Have you wondered just what kind of training your pastor has? What was he taught at seminary or Bible college? How did they teach them to handle difficult questions?
When I worked for another creation ministry, I fielded questions from the general public for a number of years. Whether phone calls, e-mails or snail mail, I handled thousands of inquires. As the correspondence became overwhelming, I trained several others to answer them the way I had, first biblically and then scientifically.
Every time something big in evolution would hit the news, I knew I would be getting a phone call from three different pastors. Water on the moon, life on Mars, feathered dinosaurs and Lucy the upright walking hominid; it didn’t matter, I knew the calls would come. All three pastors always asked the same question, “Dave, what do I do with this? What do I tell my congregation when they ask?” And I would always answer them with the same answer, “Pastor, what does the Bible say?” The first time I asked them this, they all wanted to know where to start looking in the Bible for the answer. I would ask them what the topic was about and then based on that would take them to whatever passage(s) pertained to that topic. Over and over I would emphasize that they needed to be like the Bereans and start with God’s Word in their search for answers.
For three years I had been trying to teach these pastors to think biblically. I found it disconcerting that none of the three seminaries they had attended had taught them to think biblically. Worse yet is that I discovered many other seminaries and Bible colleges also don’t teach their students to think biblically.
One morning, I heard another big evolutionary news story and prepared myself for the three phone calls. About mid morning, I answered the phone and heard an excited voice on the other end. I will never forget this call. Here is what I heard on the phone:
Dave, I know what to do with this. I know what to tell them. Thanks! Click – the phone hung up.
He never said who he was, but I recognized the voice as one of the three pastors. It was Tom from a church in Nebraska.
At first I was shocked by the brevity of the call and how excited he sounded. Then it started to sink in that after three years, I had helped this pastor to think biblically. I also wondered how many times since he had taken a position as a pastor, had he not been able to answer such questions because the seminary he had attended, which was a prominent mid-Western seminary, had never taught him or any of the others they were training for roles in pulpits across the land.
Later that day, the other two pastors, Bob and James, called and I talked to them in more detail. Again I emphasized their need to think biblically and go to the Bible for their answer and again they both had the same response of where to start looking in the Bible. I must have gone through this with both of them at least once every 3-4 months for over 3 years and still neither of these pastors had learned how to think biblically.
About 6 months later another evolutionary news story aired and only James called. I wondered if Bob had actually learned how to think biblically or had given up out of frustration. I waited a couple of days and still had not heard from him so I called him at his church. He told me that he had finally figured out how to identify the foundational topic of the news story and based upon that, he went to the Scriptures and found the passages that gave him what he needed to answer the questions from his congregation. Bob told me how much he wished the seminary had taught him how to think biblically starting in the freshman year. He went on to tell me that learning how to do this had made such a difference in his preaching and approach to God’s Word. A few months later, Bob called to tell me that he was starting a doctor of divinity program and the basis for his dissertation was the importance of learning how to think biblically when answering questions from lay people and the difference it makes in ones approach to studying God’s Word and preparing sermons.
James was a different story as I continued to hear from him for another 6 months and then I didn’t hear from him anymore. I tried calling him at his church and was told by the church secretary that James had resigned as pastor and was now selling insurance. The thought occurred to me that James had moved from selling assurance to selling insurance.
All hope for the pastoral world is not lost as I have also spoken to a number of pastors who already knew how to think biblically. However, I am sure that there still a sizeable number of pastors actively preaching from pulpits all over the globe that are still unable to think biblically, resulting in the inability to defend the Word of God when challenged by the secular world. If a pastor can’t defend the Bible against the secular world, then what kind of message does that send to their congregation?
I would urge every one of you to take a few moments to ask your pastor the following questions to see if he was properly trained to be like a Berean and turn to God’s Word for the answers.
1. Could God have used evolution to create the earth and life?
NO. Evolution has the wrong order than that listed in Bible plus death before sin destroys message of the Cross.
2. Could dinosaurs have evolved from birds?
NO. Birds created on Day 5, dinosaurs on Day 6.
3. Could there be human-like life on other worlds?
NO. Only descendants of Adam have chance for salvation as Christ is the last Adam, not the last E.T.
4. What were Neanderthals?
Neanderthals were modern humans. They were one of the groups that were dispersed from the Tower of Babel and as they moved away from the other groups, certain traits were expressed that made them look a little different than other groups. The same is true for all other ethnic groups of people with different traits and features like the Asians, Polynesians, Aborigines, Pygmies, Tutsi, European, Blacks, etc. [On more than one occassion, I have seen people walking around today that have the typical Neanderthal facial appearance, so perhaps they are still around today?]
5. Did Noah’s Flood really cover the entire earth?
YES. Genesis 7:19 – And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. Since most of the highest mountains today have marine fossils at or near their peaks, it is obvious that they were covered by water at some time. Most creation geologist believe that there was a great deal of tectonic activity during and after the Flood that started raising today’s mountains.
The answers you get from your pastor will let you know if they not only can defend God’s Word, but where they stand on creation, evolution and age of the earth.