The churches of Christ are founded on Scripture. The Bible is central to the preaching and teaching. Bible classes are used to help meet the needs of members of the church. Christ and not man is the cornerstone.
One such class named Dinosaurs and the Bible was conducted at the Villa Rica Church of Christ in Villa Rica, Georgia. In the spring of 2010, a thirteen week course studied what the Bible taught about this subject as well as what can be learned from science. There was interest in this study and caused many questions to be raised among church members and leaders. Several members had a disconnect between science and scripture. Through careful inquiry and persistent study we came to realize the searching for truth resulted in clarity and insight into this topic. We found out that what we have been told in books and other media concerning this topic, was often misleading and at times, clear misrepresentations of the facts.
One conclusion was clear. Based upon sound reasoning mankind must have lived at the same time with dinosaurs and the long age of the earth espoused by evolutionists cannot be reconciled with scripture. The more we learned the more questions we had.
In an effort to make application of what we learned, a review of the science curriculum for our county school system was conducted. We discovered that since 2006, with the adoption of new science standards, evolution has been taught as a fact of science in Georgia classrooms. We suspected this already based upon conversations with students in public schools who were also church members. We started speaking out about this matter and challenging the educational establishment to explain their practices.
In July 2010, in a meeting of the Carroll County Board of Education, a statement was read in public to the members of the board. Interest was generated and some reporting was done in the local paper. Little attention was done. In March 2011, at another meeting a second statement was made to the board. At this meeting answers were sought regarding the position of the board. A copy of a book exposing evolutionary teaching in the current adopted textbook for biology supplied by the church, was given to each board member, and encouragement to review the material was urged upon board member. The response was different this time. A prepared document was passed out to each board member. One staff member said “We can not do any thing about this for legal reasons”. Included in the document were legal cases about the teaching of evolution in public schools. Disappointment was shared by members because we knew educators have a constitutional right and Georgia provides a freedom right to educators to share their views on controversal matters. Very little information flowed from school officials to our members. They did not answer our questions. Did we not help pay their salaries? Reporters made mention of our concerns in the local Times Georgian newspaper.
Since that time little was done by school officials about this matter. Board members were contacted and interest in this matter continued on the part of the church. One comment made to us was that the standards must be taught and until that policy changes we must “do what the State says”. Our personal experience with members and board meetings gave us the impression very little convictions were held and few changes would be made.
Members of the church continued study in this area. This involved more research. Now we communicated with State officials, researched court cases, spoke with attorneys, contacted the former State Superintendent of Schools, and contacted organizations specializing in Christian apologetics. As part of this work, the Georgia science curriculum director was contacted. One member with experience in education was consequently invited to become part of the Advisory Group for Georgia. This group was charged with writing and giving feedback about a new standards project. This was to provide evidence to citizens the effort was “State led”.
At the first meeting of the Science Team for Georgia we learned evolutionary teaching was going to be expanded from what was introduced in 2006. A statement was written and delivered to each member present at the December 6th, 2011 meeting of the advisory group in Atlanta.
We contacted the local newspaper which resulted in articles printed in the paper. We participated with other churches in conducting a seminar called “The Truth about Origins” in a 500 seat auditorium in Carroll County. This was sponsored by the Bremen Church of Christ. We were reported on Channel 2 news out of Atlanta on two occasions. We contacted the four key officials that signed on the to NGSS effort for Georgia. Members visited in person the Science Coordinator for Georgia and presented our case. We worked to get the message out in the local community fair in Villa Rica. Yard signs, bumper stickers and business cards were prepared.
A decision was made to start a webpage about the work and link it to the church homepage. Our research was made available to other people in our state and nation-wide. This website continues that early work and extends in new directions.
The organization, Achieve Inc., out of Washington presented this process as state led and input opportunities by the public. In execution this was more of a wish than reality.
There were two, three week periods for public input. It was not advertized well. After we contacted the Superintendents office prior to the second period and complained about the matter, a press release was provided on their website. We worked diligently to make videos of how to give feedback and make them available. The feedback process was very cumbersome and spokesmen for Achieve spoke to us in a manner showing little interest in public opinion especially about evolution.
We have gone on the record of challenging the Darwinist to a debate over this issue. A written debate, we believe will help the reader understand why this issue is important and how misleading Darwinists have been on this issue. We first issued this several years ago and have received criticisms but no full faith offer to rational debate. We hold the conviction that a full public hearing out of this matter would reveal the fundamental problems with evolution and eventually persuade even the evolutionary activists to step away from using the schools to campaign for their cause.
Achieve was contacted again. They stated that they did recieve concerns over evolution but we would not be happy with the numbers. We asked for them and they were not given. One must wonder why this is the case.
It has become clear. Christians are not trained and ready to defend the biblical worldview to the educational establishment. Sadly many church leaders have compromised foundational truths of scripture and integrated contradictory secular speculation into preaching and teaching. May this be reversed. Read 2 Chronicles 7. A training program was developed to address the whole matter. A new Apologetics course was conducted. This was conducted under the oversight of the Georgia School of Preaching and Biblical Studies. This course provides an effective approach to Christian apologetics that has no cogent answer. The method is exposing the root cause of unbelief and confronting it at the worldview level. This method, new to many Christians, can be given to any age group, or educational level. 2 Pet 3:15. The course is offered free on our website under Education Resources.
A rally at the Georgia Capitol was conducted on April 29th of 2013. We learned from this that many are not involved in the political process. However many secular groups are and have been for several years. A video was made of this event.
This work is now overseen by the eldership of the Bremen Church of Christ in Bremen Georgia.
In 2015 additional efforts in promoting the work was done, building a petition that documents citizen opposition, meeting with legislators, and further targeted educational efforts. Articles have been placed in the Times Georgian to promote Christian involvement. In the Fall of 2015, the Georgia Dept of Education provided public comments and review of current science and social studies standards.
Georgia science leadership decided to not adopt the NGSS but to update science courses based upon previous work, teacher input and community feedback. These new standards are called Georgia Standards of Excellence and were implemented in the Fall of 2017. You can learn more by visiting the standards website here. Scroll down to see course standards.
We have done good and learned much about America and the need for a more vital Christian apologetic voice. May God help us to be good soldiers of the cross knowing the kingdom of Christ will ultimately prevail. Rev 11:15. Christianity has the high moral and intellectual ground but must be defended effectively.