An Invitation to Pastors

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The church I attend occasionally shows video clips of kids in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School.  It’s heart-warming to look at the innocent little faces listening to their Bible stories and hearing how God cares for them.  You can see the adults grinning and thinking, ’Isn’t that precious!”  But for me, I want to know –


Ten years from now, many of these same kids will be going through high school and university science classes, subjecting their pliable minds to the onslaughts of dogmatic evolutionary professors who take great glee at shredding their faith to little bits and making Bible-believers look like ignorant, backwoods fools.  What can happen?  We need only look at history . . . .


Each character in the following true stories started out as a child in the church, hearing the gospel, and believing in God.  But then, something happened.

  • Charles Darwin
    Charles Darwin was studying to become a country clergyman, and stated that “I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible.”  As a theology major at Cambridge, he was enamored by the works of William Paley, author of Natural Theology and Evidences of Christianity.  Paley wrote that a watch demanded a watchmaker, and the designs in nature pointed to a Designer.  Darwin was so impressed with Paley that he claimed he could almost recite his works by heart.  But many of the churches of his day had slowly drifted into apathy about the doctrine of creation.  Many viewed nature as just clockwork operations for which God had little care or involvement.  It didn’t matter how old it was, and whether the Bible was telling the truth that God created in six days.  Some churches taught that species were immutable.  Some taught that Noah’s flood was not worldwide; if not a myth, it was just a local flood, one of many floods.  In short, you couldn’t trust the Bible on scientific matters.

    When Darwin accepted a job as naturalist on the Beagle under Captain Fitzroy, a devout Christian, he began reading a new book on board called Principles of Geology by Charles Lyell.  Lyell argued that the earth was old, that everything happened slowly and gradually, and that operations we see today continued back indefinitely into the past.  By implication, there was no creation, no curse, and no worldwide Deluge.  Darwin observed species that had appeared to change over time, and began to interpret the mountains and the world as manifestations of natural forces acting slowly over millions of years.  Once on the slippery slope that started with doubting creation, he lost his faith in the reliability of all of Scripture.  By 1839, his unbelief was so complete, he later recalled, “I had gradually come by this time to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos or the beliefs of any barbarian.”  So he thought about how the designs in life might have come about without a Designer, and wrote his thoughts in a book The Origin of Species.  At first, his speculations pertained only to biology, but this new naturalistic way of looking at the world soon spread to anthropology, geology, astronomy, all the natural sciences, psychology, sociology, political science, law, ethics, culture, the arts and ... everything.

    CASE: A theology student cannot defend Genesis. 
    RESULT: A substitute foundation for everything in the universe.

  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
    Jerry Bergman describes the youth of the founders of communism:
    Born in 1818, Marx was baptized a Lutheran in 1824, attended a Lutheran elementary school, received praise for his ‘earnest’ essays on moral and religious topics, and was judged by his teachers as ‘moderately proficient’ in theology (his first written work was on the ‘love of Christ’) until he encountered Darwin’s writings and ideas at the university of Berlin. ... Marx’s co-worker and frequent co-author, Friedrich Engels, was raised by a strict and ‘pietist’ Bible-believing father, but Engels, too, rejected Christianity, evidently partly as a result of his studies at the university of Berlin.
    Engels wrote to Marx first: “Darwin, whom I am now reading, is splendid.”  Both men had been learning revolutionary ideas that were sweeping Europe, but Darwin’s theory was the final break from anything and everything Christian.  Marx wrote to Engels, “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history.”  He wrote to Darwin, asking if he could dedicate his new book Das Kapital to him, but Darwin declined, fearing a backlash from religious people.  Nevertheless, the founding fathers of communism built their structure on the foundation of Darwinism.

