Creation Evangelism: A Powerful Tool in Today's World
by Kenneth Ham
Why has the Lord raised up creation science organizations worldwide? Why is it necessary to have such an organization in each country? One important concept we have come to realize in Creation Science is that the Lord has not called us only to oppose evolution, but to help in restoring the foundation of the gospel in our society. We believe if the churches took up the tool of creation evangelism, not only would we see a stemming of the tide of humanistic philosophy, but we would also see the seeds of revival sown and flourishing in a culture that is becoming increasingly more pagan each day.
When we look at the United States and other countries today, we see increases in homosexuality, support for abortion on demand, disobedience to those in authority, people who do not want to work, pornography, the abandonment of marriage and modest clothing, to name but a few examples. We also note the following: The church is not as effective as it used to be. Christians are fighting for their freedoms. Parents don't automatically send their children to church programs, as used to happen even when the parents were not churchgoers themselves. The education system is no longer considered Christian. What has occurred in society to bring about this change? Why is it that many people today just scoff when we talk abut Christ and the doctrines of the gospel?
It wasn't long ago that creationism was the basis of our society. A creation basis means there are absolutes. If you accept a belief in God as Creator, then you accept that there are laws, as He is the Lawgiver. He is the absolute authority, and we are under total obligation to Him. Laws are not a matter of our opinions but rules given by the One who has the right to impose them upon us for our good, and His own glory.
It used to be that creationism was taught through the school system. People who weren't Christians by and large respected and obeyed the laws based upon the Bible. A homosexual lifestyle was against the law; abortion in most instances was considered murder.
But what happened? A man called Charles Darwin repopularized an ancient pagan belief now called "evolution." It was promulgated as science, although it is not science. Many people believed that evolution was science--not understanding the real meaning of either evolution or science--and so this view of origins began to permeate our society. People who were not Christians readily accepted evolution, as it is a belief system that purports to explain the world without God. Humans are simply a result of chance. That is, no one owns you--you own yourself! This means that you are under obligation to no one. People who are not Christians would accept this view because the Bible tells us that men love darkness rather than light, because they are sinful creatures (John 3:19).
As this view became established, people started to ask questions such as: "If evolution is true, and there is no God who is Creator, then why are there laws about marriage?" "Why are there laws against a homosexual lifestyle?" "Why can't we carry out abortions on demand? After all, killing a baby by abortion is like getting rid of an animal that is not needed or wanted." In other words, the belief system of evolution provided a basis for the humanistic morality that says you can do what you want to do because nobody owns you--there is no right or wrong. In other words, their ONE ABSOLUTE is that there are NO ABSOLUTES.
The conflict we see in our society at present is the clash between the faith of Christians with their creation basis and absolutes and the religion of humanism with its evolutionary basis and its relative morality that says "anything goes."
These two systems cannot exist beside each other for very long, for in the end, one must go. When creation with its Christian absolutes was the basis of society, people knew what was right and what was wrong. Sexual deviancy, easy divorce, public lawlessness, abortion on demand, pornography, public nudity, and so one, were all considered to be wrong. Varying punishments for offenders were meted out by society. These attitudes were basically built on Biblical principles (e.g., the Ten Commandments). However, as belief in God was abandoned and replaced with evolution, people started to question the basis of the society in which they lived.
Logically, as society rejects the basis of creation (and consequently a basis of belief in one who is the Lawgiver) their individual and collective sinful natures will be expressed. Logically we would expect an abandoning of Christian ethics and an increase in such things as lawlessness, homosexuality, pornography, abortion, etc.
Many Christians recognize the degeneration that has occurred in society. They can see the rejection of Christian ethics and the increase in these anti-God philosophies. However, they are at a loss to know why this is occurring. The reason they are in such a dilemma is that they don't understand the foundational nature of the battle. Creation versus evolution is the bottom line. When people reject the God of creation, this necessarily affects how they view themselves, others, the world in which they live, and therefore how they should act in this world.
