Polls taken every year consistently show that a majority of Americans believe that God created the world and everything in it. The evidence all around them in nature is just too obvious. Frankly, it is self-evident. Yet there are some in important leadership positions in the churches, schools, colleges, and universities who are either fearful to defend the truth or are opposed to it.
A significant problem is that leaders on all levels in society generally received indoctrination into evolutionary concepts, especially in the colleges and universities which they attended. They quickly learned that they might not graduate if they opposed evolutionist doctrines, and they could later find it difficult to find employment—especially in fields controlled by evolutionist scientists or the accreditating agencies.
An overview of the crisis—We have come to a time when even some seminaries regularly instruct their theology students in evolutionary concepts. A number of important churches, and church-owned colleges and universities, are yielding to the continual pressure from evolutionists to surrender belief in Genesis 1 to 11 as a literal historical description of what occurred in the beginning . .
Then there are the accrediting agencies. In order to grant recognized degrees, colleges and universities must meet a variety of curricular, library, and textbook standards. The accrediting agencies, without exception, are secular and committed to upholding evolutionary concepts. Having themselves been indoctrinated into evolutionist errors when they obtained their own degrees, some college and university administrators are willing to yield to accrediting agency demands. Many teachers find it necessary to fall into line.
"For some time, it has seemed to me that our current methods of teaching Darwinism are suspiciously similar to indoctrination . . The Darwinist can always make a plausible reconstruction of what took place during the supposed evolution of a species . . The teacher is concerned to put across the conclusion that natural selection causes evolution. The teacher cannot be concerned to any great extent with real [scientific] evidence—because there isn’t any."—*G.W. Harper, "Darwinism and Indoctrination," School Science Review, December 1977, pp. 258, 265.
Then there is the National Education Association, which was formed in 1857. When the teacher strikes began in 1967, the NEA quickly became the most powerful labor union in America. But, unlike other unions, the membership of the NEA includes not only the teachers,—but also the school administration. School boards and textbook publishers are careful to please the NEA, which is heavily pro-evolutionist.
"Evolution is the only view that should be expounded in public-school courses on science."—*Committee of the American Humanist Association, "A Statement Affirming Evolution as a Principle of Science," The Humanist, January-February 1977, Vol. 37, p. 4. [In order to be better accepted by society, in the early 20th century, atheists began calling themselves "humanists."]
Evolutionists know that the schools are crucial to their success in spreading their doctrines; for the schools train the next generation.
"It is essential for evolution to become the central core of any educational system."—*Julian Huxley, Evolution after Darwin (1960), p. 65. [The most influential evolutionist spokesman in the mid-20th century.]
Then there are the school textbooks. It was not until the 20th century that state legislatures gained control over the textbooks.
"Textbooks are more potent forces in what and how teachers teach and in what and how children learn than we are ready to admit. Textbooks select for study a content, an emphasis, and a method of instruction and learning . . No totalitarian country would chance the consequences of freedom in textbook development and selection."—*J. Chall, "Middle and Secondary School Textbooks," The Textbook in the American Society (1981), p. 26.
*Hyde describes the power of textbooks in changing the moral tone of the youth.
"Critical powers may be emotionally orientated against religious beliefs, while the assertions of a popular humanism, with its mechanical explanation of life and its rejection of the spiritual, is uncritically accepted. Thus a prejudice against religion becomes firmly established while religious ideas remain confused and inadequate."—K. Hyde, Religious Learning in Adolescence (1965), p. 92.
Then there are the mainline scientific journals. None dare veer from evolutionist jargon and theories. Major book publishers are also locked in.
"It is next to impossible to publish material that is . . anti-evolutionism through the well-known trade publishing houses, even though these same houses copiously publish evolutionary material."—Lester McCann, Blowing the Whistle on Darwinism (1986), p. 99.
Then there are the science teachers and researchers. It is only by appearing to endorse evolution that they maintain their jobs and receive grant money.
