Great News from Ken Ham

This will give your new year a big boost, dear reader. It’s from the blog of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He’s famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

The title of ol’ Hambo’s post is The Statistics Are Alarming! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Anyone who knows me or the ministry of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and future Ark Encounter, knows that we have a burden to see reformation in the church in our western nations. Our desire and prayer is that the church would return to the authority of God’s Word from the very beginning and would think biblically. Well, research for my new coauthored book Ready to Return has only increased this burden.

What Hambo considers to be “the church” is limited to those who agree with him in every particular, so anything that increases ol’ Hambo’s burden is likely to be good news for us. He says:

For my 2009 book Already Gone , we commissioned America’s Research Group (ARG) to research why two-thirds of young people are leaving church. And last year we expanded this research, again with ARG, to understand more about the state of the modern church and particularly the younger generations that remain in church. What we found was absolutely shocking and sobering.

Gasp! What are those “shocking and sobering” findings? Hambo tells us:

Here’s just some of what ARG’s research uncovered about the beliefs of those who attend church in their 20s and 40s:

• Twenty percent (20.6%) said they don’t believe the Bible is true and historically accurate.
• 27% said they don’t believe homosexual behavior is a sin, and two in five said gay couples should be allowed to marry and have all the legal rights of heterosexual couples.
• 30.6% said abortions should continue to be legal in most instances.

But wait — from Hambo’s point of view, the numbers get increasingly worse:

• Almost 40% said they think premarital sex is okay.

Oh no — it’s the proverbial Beast with two backs! But as bad as that is, there’s even more gloomy news — from Hambo’s point of view:

• 62% (again, those surveyed attend church) said they believe if you are a good person on earth, you will go to heaven upon your death.
• Less than 50% said someone taught them how to defend their Christian faith if they were challenged.
• 50% do not believe in a young Earth.

How depressing for Hambo! We assume this is a form of market research he commissioned, which tells him that ticket sales for his museum and his ark will be declining in the future. That’s certainly bad news for him — but for us, the future looks good.

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29 responses to “Great News from Ken Ham

  1. In a similar line of thought, I just recently read a line uttered by Paul Ryan in an interview with Katie Couric where he said peoples rights in this country came from god, not from the constitution. (Sorry, I can’t find the quote again, at least for now). But when our politicians utter that nonsense it becomes rather disturbing. So Ham is not alone in these inane assertions.

  2. Since his God, like all the others, are silent, invisible and have no presence, I can’t see how churches returning to the authority of God would work. Unless, unless God’s mouthpiece would be the holiest man on earth, ole Hambo himself.

  3. I’ve been saying for years that the biggest atheist factor isn’t evolution, it’s young-earth creationism. Belief in YEC requires a mindset that can’t bend but can only fracture.

  4. When a creationist says that the sky is blue …

    How was this survey conducted? What was the exact wording of the questions?

  5. michaelfugate

    Education works!

  6. Yes, I found where I read it:

    “Paul Ryan: Donald Trump or Ted Cruz would be a ‘far better president than Barack Obama”

    “We have a Constitution to protect our liberties as citizens — they’re God-given; they’re not government-granted.”

    A sickness pervades the conservative mind. Then again, perhaps each civilization/country thinks it has been divinely inspired to rule the world and imagines itself at the center of that world, Throughout history that has been the standard for many once upon a time countries/empires.

  7. “to research why two-thirds of young people are leaving the church”
    “those surveyed attend church”
    Hmmm… It looks to me like Hambo must not be too interested in the answer to his question. If he really wanted to know why people were leaving the church, the survey would be directed at former church-goers and ask – oh, I don’t know, say – “what made you decide to leave the church?”

  8. Did anyone notice the name of the research group is ARG and Hambo says it again right afterwards?

  9. Yes, Bicycling Guitarist, I noticed it. Neither I nor my splendid dog, Aaaargh!!, were pleased, but as long as it’s a source of grief for Hambo, it’s okay.

  10. So 50% *do* believe in a young earth! I find that depressing.

  11. Ceteris Paribus

    Ham prays that:

    “the church would return to the authority of God’s Word from the very beginning”

    Unfortunately for Ham and his Arkload of OT followers, even the younger generation he so covets is increasingly adopting the heretical idea that God should be at least as nice as their NT Jesus.

  12. Ceteris Paribus, what makes that especially awkward is that there was no “God’s Word” at the very beginning.

  13. Derek Freyberg

    What, not “fiat lux”?

  14. Seen From Space laments,
    “So 50% *do* believe in a young earth! I find that depressing.”

    Well, it’s not quite so bad — that’s 50% of churchgoers in their 20s and 40s. (“Here’s just some of what ARG’s research uncovered about the beliefs of those who attend church in their 20s and 40s: …”

    And, can we suppose that Ham commissioned ARG to poll just those who attend church, shall we say, religiously? Probably so. Ham probably considers anyone who doesn’t attend church every Sunday and Wednesday evening to be a heathen, and wouldn’t want them included in his poll. It surprises me that 50% of the God-soaked reject the idea of a young Earth.

