Louie Bishop received a B.S. in Business from the University of California at Davis. Afterward, he attended the Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism. He then worked as a Bible worker for two churches in Trinity County, California.
I came to La Sierra University knowing the popular scientific views regarding life on earth. I previously attended a secular university, where evolution was taught. That is one reason I chose La Sierra University to begin pre-medicine classes. The first day of General Biology 2 I sat down only to see Charles Darwin’s face on the first slide. In my opinion, there would be no problem with that, except for the fact that we were taught only evolutionary principles of life for the next several weeks, and were told they were the truth. In fact, we were told Evolution “is the single unifying explanation of the living world, and nothing makes much, if any, sense outside of this unifying theory.”
After a few class lectures, I sat down to talk with Biology department head Dr. Wilson. Though it has now been almost five months since that meeting, I distinctly remember him saying “I was afraid this was going to happen.” In other words, he was not looking forward to the day when someone would take a stand and speak up concerning the teachings of the Biology department. Not to go unsaid, I have had many good conversations with members of the Biology department, including Dr. Lee Greer. He has taken the time to talk with me for over an hour on a number of occasions, providing me with reasons for his views of life on earth. I respect him for the fact that he has studied both the Bible and science to a great extent, and is convicted concerning what he believes. Yet what he and many others teaching Biology at La Sierra believe and teach involves many assumptions, and most importantly, is contradictory to the clear messages of the Bible. This fact was made clear to me when I attended one of Dr. Greer’s worship “breakouts.” He talked about the Biblical Creation accounts in detail, and concluded that Genesis chapters 1 and 2 are contradictory accounts. The message I received was a message of doubt toward the Bible, which is no doubt what many other students were led to feel. I can now believe this is happening on a Seventh-Day Adventist campus, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes!
It is a fact that Evolution is being taught and promoted by professors of Biology on the La Sierra University campus. They are obviously welcome to hold such views, yet I believe they have come to the wrong place to promote those beliefs. I know that La Sierra was founded for the purpose of raising up young people to share God’s message of mercy and truth with the world – young people who, out of their own free will choose to say “What does the Bible say?” Yet many young people on the La Sierra University campus are being led to doubt their beliefs. I asked my lab TA during Winter Quarter what her views were concerning Evolution vs. a literal Creation week. She ended up giving me her testimony at La Sierra. She told me that she was the daughter of a Seventh-Day Adventist pastor, and that she came to La Sierra to study Biology. After going through General Biology and being presented with the theory of evolution, she wrestled with her faith in God and seemed to find some middle ground. She then took a Senior Capstone course entitled “Religious, Social, and Moral Aspects of Biology.” She was presented with all the “evidence” that seems to support Evolution, and now considers herself to be an agnostic.
I won’t go without referring to the blessings of my experience at La Sierra. This Spring Quarter, Professor Perumal has taught Biology with contagious excitement. His teaching has given me and others good reason to study hard. Professor Perumal tells me that he is a creationist, and we also have enjoyed some good discussions. Yet I see where this could make any student very confused. Last quarter we were told that Evolution is the truth. This quarter we have still studied Evolution via secular class materials, but at a lesser intensity. My point is that only Evolution is presented and studied at an objective level. My teacher this quarter has spoken openly of the glory of God in nature, and for that I am thankful! But evidence for a young-age earth, in support of the Biblical account, is not presented for study. The objective support of the Bible is not touched on. So in the mind of many students, you have objective “Science” seeming to overshadow the Biblical account, leaving them trying to balance contradictory teachings. In my mind this has a tendency to lift up the teachings of man, and belittle the authoritative utterances of the word of God. This either leads to doubt toward the Bible, or leads to extreme Biblical reinterpretations which pick and choose what fits. The Bible is made subject to man’s teachings. If I was an eighteen year old freshman, I honestly can tell you, I don’t know what I would be putting my faith in right now.
I have shared this testimony to show the reality of what is taking place on a Seventh-Day Adventist campus. I know that there are many parents who are sending their sons and daughters to our schools trusting that they will be grounded in their faith, and that they will be taught that the Bible is the authority in all matters of faith and duty. I believe they should receive a return on their generous investment in a Seventh-Day Adventist education. How about you? Please share these realities with your friends and family, that we as a church body can make our voices heard.
“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female?'” Matthew 19:4.