Well, what can we do about it? The Lord has provided us with a phenomenally powerful tool--creation evangelism. We believe the reason that the church is so ineffective today is because it is not evangelizing in the right way. The church may be proclaiming the message of the Cross and Christ, but this is not as effective as it used to be, because it is not proclaimed the way it used to be.
We need to take a lesson from the New Testament. In Acts 14 and 17 are two specific examples of approaches to the Greeks. The method was different from that used for the Jews. When Paul went to the Greeks, he didn't start by preaching about Jesus Christ and the Cross, but by telling them about the true God who is the Creator, and from there went on to the rest of the Gospel about Jesus Christ. The Greeks believed in a form of evolution, and thus, in their eyes, there was no God who had authority over them. We also read in the New Testament (I Corinthians 1:23) that the preaching of the cross was foolishness to the Gentiles (Greeks) and a stumbling block to the Jews. When we think about this carefully, we can understand why Paul needed to approach the Greeks from the basis of creation. The Greeks, not believing in God as Creator but in some form of evolution instead, had the wrong basis and therefore the wrong framework of thinking about this world. Therefore, to them the preaching of the cross was utter foolishness. Paul realized that before he could preach about Jesus, he must approach them on the basis of what they knew intuitively--namely, that there was a Creator to Whom they were responsible.
It's about time Christians opened their eyes to the fact that our society, which used to be similar to that of the Jews, has now become like that of the Greeks. In the past the creation basis was foundational to society. This enabled the proclamation of the message of Jesus Christ and resulted in great responses and effectiveness. But Christian philosophy has eroded away and been replaced with an evolutionary framework.
In today's world, before we can effectively proclaim the message of Christ, we must reestablish the creation basis on which the rest of the gospel must be built. We should rethink the method prevalent in Christian circles of teaching only the New Testament to unbelievers. If they were also taught Genesis (at least chapters 1-11), the basis would then be provided for the gospel presentation, just as Paul used these Scriptures in Acts 14 and 17.
Let me be emphatic here. The doctrine of the Cross, though regarded as absurd and powerless by non-Christians, has more power and wisdom than anything that ever proceeded from man. The preaching of this doctrine is the great means of salvation. So, in saying that we need to start from the foundational basis of Creation, I am not detracting from the message of the Cross. What I am attempting to show is that there is a particular method of approach necessary when presenting the gospel message to those people who neither know nor believe the Scriptures. The beliefs which they have can be barriers to their even listening when you preach the message of the Cross.
The Lord has recently been raising up creationist scientists worldwide so that the necessary tools for evangelizing our world will be available to God's people. We believe creation ministries are among the most important Christian ministries in today's world. They deal with the foundations upon which our Christianity depends--the foundations that have been removed from our society.
As we have preached this message throughout the world, we have seen Christians take the materials we produce and aggressively witness to people concerning the fact of creation. When challenged on that issue, they have been found to be open to the gospel. Previously they would just scoff when talking about Jesus Christ. Creation evangelism works!
But we should not stop there. When new converts come into a church, the first thing that should occur is an introduction to a Bible study on the book of Genesis, so that they will know exactly what Christianity is all about and where all their doctrine has its foundation. We are not saying that we cannot still achieve results from just preaching about Christ as Savior in our society today, but the response from this approach is nothing like it used to be. It's time the church awoke and made use of the tools that the Lord has provided for a society that has become like that of the ancient Greeks, and restore the foundations of Christianity so that the structure of true Biblical Christianity can stand.
Because it is built on God's word, and brings people to Christ and to a solid commitment to the God of creation, creation evangelism IS successful. So successful in fact that creation ministries are growing rapidly around the world. Ministries like the Institute for Creation Research and other similar organizations are not able to keep up with the work load from the ever-increasing demands for their services. Lives are being changed. People are coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. The foundations of creation are being restored little by little. Are you, dear reader, a part of this growing, exciting and vital ministry in these last days?
* Ken Ham is a new staff member of ICR, formerly Director of the Creation Science Foundation of Australia. He is available for ministering in churches on the issues related to creation and evangelism.