Creation Account of Genesis: Does it Matter What Our Children Think About It?
"It is in the minds and hearts of our children that the battle will be fought." 1
I would like to comment in this article with emphasis on our children as they are faced today with many challenges to come to faith and hold their faith in God and Christ. Although adults and parents face many of these challenges as well, I will relate how parents and adults can help our children, as they are the future of the church.
Challenges Our Children face
You might think the statement above about our children came from a Christian. It actually came from a secular humanist who toured the Answers In Genesis Creation Museum with hundreds of atheists.
(The Creation Museum is near the Cincinnati, Ohio airport, just across the border into Kentucky. You might like to visit with your children or church group.) He and his atheist associates were concerned yet impressed at what Christians who are determined to stand up for the Genesis account of creation — I emphasize account, not story — had done to get the true creation account from the Bible in Genesis impressed upon children's minds and hearts. The secularist's full statement on his blog read according to the following:
For me, the most frightening part was the children's section. It was at this moment that I learned the deepest lesson of my visit to the Museum: It is in the minds and hearts of our children that the battle will be fought. 2
The secularists and atheists understand this battle, as well as we who are believers should. Some hold prominent positions as teachers in our public schools and universities and seek to convince children, from early age and later if they become Christians, to dismiss the Genesis account of creation and replace it with naturalistic evolution origin, humanism, and other secular phiphilosophies. We who are believers have to stand ready to do more to educate them in creation and the scientific evidences that support it to hold our children's minds and hearts and strengthen their faith to continue to be effective witnesses for God. This effort will help them and us to glorify God, our Creator, and Jesus Christ, our Savior, who is also our Creator from the beginning (Col. 1: 13-16). Also, as parents, we are instructed by God to raise godly children (Prov. 22:6, Mal. 2:15, Eph. 6:4).
Ken Ham, president of Answers In Genesis and the person who inspired the Creation Museum and saw the work through, points out in the Answers Update:
Christians must understand the nature of the change that has occurred in our culture. No longer do the secularists just mock Christians from afar. They are now actively campaigning to indoctrinate children in an anti-God philosophy—to teach them to be secularists and atheists. These secularists are no longer passive. They accuse Christians who are training their children in biblical truths of being "child abusers. "...Recently, we released a book entitled Already Gone. It summarizes a nationwide survey conducted to find out why ⅔ of young people are leaving the church. Something shocking came to light: that-of those who left the church—if they attended Sunday school regularly as kids, they were actually worse off! That is, they were more likely to become anti-church, more inclined to defend abortion and "gay" marriage, and more likely to believe in evolutionism and millions of years than those who didn't go to Sunday school regularly! One of the main reasons is that most Sunday school curricula only teaches [sic] disconnected Bible stories. They don't teach how we know the Bible is true, how to defend the faith, and how to answer the skeptical questions of today. ...The children see the inconsistency: if they can't trust the first part of the Bible, how can they believe the gospel message about Jesus that comes from the same Bible? 3
Thus, you see that it matters what our children think about the Genesis account of creation. Again, I emphasize account from true historical perspective of the Bible instead of "story" to help our kids to recognize the Bible as truth, not myth as atheists who are popular on the TV talk shows and other public venues would have us to believe.
Three examples of understanding "Dinosaur" challenges to our children that affect their thinking on the Genesis creation account:
1. A recent episode of a popular kid's TV show, "The Dinosaur Train" provides an example that helps us understand what is going on in our culture and of which we adults and parents should be aware to help our children not be deceived by what they are taught about origin and extinction of dinosaurs as true science. This story provided to the kids was quite entertaining about how dinosaurs became fossils as they got stuck in the mud. However, as a creation scientist and Christian, I believe it was craftily set up to plant evolutionary theory as fact into the children's thinking. At the end of the show, a teaching moment was provided by the show's paleontologist, around whom the kids were gathered for eager learning. They were given multiple choice answers of how the dinosaur fossil was formed: 1) volcano mud slide, 2) flood, and 3) mud lake or wet area. The paleontologist chose 3) mud lake and unprofessionally ignored 1) volcano mud slide and 3) flood. From a creationist perspective, I and you could understand that the right answer is all three, based on the Genesis account and creation science that helps to explain it thoroughly and truthfully. Visit www.TASC-CreationScience.org and access the dinosaur articles. The original articles may be accessed by selecting "Newsletters" and then sorting by author: "Dinosaur Bones—A Whole Lot of Twistin' Go-in' On" July 2009 by Jeff Gift, PhD and "Dinosaurs: What is the Real Story?" March 2008 by Mark Stephens, MCS, plus other articles under "Dinosaurs" to get the "other side of the story".
