is, organic evolution. As Samuel Blumenfeld stated in his classic text, NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education:
An absolute faith in science became the driving force behind the progressives.... The most important idea that would influence the educators was that of evolution—the notion that man, through a process of natural selection, had evolved to his present state from a common animal ancestry. Evolution was as sharp a break with the Biblical view of creation as anyone could make, and it was quickly picked up by those anxious to disprove the validity of orthodox religion (1984, p. 43, emp. added).
Morris quite correctly assessed the post-Dewey situation when he wrote:
The underlying assumption of progressive education was that the child is simply an evolved animal and must be trained as such—not as an individual created in God’s image with tremendous potential as an individual. A child was considered but one member in a group and therefore must be trained collectively to fit into his or her appropriate place in society (1989, p. 48).
The child’s “appropriate place in society”—specifically the humanistic society that Dewey and his cohorts envisioned—neither included nor allowed for belief in the God of the Bible. Thus, every effort was made to use the educational system to gain new recruits. Alfred Rehwinkel discussed just such a situation.
The shock received by the inexperienced young student is therefore overwhelming when he enters the classroom of such teachers and suddenly discovers to his great bewilderment that these men and women of acclaimed learning do not believe the views taught him in his early childhood days; and since the student sits at their feet day after day, it usually does not require a great deal of time until the foundation of his faith begins to crumble as stone upon stone is being removed from it by these unbelieving teachers. Only too often the results are disastrous. The young Christian becomes disturbed, confused, and bewildered. Social pressure and the weight of authority add to his difficulties. First he begins to doubt the infallibility of the Bible in matters of geology, but he will not stop there. Other difficulties arise, and before long skepticism and unbelief have taken the place of his childhood faith, and the saddest of all tragedies has happened. Once more a pious Christian youth has gained a glittering world of pseudo-learning but has lost his own immortal soul (1951, p. xvii, emp. added).
Such a scenario is not merely theoretical, but practical. Henry Morris, former professor and department head at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, observed that he “spent over twenty-eight years teaching in secular universities and saw this sad tale repeated in many lives” (1984, p. 113).
Chet Raymo serves as an excellent example of a person who once cherished his belief in God, but who ultimately lost his faith as a result of the kind of education he received. Raymo is a professor of physics and astronomy at Stonehill College in Massachusetts, has written a weekly column on science for the Boston Globe for more than a dozen years, and was reared as a Roman Catholic. In his book, Skeptics and True Believers, he wrote:
I learned something else in my study of science, something that had an even greater effect upon my religious faith. None of the miracles I had been offered in my religious training were as impressively revealing of God’s power as the facts that I was learning in science (1998, p. 20, emp. added).
Little wonder, then, that the thesis of Raymo’s book is that there is an unavoidable dichotomy between educated people of science who empirically “know” things, and those in religion who spiritually “believe” things—with the educated, scientifically oriented folks obviously being on the more desirable end of the spectrum (and winning out in the end).
There can be little doubt that many today believe in evolution because it is what they have been taught. For the past century, evolution has been in the limelight. And for the past quarter of a century or more, it has been taught as scientific fact in many elementary, junior high, and senior high schools, as well as in most colleges and universities. In their book, The Truth: God or Evolution?, Marshall and Sandra Hall offered this summary.
In the first place, evolution is what is taught in the schools. At least two, and in some cases three and four generations, have used textbooks that presented it as proven fact. The teachers, who for the most part learned it as truth, pass it on as truth. Students are as thoroughly and surely indoctrinated with the concept of evolution as students have ever been indoctrinated with any unproven belief (1974, p. 10).
In their book, Why Scientists Accept Evolution, Bales and Clark confirmed such an observation.
Evolution is taken for granted today and thus it is uncritically accepted by scientists as well as laymen. It is accepted by them today because it was already accepted by others who went before them and under whose direction they obtained their education (1966, p. 106).
Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that evolution has been given the “stamp of approval” by important spokespersons from practically every field of human endeavor. While there have been men and women from politics, the humanities, the arts, and other fields who openly have defended evolution as factual, in no other area has this defense been as pronounced as in the sciences. Because science has produced so many successes in so many different areas, and because these successes have been so visible and so well publicized, scientists have been granted an aura of respectability that only can be envied by non-scientists.
As a result, when scientists champion a cause, people generally sit up and take notice. After all, it is their workings through the scientific method that have eradicated smallpox, put men on the Moon, prevented polio, and lengthened human life spans. We have grown used to seeing “experts” from various scientific disciplines ply their trade in an endless stream of amazing feats. Heart surgery has become commonplace; organ transplants have become routine; space stations are being built in the heavens.
Thus, when the atheistic concept of organic evolution is presented as something that “all reputable scientists believe,” there are many people who accept such an assessment at face value, and who therefore fall in line with what they believe is a well-proven dictum that has been enshrouded with the cloak of scientific respectability. As atheistic philosopher Paul Ricci has written: “The reliability of evolution not only as a theory but as a principle of understanding is not contested by the vast majority of biologists, geologists, astronomers, and other scientists” (1986, p. 172). Or, as the late paleontologist of Harvard, Stephen Jay Gould, put it: “The fact of evolution is as well established as anything in science (as secure as the revolution of the earth around the sun), though absolute certainty has no place in our [the scientist’s—BT] lexicon (1987, 8:64; parenthetical comment in orig.). [Dr. Gould reiterated this point in a guest editorial in the August 23, 1999 issue of Timemagazine when he wrote that “evolution is as well documented as any phenomenon in science, as strongly as the earth’s revolution around the sun rather than vice versa. In this sense, we can call evolution a ‘fact’ ” (1999, p. 59).]
