Children & Evolution
CHILDREN & EVOLUTION
HINTS FOR CHRISTIAN PARENTS by Geoff Chapman.
MANY parents are aware that evolution is a godless theory which contradicts the Bible and undermines the Christian faith. What can Christian parents do to counteract the effects of the teaching of evolution so far as their own children are concerned? A firm grounding in Biblical teaching is essential if our children are to grow up to share our faith and retain their confidence in the Bible. Below are some suggestions for Christian parents; there is no guarantee that children so instructed will grow into strong Christians, but if these hints are thoughtfully and prayerfully followed it is much more likely that they will do so. We cannot force our children to become Christians, but we CAN help remove stumbling-blocks, and evolution is a major one.
IMPRESS the Biblical record of special creation upon your children from an early age. Read the creation story to them; give them colourful books about creation - first checking that they do not teach theistic evolution, the day-age, or 'gap' theories, or 'progressive creation' - for these are common compromises. Teach your children to respect the Bible as the infallible word of God, containing no errors of fact and no myths or legends.
INSTILL into your child a sense of wonder at the greatness of God's creation. Go for country walks and point out the rich variety and bounty of nature. Encourage them to read about these wonders - many excellent books are available about the natural world. You will, of course, need to deal with references to evolution that appear in many of these books. However, most children will readily understand that things which have been designed need a Designer, and you can point out how absurd it is to suppose that the wonders of nature could have come into being by chance. Encourage your children to take an interest in the things God has created, with special attention being given to specialised creatures, e.g. bats, whales, and creatures which use mimicry and camouflage. Point out the beauty of the sky on a clear night. Emphasise that the God who made all of this must be very great and wonderful. Remind them how special our own world is, too.
TEACH your children about evolution BEFORE they learn about it at school. Make sure that you yourself are informed about many of the fallacies and flaws in evolutionary theory by reading good creationist books. Pass on what you know about this to your children as they grow older. Help them to realise that some of the things they learn at school are not really true, and that the Bible's account of things fits the facts much better. As dinosaurs are often used to introduce children to evolution, tell them some of the lesser-known facts about dinosaurs, e.g. that dinosaurs lived in Bible times, (see Job 40:15-24); that cave paintings of dinosaurs have been found in Africa and America; that the natives of the Congo area have seen a dinosaur-like animal, etc.. These creatures did NOT die out millions of years before man evolved.
ENCOURAGE your children to study the evidence for creation themselves. Fossils are of particular interest and most museums display them. Explain that fossils can only be formed when living things are buried quickly in mud and sediment, and that the world-wide flood recorded in Genesis would have provided perfect conditions for the formation of most of the fossil beds found all over the earth. Mention that vast periods of time are not needed, and that creatures which die today are not likely to become fossils.
EXPLAIN what they will certainly want to know - why there is cruelty and suffering in nature. Tell them that God created a perfect world, which was spoiled by Adam's and Eve's disobedience, bringing death and decay into the world. Point out how God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to begin a restoration process, beginning with ourselves. Explain that by His death and resurrection Jesus brings us back to God, and that some day God will create a new heaven and a new earth in which all who truly love Him will have a share.