"The theories of evolution, with which our studious youth have been deceived, constitute actually a dogma that all the world continues to teach; but each, in his specialty, the zoologist or the botanist, ascertains that none of the explanations furnished [by evolutionary theory] are adequate . . Although obvious to them that the theory of evolution is impossible, yet they dare not admit it."—*P. Lemoine, "Introduction: De l’ Evolution?" Encyclopedia Francaise (1937), Vol. 5, pp. 6-7.
There are many fields, such as oil drilling and industrial chemical research, where trained scientists can work without fear of losing their jobs because they are Creationists. But some fields are more dangerous.
"Were biologists, geologists, or paleontologists to endorse publicly a pseudoscience such as creationism, their chances of achieving or retaining prestigious academic positions would be greatly undermined, as would their chances for high office in professional societies. Only in Bible colleges, seminaries, and creationist ministries can the latter succeed as outspoken creationists."—*C. Patterson, "An Engineer Looks at the Creationist Movement," Proceedings from the Iowa Academy of Sciences (1982), p. 57.
In the present author’s 1,326-page, 8½ x 11, three-volume Creation-Evolution Series, eleven polls taken in the U.S. of the general public (parents, teachers, science teachers, university students, and scientists) revealed that a majority in each group favored teaching both creation and evolution in the schools, or Creation only. So the situation is not entirely negative. Polls continue to show that the public wants Creationism to be taught in the schools. We must keep at our task of defending our Creator by opposing evolutionary theory!
We have considered conditions in the schools and employment in schools and research. Our attention will now be directed to the situation in the churches:
Major Protestant denominations and schools—Unfortunately, there are trends in both the Catholic and a great number of mainline Protestant denominations to move into line with evolutionary thinking. First we will consider the major Protestant churches. Henry Morris, in his book, The Long War Against God, includes his personal appraisal of attitudes among some Christian colleges and leaders toward evolution and the accuracy of Genesis 1-11.
Here are several statements by a man who, by his extensive travels and contacts, would be expected to have some acquaintance with the situation. His view may be too pessimistic; but keep in mind that this battle-weary Creationist veteran had, by 1989, been carrying on an uphill struggle against outspoken and disguised evolutionists for over 25 years. Although many Christian colleges, universities, and churches had refused to help stand in defense of Creationism, fortunately, many of their members are still Creationists.
"The seminaries and colleges of the major denominations (Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Reformed, Congregational, Disciples, etc.) have almost all been committed to evolution for many, many years . . Nevertheless, in almost all of these denominations there are still significant numbers of creationists among their members."—Henry Morris, Long War Against God (1989), p. 44.
"In 1973 an unofficial survey was conducted among the science teachers in the Christian College Consortium, an association of a dozen or so prestigious Evangelical colleges (Wheaton, Gordon, Westmont, etc.) . . The great majority of these teachers thus teach either theistic evolution or progressive creation—that is, when they do not bypass the subject entirely."—Ibid., p. 104.
"At least one unofficial survey of Evangelical and fundamentalist "colleges in 1980 indicated much more positive results than the 1973 Consortium survey. Of the 69 schools receiving questionnaires, 52 responded. Of these, 48 replied that they do consider the subject of origins very important, and 38 indicated that Genesis is interpreted literally. That means, however, that 31 of the 69 schools contacted were unwilling to be counted as teaching literal creation! Furthermore, only 24 of the schools said they teach that all things were created in six literal days out of nothing. This is less than half of even the schools that responded, so a compromising position on the supposed evolutionary ages of earth history is still a very real problem, even among schools that hold to Biblical inerrancy."—Ibid., p. 105.
"The number of [local] churches adhering to strict creationism is undoubtedly large and growing, but no statistical data exist on this, so far as I know. The hierarchies in the large denominations are almost completely evolutionist-controlled, but many individual congregations (especially among the Baptists, Lutherans, and Presbyterians) show growing concern for creation. Some individual pastors and priests, even among the Catholics and the liberal Protestant denominations, are creationists.
