Tag Archive: Ken Ham

Ken Ham: Exposure to Young Earth Creationism Caused Atheist to Become Evangelical Christian

nye ham debate

According to Ken Ham’s latest blog post, an atheist woman named Donna became an Evangelical Christian in 1993 after hearing his “Back to Genesis” seminar at Cedarville University. As a skeptic, I find it quite easy to dismiss such claims. I know of no informed, educated atheist who has EVER became a Christian due to exposure to young earth creationist teachings. Such a life trajectory is, in my opinion, nearly impossible. I wrote about this subject the other day in a post titled, Dear Christians: The Word “Atheist” is Not Shorthand for Your Lives Before Jesus.  So, let’s look at Ham’s stupendous claim. As I will quickly show, Ken Ham evidently doesn’t know the definition of the word atheist and neither does convert Donna.

Ham writes:

When I read some of the atheist blogs, Facebook posts, and news articles that display a sheer hatred against Christians (really, it’s a hatred against God), it can seem, humanly speaking, hopeless to try to reach these secularists with the truth of God’s Word and the salvation message it presents.

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As I read many of the comments by atheists (blasphemous and vitriolic as some of them are), I also understand that they have been indoctrinated in evolutionary ideas. Most of them have probably never really heard a clear, logical defense of the Christian faith that would answer many of their skeptical questions. It’s important to remember that God’s Word commands us to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

At the same time, it’s vital that we never divorce any arguments/defense we could present to atheists from the powerful Word of God: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”

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There’s no greater thrill in this ministry than to hear how God has used what has been taught by AiG to touch someone’s life—for eternity. Last week, I was introduced to one of our new volunteers, Donna, who is helping sew some of the costumes for the figures that will be placed inside our full-size Ark.

I discovered that she became a Christian in 1993 after attending one of my seminars (called “Back to Genesis” with the Institute for Creation Research ministry) at Cedarville University in Ohio. The Bible-upholding seminar was such an eye-opener to her about the reliability of the Bible that she became a Christian.

Ham asked Donna to share the story of her conversion from atheism to Evangelical Christianity. Here is some of what Donna had to say:

The Lord opened up this atheistic evolutionist’s eyes decades ago, through exposure to Ken’s ministry.

I was a die-hard evolutionist, completely convinced that the fossil finds in Olduvai Gorge supported the “evidence” that we evolved from less-complicated, early hominid creatures, like the so-called “Lucy”.

To keep a long story short: I attended a Creation Seminar at Cedarville College [now Cedarville University], sat in rapt attention as Ken Ham told me “the rest of the story,” and I realized that all of the fossil finds I believed supported evolution were, in all cases, misinterpreted. I was blown away! So, learning the truth about evolution preceded my realizing that God was real (after all!) and that the Bible was His Word. I became a creationist before I became a believer in Christ.

I was raised and educated Roman Catholic. My parents took all seven of us to church every Sunday. And for all that religiosity, we never spoke of Jesus at home.

After twelve years of Catholic schools, and being taught that Noah’s Ark, for example, was just an allegorical way to relay the story that “if you come on board with belief in God, he’ll keep you through the storm,” that there probably was no actual Noah’s Ark, and probably no actual Adam and Eve, it was easy to throw out the Bible as any believable “Word of God.”

I became a non-Christian. I used to say, “How can I believe a book that’s been copied over and over and over, translated in so many different versions, when it probably doesn’t even look like the original, like a Xerox copy of a Xerox copy of a Xerox copy?” It was easy to walk away from what little faith I’d been taught.

But then being exposed to creation science ministries, I had to look honestly at what I’d come to believe about God. I can’t name a specific date that I came to saving knowledge of what Christ had done for me—it was more of a season. I was that thick headed. It took a while for it all to unfold.

Today, I am feasting on apologetics, Christian music, and the inerrant Word of God. I never thought the Bible could make so much sense. Christ has loved and protected me through my years of doubt, even though I never deserved it. I know where I came from, and I know exactly where I’m going. I am free of the fears and superstitions of religion, because I have a deep, personal relationship with the most awesome Creator of the Universe!…

Does Donna’s testimony remotely sound like that of a person who was once an atheist? Of course not. Donna, like her creationist guru, conflated unbelief and being a non-Christian with atheism. Donna was raised in a Catholic home and attended parochial schools from first through twelfth grade. She was no more an atheist than the Pope. That she stopped believing is certainly a possibility, but I doubt that is the case. Donna spent much of her life immersed in Catholic Christianity. It is this exposure that paved the way to her young earth creationism conversion. Countless Evangelicals can give similar testimonies.

Evangelicals such as Ham do not think Roman Catholics are Christians. According to Evangelicals, Catholicism is a works-based religion that is leading hundreds of millions of people astray. Donna’s “unbelief” wasn’t atheism. It was classic false religion unbelief, a way of explaining life before Jesus. As is often the case, Donna is reading her present Fundamentalist young earth creationist beliefs back into the story of her life. What I would love to know is WHY Donna attended Ham’s seminar? What was going on in her life that led her to attend this seminar? Was she attending an Evangelical church at the time?

Of course, Ham will appeal to the supernatural power of the Evangelical God. What seems impossible to us, is possible with God. Ham writes:

At AiG, we know that non-Christians are really walking dead people “who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). Only God’s Word can raise the dead. So when we are witnessing to “dead” people, we do the best we can to give answers (1 Peter 3:15) to defend the faith, and in so doing, point them to the Word of God that saves! God is the One who opens people’s hearts (including atheists) and “who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Yes, God’s Word reaches even the most hardened heart. There is hope for every atheist, for the Lord “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). And “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Donna’s story might find a friendly hearing among Ham’s devoted followers, but I find her story lacking in evidence that she was ever an atheist.

Bodie Hodge: The Bible is From God Because it Says it Is

the bible says

Snark ahead. You have been duly warned!

Recently, Bodie Hodge, a writer for Answers in Genesis, decided to take a crab-fork stab at the question, Other Religious Writings: Can They Be from God, Too? According to Hodge, the son-in-law of Ken Ham, only the sixty-six books of Protestant Bible are from God. Hodge writes:

 Other alleged divine writings are not from God because they are not part of the Bible.

The answer seems too simple: other alleged divine writings are not from God because they are not among the 66 books of the Bible and, in fact, they contradict the Bible.

This is a “presuppositional” approach, which means to presuppose that God exists and that His Word, the Bible, is the truth. This is the starting point or axiom.

God never tried to prove His existence or prove that His Word is superior to other writings. God simply opens the Bible with a statement of His existence and says His Word is flawless (Genesis 1:1; Proverbs 30:5). The Bible bluntly claims to be the truth (Psalm 119:160), and Christ repeated this claim (John 17:17).

In fact, if God had tried to prove that He existed or that His Word was flawless, then any evidence or proof would be greater than God and His Word. But God knows that nothing is greater than His Word, and therefore He doesn’t stoop to our carnal desires for such proofs.

There ya have it, boys and girls. Only the 66 books of the Protestant Bible are from God. Why? Because the Bible says so. So there, take that you liberals! Hodge and his daddy-in-law Ham are presuppositionalists. They presuppose that the Christian God is the one true God and that the 66 books of Bible are this God’s words. No evidence is necessary. These truths are correct because Hodge and Ham, and by extension God, say they are.

According to Hodge, God will not contradict himself. Yes, sir he says that sober and with straight face. Here’s the quote:

In the Bible, we read that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). This is significant because it means that God’s Word will never have contradictions. Though skeptics have alleged that there are contradictions in the Bible, every such claim has been refuted. This is what we would expect if God’s Word were perfect.

Yet the world is filled with other “religious writings” that claim divine origin or that have been treated as equal to or higher than the Bible on matters of truth or guidelines for living. In other words, these writings are treated as a final authority over the Bible.

Any religious writing that claims divine inspiration or authority equal to the Bible can’t be from God if it has any contradictions: contradictions with the Bible, contradictions within itself, or contradictions with reality.

And around and around we go. These other religious writings cannot be from God because he only wrote one book, the Bible. And unlike Harper Lee of To Kill a Mockingbird fame, God is not planning to write a sequel.

At the end of article, Hodge proves “conclusively” that other religious writings such as the Qur’an and the Book of Mormon are not from God. How does he do this you ask? Why he compares these writings to the Protestant Bible and shows that they have different teachings and words. This is a ploy commonly used by people who think the King James Bible is God’s perfect Word for English-speaking people. Here’s how this works. Take Isaiah 7:14, a verse Evangelicals believe prophesies the virgin birth of Jesus. The King James version renders the verse this way:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

However, the New Revised Standard Version renders the verse this way:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Oh Lord, the NRSV takes away the virgin birth, says the King James onlyist. This is PROOF that the NSRV is not from God.

