On November 13, I posted a blog item with the heading “Liberal Lutheran Pastor Slams Already Gone Book and Marriage.” If you haven’t read this item I encourage you to do so or refresh your memory by going to this previous blog posting.
Well the pastor responded on his own blog, virtually ignoring the fact that we pointed out numerous false statements in his previous posting concerning AiG and its CEO. He admitted he was wrong about the publisher of the Already Gone book—but tried to justify his mistake. However, he basically ignored everything else and used his next blog to attack us for answering his accusations that he put up publicly on the worldwide web!
Mark Looy, AiG’s Chief Communications Officer, in a gracious but firm way, attempted to post a comment to the pastor’s blog—but the comment was not approved.
The ELCA pastor has now stated that he “had to close all the comments on my personal blog due to hate filled comments from AiG supporters.” This included, we suppose, Mark’s rebuttal to correct the many mistakes the pastor had made about our book Already Gone—but was denied. Now, do Mark’s comments below seem hateful to you? Here is what Mark tried to post—word for word—so that the pastor’s blog comments will not go unchallenged.
Greetings, pastor, from Answers in Genesis.
Ken Ham did not make a personal attack on you as a person but on the content of your lengthy, error-filled commentary on our book Already Gone. Even though you said you did not read the book, you wrote so knowingly (and at length) about it, including the book's conclusions. You were wrong, though, on so many counts about the book’s content:
—You originally wrote that AiG has “one goal and one goal only—to teach Creationism.” That is a patently false statement. In so many of our articles, and even in our core values statement and our mission statement, we state clearly that our mission is to bring reformation to the church and to proclaim the gospel. As Ken wrote in his blog in countering your many false statements, “we stand on the authority of God’s Word, proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, to see people saved and be in Heaven! In fact, I often state in my talks that there is no purpose in converting people to creationism—for creationists will end up in Hell just like an atheist if they don’t believe and trust our Creator as Lord and Savior.”
—You stated that our book was about “only mainline” churches being in decline. An absolutely wrong comment. If you had read the book, you would have noticed that we summarized the contents of a poll taken of those who attended theologically conservative churches, NOT mainline (generally liberal) ones. You missed the intent of the whole survey: to see why so many young people leave conservative churches, and you said it was mainline churches.
—You called us a “fringe” ministry. Well, in recent Gallup polls, almost half of Americans agreed with the statement that humans today are the descendants of Adam and Eve from about 10,000 years ago. And many of the largest churches in America have hosted us in their pulpits this year, such as First Baptist Atlanta, Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Thomas Road Baptist, etc. This is not “fringe”. Plus, Dr. David Menton of our staff spoke at a Lutheran seminary last month. Our supporters come from all across the evangelical spectrum.
In addition, our website gets more traffic than almost all ministries, our radio program is on 800 stations in the U.S., over 900,000 guests have visited our Creation Museum in less than 2 1/2 years, etc., and yet you write that we are “fringe”?
—Another wrong statement you made: that we tie “nuclear weapons” to creationism. Where have we ever made a bizarre statement like that?
—You wrote that “as society changed, the definition [of] marriage changed in the Bible. It wasn’t just between a man and a woman . . . .” Well, how do you deal with what Jesus said about marriage in Matthew chapter 19? “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?" God made them male and female, and this is the “cause” (i.e., reason) for marriage. Marriage is between a man and woman only.
—No, we are not a rich ministry, however you have chosen to define “rich”. Our biggest expense is staff salary (we have about 300 staff), and that’s the biggest chunk of our expense (as we attempt to pay a “workman worthy of his/her hire”). Also, had you done your research, you would have noticed that much of the excess we have on the books is money that has been set aside for the construction of a new auditorium (we are still collecting the funds and have not yet started to build). Plus, the salary figure you quoted for Ken includes benefits and expenses. I should mention that the executive directors of two similar-sized non-profit organizations in this area receive 2–3 times the compensation. Lastly, most people would say that “rich” describes a person earning at least $1 million a year.
You were concerned that “the part that hurt me the most” about Ken’s blog was that he mentioned your name and church name, adding that “I am assuming there was a reason for this which I can guess is to encourage people who come and read his blog to spam my site, my twitter address, and possibly church with personal attacks.” No, we don’t want people to attack you. But when we read of someone making so many false charges about our ministry and is also compromising the Bible’s clear teachings in the foundational book of Genesis, we want to warn people. As you yourself stated in your original article, “I write this not to only criticize, but also to warn.” You find it fine to warn people about us in a public way and yet we are not allowed to? Yes, it’s not fun being corrected, but that is not an attack on your person.
You wrote a “scathing” (your word) article about us and mentioned Ken by name, but why did you hide behind a pseudonym?
You apologized for mistakenly calling AiG the publisher of Already Gone. Thank you for that. But please retract the much more serious mistakes you made.
Pastor, please: next time you summarize the contents of a book and present a critique (a “review”), read it first.
CCO, Answers in Genesis
The above certainly doesn’t seem like one of the supposed “hate filled comments” to me! I challenge this theologically liberal Lutheran pastor to admit where he was wrong—he can certainly disagree with us, but to publicly make false statements against us and not allow us to present the other side for his followers to read? That needs to be dealt with! Sadly, the pastor dealt with it this way on his blog:
Attention Spammers from AiG November 16, 2009 at 12:23 am
In the past few days, I have been getting lots of spam/hate comments/comments telling me how horrible I am/telling me how I am going to hell/telling me I am wrong/telling me how much I hate the Bible/etc. I have also gotten phone calls at the church I am called to. This is exactly what I wrote would happen due to a negative blog from the president of Answers In Genesis. I am so glad that you are taking the time to check out my blog and then writing comments that are either hurtful or unkind about me or about my ministry. I have been forced to remove comments until this all blows over. I hope your zeal for insulting me is just as strong as it is for Christ. I will continue to hold onto the grace of God and the cross of Christ. I will continue to preach his word. Please use your time for this purpose as well. As you can see, I have removed the articles to help speed the process of healing and forgiveness. I challenge Ken Ham to do the same. Have an awesome Christ filled day!”
So, he can make false statements about me and AiG—he can misrepresent us in various ways—we correct him (NOT in a hateful way), and his response is the above? Again, I challenge the pastor to deal with the false accusations he made against us—yes, we obviously disagree regarding marriage, creation, etc.—but many of the previous statements he made about our ministry and us personally were simply not true (as Mark has gently but firmly demonstrated). That needs to be dealt with by the pastor, but he is apparently so embarrassed by what he has written, that he now does not want any further public embarrassment by being corrected on his blog by our posting—and has shut down further comment. He has refused our efforts to give his readers the other (correct) side.
Also, we would never say that a person who does not believe in Genesis as written can’t be a Christian—it’s faith in Christ that saves.
By the way, Mark would welcome a call from the pastor if he wants to discuss this further.
Today I am in Wisconsin to speak at Northland International University, Dunbar, Wisconsin. I will be speaking at three major sessions—all are open to the public. Go to the AiG website for details.
Devotion: Everlasting salvation
(Isaiah 45:17) But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: you shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
As we win souls we never stop to marvel at how when a sinner from his heart calls on the name of the Lord to be saved that an everlasting salvation takes place.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,