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In Response

04 Jul

While we are away from home we will try to post original material when we can. We decided to  Roberts comment because we wanted to give access to Mr. Ham’s article and it is that we are responding to here, not Mr. Roberts.

We are eagerly approaching what I believe will be a historic moment in Christendom. It’s the opening of one of the greatest Christian outreaches of our era: the life-size Noah’s Ark in Northern Kentucky.

We expected this type of ra-ra support from Mr. Ham even though it is over the top and over-stating what he is doing at AIG and this ark encounter. If there was anything less, we would wonder about his constructing this structure. The problem is that this construction is not a ‘historical moment in Christendom’ and he is a bit pre-mature with that classification and it is a classification that should be left to others and not done in a self-promoting way.

The scripture about one’s own testimony not being true would apply here. The second problem is, that it is not ‘one of the greatest Christian outreaches of our era’. That is accomplished by real people rolling up their sleeves and doing the hard work involved with reaching others for Christ. The ark cannot solve problems, cannot donate money to help people with bills, cannot visit the sick or imprisoned and so on. Those people who do those biblically based actions are doing the greatest and second greatest Christian outreaches in our era.

The ark is an example of one of the problems with Christendom today. Organizations and churches only care about saving souls and do not care about the people they are trying to ‘save’. The like to do a ‘keep people at arm’s reach’ type of evangelism instead of actually and honestly becoming involved in people’s lives.

As I read many of the secularist attacks on the building of the Ark (and occasional criticisms from self-described Christians), I see one theme coming up over and over again: our motive!

Given his cheer leader type attitude about the ark park we all wonder what his real motive is. It certainly is not biblically based though I am sure he is using the great commission to justify this huge expenditure and entertaining format of presenting the gospel. While he is not restricted from building this megalithic structure, we find it to be more of a stumbling block than a helping hand to Christ. Getting involved with people directly cuts down on the criticism that comes with spending so much money on a building that will be destroyed when the world ends. We also oppose the spending of millions to build huge state of the art church sanctuaries.

Most secularists, who are in rebellion against God, just can’t get their head around why we would build a replica of this massive wooden ship as described in the Bible. Many claim we must be doing it for the money!

It is difficult for anyone to ‘wrap their heads around this project’ even when we know their reasons for constructing it. Given what the Bible instructs and reveals we wonder why any bible believing Christian would opt to build such a building. We feel the same way about the bible museum being built by the owners of the Hobby Lobby corporation.

In a world of suffering, why would anyone spend millions on a building when real people need real help?

Well, those of you who know Answers in Genesis understand that, while money is certainly needed to build and then maintain such a massive project and to construct future phases, money is not our motive in the slightest degree.

You can say this all you want but people are not going to believe it. While we do believe it, we find it hard to accept.

Some critics who say they are Christians declare that we’re building an idol, supposedly because we are worshipping the Bible and not God! (We were even accused of that bizarre claim when building the Creation Museum.)

These are insulting words. So if you disagree and do not support his venture he declares you not a Christian. I wonder who died and left Mr. Ham and AIG in charge of who is or isn’t a Christian.  We do not think he is building an idol nor worshiping the Bible over God but we do think he is gone too far in his zeal to win souls for Christ and has ignored much of the Bible in constructing this project.

He forgets that we are allowed to question his motives and are allowed to rebuke him if we find him in error on Christian principles. Blind support is not a Christina duty nor is it a mark of one’s salvation and disagreement is not a  sign of a lack of salvation. I have trouble when pastors and church leaders demand blind support for their endeavors and do not listen to true , wise bible believers when they object to such adventures.

Of course, anyone who has visited the museum (and the same will be true for the life-size Ark) understands that this Bible-upholding center is not an idol in any way. The museum and Ark direct people to the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Justification and maybe it makes him feel good to say such things but the reality is the end does not justify the means.

Others have accused us of building the Ark out of pride, claiming we just want to build something for the sake of getting our name in the news! Amazing!

We tend to favor this one as we look at his words about building this ark and comparing them with scripture.There is no need for this structure/museum but Mr. Ham seems to have blinders on and ignores everyone who disagrees with him as he builds this earthly monument

I turned again to Mally and said, “If I were a student, I would feel compelled to jump off a cliff right now and get life over and done with.” What a message of meaninglessness, hopelessness, and purposelessness she offered.

