Testimony of Robert J. Allen (originally written in 2006)
As a child, I lived out in the country in Illinois. I had few neighbors, fewer friends and a profane, selfish, oppressive father who only let his three favorite children (and I wasn’t one of them) go out socially. My mother was so oppressed and repressed that she could not protect herself, let alone defend and provide much for her other 5 unfavored children. We probably went to church only 20-30 times, in the whole 16-17 years of my youth. I had almost no social contacts and so failed to develop several basic social skills… (A failure that still adversely affects me. For example, I never learned to “small talk” — that important “ice-breaker,” chatting-back-and-forth that normal people do when they just meet, and/or are causally waiting out and passing the time together.) I cared about people and things, but I was shy — so much so that even when I WAS with people, I didn’t interact much. I WANTED to, but didn’t know how to do it. So, rather than risk failure, it was safer, and easier, to withdraw and just watch from the sidelines. So my books, my 50’s and 60’s music on the radio, and my barnyard animals were pretty much my only companions throughout most of my childhood.
It was a lonely, empty, boring life. I turned into myself as a way of coping and passing my existence away until I could grow up and get away from it all. A part of this coping mechanism involved building an invisible mental box around myself to keep things out…and from which I could look out at the world. I looked out at the world, not so much with hope of joining it, but mostly just to see what it was like out there.
In my curiosity to see what it was like out there, I always wanted to know the truth… The “facts” of life…the way reality “IS”. So I was always happy to learn “stuff”. I was happy to go to school…to read a book…an article… Usually something about nature…especially Astronomy, Biology, and Geology.
And I was always happy to talk about and share with others the neat-ness of stuff I had learned, and, if they would, to hear the neat-ness of stuff that they had learned and would share with me. And I collected stuff…stuff I could scrounge, find discarded or abandoned, or somehow buy…still do… all kinds of stuff: rocks, fossils, wet specimens, dry specimens, pictures, tools, gizmos, machines, books, articles…, LOTS of “neat” stuff — as my wife will (sometimes in frustration) confirm.
School was a wonderful place for me…a great escape from my boring home life…a wonderful place to get books to bring home and, in “the theater of the mind” visit new places, meet new animals… visit the planets…and the stars. So I spent most of my time, reading and thinking…thinking and reading… And whatever I learned was OK — cause it was all “true”… All “facts” about reality: how the universe, the Earth, and everything in them are made and how they all work. Facts were my friends…cold and impartial to be sure…but things that didn’t change…things I could count on.
(Now don’t get the very wrong idea that I am some sort of smart person. I’m not — as anyone who knows me can tell you. Maybe I just like facts as pretty “baubles” to play with and watch as they “sparkle” in the sun as I finger and roll them around.) But smart or not, I did learn a few things…nobody goes through life without at least learning something…
Three important life-lessons stand out as I look back at my youthful search for facts. The first lesson I learned in high school, and saw it strongly reinforced in college and throughout most of the information-providing institutions of the nation (major media newspapers, magazines, TV and radio programs, government parks and museums…). It was that this reality I have been peering out at, is all a big machine-type reality…that everything is just a huge collection of mysterious matter and energy that has been interacting in random fashion throughout billions of years to make, in a self-transforming manner, all the neat stuff in it that we can see with our eyes, our microscopes, telescopes, and other scientific instruments. There was no God in this — but I didn’t mind. Life was not very friendly for me, I had to make most of the good things happen myself, and, with the mental box I lived inside, I was managing OK. And from an early age I had figured out what “no God” meant… It meant that reality did not know or even care if I even existed. It didn’t care what happened to me. You had to make it on your own. Dog-eat dog, fight-and-scratch-to the top, or as high as you are able to make it. There was no meaning to life, no reasons for anything existing. Well, my home life had pretty well left that impression on me already, so extending that realization out into the larger sphere of the whole universe was no big change… no big deal… At least the universe didn’t make the rejection and dismissal “personal” like it was at home… And l knew that “no God” meant that there are no REAL rules of life. Sure, nations and societies in particular places had a set of rules they enforced… but they weren’t REAL rules… They were simply arbitrary rules the people in them had made up and agreed to enforce on everyone under their power. But I knew that they were not REAL rules and so I could break them whenever I wanted to, and could get away with it. I did OK… I didn’t have a great and satisfying life, but I got by…
A second lesson that stands out is that facts and knowledge are power and opportunity. Facts and knowledge impart and equip the person who knows them…, and uses them well…, to make things, fix things, find things, and get things done…to figure things out and understand things… And of course, to get a job…
In learning this, I also learned that being wrong on matters of Fact and Truth leads to trouble and injury in and to the lives of those who are misled to act on the basis of believing those Untruths are Truths. I learned that believing something is “True” when it is “NOT True”, leads to breaking things…doing things wrong and badly… bad consequences of all sorts. I learned also, that the belief in Untruth interferes with your ability to accept the Truth of the matter, should it come along later. I learned that when you believe an untruth, something has to happen to cause you to doubt that Untruth before you will be willing and able to consider the possibility that it IS an untruth and that the Truth is actually something else. The belief in the Untruth constitutes a hurdle that must be overcome before the Truth can be accepted. And until that hurdle is overcome, the believer of the Untruth is in jeopardy of always doing the matter badly, and always suffering bad consequences.