  • Vladimir Lenin
    Lenin was raised by devout Bible-believing parents in a middle-class home, but he, too, according to Bergman, “discovered Darwin and Marx’s works, and his life was changed forever.”  Lenin eventually rejected the Bible totally and finally, saying: “Darwin put an end to the belief that the animal and vegetable species bear no relation to one another, except by chance, and that they were created by God, hence immutable.”  During the height of the purges and bloodshed that followed the October 1917 Revolution, Lenin kept one small icon of evolution in his office: a statue of a monkey sitting on a stack of books (including The Origin of Species), pondering a human skull.

  • Josef Stalin
    Did you know Stalin was a seminary student?  He went to Gori divinity school to become a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church.  But there found a copy of The Origin of Species and read it.  He told a classmate, “You know, they are fooling us; there is no God. ... I’ll lend you a book to read; it will show you that the world and all living things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is sheer nonsense.”  “What book is that?” his classmate asked.  “Darwin.  You must read it.”

    What was this former divinity student to become?  Stalin the communist dictator, Stalin the egomaniacal monster, smugly justifying his brutal slaughter of millions as survival of the fittest.  Salisbury of the New York Times, describes Stalin’s system of prison camps: “a whole continent of terror. ... Compared with those who brought about the hundreds of thousands of executions and the millions of deaths in the Soviet terror system, the Czars seem almost benign .... Our minds boggle at the thought of a systematized, routine evil, under which three or four or more million men and women were sentenced each year to forced labor and eternal exile–and in a manner so casual that the prisoners often were not even told what their sentences were.”

    CASE: Four college students lose their faith in God as Creator.
    RESULT: 140 million people slaughtered by communism!

    Is creation a side issue, of interest just to eggheads?  Ask the dead who perished under communism.  Ask the pastors, like yourself, who found themselves trapped on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain.  Ask the Chinese or Cuban pastors, perishing even today in prison, whose captors justify their brutality on Darwinism.  Read, with tears, Richard Wurmbrand’s classic Tortured for Christ about the communist prison guards, bereft all human sensitivity, beating humble Christian pastors to the point of death, tying them to crosses and having other prisoners defecate on them, locking them in refrigerators then thawing them out over and over again, pounding nails into the crates into which they were stuffed, starving and dehumanizing them, brainwashing them for weeks with Communism is good, communism is good, Christianity is stupid, Christianity is stupid, give up, give up, give up!  Remember Pol Pot and the killing fields.  Remember Tianenmen Square.  Remember the Ukraine, with millions left to slowly starve to death.  Let us never forget: ideas have consequences!

    The twentieth century is sometimes called “Darwin’s Century.”  It was also era of the biggest bloodbaths in history.  The three greatest mass-murderers of all time, Mao Tse-tung (up to 80 million), Josef Stalin (approx. 60 million) and Adolf Hitler (12 million) each justified their purges on Darwinian principles.  For an excellent treatment of this subject, read Jerry Bergman’s paper on The Darwinian Foundation of Communism.
        In the paper by J. Gresham Machen previously cited, he urged the church to engage the battle for ideas.  The march from Darwin to Stalin forms a classic case of his warning: “What is today matter of academic speculation begins tomorrow to move armies and pull down empires.  In that second stage, it has gone too far to be combatted; the time to stop it was when it was still a matter of impassionate debate.”  Unfortunately, some of the greatest soulwinners of the era when Darwinism was on the rise, Moody and Spurgeon included, did not feel the battle of ideas in the late 1800s was as important as winning souls.  Poised in 1912 between their failures and the coming holocaust, Machen saw a church focused on short-term individual salvation, but oblivious to the intellectual forces in the world that were undermining the credibility of Christianity itself.  He wrote:

    In a day of increased specialization, of renewed interest in philology and in history, of more rigorous scientific method, let the Church go on abandoning her Bible to her enemies.  They will study it scientifically, rest assured, if the Church does not.  Let her substitute sociology altogether for Hebrew, practical expertness for the proof of her gospel.  Let her shorten the preparation of her ministry, let her permit it to be interrupted yet more and more by premature practical activity.  By doing so she will win a straggler here and there.  But her winnings will be but temporary. The great current of modern culture will sooner or later engulf her puny eddy.  (Emphasis added.)
    That is exactly what happened, and is still happening today.

