Creation Museum President Ken Ham has responded to a CNN article chronicling the life of billionaire businessman Ted Turner, declaring that no matter how much money he gives to charity, it will never be enough to get into heaven.
"So can Ted Turner earn his way into heaven? The truth is that no matter how many billions of dollars Ted Turner (or any one for that matter) gives away, no matter how many animals he saves, and no matter what great things he does for people and this planet – none of this can get him to heaven," Ham wrote on Thursday on the Answers in Genesis blog.
He added that there is only one way to heaven, and that is through accepting Jesus' gift of salvation.
"Ted Turner's millions can't buy his way into heaven, but God offers a free gift of salvation," Ham wrote, and shared several Bible verses with the readers, including John 3:3-5 and Romans 10:9.
The in-depth article on Turner, who founded CNN, analyzes the philanthropist's struggle with faith and God throughout life, including his rejection of religion after his young sister came down with a rare sickness and died.
"If only Ted Turner had understood that death and suffering is our fault because we rebelled against God –that we sinned in Adam! Death is the penalty for sin," Ham continued in the response.
"As sinners, we don't even deserve to exist – but God is a gracious God, a God of salvation. Knowing man would sin, God had worked out a plan of salvation from eternity: God's Son would step into history to pay the penalty for our sin and offers a free gift of salvation."
Turner identifies as an agnostic today, the CNN article says, but is still concerned with questions relating to heaven. Throughout the years he has made a number of controversial comments about religion and Christianity, but has also admitted that he prays for sick friends – even if he is not sure who, if anyone, is listening to those prayers.
His former wife, actress Jane Fonda, details the various philanthropic activities he has been engaged with throughout his life, including donating nearly $1 billion to the U.N. and its charities, supporting women's causes and helping preserve bison in North America.
"Given his childhood. He should've become a dictator. He should've become a not nice person. The miracle is that he became what he is. A man who will go to heaven, and there'll be a lot of animals up there welcoming him, animals that have been brought back from the edge of extinction because of Ted. He's turned out to be a good guy. And he says he's not religious. But he, the whole time I was with him, every speech – and he likes to give speeches – he always ends his speech with 'God bless.' And he'll get into heaven. He's a miracle," Fonda offers.
Turner's response to the comment reportedly was a tearful: "Well, I sure don't want to go to hell."
The lengthy feature piece on Turner can be read on the CNN website.