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What a fabulous event!

Over 800 at CMI-Australia’s largest-ever SuperCamp/conference

by

Published: 30 January 2013 (GMT+10)

With 808 attending, most of them living in for the full five-day event, CMI-Australia’s 2013 SuperCamp at Phillip Island, two hours south of Melbourne, Victoria, was pretty well booked out. In fact, it was the largest such event that the Australian creation ministry has ever hosted, or even been a part of, in its 32 years. And judging by the excited comments of the people there, it was as much, if not more, of a thrilling (even life-changing for several) time than any of its predecessors.

Those who attended were mostly very grateful for the weather; while most of the rest of Australia sweltered under a particularly blistering heatwave, being in that southern seaside resort was like being in natural airconditioning. In fact, on one day, jackets were needed!

The adventure and fun facilities at the resort meant that the younger generations were well catered for, and it was so encouraging to see that many of them were also really interested in and engaged with the lectures. It was clear from the comments of many attendees (calling them ‘campers’ would not give the right impression of the facilities and ambience of the resort) that the event had made a powerful impact on their understanding of their own faith. It also frequently sparked passion for being involved in this spiritual battle in their own future lives and careers, including reaching out to those they had contact with in their daily lives.

(Article continues below the picture gallery)


International creation networking

What was especially exciting was that all but one of that list of nations included folk who were either involved in, or about to start, creation outreach in their own part of the world.

It wasn’t just people from Australia that were blessed, with many informal testimonies of lives changed, both during the camp and from CMI’s ministry over the decades. In addition to the overseas speakers from the US, Germany and Canada, the nations represented other than Australia included Hong Kong, Finland, East Malaysia, Vanuatu, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand and Switzerland. What was especially exciting was that all but one of that list of nations included folk who were either involved in, or about to start, creation outreach in their own part of the world. In addition to the teaching from the lectures, there was also much informal sharing of tips and valuable global networking. The (partially sponsored) delegation from Vanuatu included schoolteachers and others in positions of government who were deeply concerned with the recent upsurge in ‘imported’ evolution teaching in their strongly Christian nation. They would have been aware of the rapid social decay that accompanied this in the Solomon Islands. And they were certainly conscious of the decline happening in Fiji, a Pacific Island neighbour nation.

This is taking place as evolutionary teaching relentlessly undermines the authority of the Bible—and thus the influence of the church. An impromptu/spontaneous discussion among several attendees at the conference ended up with a substantial number of resources donated by attendees and shipped to Vanuatu to kickstart their local efforts.

Australia’s famous ‘dingo case’

Many were interested to discover that Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton was, with her husband, a full-time attendee at the camp (see picture gallery above). Well known globally as the mother of Azaria, the baby taken by a dingo which led to the (in)famous Australian ‘dingo trial’ a few decades back, Lindy has apparently been subscribing to Creation magazine for some years. The case, which led to a Hollywood movie in which Lindy was played by Meryl Streep, has been cited more than once in CMI literature. Most recently it was featured in the box in this 2005 article. It is an example of how eyewitness testimony (establishing her innocence) was ignored/rejected in favour of (flawed) forensic testimony, an obvious parallel to aspects of creation/evolution.

Excited feedback

The comments from campers on the spot were overwhelmingly positive, but what follows are actual written comments extracted from the survey forms at the end:

“Up to date … Whole camp anchored to the Bible.”

“ … really well researched and mind blowing.”

‘Difficult topics being simply explained that have given us the tools to defend what we believe.’

“Difficult topics being simply explained that have given us the tools to defend what we believe.”

“The speakers were brilliant! An absolute honour to listen to very well educated Christian men explain creation to us.”

“The obvious sincerity and devotion to God exhibited by every speaker, their willing hearts to be used by Him for His glory … all magnificent. … Looking forward eagerly to next camp.”

“The qualifications and credibility of the speakers … the professionalism … . The child in our group [also] really enjoyed himself.”

“Loved all of it. Everyone did an amazing job, and I can’t wait till the next camp!”

“What an absolutely fantastic conference! The feedback from the young people [in our group] was overwhelmingly positive and some are keen to book for the next one already!!”

“ … my daughter graduated from Uni last year with her faith intact largely due to the teaching from CMI. Thank you.”

“The whole program was wonderful.”

“AMAZING! Loved the passion and wide range of expertise… .”

Filming behind the scenes

With many of CMI’s global tally of PhD scientists gathered together in one place, it was an ideal opportunity to film several interviews for the Evolution’s Achilles Heels documentary project. CMI-US’s audiovisual manager, Brian Leighty, as well as a number of the speakers, were intensively involved with this at the conference, ‘behind the scenes’. (While there, Brian took the opportunity to also film for a future semi-documentary DVD on another creation-related topic.)

We also heard of one PhD scientist there who said to his enthusiastically pro-creation father-in-law later in the conference: ‘I see now what you’ve been on about.’

