Winning back the culture
Published: 24 September 2015 (GMT+10)
Have you ever been asked why you believe the Bible? For example, parents, your school-aged children may have wanted to know why the Bible doesn’t talk about dinosaurs, or if evolution fits in the Genesis account. Perhaps you’re a student yourself, and you’ve come up against anti-Christian teachers or professors. Maybe you have friends or acquaintances who dismiss the Bible as an ‘ancient superstition’, and you’re not sure how to respond. In situations like these, it’s essential for Christians, both pastors and laypeople alike, to provide answers to the challenges thrown at them and to demolish opposing arguments (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Corinthians 10:4–5).
For the Christian who views the state of the world today, the situation can look bleak and, at times, even overwhelming. The society seems to be moving further and further from the truth every day. However, we must be careful not to forget that we serve the all-powerful Creator God, and God has historically performed many of his greatest miracles at times when his people have been in the weakest of positions. When the Israelites seemed to be doomed, fleeing from a massive Egyptian army, God saved them from the midst of calamity by parting the Red Sea before them. And again when Israel was overrun by the worship of Baal, God used his prophet Elijah to utterly defeat the priests of Baal, and He kept a faithful remnant of Israel (1 Kings 18–19). When all seemed lost for the followers of Christ, after He had been put to death by the Romans and His movement seemed over—God raised Jesus from the dead and empowered the apostles by pouring out the Holy Spirit, enabling them to turn the whole world upside down with the message of the Gospel.
God’s method throughout history has often been pulling victory from the jaws of defeat. At a time like today, when the nations seem to be getting more and more hostile to genuine Christianity, this simple fact should bring us great comfort and remind us not to become discouraged.
The Power of the Ruling Paradigm
At CMI, we have seen time and time again that when people take the Bible seriously from the first verses, their entire faith is revolutionized. People become more confident about their faith, and that helps them share it with others. This shouldn’t be surprising, because Genesis is the foundation that the rest of the Bible stands upon.
In contrast, Darwinism is an attack directly on that foundation. The Darwinist academic establishment holds so much sway over the minds of so many people simply because it has the power to control the message. Most people have attended government schools, where only the Darwinian paradigm can be taught legally. Most people spend hours every week watching mass-media entertainment, wherein only the Darwinian paradigm is presented. People believe evolution is a proven fact simply because their textbooks and the media tell them so, and they naturally presume these sources to be trustworthy.
Some of these indoctrinated people ultimately become scientists and textbook writers themselves, and the vicious cycle of self-reinforcement continues. During the 20th century, several generations grew up in successively more and more evolutionized environments, and dissenters were largely shut out of the conversation. As Ben Stein’s documentary, Expelled, persuasively shows, questioning Darwinism in the world of academia often entails major consequences. But that fact has not stopped a growing number of scientists from embracing Biblical creation, and it need not stop you from being a faithful witness in our culture, either.
Events for your Community
As a ministry, CMI is dedicated to spreading the message of biblical creation and equipping believers with the vital information they need to be effective witnesses. Our speakers’ messages are aimed at helping people see the relevance of biblical creation to the overall Gospel message. If you’ve never had a creation event by CMI in your community, there’s never been a better time than now to approach your pastor about hosting an event—we have a dedicated team to handle the logistics and planning, making it as easy as possible for the church to accommodate. The creation message is one that attracts a lot of attention—both positive and negative—and as such these events are great opportunities to invite new people to come to your church! A skeptical friend may not be willing to come to normal Sunday service, but a special event dedicated to showing evidence for creation may well pique their curiosity enough to come out.
