Why?

why

 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.  Matthew 9:9

 I joined a friend, Roger Gum,  last night who did an interesting and challenging presentation on discipleship. He played a video by Simon Sinek, one of the most viewed of all TED talks, and it really has nothing to do with Christianity per se.

Instead, it focuses on great leaders – the things they have in common that most of us get wrong. It is called the Golden Circles– there are three of them. In the center small circle is the word “Why”. In the second concentric circle is the word “How” and in the last circle is the word “What”.

So far, so good. Sinek goes on to explain that we usually get stuck on the How and What, but often not the Why. When it comes to Christianity, we focus on what we do and how we do it, but we don’t often focus on the Why.  Yet, it is the Why that makes you do what you do.

For me, the illustration was profound. When it comes to discipleship, we usually focus on the What – we tell the unchurched what the benefits of becoming a Christian: you get eternal life and a relationship with Jesus. We think about How we are going to communicate the benefits as a way of attracting others.

Yet it is the “Why?” that drives leaders.  Why are you a Christian?  If you can’t answer that, then the “How” and “What” are irrelevant, particularly to the next generation. The next generation is highly self-focused – they want to know “what’s in it for me?”

We approach them with the outer two circles, trying to show them the benefits of becoming a Christian. We often skip over the “Why”.

So, what is your “Why”? Roger asked that last night, and it made me think and reflect. The answer to that simple question is really why I do what I do.

When Jesus asked Matthew to “follow me”, we can surmise that Matthew knew “Why” he should follow: Jesus was the Messiah. He didn’t need to ask the “How” or the “What”. He just followed.

We spend so much time on connecting with the non-Christian world in the circles of the What and the How, but seldom dwell on the Why.  Yet understanding your “Why?” gives you a purpose.

Simply stated, my “Why?” is that I believe in the empty tomb.  That Jesus is the Son of God and was resurrected. The evidence is compelling, even to a non-believer. Yet in evangelism, we start with the What and How, asking leading questions like “What will happen to you if you die tonight?”

Answering the Why in your life answers the question of why you follow Jesus and do what you do.  For me, it answers the fundamental question of why I write this blog, or mentor men. Writing the Blog is really a part of the “How” and What”, but it is driven by the “Why”.

It also explains why I will be getting on an airplane today to fly half across the world to Nairobi, Kenya.  I will be speaking on mentoring the next generation, and on MentorLink’s principles of leading like Jesus.

My friend, Bishop Patrick Maithya, asked me to speak at one of his churches in Nairobi.  I have spoken there before, but this time I asked what topic he would like me to teach.  His answer: False Teachers.

There are lots of topics that I would rather talk about – most of them are in my comfort zone.  Ask me to speak on millennials to Africans? No problem. Ask me to speak on False Teachers in Africa?  Big problem.

Which bring me back to the “Why”.  I understand and respect Patrick’s choice of topic, because False Leaders are a major problem in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s actually a cultural thing – many of the problems in Africa, for example, do not exist in India (they have their own problems).

In my preparation, I learned that False Teachers are discussed throughout the New Testament. It appears in every book of the New Testament, except two (Philemon and James).

But it is not taught – either here or in Africa. When did you hear a sermon on False Teachers?  I rest my case.

The challenge here is for you to think about your “Why”.  Once you have that nailed down, you can be strategic with the How and What.  Many in the next generation often recoil when presented with the How and What.  They see a lot of evil in the world. They are not attracted to what we describe as the benefits of being a Christian.

Yet the conversation may change when you introduce the “Why?” of your life.  As Andy Stanley said, I will follow anyone who announces his resurrection and pulls it off. That’s a compelling case that needs to be made to the next generation.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Be sure your mentee knows your “Why”.

RESOURCES:   Simon Sinek’s video on Golden Circles.

WORSHIP: Listen to In Christ Alone by Passion.

For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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Culture

biology

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Romans 12:2

We live in a culture, but we often don’t pause to think about it and how it shapes us. Older generations learned their cultural values through parents, teachers, mentors or coaches. Not anymore. The next generation absorbs cultural values through social media or peers.

Culture, broadly defined, is a set of customs, social institutions and achievements of a social group. The next generation is such a social group.

They are a distinct and separate culture, not just a different generation. They are learning their values from non-traditional sources in a digital world.

In science, a culture is a neutral thing – it is a sterile controlled environment that an organism grows in.  In our world, culture is not “grown” in a neutral environment, and it is no longer controlled by input from parents.

Which leads me to the millennials, the first digital generation. Along with Gen Z, they are “digital natives”. With the advent of high-speed internet in the 1990’s, followed by the introduction of the smart phones in 2007, they are unique in what and how they communicate.

Several aspects of their culture that need to be understood. The first aspect is Google, which permits one to get an answer to almost anything. Millennials and Gen Z don’t need information.

They have almost all information known to man in their hand 24/7. As a result, they don’t ask questions. They know they can “Google” an answer, even if the answer is sometimes wrong.

Secondly, these digital natives are strong on individualism.   With different apps, they can fashion their digital footprint to their individual tastes.    They customize their relationships, communication, news and entertainment to what they enjoy.

Thirdly, they are strong on tolerance which is not unexpected in a post-modern and post-Christian world. Tolerance is understanding and respecting other people. This is an issue today because every perspective is treated as equal. They won’t ask hard questions (as noted above) or dialogue with others.

As a result, they are uncomfortable in telling others what to do. Tolerance is the highest cultural value of Generation Z, and millennials don’t lag far behind. A recent report from Barna showed that almost half of Christian millennials believe that evangelism is wrong.

Sharing your faith is a core Christian value.  Jesus commanded his disciples to “share the good news.”  The millennial reluctance comes from their strong sense of tolerance for another’s views. The result: tolerance gets in the way of having  a spiritual conversation with another non-Christian. They fear that someone might take offense.

Add to that the fact that their communication is less likely to be face-to-face, but via the digital world. That alone is an impediment to sharing their faith.

The fourth cultural aspect: millennials and Gen Z lack soft interpersonal skills or what is called EQ.  They don’t have soft skills used and needed in face-to-face social settings. They may feel uncomfortable in socializing with others. They don’t know how to make eye contact or even ask questions.

I’ve been writing about the next generation for years. It takes an understanding of their culture to interact with them. For example, they may have access to information at their fingertips, but they often don’t know how to apply it, which takes a level of wisdom and experience that they don’t have.

Individualism, tolerance and poor social skills (EQ) can be a hindrance to the next generation. For a mentor, those values present an opportunity.   When it comes to information, we don’t need to give them answers, but we do need to focus on how to interpret and correctly apply what answers they get.

When it comes to tolerance, or the fear of sharing their faith, a mentor can lead them to non-offensive ways that they can do that. As I have often said, your life and actions reflect your faith, and sometimes it is the best non-verbal communicator of all.

Mentoring requires person to person contact. It is not done over social media (although texting can supplement it, such as when I will text of something that a mentee might use that I hadn’t thought of before).

Person to person contact requires developing social skills. Time together is worth the journey for your mentee. One of my mentees recently had a bad experience with an employer and wanted to know how to handle it in the future.

He was apprehensive on what to say or not say in his interaction with his manager. I didn’t solve his problem, but I aided his skill set so that he could solve it himself in the future.

We are learning that programs do not conquer things like a tolerant culture, lack of soft skills or overcome individualism. It is a process and it requires more than an event, class or lecture. It requires intentionality, which is the heart of mentoring.  It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY: Understanding the culture of the next generation is key to finding ways to engage them in a meaningful way.

FURTHER READINGMillennials Won’t Share their Faith   (NCF Giving)

Posts on Soft Skills, EQ, Google GIGO, Tolerance and Wisdom

WORSHIP:  Listen to Michael Smith sing There is None Like You.

MentorLink:For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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Good Deposit

Deposit

Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.    2 Timothy 1:14

This is a rewrite from a post I did in early 2016.  The fact that I’ve been doing this blog that long still mystifies me. The above passage comes from Paul’s letter to Timothy; it was instructive both then and today.

An old classmate put a message on social media to support a mutual friend whose sister had recently died.  The message resonated with me: it gave a word picture of  making a “good deposit” in someone else. Here’s the message:

“They marked us, you know. Your mother, Georgia, Imogene, Mrs. France, Mrs. Ferguson, Mrs. Giesleman…. all of them…. too many precious ones to name.

‘They marked us with their love, with what they deposited in us, and what we learned from them. Life lessons and skills and grace that keeps on giving our entire lives. Grace that grows within us and extends to those we encounter. Through us, their love gets re-deposited in people they will never know.”

“My sister said to me: ‘You have more fun at funerals than anyone I know’.  I had to think about that… how to take it. It isn’t “fun”…. it is joy.  Joy in the process of recalling and appreciating what those persons have given me; what their gifts in the past have contributed to my life.”

We never know how far the influence of one life reaches until it is extinguished, and people come forth with those ‘precious memories’.”

This was a remarkable tribute – I hope when I die that someone can say the same about me. I have gone through life thinking that mentoring is really no more than making a “good deposit” in someone else. It’s that simple.

When you go the bank to make a deposit to your account,  you can write “For Deposit Only” on the back of a check.  Your deposit will increase the value of what is already in the account.

Mentoring is like that – you are making a deposit in someone else’s life of your wisdom, love, experiences in order to enhance what is already there.  But the image doesn’t stop with just the initial deposit.

One of the biblical imperatives is to “pass it on” to future generations.  That’s what the author was talking about when she said that the life lessons, skills and love that were deposited in us will get “re-deposited in people [you] will never know”.

Who deposited values and character in you?  It might have been a friend, a coach, a parent or relative, or, if you are fortunate, someone who mentored you along the way.  They invested in you for your benefit, not for their own, and the expectation is that you would do the same in the lives of others.

 If someone has made a deposit in your life, don’t wait until their funeral to thank them.

Who are you making deposits in at this moment?  If you can’t think of anyone, maybe it’s time to start and be intentional in the lives of others. The next generations are desperate for someone to mentor them, but the older generation has largely ignored their pleas.

A man heard me talk about mentoring at our Friday Bible study recently. He came up afterwards to talk.   He told me that his life had been one disaster after another and that he didn’t think he had anything to offer the younger generation.

As I listened, I thought of the Albert Einstein quote: “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.”  I encouraged the man that he was just the right person to help others avoid what he had painfully experienced.  That’s what mentoring does and is.

If you think of eternity as an endless line, our existence on earth is just a dot on the line.  Hard to think of yourself as just a “.” on a line that goes to infinity, but that’s a good visual of the length of our lives here on earth.

Stacy Rinehart calls it living for the line, not the dot.

Stacy adds: “What is amazing is that we can do things in this life that have an eternal impact and bear fruit that lasts forever”. Making deposits in others is a way to live for the line – where your investments in lives of others will impact their values, character and even their careers or outcomes.

Those deposits will get passed on to others “you will never know”.  That’s living for the line, not for the dot.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  You will never know the impact a deposit has in another person or to others they pass it on to. It may have eternal significance.

 FURTHER STUDY:  Lead In Light of Eternityby Stacy Rinehart is available at Amazon.

WORSHIP:  Listen to Christy Nockels sing Waiting Here for You.

 MentorLink:For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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Adversity

Resilience

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.Proverbs 17:17

One of the root causes of millennial and Generation Z having difficulty in life is that they have been subject to a parenting style that removes adversity, competition and failure from their lives.

A recent example:  the college entrance scandal where i) parents have paid tutors to take college entrance exams, or ii) have made huge donations, or iii) faked their child’s resume so that they appear athletic.

The parents are now being prosecuted for felonies and may spend time in jail.  The children they protected must live life under the stigma of having “cheated” the college admission system.

Students who were improperly aided have been expelled from college. Given the internet and its ability to record everything about a person, their fate will last forever. Search engines like Google or Bing will bring it up in any future background check.

I have twin grandsons, both soccer players (or football to everyone outside of the U.S.).  They played a tournament in Barcelona. In their first game, they met a Portuguese team that beat them badly. They weren’t prepared for a different style of play on a shorter field.

My son approached the loss with an almost ambivalent attitude.  While losing was hard, he said it was good for them to learn “how to lose”. I admired his wisdom. In today’s culture, few parents appreciate how important it is for the children to deal with failure or adversity.

My first taste of adversity came in high school. I transferred  from a local public school to a private school 250 miles away. My classmates seemed to be adjusting well.  I wasn’t, and I almost flunked out.

I had skated through public school without doing any homework. I didn’t know how to study. But I learned.

It took a summer of tutoring and taking a make-up Latin exam for me to stay in school. My parents did not interfere although they were supportive.

It was up to me to succeed or fail.  It was not fun at the time. I came out of the experience a stronger person.

Life is not about winning all of the time. Setbacks and losses need to be experienced in order for us to grow up.

To avoid impacting self-esteem, today everyone is given a participation trophy. No matter if they contributed or not. Everyone “wins”, except they don’t deserve it.

One result is that the next generation is afraid of failure, which often paralyzes them when making life decisions. They haven’t experienced  failure, and don’t know how to overcome their fears.

An essay in the Wall Street Journal highlights cultural issues with girls in particular. Having a healthy competitive drive is seen as essential for reaching “for the top”. Research shows that girls are conflicted: they are reluctant to compete because “they have trouble managing the stress and emotions that go along with competition.”

Boys are socialized to thinking competing is fun, even if they are battling their friends.  Competition, at its essence, means that there are winners and losers. Participation trophies don’t tell you who won a contest, race, match or event.

My take on female competitiveness is colored by my wife, one of the most competitive individuals on this planet. I know of no other person who times herself on the microwave when she washes dishes to see if she can “beat the clock”.

Her competitive nature is healthy. Everything (and I do mean everything) in life becomes a game, and it’s fun to be around someone who sees life that way.

It’s important for children, especially girls, to learn to compete and lose. Letting them win when you play against them actually is counterproductive because it sends a “signal that beating them is unkind.” Instead, one should encourage and celebrate a “smart move” within the competition.

A Harvard study covers the Science of Resilience: Why Some Children can thrive despite adversity. The conclusion: “Every child who winds up doing well has had at least one stable and committed relationship with a committed adult.”

I didn’t need a Harvard study to tell me that.

The study goes on that “in the absence of responsive relationships [with a supportive adult], the “brain’s architecture doesn’t develop optimally.”

This is a clarion call for mentoring, particularly with a large segment of the next generation who grew up in single parent homes or had absentee parents in their lives.

Competition develops a sense of mastery over life circumstances and strong self-regulation skills. Learning to cope with manageable threats to our physical and social well-being is critical for the development of resilience.”

Life is learned through trial and error, winning and losing, accomplishing things and having setbacks. It is not linear.  But if you take the downside out of life, you produce a very damaged product. Having to walk the path alone with no mentor or parent to guide you is problematic.

The challenge here is that too many of the next generation are walking through adversity with no one alongside investing in them.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Never underestimate your influence on your mentee when they face adversity.

FURTHER READING:

The Science of Resiliency (Harvard)

Stanford kicks out student in college admissions scandal

Posts on Resiliency and Failure.

WORSHIP:  Listen to Holy Groundby Passion with the lyric: “Jesus Changes Everything”

Picture courtesy of Dan Rush.

MentorLink:For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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SRT

selfie cliff


Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you. 
Proverbs 2:11

 SRT is a new acronym which burst on the scene after smartphones became ubiquitous.  SRT stands for Selfie Related Trauma.  Smartphones have proliferated since 2007. One feature is the ability to take what is now called a “selfie”, or a picture of the phone user with others.

The next generation is a fan of selfies – non-stop pictures with their image along with a friend or a special place in the background.  They usually portray a happy scene, even though research shows that the next generation has more depression and suicide than prior generations.

SRT occurs when someone takes a selfie in a dangerous spot and gets hurt. Recently, a millennial lady climbed across two barriers in a zoo to take a picture with a jaguar. The jaguar attacked and mauled her. Fortunately, the injuries were not life threatening.

SRT is now being tracked statistically.  There have been 259 deaths since 2011.  The leading cause is drowning, followed by incidents from transportation (standing in front of a moving train), falls from heights, electrocution and firearms.

Every one of them was preventable. About 75% of the lethal selfies were males. The author of a recent study concluded that this has become a large “health problem”.

The study’s conclusion: They should create “no-selfie zones” around bodies of water, mountain peaks and tall buildings.  The Journal of Travel Medicine notes that taking a selfie can result in a lack of situational awareness and distraction.

The Journal continues: self-photography using a forward lens of a smart phone has emerged as a “phenomenon in recent years” and is “particularly common in young adults.”

Another SRT death was by a young  married couple in Yosemite National Park in California. The couple, in their early 30’s, took a selfie at Taft Point which has no railing and an 800-foot vertical drop.

The camera on a tripod had an image of the couple before they fell. Park rangers used binoculars to find their bodies below.

Selfies are here to stay, or at least until the next technology comes along which helps the next generation to satisfy their need for self-admiration. They are what I have called “digitally-obsessed” by social media.

It is not just a North America phenomenon:  “More people died taking selfies in India than anywhere in the world.  Way more.”  Other countries include Russia, Pakistan, and of course, the U.S.

As I have noted, the millennial in America is not much different from the millennial in the rest of the world.  85% of fatalities from taking selfies comes from those between the ages of 10 and 30.

SRT is the subject of comprehensive studies as a “growing problem of the modern society.”

The culprit?:   “Large-scale use of cell phone(s) worldwide and underlying risk in selfie behavior seems the culprit.”   One person has invented the word “selfieside”, a play on “suicide”.  Not sure it has caught on, but it’s meaning is clear.

