Archive for September 7th, 2010

I recently took my family to the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky (children under 5 are free and we had two free adult tickets, so it seemed like an ideal time to go).  The Creation Museum is the vision of Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis and it reflects his (and those who have partnered with him) particular views and opinions about the science of creation.  This view is described as Young Earth Creationism but Ken’s particular subset of beliefs is even more narrow than that of many Young Earthers.

I’ve been involved in a variety of discussions on the museum that, like divisive political issues, quickly turn into “us vs. them” rhetoric.  Like all issues that are not essential to the Christian faith, the writers here fall among the variety of viewpoints within creationism and we have had discussions on the matter in the past.  I personally believe that God created the earth a few thousand years ago.  I’m not particular on the date, or the exact number of years.  In fact, if it were important, then I would think that information would have been included in the holy Scriptures somewhere.

My summarization of what I have seen from negative reviews of the museum over the past few years is that it is antagonistic to non-believers and divisive for believers.  This seems to be reflective of Ken Ham in general and having now been through the museum, I am inclined to agree.  The only view presented as “biblical” is that of Ham’s specific young earth creationism.  But I don’t really care if you disagree with his view, or mine, about Creationism if you believe that God created all things and that scripture is the divinely inspired, authoritative word of God.  For that matter, I don’t care if I disagree with Ham.  I come across so much stuff in ministry that is either stupid or wrong or that I just disagree with, that if I spent too much time thinking about it, I wouldn’t get anything else done.  I also don’t think that any divisiveness perpetuated is the big problem.*

My major problem with the Creation Museum (besides the stupidly high cost for the smallness of it and other minor complaints, which really belong to the category of product review, so I will not include them here) is that it is trying to bring people to faith in Christ by correcting their world view.  This in and of itself is not a bad thing.  People come to faith in different ways.  Some because they want the hurt to go away.  Some because they have seen the very real impact of the Kingdom of God in their lives.  Some because they have been exposed to the knowledge that this world is not as God intended it and that sin is the cause of their current condition and the only cure is redemption through Jesus the Christ.  Even in the midst of a postmodern culture, the last example (which is the most basic expression of a biblical world view) still occurs.  But the creation museum attempts to do this in a void of relationship, community, and commitment.

Even the account of Genesis itself was given to the people of Israel, living in community with each other and with God.  The history and teachings found there were given through Moses to the Israelites coming out of Egypt, where they had spent hundreds of years learning and adopting the Egyptian world view and the worship of the gods that was a part of that world view.  It was a teaching given to the people of God to reorient their lives.  This occurred after God acted on their behalf to save them from the hands of the Egyptians, after they had chosen to walk through the water and committed as a community to be His people and that He would be their God.

We use most of Scripture in the same way.  The church gathers weekly in small groups and corporately in order to reorient our lives to be like Christ.  This is discipleship.  We do not expect an unbeliever to live like Jesus so that they can be saved by Jesus, and rightly so.  We are able to live like Jesus because we are saved by Jesus.  We have chosen to follow him through the water in a lifetime commitment that we would be His people and that He would be our God.  And we spend that life learning what it looks like for us to live as God intended, that His creation would be redeemed.

That all being said, I liked this museum as much as I like most museums.

*Don’t get me wrong, divisiveness in the church is and can be of major concern.  I just think that if somebody is going to be divisive about this particular issue, that you end up seeing it in any issue of biblical interpretation.  It’s the classic problem of, “You disagree with me about what this passage means, therefore you don’t believe in the Bible.”  This, of course is a logical fallacy, one to which we are all prone to commit as we all think that we are right about whatever it is we have an opinion about; otherwise, we wouldn’t have an opinion about it.

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I imagine this could be a fun topic to run with for a long time and that I could write a nice piece on it that would justify a certain church’s actions in regard to the Qu’ran. I’m not going to mention the church nor link to their website or their blog. Instead, here’s a link to the story at foxnews.com where we learn that even General Patraeus is warning of the potential danger of burning the Qu’ran.

“Images of the burning of a Koran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence ,” Gen. David Petraeus said. “Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult.”

In the interest of developing a good practical interpretation of Acts 19:17-20, one that all of us can benefit from, I ask you the following questions: Is this particular church right on or suicidal? Is this what God demands of us as citizens in this world? Is this at all helpful in the cause of evangelism?

The foxnews.com story also quoted from the church’s blog:

“We are using this act to warn about the teaching and ideology of Islam, which we do hate as it is hateful. We do not hate any people, however. We love, as God loves, all the people in the world and we want them to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Is this how we help ‘the Word of the Lord’ increase and prevail? Is this how we demonstrate our love for ‘all people’?  What are your thoughts on this very sensitive, hot issue?

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