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Creation: a World-view

There has been in the news recently reports of at- tempts made in several states to have “creation- science” taught alongside of the view of evolution. The theory is that “creation” can be taught as science just as easily as can evolution. Both would, presumably, be presented on the basis of “scientific facts”—not at all on the testimony of the Bible. However, there are obvious difficulties with such an attempt. It is, first of all, a compromise with the truth. How can any teacher in honesty present both views as possibly equally valid—and instruct children to take their pick? How could an evolutionist give a fair view of creation—or a creationist of evolution? But also: how could creation be taught—without reference to Scripture? Scripture itself declares that the belief that God framed the worlds is a matter of faith. But another question arises: can “creation-science” be taught in one discipline—while it is ignored in others—as history, mathematics, etc.? 

An interesting comment on this subject is found inChristian News, April 16, 1984, in which the writer, Peter J. Leithart, states:

The aspect of creationism that draws the heaviest criticism from evolutionists is probably its attempt to win a place for creation science in the public schools. Evolutionists contend that creationism is a religious position, and therefore has no place in public schools. Creationists counter with the argument that creationism can stand on its scientific merits alone, without reference to the Creator. In many circles, this battle has been waged on the wrong field and with the wrong weapons, with the result that neither position is satisfactory. Clearly, we do not take our stand with evolutionists who strive to ban God from education. Yet, it seems strange to this writer that we cannot stand unhesitatingly with a program to put a “non-religious” creationism into public schools. The problem underlying the creationist effort is the myth of neutrality. They claim that neutral observation of the “facts” will yield a creationist viewpoint. However, such a neutrality is impossible for creatures made in the image of God. By virtue of their creation in His image, men are either for God or against Him, in all areas of life. see

Matt. 12:30

There is no such thing as “neutral observation.” ….

Moreover, creationism in the science classroom will do little to ensure us a happier future. Creation is a world-view, not just a position regarding the origins of the universe. It implies a particular view of man, of the nature of reality, of moral values, and so forth. Creation may be taught in the science classroom, but will the history teacher point to the finger of God in human affairs? Will the math teacher teach creationist mathematics? Will the health teacher teach creation health? Will the teacher of psychology teach that rebellion against the Creator is man’s deepest psychological problem, and Jesus Christ, man’s salvation? Christian education involves the application of biblical teaching to every discipline. Limiting Christian faith to the laboratory seems as misguided as limiting it to homeroom prayer….

And we respond: Amen! If anything is learned from the above, it must be that the only possible way of incorporating what the Bible teaches concerning creation (and all other truths) is to have parentally controlled schools. The whole problem is not that prayer is ignored in public schools, nor that Scripture may not be presented there, nor that “creation-science” is not offered—but that the state erred first of all by intruding itself, into the realm of education. Education is a parental responsibility—and when rightly fulfilled, there is no question about subject-matter or manner of approach. Let us, then, be encouraged to continue in the necessary effort of providing our children with such an education as is in harmony with our baptismal vows.

What Are We Listening To?

Too many of our young people, it seems, are fascinated with the songs which are popular on radio and TV today. What are they listening to? Are we aware of the words that are entering their ears? Let each examine what he hears—and consider: is it pleasing to God and does it honor His Name? If not, what are we listening for? A sobering presentation was given in Christian News, Feb. 13, 1984, which quoted from Human Events:

The other day I was sitting at my desk paying the bills and tapping my foot to a pleasant little tune by Melissa Manchester called ‘”Nice Girls Do” when I suddenly realized that what “nice girls do” is have sex if it’s with the right guy in “the right situation.” Well, as you can imagine, my ears perked right up at that. You should perk your ears up, too. 

Tune in to a popular music station for a few hours and listen carefully to the words you hear. Perhaps you’ll hear Olivia-Newton-John telling you to “get physical” and communicate “horizontally.” Perhaps you’ll hear Billy Joel singing a catchy little ditty about how Catholic girls are oppressed by the Catholic obsession with chastity. Perhaps . . . a duet with Barbara Streisand that urges women to leave their husbands when they get bored with them. 

. . . Maybe you’ll hear Debbie Boone—a squeaky clean singer if there ever was one—singing about how someone lights up her life . . . gives her hope to carry on . . . and fills her nights with song. That is certainly one of the most beautiful love songs of recent years, but she ends the song with the penultimate slogan of hedonism: “It can’t be wrong when it feels so right.” 

There has been much written about the epidemic of teenage pregnancy; about what a bad thing it is for society and for the teenager; and about how we had better give Planned Parenthood more money so they can solve the problem. What I haven’t seen is much discussion about why the problem has become an epidemic. The answer, of course, is perfectly obvious. Popular culture forces our children to think about sex wherever they turn. Physical sex permeates the popular music, jiggles from our television sets, and fills our movie screens. Advertisers seem to believe that sex can sell anything, so they push sex as hard as they push the product. And many parents, impatient for their children to grow up, seem intent on pushing them into situations where they will be confronted by these factors . . . .

May we recognize the evils of our day—and the temptations which confront adults—but especially, their children. May the separation between light and darkness also show itself in what we hear and what we enjoy.

New Constitution for the R.E.S.

The Reformed Ecumenical Synod will be meeting this summer in Chicago. One of the items which will be considered is the request for a revision of their constitution. Reasons are given for that request. A summary is presented in the R. E.S. News Exchange, March 6, 1984:

“We need a new statement of purpose, new articles on authority and membership; we need new regulations; we may need a new name. We need to reach clarity on what conciliar discipline is and where its bounds lie; we also have to devise new and effective ways in which Reformed churches deal Christianly and effectively with each other . . . We should spell out what our ecumenical calling is, and how and to what extent the RES can be an instrument to fulfill that calling.” 

With these words the RES Interim Committee summarizes the reasons why it is asking RES Chicago 1984 to declare that the Synod’s Constitution should be revised. Besides giving reasons for the changes, it proposes guidelines for revision and the appointment of a constitutional revision committee. 

The Interim Committee claims that there is a spiritual crisis among the RES churches which has structural and constitutional consequences. Indications of the crisis include the termination of membership by a number of churches, deep disagreements on doctrinal and social issues, and the questioning of the membership qualifications of two member churches. The difficulties that have arisen, the Committee claims, concern not only membership in the Synod, but “confessional integrity and ecumenical witness.” In other words, the issues relate both to how we deal with one another as churches of the same Calvinian tradition and how we perform our responsibility toward the world church. “The full scope of the crisis can be seen when we consider that the points in dispute concern no less than the basis, the purpose, the authority and the membership of the RES . . . . The crisis concerns our faith and doctrine as well as our ecumenical calling.” 

According to the Committee, “we need new imaginative ways of dealing with one another in a nonabrasive, pastoral, healing way.” It also finds that the Reformed churches have not assumed their full rightful place in the midst of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. Our task among the member churches, the Committee contends, is to strengthen them in their confessional integrity and their ecumenical calling. The ecumenical calling of the Reformed churches is to learn from churches of other traditions “for their greater edification and to contribute to their (and our) continuing reformation . . . .

All of the above seems to say that there is a desire to make the R.E.S. even less distinctive than it already is, and open it further to closer ties with other ecumenical organizations. Perhaps one ought not draw conclusions too quickly—still, the above quotation does not seem to bode well for the future “Reformed” character of the R.E.S.