Who’s Lying?

A 12-year-old named Jason came home from school with a shocking question. "Mom," he asked, "who’s lying—you or my teacher?" The topic in class that day was evolution. Jason’s parents had taught him that he was created by a loving God for a purpose. But his teacher said just the opposite—that he was the product of an impersonal, uncaring evolutionary process. To Jason’s young mind, it seemed obvious that somebody was lying. Fortunately, Jason’s mother had a good knowledge of biology, and she was able to sort through the claims of evolutionary theory for her son. But in the process she also taught him something even more important: We need to reject teachings that contradict biblical truth—even when those teachings come to us from respected authorities. Many Christian children need to learn to practice this kind of discernment, especially in the biology classroom, where Darwinian theory is routinely used to challenge biblical truth. Consider a recent statement issued by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT): "Evolutionary theory is . . . silent on religion," the NABT states. It "neither refutes nor supports the existence of a deity." That may sound as if evolution is neutral toward religion. But listen to what the NABT says a few paragraphs later: "[The] diversity of life on Earth is the outcome of evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process." Whoa—that’s not neutral toward religion. To declare that the origin of life is "unsupervised" and "impersonal" is to flatly deny any role for a personal Creator. The NABT statement refers to religion disparagingly as "an untestable collection of dogmatic proposals." But the NABT’s own claims about life’s origin are themselves completely dogmatic. Can scientists test the proposal that life on Earth resulted from an "impersonal" and "unsupervised" process? Of course not. These are not scientific findings; they are philosophical beliefs. When science textbooks present standard Darwinian theory, they’re not teaching science; they’re teaching philosophy. As Christians, we have as much respect for confirmed empirical theories—science, that is—as anybody. What we’re against is grandiose philosophical statements masquerading as science. You and I should refuse to be intimidated into treating philosophical statements as if they had the same credibility as confirmed empirical statements. And we have to keep pressing secular biologists to admit that a good bit of what they’re teaching our kids is not science but philosophy. Children like Jason are often confused by conflicts between what they hear from their parents and from their teachers. That’s why it’s so important to teach our kids how to be discerning—to separate fact from philosophy. Do your own children or grandchildren know how to do this? Do they know how to filter everything they’re taught through a biblical grid? You can be assured that either in school or with friends, or certainly on television, our kids will likely be taught by someone who convincingly presents theories as fact—theories that contradict biblical truth. That’s why it’s vitally important that we teach our children to be like Jason: to seek the truth, and when somebody’s lying—to say so.


Chuck Colson


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