How the Modern-Day Culture Suppresses the Knowledge of God

Worship and Identity

by Ken Ham on January 19, 2024
Featured in Ken Ham Blog

Not only is this the start of a new year, but it’s also the start of a new era for the Answers in Genesis ministry.

Some of you may already know that we announced at the end of 2023 that the board of directors of AiG unanimously approved my succession plan for this ministry. And the three founders, myself (obviously), Mark Looy, and Mike Zovath unanimously and enthusiastically approved this plan also.

As a result, Martyn Iles, who led a great Christian movement in Australia and was appointed Chief Ministry Officer for AiG–US in 2023, has been elevated to the position of Executive CEO under me as Founder CEO.

Martyn will increasingly take over leadership of the organization to lead this ministry together with a wonderful group of younger visionary leaders God has brought to AiG.

I have no intention of retiring unless the Lord makes that obvious but will continue as Founder CEO, giving oversight and vision as I have done, and continue the speaking and writing ministry the Lord called me to.

Many supporters who have expressed their enthusiasm for this decision know what a dynamic leader Martyn is, his total support of AiG’s mission and stand on biblical authority, and his understanding of the social and moral issues of our day and how to deal with them.

Martyn and I will alternate each month in writing these letters. This letter is Martyn’s first in his new position of Executive CEO, and in it he lays out a summary of his vision, which he presented to the AiG staff.

Exciting times.

Sincerely in Christ, Ken

From Martyn:

Dear friends,

Times change. New generations, new ideas, new technologies—they come and go.

But truth does not change.

The task is to take the same old truth but apply it anew with fresh relevance and power in each generation.

Our culture is changing very quickly. These are times of incredible transformation and generational differences. Whenever I say something like that on a stage, I see heads nodding across the audience—people really feel it.

But it is a change that Scripture foreshadowed in Romans 1.

Romans 1 speaks of the culture where people have removed God from their lives—something it calls “ungodliness.” It describes what comes next.

We read that people reject God by “suppressing the truth.” That is, the truth about God.

The only way they can do this is by denying the witness of creation, because God “has been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

In other words, the creation is God’s ever-present reminder to a lost world that he exists.

In other words, the creation is God’s ever-present reminder to a lost world that he exists. It tells us, according to Romans 1, of his eternity, his power, and his divine nature.

It is interesting to observe that these are precisely the issues that scientists and philosophers have had to contend with when they examine creation.

I remember driving along in my car in Australia, and on the radio they were interviewing one of the scientists working on the large hadron collider in Switzerland. They started getting into the details a little and asked him why this kind of science was being done.

The scientist pointed to two problems they were trying to solve. First, what existed before the big bang? Second, what was the source of the big bang’s power?

I marveled that this is exactly the witness of creation described in Scripture—“his eternal power” (Romans 1:20).

But the interview continued. He explained the crucial role their research could play in finding the answer to both of these questions. He explained the theory that it might be contained in a tiny, subatomic particle. My mouth fell open when he called it “the god particle.”

Notice the denial? When confronted with eternity and power, they seek an explanation other than the divine. They look within creation rather than beyond it.

There is not an evidence problem for God. Creation speaks of him so clearly. Rather, there is a spiritual problem—a human problem. There is a refusal to confront the evidence.

Or we might say—to use the language of the passage—there is a suppression of the evidence.

This has been done in many ways over the centuries, but one of the major ways has been the attacks on creation as an act of God and the Bible as a true account of creation.

This is the fruit of the so-called “scientific age”—code for evolutionary naturalism. Those who were seen as great authorities in the scientific realm were able to claim that creation did not, in fact, speak of God, but that science had worked out God was not necessary in creation. Science, they claimed, has disproved the Bible and disproved God.

This means that people were able to look at the wonder of creation—even its testimony to an eternal, powerful, divine being—and say, “God did not do that.” How? Because the big brains of science told us so. They told us that there was another explanation—a smarter, more enlightened explanation. Certainly, the explanation offered by the Bible is not right.

This was the first step in making an “ungodly” society. It was the first step in making a society where people removed God from their lives—a “secular” society, a society devoid of spirituality.

This secular culture is the one Ken Ham, the founders, and the other pioneers of Answers in Genesis spoke of. This is the attack they sought to address. This is the error they sought to reverse.

They stood up against massive odds and massive cultural forces and said, “No. Stop. The answers are, in fact, in Genesis.” And they defended that truth.

They stood for the reality that the Bible is true, science confirms it, God is real, and therefore his gospel is true.

But our culture was never going to stop here. It was always going to keep changing.

