What Our Kids Need to Know (Sept. 2009)

Darwin

What Our Kids Need to Know

One of the most important questions one can ask is, “What do our kids need to know?” The answer has enormous implications. It can bring glory to God Most High, or lead to depravity and destruction.

Traditionally, our American educational institutions were designed to assist parents in the process of passing down knowledge, skills, and values. However, during the last century a great disconnect has occurred between our nation’s homes and schools, with schools widely promoting a liberal, secular agenda contrary to what most Americans believe and want. Every poll taken by Gallup, Pew, Harris, etc., in the past ten years has shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans want Creation/Intelligent Design to be taught alongside evolution in our public schools. But whenever this has been attempted, the courts have ruled against such a “fair and balanced” approach, siding instead with evolutionists, whose agenda is to remove knowledge of the Creator from the minds of our children. How did we get to the point where our educational system, in pursuit of such a godless agenda, has stolen the rights of parents?

Historically, families and churches were directly involved in what was taught in their community schools, and the American educational system was rooted in Christian values. A new book by my friend and executive producer of Coral Ridge Ministries, Jerry Newcombe, overwhelmingly affirms this fact. The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation is something every American should read. As the chapter on education reports, there was an “unbroken succession of Bible-based education that began with the Puritans and continued even through the nineteenth century…” Marking the initial step in our compulsory public education system, the first schooling law was passed in the Massachusetts colony in 1647 and known in its final form as “The Old Deluder Satan Act.” Newcomb writes, “The act mandated schools for the masses so that children would learn the Scriptures, lest they go astray.” It also required a township of 50 or more to hire a teacher to teach the Bible. In short, one’s initial understanding of the written word was based on reading Scripture.

The New England Primer soon became another tool towards achieving literacy. It was published between 1687 and 1690 and adopted by all 13 colonies, selling over two million copies in that century alone. In addition to the alphabet and grammar, it contained a catechism and instructions on moral character—and was still prominently used into the 19th century! This book and virtually all education in early American schools had a common thread: it directly reflected the knowledge and values of God-fearing Christians who understood the importance of the Gospel.


Early Ed—From Creation to the Cross
From our nation’s founding, its schoolchildren were taught the complete Gospel, understanding that Jesus Christ was their Savior, Creator, and Judge. They learned about origins, as recorded in the book of Genesis, that they were created in God’s image, that “the first Adam” sinned, and that the fellowship between man and God needed to be restored. Both at school and at home they were given the same message about “the last Adam,” Christ incarnate, their Creator, who would become the sacrificial Lamb for their sins. “So it is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). They learned that Jesus paid the penalty for their transgressions and could give them eternal life and hope through a living faith in Him. This faith produced in early Americans a burning desire to serve Christ in every area of their lives, including their educational institutions.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

This country’s educational system was exemplary then, because it was intrinsically connected to the biblical values of the American people. Everybody knew the beginning point, as stated in Genesis 1, and could easily figure out where they were and where they were going—not like our foolish contemporary culture, which points to the random chance forces of evolution and the “Big Bang” to explain our origins. Unfortunately, because many today believe the lie of evolution, they neither know who they are nor where they are going, but dwell in a world of chaotic confusion that ultimately produces death—in spirit and body.

What happened? How did it get this way? The answer in my mind is simple. As Romans 1:21 declares, we failed to glorify God and thank Him in our educational institutions: “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God, nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” We abandoned the godly foundations upon which our school system was built, and are now experiencing the consequences of our foolishness: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18).


Our Prestigious Institutions Go Awry
The history of our educational system reveals a gradual erosion of Christian values and the rise of a secularized curriculum in the late 1800s. Almost without exception, our institutions of higher education were founded on the principles and the teachings of God’s Word—and these include Harvard, the oldest university in America (1636), as well as Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth and the list goes on. Sadly, the biblical, foundational values of these prestigious Ivy League universities have completely vanished. Over time they lost their original reverence for the Creator and became havens for atheistic “intellectuals,” who bought into Darwin’s theory of evolution. With their prestige, distinguished faculties, and massive funding (Harvard’s endowment program was a staggering $36.9 billion as of June 30, 2008, while Yale’s stood at a measly $22.9 billion), these universities exercise great influence in our country, including our lower educational system. They also now produce a prolific amount of evolutionary propaganda. Famed evolutionary paleontologist Stephen J. Gould, a Harvard professor (now deceased), is a great example of this. One of the most out-spoken evolutionists of all time, he was the curator of the invertebrate section of Harvard’s museum, which, on their website, invites visitors to examine, “the fossil, anatomical and genetic evidence that all life is connected through shared evolutionary history.”

Gould passed away in 2002, but not before leaving behind a vast legacy of Darwinian activism—an agenda that all the Ivy League institutions fall in line with, each housing their own museum and propagating the lies of evolution. Having departed from their founding principles rooted in God’s Word, it is apparent that, “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). Our universities have always played a leadership role in America’s intellectual life and exert significant philosophical influence on what is taught in our schools. Unfortunately, today that means that our educational system is aggressively promoting evolution.