Shifting position on creation

These sorts of live-in conferences are geared at more comprehensively teaching and equipping those already motivated to come, which will mostly be those already reached by other CMI ministry. There are always a few who will have come, perhaps with a creation-believing relative, who were previously unsure of their position on origins/Genesis, or were even old-earth. According to the anonymous survey forms, of the handful of people in that category, all but one ended up firmly in the six-day creation camp. (By the way, for all those people who overwrote their forms with ‘7 day’ creation, we are of course aware that Creation Week involved 7 days. But since Exodus 20:11 states plainly that creation itself was in six days—the seventh day was when God rested after completing creation—in the interests of biblical accuracy, we respectfully feel obliged to keep referring to ‘six-day creation’.) We also heard of one PhD scientist there who said to his enthusiastically pro-creation father-in-law later in the conference: “I see now what you’ve been on about.” The penny had ‘fully dropped’ for him now, as it had for a number of other folk, which is one of the major benefits of such major creation teaching events. He obtained a number of creation resources to take back to use at his church. Praise the Lord for this, and the many other ways in which we can foresee the impact of the 2013 Creation Supercamp spreading widely!

The next supercamp?

Planning for the next Australian national conference is already underway for a few years’ time, probably January 2016. Also, similar national-scale conferences have been occurring in some of the other countries in which CMI has a formal ministry. To be notified of when such major conferences are ‘on’, be sure you stay subscribed to CMI’s free email newsletter Infobytes (to subscribe, click here), in particular ensuring that this subscription includes your country and your zip/postal code. (To add these to your existing Infobytes subscription, simply click the ‘Update your profile’ link on your next issue. This is also the way to update your email address should it ever change).

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Readers’ comments
Victor M., New Zealand, 30 January 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed it! Great for the whole family! A Faith-edifying event!

Victor B., Australia, 30 January 2013

Sadly could not make it this time around - nevertheless we share and are encouraged in hearing the Super-camp was such an edifying and enjoyable event.

John B., United Kingdom, 30 January 2013

I wish I could have been there for this event. Unfortunately the distance is just too great! I'm very jealous (;.

Well done to all down under involved in this event.

John

Isaac A., United States, 30 January 2013

Very impressive turnout for a nationwide conference 800 people out of a nation of 22.6 million. That is .0035%, lets see if we can make it .0036% in two years. Great job!

Wake up, creationism is a laughing stock and you are only hurting your childrens chance to have a good job.

Carl Wieland responds

Hmmm … actually there were people there with very good jobs, including in science. Although I do admit that, if the intolerance of Christianity that this sort of comment epitomizes (in a culture that prides itself on ‘tolerance’) keeps taking further hold, jobs could be an issue—see creation.com/store for Ben Stein’s Expelled: The Movie on DVD, or Dr Bergman’s book The Slaughter of the Innocents about job discrimination on this issue.

But in any case, while one recognizes that Jesus said that the road is narrow and there are few that will find it, the 'percentage game' is a fairly meaningless exercise here, since this only represents the number of people who devoted a full five days of their lives to live in at the conference, not those who believe in biblical creation. (It would be about as rational as trying to show that atheism was a non-entity because only a vanishingly small percentage of the world's population of c. 6 billion attended the global Atheist convention last time it was held.)

But thank you for helping readers see the sorts of attitudes extant.

Rosa M., New Zealand, 31 January 2013

Carl, you answered the arrogant comment so well! Thank you. God Bless you!

V. M., New Zealand, 31 January 2013

World population estimate now stands at c. 7 billion! But I agree wholeheartedly with Dr Wieland.

Carl Wieland responds

Ha, one just has to turn

Errol B., Australia, 1 February 2013

Perhaps Isaac A., from the United States, would like to ‘put up’ by giving his best line of proof for evolution. I was at the super camp (first timer & looking forward to the next one) with my family. Two of my three children are in high school and voluntarily attended every presentation except for the early morning one. Both children usually get A’s (for science) on their report cards and often receive post cards of congratulations on behavior & achievements (their public school teaches evolution).

You assume 'creationism' is a joke and microbes to man evolution is solid science, yet your atheism forces you to accept the anti scientific dogma of ‘spontaneous cosmos’, ‘spontaneous life’, ‘spontaneous ascent’ and ‘spontaneous consciousness’. I too am a skeptic.

Carl Wieland responds

Appreciate the comment, Errol, though I would ask that this not become a forum pro and con, i.e. a debating blog soaking up heaps of CMI time moderating (already a growing issue with so many articles generating comment, which in one sense is a great problem to have). So I will draw the comment section to a close after two more days, please.

Katalin P., Australia, 2 February 2013

Great news on this Camp meeting!I am supporting your work and the boldness to tell the truth, just carry on with it.I see though a greater coming together maybe less than 3 years,so get ready Creation, God is with you as you are with Him!

There are people who never heard the truth, they need to know these truth, and not to worry about those who willingly want to and do reject God and His word!Well done Creation! God bless you! Katalin P.

Isaac A., United States, 4 February 2013

Errol,

I didn't see this until now so it might be too late to respond, but here I go.

My response is... I believe evolution is correct because that is what the overwhelming scientific community believes. I don't even pretend to understand other than the basic parts of evolution or that matter medicine, physics, or economics. I trust that the people that have studied these topics know what they are talking about and they are actively working on continuing the feild of study.

BTW, you shouldn't just assume that since I believe in evolution I am athiest. I am a dedicated and very religious catholic and not knowing what your background is it might be interesting for you to know, the catholic church has said that evolution isn't neccessarily wrong. We have no idea how God created the world.

Carl Wieland responds

Errol, since we are a Protestant organisation, I will leave it to other Catholics to respond, but fwiw there were Catholics attending the Supercamp who understand that to say that 'we have no idea how God created the world' means they would be saying that 'we don't think the Bible is a reliable revelation, nor did Jesus and Paul know what they were talking about.' That would seem to have serious ramifications for more than just Protestant belief about core Christian doctrines.

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