Something predictable happened recently. And it was sad. It reminded me of something that occurred in the early days of our ministry in Australia about 30 years ago.
An aussie man had heard of the creation ministry that began in our home. He was very anti-evolution and seemed quite excited about what we were doing. He asked me to meet him at a parcel of land that he owned—a beautiful (and very valuable) piece of property overlooking the Australian city of Brisbane.
This man told me he was willing to donate the property to our ministry so we could eventually build offices. But there was one catch: he wanted an assurance from me that we would continue what he perceived to be our “anti-evolution” stand, but wanted us to back off our stand on the Bible’s clear teaching of the six literal days of Creation and a young earth!
Well—that was the end of that discussion!
You see, he wanted us to be “anti-evolution,” but in essence he was insisting we give up our stand on biblical authority in Genesis—which is what this ministry is all about!
What you believe about the age of the earth and the days of Creation are not salvation issues per se—but they are important biblical authority issues.
I, along with many others in our Answers in Genesis ministry, have written many articles (and given numerous talks) over the years to explain that what you believe about the age of the earth and the days of Creation are not salvation issues per se—but they are important biblical authority issues.
We live in an era when the authority of the Word of God has been greatly undermined in this culture (and throughout our Western world). One of the attacks on the Bible—which I call a “Genesis 3 attack” of “Did God really say . . . ?”—has been the reinterpretation of the days of Creation, the record of Noah’s Flood, and other accounts in Genesis that are foundational to the understanding of the gospel.
This compromise regarding Genesis has happened as Christian leaders have tried to fit the pagan religion of the day—millions of years and evolution (which are attempts to explain life without God)—into God’s Word.
As a creation/gospel ministry, we have tried very hard over the years not to position ourselves as just dealing with the creation/evolution issue. We are a ministry that is calling the church—and culture as a whole—back to the authority of God’s Word, and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In a nutshell, our ministry could be summed up this way:
The history in the Bible beginning in Genesis is true, and that is why the gospel and Christian morality based in that history are true.
And, as I often say, there is no point just converting people to be anti-evolutionists and/or creationists. They’ll end up in Hell just like an atheist if they don’t trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation!
We are unashamedly “on” about biblical authority and the gospel. And we stand uncompromisingly on God’s Word from the very first verse!
Why did this all come to mind recently? Well, a ministry supporter had contacted us and asked if a particularly large Christian foundation (one that supports many evangelical Christian works) had ever given us a donation. We told him they had not. This AiG supporter knew the chairman of that foundation, and arranged a phone conference for him to talk to our Director of Advancement (Joe Boone) to discuss the ministry—and to invite this man to hear me speak in a church close to their offices.
The foundation chairman told Joe that he had heard of our ministry and expressed particular interest in our international outreaches. He said he would talk to one of his staff members about our ministry, and possibly how they might help, and get back to us.
Well—it didn’t take long at all for a call back! About 10 minutes later, the chairman told Joe that he learned we were an organization that believed in the six literal days of Creation and a young earth, and thus they could not support us. He said that the foundation funded work that spread the gospel, not Genesis. He declared that believing in a literal Genesis was a barrier to sharing the gospel!
It was sad that the foundation didn’t really understand our ministry. Our emphasis is to proclaim the gospel! But we live in a society where people increasingly don’t understand the gospel, or mock it, because they don’t believe the book (the Bible) from which the gospel comes.
It’s now a culture where the authority of God’s Word has been attacked by the world, and sadly, undermined by leaders in the church. Many church leaders have reinterpreted the history in Genesis (by adding in millions of years and even evolution), thus undermining the authority of the book they purport to believe in!
The response from this Christian foundation is actually the norm for us, not the exception. Many times over the years, I’ve had representatives of Christian foundations tell me they can’t support Answers in Genesis because of our stand on a young earth and six literal Creation days. What they are really saying is, “We won’t support you because of your stand on biblical authority!”
Frankly, very few foundations have ever supported the ministry of Answers in Genesis. Just a handful. Most of our support has come from families and individuals. In fact, 75 percent of the donations made to the ministry to fund the building of the Creation Museum came from families who gave about $130 on average.
We have been blessed with some large gifts over the years—not many, though—and in this challenging economy, we’ve found that even those very large gifts ($10,000 or more) are rare. This is why it takes a lot longer (and can be a real struggle) to complete major projects (e.g., our Sunday school apologetics curriculum, our conversion of the ministry’s warehouse to a multi-purpose room/auditorium for the Creation Museum, etc.)
I wish every Christian foundation would realize that Answers in Genesis is on the front lines today in the battle for the Bible—battling for biblical authority against the pagan religion of the age. And as we do that, what are the results? Well, the following is a kind of response we hear over and over again.
Recently, some of our speakers conducted a series of teaching meetings at the First Baptist Church Atlanta (Dr. Charles Stanley is the senior pastor). I spoke in their morning and evening services late last year. In June, after my brother Stephen gave the final talk in the series at the church, Stephen told me the following:
Ken: Jeff, a young college student, was excited to tell me that he came to know Christ as his Savior as a result of the Lord using a message that you preached there last fall. Following one of your talks, Jeff sought out someone from the church to ask how he could become a Christian. Jeff was so eager and excited about the answers he now had to make real sense of the world.
He was especially joyful to tell me what a difference it made in his life when he learned that he didn't have to believe in the myth of evolution any more, and that he could trust God’s Word—knowing the Creator has given him real purpose in life.
It is truly a joy to hear of these great testimonies from people who have had their eyes opened to the truth of God's Word and the wonder of His gospel. This is what Answers in Genesis is all about!
Answers in Genesis has always been—and will continue to be—known for standing uncompromisingly on God’s Word from the very first verse. We stand on and battle for biblical authority, presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ, and seeing people wonderfully saved. The more this happens, there’ll be more “salt and light” in the culture.
Please pray that those who lead the many Christian foundations in America will also have their eyes opened to the vital importance of not compromising God’s Word with the pagan religion of this age.
We so appreciate the many that have partnered with us in this crucial creation/gospel ministry! Together, we can move forward to proclaim the truth of the Bible and share the life-changing creation/gospel message. Your support during a month when we typically see a drop in donations would be especially welcome. This support is vital in reaching the church and culture for Jesus Christ! Thanks for standing with us on the authority of God’s Word!