Answers in Genesis raises awareness says Hibernia youth pastor
Sep 15, 2011

GATOR-BIRD To poke fun at evolution, Mike Riddle shared a slide of a “gator-bird” at an AIG conference Aug. 29. Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
FLEMING ISLAND (FBW)—Students and teachers of all ages gathered Aug. 29 at Hibernia Baptist Church in Fleming Island to hear Mike Riddle, a former Marine Corps officer who holds degrees in mathematics and education, lead the last session of the Answers In Genesis Conference.

Riddle led four sessions during the two-day conference covering apologetics, the importance of having a biblical worldview, creation, evolution, and dinosaurs.

Rick Lindsey, minister of students at Hibernia, said over 900 were in attendance at the Aug. 28 evening session, with focused groups attending earlier sessions, while dozens of families sat together in the final Aug. 29 session.

All the sessions were well received and informative, Lindsey said, including the Sunday morning sessions in which Riddle spoke about biblical discernment, and the Sunday evening session aimed at teenagers and “how they can have faith in God’s word.”

“I think he did a great job of raising awareness” about the issues, Lindsey told Florida Baptist Witness. “Most people live in a bubble.”

In showing young people various resources and how to study the issues, Lindsey said Riddle “made it so easy to understand.”

Riddle made the case in his final session Aug. 29 that students are being taught incorrect information in public schools and the majority of young people begin to question the contents of the Bible by the time they are in middle and high school.  He also answered questions related to dinosaurs, the origins of man, and what people can do about what is being taught.

ANSWERS Asking serious questions about education and what is being taught in the classroom, families gathered at Hibernia Baptist Church in Fleming Island Aug. 28-29 for an Answers in Genesis Conference led by Mike Riddle. In the final session Aug. 29, over 600 listened intently as Riddle said public schools are likely “too far gone” and protected by the legal system to promote evolution and other views contrary to biblical principles. Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
Speaking of America’s biblical foundation, Riddle presented information showing America’s oldest colleges and institutions were linked to biblical training and America’s first textbooks, the McGuffey Readers, “taught morals based on the Bible.”

In contrast, Riddle said, it is clear that public school textbooks exclude the history, heritage, beliefs, and values of millions of Americans.

“In other words, we don’t teach the real history any more,” Riddle said.

Offering other information, Riddle showed 39 percent of students in middle school and 43 percent of those in high school admit to having doubts about the truth of the Bible.

“We have a problem,” Riddle said. “We have an epidemic in the church today.”

Riddle said that state school is where 90 percent of where Christian students go, and asked, “Is that where we want to send our children?”

Asking how many would go to Afghanistan to be on the battlefield without preparation, he said “the education system is the real battlefield today.”

Citing information which he said concludes the National Education Association is “at war with homeschooling,” Riddle said they did not discuss at a recent convention the cheating on standardized tests in the public schools in Atlanta; and that the addition of Pre-K to 12 to what has been a K-12 curriculum is to add diversity based and gender neutral curriculum. The NEA also supports family planning, he said, and wants to control what homeschoolers learn and who will be able to teach in a homeschool environment.

“We have a battle coming; a serious battle over who is going to raise your children,” Riddle said. “You can look it up in your latest convention and charters.”

DINOSAURS At the Answers in Genesis Conference at Hibernia Baptist Church Aug. 29, Mike Riddle answered questions about dinosaurs. Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
In explaining the prevalence of evolution as the basis for education, Riddle offered an explanation of the scientific definition. He said, “We must be discerning” because although most of the criteria is not met for evolution to have occurred, it is simply not challenged.

Some, Riddle said, are developing and marketing science curricula for homeschool and Christian educators—and teaching “creation by evolution.”

“What they are is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Riddle said. “We need to be discerning.”

Much to the delight of children—of all ages—in the audience, Riddle showed humorous slides of various dinosaur shapes and discussed whether dinosaurs could have existed with humans on earth.

Evolutionists would deny they could have, but evidence, and Scripture indicates otherwise, Riddle said. In one slide, Riddle showed what one of the long tails described would have looked like on an elephant—and other large animals.

“Commentary can be wrong and embarrassing,” Riddle said, showing another slide of engravings on a brass ring around the tomb of a British bishop believed to be from 1496. “The evidence is overwhelming at that point. It refutes the entire evolution story.”

Riddle also showed slides of what most people perceive Noah’s ark to look like, and what the biblical ark would historically have appeared to have resembled—and gave it’s proportions, the equivalent of about 530 railroad cards or 1.5 football fields long, and three stories tall. Given the facts, he said, and that only-land breathing creatures, an estimated 10,000, were on the ark, it’s possible for young dinosaurs to have been housed there during the flood in Genesis.

“You rule out the truth if you cannot accept the truth,” Riddle said. “You accept anything in its place. That’s what evolution is.”

Riddle’s remarks prompted a member of the audience to ask, “Shouldn’t it be illegal for a government institution to teach false information?”

Not skipping a beat, Riddle said the institutions are covered by state laws and protected. “The government, basically, is at war with Christianity,” he explained.

Another individual asked if there is “any hope” for public schools.

“I think it’s too far gone and it’s protected by the legal system,” Riddle said, stating that he is a strong supporter of homeschooling. “My goal is first to take back [to biblical authority] our churches and take back our Christian schools.”

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