The Burden of Standing for God’s Word

by Ken Ham
Featured in Letter from Ken

You may be surprised to learn this, but there is something I really, really dislike about being in the ministry of Answers in Genesis!

Now, I love the opportunities the Lord has opened for us, including building a Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, reaching millions of people with the truth of God’s Word and the gospel.

I’m so thankful we can reach 30 million people a year through our websites, see 10,000 churches use AiG’s Answers Bible Curriculum, and have over 5,000 churches adopt AiG’s Answers Vacation Bible School (VBS) program to reach hundreds of thousands of children.

I’m thrilled that millions of books, DVDs, gospel tracts, and other resources have been purchased from Answers in Genesis or given away by AiG. My heart is so warmed when the Lord gives me opportunities to speak to adults, teens, and kids at churches and conferences.

Even though it was a stressful and nerve-racking debate, I praise the Lord I was able to debate Bill Nye “the Science Guy” publicly and be a witness for God’s Word and the gospel to many millions. Another stressful time is when I’m able to speak at secular institutions or interact with liberal theologians—but it’s all a part of what the Lord has called AiG to do.

I’m saddened when we experience attacks from secularists and read the lies they spread about us—but that’s all to be expected in a fallen world. I groan when I’m about to be interviewed by the secular media, knowing the majority of the published stories will misquote, mock, and attack us. But again, this is all a necessary part of contending for the faith in a world where people “love the darkness rather than the light” (John 3:19).

One Thing I Really Dislike

But even with all these challenges, there is one thing I really dislike about being in this ministry! I hate it when we have to publicly oppose, debate, and challenge Christians who, while they might believe the gospel (and would even say they believe in biblical inerrancy), compromise God’s Word in Genesis. That is what I’m most saddened and stressed about.

I hate it when the world sees this contention among believers. But at the same time, it’s very important for Christians and non-Christians to see us boldly and unashamedly standing on the authority of God’s Word from the very first verse.

It’s very important for Christians and non-Christians to see us boldly and unashamedly standing on the authority of God’s Word from the very first verse.

As I’ve stated many times, and as we have documented with research published in books like Already Gone and Ready To Return, compromise on Genesis (particularly with Christians who add millions of years into the Bible) has had a devastating impact on how this generation views the Bible. And sadly, this compromise has been a major factor as to why so many people are leaving the church and are now secularized in their thinking.

It must be perplexing to many people that Christians with a heart for the gospel, and who say they believe in inerrancy, battle each other over their view on Genesis. But it’s our contention that compromising Christians (as I call them) have an inconsistent approach to Scripture that unlocks a door to undermine biblical authority in Genesis—and puts people on a slippery slope of unbelief through the rest of Scripture.

In fact, because we are so burdened by the rampant compromise in the church regarding Genesis, we work hard in contending for the faith by exposing and challenging this compromise. This is particularly true when it comes to Christian leaders and Bible college/seminary professors.

This compromise is really no different from what the prophets dealt with as recorded in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and others, as we read about leaders who compromised God’s Word with man’s fallible beliefs. That’s why, as much as I hate it, it’s so important for us at AiG to do all we can to passionately reach out to these leaders.

Pleading for Consistency

We plead with Christian leaders to apply a consistent hermeneutic to Scripture and reject compromise that undermines the authority of the Word, which has such a negative impact on the people they influence.

This is why AiG researcher, writer, and speaker Dr. Terry Mortenson attends and actively participates in the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) conference each year. This gathering of Christian academics is a sad mishmash of views on Genesis 1–11, but Terry does his best to be a shining light for the clarity and authority of Scripture, beginning in Genesis.

In addition, for the past 10 years, Dr. Mortenson and Dr. Andrew Snelling (also with AiG) have conducted a Grand Canyon scholars trip. They invite church leaders and scholars from seminaries and Christian colleges to spend a week with them inside the Grand Canyon. This is largely funded though AiG as a ministry outreach.

Many of these Christian scholars come on the trip believing in an old-earth or are unsure about the age of the earth. Terry, Andrew, and typically an Old Testament professor show them the overwhelming geological evidence for the Flood and a young earth. Then they teach the men the biblical and historical evidence for taking God at his Word in Genesis.

