Published: 13 July 2019 (GMT+10)
“CMI gave me a faith worth sharing”
Some people wonder whether creation ministry really makes a difference. While we receive testimonies via email and at events every week, our readers do not get to hear the bulk of these. However, S.C. from New South Wales, Australia, wrote in a testimony that perfectly illustrates why we do what we do. She writes1:
Just four years ago I didn't have a faith that seemed worth sharing.
I knew from the age of six that God loved me and that Jesus died for me, and I loved Him back. As a teenager I talked to God often. In my twenties I read my Bible, cover to cover, three times over. And loved it!
For several years I received gift subscriptions to Creation magazine. I got such a buzz out of reading how God's supreme power and intelligence are evident in His creation.
But I also loved science, and I had accepted that the earth is billions of years old. I saw no conflict with the Bible, in believing in a 'God of long ages', because I knew He was the Creator. I believed there was a literal Adam and Eve, and a literal Fall, but assumed that the long ages of mankind were after that.
Over time, my trust in God slowly died, as I suffered many years of emotional abuse. I thought, and was told by those who should have known better, that God expected me to keep turning the other cheek. I prayed many "liquid prayers", pleading for God to intervene, but they seemed to be ignored.
I tried to console myself by remembering that my life was better than many others'. I thought of persecuted Christians around the world. Surely, they were pleading for Him to intervene too.
I thought about the countless billions of people who, by my reckoning, must have been born during the hundreds of thousands of years before Jesus finally turned up and demonstrated the right way to live. Ancient history abounds with evidence of man’s inhumanity to man. Those who were treated with barbaric cruelty; did they ever hear of a God who loved them and was grieved by their suffering?
Many Christians struggle with the concept of suffering, but for me, the problem wasn't that suffering exists: I knew that the root cause was Adam's rebellion. For me, it was the timescale that mattered most: I couldn't reconcile vast ages of suffering, of both humans and animals, with a God of love and compassion.
I put my Bible away.
A counsellor I began seeing, to help me recover from abuse, encouraged me to tell God how I feel about Him, because "He's big enough to handle it". So I did. I told Him that I couldn't see love, I could only see callousness in Him. 200,000 years—a million, according to some—of human suffering, and He seemed to do very little in all that time.
For a long time I felt anger against God for what I saw as a betrayal of me, and of the vast majority of people who had ever lived: God's word said He loved us, but a million years of turning His back on humanity said otherwise.
I could count on one hand the number of times I walked into a church in ten years. I didn't find one that presented any answers for me; a deeply hurt, confused and disappointed Christian. "Just pray and have faith" doesn't help when you secretly doubt the goodness of the one you are praying to.
I remember one of my prayers during a time of desperate longing to know that God even exists: I told Him that I want to know Him as He really is, and I was prepared to unlearn everything I thought I knew about Him. Around 18 months later, I heard about a new film by Creation Ministries International, called Evolution's Achilles' Heels. I didn't expect it would help, but went along anyway, with my adult son. By the end of the film I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had brought me there.
It was clear that in the 20 years since I last read a Creation magazine, there had been many significant discoveries that baffled secular scientists, because they were consistent with a young earth, and totally inconsistent with a very old one.
I turned to my son, and these words just bubbled out, as though repeating the ones that God was speaking into my heart in that instant: "Creation is recent. God is compassionate. He hasn't left us here as orphans for hundreds of thousands of years. After only one and a half thousand years He sent the Flood to wipe out the violence. After another couple of thousand He sent Jesus. And it's only 2000 years since Jesus was here. That's a God who intervenes often, and in a big way."
And then, I heard these words: "It feels like a long time when you are going through your troubles, but you'll be with Me forever, and eternity really is a very long time." The memory brings tears of gratitude as I write.
Six months later I went to a Creation Supercamp: five days of lectures from PhD scientists; all Christians who believe in Genesis creation. Each was speaking from their own area of expertise, about how their science is in harmony with the truth of the Bible, not contradicted by it. It was a profoundly faith-rebuilding experience; and with my love of science, it was great fun as well!
Another huge blessing was being around such a wonderful group of people: my fellow Supercampers. These people had such an enthusiastic faith and deep love of God. I wanted to be around Christians like that!
Just weeks later, God led me to a church whose leader believes in Genesis Creation, and a couple in the congregation are members of the local "Friends of CMI" group.
Believing in a ‘God of long ages’ had a very detrimental effect on my trust in Him, by making it seem that He wasn’t overly troubled by human suffering. I only recognised the damage that belief had done when I didn't believe it anymore.
I have been a Christian for 50 years, but in the last 4 years my understanding of God has been transformed beyond anything I thought possible.
I start most days with an article from Creation magazine, or creation.com, because it reminds me just how BIG our God is. I enjoy the articles on every topic, but the ones that touch my heart the most are about design in nature. Dr Jonathan Sarfati's article about the gecko's liquid-repelling skin comes to mind, as just one example. When I read about the mind-blowing attention to detail that God put into the design of even His tiniest creatures so they can thrive in their environment, I see Infinite Love in action. Later, when I come to my time of Bible reading and prayer, my heart is already full of gratitude, love and trust.
To all at CMI, past and present: words are inadequate to express my gratitude for all your work. My dear Father God knew just how to reach me in my doubt and pain, and show me that I can safely trust Him. He used your ministry to achieve it.
I love our Creator and Saviour so much. I can't help telling others how wonderful He is!
This testimony speaks for itself in many ways, but here are some points that are worth bringing out.
First, the problem of death and suffering is not an intellectual problem for most people; it is a deeply personal and painful problem, and feeling like God is distant and doesn’t care is a huge problem and a barrier to evangelism. People need to know that the God of the Bible is closely involved with His Creation and He hasn’t abandoned us. They need to know the biblical reason for death and suffering, and that Jesus is the answer.
Second, evolution often isn’t the issue per se, it’s billions of years. How does it make sense for God to wait billions of years to send the Saviour?
Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels is a powerful resource because it isn’t just an “intelligent design” film, it’s a biblical creation documentary that ends with a strong Gospel message. That means that it is an evangelistic tool, and God has used it in people’s lives like in S.C.’s case.
Finally, being in a strong church that believed biblical creation, and meeting fellow believers who embrace biblical creation, proved to be hugely encouraging in building up S.C.’s faith. This means that you can make a difference to the S.C.s in your life!
Lita Sanders (CMI US)
References and notes
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