Last weekend, Nickie, my dad and I helped Answers in Genesis pass out free material at the National Educator’s Association in Chicago, like I did last year in New Orleans. (See here or here)
The enviroment was very liberal, of course, but praise God the AIG (Answers in Genesis) booth got a lot of attention.
A donor enabled AIG to be able to give away thousands of DVDs and books. Many Christian teachers were very grateful and many non-Christians also picked up materials, intrigued by the massive giveaway. Some science teachers were interested, some were hostile. And some had some pretty strange ideas.
“So what do you think about origins? How did we get here?” I asked one man.
“Oh, aliens,” he said.
“Ah…so what evidence do you have to backup your position?” I asked.
“Oh, I saw it on Youtube,” he replied with confidence. “And they’re comin’,” he said (in a warning tone of voice.)
“The aliens?” I asked.
“Yeah, we’ve been trashing this planet and it’s comin’…” he said.
“Well, we believe it’s coming alright,” Frank replied (he was standing next to me)
“But we believe it’s the Lord Jesus Christ who is coming…” he said.
The guy didn’t want to stay much longer after that.
Dan Breeding (also known as “Dan the animal man”) helped at the Answers in Genesis booth and brought some of his exotic animals. Here’s the porcupine, affectionately named “Barb.”
It was entertaining to see how surprised some people were by the live alligator. Hundreds of people had their picture taken with Dan and the alligator with our banner in the background. What a great message to now be on hundreds of cameras, iphones, and blogs around the country as people show the picture to their friends.
We had many conversations about how we take Genesis literally and how it is consistent with science and what we see in the world around us.
“Do you really believe God created the world in six literal days?” One science teacher asked me in a very condescending tone of voice. (I like to mention how the question isn’t “how God did it in six days”, but “why did He take so long?!”)
The issue of six literal days is such an important area in which we as believers need to be taking a stand. It’s really a question of the reliability of Scripture. If we can’t read Genesis literally, how can we read Matthew or John literally? And if millions of years of evolution existed before God created Adam, that means that there were millions of years of death, decay and suffering before the curse of Genesis 3. That means that God essentially created pain and suffering (i.e. it didn’t come as a result of man’s sin.) This belief undermines both God’s character and the message of the gospel. Notice that Jesus said, “Have ye not read, that He which made them at the BEGINNING made them male and female,” (Matthew 19:4) Jesus did NOT say, “After millions of years of evolution God made them male and female…”
Here was our team. One of the best parts of the trip was all the good fellowship we had during meals and at the hotel about witnessing, apologetics, theology, eschatology, spiritual gifts, and other biblical topics.
While people came by to see the animals we would give them free DVDs. Most people loved the owl, but not everyone loved what we stood for.
“Hey would you like a free DVD?” I asked one young guy in the crowd looking at the owl.
“I don’t want your DVD or any of your #@$&# &#$&&# teaching,” he said, (or something like that) in a very irritated tone of voice.
“Oh, what’s your view?” I asked him.
That was all it took. He blew up. He angrily told Dan how stupid he thought our views were, using lots of profanity. As he kept talking about how offensive our booth was to him Dan told him, “Well you are offending me by telling me you think I came from a monkey!” but he wasn’t really open to reasoning or responding to Dan’s comments. He was just mad.
The interesting thing was how many in the crowd began to defend us—even NEA delegates who didn’t otherwise agree with us.
“Just because I don’t agree with their booth doesn’t mean I have a problem with them being here,” another man kept saying.
“Yeah, why can’t he just walk by?” one lady asked.
One of the delegates even began to cry and mentioned contacting the police. I guess they were suprised because they didn’t understand how the gospel and message of a Creator is very offensive to some who don’t want to acknowlege the possibility of a God to whom they would be accountable for their actions or lifestyle.
We at the AIG booth were just grateful for the extra exposure! The angry guy drew an even bigger crowd than the alligator did!
Dan took advantage of the opportunity by preaching to everyone about how Jesus is coming back one day and we need to be looking to Him.
Nickie wanted to hold the snake. I didn’t know she liked snakes that much. Haha.
At the beginning of the day Dan told us he knew there was going to be spiritual warfare and it was likely they would try to think of a way to stop him from bringing his animals. He was right. First the Navaho Indian booth across the aisle kept complaining to the authorities saying they were offended by the animals. Somehow linked to their superstitious beliefs. But thankfully all we had to do was move the alligator to the other side of the booth and then we were okay.
Next NEA called the city animal official to inspect, but the whole inspection turned out in our favor. Satan cannot thwart what God has planned.