Before Mally and I moved to the USA in 1987 with our four young children, our church in Australia set us apart as missionaries in “creation evangelism.” Our church actually saw us as missionaries to the USA.
Over the years, I would begin my presentations in U.S. churches with something like, “My wife and I, and our children, moved to America as missionaries to a pagan culture.”
Usually people laughed out loud at the comment. After all, there are so many churches, Bible colleges, Christian radio stations, etc. in America that you wouldn’t normally think of someone being called to be “a missionary to the USA.”
Of course, churches in America are known to have sent thousands upon thousands of missionaries to other parts of the world. Americans tend to think of missionaries only as those people who go to other countries where there isn’t much of a Christian influence.
I have noticed a change in this nation in the last few years—and particularly since the November election. Today when I tell an audience at a conference or church that Mally and I came to America as missionaries to a pagan country, I don’t hear as many people laughing anymore. Instead, I sometimes hear words like “thank you,” or “amen,” and so on.
You see, more and more people in the church today are recognizing that America is becoming increasingly pagan every day! This nation has all but abandoned God and His Word. In fact, in many ways, the USA has shaken its fist at God in defiance of His Word on such issues as “gay” marriage, abortion, etc.
Since the call that God placed in our hearts over 25 years ago to become missionaries to America, I have always said that our calling was not primarily to the culture as a whole but to the church. I earnestly believe the call on our lives was to be missionaries to the American church, and our first priority was to get the church back to the authority of the Word of God.
God has ordained the church to be the salt and light in the culture so that people would hear the truth of God’s Word and the gospel. But the Scripture states the following:
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (Matthew 5:13)
Salt loses its flavor when it is contaminated. Sadly, much of the “salt” in the American church today is contaminated with secular beliefs.
On my first speaking tour of America in 1980, I came to what I considered to be a great Christianized nation (especially compared to my homeland of Australia, which was quite pagan). But while there was some Christian influence in the country in 1980, I discovered that America had many Christian leaders who had either compromised God’s Word in Genesis with millions of years and/or evolution, or else they did not think it even mattered what people believe concerning Genesis.
I have been speaking in the USA for over 30 years now with this major message: God’s people need to stand on the truth of God’s Word beginning in Genesis 1:1 and not compromise with the secular religion of the day—evolution and millions of years. The more this compromise runs rampant in the church, the more we will see people doubt God’s Word in Genesis and be put on a slippery slope to unbelief about the Christian faith.
In fact, I’ve often said that we need to call for a new reformation in the American church—that Christian leaders and God’s people in the church need to repent of compromise and return to the full authority of the Word of God.
Really, the ministry of Answers in Genesis was set up as a missionary outreach to impact the U.S. church first, and then the world, by presenting the message of the authority of the Word of God and the salvation message.
I’ve often asked my seminar audiences, “How can we tell the world that they need to believe God’s Word, when much of the American church is saying something like, ‘Well, we don’t have to believe in Genesis’?”
That point really hit home to me as I sat down to write this monthly letter to you. I had just heard the news about BioLogos, an organization dedicated to promoting theistic evolution (or “evolutionary creation”) to the church.
This group is really set up to infiltrate the church with compromise teaching. This goal of BioLogos was demonstrated in a recent announcement that accompanied the appointment of its new president and a new senior scholar. These two new appointees to a pro-evolution group are from two well-known Christian colleges!
Dr. Deborah Haarsma, for many years a professor of physics and astronomy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan (a Christian college), has taken on the role of president of BioLogos. And Dr. Jeffrey Schloss, professor of biology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California (also a Christian college), will be the new senior researcher.
Dr. Haarsma is well known for her shocking treatment of God’s Word in Genesis. She has been actively pursuing her mission of rewriting the word of God as a co-director of The Ministry Theorem, a program of Calvin Seminary and Calvin College, that helps pastors “engage” their congregations with evolutionary ideas.
Actually, I think it’s helpful to show you what Dr. Haarsma believes in her own words. In a video of one of her presentations, she states the following about Genesis 1:
[It] is a message of how God interacts with His creation and of our role in creation. It’s several key theological messages. But it is not a message about the how and the when of creation. God didn’t bother to teach the ancient Hebrews that the world was actually round. He didn’t bother to teach them that it was actually atmosphere in the sky instead of a solid sky dome. He let them keep believing that.
He accommodated the message to where they were at. And I find that so comforting to us today that God is willing to accommodate His message to our limited understanding. We don’t have to have a perfect scientific understanding of the world to get God’s message for us. [emphasis ours]
And for that reason, I don’t think we need to draw from Genesis 1 a chronology of how God created, a timeline of specific physical events, but rather these very important theological views.
She is actually claiming that God is not telling the truth—that He “accommodates” His message to where people are at (according to her evolutionary view of history).
Dr. Schloss also wholeheartedly accepts evolutionary ideas. Drs. Haarsma and Schloss are not promoting evolutionary ideas alone. What they’re doing is helping to promote the blending of Christianity with an atheistic religion. As a consequence, they are undermining the authority of the Word of God!
The evolutionary worldview is the secularists’ primary way of explaining the world without God. And now two professing Christians, employed by two Christian colleges, are leaders in the charge against biblical authority. The mission of Drs. Haarsma and Schloss, and BioLogos as a whole, is absolutely destructive to the church. In fact, I would say their mission is a part of the enemy within the church.
Haarsma and Schloss are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in regards to biblical compromise that permeates the church and Christian colleges and seminaries. Yes—the church itself needs a form of evangelizing! America needs its own internal missionaries to call the church and culture back to the authority of the Bible.
I do believe the ministry of Answers in Genesis and its many Bible-affirming outreaches, including the Creation Museum and upcoming Ark Encounter, are at the cutting edge of a much-needed mission work.