MY ANSWER TO SECULAR COLLEGE PROFESSORS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, June 23, 2002


"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves [accumulate] teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4:2-4).


This is a passage of Scripture which speaks prophetically of our time. It speaks specifically of what is happening in the churches. But it also has a broader application to society at large, since what happens in the churches is a reflection of the larger culture.

A student in a secular college will find that this passage of Scripture describes what happens in his classroom. The secular professor has an agenda that is against Christianity. This is subtle enough that we must break down their anti-Christian method into four points:

1. Their method of communication.

2. Their aim.

3. Their authority.

4. Their theory.

I. First, their method of communication.

I have told you that professors in secular colleges "attack" Christianity. You may therefore be surprised when you take one of their courses that they don't come right out and blast Christian doctrine. But that is not the way they operate. Their method of communication is not declamation. That means they don't "preach." Instead, they "teach."

In II Timothy 4:2, the Christian pastor is told to "preach the word." That means "to herald," or "to proclaim" the Word in Greek. Another word is used concerning those who proclaim error. They are called "teachers" in verse three:

"after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachersAnd they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4:3-4).

The word "teachers" comes from the Greek word "didaskalos" which means to teach, or to indoctrinate.

The pastor is to proclaim the truth, while the false professor of the last days teaches or indoctrinates. This may seem like a subtle difference, but it really is quite simple. The pastor says, "This is the truth. This is what you are supposed to believe." The false professor says, "The latest scientific evidence indicates." The pastor is proclaiming or preaching. The professor is indoctrinating. You must understand this difference or you will be confused right away in the secular classroom.

The pastor attacks falsehood by preaching. The professor attacks Christianity by soft, carefully planned indoctrination, never raising his voice, always giving the appearance of reasonableness.

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the great English preacher, in his book Preaching and Preachers, points out that many people today have come to distrust preaching, due to the effects of radio and television on public speaking in general. I think he is right.

The last great orator we had as President was Theodore Roosevelt (served 1901-1908). After him, radio began to have an increasingly greater effect on public speaking, so that by 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt no longer gave great speeches. Instead he gave what were called "fireside chats." Not a great speech, just a "chat" by your fireplace - over the radio. No one wanted to hear a man yelling at him over the radio in his living room. Instead, Franklin Roosevelt just talked to us - and indoctrinated us - with a friendly little "chat." If you will look at an old newsreel of Theodore Roosevelt giving a rousing speech, his arms flailing the air, and compare that to Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton giving a quiet talk on TV, you will instantly see what I mean. We have no great public speakers like Theodore Roosevelt or William Jennings Bryan today.

According to Dr. Lloyd-Jones this has had a tremendous effect on preaching in the twentieth century, and I think he is right.

But my purpose is to show you how this trend from "great speaking" to "friendly talks" has had an effect in your secular college classroom. We have become culturally distrustful of declamatory public speaking in general. Yet the Christian pastor is told to "preach the word" (II Timothy 4:2). The pastor who knuckles under to the social mores of the age of electronic media is unfaithful to his Biblical calling.

So, you must not expect your secularist college professor to preach his doctrines to you. No! No.! He will use a "friendly talk" style to attempt to indoctrinate you.

II. Second, their aim.

I want you to think about that. What is the aim, the purpose, of your secularist professor at college? His purpose is to undermine and destroy any belief you may have in the Bible. Is that too strong? I don't think so. Remember that I am a graduate of two secular colleges: Los Angeles City College and The California State University at Los Angeles. I took their secular courses in psychology, sociology, geology, philosophy, and history. I know by experience what they teach regarding anthropology, culture, and related subjects. I know by personal experience that their driving purpose is to get you to question and discard the Bible.

Now, they won't come right out and say that most of the time - although I actually had some professors who were honest enough to do that - but most of them won't. Instead, they will subtly undermine the Bible, and attack its teachings by clever, seemingly reasonable guile and trickery.

Notice II Timothy, chapter four, verse four:

"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4:4).

The Greek word translated "fables" is "muthos." It means "fiction." The NASV translates it as "myths." So, we are told in this prophetic verse that they will teach fictitious fables and myths.

Why do they do this? The answer is given in II Timothy, chapter three, verse eight:

"Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith" (II Timothy 3:8).

Their aim and motive is to "resist the truth." The Bible tells us that they "take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us" (Psalm 2:2-3). Dr. Charles C. Ryrie says, "David unveils the resolve of world rulers to rebel against their Lord and his anointed King" (Ryrie Study Bible, note on Psalm 2). Those who teach in the state-run or state-approved secular colleges and universities are certainly included in these revealing verses in Psalm two. They want to break the rule of God and throw out His teachings. That is their aim.

