Hambo’s Plan To Save Religion

The decline in church membership is a well-known phenomenon — one which is often mentioned by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. See, for example: Ken Ham: Everybody’s Leaving His Church!

Hambo attributes this to the Satanic doctrine of evolution, and in his mind, if it were universally rejected, the churches would be once again filled with people who believe The Truth. He just posted this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Tips to Convince Your Pastor Your Church Needs ABC.

What’s “ABC”? You’re about to find out. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Research has shown that two-thirds of young people in US churches are walking away from the church by the time they reach college age, with very few returning. [Gasp!] Why? Our own carefully conducted nationwide research shows clearly that it’s largely because of a lack of apologetics teaching, which leads to doubting God’s Word and the Christian faith in the face of secular attacks.

Aha — not enough churches are teaching things Hambo’s way. He says:

Now we have a unique Sunday school curriculum, Answers Bible Curriculum [link omitted], that’s designed to combat this!

And that’s what “ABC” means. He tells us:

But sometimes it’s difficult to convince pastors and other Christian leaders to make the switch to ABC. Often it’s because most of them have never thought through the exodus of our youth in this way. They recognize many young people are leaving the church, but they don’t have their finger on the problem. Until a pastor recognizes that the key issue is a lack of faith-affirming apologetics and biblical authority teaching, ABC is just another curriculum to them, so why bother switching? Sadly, many church leaders think they need to increase entertainment programs. Instead, they need good solid Bible teaching, including creation and biblical apologetics.

Those preachers are fools! They probably belong to denominations that aren’t hostile to science — see the National Center for Science Education’s list of Statements from Religious Organizations that support evolution. Hambo imagines that those denominations are destined for the Lake of Fire unless they wake up and do things his way. He continues:

If you would like to see your church switch to using ABC [Who wouldn’t?], you need to help your pastor and other leaders see the need for the curriculum.

Hambo wants his drooling followers to teach their wayward preachers how things should be done. He explains:

To help your pastor and other leaders see the need for this curriculum, consider doing the following:

He lists several things the droolers can do — such as loading their preachers up with Hambo’s publications. He also suggests:

Gift tickets to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter, so they can come and visit both attractions for themselves.

Yeah, that should do the trick! He ends with this:

Any, or all, of these things, may help your church leadership understand the need for ABC and how it can have a dramatic impact on the church and future generations.

Will Hambo’s advice fill the churches? Maybe not. According to Wikipedia’s article on Young Earth creationism:

Since the mid-20th century, young Earth creationists — starting with Henry Morris (1918–2006) — have devised and promoted a pseudoscientific explanation called “creation science” as a basis for a religious belief in a supernatural, geologically recent creation.

We could be wrong, but it seems to us that much of the decline in church membership Hambo complains about coincides with the rise of his brand of religion. In other words, he and others like him may be the cause of the problem, not the cure. What do you think, dear reader?

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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28 responses to “Hambo’s Plan To Save Religion

  1. ABC costs $$$.

    I think I’ve just seen the light. I hear a voice calling, “VISA and Master Card accepted.”

  2. Michael Fugate

    This curriculum is more likely the reason young people are leaving organized religion; when they begin thinking for themselves, they realize what a pack of lies they were taught in Sunday school. If your church insists on the Bible being read as Ham wants you to read it, then what else could you conclude?

    Religions come and go – there is nothing about Christianity that makes it different from any of the others.

    I am also wondering how they will defend against biblical flat-earthers – it is easier to dismiss the flat earth claim if it is coming from those more liberal than you, but from more conservative, more literalist than you?

  3. Hambo is alarmed by religious leaders who

    recognize many young people are leaving the church, but they don’t have their finger on the problem

    I am far more alarmed by the problem of clerics who do have their fingers on young people…

  4. It is the very nature of irrationalism to double down on the stupid when confronted with a falling membership.

  5. @Zetopan
    It’s working for politicians.

  6. Michael Fugate

    Apologetics is just another word for “the end justifies the means”. The end is keeping believers believers and the means is whatever works. It is not about truth, but providing an answer for anything that might cause doubt. Aquinas’ five ways are classics in the genre; they make sense if you already believe, if you don’t, not so much.

  7. “What’s “ABC”?”
    Let me guess before I read on.

    Yup, I was correct.

    “In other words, he and others like him may be the cause of the problem, not the cure. What do you think, dear reader?”
    It’s probably the other way round. The decline in church membership and attendance has inspired fundagelicals to become more fanatic.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    Michael Fugate, I had never heard of apologetics until I started following creationism and this blog. I’d say that if I had in my time in a church, I would have been struck with the excuse-ism and such you define it by.

    As a marketer, I avoid comparisons to the competition or making excuses for the shortcomings of the product. Meanwhile, salespeople are pretty eager to bash the competition or become defensive about our product. Hambo is a slick carny salesman, and is behaving as such.

  9. “Create a problem, be the solution”…. that’s Hambo’s business model.

    “it’s largely because of a lack of apologetics teaching”

    No Kenny, it’s because the apologetics are B.S. and with the internet as a resource, they can now fact check you and realize it.

  10. Karl Goldsmith

    Twenty units at $159 each. Give us your damn money.

  11. Sounds like a tacit admission that apologetics has failed. People simply don’t believe Ken’s Word. What can be done? The remedy is obviously more apologetics, and lots of it. I’d recommend starting at the pre-natal stage, with Sunday School lessons focusing on stories from Genesis read to the fetus still in utero. Here’s a handy slogan Ken might wish to consider:


  12. Many of Ham’s crappy books are on the torrents. Don’t waste money or give him a profit for his BS.

  13. No, seriously, folks, Christianity is on the wane in the west, but another Abrahamic faith is growing. I know I will not be castigated – on this blog, anyway – for approving the former, but will be taken to task for deploring the latter. Why do you suppose that is?

