Holiday Outreach Celebrates
Belief in Biblical Creation

Surgeon Ben Carson, others, laud Bible’s message as relevant for today (Posted December 27, 2012)


The auditorium darkened, lightning flashed across a projector screen, thunder roared over the loudspeaker, and artificial rain fell on hundreds of schoolchildren during a re-creation of the biblical flood, eliciting laughter and screams from the students.

The simulation was part of Celebration of Creation, a free community event held November 29 to December 2, 2012, at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

SURGEON AND CREATIONIST: Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the Celebration of Creation outreach event at the Adventist Church world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, on  December 2. In his opening remarks Carson pointed out the fallacies of politically correct speech and encouraged honest dialogue about issues, including origins. [PHOTOS: Ansel Oliver/ANN]
The family-friendly event celebrated the biblical account of creation with a series of evening lectures from leading scientists for adults, as well as daytime and evening workshops and presentations for kids.

Celebration of Creation is part of the Adventist Church’s renewed emphasis on promoting biblical creation. At a church business meeting in 2010, Adventist world church leaders voted to reaffirm the Adventist fundamental belief in a “literal, recent, six-day creation” recorded in the Old Testament book of Genesis. Leaders are also currently in the process of clarifying the church’s doctrinal statement on creation.

“Creation forms an integral part of our fundamental beliefs, including the seventh-day Sabbath and the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14,” Ted N. C. Wilson, General Conference president, said in a message to headquarters staff. “As Seventh-day Adventists, we have creation as part of the core of who we are.”

But beyond doctrine, Adventist leaders say the study of origins resonates with the human need for belonging.

“All of us need to know where we came from,” noted Williams Costa, Jr., General Conference Communication Department director. “God created us; we belong to Him.”

Celebration of Creation included a screening of a 20-minute nature film, The Creation, shot during filmmaker Henry Strober’s four-year journey around the globe. Scenes of nature accompany music and a narration of the Genesis creation account during the film.

Daytime workshops at the event were geared toward elementary-age children. Kids enjoyed posing with an animatronic stegosaurus dinosaur before finding their seats in the auditorium at world church headquarters.

Singer and dinosaur sculptor Buddy Davis from the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, shared stories and songs about God’s creative power. Christian cartoonist Dan Lietha led children in a dinosaur-drawing workshop, and Guide magazine nature columnist Rich Aguilera brought the biblical flood story to life.

SHOWING A BETTER MOUSETRAP: Guide magazine nature columnist Rich Aguilera uses a mousetrap to illustrate that proper function requires intelligent design. He entertained young and adult audiences, often with theatrical special effects, to teach about creation. 
Aguilera also used changes within breeds of dogs to demonstrate a lack of evidence for so-called transitional species. As dozens of dog breeds multiplied on screen, he asked, “Does anybody see a hippo up here? Does anybody see a tomato? No. All we see is variety. God created variety. Do you guys all look the same?”

“Let’s see if we can pet him,” Aguilera said of a boxer-bull, one of the newest breeds of dog. As he reached toward the screen, the dog barked unexpectedly and jumped toward the audience. “Well, I guess we shouldn’t pet the dog—at least not that one,” Aguilera said amid laughter.

The evening lectures featured four nationally recognized speakers, including pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, author of the book Gifted Hands and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

“I feel very fortunate to have had so many experiences with God in my life that I have no doubt of His existence and influence,” Carson said. “He is the source of all wisdom and is available to anyone who seeks Him. It’s hard to imagine my life as a neurosurgeon without the guidance of the Almighty.”

Other keynote speakers were Milton Brown of the Georgetown University Center for Drug Discovery, Dr. E. Albert Reece, dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Tim Standish from the Adventist Church’s Geoscience Research Institute.

STEGOSAURUS UP CLOSE: Eighth grader Carolina Cruz pets the animatronic dinosaur at the Celebration of Creation event at Adventist world church headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, U. S. The event promoted the biblical account of creation.
Standish said a close study of nature reveals that organisms thrive through mutual cooperation, not competition, as proffered by evolution. Standish said Charles Darwin’s belief in “survival of the fittest” has had a “profound impact” throughout history, driving Marxism, Fascism, and genocides such as the Holocaust.

“Contrast this mind-set with the biblical view of humanity,” Standish said, citing texts indicating that humans are created in the image of God and are equal in His eyes.

“Life would not exist without fundamental cooperation. Everything is a team job,” Standish said during his November 29 keynote. “It’s only when we see the system broken in some way that we see struggle and competition.”

Reece said the natural world reflects the power and vision of an ultimate Creator.

“The enormity, complexity, and precision of creation is one of pure amazement, and affirms the work of an awesome God,” he said.

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