If you don’t know who Ken Ham is, let me fill you in really quick.
He is the guy that built an ark. Kind of like Noah’s, except that this one has no real animals in it, and is found in Kentucky, not the Middle East.
He is a member of Answers In Genesis, a website that seeks to provide biblical answers to the origins of the universe. Answers that are “correct”, as opposed to those discovered by the scientific community.
I do not know Ken Ham personally, so I cannot speak to the kind of man that he is. But I am sure that he is genuine in his faith and his desire to see others come to loving faith in Jesus Christ. And part of that is Answers In Genesis, and the replica of Noah’s Ark.
Knowing that there is a real, accurate-to-the-measurements-in-Scripture Ark that I could possibly go and see, I am filled with the wonder of a child. I want to see this behemoth of a boat that was filled with animals, 2 by 2, or 7 by 7. I want to see the boat that an amateur built that rivalled, and won, over the professionally built Titanic. I want to see a boat big enough that God had to close the door Himself.
That is part of the reason I would want to see Ken Ham’s Ark. But at the same time, I want to see it pulled down to the ground, totally destroyed.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Heb. 11:1 KJV
Christianity is all about faith. I believe in a person that I have never seen, that he was 100% God, while being 100% man at the same time (that is Jesus). And I believe that his horrifically violent death mysteriously righted my relationship and standing with His Father, who is now also my Father, but is and isn’t Jesus at the same time…somehow (The Trinity is confusing to say the least).
What Christianity and what the Bible teaches demands faith. There is so little that we can grab onto with 100% certainty and say “This is a fact.” There are some things, for sure. But we have a faith in Jesus Christ, not a fact. So, in some small way, I want a fact. A fact that what the Bible says is absolutely, 100%, imperially prove to be true.
Ken Ham’s Ark is, in a way, a little fact about the Bible. The Ark, as described in the Old Testament, could have been build, could have carried the animals, Noah and his family, and could have been the gopher-wood escape pod from an enormous flood.
The possibility of a fact, or a replica supporting the evidence of such a thing, gives Christians a leg to stand on. These aren’t just stories, or reworked myths. There is something of substance here. You might even stretch it to a “fact”.
In times when my faith is shaky, or I need that little extra support when I feel weary, a fact would be great.
Seeing Ken Ham’s Ark could do that. But whether I see this replica Ark or not, I believe that it needs to be taken down. I think it is doing more harm than good. Here are two reasons why.
1. I Believe In…
I do not believe in Noah. I do not believe in the Ark. They are not the keystone, or capstones, or cornerstones on which I build my faith. I have faith in Jesus. I believe in Jesus, and what He did. I have faith that His work on the cross, not what Noah did, saves me and sets me right before God. I have faith in Christ and his salvation, not Noah and the salvation of his ark.
While the work Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis is admirable, what the world is needing is not a biblical answers to the age of the universe. The world needs to hear about is Jesus.
The world is not broken and tearing itself apart because people believe the universe is billions of years old, instead of thousands. And I’m not arguing for either side. What the world needs to hear more about, more than anything, is love, and patience, and forgiveness.
The world doesn’t need another fight. It doesn’t need Christianity to start (or continue) to beat people over the head with the great need to implement some rule or law.
The world needs the love of Jesus, not an ark. The world needs the hands and feet of Christ, actively working and changing the planet for God’s glory, not a replica of something that may have been.
2. If You Literally Believe In The Bible…
Literalism in Christianity is a way of reading and interpreting the Bible. If the Bible says it, it has to be exactly as it said it. There was a flood that covered the whole earth? That has to be the truth, and no other thoughts or ideas or ways of interpreting that event are good or valid.
“The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” would be the creed or motto of a Literalist.
Ken Ham is a literalist. Which is fine. He is completely entitled to read and understand the Bible this way. But there is a problem that I have with that. And I’ll share it with you in a picture I came across.
If you are going to take the Bible at face value, read it and do what it says because it says it, what do you do with the poor, and the orphan, and the widow?
If a Christian, literalist or not, is going to listen and obey any part of the Bible, it should be the words of Jesus. What the founder of our faith said should be of the upmost importance, yes?
Then how is spending millions on a fake boat helping the poor?
How is wasting those resources, on something that doesn’t need to be proven to be believed, helping those that are homeless?
As a literalist, how do you hear the words of that Jesus spoke, or the words spoken throughout the Bible, and not take them literal, and not leap into action?
“But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.” – Luke 11:41 NIV
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27
“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” – Deuteronomy 15:11
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-9
I read those words, and I get convicted over and over about what I am doing for the last, the lost, and the least in my community. And I don’t have millions to throw at the problem. Over $100 million went into this Ark park. What could have been done for the poor in Kentucky?
The Ark now stands, not as a testament to Noah’s faith, but to Ken Ham’s agenda to prove the Bible has answers to all of life’s questions.
It is a shame that the love of Christ is not the motivation here. It is a shame that the actions taken by Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis are so lacking in Christ-likeness.
That’s why I want to see it torn down.
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Photo from pexel.com