The Governor of Kentucky announced last evening, Tuesday, May 19, that museums and outdoor attractions can open June 8. As a result and after much counsel, prayer, discussion, and research, Answers in Genesis along with First Liberty Institute, the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious liberty for all Americans, has determined the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum will reopen to the public on Monday, June 8, 2020.
Our staff have been diligently working on the attached reopening preparedness plan for weeks to ensure our facilities will be the safest, cleanest, and most family-friendly they can be.
Yes, there are going to be major changes in how everything operates, but our skilled staff are undergoing intense training and will be ready to help the public safely relax and enjoy these unique places that impact people for eternity.
Answers in Genesis exists to proclaim the authority of the Bible—from the very first verse—without compromise by using apologetics in its world-class attractions, dynamic resources, and creative media to communicate the message of God’s Word and the gospel.
The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum exist to be world-class, Christ-centered, family attractions impacting guests with life-changing experiences by providing immersive and captivating exhibits—tailored for all ages—that feature countless learning opportunities, entertainment, and adventure so guests can understand that the history and the saving gospel message of the Bible are true.
Our dedicated staff, comprising in total around 1,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions, have sacrificed greatly during this shutdown time. They want to get back to the mission of impacting lives for the Lord Jesus Christ. They want to get back to work to be able to provide for their families, including the hundreds of children in their care. They want to get back to serving our Answers in Genesis family and others generously and with excellence, reflecting God’s love as they’ve always done. The hundreds of seasonal staff (including many college/high school students) also want to serve as part of our mission, gain work experience for the future, and earn the finances they need for their ongoing education and life’s needs.
The Northern Kentucky (and surrounding) communities have greatly suffered economically because of the shutdown of the Ark and Creation Museum. As people begin returning to visit these major family attractions, this will also have significant economic benefits on small businesses, the hospitality industry, restaurants, and many other retail stores in the area. It will also help contribute financially to the state of Kentucky (which has been devastated by record unemployment), through the various taxes, etc.
Yes, the authorities have done their best in a difficult situation to stem the effects of this pandemic; and, to protect the safety and health of our staff, their families, and those who visit our attractions, we have eagerly complied with their guidance. And, now, we can comply with the requirements for a safe and healthy reopening.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1)
Work is good and important. In Genesis 2:15 we find in the perfect world before sin, God gave the first job to Adam—to look after the garden. For us in a fallen world we know work is now harder (Genesis 3:17-19), but it’s good because the money paid as wages enables us to support our families, other financial obligations, the church, and people who are in need.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17)
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:35–40)
Work also brings order and enables people to flourish.
From a biblical worldview perspective, we live in a fallen world because of sin. The Bible describes our world this way:
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:22–23)
Until the Lord returns, we are living in a sin-cursed world. Painful as they are, death, disease, and suffering are here to stay.
However, God has given us the ability to fight against some of the effects of the curse, to help us maintain a quality of life and safely and responsibly deal with them the best we can. But it’s important to remember we can’t get above the curse in this fallen world. And it’s important to understand we can’t add one hour to our lives (Matthew 6:27). With this balanced understanding in mind, we now use the best available medical research and understanding to provide the safest and cleanest conditions we can, to carefully reopen the facilities the Lord has entrusted to us.
There has to be a balance between quality of life and our need for subsistence. We need to be pro-life, from the oldest to the unborn, and pro-livelihood so people can provide for themselves and their family. There needs to be a balance between these. In a way it’s like sovereignty and responsibility. We can’t just sit back and say, “God will take care of it.” We need to physically do what we can in this world to deal with situations prudently and wisely and then trust God to sovereignly oversee it for his glory and our good.
The overall mission of the Ark and Creation Museum is to proclaim the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to a dying world. For the past few weeks these facilities have been quiet with no sound of adults, teens, or kids excitedly learning about God’s Word. These world-class exhibits that proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the gospel have been quiet. We have been commanded to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). We can’t remain silent. So we’ve done our very best, in accord with the standards set by the authorities, to provide the balance needed, so in a fallen world, we can use our facilities to impact lives for eternity. We have used these last few, quiet weeks to carefully clean our facilities, diligently plan for the safe experience of our guests, and prayerfully recommit ourselves to the mission of Answers in Genesis.
The Bible makes it clear that every human being will die. No matter what humans do to fight diseases, it doesn’t stop the fact that every one of us will die:
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. (Romans 5:12)
Not only that, but God’s Word warns us that death is not the end of our lives. We will live for eternity either with God or separated from him:
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)
But God has provided a free gift of salvation for all who will receive it:
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
Yes, seeing people saved to be with our Creator in heaven for eternity—that’s the most important message in the entire universe to proclaim!
We have been planning for weeks for you to come to the Ark and Creation Museum. We have made careful adjustments and planned thoroughly for a safe reopening.
Plan to visit these two family attractions that stand as witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ. Plan to bring your family and friends. Plan to bring your church. Plan to bring your non-Christian neighbors and workmates.
We have been planning for weeks for you to come to the Ark and Creation Museum.
And I urge you, plan to come and use your resources to support God-honoring and gospel-proclaiming facilities that teach what ultimately matters in life.
Maybe it’s time to reset priorities for you and your family.
CEO, Answers in Genesis, Ark Encounter, Creation Museum.