I’ve always had a passion for teaching the Word of God to children; I have been involved in children’s church, youth group, VBS, and various other programs since I was a teenager. I think you can learn a lot when working with kids. In some ways, you have to work harder and earn their respect before they give you their attention. It makes it very rewarding. Also, kids are smarter than we often give them credit for and they learn a lot right from the time they are born, not just in school but everywhere. Depending on what they watch on television, hear from teachers or what relatives with strange ideas about the world are saying, they are listening and they will be influenced in the right or the wrong direction. Make no mistake; our culture wants to shape your child into a helpful member of society that believes exactly what they want him to believe. As far as secular society is concerned, “No God” is a very good belief system indeed. Yet scripture is clear for us as parents and leaders in the church, “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The Biblical education of children needs to be a top priority, in our families and our churches. As much as is possible, children in our Sunday schools and youth programs need to leave with a better understanding of who God is, that He loves them and He alone is responsible for their existence, no matter what the secular society says.
Every now and again kids say something that leaves an impression on your heart and changes your perspective on the world and where it’s going. Recently one such experience happened to me. It was a Sunday morning and my husband and I were taking our turn teaching children’s church. For the first service, we only had three boys, each around the age of nine. As soon as they entered, Little Jimmy (name changed to protect his identity) declared that he loved dinosaurs, that he was, in fact, an “expert” in all things dinosaur and he knew everything about them, especially where his favourite (the Allosaurus) was concerned. This is something Little Jimmy and I share. I too am a huge dinosaur enthusiast and I know a lot about them. As it happened we had been taking the class through the creation account and that day’s lesson was going to be breaking down the creation week, the order of events according to scripture and the opposing view, the theory of evolution. Perfect! I knew I could include some side notes for Little Jimmy’s benefit on his favourite subject matter and hopefully teach this expert something new.
As I went through the six days and all the interesting particulars there are to learn about how God created our universe, Little Jimmy would interrupt with refutations to the creation account. When I said God created in six days he burst out with “Dinosaurs died sixty-five million years ago!” When I said God created land animals on day six he declared, “The Allosaurus lived in the Jurassic period!” I have never met a child who actually knew the information spouted by evolutionists off the top of his head. I wondered if he had recently watched a show or read a book on the subject, it was quite impressive. I’m sure Richard Dawkins would be pleased. There were more disturbing outbursts as the class continued. When we talked about birds being created on day five he spouted, “Dinosaurs evolved into birds” and on day six when God created all land animals including dinosaurs he looked at me and said, “God didn’t create dinosaurs.” That last one was like a kick in the gut. From a young boy who had been in my class for months… “God didn’t create…” That really stuck with me. Because if he believes that God didn’t create, then there is an entire Bible after Genesis chapters 1 and 2 that has a different meaning altogether for him. How can I teach Little Jimmy about the significance of the sacrifice made by Christ for our sin, if he doesn’t believe in Adam and Eve’s creation and subsequent fall?
Later that week I thought about Little Jimmy’s confused beliefs, and my own introduction to creation and dinosaurs. The truth is no one ever explained dinosaurs from the Bible’s perspective to me either, so I assumed they were not a part of my faith. As a child I loved dinosaurs! My favourite was a Brachiosaurus, thanks in no small part to Little Foot and his mom from The Land Before Time. Anything dinosaur related I ate up! Jurassic Park anyone? It’s still one of my favourite movie series. Yet when I learned about the creation week, nobody ever mentioned where dinosaurs fit into the creation account, and since my kid’s books taught me that dinosaurs were millions of years old and no one had ever seen one alive, I was never clear on how those two histories fit together. Did God create and then dinosaurs evolved? Or did they evolve and then God created Adam and Eve? Even as a child I thought about it and it didn’t make much sense. If only there had been someone to explain to me that I was learning two opposing worldviews that contradict each other at every turn, and that there were good solid answers to my questions. I just had to know who to ask and where to look.
This is the reason I believe so strongly in teaching children in church the creation story and debunking evolutionary teachings even before they learn them at school because these lies are everywhere! They are so ingrained into our society that we often don’t see them anymore: in children’s books, cartoons, textbooks, media, and museums – everywhere! People who believe in creation are openly mocked, and what’s worse, is when our beliefs are talked about it’s never represented accurately but made to seem like outdated religion or crazy talk. Not to mention that the problems with the theory of evolution (and there are some giant problems) are never discussed! Nowadays Christians often concede that evolution is true and God’s Word isn’t, at least not all of it. They try to jam these two worldviews together, but if God doesn’t lie then evolution cannot be true! He told us He created in His word. Parents need to make sure to teach their children the truth about who God is and where we came from. If you don’t they’ll learn another version of history from someone else. That “history” has proven to be effective in pulling them away from our Creator who loves us so much that He died for us!