  • John D. Rockefeller
    Rockefeller, though raised with Christian beliefs and loosely allied to religious charities during his career, also learned about Darwinism and became a full-fledged social Darwinist, with survival of the fittest driving his insatiable quest for economic power and his ruthlessness against his competitors.  After embracing evolution, he dismissed Bible stories as mythology.

  • Andrew Carnegie
    Andrew Carnegie grew up in a Christian home but then went to college and learned about Darwin.  After reading the books of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, he wrote: “I remember that light came as in a flood and all was clear.  Not only had I got rid of theology and the supernatural, but I had found the truth of evolution.”

    Carnegie became a devotee of Herbert Spencer, the British exponent of Darwinism.  When Spencer came to America on Carnegie’s invitation, he told Carnegie that it was a scientific fact that someone like him should be getting to the top; that there was nothing unnatural about it, wrong about it, evil about it.

    CASE: Two businessmen lose their church-taught faith in God as Creator when learning about evolution.
    RESULT: Social Darwinism and Cut-Throat Capitalism.

    How many American Christian businessmen lost their livelihoods and families because of the ruthless, dog-eat-dog, no-holds-barred practices of Carnegie and Rockefeller, who justified their practices on the alleged “scientific” law of survival of the fittest?  Ideas have consequences.

  • Julius Wellhausen
    This college student who grew up believing the Bible also learned about Darwin’s theories, and applied them to theology.  He became a chief exponent of the Graf-Wellhausen “Documentary Hypothesis,” which applied Darwinian assumptions to Biblical history.  Wellhausen believed, on the basis of evolution, that early man was primitive: the Hebrew people could not have had advanced theological concepts from the beginning.  No, since everything evolves, theology also evolves.  Jewish monotheism evolved from an earlier, primitive polytheism.  This was a more “scientific” approach to the Bible.

    CASE: A theology student, unarmed against Darwinism, succumbs.
    RESULT: Higher Criticism, Modernism, Liberalism.

    Has higher criticism been a scourge to the church of Jesus Christ?

  • John Muir
    Young John Muir grew up in a devout Christian home, where the church was central.  His father led prayer and occasionally preached in the church.  But John saw the Christians of his day ravaging creation with ruthless indifference, ripping up forests as if they were weeds, interested only in building their homes and planting their farms.  Muir’s father was a mean, cruel taskmaster, outwardly religious but totally uninterested about his son’s greatest love, the creation.

    When John went to college, he learned about Darwinism and quickly embraced it.  Though John Muir often mentioned the word “God” in his eloquent and influential writings, it is clear he had no use for the Bible or Jesus Christ.  As an adult, he wrote,

    The world, we are told, was made especially for man– a presumption not supported by all the facts.  A numerous class of men ... have precise dogmatic insight of the intentions of the Creator, and it is hardly possible to be guilty of irreverence in speaking of their God any more than of heathen idols.  He is ... as purely a manufactured article as any puppet of a half-penny theater. 
    Muir became a pantheist, worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator.  He taught his children to reverence “God” not as a person, but as a loving, intelligent spirit creating, permeating, and controlling the universe.  They were not taught to pray, except that on one occasion Muir told his wife he wished they might know the Lord’s prayer ... along with Milton, Burns, Wordsworth and Shelley.  Muir founded the Sierra Club, which has become one of the principal liberal environmental groups in the world.  It often blames the “Genesis Mandate” (Gen. 1:28) for all the harm done to our planet.

    CASE: A Christian young man watches his church neglect creation.
    RESULT: The Sierra Club, Pantheistic Nature Worship, and Radical Environmentalism.