2. Another brief example is the traveling "Walking with Dinosaurs" show that was shown about two years ago at our local Entertainment Center. I attended the 12 noon Sunday time by rushing out of my church, which was nearby, to get there so I could see the event myself and just how many kids and parents were there to be entertained or "deceived", as this show was designed to support the evolutionary theory about dinosaurs that includes supposedly a hundred million years of dinosaur evolution. It was attended by several thousand parents and children, including some from my church that had rushed out like I did to be able to take in the "show". One wonders how many parents and children there had not come to faith in God or possibly weakened or lost their faith due to their being deceived already by atheistic theories such as naturalistic evolution espoused there and elsewhere in our culture. There should also be concern about confusion and seeds of doubt that might have been sown in the minds and hearts of the parents and children who attended and who are also church attendees that were there. I can identify with those seeds of confusion and doubt coming up during my journey of faith and public education until I was helped to come to stronger faith when I was exposed to creation and creation science about 15 years ago at TASC meetings.
3. Since dinosaurs are so popular and exciting to children, I pause here to give a Biblical creation and creation science perspective of what were the dinosaurs and what would account for their many fossil remains. This perspective most likely will only be covered with our children in their church if the opportunity is afforded to balance the naturalistic evolutionary view with creation and creation science materials.
Dinosaurs (referred to as behemoth, leviathan, and dragons in the Bible; Job 40 and 41, Isaiah 27:1, Psalms 74:13,14; 104:26; the name "dinosaur" did not appear in history until named such by Sir Richard Owen in 1841) were created on the sixth day of creation along with other land animals and man, Gen. 1:24-31; any entirely sea dwelling ones would have been created on the fifth day, Gen. 1:20-23. They lived thousands of years ago, not millions of years ago—a powerful deceit to children from the evolutionary viewpoint or confirmation of creation from Biblical history and creation science. The world-wide flood recorded in Genesis would account for much of their fossil remains, as all except the pairs of their kinds placed on the Ark would have been destroyed by the flood, with many being trapped and covered in mud and sediment to become fossils. God brought them to Noah to be placed on the Ark with pairs of their kinds along with the other animals. They came off the Ark to face a much tougher environment in which extinction seemingly has occurred within the past several thousand years. 4
If it matters what we, and especially our children, believe and think about the Genesis account of creation, what can we do about it?
We need to start creation/creation science curricula for children through adults in our churches, if we haven't already, to educate and equip our children to learn how to stand up for belief in God and His creation. Otherwise, they will receive the atheistic, naturalistic evolution view from the media and public schools, which are controlled for the most part by secularists. Is there any wonder why so many of our children are stepping away from our churches when they leave home or even before? A few members of my church and I were able to encourage and participate in an effort to provide creation and creation science curricula for children through adults in my church over the past year. This will start in my church this fall through direction and oversight of our church leader elders. This should be done with careful preparation and love and respect to our members and seeker visitors. There will be challenges, so one may suffer some criticism and persecution at times as he upholds faith in God and Christ, our Creator and Savior (1 Pet. 3:15-18). In today's sophisticated world, our children along with parents need to learn how to defend the Genesis account of creation with biblical knowledge and true, objective scientific evidences. Creation and creation science materials for children and adults can be purchased by contacting www.AnswersInGenesis.org and/or the Institute for Creation Research, www.icr.org.
