@Shane Hilde: Wouldn’t surprise me if this was the the …

Comment on La Sierra Academy students weigh in on creation/evolution debate by Pastor Cynthia Clark.

@Shane Hilde:

Wouldn’t surprise me if this was the the attitude of some LSA staff. I wonder what makes them think evolution is attractive.  

Hey Shane,
My name is Pastor Cynthia Clark and I am the Chaplain and one of the Religion teachers at LSA. I gave the assignment to the senior students last year to take a serious look at evolution and creation as I knew they would have their beliefs challenged in the coming years.

LSA takes a stand on a solid 6 day creation and wants our students to be prepared to give an answer for what they believe just as we are instructed in IPeter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” I emphasize to my students that the last part of this verse is not to be overlooked. We must know what we believe, why we believe it and be prepared to explain it with gentleness and respect.

The assignment is part of the curriculum looking at the SDA beliefs. We used a number of supplemental sources including the book “Darwin’s Demise.”

I believe seniors are capable of looking at both sides of an issue and making their own conclusions. It is my job to present the SDA position and to offer the students the tools with which to establish their own personal foundational faith experience. It is not my job to force my beliefs (nor to force the SDA beliefs) on the students. Rather I must create an environment that is safe to explore opinions and seek the truth through Biblically based guidance.

You should have seen the rest of the presentation if you wanted to see balance. They understood that the “world” sees creation in a different context from those of us who call ourselves Christians. The assignment was not to show thier own opinion but to present one of the chapters of one of the sources we were using. They were encouraged to decide how they would respond. This video was just a portion of their overall presentation – which if memory serves was quite good!

On a different note – I ask my students not to post their presentations on line because they are done in a certain context as well as most of my high school seniors are still under 18.

That being said, I am proud of these young people as I am proud of all my students for not hiding from this issue. Rather they are facing it with Biblical foundation and “gentleness and respect” for all parties involved in this conversation.

Finally, LSA believes in and teaches the SDA fundamental belief of a 6 day creation with a special day of communion with our Creator on the 7th. All of my students are very clear on this point by the time they graduate from my classes. Again from IPeter 4:7,8 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply.”

Pastor Cynthia Clark Also Commented

La Sierra Academy students weigh in on creation/evolution debate
@Shane Hilde:
Thank you for “being corrected” with such grace.

La Sierra Academy students weigh in on creation/evolution debate

was there an effort in the class or in some class to address the concerns that the students had?


Of course we address the issues and concerns from all angles. My lesson plans are very thorough and complete, filled with opportunity for “critical thinking” and self reflection. These boys were not reflecting their own opinions, they were demonstrating how they thought the non-Creationist community views our beliefs. The whole unit addressed these issues.

As I stated in my response to Shane, the video was not the complete project. In fact the video was not the assignment. These boys took it upon themselves to demonstrate how they believe the world looks at creation. I think they did a good job. As Creationists and as Christians we need to live the love of Christ on this earth and be the joy that is Christ or the “world” will view us as hypocritical and silly.

As Christians we have a responsibility to understand what we believe and why. I teach this implicitly to my students. E.G. White says in D.A. p22 that “Force has no place in God’s plan.” I teach this to my students. God does not force us in to the kingdom or into the SDA fundamental beliefs. We have a responsibility to live in reflection of the kingdom that is to come, and in so doing we offer each other encouragement. My students leave my classroom knowing that Jesus is their Savior and that the SDA church welcomes them into its membership if they choose.

I want them to know why we believe in Creation and I want them to understand how the Sabbath and Jesus our Savior, are all intertwined in that fundamental aspect of our beliefs.

No worries Bob, I prayerfully offer hope and truth to my students within the SDA required curriculum for Academy students. This Creation/beliefs unit falls in the Senior year as they prepare to “face the world” outside our protective classrooms. It is my prayer that they all find a personal faith in Jesus and let the Holy Spirit guide every aspect and belief in their lives. God has trusted me with this awesome responsibility and He guides me every day to fulfill His calling.