Five hundred years ago this year, an ordinary priest named Martin Luther nailed his famous list of 95 Theses1 on the door of a chapel in Wittenberg, Germany. The Reformation he launched in 1517 was really a movement to call people away from the fallible opinions of man and back to the authority of the Word of God.
That one man put it all on the line. He challenged widely accepted yet highly unbiblical “doctrines” which had crept into churches. The 500th anniversary of Luther’s stand reminded me of our mission statement and its vision section, which reads
Answers in Genesis is a catalyst to bring reformation by reclaiming the foundations of our faith which are found in the Bible, from the very first verse.
On this 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we seek to honor God and challenge today’s Christian leaders by making our 2017 theme:
Igniting A New Reformation
Yes, AiG does believe we need a new reformation today—a reformation where God’s people, and particularly Christian leaders, repent of compromising on God’s Word beginning in Genesis, and return to the absolute authority of the written Word of God—the Bible!
When we look at the state of the nation from a spiritual perspective, we are also really examining the state of much of the church. Church leaders recognize that America (in fact, the whole Western world) is, from a spiritual perspective, in serious trouble. The exodus of generations from the church continues, and, of the young people who still attend church but have become very secularized, 40% admit they’re not born again.2
The teaching of evolution and millions of years along with the lack of teaching on creation and strategic biblical apologetics have greatly contributed to this generational loss from the church.
Our thorough research on the state of the church, conducted for us by America’s Research Group, clearly shows that the majority of church leaders are ignoring an elephant in the room. It is patently obvious that the teaching of evolution and millions of years along with the lack of teaching on creation and strategic biblical apologetics have greatly contributed to this generational loss from the church.
- to defend the Christian faith
- to answer the skeptical questions that cause people to doubt God’s Word
- to challenge non-Christians to discover the truth of the Bible and its gospel message.
As we begin 2017, we at AiG, the museum, and the Ark Encounter are committed to work with fervor (Ephesians 5:16 challenges us to be “redeeming the time, because the days are evil”) to do the following:
- Ignite a passion in young people to know the Bible and stand boldly, uncompromisingly, and unashamedly on the Word of God from the very first verse.
- Ignite a fervor in Christians to “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3) by showing the truth, power, and authority of the Word against the false teachings of our day.
- Ignite a zeal in Christian leaders to recognize the vital need to teach creation apologetics to children and teens (and adults too, of course) and oppose any compromise within the church with evolutionary/millions-of-years beliefs.
- Ignite a burden in non-Christians to challenge secular icons and seek answers to the questions that have caused them to reject God’s Word, so they will discover the truths of the Bible and be saved for eternity by receiving Christ as Savior.
- Ignite an intense desire in parents to educate their children in accord with biblical principles and to raise up godly offspring who will know what they believe concerning God’s Word and why they believe what they do—and thus are equipped to defend the Christian faith against the secular attacks of our day.
As I’ve said over the years, we need Christians all across this nation to symbolically nail Genesis chapters 1–11 on the doors of churches, Bible colleges, and Christian colleges and seminaries. Why? Because in this era, one of the biggest reasons for the generational loss from the church is due to Christian leaders who have compromised Genesis and have not countered the intense public school indoctrination that our children have received in secular beliefs like evolution and millions of years.
I don’t believe God will bring revival until there is a reformation in our churches and Christian institutions.
So, as we begin 2017, our challenge is to ask each of you to partner with us in Igniting A New Reformation. I’ve heard so many Christians say that they want to see revival in our nation. But I don’t believe God will bring revival until there is a reformation in our churches and Christian institutions. We need to see a turning away from man’s word, and a humble turning to God’s Word.
I’m reminded of what the prophet Jeremiah said as he addressed the people of his day:
“But you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return to Me,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 3:1)
Also, I recall the words of the prophet Zechariah:
Therefore say to them, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Return to Me,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 1:3)
Our verse for the Igniting A New Reformation theme comes from the prophet Hosea:
Come, and let us return to the Lord. (Hosea 6:1)
Please join us, and encourage your pastor and church body to stand boldly like Martin Luther did to ignite this new reformation!