The Church—a Relic

by Ken Ham on January 15, 2008
Featured in Answers Update

The church could very well become a “relic” in America if God’s people don’t deal with the foundational nature of the problem that has produced the sad situation in the U.K. today.

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The Grand Canyon is a form of relic! What do I mean? Well, the present processes operating at the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona, such as the minimal erosion by the Colorado River, cannot explain how the canyon was really carved.

In addition, no processes operating today at the canyon can explain the laying down of the massive sedimentary strata that I have seen there (e.g., Coconino Sandstone), nor the massive sheet erosion that resulted in the Kaibab Plateau.

In order to produce this “relic” of a deep canyon and layers that we see today, something very different than what is happening in the present occurred in the past. It was the result of the after-effects of the global Flood of Noah’s time.

To me, this is analogous to something that is happening with the Christian church in our Western world. For example, I have traveled to the United Kingdom many times over the past 25 years. Several years ago I began taking photos of British churches that have been turned into bars, nightclubs, Sikh temples, theaters, shopping centers—the list is a long one.

The U.K. was once predominantly Christian. Today, most of the U.K. has become extremely pagan; just a remnant of Christianity remains in England and the other U.K. nations. Even though there are some new churches (thank God!) “relic” churches exist all across the U.K. The Christian influence is largely gone.

You see, just like the Grand Canyon, something was different in the past. The current state of England and the rest of the U.K. does not explain why there were so many churches in the past and why they had considerable Christian influence on society.

I want to suggest to you that where the U.K. is today, America will be “tomorrow”—and for the same reasons. The church could very well become a “relic” in America if God’s people don’t deal with the foundational nature of the problem that has produced the sad situation in the U.K. today. Imagine how this must grieve the heart of God!

Here is one thing that particularly alarms me: research by George Barna has shown that of those students from Christian homes in America who go to public schools (about 95% of all students), at least 70% of them will walk away from the church and the faith of their parents once they leave home.1

A recent report states: “A new study by The Barna Group conducted among 16- to 29-year-olds shows that a new generation is more skeptical of and resistant to Christianity than were people of the same age just a decade ago.”2

At Answers in Genesis, through our speaker events, radio programs, magazine, research journal, and the new Creation Museum—everything we do—we have been continually bringing to the church’s attention a major challenge of the day: our culture is filled with increasing numbers of people who do not believe the Bible is a credible book. As a result, the culture has lost faith in biblical authority.

And why has this happened? It did not occur overnight. Generation after generation, there has been a slow erosion of biblical authority in America. In fact, ever since the early nineteenth century, the idea of a millions- or billions-of-years-old age for the earth/universe was beginning to become popular in the U.K. and the U.S. Much of the church quickly adopted the old-age view. And they reinterpreted the days of creation and Noah’s Flood in Genesis.

Soon, much of the church also adopted many of Darwin’s blatant evolutionary beliefs (and just added God to this). Generation after generation, the church has reinterpreted God’s Word in Genesis in response to secular ideas. Each subsequent generation has become more firm in the belief that if the first part of the Bible (which is the foundational history for all Christian doctrine, including the gospel) is not true, how can the rest be? Biblical authority is undermined, the Bible’s credibility is destroyed, and the erosion of the Christian influence in the culture are the results.

AiG has been raised up by God for this era of history to help challenge the church concerning biblical authority, which could (as God blesses) ultimately change the culture. Remember: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).


  1. Barna Research Online, “Teenagers Embrace Religion but Are Not Excited About Christianity,” January 10, 2000.
  2. Barna Research Online, “A New Generation Expresses its Skepticism and Frustration with Christianity,” September 24, 2007.


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