How do you go about choosing a Christian college suitable for your children? Many parents look at the great sports programs, or how prestigious a school is considered to be. Others simply want their children to attend their alma mater.
In Matthew 18:6 we read, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." This verse is a very stern and serious warning. Leading a little one astray is an extremely serious offense. Obviously, anyone who influences others in forming their thinking will stand before God to give account, because what they teach them can have consequences for eternity.
Sadly, many parents don't realize that many--perhaps most--Christian colleges do not teach a literal Genesis but compromise in some way with evolution. Many colleges do this very subtly so that the unsuspecting parents do not really realize that their children will actually be taught to doubt the Bible. Many schools don't realize how foundational the book of Genesis is, and thus ignore it or tolerate any view from their professors.
If students are taught to doubt the book of beginnings, this very often leads to a slippery slide of unbelief in the rest of Scripture. We here at ICR find out the results of this teaching as we mix with thousands of people each year.
We are finding more and more that some of the most ardent opposition to the ICR ministry comes from graduates from colleges that taught them to doubt the Genesis record. We have also heard many sad testimonies from people whose lives were nearly destroyed because of what their college taught.
“I went to Bible college and came out an atheist” commented one young man at a recent seminar. “But praise the Lord, after hearing the creation messages, I realized I could trust the Bible, whereas my Bible college taught me to doubt it."
Another young lady with tears in her eyes said, "I went to a well-known Christian college in California that taught theistic evolution. Because of this, I made certain decisions in my life which have been disastrous. I now have heard ICR's teaching, and know I can trust Genesis and thus the foundations for marriage, for instance. I need to go and rebuild my life and my family. The consequences of listening to my college teaching have almost destroyed my life."
It is important to understand that these are not isolated examples. We hear these sorts of testimonies almost every seminar, usually from a number of people.
As one young couple at a recent seminar came up to me, the young man grabbed me by the collar and said, "Why isn't my faith radical?" I was a little taken back, but he went on to say, "I am radical in my law practice. I enthusiastically get involved in each case, but I have never been enthusiastic like that for the Christian faith. I have often wondered why. I suddenly realized tonight. My wife and I went to a very famous and well-known Christian college. Both of us were taught evolution--billions of years--Genesis doesn't matter. We hadn't realized until tonight just how this had affected our faith. We have never been zealous for our faith since college, because we really did not think you could trust the Bible. It was our Christian college that weakened and almost destroyed our faith. We are going to go out from here and make amends. You really can trust the Bible and be zealous for the Christian faith. Thank you."
The other day I received a letter from a lady who wrote the following:
“I have intended to write this letter for some time to express my heartfelt thanks to you personally as well as to everyone at ICR for touching my life and faith so profoundly through your creation ministry.
“It was in the mid-70s that I graduated from a small, conservative Christian college as a religion major. While there, I came under the teaching of a professor who was trained at Princeton Theological Seminary. In his upper-level religion course, Genesis was taught as an allegorical word picture--which did not have to be taken literally. With this new idea in mind, I was requested by the same professor to take an anthropology class taught by a dynamic young professor, who taught us evolution, point by point, then requested, in a final term paper, that we put our (faith and learning) together. I still have my paper in which I now see how I became a theistic evolutionist--and was quite proud that I now had an 'enlightened' view of Scripture.
“After college, I married and had two little sons who became fascinated with dinosaurs. As a Christian mother, I hated those dinosaurs, but was unable to explain to the boys why they should not have them.
“Then, in February 1988, I attended the Central Illinois Sunday School Convention here in Peoria. As I walked by the ICR booth and began looking at your materials, a little voice in my head said, 'Stay away from these people! You know what you think!' I felt that I needed to hear you out, however, in the hopes that I could explain things better to my sons."
“The room was packed. Thank you for explaining the fact that if we accept evolution and death before Adam's fall, we nullify the work of the cross. I was hit like a ton of bricks in less than fifteen minutes time! The Lord already had me in Bible studies on Romans and I Corinthians--so my heart was ready for the truth!
“My mind rushed to a young man who had also attended my same college classes and had even done his senior paper along the lines of theistic evolution. As I turned to leave the session, there he was! I said, 'Don, what do you think of all this? You know what we were taught!' He answered, 'ICR is right--we were wrong!' He had already been reached by ICR's ministry several years before.
Since that day, I have studied ICR material and used it to bless my own family and church. I have taught creation to both pre-school and primary Sunday school classes. After preparing all last summer, I had the privilege of presenting creation this fall in a three-month class to all the adults in our Church. Our pastor and CE director felt it was so important that we offered it as the only adult class that quarter. I am now teaching the class to our Senior Teens and may take the material to two local sister churches in the future."
What a testimony! But how many others have been through similar colleges, never heard of ICR and whose children are even now being led astray.
In Part II we will look in detail at what such colleges really do teach that causes so many to stumble.