While we agree with his description of that judge’s remarks, it is not justification to wast money on structures that will mostly preach to the choir.

I remember saying to Mally after the commencement speech, “I wish we had a way to get the Bible’s teaching of the hope of the gospel to these students. How can we get out the message of truth concerning God’s Word and our hope in Christ to this lost world?”

He did. It is called ‘true Christians being the light unto the world’ not wasting money and resources to build huge structures that will be more of a stumbling block than a help to Christ. Jesus gave a mandate to humans not inanimate objects to preach the gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons, to bring aid to those suffering. he did not say build museums and parks depicting biblical events to preach the gospel only. There are real people out there with real needs and they need real people bringing real aid  whether they convert or not. Jesus did it and we do not see him building huge structures to do only one part of his mission.

If you say you follow Jesus, then follow him in all areas of life not just the parts you like and then ignore the rest of Jesus’ example.

Yes, our motive is to do the King’s business until He comes. And that means preaching the gospel and defending the faith, so that we can reach as many souls as we can with the greatest message of purpose, hope, and meaning—that even though we rebelled against our Creator, He provided a way as a free gift so we can spend eternity with Him.

Yes, this needs to be done but so does teaching, developing the faith in others, helping them when they are in trouble and so on.You cannot ignore the physical or spiritual needs and focus on preaching the gospel all the time. Jesus didn’t do that either. He met physical and spiritual needs along with preaching the gospel. Too many people only want to preach the gospel because it is the easy part of the Christian faith and they avoid the hard part which requires them to be fully involved in other people’s lives.

Preaching the gospel is not the only Christian duty. There are a host of other biblical instructions that need to be practiced and a true part of the believer’s life. These are lost because too many organizations and church leaders focus on only 1 thing Jesus said. It is no wonder the church is not making an impact for Christ today, they only offer fire insurance not real salvation.

I can’t even describe how I feel right now as we anticipate the Ark’s opening next week and contemplate that millions of souls will hear the most important message of all—not one of hopelessness from a human judge, but a message of hope from the holy, righteous Judge who, despite our sin, wants us to spend eternity with Him! Wow! Now that’s a motive to build an Ark.

I guess he wasn’t around during all those years of Billy Graham’s career or Louis Palau’s and other evangelists who have spent a life tie holding crusades and spreading the gospel to millions. The ark will not reach as many people as they have and we have news for Mr. Ham, millions of people already know the gospel message and have made their choice. They need more than just hearing the same old message over and over.

They need to see Christianity work. Too many Christians fail to address other problems in life and set real examples demonstrating that God cares about people and the ark park is not going to show that God cares. It will show that he only wants their souls and doesn’t give a hoot about them personally or their troubles.Christians need to care and show that caring beyond preaching one little message.

You can’t harvest without spending the time planting seeds and watering those seeds. There is more to evangelism than just preaching a gospel message. Billy Graham would not be so successful if there were not millions of people planting and watering seeds for him to harvest, which brings us to another important point.

Not one word from Mr. Ham’s mouth has said that God led him to build this park, that the Holy Spirit is behind it or even involved. Nothing directs us to God and his approval or permission. It is all Mr. Ham’s idea which is one reason why we do not like his project. God seems to be somewhere on the sideline watching as Mr. Ham says ‘look at what I am doing for you’, instead of humbling saying, ‘Yes Lord we will obey Your call and direction’.

This is our main problem with Mr. Ham, AIG and these public ventures they produce. God does not seem to be involved at all. He is invoked but his participation is reserved to only providing money for Mr. Ham’s personal agenda. We do not see any historical involvement from God that has directed anyone to spend so much money on useless objects. But we see God calling and using myriads of people to do his will and be the actual light unto this world.

Sorry but we do not agree with Mr. Ham’s motivation as it seems personal not truly spiritual and if Mr. Ham doe snot know that we exist, as Mr. Roberts says, feel free to send him and his people a link to this post. we will gladly say the same things to his face. While it is too late to stop construction and the project, maybe others will learn from Mr. Ham’s error and change to doing the Christian life correctly– God’s way.

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One response to “In Response

  1. jbcowgill

    July 30, 2016 at 3:15 am

    Great piece. Something many Christians need to read.

     
 
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