The True State Religion
Our court system, filled with judges from Ivy League universities, has also done its part to sever our culture from the Creator. The Supreme Court’s 1987 decision against the teaching of creationism labeled creation as “religious,” and therefore in violation of the so-called “separation of church and state.” The (intentional) result has been to turn our educational institutions into virtual “religion free zones.” The anti-God zealots behind these efforts are not merely neutral toward religion as some claim, but are determined to wipe out faith in God throughout the country (and world). While our culture witnesses an ever-increasing rise of vulgarity and the blasphemous use of God’s name, they consider any respectful mention of Jesus Christ as highly offensive. Claiming that God does not exist and mocking those who believe in Him, these “elites” are really attempting to establish their own evolutionary religion. In an interview with Jerry Newcomb, outspoken conservative journalist Ann Coulter stated that, “Liberalism is the official state religion. People don’t even notice anymore, because liberalism denies it’s a religion, so it proceeds, it advances, and affects the entire culture…The church [liberalism] is the state.” Since the state runs the public school system, this grievous deception is being imposed on our children and families every day, while liberal judges use the infamous “separation of church and state” canard to keep the Creator out.

We live in perilous times where the religion of liberalism (aka as secular humanism) is being freely promoted in our public and (many) private schools. Seeking to brainwash our children with godless, evolutionary philosophy, their techniques are little different from those of the Nazis or the old Soviet Union. Our children are not allowed to consider alternative ideas about origins or how they came to be, because they are actively censored out. Instead, our kids are taught that they are just animals, that there is no absolute standard of right and wrong, that morals are relative, and that they have the freedom to engage in premarital sex and explore homosexuality or lesbianism if they so chose. Is it any wonder, as studies have shown, that nearly 80% of Christian young people lose their faith upon leaving home or that atheism is on the rise in America?

Again, this is no accident. It is the purposeful goal of many liberal “elites,” including those who call themselves the “new atheists.” These anti-God zealots are openly hostile to any belief in a Supernatural Being and especially toward Christianity. Some of these men, considered “the Four Horseman of the new atheism,” have written books in recent years attacking faith in God and attempting to win converts to their ideology. These “evangelists of atheism” consist of pre-eminent, British evolutionists and biologists, Richard Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion (2006); Daniel Dennet, of Tufts University, who wrote Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomena (2006); journalist Sam Harris, who wrote The End of Faith (2005) and Letter to a Christian Nation (2008); and Christopher Hitchens, a British political commentator, editor, and journalist, who wrote God Is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (2007). On their website, you will find this statement:

“Tolerance of pervasive myth and superstition in modern society is not a virtue. Religious fundamentalism has gone mainstream and its toll on education, science, and social progress is disheartening. Wake up people!! We are smart enough now to kill our invisible gods and oppressive beliefs. It is the responsibility of the educated to educate the uneducated, lest we fall prey to the tyranny of ignorance.” http://newatheists.org

Gould passed away in 2002, but not before leaving behind a vast legacy of Darwinian activism—an agenda that all the Ivy League institutions fall in line with, each housing their own museum and propagating the lies of evolution. Having departed from their founding principles rooted in God’s Word, it is apparent that, “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). Our universities have always played a leadership role in America’s intellectual life and exert significant philosophical influence on what is taught in our schools. Unfortunately, today that means that our educational system is aggressively promoting evolution.


A Long Fall
Established to glorify God and to train young minds in Christian virtues that reflected the values of the people, America’s educational system has fallen a long way from its original principles and goals. While the great majority of Americans still profess a belief in God, sadly, our schools today are completely disconnected from our homes. They have effectively become institutions of the state, where our kids are taught that evolution is a fact, religion is a myth, and God is irrelevant. If the “Four Horseman” get their way, they may one day be able to truly say, “God is dead.”

We cannot allow this to keep happening. God wants us to rise up in His righteousness and oppose this godless agenda! Remember how the Nazis took over the German schools and taught evolutionary racism and hatred for the Jews? Their state-run educational system successfully reproduced that godless ideology in the hearts and minds of young boys and girls. As I have written before, the tragic consequences of Nazism—a war that claimed 50 million lives, and the Holocaust where approximately 11 million people (6 million Jews) were mercilessly put to death—were directly founded on the ungodly principles of evolution. Our children need to be taught at home and at school that God created them, loves them, sent His Son to die for their sins, and has a purpose for their lives. It is time for Christians in America to stand up and demand the freedom to educate our kids in a way consistent with our values, as was true for most of our nation’s history.

Our ministry exists to equip believers to stand in the gap and get the truth out in this dark and dangerous world. Please join us in the fight against evolution, liberalism, the new atheism and the death and destruction they produce in the lives of individuals and nations. You can do this by keeping CSI in your prayers and by helping to provide the practical financial support we need to carry on. We are offering the just released DVD, Darwin, The Voyage That Shook the World. This fascinating and thought provoking film retraces Darwin’s journey exploring the places and discoveries that formulated the theory of evolution. It is intended to be a thoughtful exploration, a crossover product to influence the “mainstream” to think again about Darwin. It is also a powerful tool that can “break down the barriers” of evolutionary prejudice, overcoming preconceived ideas about biblical creationists by its approach of being gentle and fair without compromising truth.

“Not a hatchet job or propaganda piece, it presents Darwin’s story through the eyes of professors and others who admire the man… presents his humanist, anti-Christian views with dignity and respect, but in the process reveals the flaws, confusion and falsehoods of his theories.” -- Renowned Christian and film critic Dr. Ted Baehr.

In His service,

Tom DeRosa
Executive Director and Founder
Creation Studies Institute