On July 23rd to the 29th, my wife and I had the opportunity to participate in an unusual meeting of educators from around the country at the Oxford Round Table at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. This meeting was to focus on the topic of "Science and Faith: The Great Matter," with specific focus on the Intelligent Design movement now moving around the country. The results of this Round Table revealed the challenges that face the Lord's church and the faith of our young people from many educators in public education today.
The Round Table was composed of 41 college professors who taught philosophy, biology, geology, and religious studies, as well as 4 high school science teachers. Among this group were many who believe in God but give Him no part in creation and who believe that Genesis 1-11 is just figurative or poetic literature. These are, I would term, theistic evolutionists. There were some who held no belief in God or believed that there is no way to know whether there is a God. These are atheists and agnostics. Of the 45 participants, 3 were creationists who accept the literal account of creation as given by God in Genesis 1.
My observations of the overall outcome of the Round Table were that the college professors feel that science educators have done a poor job of teaching science and that is why people today still believe in a God who was involved in the creation of the world. Their feeling was that if they were doing a better job of teaching science NO ONE would ever believe that God created the world in a miraculous manner but that He used evolution as his method to bring life about. They want to stomp out the Biblical account of the creation of the world, PERIOD!
We also observed that many of these educators had outright poor manners when it came to respecting anyone who held viewpoints other than their own in organic evolution. We heard rude, belittling, negative, and insulting remarks about creationists who accept a literal account of creation or believe in an Intelligent Designer. My presentation was marked with one occasion when I had to stop my presentation due to two highly educated college professors talking out loud in the front row. I politely waited until they realized that I had stopped my presentation and then resumed where I had left off. This was after I had identified myself as a member of the church of Christ and as a creationist.
A high school teacher from Alabama did pay a great compliment to the churches of Christ in her area during her presentation. When giving the social and religious background of her students, she highlighted the Church of Christ and identified the students from this religious group as being very Bible literate and very strong in their beliefs about the young earth and six days of creation. She said that they did not use instrumental music in their worship, had no women serving in the ministry, and were very faithful in their attendance. The churches there appear to be teaching their youth well. Can we say that for all of the churches in the brotherhood? I am afraid not!
The Lord has commanded that parents bring up their children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord" Eph. 6:4. He has given the church the responsibility to teach the truths of God's word on all matters of scripture, including the creation, because in it we have "all things that pertain to life and godliness." 2 Pet. 1:3.
We have God's revealed word as to how the creation occurred; and, as parents, grandparents, and the church, we need to be fortifying the faith of our youth. The day will come when they will sit at the feet of these ungodly professors and public educators, and they will realize that there are matters that require us to have faith but that "... the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools ..." Rom. 1:20-22.
Indeed, at the Oxford Round Table, we witnessed many who were "professing themselves to be wise," but, when they rejected the Bible account of creation, they revealed their true nature. The college professors' game plan for the future to fix this problem is to change teacher education so that every teacher, kindergarten through high school, will have to take evolution science classes as part of their educational background. This they feel will eliminate the teachers who have personal belief in the creation account and belief in the Intelligent Designer.
The Oxford Round Table was, indeed, an eye opening experience! Churches and families need to renew their efforts to strengthen our young peoples' faith. There are many good resources in our brotherhood today that can help with this so much more than when I was growing up. Much has been written; many men who speak for congregations have been trained in the sciences; and other resources are available so that we can teach the truths of God's word to our young people. They will be ready when they face the devil "as a roaring lion (college professor) seeking whom he may devour" 1 Pet. 5:8.
May God continue to encourage and strengthen us for the battles ahead for the souls of our youth. Rt. 1 Box 116A, Belington, WV 26250.
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