Much of Christendom will be centered around debatlive.org tonight to watch a debate that is being billed as “Scopes II.” Back in 1925, a public school teacher, John Scopes, was accused by the State of Tennessee for teaching evolution in his classroom when it was forbidden by the state. Oh how times have changed! The trial was more of a publicity stunt than anything else and staged like a circus with monkeys running around the court lawn. The media’s coverage was massive, and not so much different than today’s liberal media. They described Creationists as “baffoons, yokels, and morons.” The trial was an attempt by the ACLU to see how far they could push their agenda (evolution) and undermine Biblical teaching.
The debate on the witness stand between Christian politician, William Jennings Bryan, and the opposing critic, Clarence Darrow, is what really brought attention to the trial. Bryan was questioned for 2 hours about the literal interpretation and the historicity of the Bible. It had nothing to do with the State of Tennessee vs John Scopes. In the end, the argument was expunged from the record and the prosecution was not allowed to turn the tables and do a cross examination. John Scopes never testified, and most believe that he never even taught evolution in his classroom. He was found guilty and ordered to pay a $100 fine. The trial (dog and pony show) was about the ACLU trying to destroy Christianity, not John Scopes breaking Tennessee law.
The aftermath of the trial cast Religion vs “Science” into the forefront of society claiming the Bible was inferior to the “science” of evolution. While it seem that the anti-evolution cause in the US was stronger than ever, by 1927 a crack had formed and Creationism slowly began losing its hold. By 1958, the National Defense Education Act was passed promoting the teaching of evolution in order to keep up with the education of the Soviet Union. The ACLU actually won the Scopes Trial because the tables are now turned. It is Creationism that is outlawed in our public schools today along with prayer and the 10 Commandments.
This evening, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” will be facing off versus Ken Ham in a debate over Evolution vs Creation. I have met Ken Ham on a few occasions and have appreciated his commitment to the literal interpretation of Genesis 1. We live in a day and age that many Evangelicals do not even believe in traditional Creation any more. Some “Christians” go as far as calling Genesis 1 an allegory in which God inserted Adam and Eve into the evolution’s ape timeline at the perfect moment in Genesis 2. Such teaching is heresy and its teachers should be marked and avoided (Romans 16:9).
I think it is important to understand what this debate is all about. I do not believe the purpose of this debate is for Ken Ham to “win” anything. It isn’t about making Bill Nye look like a fool. It isn’t about the winner beating his chest and gloating in victory. It certainly isn’t about feeding one side’s pride in who is right or who is wrong. No, the focus of this debate is above all this.
You see, dear friend, Bill Nye and many others watching this debate this evening need Jesus Christ as Savior. While I am confident that Ken Ham will present some great data and evidence for the Biblical Creation account, it would be all in vain unless he can point to the marvelous identity and sacrifice of the Creator. In essence, this debate is about Bill Nye’s faith vs Ken Ham’s faith. I am praying today that Ken does a thorough job of explaining the need to have Christ as one’s substitution for sin in order to gain eternal life. We call this, “the gospel.” To those who reject it, the preaching of the gospel is foolishness, yet for those who accept it, it is the power of God unto salvation (1 Corinthians 1:18). Would you join me in prayer today that the evidence for Biblical Creation will begin to point people to Christ and their need for salvation based upon an accurate, perfect Bible? It is my prayer also that you will be able to use this debate as a jumping point into sharing your faith with others. While we may not know all the answers or posses the intellect and education of these two scientists, sharing the gospel is as simple as John 3:16! Wouldn’t it be incredible to witness the supernatural truth of the gospel be planted in Bill Nye’s heart by the Holy Spirit? Let’s pray to that end.