Let me give one more example of this kind of thinking. Take Mark 16:9-20. You know the passage that says in verses 16-18:

 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Some newer translations omit this passage or footnote it saying that verses 9-20 are not found in the oldest manuscripts. King James onlyists see this omission as proof that modern versions are removing God’s Words. If God didn’t want these verses in the Bible he would never have written them to start with. But he did, end of story.

What’s interesting here is that while King James onlyists believe Mark 16:9-20 is the very word of God, they pretty much ignore or explain away what the verses teach. Most King James onlyists are Baptists who believe that salvation is by grace. Baptism has no salvific effect. It is nothing more than a ceremonial act. Yet, this passage clearly says, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Now who is the one taking away from the Word of God? The same goes for the verses that say that the followers of Jesus will cast out devils, speak with new tongues, take up serpents, drink poison without adverse effect, and heal the sick. I don’t know of one King James onlyist church that takes these verses seriously and attempts to put them into practice. Hey Maude, pass the strychnine. It’s my turn to drink poison.

In a similar manner, Hodge thinks if he compares the teachings of Bible with the teachings of the Qur’an he will show that the Protestant Bible is from God and the Qur’an is not. I suspect readers are by now doing a face palm. It’s like a man comparing a Ford owner’s manual with a Chevrolet owner’s manual. Yep, only the Ford is an automobile. Why? The owner’s manuals are different. Of course they are different. One’s for a Ford and the other is for a Chevrolet. Both are automobiles.

So it is with religious texts. Difference is not proof of a text’s truthfulness. Perhaps the Book of Mormon is from God and not the Protestant Bible. It is impossible to know one way or the other just by playing the world-famous Hodge Religious Text Comparison Game®. And Hodge knows this. He concludes his survey of the astounding wonders of the closed Evangelical mind with this statement:

So there are two options: place our faith in the perfect, all-knowing God who has always been there, or trust in imperfect, fallible mankind and his philosophies. The Bible, God’s Holy Word, is superior to all other alleged holy books. God will never be wrong or contradict Himself. So start with the Bible and build your faith on its teachings so that you please Him.

Finally, Hodge gives the answer to every question about the Bible and its teachings: faith. Why not start with this answer? All Hodge had to say is that by faith he believes the Protestant Bible is from God. Faith cuts off any rational inquiry. Faith keeps Evangelicals from investigating Hodge’s false claim that there are no contradictions in the Bible. Hodge doesn’t want Answers in Genesis supporters to think for themselves. Just have faith, he says. How else can someone believe the universe is 6,020 years old? Such a belief, along with a plethora of other literalistic beliefs, require great faith. This is a faith that becomes blinders for the mind, keeping people from daring to rationally investigate the claims made by men such as Bodie Hodge.

Never will there be found in their possession one of Bart Ehrman’s books. Reading such books and comparing them to what the keepers of Evangelical Biblical Truth® say will certainly lead to questions and doubt. And we can’t have that. Doubt is a lack of trust in God. Doubt is sign that Satan is gaining a stronghold. We must not have questions and doubt, Evangelical preachers say. Just have faith and your doubts will go away. And if they don’t? Dammit, stop asking questions and believe what I tell you to believe!!

Note

If you are interested in reading what Hodge thinks about atheists, please read Dear Atheists, from Bodie Hodge. Please grab a barf bag and have it nearby when you start to read. Trust me, you will need it.

 

Once Again, Ken Ham Denies the Sufficiency of Scripture

ken ham

I previously wrote about that fact that Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis, doesn’t really believe that the Bible is all-sufficient.  (Please see Ken Ham’s Ark Project Shows He Doesn’t Believe in the Sufficiency of Scripture.)  Evangelicals like Ham supposedly believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God. I say supposedly, because upon closer examination of their orthopraxy (correct practice), Evangelicals are quite willing to ignore the Bible when it suits them.

Take Ham’s latest monument to Fundamentalist ignorance, the Ark Encounter: a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark. The Bible records in Genesis 6-9 the mythical story of Noah and the flood. According to the Bible, God, sickened and angered by the sin of human race, decided to use a global flood to kill everyone, save Noah and his family. Out of the millions of people on the face of the earth, only Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives, were deemed worthy of God’s grace (evidently Noah’s grandchildren didn’t make the cut).

God told Noah to prepare a big boat, by which he, Jehovah, would save Noah and his family. In Genesis 6:13-16, God gave Noah strict engineering plans to follow when building the ark:

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

God told Noah to use gopher wood for the Ark’s construction. The word gopher is used only once in the Bible. Some English translations leave the word untranslated, while others, especially modern Bible versions, translate the Hebrew word as cypress or cedar. Knowing these things, imagine my surprise when I read that Ken Ham is using spruce trees (Englemann spruce) to build his replica of Noah’s Ark. Ham writes:

When you visit the Ark Encounter next year, one of the things that will just blow you away is the massive scope of the Ark and the colossal size of the trees that were used to construct it. We’ve heard people ask what type of trees they are and where they came from. The trees were standing dead Englemann spruce that were over 200 years old.

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They were responsibly harvested from a forest in Utah. There are select forests managed by the forestry service where dead trees, before they begin to rot, are harvested and repurposed; then the forest is replanted for future harvests. What’s really nice about these gigantic 66 foot tall logs that are 50 inches in diameter is the fact that they are already dry, so they won’t move or twist once in place.

Why isn’t Ham using gopher wood? Surely, God meant what he said when he told Noah exactly what wood and dimensions to use in constructing the Ark. Evidently, Ham doesn’t really believe that the Bible is all-sufficient. If he did, he would either scour the earth looking for gopher wood or he would use cyprus/cedar to build the Ark. Instead, Ham chose a wood that met project engineering and cost requirements. In other words, he allowed modern science and mathematics to dictate the construction of his modern-day Ark. It is too bad that Ham can’t do the same when it comes to the creationist story of Genesis 1-3. Why does Ham demand a literalistic interpretation of Genesis 1-3, yet ignore this hermeneutic when choosing which wood to use for building the Ark? Ham demands that modern scientists bow to the authority of the Bible, yet he is quite willing to ignore it when it suits him.

Ham presents the Ark project as one that is environmentally responsible. Ham says the project’s spruce trees were “responsibly harvested from a forest in Utah.” What he fails to tell readers is why these trees were available for what Ham calls the “largest timber-frame structure in the world.” According to the The Salt Lake Tribune, spruce beetles have destroyed the state’s once burgeoning Englemann spruce population. In 2011, Brandon Loomis, a writer for The Tribunewrote:

Some three-toed woodpecker in these woods is pleasantly plump on beetles, but the buffet can’t go on forever. It lasts only as long as the trees.

The gluttony is written on and around a stocky spruce that looks green and mostly healthy to the untrained eye, except for the fact that it’s pecked nude from the waist down.

No bird harmed the tree, though. The damage was already done.

“These trees are loaded with bugs,” said Liz Hebertson, a U.S. Forest Service entomologist, down from Ogden to survey this year’s spruce-beetle infestation in south-central Utah. Peeling back a neighboring spruce’s bark confirms that larvae are maturing, readying for the short flight of their lives in search of new pine prey.

It’s nothing new to her. Mountains of Utah’s verdant spruce slopes are gone. If climate scientists are right, they might never be back.

After a rain, Utah’s high spruce forests evoke the misty Pacific Northwest — unlikely lush islands rising from redrock desert and olive chaparral. Now a complex set of threats conspires to take them down.

One is natural — the beetle with a taste for older trees, aided by a decade of tree-stressing drought. Another is a century of fire suppression that built up fuels to the bursting point. Aiding both those killers is a rising thermometer.

Even if a warmer climate can again support Engelmann spruce — the state’s dominant commercial-grade tree — it will be 200 years or more until they grow back to the towering sentinels that 20th-century Utahns knew. In the meantime, subalpine firs may spring up in their place, replacing green for green but not with dollars. Subalpine firs are more brittle — not lumber material.

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It’s been a losing battle so far, and science suggests it’s a long-run lost cause.

First, there’s the insect’s physiology and its response to increasing warmth. The cold-blooded spruce beetles in these hills once took two years to mature from the egg and fly on to breed in new trees. In the early 2000s, Hebertson said, forest scientists documented a switch to one-year cycles here, which boosted the population and primed a disaster.

Beetles have taken 2 million acres of Utah forest in roughly that time, the largest share of it spruce. The outbreak started in the 1990s around Cedar Breaks National Monument in southwestern Utah, where Hebertson has seen no evidence of spruce regeneration since.

The Forest Service has found that higher temperatures aid and speed beetle production. The Utah Climate Center at Utah State University finds that since 1970 the mercury has risen swiftly when it counts most — more than 3 degrees on average during bug-killing winter lows at a monitoring station at Capitol Reef National Park in southern-central Utah.

A decade of beetles-gone-wild might not spell doom in normal conditions. Big outbreaks have shown up before, and the spruce have rebounded. This time, though, computer models based on society’s carbon emissions aren’t looking good. They show Engelmann spruce practically blinking out in Utah by 2090, limited to a strand in the High Uintas.