Notice that Romans 1 does not say, “Therefore they became atheists.” That is not the ultimate result of ungodliness. Secularism is just a gateway to something else—it simply clears the way for people to find a new god.

That is why Scripture says people “exchange the truth about God” and “worship and serve” something else—and that something else is not science. Science does not have the necessary qualities to be a god—it cannot provide meaning or purpose.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was one among the new atheists—a friend of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. She now reports that she is turning to Christianity for exactly this reason. She writes:

I have turned to Christianity because I ultimately found life without any spiritual solace unendurable—indeed very nearly self-destructive. Atheism failed to answer a simple question: What is the meaning and purpose of life?

Sadly, however, most are not turning to Christianity to find God. Having rejected him and suppressed the evidence, they now turn somewhere else.

I once heard a preacher propose a hypothetical scenario about aliens. Suppose, he said, aliens were to visit from another planet. Suppose that their mission was to answer certain key questions about the human race, and one of those questions was “What does this people worship?”

They would look at the selfie-filled social media accounts, listen to the emotionally indulgent song lyrics, hear motivational speeches about “you do you” and “follow your dreams” and “you’re worth it”—and they would be assaulted with advertising materials on every street. They would almost certainly conclude, “This people worships themselves.”

Indeed, that is where we are today. We have a new god. Its name is “identity”—our “true selves.”

That was the god of the first rebellious civilization at Babel. They said, “Come, let us make a name for ourselves.” They sought to make the self great—to make themselves the highest value.

Today, we see the word pride at the cutting edge of our culture. It is a word that speaks of this culture’s mentality, to look within the self and raise it up as the highest value. Our identity becomes our foundation for living. We must be authentic, true to ourselves, living our best selves, self-authoring, discovering our worth, and loving ourselves. Indeed, we’ve gotten to the point where “pride” is our brand—an entire month is named after it—and nobody sees the problem! We are brazenly worshipping all that comes out of our hearts—its passions, desires, and lusts.

Romans 1 explains that when we worship the creature in this way, we seek to exchange places with the Creator.

Romans 1 explains that when we worship the creature in this way, we seek to exchange places with the Creator. We strive after his power. We raise ourselves up against him, as if to say “we are the creators now.” We will pursue our “true selves” even when that means we defy the Creator.

There are countless ways in which we are doing this right now.

Every room full of people is a witness to the fact that God made us male and female. But when we raise ourselves up against the Creator, we say, “So what?” We feel we can create our own gender.

Human anatomy is a witness to the fact that God made men and women in a sexually complementary way. But when we raise ourselves up against the Creator, we say, “So what?” We feel that we can indulge our sexuality any way we please.

God made one race, and science confirms it. But we have raised ourselves up against God to define many races—many types of humanity—and have created conflict and destruction.

Human life is precious. It is unlike animal life—rational, civilized, relational, spiritual—and all the DNA of a human being is present at the moment of conception. It is life. But when we want to be like the Creator, we lord it over that life and presume to decide whether it is worthy of living based on our preferences.

The same arrogance is present in definitions around the marriage issue, family, truth itself (“my truth”), and identity. Did God define these things? Or can I?

There is a new spirituality in our day.

We are not secularists anymore.

We worship and serve created things—mainly, identity.

This is exactly what Romans 1 predicted.

But here is the extraordinary thing: though the culture has changed, the truth which answers the culture has not changed. The answers are still in Genesis!

Genesis has something to say to evolutionary naturalism. It describes scientific and historical truth. It also has something to say to woke paganism and identity—it describes moral and ethical truth, defined by God’s ordering of creation.

Genesis contains the necessary foundations to answer the “God’s Word versus man’s word” dilemma of every generation.

God put a fire in Ken Ham’s bones to give an answer concerning secularist attacks, launched through evolutionary naturalism and “science.”

Similarly, in recent years, God put a fire in my bones to give an answer concerning woke attacks, launched through identity and critical theories, postmodernism, and the like.

Both ministries stand together, because once it’s clear that Genesis is historically and scientifically true, we can know that it is morally and ethically true. If it really happened, then its teachings are right!

As Answers in Genesis continues to grow, the same foundation’s answers will be used to proclaim God’s truth in the face of these new attacks. Whether it’s the attractions, publications, online content, events, or anything else—we will teach the answers in Genesis concerning both history and science and the moral challenges posed by the worship of the self in our day.

This is why we are working on a biblical identity exhibit at the Creation Museum—to follow on from the recently completed Fearfully & Wonderfully Made exhibit. It’s also why I am writing a book on identity, to be released this year.

By God’s grace, there is more to come.

Pray for wisdom as we seek to proclaim timeless truth in a changing culture.


Executive CEO

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