Spiritual battles were being fought in the unseen realm at the National Education Association Convention in Denver, Colorado this past week! Fifteen thousand public school teachers came together, representing 3 million NEA members around the country. Many of these teachers came by the Creation Science Educators’ Caucus where they were given free books and DVDs that Answers in Genesis had donated to the caucus. The most exciting part was engaging in conversation about a topic even more controversial than the Creation and Evolution debate: the GOSPEL.
Carlos, a history teacher (in white), had such an open heart. He said, “I’m so excited to talk about this. I just don’t want to take your time!” (A very refreshing contrast to others who yell at us or give us nasty looks or comments!)
One of our main give away items this year was Evolution Vs.God. If you haven’t seen this yet, make sure you do! You can watch it online at www.evolutionvsgod.com. I also recommend ordering them here for $2 a piece and giving them out freely. People are very intrigued by it and receive it gladly.
He brought up a medical question that he thought was an evidence for evolution. I wasn’t sure how to answer him, but thankfully Dr. Menton and Dr. Martin both joined the conversation and gave him many answers and explanations. He was very interested! It’s so exciting to start witnessing conversations with people, knowing that behind me are experts and spiritual giants who can jump in and finish the conversation!
One geology teacher told me, “I’m an atheist–I see no evidence for God whatsoever.”
“Oh really?” I said, “Well the Bible says in Romans that we see God clearly by the things he has made…”
I continued, “Is there anything that could cause you to believe in God?”
He said, “Every time I go into a church I ask if there’s a higher power to kill me right now…but it’s never happened. But if it did, I guess that might cause me to believe in God for a split second before I died.”
I asked about his view about the origins of morals.
He said, “Well, I just don’t think there’s someone up there keeping score–that doesn’t seem right at all, or kind!”
“Well if an earthly judge let murderers go free, that wouldn’t be right, would it?!”
He agreed, and this seemed to spark his interested a little.
So I continued to share my testimony—how I was a “good girl” on the outside but a wicked sinner in comparison to God’s perfect standard. I shared how God can be merciful to me—yet a just Judge at the same time—because Jesus died in my place.
To my surprise, he listened with interest!
“You know one thing I’ve always wondered?” he asked me, “What’s the difference between the god of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity?
Interesting comment coming from him, don’t you think?
Dr. John is speaking here with an Native American young man. This young man and his friend talked to Mirren Martin for a long time the first day, and appreciated the conversation so much they came back and talked for a long time the next day.
Frank (in white) and James (in pink) talked to this man for probably over an hour. Our goal with these teachers is not to argue science but to share the gospel. Science is just a starting point in the conversation.
It’s clear that many of these teachers aren’t fighting against Creation–they’re fighting against God.
“Would you like a free DVD?” I asked a man who approached our booth, curious about what we stood for.
“Are you a teacher?”
“Yes, I’m a chemistry teacher,” he said.
“Oh, neat! So what are your beliefs about this issue?” I asked. “How do you think life started?”
“Well, I believe in the primordial soup. That’s probably not your cup of tea,” he added, “Not meaning to be funny.”
“So can I ask you a question?” I asked him.
“You’ve already asked me several,” he said playfully.
“So do you think it takes more faith to believe in God or in Evolution?” I asked.
“Oh, well I think it’s easier to believe in God – I mean, that is a simple explanation to everything. But that doesn’t mean that’s the correct view.”
“How do you think morals started?” I asked.
“That’s a good question,” he said, and began talking about his support of alternative lifestyles and disapproval of those who reject them.
Soon we got back to the creation issue and Dr. John joined the conversation, sharing some things about chemistry (which were above my level!), and pointing out flaws in the evolution model.
The chemistry teacher said, “I agree with you, evolution is definitely an uphill battle…” and expressed that it was the harder route to believe.
“So why is it that you choose to believe Evolution?” I asked him.
“Yes, why do you believe the more unlikely option?” Dr. John added.
“It just feels right!” he said, “It feels good to me.”
“So what I’m getting from what you’re telling me,” I commented, “is that you would prefer that evolution was true.”
“Like,” I added, “you would prefer there wasn’t a God?”
He smiled and said, “It just fits my life better! I guess I believe evolution for the same reasons you believe in God – it feels right.”
He began talking about the beauty of the Smokey Mountains, where he recently took a vacation.
I grabbed a Bible and opened to Romans 1. He looked my direction a little playfully, and said, “Read me something.”
I read from Romans 1:19-20 “What may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…”
“I know you disagree with this,” I told him, “but I believe that everyone knows there’s a God—it’s obvious by the beauty and the design all around us. That’s what the Bible says…”
He said that referencing the Bible was circular reasoning, but Dr. John was quick to point out that he was reasoning in a circular way also.
The chemistry teacher looked me in the eye and stated, “When I die I just become worm food, and I truly believe that.” He wanted to know why I had a problem with him believing what he wants.
I explained, “If this life was all there is, then I would be fine with you believing whatever you want to believe. But … ” (and I saw in his eyes that he knew where I was going with this) “… but we believe that this life isn’t just it. We’re eternal! And we don’t know you very well, but we care about you–”
“You’re trying to save my soul,” he said.
“Well, I’m not!”
“You’re not? … Oh, I see you’re trying to put me on a path where I’ll find salvation …”
“Well,” he said, “I do not doubt at all your intentions or think that you have ulterior motives. And this has been a good discussion,” he said with genuine warmth.
“So the issue really is God,” I clarified. “That’s what it comes down to.”
“Well, I realize that you don’t desire God, but I know that He desires you!” I told him.
This conversation reminded me, once again, that with these teachers it is not an issue of the mind. It’s an issue of the heart. That’s why, at our booth, our goal is not to fight for Creation Science — our goal is to share the GOSPEL. It’s not evolution vs. creation. It’s evolution vs. GOD.
After two days in one location, we had to move the booth to a different location, about a quarter mile away (in the same huge building). We were a bit concerned about the moving process for a number of reasons. But the Lord, who provides above and beyond, gave us favor in the eyes of the convention center leadership staff and these kind men moved all of our stuff FOR us. Unbelievable! 🙂 (Well, not really, not when you know the Lord.)
Although this man was skeptical, he was willing to stick around for a while and talk with Tony. He said he discusses these things with his brother who is a Christian! Maybe we were an answer to his brother’s prayers!
Here Tony is showing this man the chapter on the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. At the end of this conversation, I gave him our tract on the resurrection of Jesus. At first, he didn’t even want to receive it, but when I told him it was something my sister and I wrote, then he changed his mind and happily took it. He even began reading it right there at the booth! I’d encourage any Christian to write their own little gospel tract. Sarah and I have consistently found that people receive it much more readily when we tell them it was something we wrote personally.
Please pray that the 4,000 DVDs and 4,000 books and booklets distributed to public school teachers are watched and read. Please pray that the Lord convicts hearts and leads them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
“By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, And of the far-off seas; Who established the mountains by His strength…” Psalm 65:5