    John Muir could have been a tremendous gift to the church.  With his sensitivity, mind, writing skill, enthusiasm, charisma, endurance, and exuberant love of nature– if empowered by the Holy Spirit, just imagine the life he could have lived, the impressionable young people he could have influenced, the books he could have written.  But the church of his day lost him, and gave him to the enemy, because creation was considered “not important.”

  • H. G. Wells
    His mother had reservations as she sent young Herbert G. Wells off to college.  She knew that Darwin’s bulldog, Thomas Huxley, would be one of his professors.  Her worst fears were realized.  Huxley transformed this young college student, raised by a Christian mother, into a Christian-hating radical.  H. G. Wells’s brains and talents were turned against the church.  He worked actively to transform society into a socialist utopia based on Darwinist principles, only to be disillusioned as an old man about the utter futility of life.  His novels The Time Machine and War of the Worlds assume an impersonal, undirected, senseless and ruthless universe.

    CASE: A Christian-raised boy handed over, unarmed, to the church of Darwin.
    RESULT: Fabian Socialism, Social Darwinism, and Evolution-Based Literature.

    This is not to claim that Darwinism is the only reason these men did what they did, or that they would not have rejected their Christian upbringing anyway.  But in each case, it was Darwinism that was a significant – often the most significant – reason for rejecting the Bible, and it was evolution that provided their “scientific” rationalization for all the evil they committed after their apostasy.
  • William Jennings Bryan
    Three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan was well known as a staunch defender of Christianity and opponent of evolution.  But on the witness stand at the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee, the liberal skeptic defense attorney Clarence Darrow got him to sell the farm:

    Darrow: Do you claim that everything in the Bible should be literally interpreted?
    Bryan: I believe everything in the Bible should be accepted as it is given there...
    Darrow: Do you think the earth was made in six days?
    Bryan: Not six days of 24 hours ...  My impression is that they were periods ...
    Darrow: Now, if you call those periods, they may have been a very long time?
    Bryan: They might have been.
    Darrow: The creation might have been going on for a very long time?
    Bryan: It might have continued for millions of years.

    Bryan was also caught before the ears of the world, listening on radio in this “world’s most famous court trial,” not knowing where Cain got his wife or whether Noah’s flood was worldwide.  The news media quickly picked up on the theme that here, one of the best-known fundamentalists, could not even defend what he believed.  It was a short hop to presenting Bryan as an anti-intellectual buffoon, ignoring the facts of science and believing in outdated religious myths.  “Fundamentalism,” despite its respectable origins with reputable scholars, became equated with obscurantism and bigotry.  That stereotype persists today in the horribly inaccurate Broadway musical and twice-produced movie Inherit the Wind, (a favorite of public school history and science classes) which makes Bryan’s Bible blunders the centerpiece of its ridicule.

    CASE: A Christian cannot defend what he believes.
    RESULT: Fundamentalism becomes the laughingstock of the world.

  • Charles Templeton
    Who taught Billy Graham how to preach?  Who roomed with him and mentored him on evangelistic crusades?  Who called thousands to faith in Christ in his youth, only to publish a book in his declining years entitled: (are you ready...)
    My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith

    What happened?  Charles Templeton made an emotional decision to accept Christ, like many young people do today, but was never grounded in the reasons for what he believed.  He was “on fire for Christ” for awhile, but started to read books that cast doubt on Genesis and presented evolution as fact.  Then he trotted off to Princeton Theological Seminary, which had compromised with modern science’s interpretations of the origin of the universe and life.  There he learned more about Charles Darwin and evolution.  The church had not prepared him for the onslaught of seemingly “scientific” explanations of the universe, earth, and life.  He told Billy Graham,

    But, Billy, itís simply not possible any longer to believe, for instance, the biblical account of creation.  The world wasn’t created over a period of days a few thousand years ago; it has evolved over millions of years.  It’s not a matter of speculation; it’s demonstrable fact.

