Hambo’s Church Is in Decline

It’s difficult to figure out what’s being said here by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. His new post at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry, is Cultural Christianity Continues to Decline, Replaced by “Nothing in Particular”.

Egad, that could have a serious impact on the attendance figures at Hambo’s enterprises — the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum, and his exact replica of Noah’s Ark known as Ark Encounter. Here are some excerpts from Hambo’s post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

“In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace,” is the headline of a recent Pew Research Center report. The article confirms what our research for my book Already Gone [link omitted] and other sources having been saying for years — across the West, Christianity is on the decline, and secularism is on the rise, including here in the United States. How should we understand this troubling report?

We’ve suggested in the past that Hambo’s approach to religion and science may be the thing that’s driving people away, but we have no data to support that opinion. Hambo says:

Well, we should note that 17% (nearly 1 in 5) of Americans state that their religion is “nothing in particular.” [Gasp!] This percentage really shows the secularism and the subjectivity of our culture, which results in moral relativism permeating the culture. Instead of believing in revealed, unchanging truth (given to us in God’s Word), this 17% of Americans prefer to piece together their own religion of “nothing in particular,” with pieces taken from Christianity, New Age, Buddhism, Secularism, and more. It’s a religion made in the individual’s image, based on personal feelings.

Are you one of those lost souls piecing together your own religion? Hambo tells us:

When we are sharing the precious and life-changing message of the gospel with others — particularly those of the Millennial generation (of whom 40% say they believe “nothing in particular”) and the one coming after (Gen Z) — we can’t assume they have any kind of Christian foundation. We can’t assume they understand who the God of the Bible is, what sin is, or what Jesus came to do.

Egad, young folks don’t know anything! Hambo continues:

The shared Christianized foundation that cultural Christianity gave is long gone — it’s a different world now. Evangelism is now taking place in the West against a largely secular, even atheistic, backdrop (like the Greek culture of Acts chapter 17). It’s vital that we’re equipped to understand and defend the historicity, authenticity, truthfulness, and uniqueness of both the Bible (the ultimate source of truth) and the gospel message.

Hambo wants to teach those lost souls The Truth. Let’s read on:

It’s obvious that cultural Christianity is declining here in the US, and really, throughout the West, but, according to another report [link omitted], around the world, Christianity is growing — at a rate of 1.27% per year — and atheism is declining slightly. Christianity is growing in places like Africa and Asia, where, as the report shares, there are more Christians than in North America.

Ooooooooooooh! Then Hambo can move his ark to Africa or Asia. Oh wait — it doesn’t float. Another excerpt:

Scripture tells us that Christ will build his Church (Matthew 16:18), and he continues to do so around the world. While it’s sad to watch the decline of Christianity and the rise of secularism throughout the West, we know that God will keep his promise to build his Church. Our job is to remain faithful in proclaiming his Word and the gospel as we “contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3) and do the King’s business until he returns.

Okay, that’s enough. Statistics in the West look bad for Hambo, but in the rest of the world, things look better. Hambo is optimistic. But we can’t help wondering — why didn’t he blame evolution for the Western decline of the church?

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9 responses to “Hambo’s Church Is in Decline

  1. Hambo says “moral relativism permeating the culture. ” As opposed to theTRVTH which advocates a. slavery b. genocide c. yada yada yada.

  2. Karl Goldsmith

    It upsets Ken that the less religious a country is, the more moral it is.

  3. In Europe and the Anglosphere outside the US generally, the Christian church appears to have entered a death spiral. Every measure of actual Christian observance or belief is lower than the last. There’s a lot of speculation about whether this is the case the US, too. A bit too soon to be thinking that, perhaps. Admitting to atheism is still an effective bar to public office, I understand. But secularism is clearly growing in the United States, and at least some sociologists and historians are talking about a post-Christian era there, as well as in Europe.

    Much as he may deplore this, Ham has consolations in it. He would never admit it, but he markets his product to an audience that sees itself as an embattled minority, under attack, and suffering persecution. He is functionally capable of exploiting that feeling, despite his own fantasies of being, as SC terms him, an Ayatollah, a theocrat. Anything that reminds his marks of their shrinking minority status is thus grist to Ham’s mill. It’s simply part of his business model, a marketing strategy that, like all marketing strategies, is purely pragmatic. He does it because it works.

    That’s what he’s doing here. Alas, it will work on the people he’s pitching to. And that’s all he needs.

  4. “we have no data to support that opinion.”
    I do – in Western Europe the decline of the regular churches began well before the rise of fundagelicalism. If we assume that the USA are not unique (I know, hard to swallow for genuine patriots) it’s unlikely that Ol’Hambo’s shenanigans have something to do with it. The rise of fundagelicalism in the USA began in the 1970’s, a few decades before secularization started.
    So as usual I think things are too complicated for simple hypothesis like yours.

  5. “Are you one of those lost souls piecing together your own religion?”
    Sorry to disappoint you, dear SC – such mishmash, ietsism (Dunglish – better somethingism) and other New Ageisms make even less sense to me.

    “we can’t assume they have any kind of Christian foundation.”
    Ah, nice. I may be a staunch unbeliever, but given the fact that I was born and raised in a country that has been christian for centuries you can bet that I do have some christian foundation. I mean, even marxism has, as Bertrand Russell pointed out. So Ol’Hambo just means uncritical acceptance of whatever nonsense he produces on his websites and at his enterprises.

    “why didn’t he blame evolution for the Western decline of the church?”
    But he did, dear SC. In Ol’Hambo’s infallible view, ‘cuz Bible (cf like the Greek culture of Acts chapter 17 and “historicity, authenticity”) atheism, secularization, materialism, naturalism and evolution belong to exactly the same dungheap. But now we’re at it, it surprises me that he doesn’t more often label them as manifestations of the Horned One.

  6. @DaveL: “There’s a lot of speculation about whether this is the case the US, too. ”
    My bet is yes. What’s intriguing in my eyes is the USA’s late start. In The Netherlands this process has been going on for more than half a century.

    “He would never admit it”
    Dunno. If it stimulates his sales (sorry – of course I mean “spreading the Good News”) I bet he immediately will. Business models and market strategies can be adapted.

    “Alas, it will work on the people he’s pitching to.”
    Indeed. If the American process of secularization is the same as in Europe I also predict that it will not affect fundagelicalism. While I do live in one of the most secularized countries in the world I’ll never forget that about 24% of the Dutch still reject evolution. Fundagelical churches like

    https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerkgebouw_De_Levende_Steen

    prosper (it’s pentecostalist). And that’s Ol’Hambo’s market. We all here can mock and laugh at attendants who praise his enterprises as life-changing etc. etc., but I do think such reactions are genuine.

  7. Hambone complains “It’s a religion made in the individual’s image, based on personal feelings.” Aren’t all religions? After all, people have probably invented more than 1,000 religions, including Hambone’s personal favorite version of Christianity. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, my favorite god is Ganisha, a) because he’s so cute, and b) because, if you insist on believing something wildly improbable, some guy with an elephant’s head stuck on is as good as anything.

  8. I concur with Dave Luckett that Ham is preaching to the choir. And I came to that conclusion long ago, thinking: why would an Australian evangelist move to the heartland of American evangelicals, if not to exploit them? Had he wanted a challenge, he could have tried Canada, or why not the UK? Had he wanted to reach a huge generation of children, any odd African country would have done nicely. Or China.

    But no, it had to be Kentucky, USA. And that can only be for two reasons: vanity and greed.