Only a Creationist Can Go To Heaven?

I have just read Ken Ham’s post titled Do All Creationists Go to Heaven? and am left a little puzzled as to his full point.

He makes clear that in order to enter heaven you must be saved, in the Christian sense. That is pray the prayer that gives your life to God and invites Jesus into your heart. However, he goes further and seems to imply that this must also include renouncing evolution and embracing creationism. I say imply because he does not actually state that only a creationist can go to heaven, but he does leave that impression.

Is he afraid to make that final leap and actually say it?

I am reminded of when I did youth work at my local church years ago. At the time I was still a creationist and one of my fellow leaders was an evolutionist. This never got in the way of us working together and certainly never had an impact on our friendship.

One evening we did a creation / evolution comparison session. I put the case for creationism and he put the case for accepting evolution. What I think was most important about the evening was that in closing we made emphasis on the fact that in our view neither was a hindrance, nor a guarantee, to getting into heaven. We also emphasised that disagreement on these was not considered serious enough to lose friends over.

That last sentence I still consider true. I may strongly disagree with someone on the validity of creationism but that is not a barrier to friendship and I would certainly not end a friendship on that basis.

Yet, in his piece, Ken Ham is implying that you must accept creationism in order to enter heaven. In short he is saying that you can only be a real Christian if you are a creationist as well. How divisive!

10 thoughts on “Only a Creationist Can Go To Heaven?

  1. I found your blog through the agnostics wife’s, and am enjoying reading. I, too, was a YEC. When I came to the realization that evolution was true it presented all kinds of issues for my faith and it’s pretty much unraveled at this point. Having said that, I quite agree that it shouldn’t be such a sticking point. I admire someone who can accept evolution and still retain their faith and fit it into their model of Christianity. That was just the beginning point of many more questions that have remained unanswered for me and wasn’t the sole reason for my doubt. I’ve listened to much Ken Hammery in the past and, quite frankly, he does posit that if you are anything but a YEC you must not be a “true” Christian.

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the comment and the clarification on Ken Ham’s stance. I didn’t actually look any further at what he had to say, preferring instead to just comment on that one piece. What struck me most was how he danced around the subject but yet didn’t (or couldn’t) say what he wanted to. Its like dropping hints about a big secret but never saying what it is. It struck me as being very disingenuous.

  3. I listened to Ken Ham nearly every day for several years on a Christian radio station here in the States. He makes it pretty clear, if you listen to him for very long, his stance on creationism and it’s place in salvation. All of the answers to questions about salvation and Christianity are found “Back in Genesis”.

  4. I think the beliefs of those like Ken Ham tend to be more along the lines of thinking that if you do not hold YEC beliefs, you are on the slippery slope to disbelief and a ticket to an eternity in Hell. Rather than thinking you can’t go to heaven without holding YEC beliefs. That was a big part of the conservative evangelicalism I was a part of, not just about YEC. “Are there Catholic people who are saved/born again?” “Well sure, but the Catholic churches doctrine hinders it, and if someone is saved/born again, they are unlikely to be growing in their faith.” Things like that.

    All that said though, I think the heart of the belief is that the person like Ken Ham does not see how someone can hold the another position and still be a Christian. Maybe it just seems impossible for Ken Ham to understand that someone would believe something else, something which Ken sees so clearly.

    • Well said, Rend. Much better said than the way I put it. Surely Ken Ham doesn’t really believe that if you don’t subscribe to YEC you are definitely going to hell. My brand of evangelicalism views it much the same way you describe. It’s not impossible to be a Christian and also believe in evolution, but it’s improbable – the slippery slope you describe. If you don’t take every part of the Bible literally, how do you know which parts are true and which parts aren’t kind of thinking. I asked a very dear friend of mine if you could believe in evolution and still be a Christian and her response was much as you describe. She raise her eyebrow and responded, “I don’t see how that’s possible”.

      • Its this holding to the absolute literal truth of the Bible that bothers me. The early chapters of Genesis do not need to be read that way. In fact I’d go so far as to say that if they are not as narrative poetry and instead read as literal truth, then you are missing the point of them.

        I suspect that what Kan Ham fears is that once you allow Genesis 1 to be read and interpreted non-literally, then its a slippery slope to denying everything in the Bible. I accept that I could be an example of that, given that once I realised that evolution was true, the whole Christian framework fell away. That’s another post for another day.

        Having said that. Here in the UK, creationism is in the minority. No church I have been to has encouraged it, the only people I know who are creationists came to our church when they moved to the UK from South Africa a few years ago.

        Evolution accepting Christians are by a long way the norm here in Blighty, one can only wonder at how different my faith would have turned out had I been better versed in evolution.

  5. What I am finding interesting is that in other places such as the UK and even other places in the states it’s not as a big of deal if you believe something other than your friends or family. Whether is be you believe in God and those view differ or if you just don’t believe at all. Here in the states, in the bible belt, in Oklahoma it’s a BIG deal. Liken to if you have some awful disease and you are slowly dying. Everyone feels sorry for you.

    • Yes, that is true of the UK and its wonderful to have that.

      For example I know one person who is a very vocal atheist, to the point where he thinks organised religion is not only wrong, but should be banned. I’ve not told him of my de-conversion so he likely still thinks I’m a YEC and fundamental Christian. Yet, that does not get in the way of us having a decent conversation, or attending a social gathering together or even joking about on on-line forums.

      This same friend spent a few years working in Arizona and he says telling people he was an atheist often resulted in uncomfortable silences and weird follow-up conversations. He didn’t like that at all.

  6. Pingback: Creationist Illogic | Tangled Up in Blue Guy

  7. Pingback: The Creationist Brain Zap | Tangled Up in Blue Guy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s