It’s a recurrent theme in history. As God’s people drift from His Word, God raises up a person or persons to call people back to the authority of the Word of God.
Then, however, the enemy (the devil) raises up people to try to thwart God’s call.
This ongoing spiritual battle started just over 6,000 years ago in the Garden of Eden. We’ve seen this battle rage over and over again in history, as recorded in the Bible and as seen in the last 2,000 years of church history. We saw it during the Reformation 500 years ago, and we’re seeing it happen before our very eyes today.
To help illustrate the spiritual battle in recent times, I want to share a real-life example with you. Here is the background.
In 2007, a historic event occurred: the opening of the world’s first major Creation Museum. Now nine years later, another historic event in Christendom is happening.
I truly believe it is one of the greatest outreaches of our era—the opening of the Ark Encounter!
In an interview with me about our Ark, a reporter for a major national media network was inquiring about Christian attractions that are appearing in different parts of the country.
This reporter mentioned the Museum of the Bible that will open in Washington, DC, in 2017; the Sight and Sound Christian theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (which attracts hundreds of thousands of people a year); the Creation Museum; and now the Ark Encounter (estimated to attract 1.4 million–2 million people a year). He commented that it seemed to be the era for building significant Christian-themed attractions, and the reporter wanted to understand why it was happening.
Let me explain to you why I believe it’s occurring in this era.
We live in a time when we see the increasing secularization of our culture.
We live in a time when we see the increasing secularization of our culture. We’ve also seen much of the church (particularly leaders in Christian colleges, seminaries, and Bible colleges) drift from God’s Word, beginning in Genesis.
In this era there has been an undermining of the authority of God’s Word because of the teaching of millions of years/evolution. As a consequence, we are watching much of the church compromise God’s Word in other areas, such as the biblical teaching on the doctrine of marriage being one man and one woman.
As we have observed this drift happening in the church across the world, we praise God that He has raised up the biblical creation apologetics movement, which is calling God’s people back to the authority of the Word of God.
The Lord called men like the late Dr. Henry Morris and Dr. John Whitcomb (who participated in our Ark ribbon cutting on July 5) to write a book called The Genesis Flood that started the modern biblical creationist movement. This Bible-upholding movement has spread around the world as many creation-apologetics organizations have been founded (and denominations and other groups have been greatly influenced). The church has been impacted in many positive ways.
As the biblical creationist movement has grown enormously and has seen such a positive influence on millions of people (and thousands of churches), we have seen certain people within the church who have tried to counteract this great work.
Their efforts to counter the impact of the biblical creationist movement have been taken to a new level recently.
You see, the Templeton Foundation has given millions of dollars to help an organization called BioLogos. The purpose? It’s this: “BioLogos invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.”1
Recently, the president of BioLogos (a former professor at Calvin College, right next door to where BioLogos is headquartered) was interviewed by the Religion News Service. She discussed a new book with essays from various people, summarizing its contents this way:
It promotes the idea that one can be serious about Christian faith and still accept a scientific Darwinian account of human origins. BioLogos, the organization of pro-evolution Christians in the sciences founded by famed geneticist Francis Collins, teamed with InterVarsity Press to publish a collection of 25 personal essays from clergy, scholars and scientists.
The article continues:
However, BioLogos is not relying only on the book to get its message out. This fall the organization will send scientists and theologians on the road to speak to churches, seminaries and universities.2
Yes, a very well-funded movement involving scientists (some well-known) will be more active than ever in trying to influence the church to believe in evolutionary geology, biology, anthropology, astronomy, and so on. They will be using millions of dollars to try to get God’s people to compromise God’s Word!
I don’t believe it’s just coincidence that this new pro-evolution effort is happening when organizations like Answers in Genesis (with its various outreaches including the Creation Museum and the new Ark Encounter) have seen a great impact on the church worldwide.
Now, back to what I’ve heard described as the “era of Christian attractions.”
Much of the church is not impacting the culture as it once did in our Western world.
Much of the church is not impacting the culture as it once did in our Western world. Sadly, many church leaders have compromised with evolutionary ideas and now are also compromising on moral issues like gender and marriage. But I believe God is raising up special people within the church to impact the culture in unique and powerful ways, including through Christian attractions like the four I mentioned above (and I trust many more attractions in the future).
Although I explained it in a somewhat different way to the secular reporter, I believe God is moving in mighty ways to proclaim the truth of His Word and the gospel—as His Word promises:
I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
I see God raising up Christian attractions as part of equipping Christians to defend their faith, challenging non-Christians with the gospel, and calling the church back to the authority of the Word of God.
I pray millions will be impacted and lives changed for eternity.
We don’t have a multi-million dollar foundation that is continually backing Answers in Genesis like the Templeton Foundation does for BioLogos. But we have thousands of supporters like you who share our burden not to compromise God’s Word and who want to contend for the faith, preach the gospel, give answers for what we believe, and do the business of King Jesus until He returns!
The Lord continually provides our daily needs and has greatly blessed this ministry that is impacting millions of souls around the world.
The Lord continually provides our daily needs and has greatly blessed this ministry that is impacting millions of souls around the world. Your partnership with us in prayer in this spiritual battle is crucial—and we need to ensure that we are equipped with the best tools and methods possible to counter the enemy’s attacks and proclaim the truth of God’s Word.
Thank you for supporting Answers in Genesis as we do our best to reach as many people as we can with the truth of God’s Word and the saving gospel. I do believe it’s all a part of God’s powerful work in building His church.