Do We Really Believe The Bible?
by Ron Livesay
We as fundamentalist Christians and as Baptists frequently state that we believe the Bible from cover to cover, that it is the Word of the Living God, and that it is our only guide for faith and practice. That sounds very good on the surface, but it quite often proves not to be the case. Saying we believe it does not necessarily conform our practice to our statements.
Early in the 19th Century, Christians were convinced of the truth and accuracy of the Word of God. Then something happened that caught them off guard. Along came the idea of evolution, popularized but not originated by Charles Darwin. Evolution, along with the uniformitarian geology of Charles Lyell, convinced many people that science had “proven” the universe and the earth to be billions of years old. It is interesting to note that neither of these “gods” of the evolution religion were scientists. Darwin’s degree was in theology – something against which he rebelled. Lyell was a lawyer.
As the idea of evolution became popular and widely-accepted, many Christian leaders chose to capitulate rather than stand on the firm foundation of the Word of God. After all, they were men of God, not men of science. If science (based on the words of a rebellious theologian and a lawyer) had “proven” a great age for the earth, then it must be so. Christians were not qualified to question science, even if it contradicted God’s revealed truth.
Many well-meaning Christian leaders have attempted to harmonize the Genesis account of creation with accepted geology and its teaching of billions of years for the age of the earth. Christian theologians tried to reconcile the time scale of world history found in Genesis with the popular belief that scientists had "undeniable" evidence that the world is extremely old. This resulted in new teachings such as “theistic evolution” and “progressive creation,” both of which deny the Word of God. As is typical of compromise positions, the Scripture takes a beating, and the final message is watered down and weakened, with mortal man taking the driver’s seat and the God of the universe relegated to a position of insignificance.
Such things would not happen if Christians would stand unashamedly and without compromise for the absolute truth of the Word of God. God meant what He said and said what He meant. He told us what we need to know, and He did not fool us by presenting it in some way that was not true but that we could understand. Understanding of falsehood is of no value. A “god” who would do such a thing is not God, because he is a deceiver. But the Bible refers to God as the one “who cannot lie.”
Today, we are facing a similar situation in the area of education. This reality has been underscored in recent days by the lawsuit filed in August of 2005 by ACSI against the University of California System. I believe that the State Department of Education, the UC system, and other secular "educational" organizations are being used to undermine and ultimately destroy Christian schools. The circumstances that brought about this lawsuit should underscore the fact that the forces of evil will do anything to put an end to any Christian influence.
The UC system tipped its hand...when it demanded that schools, whether accredited or not, stop using Christian textbooks if they wanted to have their courses approved. This move on their part demonstrates that they are not our friends. Clearly, they are an enemy of Christian education. However, any Christian educator who might have predicted such a thing just a few years ago would have been considered an “alarmist” by most of his colleagues.
Just as Christians of the past swallowed the line of the so-called scientists, so today many Christian educators have swallowed the line of the self-appointed gurus of education. After all, they are the experts. Who are we to question them? It is important to meet their standards, no matter how much we have to compromise the truth. They might not accept our students into their ungodly and humanistic universities if we don’t fall in line and walk lockstep with them. This is very clearly an issue of power and control, and perhaps money, too.
Following such a line of reasoning ultimately causes a school to become something other than a Christian school. It doesn’t happen all at once. Instead, it happens a step at a time – a little here and a little there. Before the leadership of a school knows it, and without even trying, the school can become little more than a public school with tuition. Once that point is reached, there is very little reason for a school to continue to pretend it is a Christian school.
Our doctrinal statement contains the following section:
“Civil government is of divine origin and appointment for the interest and order of human society. Civil authorities are to be prayed for, honored, and obeyed in their legitimate, God-ordained spheres of responsibility. When civil authorities contradict or oppose the authoritative Word of God, the church must obey God.” (Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; I Timothy 2:1,2 )
It may get worse before it gets better. Nowhere are we guaranteed a smooth and easy path as we serve the Lord here on this earth. Attempts by the State of California and the University of California to ultimately control or destroy Christian schools can no longer be hidden. They have made their intentions crystal clear. We cannot allow ourselves to be taken in by them, and we certainly can't continue to join forces with them.
Psalm 1 is very clear about this. We are not to seek the counsel of the ungodly – those who leave God out – no matter how important they may pretend to be.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD…For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalm 1:1-2,6 NKJV)
The greatest educator in history is our Lord Jesus Christ, and His schools do not need the input of the secular world. The only thing that can come of that is the secularization of Christian schools. When that happens, Christian schools will, in fact, exist in name only.
It is imperative that we stand on conviction rather than preference. According to David Gibbs of the Christian Law Association, this is a legal point. He says that “a preference is a strongly-held belief; but a conviction is a belief that you will go to jail for.” If Christian schools exist only as a matter of preference, when the going gets tough, those schools will fold. Only if we operate as a matter of conviction will we be able to stand, and stand we must. BCS will only be blessed if we remain a truly Christian school, and that will happen only if we have the conviction to stand for right and for truth, no matter what the cost. When it comes right down to it, it would be better to be forced to close our doors for taking a stand for right than it would be to compromise and continue to operate as a Christian school in name only. We must, by our actions, demonstrate that we really do believe the Bible is the infallible, unchangeable Word of God. May we stand for right, and may God grant victory over evil in “this present evil age.”
Ron Livesay is the Administrator at Baptist Christian School in Hemet, CA