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Global warming is the reason Ham found reasonably priced spruce trees for the Ark project, the very climate change Ham denies is materially affecting the earth. Rod J. Martin, a self-described independent researcher with no stated scientific credentials, explains Answers in Genesis’ official global warming position this way: (link no longer active)

The Bible does not speak directly about what we call global warming. It does, however, provide a framework for evaluating the merits of global warming claims. To reiterate, the global warming discussion centers on CO2 (the atmosphere) and trees (plants). The Bible, of course, addresses the atmosphere and plants. The biblical framework for evaluating global warming is primarily found in Genesis. The RATE study mentioned above established that Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 (the Creation account) was narrative. The study also determined that the Flood account (Genesis chapters 7 to 9) is also narrative (Vardiman et al. 2005, pp. 661 and 667). This paper will also briefly reference the dispersion of the nations at the tower of Babel in the summary. Although the RATE study did not evaluate the Tower of Babel, I believe that if the creation and the Flood passages are narrative then the tower of Babel passage is narrative also. These passages describe real events and real people. The following sections briefly discuss passages related to the atmosphere and plants.

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The biblical history of the earth, contained in the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis, provides a useful and sufficient framework for evaluating the current global warming issue. As we have seen, CO2 is a natural atmospheric gas that is essential for man’s existence. It is not a pollutant. The atmosphere is likely deficient in CO2 compared with the original created atmosphere. Reducing CO2 would definitely create problems, but increasing it will not. Burning fossil fuels merely returns CO2 to its place of origin. Forests are to be used for man’s benefit. They are not needed to produce O2 and they have no intrinsic rights, but should be managed responsibly and effectively.

Basic science is consistent with the biblical history and argues strongly against the global warming hypothesis. Melting glaciers and changing climates are not an indication of man-made global warming. These natural phenomena have been operating for thousands of years. Temperature histories are imprecise and unreliable. Global warming is built on an evolutionary earth history and an evolutionary time scale. Anything built on a faulty foundation cannot stand. Global warming is an offshoot of evolutionary thinking and is needlessly creating mass hysteria. God is in control of the earth, not man.

It can be expected that several trends evident since the Flood, however, will continue: sea level will rise as polar glaciers continue to melt, and deserts will expand. These trends, as we have shown, have little to do with CO2, they are a consequence of a God ordained event, the Flood. Governments with either ocean boundaries or deserts should consider how to efficiently and economically address these trends. There is no viable justification either biblically or scientifically for limiting the generation of CO2 or restricting logging of forests.

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When it comes to the type of wood to use for his colossal tinker toy project, Ham ignores the Bible and, instead, buys a wood that is affordable thanks to global warming. Yet, when it comes to the warming of the planet and what problems rising global temperatures will cause, Ham, Martin, and the “astute” scientists at Answers in Genesis, demand a return to a strict, literalistic reading of Genesis 1-3. Simply put, global warming is much ado about nothing, because…drum roll please, the BIBLE says. While Ham uses modern engineering practices and cost studies for building the Ark, he reverts to knuckle-dragging, young-earth-creationist talking points when it comes to global warming.

I wish Ken Ham would make up his mind about the sufficiency of the Bible. Either it’s God’ divine science textbook or it’s not. Either God did or he didn’t tell Noah everything he needed to know about building a large boat in the desert. Which is it? Or perhaps Ham, like all Evangelicals, gives lip service to the sufficiency of the Bible. When it suits him he demands literalism, but when necessary Ham is quite willing to abandon the all-sufficient Bible in favor of modern science and technology.

Is Ken Ham a Sincere Christian?

Ken Ham

I have been asked many times if I think creationist Ken Ham is a sincere Christian. It certainly would make things easier if  Ham were a money-grubbing Elmer Gantry. We could then dismiss him as a con artist and shake our head at those who are duped by his pleas for money to fight the secularist horde at the gate.  However, as I ponder my own one-time blind devotion to Jesus, I’m inclined to think that Ken Ham sincerely believes the Bible is a God-written science and history textbook. I’m sure there’s nothing that will convince Ken Ham, at the ripe old age of 64, that he is not absolutely right. Ham believes that God speaks to him and has called him to preach the creationist gospel. When people are certain God is on their side, there is little hope of disabusing them of their belief.

Now, we may rightly think Ham’s beliefs are ignorant and superstitious, but millions of people hold to similar beliefs, and we should at least acknowledge that they are sincere believers. Before we can understand Ken Ham, we must first understand his belief system. A lot of atheists and evolutionists fail to do this, foolishly attacking Ken Ham the person and not Ken Ham’s beliefs.

Ken Ham is a true-blue fundamentalist, and part of his religious DNA is the belief that the world will become more evil the closer we get to the rapture. Ham believes there are Satanic forces at work trying to destroy Biblical Christianity. Anyone who has been a part of the Evangelical church for any length of time knows how this kind of paranoid thinking permeates Evangelicalism. Atheism is on the rise in the West and Ham sees this as an attack by Satan on all he hold holds dear.  He fears that if he and his followers don’t repel secularism, atheism, evolution, and non-Fundamentalist Christianity, that America will be judged by God and destroyed.

Everything Ham does is an attempt to promote Biblical Christianity and turn back the unrelenting attack of Satan. Yes, Ham makes a good living off his work, and his promotion of young earth creationism attracts millions of dollars in fees and donations, but I suspect that Ham would still do what he does even if he isn’t financially remunerated.

I remember when I used to think like Ken Ham. It was never about the money. My goal was to preach the good news of the gospel to as many people as possible. I was willing to go to great lengths to serve God, even if it meant living in abject poverty. My calling in life was to obediently follow the teachings of the Bible and be a faithful messenger of God to a lost and dying world. There was a time in my life that Ken Ham and I would have been best buds.

When secularists, atheists, and scientists attack Ken Ham the person they make themselves  look bad. They need to focus on his beliefs. Using reason, they need to challenge his assertions, knowing that they may not cause Ham to change his beliefs. There are always doubting Christians lurking in the shadows, watching our behavior and reading our writing. These are people who are most likely to be swayed by sound intellectual arguments.

I may hate what Ken Ham believes and I may think those beliefs promote ignorance, but if my objective is to counter his beliefs, I must focus on what he teaches and not on his person (even when it is very hard to do so). To put it in religious parlance, I must be a good witness and I must always remember that people are going to judge me by the words I say and write. If I personally attack someone, I know that some religious readers will not hear what I have to say. And I don’t blame them.

My friend Kerry left a comment that I think sums up well what I am trying to say:

Name calling does nothing to advance the understanding between world views. I didn’t do it as a believer and I don’t do it as a non-believer in Christianity. I do, from time to time, rework the pithy little sayings so many Christians use, such as; “Love the sinner but hate the sin” which I change to “Love the believer but hate the belief.” For the various beatitudes that get quoted, I usually quote from Confucius or Buddha which sound the same but are a little bit different. They of course do not notice until I point it out to them and educate them on the fact that these sayings are some 600 years before God gave them to the Jews. There are ways to make the point about the facts we as atheists have embraced without doing it in a manner that closes off all minds and debate.

Notes

I am well aware of the fact that Ken Ham does not afford me the same treatment I’ve outlined in this post. While I find this irritating, I must be a better man than he is, if for no other reason than it points out that a person can treat others with decency without being a Christian. I wish more atheists would understand this. I know, it’s hard to be kind and decent towards people who think you are a reprobate and are headed for God’s S&M chamber in the bowels of the earth. If humanism is the way forward for the human race, then we must kill people with our kindness (and our facts).

 

Ken Ham’s Followers Doubt the 1969 Apollo Moon Landing

moon landing hoax

I’m convinced that Bible literalism, creationism, and Evangelical belief, when merged together in the mind of a Christian render them unable to rationally think. Harsh, you say? Let me give readers an example of what I am talking about. Recently, Danny Faulkner, a frequent contributor to Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis website, wrote a post about the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.  While Faulkner was quick to say, yes the moon landing actually happened, his reasons for believing so left a lot to be desired. After giving a historical account of the moon landing, Faulkner ended his post with this:

The Apollo moon landing theory has gained some traction among Christians too. Since so many scientists are wrong about the origin and age of the world, it may be that many Christians assume that the same scientists are wrong about landing on the moon too. Sometimes it seems that scientists want to stamp out any dissent on certain issues, such as evolution. This heavy-handed approach can look a bit conspiratorial, so Christians may be justified in being at least a bit skeptical about many things. How should we respond? It is tempting to give a detailed rebuttal of many of the claims made by those who support the idea that the Apollo moon landings were a hoax. However, that has been done many times already.

There is a much more straightforward approach. Two of the twelve men who walked on the moon later were born again Christians, Charlie Duke, and the late Jim Irwin. Both of these dedicated Christians wrote books in which they shared their testimonies and their experiences as astronauts. To doubt the Apollo moon landings amounts to accusing two Christian brothers of lying about the biggest thing that ever happened to them, of course apart from their salvation. The biblical standard for establishing such a matter is two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6; Matthew 18:15–17; 2 Corinthians 13:1). These two Christian astronauts certainly suffice as reliable witnesses, so we can be assured that the Apollo astronauts indeed walked on the moon.