"The charismatic churches (Assemblies of God, Pentecostal, etc.) are an enigma. Most have held to the Gap Theory, and a significant number of their colleges (e.g., Oral Roberts University, Evangel College, CBN University) have a mixture on their faculties with a goodly number teaching progressive creation or even theistic evolution . .
"Independent churches, especially the so-called Bible churches and independent Baptist churches, are almost all at least nominally creationists, through some still hold to the Gap Theory . .
"The Southern Baptists and Missouri Synod Lutherans are partial exceptions to the general trend of compromise."—Ibid., pp. 105-106.
Fortunately, many among the common people in America, not concerned about the politics of the situation or their own position, recognize the obvious truth that God created everything. Many pastors and teachers stand in defense of Creationism and oppose evolution. But many others, by silence, lend their support to the ongoing inroads of Darwinism.
The Catholic Church—Next, we turn our attention to the position of the Catholic Church. It has also been under strong pressure to appease secular evolutionist scientists.
Pope Pius XII’s 1950 encyclical—The following three quotations clarify Pope Pius XII’s 1950 statement which, for the first time, officially endorsed evolutionary thought and research by Catholics, on all levels (biological, geological, etc.), as long as it was assumed that God directly created mankind without any prior evolutionary development:
"For those reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter. Some, however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts discovered up to now, and by reasoning on these facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question."—Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, paragraph 36, August 1950.
"The teaching of the Church leaves the doctrine of evolution an open question."—Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950, quoted in Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations, p. 92.
"The evolution of man from lower forms, as Darwin and Wallace agreed, does not at all imply that man is a mere animal."—New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4 (1967 ed.), article: "Creation of Man," p. 428.
Pope John Paul II’s 1996 encyclical—In late October, Pope John Paul II released an important statement through the Pontifical Academy in Rome, which was publicized around the world. This message by the Pope, issued on October 23, supported the usefulness and worth of "several theories of evolution" while criticizing attempts to apply evolution to the human spirit. Pope Pius XII’s similar statement (Humani Generis, referred to above) did not approve of evolution as broadly as did this new one by John Paul II. (Vatican observers recognize that all of John Paul’s official papers were written by Cardinal Ratzinger, the present Pope Benedict XVI; so the approval granted to most evolutionary processes would have been penned by him.)
Even the more conservative Catholic newspapers were surprised at this encyclical. The daily Il Messaggero in Rome ran headlines stating "The Pope Rehabilitates Darwin." Another periodical, Il Giornal, introduced the encyclical with this headline: "The Pope Says We May Descend from Monkeys." Many faithful Catholic believers were deeply concerned; for they recognized that this new position denied the historicity of Genesis 1 to 11—an extremely important part of the Holy Scriptures!
Commenting on the encyclical, the New York Times said it only made official that which was already being done in Catholic schools. Teaching evolution, it said, "is already a standard part of the curriculum" in Catholic parochial schools and universities" (New York Times, October 25, 1996).
Here is part of what the Chicago Tribune said about this remarkable encyclical letter:
"In a major statement of the Roman Catholic Church’s position on the theory of evolution, Pope John Paul II has proclaimed that the theory is ‘more than just a hypothesis’ and that evolution is compatible with Christian faith. In a written message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the pope said the theory of evolution has been buttressed by scientific studies and discoveries since Charles Darwin . .
" ‘It is indeed remarkable that this theory has progressively taken root in the minds of researchers following a series of discoveries made in different spheres of knowledge,’ the Pope said in his message Wednesday. ‘The convergence, neither sought nor provoked, of results of studies undertaken independently from each other constitutes, in itself, a significant argument in favor of this theory’ . .
"The Pope’s message went much further in accepting the theory of evolution as a valid explanation of the development of life on Earth, with one major exception: the human soul. ‘If the human has its origin in living material which preexists it, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God,’ the Pope said."—Chicago Tribune, October 25, 1996.
Unfortunately, according to this papal statement, the current papal Catholic position now is that man, like everything else, could have evolved from distant ancestors—with one exception: At the moment of conception, God places a soul within the two seeds which have united.
