Answers in Genesis: Is Building an Ark More Important Than Feeding the Poor?

Answers in Genesis community addresses concern for The Ark Encounter

The Christian apologetics community Answers in Genesis are seeking to attract more disciples of Christ through the Ark Encounter Project.

Answers in Genesis, whose main belief includes a literal translation of the Bible, primarily of the book of Genesis, is currently seeking to build a replica of Noah’s Ark.

AiG’s next big project, the Ark Encounter, is a $155 million religious and historical theme park covering 800 acres in Hebron, Kentucy. The park, which will include a Tower of Babel and a life size replica of Noah’s Ark, will be situated next to The Creation Museum, built to educate children on the beginning of the world according to Genesis.

According to the project’s website, the Ark is expected to be built in Grant County in Hebron, Kentucky, which is easily accessible at 40 miles away from Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Ark Encounter has garnered criticism from the public, including fellow Christians, due to its exorbitant cost.

Skeptists question why the money being raised for the project isn't being given to more time sensitive issues, like feeding the poor or educating children.

AiG recently released a letter on their website addressing some questions that they too claim to find pertinent.

In their letter, AiG argues that its members do in fact provide money for the poor. However, every Christian group must give to what they are passionate about.

For AiG, the Ark serves as a perfect symbol for their passion in the truth of Genesis.

“We can’t think of a more effective way to share the Gospel with many millions of people today than by using an ark,” declared the project’s website.

AiG contends that while the Bible states that taking care of the poor is an important part of the Christian ministry, so is discipleship.

“One thing that has been lacking in many churches is a strong emphasis on discipleship,” said AiG.

AiG goes on to say that the ark will serve as a physical message of the Lord’s word for those who do not regularly attend church. It will serve as an alternative form of education, just as giving money to Christian school does the same.

“The ark will be a testimony to the world that the Bible is true and therefore the message of the Gospel is also true.”

Answers in Genesis co-founder Mike Zovath describes the ark as being very authentic to the original, complete with “wooden pegs instead of nails, […] and plenty of animals, some alive, some robotic.”

Visitors will be able to walk through the ark, and see all of the little details prove accurate to the Bible’s account.

Zolath hopes this representation will convince viewers of the ark’s actual existence.

The letter also suggests that Christians should not be selective concerning which cause they give to; rather, they should look to 2 Corinthians 9:7, and find it in their hearts to give more to Christian charities than the minimal, expected amount.

AiG also takes a more economically practical stance on their efforts, noting that construction of the ark will supply many Americans with jobs and rake in revenue for the state. It recently received approval for a $43 million tax break over a ten year course.

According to the project’s website, although there are many ark replicas around the world, this will be the largest timber frame structure in the USA. It is also one of the world's largest "green" construction project.

Although The Ark Encounter will not be a conventional theme park with rides and performances, it will serve as an educational adventure for children and families alike, featuring many lifesize references to the Bible.

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