    The church also did not provide him for credible answers to the problem of suffering; he could not believe God would allow a world of such disease and death.  But his fall started when he began to question the reliability of Genesis.  That was what put him on the slippery slope that eventually robbed him of his sweet faith in the Lord Jesus, and turned him into an embittered skeptic.  He later wrote,

    I believe that there is no supreme being with human attributes – no God in the biblical sense – but that all life is the result of timeless evolutionary forces ... over millions of years.

    Templeton’s tragic fall from grace is the opening and closing drama in Lee Strobel’s excellent book on apologetics, The Case for Faith.  You can also read about it on Answers in Genesis.

    CASE: A fervent evangelist learns about evolution, and begins to doubt the reliability of Genesis.
    RESULT: Evangelist for Christ turns into bitter evangelist for skepticism.

    How many souls were not preached to by this evangelist who lost his message?  Satan wins again.

    Can Templeton the skeptic still preach to us from the grave?  (He died in June 2001.)  Unfortunately, yes.  In Farewell to God (p. 162) he said,

    A major factor in the dramatic decrease in attendance at church services around the world is undoubtedly the irrelevance of contemporary preaching.
    Students in your church who become convinced of the Darwinist explanation for life quickly begin to view Bible stories as myths: irrelevant, uninteresting, foolishness.

  • Michael Shermer
    c. 1965: “I had once been a born-again Christian in my youth . . . . and was quite serious about it (I used to drive my family nuts with the constant preaching and I used to ‘witness’ to strangers . . . )”

    2001: Participated in a vitriolic creation-evolution debate with Dr. Duane Gish, accusing Christians of racism, bigotry, and anti-scientific “weird” beliefs.

    Who is he?  Michael Shermer, head of the Los Angeles Skeptics Society, publisher of Skeptic magazine, contributor to Scientific American on answers to pseudo-scientific claims (including “creationism”), and public speaker promoting Darwinism and skepticism.  What happened?  Again, Darwinism in college.  A college professor disarmed this vulnerable young man with apparently convincing “scientific” arguments that evolution was a fact and the Bible could not be trusted.

    CASE: An alleged “born-again” boy, zealous for the Bible, learns Darwinism in school.
    RESULT: An anti-Christian evangelist for skepticism

We have listed here a few prominent names who lost their faith to evolution and wreaked havoc in society on a large scale, but there are also countless others, living quietly outside the church, whose faith was destroyed by the false rhetoric of Darwinism.  Do you know “the rest of the story” with the young people who grew up in your church?

Inquiring young minds want to know...

  • Where did Cain get his wife?
  • What about dinosaurs?
  • Where did the human races come from?
  • Isn’t there life in outer space?
  • How could Noah get all the animals on the ark?
  • Is the earth really millions of years old?
  • What about the big bang?
  • Why is there so much pain and suffering, if God made everything good?
If the church doesn’t have answers*, these sources will gladly supply theirs:
  • Public schools:  EVOLUTION
  • Websites, books:  EVOLUTION
  • Television:  EVOLUTION
  • Museums:  EVOLUTION
  • News media:  EVOLUTION
  • National parks:  EVOLUTION
  • Universities:  EVOLUTION

And the secularists will be sure to give their slant on the on all the doctrines we mentioned in Reason #2:

  • Marriage and family: EVOLUTION
  • Human sexuality: EVOLUTION
  • Sin and judgment: EVOLUTION
  • Salvation: EVOLUTION
  • Law and government: EVOLUTION
  • Work, and purpose in life: EVOLUTION
  • Arts and sciences: EVOLUTION
  • Eternal destiny: EVOLUTION
When the church is not involved in the battle to defend creation, it loses by default.  Creation is winning the evidence war, but losing the propaganda war.  Dear pastor, when we are at the verge of a breakthrough, let’s not let history repeat itself.
Let’s turn a corner now and get practical.  Creation is an invigorating doctrine that should bring joy and satisfaction to the church.  Here are some positive, constructive things you can do with the Biblical doctrine of creation.  Click here to continue.

*For help on answering these questions, check out two great websites:
Answers in Genesis