In July, we were in Montana to teach two weekend creation family camps at Glacier Meadows Lodge and teach a church seminar in Chester, MT, in between. Since we had a couple of days off between seminars, we decided to take the opportunity to do some hiking in Glacier National Park.
On the way to one of the hiking spots, we came across a “once in a lifetime” show. A mama bear was trying to teach her three cubs to swim across a river. She swam part-way out into the water again and again but the cubs would not follow. So back to shore she would go. Occasionally we’d see her up on the shore with the cubs following. Then she would try another spot – or return to the same spot. I can only imagine what she was telling them, but she was very persistent in her efforts.
Finally, two of the cubs followed her across the river, but we could hear the third bawling loudly on the other shore. So back across she went. However, instead of staying put on the shore, the two cubs that were already safely across followed her back – one swimming in the water and one jumping on her back for a ride! At this point you would think any mother would lose her patience or just give up, but not this mama. She continued working with those cubs until she finally succeeded in getting all 3 cubs safely across the river.
Reflecting on this experience, I am reminded of how important it is to be diligent and persistent in teaching our “cubs” the knowledge and skills they need to survive in the hostile environment in which they live. There are many dangerous “rivers” which young people need to learn to navigate in order to survive and thrive in this world with a vibrant faith. Students need careful and persistent teaching to learn to “swim” safely through the currents of popular philosophies and teachings.
There are so many dangers and obstacles to faith. Some of these are just natural hazards of living in a fallen world; others are dangers arising from our own sin nature. However, some are traps which are laid for the purpose of demolishing the faith of students and causing them to fall. (See the article “Is Deception Valuable” in our Creation Nugget posts regarding deception.)
In our experience, evolution is one of the major philosophies destroying the faith of unprepared Christian youth. It permeates our society and underlies many of the other destructive philosophies and obstacles to faith. Schools, textbooks, museums, national parks, the media, and even many churches present evolutionary philosophy as though it were scientific “fact.” As a result, many students begin to doubt or even reject the plain teaching of the Word of God. This can lead to succumbing to ungodly thinking, destructive lifestyles, or even to out-and-out rejection and mocking of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Scripture warns: “Beware lest anyone cheat you [literally, plunder or take you captive] through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8, NKJV) It also says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith …” (I Peter 5:8)
If we as parents, grandparents, and mentors really believed that there was a lion seeking to devour our children, would we be complacent or would we do everything in our power to protect them? Like the mama bear in Glacier National Park, we must be diligent and persistent in guarding our children and training them well for life on their own “in the wild.” (See our other articles and publications for resources to help train your “cubs.”)