That’s right. Danny Faulkner told Answers in Genesis readers that he completely understands why they might have doubts about the Apollo 11 moon landing. After all, “Since so many scientists are wrong about the origin and age of the world, it may be that many Christians assume that the same scientists are wrong about landing on the moon too. ”

Faulkner’s answer for those who understandably doubt the truth of the moon landing is to remind them of moon walkers Jim Irwin (Apollo 15) and Charlie Duke (Apollo 16). Both of these men are born again Christians, and according to Faulkner this means their testimony of what happened on the moon should be accepted without question. Evidently, being a Christian grants a person special powers that enable them to always tell the truth. According to Faulkner, to not believe the testimony of these moon walkers is to say that they are lying, and no Christian should call a brother or sister in the Lord a liar (even though Ken Ham spends considerable time calling all sorts of people liars).

Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and Noah’s Bathtub Adventure, posted Faulkner’s article to his Facebook page. After Ham posted the article, outraged Evangelicals let Ham know what they thought about it:

I respect Ken Ham and his work but I have a hard time believing the moon landings were real based on the word of two christian astronauts. Most of the astronauts were high level Freemasons including Buzz Aldrin and John Glenn and that is a red flag for me as far as credibility goes. Hillary and President Obama also call themselves Christians. So do we believe everything they say also? Sorry, not buying it.

I’m not sure about the moon landing. But hopefully it’s true!

I have always questioned if we did, Glory PTL

When I read these comments, I am so discouraged. No one knows how to make a sound argument. “the landings weren’t faked, cause we are told they weren’t faked and we watched it on TV and my grandfather was in the program and so on and so on… literally no proof. Again, we could have done it, but and null the arguments made are so terrible and have no business being acknowledged but to simply make my point. No one can think anymore. Many are uncomfortable with questioning things of this magnitude. It opens the door for the possibility that many other things could be deceiving them as well. We don’t like feeling deceived, therfore we accept what we are told. Talks of science being compromised in the fields of biology and geology, still thinks astronomy and physics are 100% legit. Revelation states the devil deceives the whole world but Ken doesn’t want to acknowledge an elitist globalized agenda to deceive the whole world… [face palm]

Sorry … One of your Astronauts was a MASON.

How can you land on a light? It is better to trust God than man. Every man is a lier.

 The entire world had really been brainwashed the this B.S. moon landIng Matthew 24:24 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” The bible is right

It’s so sad that many Christian still believe this greatest lie in human history. They blindly believe anything just because they heard it in the radio and watched in the TV. Just because they read a bible verse doesn’t mean they’re telling the truth. Matthew 7:21 (ASV) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.

 I’m not sure which side I take on the issue. As a professional photographer for many many years – photos don’t lie. Let’s not forget, we’re dealing with photography back in its earlier stages… not like we have today. Perfect photos in a harsh lighted realm by amateur photographs – not likely. And that is only a tiny piece of the many problems.

My question is, if we did really go there soooooo many years ago, why haven’t we went to the moon a thousand more times since then? It just doesn’t make any sense…

We never landed on the moon. NASA is a sham. It’s embarrassing anyone still hasn’t looked at the so called evidences, especially if you consider yourself an intellectually honest seeker of truth. What, you mean the stuff NASA puts out who doesn’t allow anyone else to verify their stuff? They are a self verifying agency. Wake up! Look at the many fakes and frauds they put out from photos to videos. Why fake anything at all? Fact is, they faked it all

I love what you do Ken, but it’s kinda disappointing to see AiG supporting this hoax. Getting to the Moon would have been impossible 50 years ago with the technology available, which isn’t even close to what we have now. And there’s a pretty obvious reason for why we haven’t been there a single time since then.

 My question is why can’t you see any stars in the background? When we look up from earth you can see a million stars but not from th moon. And who took the pics of the first steps of man on the moon was someone already there waiting?

I have a question. Who took the video of it leaving the moon surface to return home? Saw this as a child and no one could answer that question.

The truth must be our guide, not any other things. People question the technological feasibility of landing on the moon with 1969 technology. It’s a legitimate question. They question the authenticity by asking, “Why haven’t any governments sent men back with modern tools and technology in the 40 years hence?” It’s a legitimate question. “Why were the moon mission files classified until 2026?” It’s a legitimate question. “What about the Van Allen radiation belts and lethal radiation exposure?” It’s a legitimate question. “Why did Neil Armstrong ration interviews? And why his wording about ”truth’s protective layers” in a brief White House speech?” They are legitimate questions. And there are 50 more legitimate questions. Christians must seek the truth. God gave us faculties to utilize, and a Christian must purpose all his faculties upon the truth. And there remain unsatisfactory answers to questions. An honest Christian, born again, seeking the truth, can question the claims, in pursuit of the truth. It is fundamental.

I know we left some junk on the moon when we left.  They know where the Luner landers landed. Can’t we point one of the orbiting telescopes at the moon to locate some of the debris. Or one of the flags we left.

I am ambivalent. They haven’t been to the moon in over 40 years but what did they do on the moon? They are trying to go to Mars but they haven’t done anything with the moon yet. That’s partly why I’m skeptical. The other part is the photos that don’t cast a silhouette with the only light source behind them. Just make me go hmmm.

Jim Elliff says, Avoid Bart Ehrman, He Could Cause You To Lose Your Faith!

bart ehrman

Jim Elliff, the director of Christian Communicators Worldwide, thinks Christians should avoid Bart Ehrman because he could cause them to doubt or lose their faith.  For those of you who are not familiar with Evangelical turned agnostic New Testament theologian Bart Ehrman, his credentials are as follows:

Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his teaching career at Rutgers University, and joined the faculty in the Department of Religious Studies at UNC in 1988, where he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department.

Professor Ehrman completed his M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees at Princeton Seminary, where his 1985 doctoral dissertation was awarded magna cum laude. An expert on the New Testament and the history of Early Christianity, has written or edited thirty books, numerous scholarly articles, and dozens of book reviews. In addition to works of scholarship, Professor Ehrman has written several textbooks for undergraduate students and trade books for general audiences. Five of his books have been on the New York Times Bestseller list: Misquoting Jesus; God’s Problem; Jesus Interrupted; Forged; and How Jesus Became God. His books have been translated into twenty-seven languages.

His books include:

  • God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question — Why We Suffer
  • How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher From Galilee
  • Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
  • Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them)

Ehrman is a royal pain in the ass for Evangelical pastors and theologians. His books are well written and quite devastating to the many of the tenets of Evangelicalism. His books are accessible, making it easy for the average Joe the plumber reader to understand what is written. In other words, Ehrman has successfully bridged the ivory tower/pew divide. I heartily recommend his books.

Ehrman  participated in a debate with Craig Evans at a Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Midwestern is a Southern Baptist institution.  By all accounts Ehrman decidedly won the debate. (here’s Midwestern’s report of the debate)

Jim Elliff, a man I knew from my days as a Reformed Baptist, thinks debating Bart Ehrman is a bad idea:

First, because Ehrman is a false teacher and we are forbidden to give such men a forum to express their views.

The Bible doesn’t treat false teachers kindly. It is one thing to talk with a skeptic who is asking questions to know the truth, or who is confronting you in public, but it is quite another thing to invite and pay a false teacher to come to your turf in order to present his views in an open forum.

Inviting a false teacher to present his errant views in order to persuade students and the public is like allowing a gunman to shoot randomly out into an audience of military personnel because it is assumed the troops have body armor. For one thing, body armor cannot shield against all shots, and for another, there are many people attending who have no armor at all. At last week’s debate, for instance, there were many people from the public who were not even believers. Some young people also attended, and some seminary students who are not yet prepared for the effects of doubt-producing verbiage….

Second, because the minority position almost always gains some followers regardless who wins the debate.

When you have a sizable crowd it almost goes without saying that someone will be convinced of the false views of the false teacher. You may sense an overwhelming approval of the debate by many who love the give and take, but fail to take note of the quiet student or outsider to the seminary now stricken with doubt about the Scriptures. Ehrman’s presentation might be all that is needed to move him over the line….

Third, because debates are not always won on the basis of truth alone.

We don’t need to comment much here, because you understand how this works. Ehrman clearly won the debate by the account of several attending. He simply won it by his cleverness and expertise at debating. His opponent, the believer, was well able to defeat him with the truth, but missed his opportunities in several places, giving credence to the idea that he was a better writer and lecturer than debater. In fact, this is the second time Ehrman won a debate at the same seminary, but against a different Christian opponent. What does that do for our witness? Though I have no question in my mind that our position on the reliability of Scripture is the right one and can withstand Ehrman’s arguments soundly, our side was out-debated.

