Where we come from is as important as who we are

I lead a youth group at my church.  Why do you feel it is so important to teach the kids about evolution and creation when there are so many other things on the minds of the youth today?

I believe the youth today are being sent mixed messages. In the church we are telling them to live their lives by the Word of God and the education system is teaching them that they cannot trust the Word of God.  Therefore, we are, in effect, telling them they are framing their lives by a lie.  We are asking them to live their lives for what so-called “science” says is irrational.  Their textbooks present evolution and naturalism risk-free and unchallenged as science.  Evolution and rationality are taught as one in the same.  Naturalism, the doctrine that the laws of nature are adequate to explain all phenomena, is taught as part of the definition of reason.  Naturalism, an assumed concept in modern education, provides the framework for evolution by stating that the universe is ultimate and self-sustaining and needs no influence from outside.  Thus, it redefines science to prohibit any non-naturalistic explanation. 

Many churches, on the other hand, seem content to avoid the issue of origin relegating it to the sideline; thinking it has no real significance.  The focus seems to be on matters of Christian life and morality or on “what’s on the minds of the kids.”  Without an adequate explanation for origin, without creation, the gospel message shrinks.  The Lordship of Jesus Christ is reduced to authority over matters of personal behavior and the purpose and power of Christ are restricted to individual problems and issues.  Jesus becomes nothing more than “my friend” or “my pal” there to help me out of the troubles I face.  The Jesus Christ of the Bible, on the other hand, is also the Creator and Sustainer of all things.  Hebrews, chapter 1 describes Christ as “heir of all things, maker of the world” and as He who “upholds all things by the word of His power.”  Colossians 1:15-17 states, “And He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” 

What you believe about where you came from affects your whole worldview.  The worldview of evolution that only the fittest survive and that we live in a world of death and randomness is promoted in secular education and is continually being imprinted on the minds of the youth.  Therefore, no other group in the church today is inundated with reasons NOT to believe God and His word than the youth. Evolution, which excludes a supernatural creation from thinking, has become the platform with which Satan cleverly uses to discredit God and His word in secular education.  Therefore, with those about to enter higher education it is essential for them to be equipped to defend the creation model of origin so they can effectively defend the Bible as truth.  

Christian apologist Ravi Zaccharias proclaimed, “The biggest question in churches today is why is this [the Bible] the truth; why have you traded your life for what Genesis 1-12 says?  If this is true then we better tell our young people why it is true because they cannot go into colleges and universities and just say, ‘the Bible says.’  The biggest failure of Christian leaders today is that we have not taught them how to defend this [the Bible].  That is the failure of the apologetic movement over the last 20 or 30 years.  We’ve not told them why this is true.” 

Thus, if the youth cannot defend the Bible from the very first verse then they will be unprepared when they go to college.  There, in secular education they will be subjected to a completely different worldview where questioning naturalism and evolution is equal to questioning reason itself. 

Teaching the youth about how to handle this conflict between evolution and creation should be essential to any youth program.  It is not about a debate over an interesting side issue but rather it is a foundational teaching for the gospel itself.  Unless the youth understand Christ as Creator and that they can trust the Bible starting with Genesis they will be ill equipped to face the worldview that tells them otherwise.  Also, by thinking foundationally about the Bible and origins, where they came from, they will be even more prepared to handle those “other things on their minds.”

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©Tom Carpenter
Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen