New Film Says Youth Ministry Borrows from Evolution, Paganism

The segregation of youth, the older from the younger, and all of them from adults is evolutionistic in respect of the idea that the youngest are the most evolutionarily advanced. In other words, the older one is, then to that extent that one is closer to his/her slime mold ancestors than are the youngest, therefore the older must not be allowed to contaminate the younger with ideas that evolution....the process of unending cyclical change....has bypassed, which means that evolution has targeted those ideas, and the people who believe them, for extinction. It is precisely because atheist and occult New Age evolutionists believe that religion, and in particular Christianity, is a great evil that has been bypassed by the idols of evolution, thus doomed to extinction, that they exert their efforts toward dividing children from parents, especially Christian parents, and to eradicating every vestige of Christianity from our society.

Evolutionists also hold that children must be celebrated, feted, and their every wish granted because they are "more human" than their parents, who being "less human" are necessarily consigned to the menial position of "waiting upon" and "serving" their "betters."

It is the case that evolutionists believe that a highly evolved human messiah will appear one day and usher them into the New Age, a heaven-on-earth utopia. And it just might be the case that he is here the body of a child. Linda

by Christine Dao * Whether or not your pastor talks about how belief in Darwinian evolution undermines the authority of God's Word, chances are that evolutionary thinking is already firmly established in your church.

That's the idea presented in the new film Divided: Is Age-Segregated Ministry Multiplying or Dividing the Church?1 In the documentary, filmmaker Philip LeClerc set out to discover why young people were leaving the church and turning away from God. A 2007 survey by LifeWay Research found that "70 percent of young adults ages 23-30 stopped attending church regularly for at least a year between ages 18-22."2

Former youth pastor Boyd Dellinger commented in the film:

I look back and realize I did more harm to families than I ever imagined. I see that more as I look back because I was usurping the authority of parents, especially fathers by having their children's hearts turn towards me—with their permission.1

Scott T. Brown, director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches, which produced the film, said that the age-segregated church is antithetical to Scripture.

"The church has become divided generationally," Brown told The Christian Post. "It's not doing what Scripture prescribes and is actually doing something foreign to Scripture by dividing people by age or by life stage."3

But if age-segregation isn't found in the Bible, where did it come from?

According to the film, LeClerc's research led him to the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, who said that children should be taken from their parents and trained by the state. Men like French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Sunday school founder Robert Raikes, educator and atheist John Dewey, and psychologist G. Stanley Hall also influenced the modern education system, which separates children by age.

Doug Phillips of Vision Forum said in the film:

One of the key influences in developing the modern youth culture was the creation of the modern classroom environment. According to the theory of evolution, man developed over millions of years. And there was the australopithecine. There was the ramapithecine. Then there was Neandertal. Well, men like G. Stanley Hall took that, and they applied that to child development theory. And the same child development theory was then applied to the classroom.1

The church, Phillips said, later adopted that theory in the form of Sunday schools and youth ministry. He commented:

Here's what [men like Hall] said: "We don't want six-year-olds with 12-year-olds any more than we want australopithecine with ramapithecine. We don't want the Neanderthals with the Homo sapiens. We want to keep them separated along different age groups." And consequently we had the development of the age-segregated classroom. Never seen it before. Hadn't been a part of the American history. It was a modern innovation meant to accommodate evolutionary thinking. And every time you go into a Christian church and they're breaking the barriers along these age groups, they're simply borrowing from an evolutionary platform.1

So what is the church to do? The consensus among the pastors and experts LeClerc interviewed was to put the responsibility of raising children back in the hands of their parents, specifically their fathers. And the church's role lies in teaching and equipping the parents.

"God has appointed fathers to lead their children; not for someone else to do it just because they have a college degree or some seminary training," Dellinger said. "That does not qualify someone to all of a sudden become the spiritual leader of your family."1

An acceptance of neo-Darwinian belief has had many obvious negative impacts on the church's adherence to biblical truth.4 The film Divided provides an interesting perspective on the more subtle ways evolution may be affecting the church. It can be viewed for free until September 15, 2011, on the online video sharing website Vimeo.