It seems like every time we post something on Facebook about the progress of the Ark Encounter in Northern Kentucky, someone will charge that we are wasting money—money that instead should go to the starving people around the world, they declare. Recently I was asked about that claim and I answered this way:
That question shows a lot of prejudice. Do you ask that same question to the builders of the massive cruise ships that are being built? Each one costs many times the amount of the Ark and they are built just for entertainment purposes—why not accuse the cruise lines of depriving food to starving people? What about Disney, Universal, and all the amusement theme parks that are created just for entertainment—do these critics level the same charge at them? And during this presidential election year, what about all the hundreds of millions of dollars that are being spent on candidates’ campaigns? And think about football or baseball stadiums that each cost more than the Ark project (some are over $1 billion) and they are just for sports entertainment? And what about the extraordinary waste we hear about concerning many government programs, and I could go on and on.
So the question is: why is it that the Ark is being singled out for this criticism? (It was also made against the Creation Museum when we were building it.) It’s because of prejudice! The charge that money should go instead to the hungry comes from critics who don’t agree with our Christian message and don’t want us to build such a prominent facility to proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the gospel. Now while it is true that some Christians have made the same claim that our donors should be giving money to needy people and not the Ark, I find they are people who also don’t agree with our message—particularly our stand on a literal Genesis.
Yes, their prejudice against the Ark’s message really stands out. Actually it illustrates that these charges are a part of a larger spiritual battle. And in a sense it’s also about jealousy. I don’t usually hear the same accusations against churches that are building new auditoriums or other facilities, but, because the Ark is going to be so prominent in the world as it publicly proclaiming God’s Word and the gospel, it gets singled out by people who don’t like our message and are irritated by its prominence.
So when people make the statement that our supporters shouldn’t be spending money on the Ark project and that we should take those donations and give them to another non-profit, by and large they display their prejudice against AiG and our message! In our culture we are seeing more and more of this intolerance against biblical Christianity. But it also encourages me, because there wouldn’t such opposition if the Ark wasn’t going to be a force in the culture!
In addition, when critics argue that people should be donating to hunger relief and not to the Ark (and yes we should be helping the less fortunate), it's as if they believe our donors don’t already help the hungry. Critics argue that if the Ark benefits from our supporters, it’s at the expense of the hungry. Apparently our critics think that the “giving pie” is only so big, and that giving a piece of the pie to one group means another group doesn’t get a piece. The charitable pie can and does grow, and more people and organizations can be helped in their causes.
Now here are those photos I mentioned showing the current status of the Ark Encounter construction:
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,