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December 1998 Newsletter

on December 5, 1998
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Over the years, I have heard many Christians argue that a ministry like Answers in Genesis is not that important because Creation is only a “secondary” doctrine.

Creation: A secondary doctrine?

Over the years, I have heard many Christians argue that a ministry like Answers in Genesis is not that important because Creation is only a “secondary” doctrine. They believe it is much more important to concentrate on the New Testament and its teachings about Christ.

Recently, one of our supporters wrote to the founder and president of PromiseKeepers (Bill McCartney) to ask about their stand on Creation. The response received from the assistant to the president sadly reflects what I believe is much of the Church’s attitude regarding this topic.

…you need to know that the ministry of PK takes no stand on issues like this. In fact, we specifically try to avoid such debates. Our efforts are designed to bring men together based on the historically “essential” doctrines of orthodox Christianity as represented by our Statement of Faith – or to focus on things that unite the body of Christ, instead of those which tend to divide it.

Since different churches and individual Christians hold varying views about creation, it is one of those things we believe falls under the category of “secondary doctrines,” just as we do such things as spiritual gifts, eternal security, the rapture, etc. In short, when it comes to subjects like creation, we believe Christians need to extend grace to each other as summed up in the statement: In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.

Is Creation just one of those “secondary doctrines” like spiritual gifts or the rapture?
Now, our article is not in any way meant to throw negative aspersions on the PK movement or its leadership. It is not meant to single them out. It is only that their quote succinctly summarizes a position which is, unfortunately, shared by the overwhelming majority of Christian ministries today.

Is Creation just one of those “secondary doctrines” like spiritual gifts or the rapture?

I’m sure that those who make claims like the above would agree that the doctrine of Creation itself (i.e., that God is Creator – Genesis 1:1) is a primary doctrine. After all, if God is not Creator, and the first verse of the Bible is not true, then neither is the rest of the Bible. Other than the doctrine of God Himself, Creation would be the most important doctrine, because everything else in Christianity depends on this being true.

When most Christians say that the doctrine of Creation is secondary, what they usually mean is that the details of the Creation account (in other words, whether the Earth is young or old, that the days of Creation were ordinary days, or that Noah’s Flood was a global event and so on) would not be considered essential to Christianity.

However, the details of the Creation account do matter and are essential.

If Adam wasn’t a real historical figure, then who is our real ancestor?

How do we know we are sinners?

If Adam’s Fall was not a real event in history, then what is sin?

If Adam and Eve weren’t created just as Genesis records, then the doctrine of marriage is meaningless.

If the days of Creation aren’t ordinary days, then there is no basis for the seven-day week, and God’s Word doesn’t have to mean what the language clearly states.

If the Earth is millions of years old, and if death, disease, and bloodshed existed before sin, then the Gospel is undermined.

The point is that the doctrine of Creation is foundational to other doctrines. But what doctrines are the rapture or spiritual gifts foundational to?

Creation (i.e., the details in Genesis) is not a “secondary” doctrine – it is in fact foundational to all other doctrines. Surely this is worth taking a stand on even if it results in division.

Sincerely,

Ken Ham

Clarification

In a recent newsletter, AiG reported on the way in which it was raising money to purchase land for its Creation Museum in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. To clarify further, AiG has not gone into debt to finance this project. With the money we have already raised and with a significant amount offered to us by our sister group (AiG) in Australia to make up the difference, we have the money on hand. Furthermore, our lawyer negotiated a contract that stipulates that AiG would not have to pay the entire amount immediately. Instead, we can invest the money that we already have and earn interest on it.

Please pray for AiG as it continues to try to rezone this land for our museum. Some local officials have been opposing us.

The most important question!

At Answers in Genesis, we are engaged in answering one of life’s most important questions: Where did we all come from? Actually, there is an even more important question, one which happens to have its answer in Genesis.

That question is: Where are you going? In other words, when you die, will you enjoy eternal fellowship with the Creator, or be condemned to everlasting punishment and separation from Him? While AiG is involved in the necessary defense of the faith, as commanded in I Peter 3:15, it is also an “evangelistic” outreach to those who are lost. The truths in the book of Genesis can be powerful witnessing tools in presenting the Gospel. You see, many non-Christians cannot accept the claims of Scripture, and hence the Gospel message itself, because they believe the Bible is untrustworthy, beginning with Genesis.

Also, many of these people wonder why evil, blood-shed, and death could exist in this world if there is a Creator. By explaining to non-believers that we live in a fallen world (Genesis 3) and that we are suffering from over 6,000 years of the curse, we can offer profound truths that are highly illuminating for many non-believers. Many people have come to know the Lord/Creator of the universe through such “creation evangelism.”

To help us in preaching the Creation/Gospel message, we ask that you prayerfully consider donating to AiG, a non-profit ministry which relies on donations for more than half its operating expenses. Even if you can’t give, please drop us a line and let us know how our ministry has blessed you.

A special report for friends of AiG!

We live in a world of initials, from NASA to the alphabet TV networks (ABC, NBC, etc.). It can be easy to overlook a string of letters.

So it’s possible that you may have not even noticed a certain seal with the initials ECFA on many of our materials. You need to know that these initials and seal are important to AiG – and to you.

It’s the seal of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. ECFA was formed almost 20 years ago to help protect the integrity of ministries doing work for Christ Becoming an ECPA member involves a lengthy, rigorous process. As an ECFA member, we feel it is important to belong to such an organization. Here is why:

ECFA has established a code of financial accountability that is consistent with responsible Christian faith and practice. It says to friends like you that AiG is holding to the highest standards of Christian ethics in financial accounting and reporting. The seal means that you can feel confident in knowing that AiG follows strict guidelines and standards for fundraising, maintains the highest standards of financial integrity, believes in full disclosure, and submits financial records to an annual audit.

So when you see the ECFA seal, you can be assured that your support is going to the work of the Lord and to the proclamation of the reliability of Scripture from the very first verse.

If you have any questions about ECFA, you can call toll free at 1-800-3BE-WISE.

Feedback.

I discovered Creation magazine in our public library. I homeschool my children, and we have always struggled on what to cover for science. When I found the magazine, we all thought that it would be a great “textbook.”

—J.H., VT

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