Special thanks to Brad Harrub, Ph.D. of Focus Press for this phenomenal article. Brother Harrub is an outstanding author, speaker, scientist, and defender of biblical truth.
At 3:00 p.m., mom stops folding laundry and begins contemplating what to fix for dinner. Suddenly, she hears the unmistakable sound of little feet running down the sidewalk. Within seconds, the front door bangs open and little Johnny comes running down the hallway into a brightly lit kitchen. As mom frantically tries to keep the mud tracks off the floor, little Johnny circles round and round, shouting: “Guess what video we watched today at school!” With a dustpan in one hand, and an old wooden broom in the other, mom looks up and replies, “What Johnny?” Johnny lets out an ear-piercing scream and yells, “Dinosaurs!” And without taking another breath he begins rattling off the names of dinosaurs: “We saw a Brachiosaurus, Apatosaurus, Deinonychus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Spinosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, and a Velociraptor! Oh, mom you should have seen them. They were so cool. I want to get some books about them. Can we please? Can we mom?”
And so, without any advance notice, Mom is thrown into the realm of the dinosaurs. Only minutes ago she was folding laundry, wishing she were elsewhere. Now she would be content to wind back the hands of time and fold those clothes. No one warned her that motherhood included needing advanced degrees in dinosaur trivia. For the next several days, the questions continue. “When were the dinosaurs around? Why did they become extinct? Were they cold-blooded or warm-blooded?” Poor mom—she can cook dinner, wash clothes, clean the kitchen, watch the children, and talk on the phone all at the same time…but dinosaurs? All mom knows about dinosaurs can be summed up like this: They were big, and they were green. Aside from that, mom has to rely on books to provide Little Johnny with the answers that he so desperately seeks.
Within a week, their house has been turned into a virtual dinosaur hall of fame. Dinosaur books, puzzles, games, and action figures can be found in just about every room. Every dime Little Johnny had saved up has been spent on dinosaur books. You know the ones—the books with big colorful pictures on slick glossy paper. The same ones that usually somewhere around page one, paragraph one, say something like, “All life on our planet changes and develops over many millions of years. This is called evolution. Millions of years ago the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, long before man ever existed.” Even those “harmless” sticker books that she bought Little Johnny mention that dinosaurs roamed the Earth 225 million years ago. And so, within just a few weeks Little Johnny has filled his brain with dinosaur trivia; but he has also laid down the planks on which the evolutionary theory will one day be built in his belief system.
Ask yourself what normally is the first introduction most young people have into the humanistic, atheistic, Godless world of organic evolution. Dinosaurs! Once the stage has been set that the Earth is billions of years old, then it becomes easy to slip in evolutionary rationale for human existence. What better way to build a foundation than to get our children hooked on dinosaurs—something that is rarely dealt with in a religious setting, and something with which most parents are not all that familiar. First and foremost, we need to understand that this is a fight. It is a fight that most parents are losing—and that many do not even realize is taking place. We carry our children and grandchildren to Bible class and worship. We tuck them in at night, and one day we wake up, only to realize that they have lost their souls because someone out there did their job better than and before we did ours!
Ask an average 10-year-old child when the dinosaurs existed, and see what response you get. Then ask them about the men who lived with the dinosaurs. Chances are, those excited faces that were all ready to tell you every single fact you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs will immediately change into wrinkled brows and puzzling frowns. For, you see, we live in a world that has taught our children that dinosaurs existed many millions of years ago, prior to the existence of man. What happens, then, when our children try to reconcile this with the Genesis account of Creation? They begin to question the Bible, simply because the two cannot be harmonized, and most do not possess the evidence they need to defend God’s Word.
The word “creation” is never mentioned in biology classes in reference to the origin of life, and the Genesis account of creation is only mentioned sarcastically (if it is mentioned at all). By the time many individuals graduate from college, the Bible they grew up believing has been so ridiculed that it quickly becomes relegated to the bottom of a dusty old bookshelf—never to be opened again. Yet in Peter’s first epistle, he instructed: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). Statistics indicate that our young people are not properly prepared to give an answer or defense when their instructors begin to tear away at their faith. Professors categorize God’s Word as little more than a poorly written history book. These “highly educated” men no longer treat it as “God-breathed,” because to do so would be admitting there is a higher power. By declaring that “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psalm. 19:1), we are paying homage to Someone capable of more than mortal men—and that Someone rightly deserves our obedience and respect. Unfortunately many of our children are casting their Bibles aside in favor of science and the theories of men.
In the first chapter of the book of Genesis, Moses details for us the specific events that occurred during the six days of Creation. Exodus 20:11 states: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Question: What does that leave out? Answer: Nothing! It is totally comprehensive, and yet our children have been fed a steady diet of the early evolutionary appearance of dinosaurs and reptiles, with mammals and humans appearing millions of years later. We must wake up and get busy teaching our children the Truth. Most of us have seen the horrifying statistics—nationwide the churches of Christ are losing somewhere between 60-90% of our young people after we send them away from the home. How is it that Joseph at the age of 17, already had enough strength, courage, and conviction to get him through the rough trials that were to come (see Genesis 37,39-40)? It is because his parents instilled in him at a very young age the importance of God in such a way that he never forgot God—even during his darkest trials. Why is it we think that it is only after our children have grown up and started a family of their own that they can find the strength they need for their convictions?
Why Did Johnny Fall Away?
Why did Johnny fall away? What caused him to leave the Lord and His church, and instead turn his attention to worldly matters? Likely, of course, there are many possible answers. However, I would like to concentrate on only one answer. Something undermined Johnny’s commitment, and caused him to give up the ideals he once held dear. What persuaded this youngster to abandon his faith in God, his trust in Jesus, and his reliance upon the Bible? Perhaps Johnny lost his faith because he never knew the evidences upon which his faith should have rested in the first place. In other words, Johnny “believed,” but he did not know why he believed. He was living an “inherited” religion. Having, therefore, no good reason to keep on believing, when faced with the temptation to be free, he fell headlong into the trap set for him by the “roaring lion”—our adversary, the devil (1 Pet. 5:8). Satan was successful in his task because we failed in ours. Unfortunately Johnny, and many others like him, have been told that faith is a “blind leap.” We did not train Johnny “in the way he should go” (Pro. 22:6), because we did not show him the evidences upon which his faith should have been based.
His faith was threatened, but he was not ready for battle, and so he surrendered.
…continued next week…