Ken Ham Demonstrates The Cilantro Mandate (Legalism)

To be risen with Christ means not only that one has a choice and that one may live by a higher law – the law of grace and love – but that one must do so. The first obligation of the Christian is to maintain their freedom from all superstitions, all blind taboos and religious formalities, indeed from all empty forms of legalism. – Thomas Merton

Courtesy of Hubble Telescope


The Cilantro Mandate (aka legalism) is alive and well in Christendom, and we believe the rigid attitudes regarding creation, particularly among the young earth crowd, demonstrate its harmful effects. Ken Ham, the self-appointed guru for Young Earth Creationism, provides an excellent example of such legalism.

On September 8, 2010, Ham wrote a blog post entitled “A Sad Day for the Assemblies of God Denomination”. Here is the link

Why should anyone be “sad” about the Assemblies of God (AG)? Actually, what took place in the AG denomination makes us glad, not sad. Here’s what happened. In its August 9-11, 2010 session, the general presbytery of the Assemblies of God denomination adopted a revised statement on “The Doctrine of Creation.” You can read the entire statement here

In his post, Ham writes: Here is an excerpt from the official AG position paper, that opens the door to evolution and millions of years, and the various compromise positions on Genesis held by some in the church (such as gap theory, day age, progressive creation, theistic evolution, etc):

“The advance of scientific research, particularly in the last few centuries, has raised many questions about the interpretation of the Genesis accounts of creation. In attempting to reconcile the Bible and the theories and conclusions of contemporary scientists, it should be remembered that the creation accounts do not give precise details as to how God went about His creative activity. Nor do these accounts provide us with complete chronologies that enable us to date with precision the time of the various stages of creation. Similarly, the findings of science are constantly expanding; the accepted theories of one generation are often revised in the next.


As a result, equally devout Christian believers have formed very different opinions about the age of the earth, the age of humankind, and the ways in which God went about the creative processes. Given the limited information available in Scripture, it does not seem wise to be overly dogmatic about any particular creation theory.


Whatever creation theory we individually may prefer, we must affirm that the entire creation has been brought into being by the design and activity of the Triune God. Moreover, we also affirm that the New Testament treats the creation and fall of Adam and Eve as historical events in which the Creator is especially involved. We urge all sincere and conscientious believers to adhere to what the Bible plainly teaches and to avoid divisiveness over debatable theories of creation.”

Although neither Dee nor I have ever been involved in the AG denomination, we are extremely proud of them for developing such a theologically mature position on creationism, which will bring about unity. We especially liked this wording: “Given the limited information available in Scripture, it does not seem wise to be overly dogmatic about any particular creation theory.” AMEN!!! Notice just before this statement that it was God who “went about the creative processes”. No one, including Ken Ham, knows how God created, but we acknowledge that He is the creator.

Ham writes: “What is sad to notice is this 2010 revision of such a strong statement about creation.”

He then calls attention to the following change that grieves him:

“Now the Assemblies of God statement reads, “The advance of scientific research, particularly in the last few centuries, has raised many questions about the interpretation of the Genesis accounts of creation. In attempting to reconcile the Bible and the theories and conclusions of contemporary scientists . . .”


In other words, they have now succumbed to the view—prevalent in the church today—that is undermining the authority of God’s Word, and ultimately is significantly contributing to the collapse of Christianity in our Western world. The AG with its August statement is now saying we have to take the fallible ideas of fallible humans and use these in authority over the Word of God.”


Then Ham plays the blame game by writing:

“In our best-selling book Already Gone, we publicized the results of the statistically powerful research conducted by America’s Research Group on why two-thirds of young people are leaving the church when they reach college age. The bottom line is that the research showed that the children, at a young age, were already succumbing to doubts about God’s Word; the main reasons for this is because of what they are being taught at school (most went to public schools), the church is not teaching apologetics (i.e., teaching a defense of the faith, and teaching them how to answer skeptical questions), and many church leaders tell them they can believe in millions of years (and also evolution), thus compromising God’s Word. The young people see this as “hypocrisy” (church leaders telling them to believe the Bible, but then telling them they don’t have to take it as written in Genesis for instance), and thus, most of them end up walking away from their church.”


On the contrary, Dee and I know young people and adults who have fallen away from the faith because they were forced to believe in young earth creationism which took supposedly place in six literal 24 hour days. Why was Almighty God in such a hurry? He exists outside of time. In fact, He created time!

What is SAD to us is that Ken Ham and his groupies have been known to question the faith of those who dare disagree with them on how God created the heavens and the earth. Imagine being threatened with the “H” word (heretic) or being told that you are “in denial of the doctrine of the atonement” for believing God created everything over a long period of time. As we have stated before, Ken Ham might be more believable if he weren’t profiting from his efforts (Note: “best selling book Already Gone” – probably sold at the Creation Museum, which appears to be a profitable enterprise).

While Old Earth Creationists and Theistic Evolutionists are emphatic about their own positions regarding creationism, we do not believe any of them have ever called into question the faith of the YE crowd. Please correct us if we are wrong. We believe that challenging someone’s faith when they have professed Christ as their Savior and Lord is one of the worst offenses anyone can commit. When we “play God” by declaring whether or not someone is saved based on secondary issues, we are putting ourselves in the place of Almighty God. We have no right to question the salvation of our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Lydia’s Corner: Leviticus 13:1-59 Mark 6:1-29 Psalm 39:1-13 Proverbs 10:10


Ken Ham Demonstrates The Cilantro Mandate (Legalism) — 11 Comments

  1. I am also pleased with the AofG statement, and the maturity and Christlike spirit demonstrated by it. I’ve been concerned for some time the the SBC is headed toward adopting a YE stance within their official statement of faith (the BFM), as the current SBC leadership does not seem to share this same spirit.