Fourth, because many of the listeners will not have the opportunity to sort out confusing aspects of the debate with professors or knowledgeable persons….

Fifth, because doubt is insidious.

One seminary student who has now graduated told me that he occasionally had huge doubts about Scripture and God. They were not there often, perhaps only for a few difficult days or weeks once every year or two, but they were so strong that he found himself almost smothered by them when they came. This was a leading student, chosen as one of the best preachers of the seminary. Doubt is insidious. Like a drop of ink added to gallons of water, it can ruin everything. It is the fly in the perfume. We are naïve to think that, being free from doubts ourselves, others do not deal with them regularly.

When a man like Ehrman speaks, doubt-producing statements may be forever lodged in people’s minds, causing trouble when least expected. It only takes a tiny amount of doubt for some people to be destroyed. A weak person might believe his doubts rather than believe his beliefs…..

Where, oh where do I begin?

There is no need for me to go through a lengthy refutation of Elliff’s  post. His position is quite simple:

  • Bart Ehrman is a false teacher
  • Christians are not to listen to false teachers
  • False teachers like Ehrman cause Christians to doubt
  • Doubt causes people to lose their faith
  • Doubt must be avoided at all costs, so information that is contrary to the approved narrative must be avoided

Consider this. The doubting students that Elliff is so concerned about have gone to Evangelical (Southern Baptist) churches their entire lives and have at least four years of college education, most likely at an Evangelical college. After a lifetime of training, four years of college, and after uncounted sermons and Sunday school lessons, the students still aren’t prepared to withstand hearing ONE debate featuring a non-Christian?

I have one word for this, pathetic.

Elliff lives in a world where the only truth is his truth (though he calls his truth God’s truth). Even though most everyone admits Ehrman handily won the debate, according to Elliff he won by deceptive means. Since there is only one version of the truth, Ehrman had to win by other means.

The money quote is this:

Ehrman clearly won the debate by the account of several attending. He simply won it by his cleverness and expertise at debating. His opponent, the believer, was well able to defeat him with the truth, but missed his opportunities in several places, giving credence to the idea that he was a better writer and lecturer than debater.

Elliff seems to have forgotten his Bible. If I remember right, the Holy Spirit indwells every follower of Jesus. When a believer is called on to give a defense of their faith, the Holy Spirit gives the believer the words to say. Evidently, the Holy Spirit didn’t come through for Evans.

Elliff lives in an alternate universe where saying the Bible says _________ is the satisfactory answer to every question. It’s the equivalent of a child wanting to know why and their mother telling them, because I said so. Remember the EF Hutton commercials? When EF Hutton speaks everyone is silent. That’s the world Evangelicals like Jim Elliff live in. Any facts that don’t fit the approved orthodox narrative are rejected out of hand. Even when the facts are overwhelming, great lengths are taken to explain away the contrary evidence. Young earth creationists like Ken Ham are a perfect example of this.

I left the Christian faith because I no longer believed the Christian narrative to be true. It was my desire to know the truth that ultimately resulted in my deconversion. If Christian seminary students, most of whom are studying for the ministry, cannot be confronted with contrary evidence for fear of losing their faith, I would suggest it is not a faith worth having.

Doubt should not be discouraged. Evangelicals should be encouraged to question, investigate, and test the beliefs which their pastors (and college professors) and churches say are true. A faith that will withstand the onslaught of the modern/postmodern world must be able to answer the questions the modern/postmodern world presents. Perhaps, that is the real issue. The Christian faith has run out of answers. All that is left is warmed over dogma from years gone by, irrelevant and no longer satisfying for the needs of humanity.

It really is all about the Bible; on this point both the skeptic and the Evangelical can agree.

Video Link

Ken Ham Warns Atheists Are Out to Steal Children and Eat Them Too

Ken Ham

Eat them, metaphorically speaking, with BBQ sauce.

In 2012,  Ken Ham, a young earth creationist, snake oil salesman, and the CEO of Answers in Genesis, warned his followers about the dangers of secularism and atheism:

… Christians today are hungry to be equipped with the resources to fight the battle before us in this increasingly secular culture, where God’s Word is being attacked on nearly every front.

I love teaching children. Once again, as we’ve seen across the country at similar conferences, we were able to reach hundreds of children and young people who attended the special school assembly programs in Florida.

I want to remind you that our theme at AiG for the next two years is “Standing Our Ground, Rescuing Our Kids” as we focus on rescuing them from this present evil age.

Recently, I coauthored an article for the AiG website about Arizona State University Professor Lawrence Krauss. He has now posted videos accusing Christians who teach their children about creation of committing “child abuse.” He even accuses those who teach their children about hell of committing “child abuse.”

Lawrence Krauss is an atheist, and he is an atheist on a mission right now to capture your kids for the anti-God religion of atheism. Think about it—he wants you to hand your kids over to him so he can try to brainwash children into believing they are just animals and that they are not made in the image of God. He wants them to be taught when you die, you rot—and that’s it! In essence, he wants your kids to be captured for the devil.

You know, I often think about why people such as Krauss are so aggressive in preaching their anti-God message of meaninglessness, purposelessness, and hopelessness. We we know that in Romans 1 we are told such people know that God is real, so they “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” And it’s even more than that. They want the focus on them—it is a self-centeredness. They want you to think they are a god! They have succumbed to the devil’s temptation in Genesis 3:5—they want to be like God—they want to be a god!

Such God-haters like Lawrence Krauss and others usually go ballistic when they hear of AiG teaching kids about Genesis. And they just hate me teaching children the truth about science, origins, and how to think correctly about such matters.

This past Monday in Florida, I taught young children for an hour and a half, covering topics like dinosaurs, fossils, the Flood, creation, evolution, the gospel and much more. I showed them how the history recorded in the Bible explains dinosaurs and that observational science confirms the Bible’s history. Secularists hate me teaching children to think correctly about origins as I help them understand what God taught Job in Job 38:4. God asked Job if he was there when God made the earth. But of course, he wasn’t—and that’s the point. When it comes to origins, no human was there to see the earth come into existence! But God has always been there. Evolutionists were not there to see the supposed millions of years of evolution. So I love to teach the kids to ask the question, “Were you there?” when someone talks about millions of years. The kids get it! The atheists don’t want to get it because they don’t want to give up the starting point for their worldview—i.e., that fallible man determines truth.

I taught the high school students how to understand science in relation to the origins issue by showing them the difference between beliefs about the past and knowledge gained by observation, which enables us to build technology.

Recently, Dr. Krauss made the false statement that evolution is the basis of biology and the basis of technology. Absurd nonsense! I made sure I taught the students how to think correctly about such issues. Then I gave them answers to many of the questions skeptics will use to try to make them doubt God’s Word—questions like these: Who made God? How did Noah fit the animals on the Ark? Isn’t natural selection evolution? What about Carbon dating?…

Evangelicals like Ham love a good conspiracy theory. They believe we are living in the last days and Jesus could return to earth at any moment.  (Though I suspect Ham secretly hopes Jesus doesn’t return before he open his Noah’s Ark Amusement Park.) They also believe the world will become increasingly more sinful the closer we get to the return of Jesus. The rise of secularism and atheism is proof to people like Ham that we are living in the last days.

Ken Ham, and millions of other Evangelicals, believe they are called by God to stand against Satan and his lies. In their eyes, secularism, atheism, humanism, evolution, acceptance of homosexuality, and legalized abortion are Satanic lies that must be exposed and defeated.

Ham is right about one thing; America is becoming more secular. He is also right that the battle for the future of America will be fought in our public schools and universities. Make no mistake about it, secularists, humanists, and atheists believe the kind of Christianity Ham peddles is intellectually harmful and retards the thinking of young people.

And so we fight. No longer do secularists, humanists, and atheists hide in the shadows, fearing the wrath of Christian America. We can sense the tide is turning, and so does Ken Ham.

Secularists, humanists, and atheists use reason and facts to show  young people a better way. They show that there is no need to appeal to myth or religious superstition to explain and understand the world. Science is revealing a universe to us that is amazing and wondrous, but it is also showing that the religious narratives of the past 1,800 years are no longer credible explanations for the world we live in.

Ham does his best to disparage secularists, humanists, and atheists. According to Ham:

  • We preach a message of hopelessness
  • We preach a message of meaninglessness
  • We preach a message of purposelessness
  • We know God exists but suppress it
  • We are self-centered, it is all about us

Only with his last point does Ham get it right. Secularists, humanists, and atheists plead guilty to being human-centered (though that is not the ONLY focus we have).  We know that focusing on prayer, God, or pronouncements from ancient religious texts will do little to improve the world. In fact, such beliefs might actually cause great harm (Many of the people who deny global climate change do so for religious reasons.)

Ham and his devoted disciples are infuriated that people like Lawrence Krauss say teaching children creationism is child abuse. However, let’s consider for a moment whether Krauss’s claim is true. If creationism is religious fiction, then teaching children it is true is a lie. From the time they can walk and talk, Evangelical Christian children are taught all sorts of lies from the Bible. How can this not have a negative effect on children? (Especially since belief in the creation myth is carried into adult life.)