I’d like to address Little Jimmy’s comments: Dinosaurs died 65 million years ago, the Allosaurus lived during the Jurassic period, dinosaurs evolved into birds and lastly, God didn’t create dinosaurs. As I said before there are answers to our questions (or in this case our declarations) we just need to know where to look and as believers our first stop should always be the Scriptures because that is our foundation. It has been said that science disproves Christianity, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, over the years many evolutionary claims have been debunked or proven false, while the Bible has yet to be disproven, revealing the danger of marrying scripture with a worldview that has kicked God out.
First, let us begin with the claim “God didn’t create dinosaurs”. According to Genesis 1, the week of creation was pretty straightforward. On day 1; God created light, day 2; He separated the waters, day 3; He created dry land, grass, and herb according to its kind, day 4; sun, moon, stars and planets, day 5; sea creatures and flying animals according to their kind, day 6; land animals followed by Adam and Eve and lastly day 7; He rested. The Bible doesn’t record an exhaustive list of every bug, animal, plant or tree created instead it tells us God created everything based on functional classifications according to their kind. For example flying creatures regardless of feathers, like bats and pterosaurs would be day 5 creatures and non-flying birds with feathers were day 6 creatures. Dinosaurs that dwelt on land would have been day 6 creatures as well. There is neither time nor cause for evolution to occur in these 6 days, we cannot look at the original text and find an excuse to cram millions of years into it. The Bible is clear: animals including dinosaurs were fully formed creatures from the beginning.
Secondly, let’s look at Little Jimmy’s proclamation that “dinosaurs evolved into birds”. Textbooks and the media do an excellent job of creating a story that uses a select amount of information from all the data that is collected by paleontologists and the picture that has emerged is incomplete. It goes something like this: on a backdrop of a bursting volcano spewing lava and ash amongst exotic trees a fearless T.rex hungrily chases after his dinner, a triceratops. With his head thrown back and mouth gaping, the ill-fated triceratops prepares for the inevitable. It’s a great picture, but there is evidence of a larger, more complete story buried within the earth. Did you know that in the ‘dinosaur-era’ rock layers, there are other fossils, which according to evolution, shouldn’t be there? According to Dr. Werner, who (while researching his documentary series Evolution: The Grand Experiment) traveled to sixty museums around the world testing evolution. He discovered that paleontologists have unearthed 432 mammal species in the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous rock layers. That’s almost as many species of mammals as there are dinosaur species! They have found fossils from every major plant division and every major invertebrate animal phylum that is alive today. These plants and animals are virtually unchanged after a supposed 65 million years of evolution. Yet most impressive is that included on the list of unchanged animals are birds! It would seem that birds, the supposed evolutionary descendants of dinosaurs, lived alongside them. Some of the modern birds found include parrots, owls, penguins, ducks, loons, and the albatross. Have you ever seen an albatross in a dinosaur painting at a museum with a brachiosaurus? Or seen a sketch of a flock of ducks floating in a pond as a T.rex looks on? I haven’t, but according to the fossil record (and scripture) they existed together, so artist’s renditions should be expanded to include more animals than just dinosaurs.
Little Jimmy also stated, “dinosaurs died 65 million years ago”. There are some problems with this claim as well, but I’ll just deal with one for time’s sake. According to a 2005 Science magazine article, a supposedly 68 million-year-old T.rex bone yielded unfossilized soft tissue, including stretchy ligaments with identifiable proteins as well as flexible and transparent blood vessels, which contained remains of red blood cells, even showing the nuclei typically found in reptiles. That’s right, dinosaur bones that had not completely fossilized! This is not possible if dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, soft tissue does not last that long, it decomposes or gets eaten by other creatures and bacteria. However, in Genesis chapters 6-9 a worldwide flood is described that covered the entire planet with water. Everything, including plants and animals, was buried with water and sediments very quickly, preserving them in time. There are even fossils that preserve specific moments like an ichthyosaur found giving birth! They would have to be quickly covered and fossilized to prevent decay and scavenging. According to the Bible, the flood occurred around 4300 years ago, which offers a more reasonable explanation for the discovery of soft tissue when compared with the claimed 65 million years of evolution.
Finally Little Jimmy’s last statement “the Allosaurus lived during the Jurassic period” can be answered by all 3 of the explanations above. The Allosaurus would have been created on day 6 and the fossilized remains are dug up in rocks that were laid down during the flood with modern day animals and plants. Rather than the Allosaurus being an ancient and mysterious creature in the middle of evolving, it was one of God’s creatures! Unfortunately for those of us who love dinosaurs today, we won’t be able to see it as God originally intended, at least until the Lord remakes creation.
Rachel McDonald | November 11, 2016