Social media became the platform for people to post their selfies, often with remarkable backgrounds. It didn’t take much time for people to try to outdo their friends, and, Voila, we have a problem.

The BBC reported that “Even a million ‘likes’ on social media are not worth your life or your well-being.”  India, Russia and Indonesia have now started establishing “no-selfie” zones.  Russia now has graphic signs with icons showing people taking dangerous selfies with a red bar.

Thailand has gone so far as to outlaw selfies on Mai Khao Beach where tourists flock to swim, sunbake and watch planes. The planes fly extremely low overhead before landing at Phuket International Airport.

Thailand declared the beach a no-picture zone. The maximum penalty for violation is the death sentence, although you could get lucky and just 20 years of jail time.

Some instances of SRT are on the annual list of the Darwin Awards, including taking a selfie next to a wild bear.  The awards commemorate “ Continue reading “SRT”

Birthdays

birthday 

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. Colossians 1:28

There has been a long-held belief that chronological age goes hand in hand with maturity. The transition from adolescence to adulthood was measured by birthdays. You became an adolescent as a teenager.

When you reached 21, you were considered an adult for most purposes. Then, at least in the Western world, the age for certain things dropped to 18 (such as voting, signing contracts, etc. ). Most states prohibit someone under 21 from buying alcohol (which is a good thing).

But for most of my life, turning 21 was a rite of passage into adulthood and everyone assumed that it was the real test of maturity.   Well, until recently.

Starting in the 1980’s, researchers found  that the normal chronological benchmarks that had existed for much of the 20th century no longer applied. In fact, some authors saw this early on, such as Gail Sheehy, who wrote a book in the 1980’s and then another one (New Passages) updating it 10 years later to re-test her research.

Her thesis is that the benchmarks we grew up with – being an adult at 21, and middle-aged in your mid-40s – had slid 10 years. Becoming an adult did not match chronological age any more.

Sociologists like Tony Compolo wrote extensively about the impact of over-parenting in Who Switched the Price Tags in 1986.  His conclusion, as a sociologist, was that parents have raised a generation of kids who don’t want to become adults.

Not surprisingly, studies by neuroscientists have found that the human brain doesn’t completely develop until the early 20’s.

Things get even more confused by a recent push in the U.S. to reduce the age for voting from 18 to 16.  Given the research, I would think it would make more sense for the age to go up, not down.

A new study by British scientists confirms that people don’t become adults until their 30’s.  The study by an Oxford professor, Peter Jones,  basically says that the transition from childhood to adult is more nuanced and that the brain generally doesn’t mature completely until at least the age of 30.

Jones notes that the date you arrive as an adult may be “different for everybody.”  He notes that societal definitions of adulthood based purely on age “looks increasingly absurd.”

Millennials, in general, have demonstrated that they are not ready for adulthood until their late 20’s or early 30’s. Many still live with their parents. They haven’t matured to the point that they have checked off several steps that most societies use in determining someone has reached adult status:

  • Completing education
  • Getting a job
  • Leaving a parental home
  • Forming a committed relationship
  • Becoming a parent

Close to 25% of millennials aged 21 to 34 still live with their parents in the U.S. even though the recession is over and jobs are plentiful.  For those in their 20’s, the numbers are even worse with 33% of millennials living with parents. It’s the highest percentage in 75 years.

Based on the above matrix of indicators, it’s a pretty simple test of where a millennial is on the road to adulthood:  Are you still living with your parents?

This is a broad brush-stroke on maturity, but the evidence is fairly strong. I do need to say that I don’t measure all millennials by this.  I know many in their 20’s and early 30’s who have achieved adulthood by any measure, not just years.

One additional component, as Compolo noted, is the over-parenting.  You’ve heard of the “helicopter parent” who hovers constantly over their children.  Now you have a more robust version called either the “lawnmower” or “snowplow” parent, who assiduously plow down any obstacle or possible failure in the path of their children.

In one study,  graduates two years out of college admitted that they didn’t think they were “adults” yet.

There is no reliable way to determine when one is an adult other than the five criteria above. Those may occur at 20, or they may occur at 34.  The latter two – forming a serious relationship and parenting –  are occurring much later (if at all) in the millennial world.

In a future post, I will look at what happens to adolescents when they have all adversity removed from their life. Hint:  it is not a good result.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Your mentee may be old enough to be an adult from the passage of time, but inside may be ill equipped to make adult decisions. You can help them along that path by walking beside them.