As one approaches this effort of equipping for our children and adults, keep in mind the following.
Secular theories such as naturalistic evolution and big bang that our children are being taught mostly as fact supposedly dismiss the Genesis creation account. At minimum, they distort it, causing deceit and weakening or denial of faith in our Creator, God. I bring to your attention Paul's warning to Timothy (1Tim. 6:20-21, KJV and NIV) to avoid oppositions of science (knowledge) falsely so called as this has caused some professing to err and wander from the faith. These opposing ideas (conjectural theories not proved by the scientific method or true history) of what is falsely called knowledge (science) have caused millions in the past as well as the present to not come to faith or weaken and dismiss faith. They also will cause such in the future if we are not proactive to equip our children and adults with true knowledge about science and the Bible as it pertains to origins of life based on the Genesis account or atheistic, naturalistic evolution. Gap theory, theistic evolution, progressive creation, humanism, etc. are also compromises that gaining creation and creation science knowledge can help one who professes or is confused by them come to better understanding to hold and strengthen faith. Space will not allow addressing these subjects here. You can find materials on them at the web sites listed above.
True science (knowledge) is good; it is not the enemy.
It was placed into existence by the dominion (rule) mandate from God for man as his special creation in His image to examine the true principles that He set up in His original, very good creation so that we could use the resources of the world and subdue it with good stewardship if we are righteous followers. Again, science is not the enemy, only science (knowledge) used falsely. I am a trained scientist in biology, chemistry, geology, and pharmaceutical sciences. I love true science and have used it in my professions as a science teacher and for pharmaceuticals development and communication. As a Christian and a member of TASC, I hope to continue to help others see the true and fruitful relationships that God has put together in the variety that he has programmed into His Creation by intelligent, supernatural design. This programmed variety accounts for adaptation and change, not incredible chance espoused by a truly amazing faith in the philosophy and false faith of naturalistic evolution. Providing knowledge that can help us trust all of God's word, the Bible, starting from the Genesis account of creation plus knowledge of creation science can help us escape the ways of the fallen world due to sin and become truly grace-filled believers going forward thankfully and willingly unto good works (Eph. 2: 1-10).
Does it matter what our children think about the Genesis account of creation?
I hope you can say it does. It represents the foundation of their faith in God, our Creator, who provided us the gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ who is also Creator and will create us again in Heaven (Phil. 3:20-21). Adults and parents, please help our children to gain faith and hold on to it in a world that would deceive them by science used falsely. Rather, equip them by providing them an abundance of biblical creation and creation science knowledge through classes you can help start at your church and by purchasing materials for them to study, learn, and enjoy with you at home.
I conclude by quoting a renowned theologian and scientist, Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., LL.D., Litt.D., who was the founder of the Institute for Creation Research and provided us a wealth of creation science materials.
When the Lord Jesus Christ wanted to teach his friends about himself and his great plan for the world, he began by teaching them the book of Genesis. 5
Since space in this article alone does not allow us comprehensive examination of creation and creation science, I encourage you to read my review article of August, 2010, titled "Some Foundations of Creation Beliefs" at www.TASC-CreationScience.org and other articles at the same website by other TASC Newsletter authors on Creation/Creation Science.
- 1Patrick (2009 Aug 10) What I learned from the Creation Museum http://pnrj.xanga.com/709441435/what-i-learned-from-the-creation-museum/ Accessed 2011 Jul 18
- 2Patrick (2009 Aug 10) What I learned from the Creation Museum http://pnrj.xanga.com/709441435/what-i-learned-from-the-creation-museum/ Accessed 2011 Jul 18
- 3Ham K (2009) The children are the key. Answers Update 16(11): 1-3
- 4Stephens M (2010) Some foundations of creation beliefs. Triangle Association for the Science of Creation Newsletter August
- 5Morris HM (2011) Back to Genesis. Acts & Facts 40(7):20