Friday, August 4th, in the year of our Lord 2017
By Kevin Swanson and Jonathan Clark
Vietnamese Pastor Released and Deported to the US
Last week, Vietnam released Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh from prison and deported him and his family to the US, according to UCA News. Pastor Chinh was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2011 for campaigning for religious liberty.
The early prison release came in exchange for the Chinh Family being exiled to the US. Please pray for Pastor Chinh as his health deteriorated while suffering mistreatment in solitary confinement.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Wisconsin Judge to Rule on Artistic Freedom of Christian Photographer
A Wisconsin judge is expected to deliver a ruling that photographer Amy Lawson does not have to support faux same-sex marriages with her photography business.
Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Lawson in the case and reported that in a Tuesday court hearing, Dane County Circuit Court declared it would issue an order, exempting Lawson from city and state laws that would control her artistic freedom.
Republican Senators Propose Parental Rights Amendment
On Tuesday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina proposed a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as Senate Joint Resolution 48. According to Senator Graham’s website, the amendment would provide that “[t]he liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.”
The co-sponsors of the resolution include Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Roy Blunt, Chuck Grassley, Johnny Isakson, and Jim Risch.
Jim Mason, President of ParentalRights.org, welcomed the piece of legislation, saying, “If the recent Charlie Gard tragedy in the UK showed us anything, it is that children are better served when loving parents make the important decisions about their care.”
Convicted Felons Run for Mayor in Detroit
The Detroit News points out that half of the candidates for mayor in their upcoming elections are convicted felons.
In 2013, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison for graft and corruption.
Pregnant Mother and Three Sons Killed in Car Accident
A tragic story from Beecher, Illinois.
A pregnant Christian mother and her three sons were killed in an auto accident while on the way to Vacation Bible School. The sheriff’s office told the Chicago Tribune that a 25-year-old man ran a stop sign and slammed into Lindsay Schmidtt’s vehicle.
Listeners may help the family with their expenses by making a check payable to “The Schmidt Family Fund” and send it to First Community Bank and Trust, PO Box 457, Beecher, IL 60401.
Job 1:21 says, “The Lord gives. The Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
Coast Guard Commandant Upholds Transgender Agenda
The Commandant of the Coast Guard says he is committed to what he calls his “faith” in the transgender ideology.
Earlier this week, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft said he will defy the president’s ban of transgendered individuals in the U.S. military. The Military Times records 13 members of the Coast Guard who identify as gender confused.
Ezekiel 3:18 says, “If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.”
Woman Who Encouraged Her Boyfriend to Suicide Receives Prison Sentence
A young woman was sentenced today to two and a half years in prison for her part in encouraging the suicide of her boyfriend in 2013.
The prosecutors pointed out in the trial that Michelle Carter had “aggressively encouraged” her boyfriend via text messaging to carry out the suicide.
Special Report on Ark Encounter After the Newscast
Stay tuned for my Special Report on a behind-the-scenes look at the Ark Encounter, constructed by Answers in Genesis. From the recent tax controversy and Ken Ham’s insistence on reclaiming the rainbow to their vision for future phases and the presentation of the Gospel, it’s all coming up immediately following today’s newscast.
Young Boy Asks to Mow White House Lawn
And finally, last week, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a touching letter from a young boy to President Donald Trump.
In the letter, 10-year-old Frank from Falls Church, Virginia offered to mow the White House lawn free of charge! In response, the president invited the industrious young boy to visit with the White House groundskeeper and even help cut the grass in the Rose Garden.
Special Report: Ark Encounter Proclaims the Gospel Despite Obstacles
By Adam McManus
As we reported this past Tuesday, the city of Williamstown, Kentucky has slapped a 50-cent tax per person on the visitors to The Ark Encounter, the life-size replica of Noah’s ark built to the specifications outlined in Genesis 6.
“We’ve been blessed with tremendous attendance at The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. Sometimes we’ll have 7,000 people at the Ark on a given Saturday and over 3,000 at the Museum. Of course, with people coming from all over the world, some of the officials in Grant County where the Ark is located see all those people coming and say ‘Well, let’s put a safety assessment tax on tickets sold at The Ark Encounter.’
“Now, it’s only 50 cents, but think about it. If we have 3-4 million people come to the Ark in a few years when more phases are added to the Ark Encounter, the city suddenly is bringing in $1.5-$2,000,000 in safety fees for a city of 4,000 people. Now, I don’t know how many new vehicles, like emergency vehicles, could be purchased for $1.5 million, but we thought that it was a very high assessment. We asked for a cap.”
Looy explained that some media reports have been inaccurate.