Such comments are intended to leave the impression that well-informed, intelligent people dare not doubt the truthfulness of organic evolution. The message is: “All scientists believe it; so should you.” As Marshall and Sandra Hall inquired: “How, then, are people with little or no special knowledge of the various sciences and related subjects to challenge the authorities? It is natural to accept what ‘experts’ say, and most people do” (1974, p. 10). Henry Morris observed: “...the main reason most educated people believe in evolution is simply because they have been told that most educated people believe in evolution” (1963, p. 26). Huston Smith, a leading philosopher and professor of religion at Syracuse University commented on this phenomenon as follows:
One reason education undoes belief is its teaching of evolution; Darwin’s own drift from orthodoxy to agnosticism was symptomatic. Martin Lings is probably right in saying that “more cases of loss of religious faith are to be traced to the theory of evolution...than to anything else” (1982, p. 755; Lings’ quote is from Studies in Comparative Religion, 1970, Winter).
The truthfulness of that last statement—that “more cases of loss of religious faith are to be traced to the theory of evolution than anything else”—haunts the mothers of the two young men I mentioned earlier. These mothers (and their sons!) can tell you, from firsthand experience, just how accurate such an assessment really is!
We must impress upon our children, however, that truth is not determined by popular opinion or majority vote. A thing may be, and often is, true, even when accepted only by the minority. Furthermore, a thing may be, and often is, false, even though accepted by the majority. Believing something just because “everyone else” believes it, often can lead to disastrous results. As the late Guy N. Woods remarked: “It is dangerous to follow the multitude because the majority is almost always on the wrong side in this world” (1982, 124:2). Or, as Moses warned the children of Israel: “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Exodus 23:2).
Will Durant, was an avowed atheist, yet he wrote: “The greatest question of our time is not communism vs. individualism, not Europe vs. America, not even the East vs. the West; it is whether men can bear to live without God” (1932, p. 23, emp. added). Dr. Durant was absolutely correct.Beliefs have consequences! Prominent humanist Martin Gardner devoted an entire chapter in one of his books to “The Relevance of Belief Systems,” in an attempt to explain that what a person believes profoundly influences how a person acts (1988, pp. 57-64). The question is: If our children are taught, and then ultimately come to believe in, evolution, what will be the end result? Perhaps we should allow Charles Darwin himself to answer. In speaking of his abandoned belief in God, Darwin admitted:
I had gradually come, by this time, to see that the Old Testament, from its manifestly false history of the world and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos [sic], or the beliefs of any barbarian (see Barlow, 1959, pp. 85-86).I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at such a slow rate, but at last was complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress (as quoted in Francis Darwin, 1898, 1:277-278; cf. also Greene, 1963, pp. 16-17, emp. added).
The 17-year-old boys discussed in this article did not simply awake one day, get up, take a shower, dress for school, eat breakfast, and decide to no longer believe in God. Their change in heart was a slow, calm, day-by-day process—during which, they “felt no distress.” A teacher taught them that evolution “is a fact that nobody with any sense denies.” A school textbook presented handy, easy-to-remember arguments (such as how humans and chimpanzees share 95% of their DNA—which “proves” they must have come from a common ancestor). National Geographic displayed for them full-color pictures of their alleged hominid ancestors (as it did on the front cover of its August 2002 issue when it presented “Dmanisi Man” from the Republic of Georgia in the former Soviet Union). TheDiscover channel on television “wowed” them with a professionally produced extravaganza that explained how life got started on Earth via naturalistic processes, and how, once it did, it evolved into a one-celled amoeba which, over billions of years, evolved into—17-year-old boys! Etc. Etc. Etc. Finally, the process was complete—and yet another mother’s son had become an unbeliever as a result of having been taught evolution.
The prophet Hosea, speaking on behalf of God, observed: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (4:6). The truthfulness of that statement has not dimmed across the centuries. Where knowledge is lacking, wisdom always will be in short supply. A generation ago, we taught diligently on such topics as the existence of God, the inspiration of the Bible, the importance of the creation account, the uniqueness and singularity of the church, etc. But, ultimately, we taught less and less on these matters and, as a result, our children’s faith began to rest on sand instead of rock. When the winds of trial and tribulation came, that faith collapsed, and we lost our children to evolution, atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, infidelity, and similar false concepts.
And at what cost? If you have never heard the uncontrollable sobbing of a mother whose 17-year-old son has just said to her, “Mom, I don’t believe in God any more,” I doubt that you can fully understand that cost. I, on the other hand, do understand. And as a result, I have vowed to do everything in my power—as long as there is a breath in my feeble body—to stanch the loss of our children at the hands of evolutionists and those sympathetic with them. I urge you to join hands with me in this never-ending, extremely crucial battle. We cannot afford to fail, for if we do, our children will lose their souls, and we will lose our children. We can be—we must be—“more than conquerors.”
As always, if there is anything that those of us at Apologetics Press can do to help you in the midst of this warfare, please call on us. That is why we are here, and it is the reason our work exists.
Bales, James D. and Robert T. Clark (1966), Why Scientists Accept Evolution (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Barlow, Nora, ed. (1959), The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) with Original Omissions Restored (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World).
Blumenfeld, Samuel L. (1984), NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education (Boise, ID: Paradigm).
Darwin, Francis (1898), Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (New York: D. Appleton).
Durant, Will, ed. (1932), On the Meaning of Life (New York: Long and Smith).
Durant, Will (1961), The Story of Philosophy (New York: Simon & Schuster).
Gardner, Martin (1988), The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus).
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Woods, Guy N. (1982), “ ‘And be not Conformed to this World,’ ” Gospel Advocate, 124:2, January 7.