  15. “It surprises me that 50% of the God-soaked reject the idea of a young Earth.”
    It’s not much of a surprise to me. There are some large mainline denominations that aren’t YEC.

  16. “Unfortunately for Ham and his Arkload of OT followers, even the younger generation he so covets is increasingly adopting the heretical idea that God should be at least as nice as their NT Jesus.”
    Not the NT Jesus, who, if you read the gospels, wasn’t very nice: rather, the even more imaginary 21st century Jesus invented by relatively nice people who haven’t read the NT with any attention.

  17. “that’s 50% of churchgoers in their 20s and 40s.”
    I doubt a similar sample in Europe would turn up 50% or anything approaching it. In the non-conformist churches, creationism per se isn’t unusual here, but hardcore YECs are. This is an oddly American malady it seems.

  18. Hambo tells us:
    Here’s just some of what ARG’s research uncovered about the beliefs of those who attend church in their 20s and 40s:

    What, AAAAARRGH! isn’t interested in people in their thirties? Or do the Hamhock and his friends just not know how to count?

  19. Dave Luckett

    The other characteristics of the sample would also be good to know, apart from the bifurcated age groups. I think the latter could be accounted for by a need to find if there are different reasons applying to different age groups. Twenty-somethings might have different reasons from forty-somethings.

    It is said that the sample consists of those who attend church regularly. What does Hambo mean by “church”? I ask, because I very much doubt that he means Roman Catholics or Orthodox congregations. I think he probably doesn’t mean Episcopalians or Quakers, either. (Not that Quakers have a church in that sense, but you see what I mean.)

    I think he means nothing more liberal than, say, mainstream Protestants, those being the denominations he would actually recognise as “churches” or even “Christians” – and those with a shove, in some cases.

    Because for Hambone, the very definition of “Christian” consists of belief in the accuracy and inerrancy of the literally-read Bible, with the other fundamentalist assertions tagging along behind. Anyone who denies that is already not a Christian, to him. What he’s complaining about here is not that the mainstream church is unravelling – it did that from about two hundred years back, barring revivals, and the rot really set in with Darwin. No, the real itch in his drawers is the undeniable fact that even the remnant of the faithful among the Evangelicals and the Baptists and whatnot are falling away, and that this is accelerating.

    His survey, such as it is, does not address cause. I think that’s because he really, really doesn’t want to know, because he’d get told that it’s because the Bible can’t be read literally unless the reader wants to abandon reality, and that nearly everyone knows that this is a bad idea. He doesn’t want to know that, because it would mean that his recipe – teaching them that the Bible is so literal and inerrant, and they have to believe that or else – is only going to accelerate the trend harder. More adherents are going to fall away, not fewer.

    Ham deals with that fact the same way he deals with all facts he doesn’t like. He simply ignores it.

    On the other hand, it is possible that he actually knows the effect his program will have, and that’s his real agenda. In a smaller pond, he gets to be a bigger frog. Only he can’t say that. But it would be consonant with authoritarianism. Ken would be perfectly happy destroying the village in order to save it.

    Or – I don’t know – both might be true. Ham is so used to dividing his mind and having different parts of it for different purposes that he might be following both ideas at the same time. Either is good. He leads either a revival or else a small hardened band of fanatics. Either way, hes the Big Man. It’s all good.

  20. I love it. So, per Ham, 2/3rds of young people leave the “church”, however he defines it. Of the 1/3rd left, half do not believe in a young earth, thus do not take the bible literally and do not believe the specific Genesis account of origins. That means only 1/6th of young people raised in the church remain YEC’s.

    Ham may need to recheck his expected attendance numbers for the Ark Park.

  21. I agree Hambo is doing research to augment his business. Not mentioned in the comments is that he takes the results as a scare tactic to the faithful. Grandparents! Parents! don’t let your children get choked up by thorns, bring them to the ark park! bring them to the creation museum! Make sure they stay saved!

  22. Excellent analysis, Dave Luckett!

    Reading Answers in Genesis can be strangely heartening to a rationalist. Every so often, Ham is wailing about how the young are deserting his cause in droves, and don’t buy into his version of fundamentalism.

    The future is bright.

  23. As has been said before, if Hambo really wants to know why young people are leaving “the church” in droves, all he has to do is gather up some of his creationist “scientists”, link arms wth them, and collectively look in a mirror.

  24. Beware of those who will feed on fear.

  25. Here is Hambo’s research from his book “Already Gone”

  26. (It itemizes based on denominations)

  27. (It looks like Protestant only)

  28. It looks like there were no Episcopalians, Methodists, Mormons, and several others. And none reporting more than one.
    How did they manage to end up with exactly 1000 people?
    Interesting that they didn’t seem to ask about the standard tenets of Christian creeds.