Going forward, my Substack subscription will just serve as an email to let you know that I have posted a new blog article. The blog itself will be located on my website at dkroyster.org. You will notice that my website is geared towards teenagers. Please, don’t let that discourage you from reading my blog even if you are not a teenager. You will find that most, if not all, of the discussion has a ‘universal application’ to all ages. Moreover, feel free to share it with friends, family, and their teenagers along the way.
There was a lot crammed into my last blog. So, I plan to expand on some of the things discussed in there. Always, the goal of all of my blogs will be to point people to the need for God, Christ, and The Gospel in their lives.
The first point that I would like to make is that evolution is widely promoted in public education. Charles Darwin's theory of human origins is forced on every public-school student in America, and it has led to a culture of death. Ironically, even God states in His Word that He holds the keys to life and death and, specifically, those who hate him love death.
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life,
And shall obtain favour of the Lord.
36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul:
All they that hate me love death.
Yet, evolution theory is posited as the viable and explainable solution to our existence; it is not distinguished as just a theory. Moreover, the ‘fact’ portion of evolution only appears to demonstrate that there are changes within each species over time.
However, while widely accepted in the scientific community, evolution is promoted as the reasoning responsible for the existence of humankind and our universe, though, it remains unproven under the scientific method. Why? Because of the alternative, Intelligent Design, Creation.
Those in the scientific community who have questioned evolutionary theory see that the universe functions to support humankind so well, with such distinct attention to detail, accuracy, and intricacy that there must exist an “intelligent designer.” While we all know that ‘intelligent designer’ obviously, only points to our Almighty God, using the term ‘intelligent design’ helps to keep the issue non-religious in the minds of some.
Creationism and ET [Evolution Theory] do not deal with the exact same questions, as creationism proposes an explanation to the origin of life, whereas the ET explains the changes in organisms through time, and both are epistemologically organized in different ways (Sepúlveda and Hani 2004). A main conflict between these two worldviews is directly related to the teleological aspect of creationism (Egger et al., 2018), where there is a “final purpose” underlying the natural processes, a fit mechanism for the belief that a higher power has created all living beings.
For example, 4 in 10 Americans agree with the statement that God created humans “in their present form” at some point in the last 10,000 years. This view was strongly influenced by the respondent religion, and Christian respondents varied 34 and 56% in agreement with the statement, while among those respondents that declared not being part of a specific religion only 14% agreed with the statement (Brenan, 2019).
Young people are yearning for that “final purpose” that Creation, God, and the Bible provides. If you remember from my last Blog, those teenagers with whom I spoke that had either attempted suicide, were depressed, anxious, or had a history of cutting shared in common that their lives lacked purpose; what’s it all for? Further, there were times when a student was sent to me, usually upset, and would tell me, “I just don’t want to live anymore?”
What do you say to that teenager? Far more often than not, these students had no behavioral, attendance, or academic issues. [Keep in mind that this was at a high school of over 3,000 students. I had, formally, about 540 students on my caseload and interacted regularly with about another 200 students as part of a STEM Academy. There were frequently times when I was requested to see a student not on my caseload because I was the only one who happened to be available.]
To complicate the situation further, in many instances, the parents were divorced, or dad was out of the picture [i.e. in another country, in jail, or could not be located]. Mom was working two jobs to support the family and the eldest, though they were an excellent student, could never leave home for college because they could see no possible change in their family’s circumstances.
The hardest are those who never know who their father is and mom has involuntarily, or worse, voluntarily given them up, even though they might get adopted. Even teenagers in situations like this are smart enough to reason that “Neither of my parents even want me, so how can they love me?
So, why should this teenager continue to live? When I could not get the student to be more forthcoming, I would often respond with “God loves you and so do I.” That would generally lead to one of two responses from the student: “Oh, I thought we couldn’t talk about religion because this is public school.” A public-school counselor is not allowed to proselytize, of course. But if a student wants to discuss a religious-related question or issue, especially when they are considering ending their life, it’s important to be able to be open-minded and knowledgeable enough to help and support them in this regard.
The other response I would get when I would talk with a student contemplating ending their life and I told them “God loves you and so do I,” usually, went like this:
The student would become a bit exasperated and say, “You can’t say that to me; you don’t know me!”
I would respond, “You’re right! I don’t know you (very well, at least). But I do know that you are unique.”
Student: “You don’t know that; I’m not special; I’m not unique! How can you know anything about me?”
Me: “Yes, you are! You know how you came to be on this earth, right?”
Reliably, every high school student I ever spoke with seemed to know where babies come from. After a bit of ‘discomfort,’ they always acknowledged how they came to exist.
I go on to explain that, while you are a resulting creation of each of your parents that took place at your conception; from your conception forward, no matter what your parents do, they could in no way produce or create another ‘you.’ You are a unique creation.
Each of us is distinctly unique. Even identical twins are not identical; they have physical characteristics that may not be easily distinguished; however, they certainly have distinguishable personality and character differences. The fact that each of us is unique gives us inherent value. But we have value far greater value beyond that in the Eyes of God.
Some might argue that my ‘methods’ are biased. To that end, I can respond with confidence that, under my guidance, no student ever fulfilled their thoughts of ending their life. Moreover, from that initial session, many would return at a later date and discuss further their emotions with me.
Imagine for a moment if I were to tell them, on the other hand, that death is the end of their physical life, and it is final; there is nothing beyond death. Teenagers are smart enough to realize that they might as well have the time of their life now; they will die anyway; when life is done, it’s done.
On the other hand, those that believe that there is a different form of life beyond death then, consider this life in a different light. Moreover, we have the testimony of those who have had a near death experience. Though, we have the testimonies of those who have died or had a near death experience [NDE], I wanted to know and share if there were any commonalities about their experiences. So, I asked ChatGPT:
What are the parallels in those who have a near death experience?
CHATGPT: Near-death experiences (NDEs) are experiences that some people report after being pronounced clinically dead or near death, but then subsequently revived. While NDEs vary in content and intensity, there are several commonly reported elements that many people describe. These include:
Out-of-body experiences: Many people report feeling like they are floating above their own body and can observe their surroundings from a different perspective.
Tunnel experiences: Some people report feeling like they are being drawn through a tunnel or passageway towards a bright light.
Meeting deceased loved ones: Many people report seeing and communicating with loved ones who have passed away and feeling a sense of love and warmth.
Life review: Some people report experiencing a panoramic review of their entire life, often with a focus on their relationships and interactions with others.
Feelings of peace and calm: Many people report feeling a sense of peace and calm during their NDE, and a lack of fear or anxiety about death.
It is worth noting that not everyone who has a near-death experience reports all of these elements, and some people may have experiences that differ from these commonly reported themes. However, these elements are frequently reported by those who have had NDEs and are often cited as evidence for the existence of an afterlife or spiritual dimension of existence.
Although ending devotional exercises in public schools, the decision did not mean “that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education” would violate the First Amendment. The “exalted” place of religion in American society was to be “achieved through a long tradition of reliance on the home, the church and the inviolable citadel of the individual heart and mind.”
So, why have I given all this focus to evolution? Hopefully, like me, you don’t believe in it but, rather, believe in the God of Creation as specified in the very first chapter of the very first book of The Bible, Genesis. My focus on evolution was to raise an example of our need to be aware about deception, the lies that are told and promoted as truth.
“[The late] Dr. D. James Kennedy often said that most of our societal ills could be traced to the teaching of evolution.”
But, also wanted to emphasize that, to discuss evolution versus Creation, we need to go back to basics. As Warren Wiersbe points out in the preface of Be Basic of his Be Commentary Series:
“Basics are those fundamental truths that are the foundation for the decisions we make, the values we cherish, and the goals we try to reach. If you’re wondering why there’s so much confusion and destruction in today’s world, one reason is because people are ignoring or rejecting the basics. But that’s like going on a voyage without a compass or radar, or trying to perform brain surgery without lights.”
I remember, long ago, listening to a pastor on the radio in my car. I don’t remember who it was. In fact, I think it was that I was just surfing channels to find something that piqued my interests. This pastor was talking about the ‘art’ of deception and how none of us like to be deceived. Yet, however, we are deceived easily. Why? This is because often, in deception, there is an element of truth to the deception.
But probably the most consequential deception of the American mind is evolutionary theory. Even D. James Kennedy Ministries points out that “Evolution: [is] A godless state-sanctioned “truth.” “Darwin’s theory of evolution has become ingrained in society.” “But evolution is a philosophy of despair, seeing man as just a bit above the apes. How different from the message of Scripture, which states that God created us in His image—bestowing on us infinite worth.”
“[Imagine] how far evolutionary thought has invaded the American mind?”
“Evolutionary theory is taught as fact, but it’s not true, and your gifts allow us to broadcast Biblical truth to counter the lies ruling our culture. Biblical truth that can transform individual lives and our nation for generations to come.”
You can watch a 30-minute documentary video from D. James Kennedy Ministries to get more detail about the pervasive assault of Darwin’s evolutionary theory on the Image of God here:
When we accept evolution, we are denying that there exists an all-holy God, that we are made in His Image. Thus, when we die, that’s it, and our bodies just decay in the earth and there’s nothing special about our lives or our death.
So, what should the teenager of today do to combat this problem of ongoing deception. There are two tools that they need to have:
Use the God-given brain that He gave you to think and reason about what you are hearing and reading and ask yourself if it makes sense.
You need to have a trusted and biblically literate adult mentor in your life to whom you can go to ask these types of questions; to whom you can bring your crazy ideas and questions, who will take you seriously, listen, and offer insight to you to determine whether or not they adhere to God’s absolute truth. Be sure that this individual knows God's absolute truths—the truth that is outlined in The Scriptures—and tries to live by it. So, the trusted adult in your life needs to be a mature Christian in the faith and know The Bible well.
Dear adult, make no mistake, teenagers spend a considerable amount of time thinking; they are contemplating all of their sensual input from the day and trying to make sense of the contradictory information that they are bombarded with on a daily basis.
I would agree that teenagers confound the issue with all the input from social media. But this just demonstrates again that they are seeking direction and leadership. If they cannot get it from the significant adults in their life, they will look down other avenues, and that is what is happening.
You, the adolescent and/or teenager are the future of the world and this great country. Moreover, the better we, as adults, realize this, the better we can approach teenagers to help them.
Sure, children and teens can engage in some foolish and absurd ideas, at times. But, that is why they need you, the adult, to entertain their ideas seriously so that they know that, when the time comes, they can be taken seriously. Only then, will they be open to inviting you into their more serious and concerning thoughts—only when they can feel that it is safe to do so.
It is discouraging because, too often, adults view teenagers as, “Ugh! Teenagers! They’re so frustrating!” rather than trying to understand where they are coming from. Remember, teenagers have value just like every adult [and child ] does. They really are interested in what you have to think and say. It really is more of a matter of how you go about it. They are not children any more so, it really does matter whether you approach them with disdain or mutual respect.
Above all, point them to God, The Bible, and the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.
 The Holy Bible: King James Version (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Pr 8:35–36). (2009). Logos Research Systems, Inc.  Wiersbe, W. W. (1998). Be basic (pp. 6–7). Chariot Victor Pub.