The third important lesson, was that “words” mean a lot. I learned that the details of reality cannot be accurately presented with just” any ol’ set of words”. Anyone who has published, written term papers, or just given a report or set of instructions, knows that it is often a struggle to find just the “right words”, and the right “combination of words”, that will express as precisely as possible the information and ideas you seek to communicate. I learned that by the time words make it through the editing and peer-review processes for textbooks, journal articles, and even lectures to a big extent, they are not there by accident. They are there because they were deliberately chosen to be there: to say what the author meant to say: and that these words mean what they say and say what they mean. So, if an author is advocating a particular position, he says certain things because he considers those things to support the position he advocates. And if he does not say certain things, it is because he considers those things to not support the position he advocates.
These three lessons, learned early in life, “set me up” to soon receive a real shock in my life — a shock that, years later, I still have not gotten over.
Finally, I got old enough to actually get away from that place called “home”…and I did. After that, I learned how to interact with people well enough to get by. I began living out this life of no real rules…just everyone doing whatever you want to, or can get away with. This lifestyle and behavior got me into a lot of trouble, and nearly killed several times. But, unlike some of my friends, I survived it all and lived to meet my wife,,, who was a great settling influence in my life. From the months just before we got married to the present moment, my wife has had a lot to do with all the good that happened to me.., but I shall continue to describe my life from my own private perspective.
I became a biology teacher, and then a biologist in a research lab…both natural choices considering my interests and background.
I got married, had three kids… And suddenly I wasn’t just living for myself anymore…and being able to do whatever I wanted to, or could get away with. Now, I was responsible for people…people that I loved and did not want to do wrong by. That made me start thinking about life in a way I had never needed to do before. I began wondering… How do I raise these kids?…what do I teach them? Are there rules of life that I’m responsible for making sure they know and live by?…rules that I too am responsible to know and live by? And if there ARE rules…what are they?… And where did they come from? Is there a God after all?
So, in this new life,…with new questions and concerns;… a new state, Mississippi, to live in…; a new job…; a new circle of friends and acquaintances; these and other factors all worked to bring into my life new facts (to me at least) that I had not heard before… And these new facts, changed my whole way of thinking and of seeing reality, the world, my life, …everything.
About that time, at the age of 26, finally enough new and old facts came together — and I got saved. I had come to realize that there IS a God, that His name is Jehovah, and I accepted His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as my Savior. Immediately I realized that there ARE rules…, there IS a right way to live — not just all those other wrong ways. And then I thought, no WONDER I had so many problems!!!… I was doing so many things so very wrong!!!… I also quickly came to realize that there is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to avoid…And THEN I realized…WHOA!!!!!… If I had died before that time, I would have gone to Hell. I would be there RIGHT NOW and would be there FOREVER!
When I realized how close I had come to being in Hell already, I began to look back through my life to figure out how I had gotten to that precarious position. And I realized that I had gotten so close …mostly …because of SCHOOL..I had been TAUGHT that God does not exist. And, when I realized THAT…I got mad…
Heb. 11:6 tells us “…he that cometh to God must believe that He IS…” As a result of my high school and college “education”, I had come to believe that He is NOT….that science had pretty much “proved” that He did not exist, or if He did exist, He could be ignored, for He was not needed to explain anything. I looked back at my life and realized that in believing He did not exist, I was not receptive to the “rumors and hearsay” I had heard from time to time from friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and well-meaning strangers alleging that He does exist. My belief in His nonexistence interfered with my ability to give these claims fair consideration. And it delayed the time in which it took me to finally accept Him and His Son…time during which I was rejecting Him, and doing things that can get a fella killed… and if I had died, I would have ended up in Hell… and would be there now.
When I got saved, and realized that God does exist, I then had to figure out how He fit into the Astronomy, Biology, Geology and other parts of reality I had been taught. All the facts of these subjects had been presented to me as if He does not exist and had nothing to do with any of it. I could have just decided, like many Christians have done, that He created by evolution… That He made it all to look like He hadn’t made any of it. Somehow that didn’t seem reasonable or likely to me…totally illogical. Thankfully, and right at the time I started wondering about this, I came across for the first time, some creation science literature that told me things I had never heard before…things that made sense…and that explained things that my education had not explained — and had not even mentioned. I learned that much…not “all”, or even “most”…but MUCH of what I had learned in my formal public school and college classes is NOT FACTUAL at all. I learned that the facts of these subjects had been presented in terms of the Secular overview…, the Secular paradigm that teaches there is no God. I learned that this Secular paradigm is an unproven, unprovable, and in many cases unrealistic, and actually unreasonable, mere “belief”, “interpretation”, “speculation”, and “opinion”. Yet, it had been taught to me, and everyone else in those courses, as FACT. And I had believed it — and so had most of my classmates. When I realized this “interpretation” of reality is not a fact, I realized that I had been the victim of highly-placed leaders of the system who were Atheists and were using the schools and universities to proselytize me to their belief in Atheism, in the name of “Education, “Facts”, “Truth”, and “Science”.
So, I learned that my first life-lesson had not even involved Truth at all. When I realized that I had been taught a lot of untrue “information” (an oxymoron, I know) but taught it all as if it is “True” information, I got mad — and I have been mad ever since. I trusted these people and these schools to teach me Truth. I paid them — with savings and college loans I had to pay back — to teach me Truth. I made sacrifices to make it possible for me to go to their schools to learn the Truth. And they betrayed me. They betrayed my trust in them as honest accurate, imparters of real knowledge. They basicly STOLE my money, for they took it without giving me a fair exchange of what I had paid for: an honest and accurate body of knowledge in the two professional areas I had chosen to specialize in: Biology and Education. I had been treated with deceit, hypocrisy, dishonesty… (Are you picking up on the idea that I am perhaps a little angry about this?… Can you BLAME for being mad?)
These people had taught me that “Education” involves teaching and learning both sides of an issue, critical thinking on pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, evidence for and against competing views and ideas. They had taught me that “Science” involves an openness to ideas, a free exchange of ideas…that, as a scientist and educator, I should treat students, and all people, with respect and honesty. That I should provide as much information on a subject as possible so that they can decide for themselves what view on an issue they think has the greater merit. I was taught this broadness of information is necessary in order to teach students HOW to think on a matter, instead of just WHAT to think on that matter. And yet, when it came to Biology and Education, these very people who run the system had violated the very standards they had taught ME to use when I became a Biologist and a teacher!
And school…, that wonderful place of facts and escape…turned out to be one of the major players in my betrayal. People who were Secularists had given me a one-sided presentation of reality. They had not even TRIED to give me both sides — they did not WANT to give me both sides. They wanted me to think and believe like THEM, and had used the schools as an instrument of indoctrination to accomplish that goal. And they succeeded in doing this to me — for a long time.
All I wanted to know was the Truth. I didn’t care what the Truth was…as long as it was the truth. I had accepted the Untruth that God does NOT exist with no problem (intellectually, at least). I would have accepted the fact that He DOES exist with no problem too. I would have lived differently if I had known the “God” part of reality. And I think many of my friends would have lived differently too. And some of them surely would still be alive today, as a result of living differently, and thereby not getting into the situations that led to their early deaths.
Can you see how I feel I was betrayed? Can you see how I feel we have all been betrayed?
Now, I know that everyone didn’t have the background I had, and didn’t develop the coping mechanisms I developed. So, I understand that, without those factors in their lives, many don’t feel the deep personal sense of betrayal that I feel. And if you don’t have that in your life, and that strong resentment that I feel, I’m glad for you. And I admit that, even with my past, I may be overreacting. But even without the deep-seated sense of betrayal and anger, is it not still true that, in a very important subject and area of life, untrue things have been, are still being, taught? And is not still true that people are basing their lifestyle on these untrue teachings? And is it not still true that culture wide organizations and institutions are basing their policies and behavior on these untrue teachings too? And is it not still true that all this untrue teaching is leading many individuals and whole societies to do things badly — and suffer terrible consequences? And when you know that this has all been done deliberately, is there not room then, for at least SOME of us to feel SOME sort of indignation?
How is a person supposed to take someone, or some party, that has deliberately wronged them, and so many others, like this? … Just shrug it off and say, “Oh well…” and walk away like nothing happened? Or, are we supposed to learn from such things, as part of the “school of hard knocks” we all go through in one way or another? Like parents tell their children, “Never lie to anyone, for if you do, they will never trust you completely again”, are we wrong to not trust these people now? And like the expression says, “Trick me once, shame on you…trick me twice, shame on me”, shouldn’t we be alert to — and oppose — the wrong these people have done on a nation-wide, multi generational-level?
I think there is room for anger. As a Christian, I know of a lot of Bible verses that refer positively to people having a strong emotional attitude (= anger) against, and toward, wrong doers of all sorts — including the wrong doers who teach as fact, the misguiding falsehoods and false religion of Secularism. For example: “God is angry with the wicked…” (Psalms 7:11)
“…ye that love God hate evil…” (Psalms 97:10)
“…these six things doth the Lord hate…” (Proverbs 6:16)
“… hate evil…A froward mouth do I hate…” (Proverbs 8:13)
“… A time to hate…” (Ecclesiastes 3:8)
“…hate the evil and love the good…” (Amos 5:15)
“…I hate every false way…” (Psalms 119:104)
“…I hate vain things…” (Psalms 119::113)
“…I hate and abhor lying…” (Psalms 119::163)
“…I hate them that hate thee…” (Psalms 139:21)
“…I hate them with a perfect hatred…” (Psalms 139:22)
“…hate congregation of evil doers…” (Psalms 26:5)
“…I hate them that regard lying…” (Psalms 31:6)
“…they hated knowledge…” (Proverbs 1:29)
“…a righteous man hateth lying” (Proverbs 13:5)
“…Thou hast had perpetual hatred…” (Ezekiel 35:5)
In the 8 years between leaving home and meeting my wife, I was nearly killed 4 times (twice at gunpoint and twice in dumb near-head-on collisions) living this lifestyle. I suffered damage from doing other things under the influence of Secularism. What I experienced in my close-call moments, is probably about average for a lot of unsaved males in that 18 – 26 age group. And I know that what my belief in this Untrue teaching did to ME in the PAST, it is doing to OTHERS… NOW. What am I supposed to do… Shrug the dangers off and just tell people, “Go in peace, hope you make it like I did.”? Well, yes I did make it. And so do most. But several of the people who were doing those things with me did not make it. And I daily read papers and see the TV reports of young people today who did not make it either.
So, when I got saved, I got mad — and am STILL mad– that this system jeopardized me like it did. I was still mad when this system was still in operation trying to mislead my children when they went to their universities. And I am still mad that this same university system still works today to mislead millions of young people — many of them special friends and loved ones.
Now, I realize that you don’t need to have gone through what I did in order to see what I see now. But in my case, going through what I did has given me a motivation to contend with it that I might not have had had I not gone through it.
And I realize that many people had it far worse than I had it. Some of you perhaps would have given much to lead the “good life” I led as a youth.
And perhaps, if what these Secularists in the schools were saying and doing involved only things of THIS life, it would not be so important. But what they are teaching and doing to people affects all of their ETERNITY — and the part of eternity it is influencing them to END UP IN is the part, and place, to which they really DON’T want to go.
So, I know I am rather intense about this…real “one-track” about this. And I know it is not ‘enjoyable” to be around a perpetual sour-puss, cynical, negative, combative, constantly-criticizing, never-say-anything-nice-about some-one-or-some-thing type person. I know that — and I try to put on an appearance of calmness, control, with a positive and upbeat manner and attitude.
I’m really not like that all the time…I like to have a good time… laugh, eat, sing, cut-up, etc. in get-togethers like this. But still, when I get together with folks and am having a good time, often, after a while, it just sort of comes over me to get back to work. So, I kind of start withdrawing and get all introverted… I get contemplative, meditative, and circumspect — things the Bible says we should all be doing at least some of the time anyway. I start wondering “…Shouldn’t I be off somewhere trying to learn something I need to know in order to contend for the faith better for myself or for someone else?
I can’t help it. I remember a recent statistic about how 50-80% of freshman who enter University as Christians loose their Christian faith by the time they graduate. I think of ALL THOSE PEOPLE OUT THERE being led astray daily. I think of the hard times coming into their lives as they begin trying to live the relativistic moral lifestyle of Secularism. I think of the real Hell that awaits those who totally buy into the university-pushed Secular belief system and end up never being saved.
So, I am mad — and I stay mad. I am mad at what my miseducation did to me. I am mad about what it is doing to you and others. SOMEBODY needs to do SOMETHING to stop, or at least reduce, the damage being done…, for as many as possible. I cannot help myself… I feel that I am ONE of those who is supposed to be doing SOMETHING. I know that many are called to labor in other fields — and these other fields are important too. But I feel called to labor in THIS one. I know I am not anyone’s cure-all. I don’t know all the answers…, all the science…, all the Scripture. But I know SOME of these… ENOUGH of these to help some people some of the time. And I seek opportunity to provide this help. So, I want to challenge, confront, expose, debate, and defeat, this false teaching whenever and wherever I find it being used to entice people away from Christ, “the way, the Truth, and the Light”…, “the ONLY way to the Father”. I feel an urgency about this… I think it is a God-given urgency. To me it is a constant burden…a calling … to rescue the perishing…those who being led astray. “For the love of Christ constraineth us (me): because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” II Cor. 5:14,15