Ever had a fire alarm pulled on you!! I have, let me share that experience with you.
A few years ago on my son’s first ministry trip as a full-time employee of Reasons for Hope. We traveled to Knox, Pennsylvania — a great place for him to start. He saw just about everything you can imagine. It was a huge encouragement as well as . . . well, here’s the story. . .
Pastor Jack, a longtime friend, had me speak to his youth camp in Illinois many years ago and we’ve stayed in contact since then. He recently asked me to speak at the church that he now attends and, of course, I said “yes.”
The first speaking opportunity was Friday afternoon at a public school. Praise God! I was somewhat surprised when I got there and found out that it was a full-blown assembly that I was speaking at and not a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting which is usually how I get into public schools.
I was scheduled to give the talk, “Where Did Cain Get His Wife? And Other Questions About Races!” . When I found out that it would be a school-wide assembly I made the decision to switch to the “Fossils: Friend or Foe?” talk, which would challenge the students to look critically at evidence and evaluate it. The talk encourages evaluation of not only what science presents but also what I present. Since we were in a public school I removed the Bible verses from the talk and focused on looking at the evidence with a critical eye.
It was a full-house and I was given 30 minutes to speak. By the time the students were seated and introductions were made I had about 25 minutes to share. Within the first 5 minutes, it seemed that something was up. However, not with the students because the vast majority of the students were paying attention.
Ten minutes into the talk the fire alarm went off. Interesting timing! One student hollered out, “Are you kidding! Finally something that was interesting.” All of the students started filing out of the auditorium and as they passed me one said, “Thank you!” It took about three minutes to empty the whole auditorium
As we started to walk out my son suggested I take my computer with me. He said that he had overheard someone yelling at the principal in the hallway while I was speaking. This gentleman was saying that what I was doing was illegal and that he was going to record it and then file a report.
My son was concerned that someone might try to take my computer so I packed it up and took it with me. About 15 minutes later they called the students back inside. Rather than giving me 15 minutes to speak, the students were told to go to their homerooms. Hmmm! A scheduled fire drill during an assembly with a guest speaker? Coincidence, I’m sure. Nobody from the school said anything to us so we just left and went to the church where I would be speaking that night.
There were so many parents and youth that came and spoke with us over the next two days that I can’t relate all the stories. Many were apologetic about what happened. I appreciated their words, but I wasn’t upset in the least. As I’ve shared before, when crazy things happen, look out — God is about to do something amazing! We believe God is about to do something amazing again.
There is no doubt He did move at the meetings we held at Grace Church. The responses that we received were fantastic. Carl Jr. spoke twice about the messages that are contained in video games and did a great job. The parents really appreciated the information Carl Jr. shared and were shocked to hear about what is taking place in the world of video games and what their children are being exposed to in many of the games. As a matter of fact the moms came up to him and are working with him to create a community for parents to receive information on the games. They want to spearhead this outreach so he’ll be working with them to hopefully develop a tool for the parents.
As we considered the “interrupted” talk at the school and brainstormed on what we could do to get the message to the youth, God gave us a great idea. We decided to put the talk online. We connected with many of the students and parents and plan to give them the link and they can share it with their friends. So, instead of seeing the “sanitized” version in school, we’re praying that they would see the full version. Please pray that what Satan meant for evil, God will use for good!!
Something that really struck me after this experience was that the public schools have these students for over 900 hours each year and I would have had only 25 minutes speaking to them. Many in the secular world accuse Christians of being, “close-minded, intolerant and bigoted.” Well, that isn’t always the case. Yes, some of us are bone heads, but:
As Bible-believing Christians we know it is our duty to love all people and to share the precious seed of the Gospel with a lost and dying world. So why would public schools worry about a 25 minute talk that presents biblical teachings? The only answer is because it is a threat to their secular beliefs.
We love going to Washington D.C. taking people through the Smithsonian Museum. We don’t run and hide, go look at the actual evidence that presented there. If we were promoting “intolerance and close-mindedness” we sure wouldn’t be encouraging folks to go through there and look at the “evidence” for themselves.
No, because we believe in the God who created everything we encourage everyone to study and find out for themselves what the truth is. We are so confident in our faith in God and His Word we are excited to go through zoo’s, museums and aquariums and look at the teaching.
In fact, if you listen to anyone that speaks for Reasons for Hope we constantly challenge listeners to know the evolutionary model and know it better than anyone. And that’s because WE, the body of Christ, need to know the teachings of evolution better than the world. We’ve got nothing to hide from. Those without Christ are the ones shutting down conversations. Christ challenged us to “reason together”, not to run away and hide!
In the talk at the public school, that I was prevented from completing, did not and was not going to use any Christian material. All of the phylogenetic charts and the evidence that I would have presented came from secular sources, not Christian sources. When that material is evaluated using critical thinking and science, it casts doubts on the claims of evolutionary science — and actually disproves many of their claims.
When the schools are given 900 hours each year to teach secular thought, why would they not allow 25 minutes to present a different viewpoint? As I said in the sub-title, “It doesn’t seem like a fair fight.” And truth be told, it’s not! Their worldview starts to crumble when you challenge the interpretation and just look at the evidence.
Think about it, if the evidence that we present is so “ignorant”, as one teacher told me, then they should be able to easily destroy what is said very simply! Personally, I would encourage someone that I felt was an “idiot”, as another teacher implied that I was, to state their case so that I could show the students in the 859 hours and 30 minutes that I have with them just how ridiculous their claims were.
Friends, this isn’t a battle over evidence, this is a battle over the interpretation of the same evidence. Evolutionists mock creation and the Word of God. The world will scorn and ridicule you (even have fire drills) in attempts to stop you from speaking God’s truth. Remember what Jesus said,
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)
And what the apostle John said,
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
We don’t need to fight fire with fire (fire drill pun intended), the Word tells us to not repay evil with evil (1 Peter 3:9). Please love the lost enough to study to show yourself an approved workman for God (2 Timothy 2:15), and be prepared to give an answer why you believe what you say you believe (1 Peter 3:15).
Thanks for praying! And…Stay Bold!