Monday, August 24, 2009
by Roger Patterson, AiG–U.S. and author of the Evolution Exposed series
Every fall millions of children face the fact that they must return to school. This return is accompanied by a variety of emotions. For many Christian students those emotions may include a fear of being belittled by a teacher in the biology classroom during a discussion on evolution. Those with a social studies class might be intimidated by the teacher who insists human civilizations, like the Egyptians who built the pyramids, existed long before the biblical dates allow. How is a student to face these fears?
Scripture offers us an answer through the words of Peter. We often hear part of 1 Peter 3:15 quoted, but the context of the verse offers much for us to consider.
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:14–17)
If we live out our lives as Christians in an authentic way, we are guaranteed to face persecution from unbelievers. However, when Christ is the center of our lives and we study the Word, knowing that it provides all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), we will be ready to offer answers to challenges—and we will do so in a spirit of love.
Christian parents of students in public schools face a tremendous challenge in countering the humanistic indoctrination in the public school system—not only correcting the ideas surrounding evolution, but also the idea that there is no truth and that morality changes by circumstance. These ideas directly contradict God’s revealed truth and must be torn down and replaced with godly wisdom and understanding.
This is primarily the responsibility of parents, but churches can also be involved in the effort. Creating a support structure where students know that they are supported by their elders and can call on one another for support in the classrooms can be a key part in helping students stand up for their beliefs. This may happen through a church’s youth group or a campus group that meets at lunch, but it must be supported by sound, biblical teaching.
AiG offers a wide variety of faith-defending materials from general apologetics to answering specific questions about evolution. Below are some resources that groups, or individuals, can use to focus on different topics in defending the faith in the classroom.