Someone once said this to me, in a way which was meant to be a put-down of the creation ministry. In the context of the discussion, the person speaking was implying that ministries which clothed and fed people, or met their medical needs, were a worthy outlet for Christian time and money. But not some group fussing about creation/evolution, the age of creation, Genesis, and so on.
I think that there are many Christians who (while they may not be among those church-goers who are hostile to Biblical creation) also wonder why anyone would bother supporting creation ministries. At any rate, they feel, backing creation ministry must be a long way down the list of Christian priorities, well below the image of missionaries hacking through the jungle to bring the Gospel to those who have not yet heard it.
Let me make it clear how important I believe those ministries are which minister to the needy and afflicted in Christ’s name, and those which spread the Gospel in foreign lands. There are, though, a number of factors that many do not consider, showing that creation ministry is foundational to these, and that it is not a matter of ‘either-or’ but ‘both-and.’
The ‘bottom line’ is that ministries that feed the hungry are supported and fueled largely by Christians who believe that the Bible is true and accurate. A World Vision representative once told me that the vast majority of their support comes from Bible-believing churches. Even within a particular denomination split into ‘liberal’ (i.e. denying the full authority of Scripture) and conservative wings, it is the conservative branch that overwhelmingly supports the physical needs of people in poor countries.
Isn’t that interesting? Liberal churches and spokesmen bleat a lot about sharing of resources with the needy. What they often mean is big governments stealing from your pocket to give to others. When it comes to actually dipping into their own pockets to give real help, they lag far behind their Bible-believing counterparts.
What is the issue that, more than any other, drives the Christian drift into liberalism?
Answer: The erroneous belief that science has disproved the Bible’s miraculous Creation/Fall/Redemption frame-work of Earth history. And it is the burgeoning creation movement over the last few decades that, perhaps more than any other, has begun a real halt in this decline, and a strengthening of the Bible-believing sectors of Christendom. So in a very real sense, giving to reputable, well-managed creation ministries that are really active in outreach to and through the churches, helps to meet a lot of physical needs.
I think of a particular lady who, having become converted through creation ministry,went on to immediately leave a comfortable job and become a missionary in South America.
I know of another young couple, both doctors, who have sacrificed a life of comfort to bring the Gospel, and medical help, to people in faraway Yemen. I remember well when the young man was having real doubts about the Bible—because of the Genesis/science/age questions. I recall the many letters we exchanged, and then the tears in his eyes when he finally understood the real issues concerning the authority of the Bible, at a small CMI seminar in Melbourne, Australia. Since then he has ‘not looked back’ in his walk with the Lord.
Let’s face it—unless people believe that the Bible (with its revelation of Jesus Christ) is really true and can be totally trusted, there is far less motivation to sacrifice your own comfort for others.
There are other indirect ways in which creation ministry helps in bringing the Gospel to foreign shores. Firstly, by aiding the strengthening and growth of Bible-believing churches across the denominational spectrum—these are the only ones who care about sending and supporting such missionaries anyway.
Further, creation ministry helps by making evangelicalism increasingly conscious of the need to lay the right foundations for the Gospel message. As New Tribes Mission has shown over and over, if groups are taught chronologically, starting unashamedly from Genesis with its foundational reason why Christ had to die, subsequent conversions are more numerous, deeper, and more lasting. Outreach efforts become more effective.
Many missionaries report that the information provided by trained scientists who are willing to stand up and defend Genesis ‘as written’—not trying to ‘prove the Bible from science’ but using the Bible as an authority to understand and explain the evidence—has greatly strengthened their hand in such situations.
Finally, creation ministry helps in guarding and conserving the harvest. We often hear from churches in Third World countries that have sprung up as a result of past missionary activity, that their young folk are now being confronted with evolution at school and your support has helped us to help them with materials they could not otherwise afford. Thank you! All of this, then, is what the Creation Ministries International group is all about—bringing people to a full trust in the Word of God; encouraging, strengthening, and equipping the church; and seeing many converted—entering the Kingdom of Light as the strongholds of evolutionary darkness crumble in their lives.
Thank you for standing with CMI!