FURTHER READING:

Pew Research on young adults living at home.

British Study on Brain Maturity in the 30’s.

An earlier post of mine on Maturity.

Millennials have too many Feelings and Their Parents are to Blame. Newsweek (2018)

Millennials and Having Kids – A Problem for their Parents  Forbes

Millennials Marrying Later  NY Times

WORSHIP:  Listen to Holy Ground by Passion with the lyric: “Jesus Changes Everything”

MentorLink: For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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Darwin

darwin-62912_1920               Charles Robert Darwin (1812-1870) 

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
Psalm 33:6 

It is dogmatically accepted by academia and most scientists that Darwin’s theory of evolution is rock solid and anyone who denies it is an outlier.  Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of the Species in 1859. A naturalist, Darwin used the science available to him at the time to develop his theory of evolution.

It has been accepted by science ever since despite advances in science to a molecular level from the 19thcentury.  As a result, more scientists are rejecting Darwin’s theory.

Evolution, at its core, says that all species have evolved over time by natural selection, including the human species.  To the evolutionist, believing that intelligent design by a God is heresy. But more scientists are agreeing with the concept of Intelligent Design (ID).

In order for there to be Intelligent Design, there has to be a Designer. Evolutionists do not want to admit that. That would be opening Pandora’s box.

I am not a scientist, not by any means. I was miserable when I took science courses like biology,  physics and chemistry.  That’s probably why ended up an English/Econoomics major and lawyer rather than a doctor. But I made friends with doctors like Ike Manley, a surgical professor at the UNC Medical School for a decade before moving to Raleigh where our paths crossed.

Ike Manley wrote two books: the first titled God Made, and later Slaying the Dragon of Evolution. I read his first book in the 1990’s at a time when I really hadn’t thought much about this issue. Ike’s medical school education taught him that evolution could be best explained by science.

As a medical doctor, Manley realized that evolution could not stand up to medical or scientific scrutiny. He came to believe that the human body was unique and was not  a result of some random cosmic accident.

He created the Triangle Association for the Science of Creation, whose task and goal is to increase awareness of scientific evidence that supports the literal Biblical account of creation and refutes evolution.

Our educational systems (including medical schools) treat evolution as a gospel.  Well, until recently, when 1000 scientists rejected evolution and said that Darwinism cannot explain a lot of things and therefore doesn’t hold water.

The dissenting scientists collectively state: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

Secular academics are reluctant to let go of the theory of evolution and natural selection.  If that gets thrown out, then what?  How could 87% of scientists in a 2009 Pew survey be wrong?

Michael Behe, a scientist, has written a book titled Darwinism Devolves: The New Science about DNA that Challenges EvolutionBehe notes that Darwin couldn’t know anything about molecules 160 years ago. He adds:  “The cell, which we now know is filled with sophisticated molecular machinery, was thought (by Darwin) to be made of a simple jelly called protoplasm.”

In an interview in World Magazine of Nathaniel Jetson, a Harvard PhD in cell and developmental biology, confirms Behe’s position. Jenson found that his study of cell and developmental biology actually deepened his faith as a Christian. It also countered Darwin’s theory.

Jenson’s book, titled Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of the Species,  comes down clearly on the side of the Biblical account of creation through God, the Intelligent Designer.

Why does this issue matter? Academia has become increasingly secular in a post-Christian era, even in the face of scientific skepticism over one of their coveted dogmas.  The next generation has been taught Darwinism is “accepted science” that there is no God, and He had no hand in our humanity.

Like gender fluidity, the theory of evolution is no longer scientifically valid. But for evolutionists to admit that God had a hand in mankind would be to open the door to the existence of God in a post-Christian era.

Our challenge is to not shy away from an academic tradition that is foisted on the next generation as “science”, when in fact, science does not confirm it anymore.  Christians need to push back when asked about this issue. They need to do it with scripture and science on their side.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  I urge mentors to take time to educate themselves on the scientific evidence in favor of creationism through Intelligent Design. Get your mentees to do the same using some of the materials I have listed below.

FURTHER READING:

Scientists Rejecting Darwinism (www.dissentfromdarwin.org)

God Made, by Isaac Manley is available from Amazon.

Slaying the Dragon of Evolution by Manley is also available from Amazon.

Darwinism Devolves by Micahel Behe is available from Amazon.

Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of the Species  is available at Amazon.

WORSHIP:  Listen to Mercy Me sing “I Can Only Imagine.”

MENTORLINK:  For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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