A truly stunning event
Psalm 126:3 ‘The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.’
As I write, CMI-Australia has just just completed (January 5–9, 2009) a 5-day live-in Supercamp on Phillip Island in Victoria, with some 800 people registering both before and during. I hadn’t intended to do a web article for the whole world on an event in just one country, but I could not hold back. Why? In short, in my 30-plus years involvement in creation ministry organizations I have been a part of some wonderful creation events. But without fear of exaggeration, this was the largest, smoothest-run, and most exciting such event I have ever been privileged to attend (and by the way, I wasn’t part of the organizational team) .
Folk came from all over Australia, including the Northern Territory and even the remote and rugged far northwest of Western Australia—and from quite a few countries around the world. In addition to CMI-Australia’s own popular speakers, we had several guests. Those from the US (for photos and brief bios and/or hyperlinks to longer bios, see here) were geophysicist and plate tectonics expert Dr John Baumgardner, marine biologist/geneticist Dr Robert Carter (from CMI-USA) and population geneticist Prof. John Sanford, who served as a professor at Cornell University and is a pioneer in genetic engineering. There were also talks by internationally recognized scientists from Australia including archeologist David Down, physicist-cosmologist Dr John Hartnett and CSIRO (Aust. govt.) tree researcher Dr Geoff Downes.
Those attending were by no means all familiar with our ministry, or even onside—at first. Conversations with attendees showed that many were totally transformed in their thinking through the presentations at the conference.
There were some remarkable presentations about the latest findings in genetics that showed how the most recent information in the world database of the human genome can be used to test various scenarios about human history, such as naturalistic evolution, progressive creation and the biblical creation-flood-Babel model. They showed that the latest genetic information supports the biblical history through the evidence of the variation in the Y chromosome, mitochondrial DNA and the X chromosome. In addition, there have been some remarkable genetic discoveries that have totally transformed genetic ideas, even those published as recently as 5 years ago. In fact, Dr John Sanford, showed how the latest information about genetic mutation rates in the human genome ‘clearly falsifies’ the central axiom of today’s evolutionary biology, the neodarwinian mechanism.
All presentations were professionally filmed using three cameras with live editing and mixing by experts on site. This was so that the 19 or so DVDs could be ready within the shortest time possible afterwards—we hope by end of March 2009. These will be available through your local CMI office (stay tuned—if you are reading this at a later time from when first published, they may already be available).
What was so great to see, too, was the way in which the camp impacted the many youth present. This was obvious from the many comments via Facebook (not something we ‘oldies’ tend to use a lot). Here is a smattering (typos corrected):
‘Wish the camp was 2 weeks long. There was so much to fit in. One of the best weeks of my life.’
‘Well done on the 2009 Camp! I was both challenged and encouraged by your lectures. God bless.’
Tiani (a pastor’s daughter and forensic science student):
‘I absolutely LOVED camp … I seriously want them to run another one… like … NEXT WEEK! Every talk was extremely valuable … but I found John Hartnett’s talks mind boggling and I’m really excited about what he said about starlight … I adored Rob Carter’s talk, what he said on our genetic data was AMAZING … and Jonathan Sarfati’s talk on the holocaust and abortion was extremely thought provoking, and his logic talk was deeeeep … . [it was an] excellent talk … extremely helpful in knowing how to pick out fallacious points in people’s arguments!
THANK YOU once again … I have learnt so much stuff, and realised how much there is to know—it’s mind boggling!!!
I’m using By Design in my morning devotions with the Psalms … it’s a beautiful way to start the day.’
‘Creation Ministries International Supercamp, Awesome new friends, and cool scenery photos!’
‘Before I went I was a creationist in the sense that I believed it happened exactly as the Bible says but I didn’t think it mattered what Christians believe about the beginning of the universe and life … but after the camp I see that 1) it is important and 2) there is proof that it’s true and that proof matching directly with the Bible can’t be a coincidence …. so belief in creation is a powerful tool for evangelism!! Well, I had a great week—hope the camp had as much impact on everyone as it did on me!’
