Answers in Genesis (AiG) founder Ken Ham and his latest recruit Martyn Iles have been speaking to Vision Radio about Martyn’s new role as Chief Ministry Officer of the US-based organisation.
Ken Ham explained that Martyn was just the younger leader he was looking for who could really speak to the issues of the day:
“We’ve been following Martyn in Australia for quite some time. In fact, a lot of our staff have been following him. We’ve been watching YouTube videos and following him at the various conferences around Australia. And there’s no doubt a lot of Christians in America actually have been impacted by Martin already.”
“The more I heard him I also realised how much he stood on the authority of God’s Word, beginning in Genesis, as we do, and understood the cultural issues of the day. We’re looking to the future and also recognising what’s happening in regard to those social issues, not just in America but the whole Western world, looking at the state of the church.”
“I saw that for the future of this ministry, I really wanted to see some young leadership come in who could be there for the future, who also really could speak to the issues of our day as we see the battles and where they’re heading. Who would have had ever thought that an LGBT issue would be a headline news item every day, or a transgender issue. I saw in Martyn a person who could do that. I see him as one of the leaders of this ministry for the future. And that’s what I’m looking to because I’m getting a little old, like I’m a great grandfather now,” Mr. Ham explained.
“The ministry here in the United States, the staff are used to an Australian being a leader here and leading them. So they understand the Australian terminology, they understand Australians like to insult their friends, they understand all that sort of thing. They’re all prepared. The way is prepared for someone like Martyn to come in here and be involved in leadership.”
The former Australian Christian Lobby managing director admitted to Vision Radio it’s a big step of faith.
“There’s a lot about it that’s very uncertain. You’ve got to move over to the United States and to be primarily based there. It’s a slightly different environment. It’s out of the political lobbying. It’s more into the equipping of the church, the discipleship, and especially education. That’s probably the biggest change. But these are all things I’m passionate about. These are all things that I’ve had a heart for for a while and been thinking about for a while.”
“The only question I really had to answer was: Is this where the Lord is leading? Is this what God would have me to do? And through a lot of prayer and discernment and a lot of providential events in my life and the life of Ken and others at AiG, it became pretty clear that it was what the Lord was preparing me for, it’s what He wanted me to do. That’s the only question I had to answer because if that’s the case, then everything else is going to fall into place. It’s an extraordinary opportunity. There’s no doubt there’s so much to to be done and there’s so much opportunity at Answers in Genesis, in America, in Australia and around the world,” Mr. Iles continued.
Ken Ham added that: “One of the emphases of our whole ministry concerns evangelism. And one of the things that we saw in Martyn was someone who had a burden to not just deal with the social issues of our day, but to point people to God’s word and to the saving Gospel. The ministry of Answers in Genesis is well known here in the USA and around the world. We’re not just all about creation evolution. We’re not just talking about the age of the earth and fossils. We’re an apologetics ministry answering questions of the day that cause people to doubt God’s Word.”
“There’s been a lot of attacks on the Book of Genesis which is foundational to the Bible and foundational to all our doctrine, foundational to our worldview, to everything. We want to see people saved in one to the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why when you come to the Ark Encounter or the Creation Museum, we have all these exhibits, but you can’t leave, not having heard the Gospel. 30% of those who come are non-Christians and they hear the Gospel.”
The AiG founder says Martyn Iles has been well-equipped for this time, partly through his Babylon series about living in a hostile culture.
His new recruit clearly sees most of the answers to today’s problems and challenges in the Book of Genesis:
“The story of Genesis is the story of today where we see culture, we see people banding together using human built institutions and powers. To do what? To define what God has already defined. Well, where has God defined these things? Genesis. Everything from marriage to identity to gender to sexuality to race, to empire itself. Babylon. All of these contemporary issues which we’re seeing today have a Genesis foundation. I realised that before I met Ken, I actually was starting to see it in my teaching, particularly at programs with young people that we were doing. And I thought, my goodness, Genesis really is the answer. The answers are still in Genesis and so that’s why we are where we are,” Martyn Iles proclaimed.
He believes those answers apply to one of the biggest challenges facing Australian Christian parents and faith-based education:
“People get a little depressed when I say this, but it has to be said because it’s true. The federal government at present is in the process of pursuing law reforms which will make it pretty impossible for Christian schools to remain convictionally Christian in practice and teaching into the future. Now, that change could come through next year. It could be in two years, it could be in four years. But I do believe that change will come, barring some very remarkable miracle,” he lamented.
“But rather than throw my hands up and wallow in despair about it and say, Oh dear, Christian schools are going to go the way of the dinosaur, I’ve long been thinking: Well, alright, if that is going to happen, how can we respond? How can we guarantee that there is an avenue to teach young people, to teach our children the foundations of the Christian faith, and also to give them a good worldview long into the future?” Mr. Iles asked before providing some answers.
“There are solutions which are legislatively possible here in Australia. In other words, they’re not illegal. Answers in Genesis is one of the few organisations that has the infrastructure, that has the finances and has all of the resourcing necessary to build a comprehensive curriculum platform which is already taking place. Awesome resources already available and able to distribute all of that information to homeschooling families and to equip people to have these co-operatives where they get together with multiple families. And to create all the resources necessary to give parents the confidence to be able to teach their children and also to replace what is being lost as the Christian schooling movement frankly weakens. I’m excited that Answers in Genesis is going to be one of the solutions.”
Martyn Iles and Ken Ham will both be speakers at the sold-out Overcomers Conference in Brisbane on June 30 and July 1. The theme of the event will be advancing the word and testimony of Jesus in our hostile world. It will address how Christians think biblically about the moral and societal chaos that is descending on our culture. It will be live-streamed.
Click below to hear the full interview with Ken Ham and Martyn Iles.