I was at a public telephone on a busy street in Leicester in the United Kingdom late at night, about to make a phone call to order more books by air freight, as we had nearly sold out of the popular creation titles.
Three young men who were walking along the street started to approach me. Thoughts started to race through my head: "Will I be mugged? What do they want?" They sort of looked like thugs.
Suddenly one of the young men blurted out; "We loved your seminar last night. It was really great!" "Yeah," said a most unlikely looking creation evangelist, "We've already been witnessing to our mates today at a cricket game." The smallest of the three lads said, "This guy we play cricket with always throws off at us for believing the Bible, but we stopped him this time. When he mocked at us for believing in creation, we asked him, 'Were you there?' He didn't have an answer. Thanks for giving us great ammunition to witness to our fiends."
I'll probably never see those young men again, but they were only three of the 7,000 people who attended the seminars or other meetings conducted by Dr. Andrew Snelling and myself during our recent tour of the United Kingdom.
Out of the entire creation ministry I have ever been involved in over the past fifteen years, this tour of the British Isles was one of the most exciting and rewarding. I had received letters, faxes, and phone calls from people in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom telling me they were specially praying for this series of meetings. As one pastor said, "If the nation that gave birth to Darwinian evolution were to repent and return to God's Word—what a powerful witness this would be to the world!"
I think this is one of the reasons why I get so excited when I speak in the United Kingdom; it's really Darwin's home territory, it's also the home of many Christian leaders who are ardent theistic evolutionists—leaders who have compromised the Word of God. Sadly, much of the Church in the United Kingdom views Genesis as a myth, and they see no importance whatsoever in creation ministry. Because of this situation, the United Kingdom seems to be a dying nation. This is reflected in the obvious symptoms of increasing abortion, homosexual behavior, lawlessness, and disrespect for human life. Mosques are going up, and churches are coming down! Although a small number of churches are growing, by and large, churches are emptying. To travel through this land, one would not get any indication that this nation was once a Christian nation that had great revivals.
So Andrew and I set off on a speaking tour to conduct "Back to Genesis" seminars and other meetings calling people to return to the authority of the Word of God and to stop trusting in the "'wisdom"' of man. This message is really summed up by Hosea: "Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity: ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men" (Hosea 10:12). Certainly reformation is needed in our churches today, because, although many Christian leaders claim they have a "high" view of Scripture, they nevertheless believe in evolution, thereby undermining Genesis, the foundational book of the Bible! They have trusted the lies of men who have tried to explain life without God.
However, the average person realizes something is dreadfully wrong, and that the Church, by and large, does not have answers to the secularization of society and the destruction of the Christian fabric that once existed. But people flocked to the seminars. The Lord blessed mightily, honoring the prayers of the faithful!
When I arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I was told of a faithful warrior who was in charge of the prayer meetings for the Belfast seminar. He and others had met many times to pray, and spent hours praying the Saturday before the event.
How thrilling it was to see so many people pour into the center of Belfast for the seminar that we had to use two facilities and present our lectures twice each night for the three evenings of the seminar. Over 1700 people attended EACH night—around 2200 different people altogether. The response to the books and videos was far beyond our expectations. Even though we had shipped over thousands of books for this tour, on two occasions we had extra shipments air-freighted in from the states, and we still ran out! Praise the Lord that books and videos will be widely distributed in that country.
It was also exciting to talk to a couple of ex-terrorists (one who had been given a number of life sentences) who were so on fire for the Lord they had started their own Christian organization to take Christianity into the schools. Because of their fervor for the Lord and their understanding of where students in our schools are today, they recognized the vital importance of getting the creation message to the students. They spoke to me about obtaining sets of books and videos to donate to each school.
Around 7000 people attended the meetings during this three-week tour. Most of the auditoriums were packed to overflowing. Even by American standards, these were large seminars. A number of pastors commented that they could not remember a Christian seminar event ever being so well attended. People were excited and expectant, wanting answers to rejuvenate the Church and turn the nation around. Pastors were ecstatic, realizing that these messages gave them the key.
One young lady in Edinburgh said she had learned more in one night at our seminar than she had during a year at Bible College. She brought her friends back the next day for the rest of the seminar.
A Christian academic brought his non-Christian friend to the seminar. This Bulgarian man was studying artificial intelligence at the University of Edinburgh and was the youngest member, ever, of the Bulgarian Academy of Science. The man who brought the student told me that this young man was greatly challenged by the lectures and, as a result, was very close to accepting the Lord. I spoke to the young man for quite some time. He was deeply moved by what he had heard. Please pray for Nicolas. Imagine what could happen if he becomes a Christian and takes the message of Christianity and the importance of creation back to his homeland.
In Wales, a pastor told me about his brother who is a pastor in Georgia, in the U.S. Apparently his brother took an atheist clinical psychologist to our "Back to Genesis" seminar held in Augusta, Georgia earlier this year. As a direct result of the seminar, this atheist committed his life to the Lord! I was able to use this powerful testimony at the seminars in the United Kingdom.
At another one of the "Back to Genesis" seminars, a geneticist and geologist from Oxford University attended. They said they were Christians, but believed in evolution. At first, they really opposed our messages, and became very upset.
However, on the second night, the geneticist said she realized that if she was a Christian, then she had to face up to what the Bible clearly stated. She realized that if she did not accept Genesis, she had problems with Christian doctrine. She said that what challenged her more than anything was the message that pointed out the inconsistencies of Christians who accept evolution and try to add it to the Bible. She had never heard this message before. In her own words: "This has turned me around." Wouldn't it be great to see the many theistic evolutionists in the universities in the United Kingdom reject evolution and accept God's Word in Genesis?
I'll never forget one pastor who took my hand, squeezed it hard, and said, "Thank you for helping us pastors to know we can speak authoritatively on the Word of God. We've needed someone to help us to have the courage to do what we should have been doing all along. Thank you."
One young man came up and said, "You know, what God is really doing is giving the United Kingdom a second chance." When evolution was being popularized, the Church should have said, 'We have God's Word! What it says is different than evolution, therefore we must reject evolution.' But the Church compromised the Word of God instead. But God is so gracious in that He has allowed you to come with all of these books—all of this wonderful research—to challenge us to get back to God's Word. Really, we shouldn't need this research; we should have trusted the Bible, so I look on it as that God is giving us a second chance, so to speak."
There is no doubt in my mind that there was something special about this series of meetings. It was obviously a work of the Creator God. The people were so hungry. I have seen phenomenal responses to the ministry before, but these responses touched my heart in a special way. As one Englishman said, on seeing the response to the seminars, "Maybe God isn't finished with this nation after all. Maybe God will bring revival again." What if the nation that gave birth to a man who popularized the philosophy that destroyed the foundations of the Church were to turn again to the God of creation? As Hosea states: "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till He come and rain righteousness upon you" (Hosea 10:12).
We are seeing similar responses to the "Back to Genesis" programs across the United States. The message of "Back to Genesis" is certainly one needed for the nations at this time. Sadly, the same destruction that has occurred in the United Kingdom is occurring in the U.S., because this nation has also adopted evolutionism as its religion. Please pray for all aspects of the ministry of ICR as we reach out around the world to bring the vital message of creation and salvation to the billions of people who need to hear the saving power of the Gospel.