Australia--Is the Church Dying?

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During the last week, I received a number of news items and emails from Australia—so I thought I would devote this blog to talking about the latest from my homeland of Australia.

An article from Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald begins with these alarming statements:

THE number of Australians identifying themselves as Christian will plummet over the next 20 years as an ageing generation of dedicated churchgoers dies out, analysis of census figures shows. Painting a bleak future for Christian faiths, the Christian Research Association predicts the ranks of non-believers will steadily grow while there will not be enough young converts to replace elderly congregations.
The research also questions one of the few success stories of Christianity, the Pentecostal churches, challenging assertions that they are hotbeds of Christian recruitment.
You can read the entire article at the SMH website.

CHRISTIANITY WANING? There is no doubt Christianity has greatly waned throughout the Western World (as the article about Australia confirms for that country). Churches have been closing down all across Europe and the United Kingdom. England is largely a pagan country with little influence from the Christian community compared to years ago. Even across the once-very-Christian USA, we observe the culture becoming less Christian every day. However in the U.S., there is still a great Christian influence—and there is no doubt the biblical creation ministry has impacted the entire nation.

I believe the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum is one such shining light in the Western World. On C-SPAN* just recently (featuring political debates and talks, interviewing book authors, etc.), a group of atheists was discussing things in America, and Ken Ham and the Creation Museum were specifically mentioned! The Creation Museum still receives media requests daily (Fox News Channel will be at the Museum this week). Secular museums and secular science and education conferences specifically talk about the Creation Museum. Secular scientists and organized atheists are doing lectures on the inroads of the Creation Ministry.

Just yesterday, nearly 3,500 people visited the Museum in 8-9 hours. The total visitors since opening week five months ago: nearly 240,000. I mingled with the crowds (and it was crowded yesterday!) for some time. One man came and said “to me your ministry reminds me of that of Noah. He was warning people about coming judgment and you are warning people in this day and age about coming judgment—thus the need to be in the Ark of Salvation.”

Everywhere I go people are talking about the Museum. We do need to praise the Lord for the impact of ministries like AiG/Creation Museum on American church and culture—but we do need to pray that there will be much more Christian/creation/gospel teaching in countries like Australia and Europe—in fact all countries! There can never be enough such ministry going on in this world where so many are lost.

AiG REACHING OUT AROUND THE WORLD

It is only a week to when Mally and I and a team from AiG go to the Pacific island of Saipan so my basic creation/gospel/worldview/biblical authority talks can be videotaped and translated into Chinese. Once these are completed, we will have these basic talks in Spanish and Chinese!

7 C’s IN AUSTRALIA

My sister Rosemary teaches at a large Christian school in Australia. She told me this week that she (and other teachers) have been using AiG’s 7 C’s curriculum to teach to their grades 1-4 students. She told me that a Christian professor from a college was in her class last week, and was amazed that these students really did understand the basic concepts of Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, etc. at this age level. Rosemary emailed me saying: “He thought the lesson was too hard for the kids until he started hearing them pass comments and answer questions. We have been doing the 7C's with our Year ones and fours and are up to the last 2 this term. He went around the children to look at what they were doing and said to one of my boys - What happened to the woolly Mammoth? The little 6 year old turned to him and said Well, Adam and Eve sinned so bad things started happening …He could explain how the flood affected things and that the same thing happened to the dinosaurs …”

I have supplied Rosemary and others at this school with a number of AiG materials—and will bring more over with me for them when we next visit. At the Christian Teachers convention I spoke at in Florida recently, large numbers of the 7 C’s curricula were obtained by teachers. AiG is influencing the coming generations!

ENCOURAGING STATS FROM AUSTRALIA

It was thrilling last week to receive this report from AiG’s web team:

Last week we had visitors from 188 separate countries and territories. 588,000 pageviews (in one week).

Visits originating from Australia were up more than any other country at 4,728 unique visits (up 26% from the previous week); visits from New Zealand were up 14%

ONE NEVER KNOWS—A TESTIMONY FROM DOWN UNDER

As I travel across the USA and around the world, at almost every event, someone will tell me how the creation ministry impacted them many years earlier. Last week we received a long email from someone in Australia—it was so encouraging, reminding me of my earlier days in Australia (over 20 years ago), that I wanted to share excerpts with you. One never knows (we’ll find out in Heaven though) what impact the ministry really is having in people’s lives. Here are excerpts from the Australian who shared such an impact with us:

…I’m a long time fan of the ministry which is AiG and also of your work…I have been so encouraged by the professionalism and genuine Christian love and care that they all express…for as long as I can remember I have believed the literal account of Genesis as human history, and the other week in fact I realized just how blest my world was because of that foundation! I have lived in South Australia my whole life …One of the first detailed memories I can recall having at the Church was when you came to visit …I was so passionate about creation from that point on…While I was in high school my whole world was turned upside down as I came to the realization that my birth mother had been diagnosed with [a disease] It was a bit of a hard journey for me and my family after that point and for many years after, I became somewhat withdrawn and depressed. I never lost my belief in the word of God…was also blessed with the gift of my wife …And how‚s this?! …The story goes that when she was in high school (year nine I think) …you apparently came as a guest speaker to her science class. She recalls that she had been met with some opposition in way of her science teacher around her disagreement with the evolutionary teaching as fact, based on her faith. But amongst all the opposition she was determined to pass the class, and she did, with flying colures while still maintaining her integrity and faith in the word of God. Isn‚t God amazing how he coordinates the events in our life? …Thank you so much for your time Ken, it is truly is an amazing honor for me to share part of my story with you. By the way the folk at AiG…kind enough to offer me a DVD pack of the answers with Ken Ham series. I still haven‚t received it yet but I can hardly wait to get into some more of that brilliant teaching, I‚m so exited! The ministry you help set up Ken is so important, amazingly important! …I wanna encourage you…for the work you have done and are continuing to do for the glory of our God. Bless you mate and thank you.
AUSTRALIAN DINOSAURS

An interesting article from Australia reported on the finding of three dinosaur tracks. What is interesting about this article is that is the detail scientists claim they can construct when they don’t have a living specimen:

Newly discovered footprints made by carnivorous dinosaurs in Australia reveal the ancient beasts survived in polar climes when the outback was still joined to Antarctica and close to the South Pole.
The discovery of the three fossil tracks, each about 14 inches (36 centimeters) long and showing two to three partial toe-prints … . The researchers estimate the tracks were made 115 million years ago … . The new tracks add to the fossil evidence of so-called polar dinosaurs dug up in Australia. Past research suggests the polar dinosaurs were adapted to the cold climate and were equipped with keen night-vision to help them snag food during the dark winters.
Now they can tell the dinosaurs had night-vision??

You can read the article at www.livescience.com.

Please pray for Australia! It burdens me to read articles like the first one in this blog. Pray the Lord will send more laborers. As the Scriptures tell us: Matthew 9:37 “Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Luke 10:2 “Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying

Ken

*C-SPAN (the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network) calls itself (on its website) “a private, non-profit company, created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service. Our mission is to provide public access to the political process. C-SPAN receives no government funding; operations are funded by fees paid by cable and satellite affiliates who carry C-SPAN programming.”

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