John Paul II’s statement was released the day before a plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, an organization of prominent scientists (not all of which are Catholic). Not surprisingly, the topic for this annual meeting was the origin of life and evolution. The day before the papal encyclical, an announcement was made that many additional scientists from Germany, Great Britain, Russia, France, and the U.S. had been added to the Academy.
Amid the intense excitement which it aroused, there was one group which recognized the ominous danger to basic Christianity in that papal statement. Atheists foresaw that which many Christians are oblivious to—that evolutionary theory, if accepted, will weaken and ultimately destroy the underlying truths of Scripture about Creation, Jesus Christ, and the plan of redemption.
"No sooner had word of Pope John Paul II’s letter to the Pontifical Academy, attempting to reconcile scientific findings about evolution and religious faith, been made public, than aanews began receiving calls, emails, and faxes. ‘Isn’t this great?’ gushed one reader, ‘The pope has finally admitted that they were wrong all along!’ Said another, ‘This is the end of the Catholic Church—in affirming evolution, they’re essentially undercutting the reason for their whole existence. If evolution is true, then how can they talk about Adam, Eve, the existence of sin, and redemption?’ "—AANews, October 26, 1996 [official publication of the Association of American Atheists].
When it is accepted, evolutionary theory eliminates belief in Genesis 1 to 11. In a later development, the Roman Catholic bishops in charge of England, Wales, and Scotland officially decreed that to be true.
On October 4, 2005, they issued a "teaching document," called The Gift of Scripture, which declared that the Bible is neither historically nor scientifically accurate! Genesis 1-11 was specifically cited as not historical, but only symbolic, a useful religious myth which has some instructional value.
"Catholic Bishops warn against literal interpretations of the Bible—Roman Catholic Bishops have published a teaching document which points out that sections of the Bible cannot be taken literally, and challenges many ideas held by some Evangelicals about creation, reports the [London] Times newspaper.
" ‘We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,’ they say in The Gift of Scripture.
"Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution in schools, believing ‘intelligent design’ to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began. But the first 11 chapters of Genesis are among those that this country’s [Britain’s] Catholic bishops insist cannot be ‘historical.’ They say the Church must offer the gospel in ways ‘appropriate to changing times, intelligible and attractive to our contemporaries.’ The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: ‘We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other secular matters’ . .
"As examples of passages not to be taken literally, the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, and that they could not be described as historical writing, reports the Times.
"The foreward to the document was written by the two most senior Catholics of Britain, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminister, and Cardinal Keith O’Brian, Archbishop of St. Andrews’s and Edinburgh. The new teaching has been issued as part of the 40th anniversary of the celebrations of Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council document explaining the place of Scripture in revelation."—Ekklesia, October 4, 2005 [a British newspaper].
"Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible—The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.
"The Catholic bishops of England, Wales, and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of Scripture, that they should not expect ‘total accuracy’ from the Bible. ‘We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,’ they say in The Gift of Scripture . .
"As examples of passages not to be taken literally, the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, especially from the ancient East. The bishops say it is clear that the primary purpose of these chapters was to provide religious teaching and that they could not be described as historical writing."—The Times of London, October 26, 2005.
The title of this chapter said it well: "Will you defend God in this time of crisis?" Will you come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty? (Judges 5:23).
Evolutionary theory is not harmless!
"In Nietzsche’s insightful phrase, Darwin’s teaching is ‘true but deadly.’ "—*Fredrich Nietzsche, quoted in J.G. West, Jr., in Signs of Intelligence (2001) , p. 65. [It is well-known to modern historians that *Nietzsche and *Darwin were the doctrinal sources which *Adolph Hitler fed on.]
"False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion."—J. Gresham Machen, "Christianity and Culture," in What is Christianity? ed. Ned Stonehouse, p. 162 (1951).
There are many faithful Protestants and Roman Catholics who believe that Genesis is genuine inspired history and are searching for greater light. May our kind heavenly Father guide them in their search.
The following passage describes both the error we are confronted with today and our present duty at this time:
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men . . The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
"Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless."—2 Peter 3:3-7, 9-14.