Professor Andy McIntosh of ACM Creation ministries, recently spent several days in the USA. From 8-14 April, he was in California.
He writes: This valuable time in California began with a four-day Alpha Omega conference, where creation themes were presented by Andrew Snelling (Answers in Genesis), myself and Randy Gulliuza of Institute of Creation Research. It was a privilege to hear these speakers present their material, as well as take part myself in a range of talks. Meetings were held at the Shashta Bible College and churches in a wide area, reaching down from Redding to Sacramento.
Though not large, the seminaries I visited at Shashta (Redding) and Cornerstone (Vallejo) have a significant influence in feeding pastors into churches who fully accept the biblical creation position.
Believe the Bible
My burden repeatedly was to say that, although the political situation is deeply challenging in the USA (as it is in the UK, where Christians feel disenfranchised), yet the key is for the church to believe its own book! The Lord is the one who brings revival, but this will never come where the church does not believe the Scriptures in their entirety. The church on its knees in repentance is the key to the nation getting on its feet. My deep concern is that both in the USA and UK, the church has lost sight of the Scriptures and obedience to the living and written Word.
It was a privilege in particular to speak evangelistically on ‘A sceptical look at atheism’, at Valley Church, Vacaville, in three services. Many wanted to know more, but, at the last service, a lady came up strongly disagreeing with my various statements that: only believing in the God who created us can make sense of the reality; we have minds that can think logically; there are such things as right and wrong; and there is deep suffering in the world.
This lady said, ‘The Bible is just a bit of paper’ and would not listen to reasoned arguments that the Bible is a written testimony over 1600 years, and that Christ’s resurrection is one of the most well attested historical facts. Just this week, on my return from the USA, at an open-air meeting in Leeds, another person came out with essentially the same statement: ‘You are just believing in a book!’ And this person admitted he had not read it! A fellow open-air speaker I shared this with said to me he had spoken to someone in Glasgow who had also said, ‘The Bible is just a book’, and then proceeded to say he was a teacher of English — using books!
It really is a specious argument against the faith and needs to be tackled head on. The authenticity of the Bible and its authority are essential doctrines, if we are going to, by God’s appointed means of preaching, pull down strongholds of Satan. And its authority begins in Genesis. If the church messes up on Genesis, there is no traction with the unconverted.
I then went to New York State/New Jersey from 16-26 April. The 10 days in New York State were primarily under the leadership of Adam Gordon, who does great service in the Navigators, discipling other young leaders. I did church meetings in Albany, Schenectady, Catskill, Montebello, Circleville and Yorktown Heights, and spoke at Christian schools in Schenectady, Highland and Montville. All were valuable meetings, with a thirst for the resources we took to the meetings — provided for us generously by AiG.
As in California, the highlight for me was speaking evangelistically to students at the State University of New York Middletown Campus on 22 April, and on the New Paltz campus on 23 April. I shall not forget the long conversation with two atheists, called Matthew and Luke, at Middletown, and Luke’s agreement to take at least a New Testament and read it.
What really left a marked impression at both meetings was the line-up of people wishing to ask questions afterwards. Some were patiently waiting for half an hour or more. At New Paltz, the question time took longer than the actual meeting.
One lady who was blind came up with her friend to ask pointed questions. Both of them stated with some strength of feeling that they believed the Bible was anti-women and supported slavery. It was so sad to see that they both had been poisoned by the anti-Christian rhetoric which is rife in the mainly liberal state universities. It seemed to epitomise the spiritual blindness that has caused many in academia to be so opposed to the truth of God’s Word.
Adam Gordon was encouraged, because the Christians on campus now realised that they could face atheistic humanism for what it is — the emperor with no clothes! It is, in fact, a philosophy with no coherence when critically examined, and with no firm basis in human experience.