    Historian that I am, I look for a historical cause, and I find one in the self-loathing that overtook western society after the two world wars. It was understandable, that revulsion with a religion that both sides professed to be defending, given what they actually did.

    But dare I suggest that that attitude, the remorse and horror behind it, was also a product of Christian conscience? One sees a striking lack of those sentiments in Japan, for example, a non-Christian country.

    So, in a curious, back-handed sort of way, perhaps Christianity still influences the west, even in its own demise. One wonders if that influence will continue, after Christianity itself has become – as it is becoming – somewhat quaint and rare.

    I don’t know, though. Disgust with the world wars has not prevented the west – the US foremost – from freely using war as a tool of foreign policy. Even in that, however, the Christian ethical theory of “just war” prevails, although the only practical restriction this seems to cause is that a pretext acceptable to that doctrine be found, or if necessary, manufactured.

    Perhaps it is all tinsel and window-dressing, then. But perhaps not. On balance, I would regret the passing of Christianity. But quite likely that is only my own instilled prejudices – which extend to loving Christmas and its season.

    Speaking of which, to all here, I wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy new year. May it really be the season of peace and joy it is supposed to be.

  14. I’ve always learned it stood for Atomic, Biological and Chemical warfare. For a second I thought ole Ken was going full Aum Shinrikyo.

  15. The Curmudgeon says “In other words, he (Hambo) and others like him may be the cause of the problem, not the cure” in relation to declining church attendance. I think this is exactly correct. And many church leaders recognize that in order to be relevant, they need to find positives to embrace in their ministries. Not Bronze Age fairytales, literally interpreted. Sorry Hambo.

  16. Dave. Interesting thoughts. The growing Abrahamic faith you referred to, in my opinion, hinders and destroys change and improvement in the lives of its practitioners in my view, because of its fundamentalism and constant “in your face” presence. Christianity,in its many denominations, I suspect is not so much disappearing as adapting and striving to find a role in societal unity in a world of growing knowledge and science. Knowledge and science are tearing away at the other abrahamic faith we discuss here’s it is christianity however, the fundamentalism is so deeply engrained and the intermixing of the state AND the religion are making change slow or non existent for the former. They’re somewhere back in the 16th century but with cell phones and AK 47s.
    I believe the failure to accept reality will cause great damage to Brand X while the change we are seeing here in the west is weeding out more of the Hambonian garbage and preserving that which is valid, pertinent and society and personally positive. Which is why , I believe, blogs like the Curmudgeon’s appeal to those of us fascinated by and supportive of the western ideals SC supports. Thank goodness. It IS a gigantic tidal wave of change isn’t it?

  17. “they need to find positives to embrace in their ministries”
    This failed in The Netherlands and other European countries last several decades.

  18. I came late to the party but I have a very simple answer to Ham’s problem. If he wants to save religion then he needs to embrace science – what he calls ‘secular science’ – with all its findings.

    But we know that this won’t happen and he is contributing to the exodus with his crazy distortion of science. Young people are curious and more discerning. Arguing from authority doesn’t work with them.

  19. Poor Hambo, in anguish over lost souls all the way to the bank.

  20. Meanwhile, Hambo’s website has been down for hours.

  21. Ashley Haworth-roberts

    I suspect that some people leave churches because of too much (especially young earth) creationism and others leave because they haven’t heard those bad creationist arguments (and others leave – or join – regardless of creationism).

  22. Jack Chick somewhere, I believe it was in “Big Daddy”, told us that true Christians do not have a religion.

  23. Ashley Haworth-roberts

    Is Ken Ham a stumbling block? My latest posting here may be of interest:

  24. @Ashley H-R. Likely true for some. But also because: the split, tripartite personality of god makes no sense; the outmoded concept of “lord”; all the contradictions in the bible and their mind-bending rationalizations; the lack of efficacy of prayer; the moral hypocrisy of religious leaders; the 2000 year wait for the return of the messiah; the illogical concept of original sin; all the inaccuracies of the bible. And, I suspect for many, there’s the idea that one can lead a good life without the threat of hell or the promise of heaven, neither of which have a solid biblical basis. And maybe for some it’s economic, with low wages and lots of student debt, they can’t afford church.

  25. @Scientist
    Please clearify what you mean by this
    the idea that one can lead a good life without the threat of hell or the promise of heaven, neither of which have a solid biblical basis
    I’m not asking for justification, just what you mean.

  26. Talk about the monetisation of the internet. Ken Ham is monetising religion, or rather, he’s getting in on the act. And BTW, if your church buys ABC then it’s not your church anymore, it’s part of the AIG network of churches.

    “Our own carefully conducted nationwide research shows clearly that” AIG just doesn’t have enough clout. It’s voice is lost in the general chatter. We need to stand out; we need to represent the opinion of the true believers; we, dare I say it, need to be Fox News’ go-to experts on matters of religion and science.

    And we stand behind and guarantee the effectiveness of ABC. Of course, if it doesn’t work in your church, that’s not our fault, it will be your fault and our T&C specifically says “no refunds”.

  27. I’m a little surprised that “ABC” needs a “2nd Edition”. After all the Bible hasn’t changed since the 1st edition.

  28. Technically speaking, the first edition of the Bible is the Gutenberg Bible,in Latin. .