  2. I’m afraid the next thing will be denying communion to those who do not toe the line on this issue. Pessimism is seeping through my soul today. i think I need to drink a hot chocolate.

  3. I see your newest article expressed the same concerns I have about the direction of the SBC. GMTA, ASDO!

  4. I think I am going down the tubes. Is GMTA, ASDO -a Klingon dialect or is it a new Lady Gaga tune?

  5. Junkster

    I always like to learn one thing that I didn’t know every day. Phew-your explanation came in just in time.

  6. Hi Muff

    I hope Junkster is reading this. This is the time dilation theory that he proposed based on an episode of StarGate. Its funny how sci fi shows are often ahead of the game. Last night I was watching an old Star trek and realized that they were all using lap tops and IPads-amazing.

    This is certainly possible. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity would seem to indicate this possibility. I hope Zeta is reading. I bet he has some insight as well.

    I had an interesting conversation with a Hasidic Jewish woman whose husband is the head rabbi of the local Lubavitch. She said that they are taught that the first 3 days are long periods of time and the last three days, after the sun and the moon are literal 24 hour days.

    Actually, wouldn’t it be the ultimate laugh? We get to heaven and find out it was both-young and old, evolution and not. It seems in keeping with God who is far beyond our imagining and always kept us on our toes.

    Thanks for the link. Everyone should read it!!!

  7. The idea there could be a particular ‘frame of reference’ within which it would appear the universe unfolded in 6 days is not merely a possibility, it is guaranteed. It is not generally ok from a YEC perspective because even though there is some perspective where this is true, the time that has passed from the Earth’s perspective is still 4.5/13.7 billion years. However, the ‘White Hole Cosmology’ developed by Russ Humphreys and generally accepted by the YEC’s does make use of this idea to a certain extent (It has lots of other problems though).

    We run into another issue though with the idea that the 6 days are merely a shift in relativistic reference frame, and that is the order of the unfolding of the universe – it really does not match the 6 days described. And it is there that I believe the Framework view is superior to all others in many ways, because in the framework view the order is essentially correct, with there being 3 primary periods of creation described, each overlaying the other. The framework view also takes this text out of the realm of prose that might carry with it a technical component, as it is based upon the text containing elements found in Hebraic poetry called parallelism. But even in the Framework view, one must allow for the brush stroke, so to speak, to be very broad. It is correct only to a certain level of precision.

    For me, I find the most likely explanation of Genesis 1 is that it is a God inspired and authoritative adaptation of the Egyptian creation narrative whose purpose is to instill into the Israelites the understanding that the pagan gods are merely things created by God, and that man is His most important and precious creation. (Notice how different that is from so many ancient narratives where man is merely an afterthought or accident, more of a nuisance to the ‘gods’ than anything else).

    A friend of mine who is an accelerator physicist and OE Christian sent me a very fascinating paper that compares the ancient Egyptian narratives with the Genesis account. It is uncanny how many common elements there are. Even more so than the Babylonian accounts that so many in academia try to claim are the source of the Genesis narrative.

    I like this because it explains a lot of what Genesis is that clears the air of any element that could be called ‘wrong’ ( a polemic against the pagan gods of Egypt as opposed to an attempt to give ancient man knowledge about how God made the universe), yet it also gives direct evidence for the truth of Ancient Israel and its scripture having its origins in Egypt (i.e. Moses), Rather than some later time with the scriptures being put together at the time of the ancient Babylonian captivity. In the end, if it was never God’s purpose to supply information about the universe’s history that we would ultimately uncover ourselves anyway, then we can’t really complain that it doesn’t do that quite right – can we? Further, that being the case, isn’t it nice that its form and content gives us indirect evidence Israel and the Hebrews do indeed have Egyptian origins, especially when so many would like to convince us they don’t!


  8. Zeta

    Could you please expand on the concept of that the pagan gods were merely things created by God? Sound interesting.

  9. Hi Dee,

    You wrote:

    “…Actually, wouldn’t it be the ultimate laugh? We get to heaven and find out it was both-young and old, evolution and not. It seems in keeping with God who is far beyond our imagining and always kept us on our toes…”

    My sentiments go along those lines too. Could it be that we are so Hellenized in our thinking that it always HAS TO BE one or the other, never both, and certainly not the middle?

    Euclid built a wholely integrated system of geometry based on iron-clad propositions, and for a general and venue specific consumption, it works fine. Then along comes Riemann in the 19th cent. and shows that if you allow what Euclid ignores, a brand-new geometric system emerges that is every bit as sound as Euclid’s.

    And finally in response to the historicity or non-historicity of the Biblical accounts of the Hebrew Exodus, we have no objective certainty one way or the other because we don’t have all of the facts.

    To conclude that the Biblical account of the Exodus is just the fanciful lore of ancient Jewish scribes because no other sources mention it is premature. We would have to discount the treasure trove of books and scrolls lost when the library of Alexandria was destroyed. We do know that countless volumes were lost and or destroyed. Can we say with certainty that no record corroborating the Biblical account was among the volumes lost?