The new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., has been the target of criticism from both conservative Christians and the secular media.
But the institution is receiving major support from Ken Ham, head of Answers in Genesis, the Christian ministry behind the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum.
Ham spoke out after the Washington Post used the opening of the Museum of the Bible as an opportunity for a hit piece against the Creation Museum.
In an article titled “The ark vs. the covenant: The dramatic contrast between the Creation Museum and the Museum of the Bible,” writers Christa Ballard Tolley and Matthew J. Milliner denounced the Creation Museum and also took the occasion to slam both Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and President Trump.
[T]he Creation Museum reveals its approach to the wider world, even relishing the doom awaiting those who disagree with its young-Earth chronology, without which (it claims) the reliability of the Bible collapses like so many dominoes. Its posture – despite resembling the kind of Christianity that upholds Roy Moore at any cost and that our current president has effectively exploited – is not consistent with historic evangelicalism. It is more accurately described as a resurgence of early 20th-century fundamentalism, from which evangelicalism has sought to distance itself since the 1950s.
But Ham shrugged off the suggestion the Museum of the Bible was somehow opposed to the Creation Museum.
“The Museum of the Bible is a good thing,” he said. “Each museum will have its different mission and emphasis. For Answers in Genesis, our mission is creation apologetics and evangelism. The Museum of the Bible (MOTB) emphasizes the Bible’s history and its impact. It’s the belief of the MOTB that its collection of Bible-related items will get visitors talking about the Bible and then by reading it, people may be ministered to by God as He blesses the reading of His Word.
“As museum guests are exposed to God’s Word and to many of the excellent exhibits that present teachings from the Bible, we know that God’s Word will not return unto Him void.”
Ham has already visited the Museum of the Bible and gives it a favorable review.
“The MOTB’s designers and artists have done an admirable job,” he said. “I particularly enjoyed a large exhibit on floor three, depicting the village of Nazareth at the time of Jesus. It really helps you understand what it might have been like when Jesus, the God-man, taught over 2,000 years ago. It makes the first century come alive and is a striking exhibit. Floor four was impressive, too, with hundreds and hundreds of Bible-related artifacts and manuscripts.
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“With millions of visitors coming each year to the MOTB, more and more people will be talking about the Bible again. We pray that more people will crack open their dusty Bibles and read it.”
Perhaps for that reason, a number of left-leaning websites have already denounced the Museum of the Bible. Tara Isabella Burton at Vox accused the museum of undermining biblical scholarship.
Politico declared it was biased toward Protestantism.
And the Freedom From Religion Foundation denounced a proposed congressional resolution to recognize the Museum of the Bible’s grand opening.
Left-wing media outlets such as Think Progress also have given it negative coverage.
Ham doesn’t find any of that surprising.
“As we have shared with the media when they ask us about the MOTB, it’s refreshing to know that, even though the power elites in government, education and the media are increasingly trying to prevent people from hearing about the Bible and its role in shaping America, we now have this stunning museum,” Ham told WND.
“Courts and legislatures have tried to edit the Bible out of the culture, but this museum has reinserted God’s Word back into it. Most in the secular media are probably not happy that a Bible museum is right there in the power centers of America and within walking distance of the Capitol.
“Furthermore, I don’t think most secular journalists even want to acknowledge that Christians can build spectacular attractions like our two facilities and now the Museum of the Bible. The quality of the MOTB exceeds what you’ll see at the various Smithsonian museums nearby.”
Ham suggests “secularists” will be similarly upset at how the museum recognizes the importance the words of Scripture have played in inspiring American institutions.
“It will probably upset many secularists when they take the MOTB’s virtual ride throughout D.C. and see the several Bible verses on display all around the nation’s capital,” he said. “When I toured D.C. several years ago, I was amazed to see so many Scripture quotations found on buildings like the U.S. Supreme Court and inside Congress, and on various monuments. The MOTB highlights them.”
Ham noted the Freedom From Religion Foundation has accused the Museum of the Bible of trying to “indoctrinate” visitors.
“I found it interesting that the aggressively anti-Christian group Freedom from Religion Foundation decided to oppose the MOTB even before touring it,” he said. “Although the Museum of the Bible is not evangelistic, the FFRF atheists have declared they’re going to give the MOTB the ‘same treatment’ they did for our attractions, which means they will make false statements, misquote and show their intolerance. Groups like the FFRF use bullying tactics to keep the Bible out of the public arena.”
Ham visited the Museum of the Bible at the invitation of Cary Summers, president of the museum, who consulted for Answers in Genesis during the design of the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. And Ham predicts a bright future for all three attractions.
“I think God will bless all three attractions and their different emphases,” he said. “Just as we invite atheists and people of other different religions to visit our Ark and Creation Museum, we hope that many non-Christians will tour the MOTB and be exposed to the Bible and its teachings. We are now working with motor coach operators to help create bus tours that will include the MOTB, our two facilities and the fantastic ‘Sight and Sound’ Bible-based musicals in Pennsylvania.”