They may not be fully aware of this themselves. The human heart is deceitful according to Jeremiah 17:9. They may be so self-deceived that they don't fully realize that they are against God in their hearts.

Now, I must digress for a moment and ask the question, "Isn't it wrong for a young person to go to a secular college, if the aim of these schools is to rebel against God?" Not necessarily. The vast majority of college students in Bible-believing churches go to secular colleges. I do not think that this will necessarily destroy their faith. It did not destroy my faith. It did not destroy the faith of our three deacons: Dr. Chan, Dr. Cagan, or Mr. Griffith. All three of them went to secular colleges. It did not destroy the faith of Dr. John R. Rice when he went to the University of Chicago as a young person, although deep secularism and unbelief was taught in every one of the classes he took. It did not destroy the faith of Dr. R. A. Torrey when he went to Yale University, and then to Germany and studied deep liberalism and unbelief at the University at Erlangen. As an evangelist, Dr. Torrey repeatedly preached his great message, "Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God." No, attending the wickedly secular University of Chicago did not harm the faith of Dr. John R. Rice. Yale University and the liberal hot-bed at the University of Erlangen did not stop Dr. R. A. Torrey from believing the Bible! Dr. Torrey and Dr. Rice went on to become strong defenders of the Bible in an age of apostasy. In Acts 7:22 we read,

"And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds" (Acts 7:22).

Learning the ideas and views of the Egyptians did not stop Moses from being "mighty in words and in deeds" for God! The Apostle Paul studied so deeply in rabbinical school that Festus said, "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad" (Acts 26:24). But Paul's great scholarly learning from those who rejected Christ did not keep him from becoming the greatest Christian preacher of all time!

Young person, if you are attending a secular college don't let them stop you! Don't let some secular college professor turn you away from God's Word.

III. Thirdly, their authority.

The Bible tells us that they asked Jesus, "By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?" (Matthew 21:23). They wanted to know what Jesus' authority was.

You might ask yourself, "What is the authority of my secular college teacher? By what authority does he teach these things?"

Most of your teachers will appeal to what they call "scientific evidence." These words are to them unquestionable. If there is "scientific evidence" for something they say, then there can be no appeal to any other authority. After all, isn't scientific evidence proof which no one can refute?

By "scientific evidence" they mean "an objective evaluation of physical data." But the professor at your college won't tell you that the "evidence" is often far from objective, and many times is based on false evaluations. For instance, Margaret Mead wrote a landmark book on cultural anthropology titled, Coming of Age in Samoa (Morrow, 1928). This was followed by her book, Growing Up in New Guinea (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1931). These books were thought to be based on "scientific evidence." Coming of Age in Samoa was a landmark book in the field of cultural anthropology. This book made Margaret Mead instantly famous and very wealthy. She was the best-known cultural anthropologist in the world for the next fifty years.

Yet today we know that Margaret Mead's research was faulty and her conclusions were not sound. Derek Freeman, an expert on Samoan culture, has utterly debunked Mead's study in his book, Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmasking of an Anthropological Myth (see www.newsweekly.com.au/books/0813336937.html and www.stpt.usf.edu/~jsokolov/314mead1.htm - hyperlinked.  Click on here).

Mead tells of clandestine sex among the trees and of a "diluted Christianity," where the young people simply go through the motions of church participation without reverence or real need for it. Freeman alleges that not only has Mead misrepresented the data she has collected, but that she completely misunderstands the attitudes held by Samoans regarding sex and the Christian Church.

Freeman claims that Mead was hoaxed into believing what she wrote by two girls that befriended her and accompanied her on various excursions around Samoa. According to Freeman, the two girls became informants for Mead and would tell her "stories" that they "made up" concerning their teenage sexual practices (Freeman, 1991, p. 104).

One of these girls acknowledged that the two of them had tricked Mead. This is recorded in a 1987 film interview (ibid).

Even though Mead's book has been shown to be a fraud, she is quoted as an authority on cultural anthropology in a current college textbook, used at one of the city colleges in the Los Angeles area. In Cultural Anthropology by Carol R. Ember and Melvin Ember (New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 2002) Margaret Mead's name occurs four times in the index, and her book, Coming of Age in Samoa, is listed in the bibliography, on page 376. The book gives a defence of Mead on page 42, but fails to say that Mead's main source of information admitted that she lied, and led Mead into a hoax, in a 1987 film.