The men on the tour who accept a young earth are strengthened in their beliefs about Genesis, and the others are challenged to rethink their views. These trips have been a resounding success as we are seeing the influence of the canyon experience and learning filter down to students in Christian schools and people in churches.

Now, this is why I accepted an invitation to have a “dialogue” (which really turned into an informal “debate” about the age of the earth) with a professor at an apologetics conference, run by Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES) last October. (I previously wrote about this event.) SES did not like it at all, as we exposed the seminary’s compromise with millions of years!

But this “debate” was a very important event for me (even though I disliked doing it), as I publicly challenged this professor and the seminary concerning their stand on Genesis.

At this same conference, well-known Genesis compromiser Dr. Hugh Ross (who promotes the big bang, billions of years, a race of soulless humans before Adam and Eve, a local flood, and so on) gave a number of presentations. In fact, he is listed as an adjunct professor at SES and gives lectures as a part of course work.

My report on this conference created a bit of a firestorm, even being written up by a major Christian media outlet!

The debate and its aftermath have been somewhat stressful. But I was reminded of how important it was for me to engage SES when we received this letter:

My husband and I attended the SES Apologetics Conference this fall in Charlotte, North Carolina, and we had the great experience of hearing the Ken Ham and Richard Howe “debate.”

You see, my husband is a skeptic, and I’d been praying for the Lord to reveal himself in a mighty way during this conference experience. And while we attended many of the Dr. Hugh Ross sessions and my husband was almost convinced of the Old-Earth Creationist stance (my husband even bought two of Dr. Ross’ books), we both felt the conviction of the Lord in the stance Ken Ham took during the “God’s Word vs Man’s Word” debate. He spoke with such compassion, clarity, and truth.

She then told us that her whole family would be coming to visit our Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, and they did just that right after Christmas. Praise God!

Different Kinds of “Debates”

The rampant compromise among Christian scholars is also why I agreed to participate in a different kind of “debate.” I was approached to contribute a chapter—and provide responses to other chapters—in a book titled Four Views On Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design, just published by Zondervan.

I felt it was very important that, because this book would promote compromising views on Genesis and because we were given the opportunity to present our stand on God’s Word in regard to the origins issue, we should take the opportunity to participate.

We were given the opportunity to present our stand on God’s Word in regard to the origins issue.

I asked Dr. Terry Mortenson to help me, as it was a big task. In our interaction with two editors, it was very obvious they didn’t share our views on a literal Genesis! In fact, the main editor made a negative comment about me in the book’s conclusion over the length of my section. But in the end, my main chapter was only one page longer than one of the other authors (who had some diagrams).

The point we stressed with the editors was that with the three other authors, two of them in this “debate” totally accepted the idea of millions of years, and the third person allowed for the possibility of it. So in a sense, it was three against one (and with not-so-neutral editors!) when it came to Genesis as literal history.

This book does help expose what is (sadly) happening in the Christian world. One section was written by Dr. Deborah B. Haarsma, previously a professor at Calvin College, who is now president of BioLogos, an organization using millions of dollars to aggressively influence the church and Christian leaders to believe evolution and millions of years.

Another section was written by Dr. Hugh Ross, who, as I wrote earlier, is an adjunct professor at SES and an ardent Genesis compromiser. Sadly, what has been written by Haarsma and Ross represents the views of the majority of Christian academics!

In addition to the SES “debate,” there was another event last year that had its challenges. Late last year, Dr. Andrew Snelling and I were the speakers at a conference near Brisbane, Australia. The organizers shared with us that they had difficulty promoting their conference because various pastors opposed the event.

Andrew and I were very cognizant of this opposition as we gave our presentations. But we were committed to defending the Christian faith with attendees and challenging them, including those who opposed us, not to compromise God’s Word.

We videotaped these talks, and they are now available in our bookstore. These six talks will remind you of the importance of taking God at his Word in Genesis and will equip you to deal with compromise positions on biblical authority, like those proclaimed by Haarsma and Ross.

Your ongoing prayers and support enable our creation/gospel ministry to reach millions of souls for Christ, while challenging the church to stand uncompromisingly on God’s Word from the first verse. Thank you for your crucial support!


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