Asking questions in the classroom - be it collegiate, high school, or younger – would seem to be a simple task of raising your hand, being recognized by the teacher, and asking the question. However, in today’s world, it seems there are certain questions that are frowned upon, belittled, or not permitted. Among these, increasingly being included are questions that contradict or show the vast weaknesses and lack of science involving evolution.
How should one go about asking questions about evolution, particularly the 15 questions from the Question Evolution! Campaign, in a classroom setting? In prayerfully considering this, I believe I have received a number of things to be done for the sincere questioning of evolution in the classroom.
1) Count the benefits and the cost.
What are the benefits of questioning evolution in the classroom? What is the cost of asking such questions in the classroom? What is the cost of not asking the questions?
Questioning evolution in the classroom may also bring great benefit. Although there are teachers who believe in evolution, some are undecided, and there are also teachers in our educational system who indeed understand the bankruptcy of evolution and who are waiting for such a question from a student to be asked so they may be permitted to have an open and honest discussion of the issue. There are likely to be other students with the same or similar questions who do not have the boldness to ask them; these students would be greatly relieved and encouraged.
Questioning evolution in the classroom can become a fear inspiring experience, particularly if the teacher is a staunch evolutionist and not open to anything that questions his/her paradigm. Questioning evolution can also bring criticism from classmates, and other pressures within the educational environment (i.e., lower grades than earned, difficulty obtaining necessary faculty recommendations).
What is the cost of not questioning evolution? There is the saying, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to be silent.” We are called to be lights in the darkness, is it right for us to hide our light under a basket? Evolution is a belief system that shrouds itself in the garb of scientific language to explain away Almighty God. Without God, there is no Ultimate Authority of right and wrong, whether on the personal level or the societal level. Without God, right and wrong, moral and immoral become hostage to whoever can enforce their desires and beliefs upon others. History is filled with the horror of the tyranny of such beliefs.
2) Ask God for the wisdom and guidance of Holy Spirit.
Much is to be said for having knowledge of the truth about evolution, and even more for having the understanding to question evolution and explain the truth. Wisdom is the ability to apply such knowledge and understanding in a way that is beneficial to others, and for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
Ask Holy Spirit to fill your mouth with the right words and questions when the time comes to speak. His wisdom far exceeds our own, and being that our Lord Jesus Christ relied upon the leading of Holy Spirit, and instructed His original disciples to do the same, it would behoove us to follow Jesus’ example.
3) Understand the question you are asking and why it is important.
Go online to the sites of Creation Ministries International, the Institute for Creation Research, Answers in Genesis and other biblical creation websites to research the questions you are asking.
It is said that a good lawyer never asks a question in court to which he/she does not already know the answer. In the classroom, we are the questioning attorney and our questions are on trial; the students are the jury, and the teacher is the judge. Be prepared to discuss the question, and be prepared to honestly discuss what you do understand, and honestly admit what you do not.
4) Recognize your real enemies.
Though you may be verbally castigated by a teacher, or ridiculed by others, these people are not your true enemies. Remember, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the kingdom of darkness in the realm of the spirit. This leads us to the next point.
5) Pray for the situation and the people involved.
Pray ahead of time, asking God for the boldness to ask your questions. Also pray for the people who are in your classroom and for the teacher. Pray for God to prepare the situation and the hearts and minds of all those who will or may be involved. Pray for them to have eyes to see and ears to hear the truth. Pray for the kingdom of darkness to be held at bay and unable to disrupt and control the conversations.
6) Be genuinely humble.
Do NOT ask these questions with an air of haughtiness or superiority, or to attempt to make a fool of a teacher, or to show off to others students. DO ask these questions with genuine humility, understanding a teacher may not be inclined to discuss them or may react badly to them. Doing this in true humility allows the teacher the freedom to not feel backed into a corner, or as though he/she is personally on trial, but that you are asking a sincere question with the sincere desire for knowledge and his/her input even if he/she is totally wrong or lacks the necessary knowledge and understanding to answer your question.
7) Walk in love.
Walk in love towards your teachers and classmates. The walk of love develops an environment of trust and security in which we are able to ask difficult questions, and prepare the precious hearts of ourselves and others for discovery of truth, and the planting of the Word of God.
8) Be respectful.
Teachers are the authority in the classroom. Look at the classroom as the teacher’s little kingdom in which they rule over the subjects (yourself and your classmates). Respect your teachers, and ask your questions with respect; honoring your teacher in your teacher’s eyes and the eyes of your classmates. Developing a culture of honor and respect in the classroom goes a long way to opening hearts and minds to the truth.
Ask God to help you recognize His proper timing for asking such questions. It is inappropriate to ask, “How did the DNA code originate?” during a discussion on the Pythagorean Theorem. However, there are appropriate times to ask these questions. In biology class, the subject of DNA will come up. Politely raise your hand, and when recognized, ask, “How did the DNA code originate?” You will be seen as neither confrontational or a threat, and may then have the opportunity to develop the discussion according to the leading of Holy Spirit.
There will be many opportunities that will lend themselves to gently asking our questions. Some may be a little more direct than others. When a teacher begins speaking about evolution, in general, it would be quite appropriate to ask, “Why is evolution, a theory about history, taught as if it is the same as the operational science?”
This question may lead to a discussion where it can be followed up with other questions from the Question Evolution! Campaign list. There will be times where questions will naturally fit in, and there will be others when a teacher may go on a rant, and one of the questions simply rises up within us so we politely and respectfully raise our hand, get recognized, and humbly ask the question. The results of such questions can be both enlightening and devastating. Timing is key in their overall effectiveness. Remember also, some teachers open the floor up for questions in general, and on days where others do not seem to have any questions, an honestly asked question about evolution is sure to bring about an interesting discussion. Do not force the outcome, but allow Holy Spirit to help you lead others to their personal discovery of truth.
Having done all you are supposed to do continue to stand in prayer, stand on the truth in true humility, and walk in love. After the questions have been asked, whatever the outcome, we must continue to walk in love, pray and be humble. In this way, the seed that was planted will be protected and encouraged to grow. Watering, sprouting and blossoming of the truth may take some time; sometimes, we may be surprised and amazed at the wonderful results.
I pray these guidelines prove useful and beneficial when questioning evolution in the classroom, and anywhere your heart is lead to question evolution.