Teaching children the earth is 6,020 years old, that God killed with a flood every human being save eight a few thousand years ago, and that anyone who does not accept the Evangelical version of the Christian God will be tortured by  God in hell for eternity, is quite harmful to the intellectual development of children.

The waiting rooms of mental health professionals are filled with people who have had their sense of self-worth damaged or destroyed by Christian teachings like original sin. Being told you are wicked, that you can be oppressed or possessed by Satan, and that God holds absolute power of your life, does not make for a healthy mind.

So, to Ken Ham, I say this: Yes we are coming for your children.  We don’t actually want to dine on fat Christian sucklings, but we do hope to expose them as they get older to the wide, wondrous universe we live in. We hope to teach them to think critically and not to accept something as fact just because a preacher declares from the pulpit  God says __________________.

I am not anti-Christian or anti-religion. I am, however, anti-ignorance. I think parents hurt their children when they keep them from ALL the knowledge available about the universe and their place in it.

Ken Ham Approves of Brothers Having Sex With Sisters

ken ham incest chart

Not now of course, but young earth creationist Ken Ham thinks that incest before the giving of the Mosaic law was OK.

Ham writes:

…Perhaps no woman mentioned in Scripture has caused more confusion among Christians. Despite the fact that we have regularly addressed this issue in numerous books, articles, and presentations, the issue of Cain’s wife is still one of the most common questions we receive. Who was she, and why have so many believers struggled to give a biblical answer to this inquiry?

The simple answer is that Cain married his sister or another close relation, like a niece. This answer may sound revolting for those of us who grew up in societies that have attached a stigma to such an idea, but if we start from Scripture, the answer is clear.

1 Corinthians 15 tells us that Adam was the first man. Genesis 3:20 states that Eve was the mother of all the living.(NASB), and Genesis 5:4 reveals that Adam and Eve had sons and daughters (besides Cain, Abel, and Seth).

There were no other people on earth as some have claimed. God did not create other people groups from which Cain chose a wife, as we are all made of one blood (Acts 17:26). If He had made others, these people would not have been able to be saved from their sins, since only descendants of Adam can be saved—that’s why it was so important for Jesus to be Adam’s descendant.

Doesn’t the Bible forbid marriage between close relations? It does, but the laws against marrying family members were initially given as part of the Mosaic covenant, approximately 2,500 years after God created Adam and Eve. Due in part to genetic mistakes, these laws were necessary to help protect offspring from mutations shared by both parents.

But that’s incest! In today’s world, this would be incest. But originally there would have been no problem with it. Looking back through history, the closer we get to Adam and Eve, the fewer genetic mistakes people would have, so it would have been safer for close relatives to marry and have children.

Christians who have a problem with this answer need to remember that Noah’s grandchildren must have married brothers, sisters, or first cousins—there were no other people (1 Peter 3:20, Genesis 7:7). Abraham married his half-sister (Genesis 20:2). Isaac married Rebekah, the daughter of his cousin Bethuel (Genesis 24:15), and Jacob married his cousins Leah and Rachel. Clearly, the Bible does not forbid the marriage of close relatives until the time of Moses…

Ham’s argument is necessary if one reads the Bible literally. In Ham’s world, the earth is 6,020 years old and evolution is the lie of Satan. However, in the aforementioned post, Ham reveals that he is not really as much of a literalist as he claims to be.

Ham says Cain married his sister or niece. Where does the Bible say this? Where does the Bible say Cain married anyone? Perhaps people didn’t get married in Cain’s day. Perhaps Cain actually had sexual relations with his mother. Why doesn’t Ham mention this as a possibility? Ham repeats the same story when trying to explain where the children of Noah’s grandchildren came from.

According to Ham, a law against incest was not necessary until 2,500 years after God created Adam and Eve.  The reason?  “…genetic mistakes, these laws were necessary to help protect offspring from mutations shared by both parents.” Again, where does the inerrant, inspired, infallible Bible say this? Shouldn’t Ham follow the mantra, where the Bible speaks we speak, and where the Bible is silent we are silent?

How is a human behavior not sinful for 2,500 years and then, all of a sudden, it becomes sinful? How can an immoral act be moral? Does this mean God changed his mind? Does this mean God permitted immorality so he could accomplish a greater good? I thought Jesus (God) was the same yesterday, today, and forever? Doesn’t Ham’s explanation lay waste to this “Biblical truth?”

Sooooo many questions…

Ken Ham Asks His Disciples to Pray for Me

dinosaurs on the ark

Cartoon by Mike Peters

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post titled Ken Ham Warns Atheists Are Out to Steal Your Children and Eat Them Too. While this post was lost in a server crash, I was able to recover the part of the post that resulted in Ken Ham asking his devoted Facebook followers to pray for me:

…Teaching children the earth is 6,000 years old, that God killed with a flood every human being save eight a few thousand years ago, and that anyone who does not accept the Evangelical version of the Christian God will be tortured by the Evangelical God in hell for eternity, is quite harmful to the intellectual development of children.

The waiting rooms of mental health professionals are filled with people who have had their sense of self-worth damaged or destroyed by Christian teachings like original sin. Being told you are wicked, that you can be oppressed or possessed by Satan, and that God holds absolute power of your life, does not make for a healthy mind,

So, to Ken Ham, I say this: Yes we are coming for your children. We hope to expose them to the wide, wondrous universe we live in. We hope to teach them to think critically and not to accept something as fact just because a preacher said or God said __________________.

I am not anti-Christian or anti-religion. I am, however, anti-ignorance. I think parents hurt their children when they keep them from ALL the knowledge available about the universe and their place in it…

Instead of praying for me, the Hamites, a species related to the Dodo Bird, went on the offensive, and in doing so they exposed their ignorance about and hatred for atheists. Here’s what some of Ham’s disciples had to say:

Start of Quotes

The level of pure hatred in their writings are almost palpable. They are the blind, leading the blind right into Hell!

Should not their own venomous hatred be a warning to them that they are not thinking clearly and rationally? How can they possibility imagine that they are walking in truth when they are eaten up with bitterness and loathing?

And as is highly typical of skeptics, they use lots of insults and personal attacks.
In fact, insults are their personal mark and business card. Remember too – Satan is called the accuser of the brethren.

Sad for them. Their hearts are hardened.

evil is cancer…it spreads quickly everywhere…it destorys the ability to think or even reason…the worldly mind just cannot understand the wisdom of God. Praise God for grace.

So much anger and hatred. Just proves, in my mind, that this is a spiritual battle.

I really think the average Christian needs to have a better quick come back for the “God said” “God is speaking to me” and why the Bible is true… Those objections are voiced over and over again and I find the average Christian raised in our churches today simply has no good quick answer….

Jesus said we would be hated by this world because it hated Him first. Also all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

“we are coming for your children.” Over my dead body.

“We are coming for your children” … Arrogant, conceited, rude and intrusive, aren’t they?

This may be the most difficult part of being a Christian, Ken: standing in the face of uncalled-for hatred. Perhaps we should all think of Jesus being nailed to the cross as we hear this kind of nonsensical hatred. Their pride will destroy them. Repentance is the only way….

While we MUST expose the wiles of the evil one, we must also remember that apart from the Grace of God, many of us would likely be in the same position they are in. Jesus warned us that in the End Times there would be a great deception and this is obvious. It is only by the Grace of God that we do not fall for this deception. We are indeed in a war and our enemy does not play fair. Fortunately, we fight with a Commander-in-Chief who also does not fight fair. Our Commander wins…PERIOD because he overcame death, sin, the grave, deception, and every other weapon the enemy throws at us. NO WEAPON formed against us shall prosper. The lies, the hate, the slander, the fear, all the weapons these atheists throw at us shall not prosper.

These atheists are not as secure as they present themselves to be. The truth of God’s Word dispels darkness. Be encouraged Ken. “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” Romans 5:20

The claim that Bible belief and teaching retards the thinking of young people is not true. Since the Bible is true, that would be impossible! If science from the beginning had believed and searched the scriptures, there would have been more progress. For example, science once believed in bleeding people to make them feel better, a flat earth, and more. Bible knowledge would have prevented those errors of “science” along with the impossible theory of evolution – the “belief” that everything came from nothing with no influence from any power or intelligence. Now that’s retarded thinking.

And again we see the humanists’ “tolerance”!

I’m interested in reading these updates, but I’d like to follow up on something you wrote above. I have NEVER met anyone who hates God, ever. I’ve never heard anyone say that. They do hate us and our interpretation of God’s word (truth!).

Thank you for sharing. It is so sad that the lost cannot understand the truth and their deception turns their anger towards those who proclaim the truth. We need to understand those on the other side to know how to combat their influence.

