When former lead vocalist of British rock band Black Sabbath Ozzy Osbourne announced he would be visiting creationist attraction “Ark Encounter,” a lot of people winced at the prospective awkwardness.
Known for his shocking remarks and wacky behavior, the unconventional musician and reality TV star is known as the “Prince of Darkness.” So what would he make of this vast and controversial creationist landmark?
Well, his reaction wasn’t quite what you might expect. Ozzy and his son, Jack, visited the Kentucky attraction as part of their TV show Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour and appeared rather over-awed by the whole experience.
“Me on Easter Sunday going to a f—ing ark?” Ozzy barked as he and Jack drove through Grant County. “My people will never believe it.”
Then, some remarks on the enormity of Noah’s task. “How did Noah keep a T Rex in a cage?” Ozzy asked with genuine inquisitiveness. “You know, I’ve thought long and hard about this and I figured it out,” Jack responded, before adding: “T Rex had little tiny arms. They can’t pick locks.”
The Ark Encounter is part of Answers In Genesis which describes itself as an “apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
So, how did it the visit come about? The creationist group explained on their website:
“The A&E Channel is airing Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour, featuring rock-and-roll legend Ozzy Osbourne and his son, Jack, as they travel the world and attempt to re-connect as father and son. They have visited places like Stonehenge in England, the Alamo in Texas, and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. Earlier this year, their producers inquired about filming at the Ark, and we gave our OK, especially since we were assured that the segment would not turn into a hit piece. Ozzy and Jack visited the Ark with their film crew in April, and the segment aired nationwide on A&E November 29.”
Officials from the Ark Encounter said they were excited to share their version of Biblical teaching with the famous pair, and that they were as welcome as anyone to come and tour the site.
“We wanted them to be exposed to our Bible-based teachings, including the gospel message. Now, because of his wild reputation and frequent use of profanity, we did urge viewer discretion when we announced that the Ark segment with the Osbournes was going to be aired,” Answers in Genesis wrote on their website.
Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham tweeted to confirm the visit:
Yes, Ozzy Osbourne visited @ArkEncounter and the TV program turned out well! We praise the Lord for all the opportunities He gives us to share the truth of God's Word & the gospel with people around the world https://t.co/AyVSdSwZ5h
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) December 18, 2017
“Ozzy and Jack paid some very nice compliments about the massive ship,” said staff member Mark Looy. “On the TV program that aired, you can hear them saying things like, ‘Wow, wow, VERY wow.’ And ‘that is insanely big.’ Plus, ‘absolutely unbelievable.’” added another worker.
The Kentucky-based Ark Attraction has enjoyed tremendous success since its launch in July 2016. Their attendance goals for the first year of business were exceeded within the first couple of months. The man behind the massive structure, Mr. Ham, said he hoped people would come and check out the Ark Encounter with open minds, regardless of their own beliefs.
“Indeed, we urge atheists, even those who are the most hostile toward Christianity, and people of all other faiths, to visit our attractions, for our Ark Encounter and Creation Museum are all about proclaiming the vital message that the Bible is true from the very first verse,” he said.
When Ham announced that the pair had visited, hundreds posted messages of support for the move.
“Even though I have little time for Ozzy Osbourne, thank you for allowing them to visit. It is never a waste to have the opportunity to present the gospel,” one person commented.
“Good opportunity. Ozzy like the rest of us needs the Gospel” one man wrote on Twitter.
“We were happy to have welcomed father and son and exposed them to the gospel,” Answers in Genesis concluded. “Of course, we were excited about the national TV exposure the Ark received.”
Ham has become a controversial figure within the wider Christian community. A staunchly fundamental young earth creationist, he believes that the Book of Genesis is historical fact and the earth is approximately 6,000 years old.
Ham has garnered a vast following on social media, doggedly tweeting about his reasons for holding such unique beliefs.
There are some great pastors/Christian leaders who stand with @AiG on God's Word in Genesis–but sadly many Christian academics/leaders in Christian Institutions/churches compromise with millions yrs. As Jeremiah said “Their shepherds have led them astray” . (Jeremiah 50:6)
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) January 7, 2018
In the church (the body of Christ worldwide) there are millions who stand on the authority of the Word of God as they should. But sadly, many leaders/academics undermine the authority of the Word of God to people when they compromise Genesis with millions of years/evolution
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) January 7, 2018
Secularists & many in the church make out there's a war between religion & science! Not true! There's a war between two religions: God's Word & Man's word. Observational science confirms God's Word! Sadly, much of the church has compromised God's Word in Genesis with Man's word
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) January 8, 2018