Emails poured in as well. One lady wrote:
‘The camp was a fantastic thing for my brother who came along at our suggestion. He always believed the Bible but a friend of his was convinced of the long age view and their discussions would often become heated arguments. Well, [my brother] decided that the issue was too divisive. I think he was prepared to abandon the whole creation issue for the sake of harmony. By the end of the camp he wanted to spend as much as he could afford in the book shop. … He was also wanting to get some of the materials into the hands of his long age friend. I’m so happy … I’m sure it will strengthen his faith as it did mine and now he’ll have answers.’
‘I loved it!!!! … I actually really enjoyed the questions and answers. … It was amazing to see just how humble all the leaders were. I had seen a hint of this before, but I did not realise to what extent it went. … none of the speakers were too busy to talk. No-one acted like they were greater than anyone else—just a greater servant, and that wasn’t an act.’
‘Special thanks to [those] who organised a brilliant CMI Supercamp! … Some people at church are blown away by the idea of a young earth! Exciting stuff. Thank you again.’
Keeping on the path
It was also tremendous to be told by people during the camp of what the ministry had done for them in affirming their commitment to Christ for the ‘long haul’. One man told me that more than 20 years ago, he went to a weekend seminar in Moss Vale at which I was one of the speakers. He was an entomologist, and with a smile said:
‘I thought I was seeing evolution in my scientific work. But that weekend turned me around. I realized I wasn’t seeing evolution at all, and I’ve been on the right track ever since.’
Another man said that he had been to a seminar I took at a South Australian church nearly two decades ago. He said,
‘I’d been raised a Christian. But my pastor told me that Genesis doesn’t mean what it says, that it happened differently. So I said to myself, if that isn’t true, what else in the Bible isn’t true? And that was the end of Christianity for me, for many years, even though I would sometimes come to church. But that weekend turned it all around for me.’
Answering unasked questions
One of our Friends of CMI group leaders at the camp said that a lady from Newcastle had spoken to him at morning tea on the second day of the camp. He said that she had only recently heard about CMI—it was her sister that had brought her along, but she had not been expecting much. But she was ‘very impressed’, and noted that there were very many ‘unasked questions’ that she had had for years, that were now answered, already.
Jit C. wrote:
‘This camp has indeed blessed me so much. I am now well and truly made aware of the importance of Genesis 1 as a historical document … I am like a hungry child at the moment, looking forward to reading everything I have bought … ‘child’ because during the camp I realised how little I know of evolution and creation science. Now I can’t wait for the next camp so I can bring my wife and little boy down, also get my Christian friends to go too.’
Matthew G. emailed to say:
‘My family were looking forward to the creation camp, and our expectations were not only met, but exceeded … Thank you … !’
What were the bad things?
But some readers may be wondering—is this just filtering out the negatives? We actually only received one—well, sort of a negative. Felicity, quoted above, also wrote: ‘The worst thing was … going home. I felt like we could have stayed longer … .’
Lining up for the next one
One of the most common reactions we had was for people to clamour to be at the next camp. The campsite—not just the brilliant seaside location, but the fully serviced amenities, the food, the friendliness and helpfulness of staff, the leisure activities for young and old—no kitchen duties, you name it—was so ideal that we very quickly booked CMI in the same spot for the next camp, in three years, 2–6 January 2012.
This recent supercamp (actually more like a high-class live-in conference with family fun thrown in) booked out in record time, with many unable to be accommodated. So we are giving folk a chance to already register an ‘obligation-free’ expression of interest in the Jan 2012 camp already, so that you will not be disappointed. Believe it or not, over 100 families that were on this camp have put their name on that list already!
To be on that list to ensure no chance of missing out, (doesn’t commit you) please email your full name, address, likely number of people (with ages) and your email address to this address: