Archive for October, 2011

Getting Into a Public School

It is a very rare occurrence these days, but I was recently able to teach in a public school. Why I say rare – this is only the 4th school I have been allowed to teach in within the past 5 years.

A few years ago, when the Intelligent Design group began trying to get their ideas taught in the public school system, the evolutionary “world” became very nervous. The ACLU and NEA (National Education Association) teamed up to make a concerted effort to keep their material out of the school literature and classrooms.

Being Creationists, who also teach intelligent design and have done so long before the Intelligent Design advocates were even formed, they have also expelled us from the schools. It has always been hard to get into the schools, but now it is even harder.

One of the excuses used to keep us from teaching in schools is the misrepresented “separation of church and state.” We are told that because we teach religion, we cannot give a presentation to government sponsored students. This has always been quite amazing to me, because when I am allowed to teach in a public school setting, I do not teach about a Creator, or about religion at all – I teach about what is scientifically wrong with evolution. I do this in order to protect the teacher or administrator that allowed us to share with the students.

Actually religion IS being taught in almost every public school district in America. The religion of humanism (it was proclaimed a religion in the higher court system), whose foundation is evolution, is the prevalent worldview being taught in our schools
today. Because Creationism and Christianity are a threat to humanism, we are not allowed to “brainwash” their children.

Ironically, in 1999, when Richard Stepanek and I were in Russia, we were allowed to teach in dozens of their public schools. After teaching several sessions to high school age students on the problems of evolution, one of the teachers said to me, “Oh this is so interesting. The students in America must love what you teach them.” I shared with her the idea of separation of church and state and why we couldn’t get into the public schools. She was amazed. She then showed me a textbook the Russian teachers were using to teach Origins.

The first part of the book taught the idea of an intelligent designer, the second part about evolution, and the third part about life coming from outer space. “Which idea do you believe?” I asked her. “Oh, I believe in evolution,” she answered. “Then why are you allowing me to teach your students what is wrong with evolution?” She answered, “Because, I think the students should be given all the information, so they can decide on their own what they believe.”

This was from a teacher in a predominately atheistic country whose core beliefs are based on evolution! Oh, America! Why are our children no longer allowed to see all the evidence that they might also be able to make an informed decision of what they believe?

Now, please don’t misunderstand. There are a lot of wonderful Christian teachers and administrators in the schools; however, in many cases their “hands have been tied” when it comes to the right to share the Truth with their students. We need to continually pray for those teachers and administrators …that even though they are limited with what they can say or teach their students, pray that they still might be a shining light to those who so desperately need to know the Truth.

 

Lanny Johnson

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Engaging Students at the University

Out "Playing" at the University

The other day while Mary Jo was doing all the work of putting the finishing touches on the Evolution: Fact or Fiction program for Minnesota State University and also writing some of the next issue of Think and Believe, I went out “playing.” I joined Johnathan Bislew and some of the students in his ministry on the university campus.

They have a table set up where they pass out free candy and engage students in conversation. We also encouraged the students to take a flyer for (and come to) our events.  It is always fun messing with students’ minds who have been so indoctrinated to believe that evolution is science whereas creation is a religious myth.

At the booth, I mentioned to several that I really think that evolution is not science. Instead it is a philosophy posing as science. That got a few good eyebrow raises, but surprisingly very little “nail you to wall type of comments” (unlike the university of Minnesota).  Of course, Johnathan has had plenty of negative bias thrown at him during the last few weeks, but not so much today.

It will be interesting to see how many actually come out. I am looking forward to it! Not for a good argument, but hopefully the Truth will set some of these students free!

 

Dave Nutting

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AWANA, Dinosaurs, and Friends

Our fall seminar tour is going very well.  We started with a few holes in the schedule, but as we taught at various AWANA conferences in Idaho and Oregon our schedule became filled to over flowing!

Many adult attendees were excited about the creation message, and wanted their AWANA clubbers to discover creation for themselves.  It is a joy to see the eyes of these children sparkle as they see the dinosaurs on display at their AWANA club.  Their enthusiasm overflows when they discover dinosaurs and the Bible fit together.

The Galbraiths

We also had the opportunity to teach in Alan and Diane Galbraith’s home in Jackson, WY. The Galbraiths have been long time volunteers of AOI.

They invited some of their friends and assorted Bible study groups to their home for evening programs on Tuesday and Thursday.  I taught from the book of Genesis, chapters one through three, and many good discussions arose during the  presentation.

It can be very refreshing, at times, to teach a smaller informal group.  We were also blessed by the fellowship time after the program to interact and get to know the people better.

 

Rich Stepanek

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Encouraged by a University Student

During our last evening at Northern Illinois University, Dave was doing a program on dinosaurs. I decided to go to a lounge in the Student Center while he presented the program. As I sat down at a table next to a couple university students, I overheard them discussing a passage from the Bible. Since I was close by, I couldn’t help but hearing more of their ensuing conversation.

It became obvious that one of the students was a Christian. The other might have been either a new believer or a seeker; in either case, he was very interested and engaged in the study. I was much impressed and encouraged by the knowledge and demeanor of the Christian student as he and the other student read passages and discussed the material. It was very obvious that the Christian knew both his Bible and his Lord well – but he also exhibited a patient and compassionate love for the other student.

For a minute, I was tempted to invite them both to Dave’s lecture, but I quickly realized that something much more important was taking place right there. The simple truth of Jesus was being clearly demonstrated, both in words and in attitude by the Christian student. He was not there to win a debate or defend his worldview, but simply to share his faith and his Lord with another. It was a good lesson and a good reminder for me.

How many times do we as Christians feel that we must take the offensive? How often do we approach people with answers to questions they may not even be asking? It’s so important to live out our faith in simplicity and humility – and to really hear the hearts of those around us. YES, we need to always be ready to give an answer – and YES, we should be well-equipped to help others see why we believe what we believe – but in the end, our actions and attitudes often speak more loudly than our words.

May God give us grace not only to know the truth and to speak it in love.

 

Mary Jo Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.