This unfortunate incident calls into question the "scientific evidence" which supposedly was the authority behind Mead's book. Her book became one of the main sources of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, when no one knew that it was based on questionable data. The "scientific evidence" was actually misinterpreted and faulty.

Another example of skewed "scientific evidence" is the so-called "geological table," which is found in college textbooks on geology and other science subjects. The various "ages" of the earth are laid down, like the layers on a cake, in perfect order. Then this "geological table" is used as "scientific evidence" for biological evolution. What no one tells the college student is that this geological table does not exist anywhere in the world. It is completely manufactured by putting pieces from different ages in the "order" that geologists say they occurred. This could be compared to an explosion occurring in a church before a wedding, an explosion so great that it blows the wedding cake into hundreds of pieces, and the building collapses on it. Hundreds of years later, someone uncovers the rubble, takes the now fossilized pieces of wedding cake, and then tells you what order they were in! Which one was on the first layer, which on the second, and so on. That is a good comparison to the so-called "geological table" upon which so many theories are based. Their "scientific evidence" is based on a hoax!

IV. Fourth, their theory.

The last point I will speak on tonight is the theory which lies in back of virtually every false teaching in the secular colleges of our day. It is the theory of evolution. In one form or another, evolution is behind nearly every anti-Christian teaching in secularism. In biology, it teaches that man evolved from lower life forms. In religion, it teaches that the idea of one God evolved from the belief in many gods. In anthropology, it teaches that one culture evolves from another. Forms of evolutionary theory even appear in the study of literature and history. The idea of evolution, in fields as diverse as theology and biology, has undermined the authority of the Bible more than any other theory in the modern world.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says:

The idea of evolution has penetrated many other departments of thought. Anthropology and ethnology are permeated with it, and so are history and comparative religion. Modern psychology recognizes that the human mind is unintelligible without an evolutionary background. The idea of evolution has reemphasized our kinship with the animals; it has dethroned man from his position as lord of creation (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1946, volume 8, p. 916).

It is evolution, more than any other theory, which has been used to dethrone God and debunk the Bible. But many modern scientists are now questioning the reliability of neo-Darwinism. For instance, Jerry Coyne, of the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, says:

We conclude - unexpectedly - that there is little evidence for the neo-Darwinian view: its theoretical foundations and the experimental evidence supporting it are weak (H. A. Orr and J. A. Coyne, "The Genetics of Adaptation: A Reassessment," American Naturalist, pp. 140, 176).

Michael Behe, associate professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, says, "Mathematicians over the years have complained that Darwinism's numbers just do not add up" (Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box, New York, The Free Press, 1996, p. 29).

The subjects that you take in a secular college classroom are virtually all based on the suppositions of the various branches of evolutionary theory.

Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer pointed out that the Darwinian idea of the "survival of the fittest" led to the fascism of Nazi Germany (How Should We Then Live?, Revell, 1976, p. 151). He went on to say that Darwinism is currently used to support genetic engineering (ibid). "The Survival of the Fittest" can easily be documented as the theory behind Margaret Sanger's "birth control" movement and the Abortion Holocaust, which has already claimed the lives of over 40 million people in America alone.

As a young person attending a secular university in the 1960s, I came to the conclusion that my professors had nothing to offer me but a hopeless, Godless, bleak and empty future. I therefore made a conscious decision to learn what they taught and to pass their exams and to graduate from their school. But I also made a conscious decision not to believe their philosophy of life! I consciously and deliberately decided that I would believe the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Turn with me to I Corinthians, chapter one, verse eighteen for the conclusion of the matter:

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God"     (I Corinthians 1:18-24).

That is our message to a confused and darkened world - "Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." Christ! Christ! Christ! "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said" (Matthew 28:6).


(END OF SERMON)


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: II Timothy 4:1-4.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "The Strife Is O'er"

(Latin c.1695 translated by Francis Pott, 1832-1909)

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."

THE OUTLINE OF

MY ANSWER TO SECULAR COLLEGE PROFESSORS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves [accumulate] teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4:2-4).

I.   Their method of communication, II Timothy 4:3-4, 2.

II.  Their aim, II Timothy 4:4; II Timothy 3:8; Psalm 2:2-3;
Jeremiah 17:9; Acts 7:22; Acts 26:24.

III. Their authority, Matthew 21:23.

IV. Their theory, I Corinthians 1:18-24; Matthew 28:6.