“Now, contrary to what many in the secular media have said, we did not refuse to pay the safety fee. But we just asked for a reasonable cap. We proposed $500,000 a year. That would serve the entire city of Williamstown. We only receive about two calls a week to The Ark that are related to ambulance or police services. So, we thought $500,000 would easily cover those expenses. Think about it. When an ambulance comes out and brings someone to the hospital, they bill the patient and the insurance reimburses in many instances.
“Given all of that, we thought that $500,000 was quite reasonable. The city balked at that, but we didn’t want to take them to court. So, as of July 1, as the ordinance requires, we have been collecting 50 cents per ticket at the Ark with no cap. We think that is unfair, but we trust as we work with the city officials we can come perhaps to a better resolution about what the ordinance might say.”
With the addition of motor coach tours, Answers in Genesis anticipates 1.8 million people will visit The Ark Encounter in 2018 which would yield $900,000 per year of taxes for the city of Williamstown, Kentucky’s safety fund.
Beyond the tax issue, Looy addressed another recent controversial story involving The Ark Encounter.
“We wanted to, as Ken Ham says, take the rainbow back. We did want to reclaim the rainbow. God put it as a sign in the sky as proof of His covenant. We didn’t do it to be in the face of the gay lobby. But it has hijacked, if you will, the rainbow for its own purposes. We’ve received a lot of opposition to that from social media and websites, but at least it continues the discussion. Whenever we talk about the rainbow, we welcome persons of any background or orientation to come to The Ark and be exposed to the Gospel message.”
Looy explained their vision for additional phases of The Ark Encounter in the years to come.
“Now that we have been blessed with excellent attendance at The Ark, and as donations come in, our next phase, which may be open in two or three years as the Lord allows, will be a walled city – a city that may resemble what Noah may have seen 4,500 years ago before The Flood. It’ll be a stunning attraction in and of itself. The first part of that walled city will be complete by next summer – that’ll be a 2,500 seat multi-purpose auditorium. And the architecture of it will make you feel like you’re in the Middle East today with high walls, something you might even see in Morocco today. It’s the first part of the walled city phase at The Ark Encounter.”
Answers in Genesis has been blessed with 800 acres right off Interstate 75, exit 154, south of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Because they’re located in northern Kentucky which is full of rolling hills and ravines, they have 200-250 usable acres. Plus, they wanted to create a buffer between The Ark Encounter and future neighbors. Not surprisingly, there’s quite a bit of interest in people building hotels and more restaurants in the city of Williamstown as people pour in to tour this massive ship that is 510-feet long.
At first blush, one might conclude that only self-proclaimed Christians would have a desire to visit the Ark Encounter. But Looy explained that a healthy percentage of unbelievers visit on a daily basis — which they welcome.
“It’s very possible that in a few years we will have millions coming per year. Our best guess is that 30% of our Ark visitors are not Christians; they would not call themselves born-again Evangelicals. That’s hundreds of thousands of people we get to share the Gospel with at the Ark Encounter because that ship is everything about evangelism, sharing with our visitors that Christ is our modern-day ‘ark of salvation.’”
The best news is that the Good News is being proclaimed without apology smack dab in the midst of The Ark Encounter itself.
“The Gospel is presented many times in the three decks, most powerfully in two films that we show on deck 3 and deck 2. With one of them, Ray Comfort does a 20-minute film where the Gospel is presented — not just as a lecture, but woven within a docudrama we’ve created. When people leave The Ark, they will be without excuse. The ship is all about evangelism.
“But at the same time, we answer the most basic questions that people have about The Ark and The Flood like where did the water come from and how did Noah collect all the animals. We need to answer those questions because people have them. As we answer those queries from both science and Scripture, we trust that our guests who are not Christians will then be open to the Gospel message presented in the New Testament.”
Looy noted that Answers in Genesis receives conversion testimonials by email long after unbelievers have left The Ark Encounter and have had a chance to examine their own worldview.
“Generally, you don’t get salvation experiences happening right at the time they’re here at The Ark or the Creation Museum. You have to unravel their whole worldview. They go back home. They consider what they’ve been taught here at the Ark and the Creation Museum. They may have some our literature or go to our website. We hear about salvation experiences usually weeks or months later after the visit.”
It’s time that more Christians grasped the enormity of this actual historical event called The Flood when “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)
This has been a Special Report. I’m Adam McManus.
And that’s the World View in Five Minutes.
What kind of worldview do your children get? The vast majority of teens from Christian families are abandoning a biblical worldview, according to the Barna Group. Sadly, many parents do not realize that the curriculum they have chosen for their children actually conveys the wrong worldview of history, science, life’s purpose, and truth. Pass on the faith to your children with a distinctively Christian education.
Check out our Christian discipleship curriculum at https://store.generations.org/collections/curriculum