At this Thanksgiving season, it has been good for me to think back over the countless blessings from God on the ICR ministries in our earlier days. From extremely small and unimpressive beginnings in 1970, it does seem that God may have called ICR "to the kingdom for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14).
Before we moved into our present building in 1985, ICR had experienced 15 years of slow but steady growth while located on the campus of Christian Heritage College, and many people were being reached for the Lord and His Word. Recently, in culling through my old files, I have run across numerous letters of testimony to this effect from that earlier period, and I'd like to share excerpts from some of them with you.
Listen, for example, to this heart-felt expression from a Christian lady written over ten years ago: "You caused me to love the Bible more. You taught me to love God more. Your writings made my heart respond and leap to the Savior in new ways, and at times I couldn't read because of the tears in my eyes." It would be wonderful if all our readers could be affected thus, but we, of course, also receive many vitriolic letters from the anti-creationists—and also sad to say, some from Christians who are trying to compromise Scripture with scientism.
However, this is meant to be strictly a praise article about God's special blessings! In an early letter from a New Mexico pharmacist was the following testimony: "I have listened to the tapes that were recorded here when you and Dr. Gish were at the University of New Mexico. The information you gave has been very instrumental in my own conversion, as evolution was a real problem in my coming to the Lord Jesus."
Here's one from a pastor in British Columbia: "I want to thank the Lord for the tremendous ministry you have had and are having I had been a confirmed atheist and evolutionist, but the truth sets people free. It was because of one of Dr. Morris' books that I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior."
A Christian man in England wrote the following back in 1977:"To the teaching of Dr. Henry Morris and his associates I owe an intellectual conviction in the Christian faith for which I can never hope to express adequately my gratitude."
Closer to home was the following letter from Illinois: "Just a note to let you know that a fellow who attended a creation lecture given by you and Dr. Gish in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, had his thinking regarding evolution shaken. He left the lecture with the conviction that Genesis is probably true and if Genesis is true, Revelation and the coming judgment are also. He acquired some Christian literature, read it, and accepted the Lord. He is now involved in full-time Christian service."
From a student in the Medical College of Georgia came the following testimony almost 20 years ago: "I praise the Lord for the work that you and the other scientists at the Institute have done, and I appreciate your testimony to the living creation. Some lectures and books by Dr. Morris had a big influence on me to re-examine Christianity and subsequently made a decision to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior."
A man whom the Lord has since used in a ministry of creation evangelism first wrote to me some 12 years ago. He said: "This letter is nearly 20 years late.... In many ways, The Genesis Flood was a turning point in my life. As a geologist, … I was full of the textbook teaching.... The absolute evolutionary emphasis taught in college and in graduate school. This had taken its toll.... at that point, I was introduced to The Genesis Flood. At last! Something that made sense! After that beginning, I read everything I could find on creationism and the ever-changing thoughts of the adherents of the evolutionary hoax.... For the past several years I have been lecturing in Creation and the various aspects of the creation/evolution debate to anyone who would listen.... Thanks again for The Genesis Flood and all the books that followed; all have been used by God to profoundly affect many lives."
A young man who was a student at V.P.I. (Virginia Tech) while I was there on the faculty (although we never met) wrote to me about his own personal experience. "While a student at V.P.I. majoring in Biology, I became very despondent with the conflict I was having with evolution and the Bible.... As I looked around for some good books to read, in a religious bookstore I came across your little book, The Bible and Modem Science.... Dr. Morris, when I got through reading it I knew my whole life was going to be different …I was about to shipwreck, but your little book sent me away under full sail.... At the present time, I am teaching a general biology course at [a Christian college]. I plan on entering seminary next fall."
Then I found a letter, written in 1980, from a pastor in whose church I had been privileged to speak two months earlier. "After the evening service you spoke with a young man about creationism and the accuracy of the Bible. Your messages and that short conversation proved to be the tuming point in his spiritual pilgrimage.... He had been heavily involved in the anti-war movement in the early seventies. After that, he became a policeman.... Your sermons and that conversation sparked a deep interest inside him. It made him believe that Christianity had a credible base. Sometime over the Christmas holidays, alone with his thoughts, Dennis gave his heart to Jesus Christ."
This same pastor had written earlier about his own personal testimony. "I remember the first time I saw a book by Henry Morris … I wasn't a Christian then. The book was called The Twilight of Evolution. Dr. Morris argued that with all the evidence evaluated, the case for evolution falls to the ground. Such an idea astounded me.... His book opened my eyes and changed my life.... That book made me seriously consider the truthfulness of the Bible. I began to study the subject on my own, and eventually came to faith in Christ."
We hear occasionally from a faithful Christian lady in New Zealand. In her first letter to me, about ten years ago, she gave this testimony. "Iwas an evolutionist before I was saved, and this was a tremendous barrier to believing the Bible. After I was saved, I was taught the Day-Age theory and spent many hours trying to manipulate God's Word to make it fit into science falsely so called! Then I read The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth and discarded the geological ages forever, and everything fell into place. Thank you-thank you from the bottom of my heart. May the Lord continue to use you mightily to help others as you have helped me."
My old files are bulging with dozens and dozens of thrilling letters like these, and I praise God for every one of them. I've been trying to cull them out, for space seems at a premium these days, but I'm finding it almost impossible to discard any of them.
And these are only my personal files— which, of course, are why they seem to refer mostly to my own books and messages. Please excuse this imbalance. I am sure that each of the other ICR writers and speakers has received many such letters referring to their books and other ministries, too.
Furthermore, most people who have been touched by an ICR lecture or book or radio message never write at all, but they are being reached nevertheless. Everywhere any of our men have held meetings; they have received many verbal testimonies similar to those cited in this little review. All of this helps to assure us that the Lord is indeed using the ICR ministries in a vital way in these last days, even though only a few of those so affected (percentage-wise, that is) will ever have opportunity to tell us so before we all meet in heaven.
I feel a little uncomfortable in writing about all this because it may sound like boasting, but I really mean it as a testimony of thanksgiving--thankfulness to God for all His many blessings and thankfulness to all those of our readers who, through prayer and giving, have had a great share in all that has been accomplished. As the excerpts from the old letters in this article confirm, God has been using and blessing the ICR creationist ministry for many years and no doubt will continue to do so until Christ returns, if we remain faithful to His revealed Word. So, please continue to pray for us to that end.
I would like to close by citing one more letter from a dear Christian lady who (with her husband) helped us to start publishing our Days of Praise devotional booklets ten years ago. We have received many wonderful letters from users of these booklets all over the world since that time, but none that I cherish more than her response to the very first booklet. She said, among other things: "I've read the Daily Nuggets, appreciated them, and delighted in their Scriptural intelligent content--not comprised of 'true life trivia' which could support truth and error, but the refreshing, rejuvenating Word of God! Often my eyes teared and I had to stop and wait for my vision to clear—thinking on the magnificent and awesome work and person of Christ. He is lifted up throughout the pages.... I'm sure God will be honored and bless many through these studies."
Indeed, He has blessed many people through our Days of Praise, our books, our seminars, museum, radio outreach, videos, graduate school, and all the other ICR ministries. And, no doubt, He has blessed those of us who work here at ICR most of all.
I thank thee, heavenly Father, for all thou hast done, and for permitting us to be a part of it. And, please, Father, bless all those many friends whose gifts and prayers thou hast honored and used to carry it through. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus, and by thy Holy Spirit help us to faithfully "occupy" until that glorious day! We ask it, with thanksgiving, in thy matchless and majestic Name.
* Dr. Morris is Founder and President of the Institute for Creation Research.