I started to write this letter to you with a heavy heart just before Christmas—with a burden for this nation, including for the church. Now, I’m certainly not discouraged. If anything, I’m more motivated than ever to be as active as we possibly can to reach people with the truth of God’s Word and the gospel.
Recent Developments Against Biblical Authority
Much has happened in the news over the past few weeks related to biblical authority in America, and I’m sure you are aware of them. Let me summarize a few:
1. Demanding Freedom From Christianity
In December, I had the opportunity to be interviewed for a four-minute segment on the Fox & Friends TV program (Fox News channel) concerning atheist billboards popping up all over the country. I praise the Lord for opening the door for AiG to say what needed to be said in a national program about an intolerant and angry minority, the atheists, who are in positions of influence to impose their anti-God religion on the culture.
I received an overwhelming number of positive responses from Christians after the TV interview. Many of them commented that we need to see more Christian leaders standing boldly and unashamedly and taking an uncompromising stand in regard to the Christian worldview and the authority of God’s Word.
At the same time, the atheists went ballistic over the fact I was actually allowed to have a public platform to defend the Christian faith and warn people what was happening in the culture as it turns away from biblical authority.
A secular professor at the University of Chicago was highly upset by my appearance on Fox, and that this network allowed a biblical creationist to be on the air! According to this evolutionist, because I’m a creationist, I apparently should not be allowed such a national opportunity. The reaction by these atheists certainly shows their increasing intolerance of anything Christian, and exposes the fact that these people don’t want freedom of religion—they want freedom from Christianity.
2. Curtailing Freedom of Speech
Three days after my Fox TV interview, one of the stars of the popular Duck Dynasty cable TV program was suspended by the A&E television network because of statements he made in a magazine against homosexual behavior. Although Phil Robertson used some language I wouldn’t use, nonetheless he stood up for Christian morality and biblical marriage, and as a result has been greatly maligned and misquoted by those who oppose the Christian teaching on marriage.
But there is a deeper issue here than someone being suspended from a television program—a much deeper one. Dr. Al Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, Kentucky), who spoke at our Creation Museum a few years ago, stated thus on his December 19 blog:
So the controversy over Duck Dynasty sends a clear signal to anyone who has anything to risk in public life: Say nothing about the sinfulness of homosexual acts or risk sure and certain destruction by the revolutionaries of the new morality. You have been warned.
It is really a battle of worldviews because it’s a struggle over two main religions—
God’s Word or man’s word.
Steve Deace, a syndicated radio host and another friend of the Creation Museum, wrote this in an opinion piece for USA Today (December 19):
Especially in an era when government believes it has the power to compel a Christian baker to make wedding cakes for homosexuals, compel a Christian photographer to photograph a homosexual union in a state that doesn’t even recognize them, and tell a Christian company it has to provide birth control to its employees in violation of its owners moral conscience, we have reached the point where government believes it gets to play God.
And I could add—a government that has dictated that the religion of naturalism be taught to students in the public schools and has allowed Christian symbols to be removed from society and public education facilities.
At the same time, U.S. and state governments have dictated that symbols like illustrations of ape-like creatures evolving into people be allowed in schools. This endorsement forces the religion of naturalism (atheism) on generations of students. So much for the secularists’ claim of a supposed separation of church and state—the state is now dictating a religion of atheism on the culture.
Christians want to continue to enjoy freedom of religion, as the Founding Fathers intended. But the intolerant elitists like those referred to in the USA Today opinion piece want freedom from Christianity and freedom of speech only for those with whom they agree.
It is really a battle of worldviews because it’s a struggle over two main religions—God’s Word or man’s word.
3. Denying Freedom of Conscience
And then we have the controversy regarding Hobby Lobby, a large retail chain owned by Christians, the Green family. They have taken a stand against the government’s requirement to provide drugs that can abort babies. Their opposition, which we applaud, has now reached the U.S. Supreme Court. In an opinion piece written by a lawyer and which appeared in The Los Angeles Times on December 5, it said:
As many would-be Sunday shoppers know, the Green family “walks the walk.” Signs on Hobby Lobby stores’ doors say that they close on Sundays “to allow employees time for worship and to spend time with their families.” Their stores do not carry shot glasses, lewd greeting cards or vulgar posters, and the background music is Christian. Hobby Lobby contributes generously to charities and starts full-time employees at nearly double the minimum wage. When the Greens and Hobby Lobby do this, and many other things, they are living out their faith and exercising their religion.
Hobby Lobby also provides excellent health insurance, which includes coverage for most—but not all—contraceptives. However, because of the Greens’ firm belief in the dignity of human life and about when and how it begins, Hobby Lobby cannot provide coverage for some of the required drugs because they could cause an abortion.
The government and others argue that the Greens’ religious beliefs are irrelevant because they’ve freely chosen to enter the rough-and-tumble world of commerce and that, in any event, the exercise of religion is for individuals, not corporations. But Hobby Lobby’s lawyers at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty will be on solid ground when they explain to the court that both of these arguments are misguided.
The above examples are merely the tip of the iceberg. Our nation is in deep trouble.
Committed to Reach Out with the Truth of God’s Word
As I’ve written many times, I believe the state of the nation reflects the state of the church. And based on Romans 1, I believe this nation is under judgment by the Almighty God, as seen in the “gay” marriage/homosexual issue that is permeating the nation.
We are doing our best at Answers in Genesis to reach this generation and the next with the truth of God’s Word. I truly believe the Lord has uniquely prepared AiG to do this right now in this era of history.
And as I wrote to you in
Although God’s timing is perfect and not always according to ours, we believe that this is the year, we pray, when we can begin the construction of the full-size Ark. We still have some hurdles to clear, but God has opened so many doors. This is despite the fact that, like Joshua conquering the Promised Land, we have had many battles along the way (and the battles continue).
We will continue to produce and distribute even more faith-equipping resources (books, DVDs, curricula, etc.). Our superb speakers will be constantly on the road in 2014, teaching and equipping thousands of people in churches and other venues. AiG’s worldwide ministry is growing exponentially, with even more pleas for additional translations of our resources into many languages around the world.
Yes, we are working as hard as we can to follow the Great Commission mandate found in the gospels. God has blessed us with unique opportunities almost on a daily basis to reach people with the truth of the authority of God’s Word and the gospel. I so appreciate your prayers and financial support of this faith-building and gospel-proclaiming ministry.