Creation Evangelism

Author: Stephen Gilkinson

Stephen Gilkinson is an Agricultural Research Scientist. In 2000, Stephen constructed a Creation Trailer to spread the creation message. This is a mobile creation resource and exhibition unit that is taken to various public events during the summer months to engage the public on the creation subject. Stephen is the chairman of the committee of Creation Outreach Ministries.

Creation Evangelism is not some wacky new method to win converts to Christ; indeed, it is not even new. It is a method that was used by none other than the great apostle Paul, as in Acts 17. Notice how often Paul went to the synagogues and public places to ‘dispute’ with people. He sought to use reasoned arguments to appeal to the intellect of his audience. He was ‘always ready to give an answer to every man that [asked him] a reason of the hope that [was in him], with meekness and fear’ (1 Peter 3 v 15). Paul was disturbed by the idolatry at Athens. Did he start his interaction with the people by condemning them, or by telling them to get saved? No, he sought to communicate with them at their level of understanding, starting with reference to ‘the unknown god’ and seeking to reveal who this God really is. Was Paul successful with his outreach? Some were sceptical, some were curious and some believed! There will always be sceptics as far as salvation is concerned, but also others who are interested in learning more. The goal in any form of evangelism is that some (many!) would be altogether persuaded that the Lord Jesus is not just the creator, but also Saviour, Redeemer and the soon coming King.

Many Christians today may be sincere in their motives and passionate about winning people to Christ, but sometimes they do not effectively communicate the gospel message. In the natural world, the ground must first be prepared before seed is planted, otherwise a good harvest is unlikely. This is also true in the spiritual realm, where the fallow ground must be broken up and the evolutionary and other weeds removed by the roots, in preparation for the good seed of the Word of God to be planted. It is easy to assume that the ‘audience’ know what you are talking about, when seeking to communicate the gospel message. In reality you may be talking over their heads, using language not readily understood by people with little or no knowledge of the Bible. How many of the general public really know the meaning of words such as sin, salvation, atonement, redemption, etc? How many know what the Biblical definition of sin is, where sin originated and the consequences for the unrepentant? The meaning of anything is inextricably linked to its origin. Without the first few chapters in Genesis, the rest of the Bible is without its foundation. Why are these early chapters in Genesis so much under attack? Surely, because they are vital to our understanding of the gospel message and Satan knows this only too well.

One of the main reasons people give for not believing the Bible and its message of salvation is that the Bible has been proven wrong by ‘science’, that is, by evolutionary dogmas that are supposedly beyond dispute. If people consider the Bible is wrong about physical things such as the origin of the world, they are not likely to take the more important spiritual aspects seriously. It is important to remember that the battle for the ‘mind’ is not primarily about facts concerning fossils, dinosaurs, the age of the earth, etc, but is on a spiritual level. Why do people like Richard Dawkins get so upset with ‘creationists’, if they are just crackpots with some silly ideas? Surely it would be better to just ignore them, hoping that they will eventually go away? Evolutionists don’t do this because the battle is spiritual, i.e. satanically inspired. This point was re-enforced to me by what happened at the City Hospital in recent times. A group of Christian medics had organised a ‘creation’ lunchtime seminar. Posters went up at midday for the 1pm seminar. By 12:30pm, the hospital management had received complaints regarding the seminar and some people wanted it stopped. How dare some creationist medics hire a room to promote the concept that God made the amazing human body and is interested in the wellbeing of mankind! Having discussed, debated, argued, reasoned with people at various public events over the years, I am more convinced than ever of the spiritual nature of the battle. The apostle Paul wrote that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10 5-6). The strongholds must be pulled down before the new ‘building’ can be erected. The idea that everything ‘just happened’ is in the imagination of countless millions of people and must be cast down by the mighty power of God. Evolutionary thinking exalts itself against the knowledge of God and must be excised and replaced by the mind of Christ.

Having spent many days at various agricultural shows, etc., seeking to engage people in meaningful dialogue concerning God as the Creator and the author of the Bible, with the aim of pointing them to the last Adam, who is mighty to save, you may well ask, ‘What was the outcome?’ The responses have been somewhat similar to what Paul had: many were apathetic, a few were sceptical, but some were interested enough to ask questions and have a discussion. Our prayer is that some have been (or eventually will be) saved as a result of stopping by our creation trailer, or from reading the thought-provoking questions on the trailer’s open doors. Our experience is also that many Christians need help in becoming de-evolutionised. Unwittingly, they have imbibed ideas that are not scriptural, as a result of the pervasive influence of evolutionary propaganda. A common idea is that the ‘days’ of Genesis 1 are unspecified long periods of time. Another idea common in Northern Ireland is that there was a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, and that during this gap of time, a soulless race of people lived, Satan fell from heaven and the world was destroyed and remade by God.

The most common questions that people have asked me are about dinosaurs, Cain’s wife and the suffering in this world, particularly of ‘innocent’ people. Please do your own homework on the first and second questions. I will deal briefly with the third. Sir David Attenborough, who is renowned for his commentary on many nature programmes, does not accept the God of the Bible because of suffering in the world. He asks the question, ‘How could a loving God allow a worm to burrow itself in an African child’s eye, knowing that blindness will result?’ Sir David like many others, including some Christians, fails to realise that sin entered the perfect world that God had made and that this is the reason that things are the way they are. I think it is impossible to over-estimate the impact of the fall on the world. There are no ‘innocent’ people, as all are born in sin and shaped in iniquity. However, bad things do happen to ‘good’ people, but we need to remember that all things work together for good to them that love God and also that God is a just God in every situation. There can still be hard questions, such as the justice of God in commanding the Israelites to destroy all people in Jericho, including children. This was raised with me recently by a curious sceptic and was not easy to answer! Thank God we can look forward to a time when the whole creation will be released from the its bondage to corruption.

If you are interested in creation evangelism, I would recommend to you the book ‘Why Won’t They Listen’ by Ken Ham, which deals with the subject in a very readable manner. Another useful book is ‘The Creation Answers Book’ which supplies answers to many questions that are asked about origins, worldwide flood, fossils, age of the earth, races of people, etc. When such questions are answered in a reasoned Biblical manner, the way may then be opened up for the gospel message to be received, where previously it would not have been given a hearing. May God help us to use all the means available to reach people with the life giving message of salvation, so that by all means we may save some.