Wow…such hatred. I think it is sad that the Christians use to be dogmatic, and that crowd was quiet, and now it has flipped around. They are dogmatic, and the Christians have become the quiet ones. And the gall of people like this to discredit all Creationists, and especially to discredit the credentials of scientists who are Creationists, is unjust. These scientists have payed for their education, and spent as much of their life in school, as the secular scientists, and so it is unjust to claim that these guys are dumb and stupid.

Never forget a man got up and walked out of the grave……….Atheists are such fools.

He needs to know that we don’t believe in the 7 day creation because a pastor said “God said,” but because God said! We need to stick to the word. Thanks Mr Ken.

if God is not real, why would I waste my time arguing or caring about what Christians thought….nothing meanings anything if there is no God….so I would spend my time in as much pleasure and selfishness as possible as I only have maybe 80 years of meaningless existence…I would not want to waste a second on science or Christianity…who cares?…the fact they oppose so strongly shows they are scared and insecure in their own beliefs

I asked a few Athiest once, why do you talk about God so much if God doesn’t exist? Why do you mock it? An Athiest told me its because of all the violence and wars. And I asked if that is true. Why is it a Christian God and not any other gods, for example Allah the god of Islam?.. I have personally paid attention to the media and tv shows that would make fun of religion. And also been in Philosophy classes where they would bring up a Christian God most of the time. Even they say Christianity copied other religions when it was the other way around they pic and choose things. Indeed we are living in the End times I believe. More Christians are being persecuted there was/still is being more Christians being persecuted in the last century than the 1900 years after 0A.D all together. The Lord has really told me that He is my shield. And to have full Faith in Him. As I’ve been reading Scripture lately.

End of Quotes

Here’s my favorite comment, written by Don Swaringen, a 1961 graduate of Bob Jones University :

The claim that Bible belief and teaching retards the thinking of young people is not true. Since the Bible is true, that would be impossible! If science from the beginning had believed and searched the scriptures, there would have been more progress. For example, science once believed in bleeding people to make them feel better, a flat earth, and more. Bible knowledge would have prevented those errors of “science” along with the impossible theory of evolution – the “belief” that everything came from nothing with no influence from any power or intelligence. Now that’s retarded thinking.

Let’s see:

  • “The claim that Bible belief and teaching retards the thinking of young people is not true.” Why ? The “Bible is true”, Swearingen says.  Talk about circular reasoning; the Bible is true because the Bible says it is true.
  • Bloodletting? A procedure performed on the sick for 1,900 years, long before the modern scientific era.  Numerous Christians and clergymen were bled by Christian doctors. All of them had the Bible at their disposal, yet none of them found the “truth” about bloodletting. It took scientists, not theologians, to find out that, in most cases, bloodletting does not help the sick.
  • Flat earth? Evidently, Swaringen is not aware that the flat earth belief came, in part, from the Bible. Daniel 4:10, Isaiah 11:12, Revelation 7:1, Matthew 4:8 (Excellent article (link no longer active) by Adrian Swindler on the relevant Bible passages that teach the earth is flat. Here’s another article (link no longer active) by Swindler about the one time common belief that the earth was flat)
  • There would be more progress if science believed the Bible? Really?  What about the scientists who were killed for going against the Bible and the teachings of the Christian church? What does history tells us about countries that have a religious-text based science? Look at the Muslim world and see what happens when theology trumps science.
  • Science does make errors, but it correct them. When’s the last time the Don Swaringen’s of the world have “corrected” an error in their Bible or theology? Everyone now…NEVER!

Notes

Ken Ham’s Facebook page

Creationism to Atheism or Science trumps Biblical Literalism

guest-post

Guest post by Matthew who blogs at Confessions of a Young Earth Creationist

The subject of Biblical literalism is a hot topic at the moment thanks to the recent debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. I am a former creationist, now an atheist. The creationist argument is not scientific and, despite what some creationists would claim, there is no conspiracy to promote evolution or an old universe the science behind them is solid. There is obviously no room in this post to address every creationist argument, what I will do below is address what made me a creationist and some of the reasons for my eventual rejection of it and why I became an atheist.

Get Them Young

Life for me started in the missionary world of Zambia, Central Africa. School was a boarding school deep in the bush close to the Zaire (as it was then) border. The school was founded by missionaries and populated mostly by missionary children. All the teachers were from Christian stock (they still are today) and saw their work as Christian mission. As children we never seriously questioned the existence of the Christian God. The whole ethos of the school was (still is) God centered so it wasn’t just an education I received, it was also an indoctrination. I still have in my childhood memorabilia a New Testament that I was given for memorizing and reciting a chapter from the Bible. Christianity was far more than an Religious Education lesson, it was a lifestyle and ethos from which everything else flowed.

The whole of my early life was steeped in this lifestyle that assumed God. There was very little opportunity for questioning God because everyone believed. There were times when we were warned that the world outside hated God and we would be persecuted for being Christians. We were told we should stand strong in the face of that because when our education stopped and we entered the world, the challenges would come. Now that I think about it more, as young children, we were taught to fear those who were not Christians.

I recall there were several stories we were told about missionaries who had lost their lives in the service of God. These people were held up as heroes and martyrs, people who were selfless and did not fear death and counted their lives as less important than the mission of spreading God’s word.

This view of the righteous Christian missionary, fighting for God in a world full of evil atheists who hated us, framed my outlook for a long time.

On Science and God

All Bible teaching, that I can remember, was literal, which meant creation, the flood, the tower of babel, the exodus from Egypt, the sun and moon being commanded to stand still, the testing of God with a fleece and so on; all the stories were told as historical events. Interest in science and nature was also encouraged, though the school library had copies of National Geographic and in science lessons we were always told that exploring the world through science was a good way of seeing how beautiful the world is that God made for us.

The only conflict that I remember is the day when new biology books arrived and we were instructed to open the books to a specific page and cross out a paragraph that referred to evolution.  The reference was to fish flapping between drying pools of water and eventually learning to use their fins to walk, which over generations turned into legs. We laughed at the description and took great pleasure in crossing out the words.

Becoming an Adult

At 18, I left Zambia at the insistence of my father, to start my life in England and my eventual career in IT. I found a local Methodist church and got involved. It was a major culture shock for me. I was very naive and struggled  with fitting in with the other young adults at church. English attitudes were much more liberal than the missionary culture I was used to. At work, it was even harder, Christians were not the majority and atheists were happy to be vocal about it. The words of warning from my youth came back to haunt me.

It was about this time that I had my first shock from within the Christian community. The Bishop David Jenkins made front page news by claiming that the resurrection of Jesus was not literal and that he lives only in our words and thoughts as we talk about and remember him. Worse was to come at house group the next week, the minister confirmed that this was indeed the truth and he believed it too. I was stunned and speechless; I literally didn’t know what to do with my thoughts. It was the first time I had been exposed to different people within the Christian church having different ideas of key elements of the bible.

A chance conversation at work revealed that one of my co-workers had an uncle who was a minister in the USA and had written a book on origins. I duly borrowed the book, it was a creationist book, and with the foundation of my early education, my journey into creationism became complete. I would hold and argue creationism for the next 20 years.

A couple of years later, I was living in a different part of town and going to a different church, this time Anglican, as it was closer to where I lived. It would be here that I would meet and marry my wife. The church itself was liberal, like most Anglican churches in England. There was a strong evangelical element though and it was through this section of the congregation that I would get very involved in what is known as spiritual gifts. Praying in tongues and for the healing of others and demonstrations of being filled by the Holy Spirit were regular occurrences during these services. These more evangelical elements served to strengthen my literal view of the bible, even though not everyone shared my origins view. For me, it had to be true because it didn’t make sense for it not to be.

Getting Out

One of the most common accusations that creationists make against those that accept evolution is that evolutionists start from the position of millions of years and look for the evidence to back it up and will always interpret the evidence as validation of that. This is nonsense of course, and the irony is that it is the creationist that starts from the position that their god exists and that everything we see confirms that.

Evolutionary science does not actually do that of course, it starts from a null hypothesis scenario, that is, nothing is assumed to be true and the conclusion that is drawn is guided by the results. The greatest thing that could happen in science would be for evolution to be overturned and that the existence of a god proven. To argue otherwise is to completely misunderstand how the scientific community operates.

It was when I eventually managed to understand the above that I started to lose my grip on creationism. It was a long and slow journey and there is no specific point I can indicate and say “that’s when it happened”. Instead there are markers along the way where I can see that a little grain of wider understanding crept in. Eventually, all those little grains became a pile that was too large to ignore.

I credit this journey to my appreciation of things scientific and natural. This love eventually led me to reading blogs and listening to podcasts. It was this new digital medium that enabled me to directly compare and contrast the creationist argument with the science argument. Increasingly, I found the creationist argument lacking in substance, while the science argument talked about observation followed by study and process and examination and conclusion and challenge and testing. Creationists object to scientific processes that go against the literal bible interpretation, but they do very little to offer any viable mechanism as an alternative. The requirement to have God do a miracle is relied upon too much.

