Several years ago, I was surprised to hear some college kids I knew, calling themselves “evolutionists”. These kids attended a Christian college, so I was confused. I had thought Christianity and Evolution were mutually exclusive.
I did some digging and learned that this particular Christian college does, in fact, teach evolution–claiming that Genesis is to be read figuratively, not literally. They say that the fall of Adam and Eve was not a historical event, and point to recent genome studies as evidence that our genetically diverse humanity couldn’t possibly have descended from just two ancestors. (Read about this perspective here.)
I was shocked. Since these “evolutionist” college students were well loved by my kids, and held significant influence over them, my husband and I called a family huddle. Our kids attended public school, so it wasn’t uncommon for us to warn them about keeping their guard up against deception. But this was new. Now, we told them they might need to guard themselves around Christian friends as well. We explained that these particular friends had accepted the teaching of their college–which was clearly veering from the Bible’s teaching that God created Adam and Eve as fully formed, human beings.
Fast forward several years. Now that my soon-to-be-HS-senior-daughter has begun to research Christian colleges, I have fresh concern about what is being taught in these institutions. I would absolutely love to send my girl to a school where she can soak up the truth and mentoring of passionate professors, who will equip her to navigate the work place with a Christian worldview. My hope is that she would graduate with her mind sharpened to think biblically; able to strongly defend her faith.
Still, I have these nagging concerns. What if she soaks up false teaching in a Christian setting? What if her faith is shaken, not strengthened by the professors who will undoubtedly influence her? Obviously some Christian colleges are compromising on truth–which in my opinion, creates and even more potentially damaging setting! At least at a secular institution, her guard would naturally be up.
Dr. Georgia Purdom shares my concern for Christian college students. I recently reached out to Dr. Purdom, after my parents raved about her presentation at the Creation Museum. In, “The Genetics of Adam and Eve“, Dr. Purdum showed that the science of genetics actually confirms, rather than disproves, a historical Adam and Eve.
Dr. Purdom mentioned that many Christian colleges are compromising on this point, so I reached out to her, wanting to know if there was some list of schools who have committed to a literal Genesis perspective. I was delighted, when she responded and told me that, yes! There is such a list of colleges, who have signed Answers in Genesis’s statement of faith. (Check it out, here.)
She also told me about a fabulous resource, which I didn’t know about previously. Already Compromised, published in 2011, is a book which compiles the results of surveying these 230 Christian Colleges on what they are really teaching about the Bible and Science. Though I’ve just perused the book at this point (I’m taking it with me on vacation), I’ve already found it quite helpful. Here are a few surprising things I’ve read:
- When the colleges polled were asked, “Do you believe that the Bible is literally true?”, 22% of the Religion Departments answered, “No.” (page 51)
- When asked, “What does your institution teach about evolution?”, 0% of the presidents, and 31% of the Religion chair persons responded, “We teach it to be true.” Obviously, there’s a disconnect here! (page 88)
- When college presidents and vice presidents were asked, “What makes education different at Christian compared to secular schools?“, the most common response (37%) by presidents was, “smaller class size.” Zero presidents and only 7.8% of vice presidents answered, “Teach different worldviews.” In addition, not one person mentioned apologetics or defending the Bible! (page 79).
Parents of potential colleges students, let’s be careful stewards of the children God has entrusted to us. Let’s help our kids find training in a place that will reinforce their faith, not pull it apart. Or, if they’re headed for a school where they will face opposition, let’s prepare them well. May our children never cave in to the deception, which has crept in and claimed the faith of so many.
The Deceiver prowls about Christian campuses, asking, “Did God really say…?” He is dismantling the faith of Christian kids, from inside their Christian college campuses! God, protect my children against the lies of the Enemy. May they be uncompromising, armed with unchanging Truth.
From everything I have “heard,” I would not have guessed there were this many colleges that would sign AIG’s statement of faith. That is an encouragement to me, however, there is always the possibility of a particular professor leaning in a liberal direction who can have influence, even if not presented in class. For me, here is another trust issue. I am learning to completely trust God for the path of my children including college experience. There is no bubble to send my child off in. I am not in the position to protect. God has different ways of teaching different people through different circumstances. I am thankful for schools, businesses, professors and students who take a stand for the truth of the Bible in the midst of their circumstances.
I love your comment and prayer, Shannon…
“God, protect my children against the lies of the Enemy. May they be uncompromising, armed with unchanging Truth.”
Great responses, Rachel. Yes, absolutely, professors can differ on an individual basis. And I agree–the correct response is faith, not fear. Faith in a God whose hands reach our children, when we cannot. Our hope is in Him, not in finding a bubble to squeeze our kids into.
What I want to help guard against is a naivety about what is being taught in our Christian colleges. Much better to help our kids be aware and prepared for what they might face, in whatever college they choose.
Blessings to you! Congrats to Brian on his awesome scholarship. What an amazing opportunity!
The only enemies are the ones you make yourselves. the only evil is the evil you bring with you. You can shelter your kids until you die, but that doesnt change the fact that some will break free and take it upon themselves to disregard what they have been taught. You cannot shelter a child after they reach adulthood To do so, is damaging and hurtful, to you and your adult child. But, do as you wish, i cannot stop people from ignoring good advice and listening to the prattle of like minded sheep.
Hi Brianna. Thanks for commenting! I agree completely that we can’t force our kids to make our beliefs their own. And I also agree that sheltering our adult children isn’t the goal. My daughter knows she is free to choose a secular or Christian university. As a college student, though, I think it would be far more confusing for her faith to be challenged at a Christian school than a secular one, don’t you? That’s what I was trying to convey in this post.
There has to be a reason that 50% of the kids who call themselves Christians as college freshmen, exit doubting everything they once believed about God. I attribute that fallout to an enemy at work. And he’s not just attacking in the obvious ways–through secular professors. He’s at work where we least suspect–inside the “safe” zone of the Christian college classroom.
I’m not sure what you mean when you say the only enemies are the ones we make ourselves, or that any evil is brought by us. We didn’t make Satan our enemy; he is our enemy because he is God’s enemy. He is very real, and very evil, and I for one, don’t want to send my daughter into a spiritual war zone, unprepared.
There is no enemy at work here, only reality. The reality that evolution happens and what you have been teaching your daughter all her life is wrong. You honestly are trying to shelter her from learning the truth well into her college years? Young Earth Creationism is driving children from Christianity, and that is a fact. There have been studies that confirm this.
I saw this posted on Ken Ham’s facebook page and followed the link here. It is organizations like Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis with their children’s books showing people riding dinosaurs that are doing the most harm in the long run. What they teach about the age and the history of the Earth is so blatantly false that anyone with half an education in earth sciences can figure that out.
Hi Bill. I think you may have misunderstood, and I apologize if I was unclear. This post wasn’t a young earth/old earth discussion. What concerns me most is the current debate over whether Adam and Eve were real people, and the Fall of mankind was a historical event. Adopting this belief system (as many Christian colleges have), logically then, produces changes in what Christians believe about sin and salvation–a complete reworking of one’s belief system.
And while I’m not saying I would never send my daughter to a school that has shifting/conflicting beliefs about these matters, I would want to send her in with her eyes wide open, and fully informed. Thanks for your comment!