Following the Biblical Pattern of Discipleship and Outreach
With the previous point made, the main purpose of CMI events is to equip and disciple the church. In the early days of Christianity, the church grew in leaps and bounds as groups of believers spread the news from person to person. Christianity, as laid out by Christ, is really a grassroots movement at its core. If we want to reclaim our culture for Christ, we need to be mindful of just how Christianity swept the world in the first place. Christians went out into the world and engaged non-Christians where they were: on the streets, in the marketplaces, and even in the Jewish Synagogues. While it’s always worth a shot, you just can’t count on unbelievers being willing to come to church. Jesus said,
“ … The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” (Luke 10:2–3)
Consider Jesus’ analogy here: unbelievers are compared to ripe unharvested crops, and Christians are compared to field laborers, charged with going out into the fields to harvest the crops. If our only attempt at ‘outreach’ is to invite friends to our church, it’s like farmhands sitting in the barn, hoping the crops will come in of their own accord. Crops must be harvested by going into the fields where they are. As Christians, this means being willing to take the message of Christ outside the four walls of our churches.
Your life is your testimony?
It’s been said that, as a Christian, one need not verbally preach the gospel to reach people: simply by living a godly Christian lifestyle, people will ‘sense’ Christ in you. However, it falls a great deal short of the Biblical precedent. Of course godly living is always to be desired, and the Bible calls Christians to a godly lifestyle. But did Peter or Paul, for example, take this silent ‘godly living’ approach to evangelism? By no means! Paul was constantly debating with the Greeks and the Jews, and spreading the message of Christ to everyone that would listen (and many that would not). Paul said, ‘Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.’ (1 Corinthians 11:1). In addition, one wonders what would distinguish, in the minds of those outside the church, between a seemingly-righteous Christian and a seemingly-righteous Muslim, or Hindu. Christianity is not just a way of life, it’s factual and historical truth—and in order to communicate facts and truth, we must use language. Of course, not all of us are cut out for public oration and street-preaching. The body of Christ has many members, and there are many roles to play in advancing the Kingdom.
What can the average Christian really do?
In today’s modern culture, it can be difficult to talk to people about religion. We are conditioned into the mindset that makes religion a personal, private matter and, in many cases, a taboo topic of conversation. In this environment, what can you personally do to make a difference? The first step is to realize that you are a part of this battle, and as a Christian it is your wartime duty to contribute to the effort. None of us can afford to be spectators only—we all have a part to play. If you aren’t sure what your part is, or could be, then the first step is always to pray to God for guidance. Let the Spirit of God show you what your individual talents are, and how they can be applied to evangelism and outreach. If you are new to this, and perhaps not as well-versed in creation arguments and evidence as some, then don’t worry! You don’t have to be an expert. If you come upon someone who has doubts about the Bible, or perhaps rejects it altogether, then strike up a conversation and find out why. You can simply ask, “Why aren’t you a Christian,” or, “Why don’t you believe the Bible?” You don’t have to be confrontational about it. If someone presents questions or objections that you don’t personally know how to answer, why not direct them to this website for answers, and then invite them to converse further once they’ve had a chance to check it out? Remember to use the ‘taking the roof off’ technique when dealing with non-Christian worldviews.
We also produce easy-to-use outreach tools like the ‘15 questions for evolutionists’ pamphlet. By carrying some of these challenging pamphlets (for example, in your car’s glove box), you are always prepared to witness to evolutionists. Another example of an easy-to-use witnessing tool is CMI’s recent award-winning documentary, Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels. This documentary is, without question, one of the most powerful creation resources ever produced. Why not show it to your unbelieving friends?
College Campus Outreach
If you are a college student, or happen to live near a college campus, you might even consider gifting a copy of the Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels book and/or DVD to one or more of the professors there. College campuses are where the faith of millions of people is destroyed every year by anti-Christian professors. There is a great potential for positive impact if Christian student groups rally around the message of biblical creation! The aforementioned DVD would be perfect to show at a student meeting, where the message is especially needed. If change is going to come, it will almost certainly have to come from grassroots efforts like these.
This article contains only a few suggestions for ways you can help spread the message of creation to your friends and neighbors. Let your own creativity drive you to think of new ways you can serve the Lord. This is God’s will—that we serve Him by being co-laborers (1 Corinthians 3:8–10).