How should we teach our children to respond to evolution when they are taught it in school?

The answer to this question is much deeper than just giving our children Biblical answers to subjects like the ice age.  At the risk of sounding too pious I believe that there is a divine strategy to answering this question.  In order to be able to be equipped to respond to such a deceptive “deed of darkness” like evolution children must separate themselves from this world (become peculiar people, 1 Peter 2:9) and become dependent on God and His Word.  As parents it is our job to equip them in this way.  We are to be our children’s judgment; they are not born with the ability to judge right and wrong any more than they are born with the ability to change their own diaper.

 As Christian parents, therefore, it is our responsibility to keep our children from becoming independent and self-reliant.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Parents, and in particular fathers according to Ephesians 6:4, are to lead their children to dependence and reliance on the Lord and not on themselves.  Our goal is that they should know Christ at the expense of everything else (read Philippians 3:7-8). Thus, we must recognize that we live in an age where the secular worldview has replaced the Christian worldview and it is in this environment in which children are educated in public schools.  (This is not to say that there are not teachers out there with a Christian worldview, because there are.)   Public schools isolate children from prayer, Bible teaching, a Christian worldview and promote the secular worldview which praises self-reliance and all this in the name of religious freedom.  Ironically, when individual choice takes priority over all it actually enslaves children.  True freedom is enslavement to God and freedom from sin (read Romans 6:22-23).  Therefore, in order for them to be able to respond to evolution, children must be careful not to internalize the dogma of the secular worldview and must understand that their reliance is on God and His Word and not on science and man.  

We must also be sure that our children are a “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9).  Romans 12:2 says, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed.”  John 17:14 says, “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”  Jeremiah 10:2 says, “Thus saith the Lord, learn not the ways of the heathen.”  Simply put, conforming to this world is SIN.  Thus, only by becoming  “nonconformed” to the world will our children be prepared spiritually when attacks on their foundations like evolution are launched in school.  Martin Luther said, “Wherefore see to it that you cause your children first to be instructed in spiritual things; that you point them first to God and after that to the world.  But in these days, sad to say, this order is inverted.”  If the order was inverted in Luther’s day, how much more so is it inverted today?

Thus, only by becoming dependant thinkers (dependant on God, the Creator) and “unconformed” to this world will children be equipped to identify something when it is wrong. By establishing a firm foundation children can then learn how to think not what to think.  Evolutionists and creationists both have the same evidence in science—fossils, carbon 14 dating results, evidence for an ice age.  But if we interpret that evidence based on the presupposition that God’s Word is historically true and is scientifically reliable then the conclusions we draw will be logically and scientifically superior.

Here are some additional thoughts: Ephesians 5:11 teaches us to “expose the dangerous deeds of darkness.”  I believe evolution is just that.   In verse 12 it teaches us not to participate in them.  Thus, we should be equipped to expose evolution and help our children to do so also.  In doing this, our children must learn how to question what they hear but in doing so they must do so with utmost respect for authority. 

Also, we must be careful not to fall into the same trap as the evolutionists.  When we talk about events that happened in the past, like the ice age, we must not be dogmatic about the model that we build to explain it.  We can, and should, be dogmatic that God’s Word is true but we cannot be sure how exactly the events in the past happened.  However, we do have the advantage because we can build models explaining these past events on something that is absolute - God’s Word.

The task of bringing up children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4) has become increasingly more difficult.  Only by teaching our children dependence on the Creator and a lifestyle that is “set apart” can they be equipped about how to think when exposed to the lie of evolution.

9/9/00
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©Tom Carpenter
Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen