Lack of respect for Scriptural authority is possibly the major reason that young people reject the Gospel today.
Last September during our semi-annual board meeting, we made a promise. Our overriding burden at Answers in Genesis is to help people understand that, when you start from the Word of God, you can answer the great questions of life that confront our culture:
Why would a loving God allow death and suffering?
Can we really trust the Bible?
Aren’t all religions leading to the same God? …
Our promise was to find creative ways to spread our vital message to a broader audience.
Well, I’m very happy to say that we are keeping our “promise” to reach into new areas without compromising the message. Let me share a few examples with you and ask you to pray for us.
We feel a strong need to reach out and equip the younger generation. Here’s the problem: how do you get the younger generation out to a “meeting with meat,” so to speak? We know from experience that “apologetics” advertising doesn’t work well. Advertising it as a “creation/evolution” teaching seminar has problems, too. Students spend five days a week in school—the last thing they want to do on the weekend is to spend more time in a classroom! And just try advertising it as a seminar on Scriptural authority and see how far you get!
After thinking long and hard, we agreed that we had to try something different to reach the college-age group. So we decided to partner with music artist Geoff Moore. Music tastes vary, but Geoff, who is a wonderful Christian example, supports our message of Biblical authority to the hilt.
On September 12 we will host a seminar with Geoff (http://www.geoffmoore.com/) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Grand Rapids, as you may know, has many Christian colleges.
Geoff and Ken together, through music and ministry, will reach out to this very tough age group. In addition, there will be a full day of teaching on Saturday. Please pray that this meeting, which is being held at Kentwood Community Church, will be successful in reaching many youth.
On October 4, we will host another seminar with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, who have formed the ministry called Living Waters (http://www.livingwaters.com/) in Dallas, Texas. (Look for our live webcast on 20 August with Ray and Kirk!) Mr Comfort is an internationally renowned Christian evangelist and speaker, who has written over 35 books, including Hell’s Best Kept Secret, Revival’s Golden Key, How to Make an Atheist Backslide and The Mystery.
Kirk is best known as Mike Seaver, of the award-winning series “Growing Pains.” He also played “Buck Williams” in Left Behind: The Movie, based on the best-selling novels. Since becoming a Christian, Kirk has been a dedicated follower of Christ, making the most of every opportunity to further the Gospel. He will be sharing the “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” message.
Along with Ken Ham, this should be a very powerful event.
Last but not least! On February 18, 19 and 20, I, along with Tom Vail, Mike Rogers and “Pastor Tom,” was privileged to represent AiG at the Pastor’s Promise Keepers in Phoenix, Arizona.
I can’t say enough to express my thanks to our hardworking volunteers for making this venture possible. There is no way that we could have undertaken it without their support. Watching these men work so hard was such a joy. In my talks, I’m constantly challenging congregations to get involved in ministry to whatever extent the Lord is calling them.
Over 10,000 pastors were present, and we were able to put material into many of their hands. We handed out 1,500 audiotapes of Ken’s message “The Importance of Genesis 1-11,” along with 3,000 books, 3,000 CDs and innumerable booklets of various kinds. We were overwhelmed by the response. There was a real interest in the material, and we believe that much fruit will be reaped by our presence there.
Over 90% of the pastors had not heard of AiG. The ones who had were extremely excited that we had undertaken such an outreach.
Let me share just a few of the experiences we had while there, so you can understand the importance of this meeting.
Bill from Voice of the Martyrs found out that we were there. He was so excited that he came over and introduced himself and said, “I’m so glad you guys are here. You are my favorite ministry.” He paused for a second and then said, “Well, I’m here with Voice of the Martyrs, so you guys are my second favorite ministry!” Not a bad ministry to be “second favorite” to, in my mind.
One of our volunteer workers, Tom Vail (who by the way takes our supporters on raft trips down the Grand Canyon—you should really consider joining Tom on one of these adventures!), was walking around and looking at the other vendors. One man with a ministry to Asia approached him with a free book. Tom asked him what he needed to do for the “free” book and was told that all he had to do was get on their mailing list for their free newsletter. Tom was a little hesitant and the man continued, “I get two publications in the mail that I read cover to cover and this is one of them. You will not be sorry if you sign up.”
Tom asked him what the other publication was. The response surprised Tom. Without blinking an eye he responded, “Creation magazine!” This man had no idea that Tom was with AiG. He also came down and thanked us for taking part in Promise Keepers.
Mike Rogers, another of our hardworking volunteers, was sharing with two skeptical pastors about AiG. They were just about to walk away when all of a sudden another pastor saw our sign and came up to us, exclaiming, “I’m so glad you guys are here. Your ministry is so good. I use Ken’s videos every Sunday night and the response has been phenomenal.” Needless to say, both of the pastors got on the mailing list. I jokingly told them that we paid this pastor to say this for us whenever people looked skeptical.
“Pastor Ben,” who works with youth and is a good friend of AiG, saw us there and shared a very encouraging story. For years he has told his young people that they needed to take a strong stand on the creation issue. One of the young ladies in his church went to college and was enrolled in a biology course. On the first day of class the teacher asked if anyone believed in creation. She found herself in a very precarious position but raised her hand anyway. The professor then proceeded to tell her that if she didn’t have a paper by the next class showing scientific evidence to support her position, he was going to fail her for the semester.
Needless to say, she was shocked and didn’t know what to do. She called Pastor Ben and shared with him what had happened. Pastor Ben then told her about AiG’s Web site and gave her some key words to search for. This young lady went to the Web site and started her search. She was able to put together a paper from the information she received there and handed it in.
The professor was forced to say that she had backed up her position with scientific evidence and that he had never heard of many of the evidence she used. (By the way, she passed the class!) Praise God for the generous support we at Answers in Genesis receive, which allows us to have such a useful tool as this Web site. You have no idea how encouraged I was by this report. Having been the person who initially created our Web site, I was thrilled to see it being used in this way.
Unless we had done things out of the ordinary, an “apologetics” ministry like AiG would not have been able to make contacts with these other ministries. In the end, we were able to sign up nearly 800 pastors who had never heard of us. We will now be sending each of them the DVD of the message that Ken Ham recently gave at Adrian Rogers” church, which will introduce the pastors to AiG’s message.
I praise God that the board made a decision to reach out in unique ways without—I want to stress this—compromising the message. Thank you for your prayers as we continue to look for ways to reconnect the Bible to a world that truly needs to hear that God’s Word is true, from the beginning.
Most of us have been taught to start our thinking from the world’s wisdom, and then occasionally we go to the Bible to find support for our position. That doesn’t lead to much “radical” thinking.
The message of Biblical Christianity, however, is revolutionary. When you start your thinking from the Bible, you can be sure that your conclusions will differ radically from what the world is teaching. Why is this? It’s very important to understand that our differences are not caused by different evidence; they are caused by different interpretations of the same evidence. We see the same facts that other people see, such as dinosaur bones and fossil layers, but we interpret them in a completely different light based on our prior bias.
Bias is any ugly word to many people today. Yet as a Christian, I admit that I am 100% “biased.” Before I begin examining any physical evidence, I already accept the Word of God as a true account of history. It’s not just a storybook with good moral values; it gives the true history of the universe, including the major events of geology, biology and astronomy. Therefore, when I look at the world around me, I interpret the “evidence” through this Biblical framework (beginning with the Creation of a good, perfect world about 6,000 years ago).
In the same way, those that don’t believe in God are 100% biased. They look at the same evidence that I see, but they come to different conclusions because they begin with a different framework for interpreting the evidence. (They already accept the popular view that there was no supernatural creation of the universe, but simply time and chance over billions of years.) They place current (and fallible) human wisdom above the revealed (and infallible) wisdom of God. They reach different conclusions, not because of the evidence, but because of their bias.
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