Increasingly, I found the science of evolution and an old universe cohesive and logical until it was simply no longer possible for me to accept creationism. From that moment on, I was on the slippery slope out of Christianity. It would take a further 3 years, while I questioned to myself all aspects of the Bible that I knew and various experiences that I had previously attributed to God. There is just one event I can’t fully explain away, that is when I went through what is called a deliverance experience. I accept that I may never know fully understand what actually happened that evening; however, one ripple does not a foundation break.

What Ken Ham Thinks the Atheist Agenda Is

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Based on a YouTube video produced by a few atheists talking about creationism, homeschooling, and Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis, the Creationist Museum, and the Noah’s Ark Amusement Park has concluded:

A recent video of an atheist chat session on the internet is a must watch for all Christians! Every pastor, Christian leader, homeschooler, teenager, Christian parent, and, in fact, all Christians need to see this video chat featuring a number of very intolerant atheists (and some are hateful and angry). In fact, watch it at your Bible study, youth group meeting, home group, home, and so on—you will hear for yourself some of the best practical illustrations of many passages of Scripture come to life, including Romans 1, 2 Peter 3, and many other passages of Scripture that refer to people who oppose Christians. This can be an excellent practical Bible study for you.

The atheist video is one of the best I’ve seen to illustrate atheists exhibiting the following traits:

  • Intolerance and arrogance
  • Hatred of biblical Christians
  • Hatred of the Bible
  • Ignorance
  • Wanting to control education and capture your kids’ hearts and minds
  • Extremism
  • Fighting against freedom of religion
  • Wanting to close down or limit biblical, Christian homeschooling
  • Seeking to control what private organizations teach
  • Desiring to control what you teach at home
  • Claim Christians are scientifically ignorant but are themselves scientifically inept
  • Sanctimoniously determining morality for themselves
  • Attempting to shape the culture according to their anti-God beliefs

First, let me say I wish atheists/humanists/secularists would STOP putting out videos like the one mentioned by Ham. The video is poorly done, quite embarrassing, and certainly should not be taken as a representation of how all or many atheists, humanists, and secularists think.

Second, Ham is an expert at ginning up support for his conspiratorial ideas about atheists, humanists, and secularists. It is NOT in our best interest to give him things that he can easily manipulate to gain his desired objective.

Now to Ham’s delineation of what he thinks the atheist agenda is. My response is indented and in italics.(it may not appear this way on some mobile devices)

Intolerance and arrogance

Intolerance and arrogance are human traits and not specific to any group. There are lots of intolerant, arrogant Christians, Ham included. Besides, intolerance has its place. We should be intolerant of beliefs that deliberately promote ignorance; beliefs like the earth is 6,020 years old and that global warming is a myth.

Hatred of biblical Christians

I am sure that there are atheists who hate Christians. However, most atheists do not hate Christians. They hate their beliefs. They hate their attempts to promote ignorance. They hate their attempt to hijack the U.S. government and turn our secular state into a theocracy.

Hatred of the Bible

Hate the Bible? Really?  Who in their right mind hates a book, an inanimate object? I HATE you, Moby Dick!  This is a silly statement. What we DO hate is what Christians DO with the Bible,and that’s trying to force everyone to worship their God and obey its commands.

Ignorance

Ignorance of what? The Bible? Not a chance. I may be ignorant of many things, but ignorance of the Bible is not one of them.  Ham mistakes disagreement for ignorance. He is also oblivious to the fact that many of us were raised in church and know the Bible inside and out. Some of us are even college or seminary trained former pastors.  We are anything BUT ignorant.

Wanting to control education and capture your kids’ hearts and minds

If Ham is talking about public schools then the answer is yes. Public schools should be secular, tax-supported institutions.  People like Ham, holding to ignorant, unscientific beliefs, have no business being anywhere near the public schools. If parents want to school their children in scientific ignorance they are free to home school them or send them to a private Christian school.

Extremism

What’s extremism? In Ken Ham’s world, extremism is anything that differs from his narrow, peculiar beliefs. Besides, whose beliefs are extreme? Those who follow the path of science or those who get their science and history from a literalistic interpretation of an ancient text written by unknown authors thousands of years ago?

Fighting against freedom of religion

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

We are fighting against those who want to establish a theocracy. We are fighting against those who say the separation of church and state is a myth. Ham and all persons are free to worship God as they see fit as long as they stay on their side of the wall of separation of church and state. Want to drink poison and handle snakes as Mark 16 commands? By all means, go ahead. But, poison-drinking, snake-handling beliefs have no place in public schools or in official government policy.

Wanting to close down or limit biblical, Christian homeschooling

Limit, yes. Close down, no.

Home school teachers should be competent and society has a right to expect that every child receives a quality, comprehensive education. If home schoolers are willing to do this, I have no problem with home schooling. However, a number of states need to improve their home schooling and non-chartered private school laws. As it stands now, there is far too much latitude given to parents and private schools, and this often results in a poor, substandard education.

Seeking to control what private organizations teach

Again, we all have a vested interest in what children are taught. Our future depends on them receiving a quality, comprehensive education.

If he is talking about the Home School Convention, Answers in Genesis, or the Creation Museum, then yes they should be free to teach whatever they want as long as tax money is not being used to support these ignorant “teaching” endeavors.

Desiring to control what you teach at home

See above. Ham has repeated this point three times.

Claim Christians are scientifically ignorant, but are themselves scientifically inept

No, we don’t say Christians are scientifically ignorant. We DO say that young earth creationists are scientifically ignorant.  Anyone who thinks the universe is 6,020 years old or thinks dinosaurs walked on the face of the earth at the same times humans did is scientifically ignorant. Every time science comes up with a new discovery that  repudiates creationism, Ham fires up his IBM 286 computer, opens up Word Perfect for DOS, and writes a post disagreeing with the new discovery. He then posts it to the Answers in Genesis BBS. Wrong decade? Not in Ken Ham’s world.

Sanctimoniously determining morality for themselves

Duh, who else is going to determine what my morals are but me? Ham wants everyone to have his morals because he got his morals directly from God. If Christians all get their morals from God, why is it so many of them have differing moral views?

Attempting to shape the culture according to their anti-God beliefs

Guilty as charged with one caveat. I am trying to shape our culture with my humanistic beliefs, not atheism.

You can check out the video in question here.

Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, Dinosaurs, and the SIN of Smoking

Snark ahead.

Two years ago, our youngest son moved out, and he left behind a box of trading cards for our grandson. He had hundreds of trading cards, including some from Answers in Genesis. I am not sure how old these card are, but I suspect they are at least 15 years old. I did not know these cards were in the box, and my oldest son found them when he was going through the collection with our grandson.  We had a lot of fun with these cards, a reminder of what we once believed.  I thought you might enjoy the good science these cards teach, so I scanned a couple of them just for you!

ken ham propaganda

ken ham propaganda 2

I love the logic of this card. Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis are committed to a Fundamentalist, literalist interpretation of the Bible, except when it not convenient to do so. Since the inerrant, infallible, inspired creationist science textbook, AKA the Bible, doesn’t mention dinosaurs, and Ham and Co. know dinosaurs existed at one time, it is imperative that one of the animals mentioned in the Bible be a dinosaur. Kids love dinosaurs and  have lots of questions about them. Using his magic Bible word-decoder ring, Ham determined that the behemoth in the book of Job is actually a dinosaur and that dragons are also dinosaurs.

ken ham propaganda 3

ken ham propaganda 4

I found this card interesting for a different reason. The card states emphatically that the Leviathan mentioned in the book of Job is actually a sea monster. No, actually it is a Leviathan, right? We must not tamper with the inerrant, infallible, inspired creationist science textbook, AKA the Bible. But again, when a point needs to be made, Ham and Co. have no problem ignoring the hermeneutic they demand all other Christians use.

Forty years ago, I heard a sermon on Job 41:19-21, but it wasn’t about a sea monster. Oh no, this IFB preacher was quite novel and his sermon showed that you can make the Bible say almost anything. The text says:

Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.

Are you ready for it? Drum roll, please! According to this preacher, these verses are about SMOKING!  Surely you can see it:

  • Out of his mouth go burning lamps (the burning cigarette in the mouth)
  • Out of his nostrils goeth smoke
  • His breath smells bad

This is definite proof that smoking is a sin.

And now let us go to a Sunday service at Bible Baptist Church. It is manipulation time, time for the altar call:

Every head bowed, every eye closed. Is God convicting you of the sin of smoking? If so, with no one but God and me looking, please raise your hand so I can pray for you.

I see that hand, and that hand. Praise Jesus.

Dear baby Lord Jesus, I pray right now for those who have admitted they are sinful smokers. Please forgive them of their sin and give them the victory over Marlboro. And while you are at it Lord…please help them to see that the money they are saving by not buying cigarettes can be put in the offering plate so the church can continue to preach the gospel of no smoking.

In the name above all names, the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

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