• Ken Ham Unequivocally States on TV Program that a Belief in YEC is NOT Necessary to Be a Christian

On an episode of the Christian program It is Written,  broadcast on August 31, 2014 on American TBN network,  YEC (Young Earth Creationist) Ken Ham was asked by the host in an interview if belief in YEC is necessary to be a Christian, and he said NO.

Ham clearly stated that belief in YEC is NOT necessary to be Christian, to be saved. He said he knows many Christians believe in things such as theistic evolution, and he believes that they are saved.

Ham said his concern with the current generation of Christians rejecting YEC views is that it may cause future generations to doubt the Bible.

From the It is Written site (link to home page),

Creation or Evolution?
Many people today believe that overwhelming evidence supports the theory of evolution. They accept that their ancestors looked like apes. Can Bible believers confidently believe in the Creation story? Join John Bradshaw as he visits with Ken Ham, president of the Creation Museum.

You might be able to watch the Ken Ham interview at the link below (I saw the interview on television; it was televised Aug 31, 2014. I have not had time to watch this particular online video but assume it is the same interview that was aired on the show, but I may be incorrect):

Link, Creation video / Ken Ham Interview

Creation or Evolution? / 2014-08-31 | PRODUCTION #: 001327

Many people today believe that overwhelming evidence supports the theory of evolution. They accept that their ancestors looked like apes. Can Bible believers confidently believe in the Creation story? Join John Bradshaw as he visits with Ken Ham, president of the Creation Museum.

“It Is Written” television program has a You Tube account (link, It is Written on You Tube). As of today, I do not see a copy of the Aug. 31, 2014 Ken Ham episode on You Tube.

A PDF form of the show is available here (it is a transcript of the Ham interview):

Link, PDF transcript of Aug 31, 2014 Creation/Ham show

Transcript excerpts (emphasis added by me):

Creation or Evolution?
Program No. 1258
SPEAKER: JOHN BRADSHAW, KEN HAM

[Ken Ham said]: But you see, the reason there are different views of Genesis, like theistic  evolution, for instance, is not because you are arguing from Scripture—it’s because  you are arguing outside of Scripture.
You are really taking the secular view of the day and you add it to the Bible in  Genesis, and then you have to reinterpret the clear words of Genesis, which means  that the big issue for me is that it’s an authority issue.
You are unlocking a door to say you don’t have to take this as written. You are not  using God’s Word to judge man’s word. You are using man’s ideas outside of  Scripture, which you don’t get from Scripture. And then you are forcing them onto  God’s Word. For instance, the Bible makes it clear that God took dust and made a  man.

….And so, really, for theistic evolutionists, they are really undermining Biblical  authority because they are reinterpreting God’s Word by forcing man’s ideas on  God’s Word.

….Putting millions of years in the Bible. The idea of millions of years came from  atheists, deists, people who believed in naturalism, who wanted to explain life  without God, wanted to get rid of the flood of Noah’s day—they wanted to come up with a way of explaining the world without God.

….JB: Today I’m discussing creation and evolution with Ken Ham, the president of the  Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky.

….KH: They’ll say yes [they believe in certain biblical miracles, such as Jesus feeding the multitudes]. How do you know [you ask them]? Well, the Bible says so.

Do you believe Jesus  walked on water? Oh yes [they reply]. How do you know? The Bible says so.

Do you believe that a  man was swallowed by a fish—and then lived in that fish for three days? How do you know? The Bible says so.
As soon as you get to Genesis in this day and age, and even in the church, and you  talk about what God created in six days, that man was made from dust and woman  from his side, that there was a global flood, and that death came after sin, here is  what we hear: “Oh no.”

And if you go outside of Scripture, because of these ideas of millions of years, and because of evolution, that means you have to reinterpret the days. What is happening  is this: If we don’t take a stand on the creation account in Genesis, and if we allow outside ideas to reinterpret that, we are unlocking a door.
The door we are unlocking is that we are telling future generations that you don’t  have to take God’s Word as written here. It puts them on a slippery slide of unbelief  through the whole of Scripture.
You tell me to believe this bit of the Bible over here, but that bit doesn’t matter. I can  take man’s ideas and reinterpret here, but I am not allowed to do that over here. It’s  hypocrisy.

….Your salvation is not conditioned upon the age of the earth and whether you believe  in evolution or the days of creation. The condition is upon faith in Christ, right? But believing in evolution for millions of years doesn’t necessarily affect your salvation.
There are many Christians that believe in millions of years—many Christians that  believe in evolution.
But what it does affect is how the next generation views Scripture itself. What I have  given you is a long answer to get back to the fact that the issue is one of authority.
Who is the authority? God or man?  When you let man be an authority over God’s Word and reinterpret God’s Word because of outside ideas, you are unlocking a door so the next generation tends not to believe the Scripture as much, and the next generation doubts and disbelieves even more.

And as time goes on, you would expect to see more and more in the  younger generation leaving the church.

I agree with some of Ham’s views here, or think he has some pretty good points.

Far from the scenario which is put forth by Christians who reject YEC, that young people are supposedly leaving the church because some Christians believe and teach YEC, then they head off to college, where they hear secular professors teach about macro-evolution and a millions- year- old earth and suddenly decide that the faith is nonsense –

I think the situation is much the opposite.

I posit that some of this phenomenon can be laid at the feet of Christians who are accommodating such teachings (whose worldviews are held and originated by the Non-Christians who started espousing them, who also tend to be hostile to theism and the supernatural from the outset) – to make the Bible “fit” with such views – causes these kids to doubt how accurate the rest of the Bible is, not YEC itself.

I was a Christian and YEC for many years myself, quite the devout Christian from childhood, I was exposed to teachings about an old earth and evolution while in public school and later university, and my YEC views never caused me to doubt the faith or question the Bible.

My peresonal, recent issues with doubting the Christian faith have nothing to do with science, evolution, or the age of the earth. So it’s simply not true that all YECs start doubting the faith because of YEC, and once they attend school and hear about evolution and so on.

If you do not agree with YEC and want to debate against what you perceive as its flaws (ie, pointing to what you feel are scientific errors or shortcomings and so on), I don’t have a problem with that.

At the anti-YEC Christian blogs I have visited, I have not see this facet discussed, how kids are rejecting the Christian faith, not due to YEC itself, but that views about Darwinism and/or an ancient age earth may be causing them to wonder if the rest of the Bible can be trusted, and if the Bible is being questioned, the faith must not be true, so why bother being a Christian?

This is a perfectly legitimate line of thinking, but it goes unexplored at groups, forums, or blogs who have some kind of agenda against, or issue with, YEC and/or Ken Ham.

Guilt By Association

That Ken Ham may or may not rub shoulders with people such as patriarchy home-schooler associations or whomever else you do not approve of, is not wholly relevant to the age of the earth debate and why people are leaving the Christian faith.

To impugn Ham or his YEC views on that basis alone – which conferences he speaks at, or who he is friends with – is to engage in things such as the Genetic Fallacy (link, logical fallacy), Guilt By Association (link, logical fallacy), and Poisoning the Well (link, logical fallacy)

I am not totally opposed to discussing who hangs out with whom in the homeschooling or gender complementarian business circles because these may or can serve as clues as to what a person believes, but sometimes, I feel this angle can be overdone.

However, the fact remains that you need to discredit YEC on its own merits, not by whom Ken Ham has lunch with, whom Ham plays golf with, or who pays Ham a couple hundred bucks to speak at a conference.

Maybe Ken Ham doesn’t like patriarchy teachings (I have no idea).

Maybe Ham is unaware that some of the people who hire him to speak at their engagements believe in these things (such as patriarchy), and even if he knew, perhaps he would not share their views.

Again, if Christians who are anti-YEC want to discuss what shortcomings they see with YEC itself, I don’t care too much.

If, however, you are opposed to YEC, and you are prone to accusing YECs of making YEC into a “Gospel-level” concern or requirement, and you accuse Ham in particular of doing so, you are not being accurate or truthful about the situation.

Ham has gone on record as stating that belief in YEC is not necessary to be a Christian, and that he realizes that people who profess Christ who reject YEC and accept things like theistic evolution are in fact Christian.


Previous post:

Link,  Criticism of Young Earth Creationism and Its Advocates, especially as seen on spiritual abuse blogs or liberal Christian sites

Edit. Additional:

Link,  Ken Ham Hits Back Against Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Claim That Creationists’ Beliefs Are ‘Crazy Even to Many Christians’

The questions of evolution, creation, and the age of the earth continue to be a divisive topic among Americans.

A 2012 Gallup poll found that 46 percent of Americans who responded to the survey believe that God created humans in their present form, while 32 percent believe humans evolved with God’s guidance — and another 15 percent backed evolution with no divine involvement.

Similarly, a 2011 LifeWay Research poll found that 46 percent of protestant pastors believe that the earth is approximately 6,000 years old, while 43 percent disagreed.

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