Answers to everything, according to God, according to Martyn Iles

by Paul Braterman

Martyn Iles (L), Ken Ham (R), Ark Encounter in background. From Vision Christian Media

When people tell you what they are, believe them. In the 2021 Facebook posting attached below, still available [1], he tells us exactly what he is, and since, in May this year, Martyn Iles became Chief Ministry Officer at Answers in Genesis, the $28 million dollar a year concern that runs Kentucky’s Creation Museum and Ark Encounter and has its own private jet, we ought to pay attention. All the more so since the announcement just one month ago that he is now the designated successor to founder and CEO Ken Ham [2]. So here are his answers to the burning questions of our times, given in full to avoid the risk of quote mining, with my own commentary just in case there is any ambiguity about what is being said. And he saves the worst till last, when he explains exactly how it comes about that people disagree with him, and how we should look on such disagreement.

The answer to gender identity – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” [Gen 1:27]

I share Iles’ concerns about the use of extreme clinical procedures, but for the very opposite reason. I do not believe in rigid gender roles, and think that people should be free to live as they wish, subject to the rights of others, without the need for mastectomy or castration. Iles, on the contrary, thinks that gender roles are God-given and rigid (more on that below), and that for that very reason people should stick to the roles that they were born for.

The answer to sexual orientation – “And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man… Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” [Gen 2:22, 24]

It is difficult to know what to make of this.

How is this even meant to be an answer to someone who feels romantically attracted only to members of their own sex? But I fear that Iles will be unmoved by the observation of homosexual behaviour in numerous animal species, because he does not consider that we share a common origin with them.

The answer to racism – “since [God] himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth…” [Acts 17:26]

This on the face of it is unexceptionable. All humans share the same deep ancestry and deserve the same respect. However, as so often with Iles, there is a hidden agenda; Answers in Genesis is opposed to any kind of action to compensate groups that have been the victims of racism, on the grounds that such action is itself discriminatory and racist.

The answer to abortion – “God said to them, ‘Be Fruitful and multiply and fill the earth…’” [Gen 1:28]

Here as elsewhere (see e.g. the next item) Iles cuts through all the usual arguments by introducing a Bible verse, imposing his own interpretation on it, and using this interpretation to tell us what God wants. No need for further discussion. In this particular case, however, most of us would think that the commandment referred to has been more than fulfilled already.

The answer to climate alarmism – “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” [Gen 8:22]

Notice the question-begging language. However, he is not just attacking what he regards as excessive concern over the climate crisis, but denying on the strength of this verse that such a crisis could possibly exist in the first place. And this is the verse now quoted on every conceivable occasion by all the major creationist organisations, who are united in their opposition to fossil fuel reduction policies. None of them, however, seem to quote the parallel verse [Gen 9:11];

“I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

Both verses are very limited in what they promise, the second one explicitly so. Nothing here to promise stable or temperate conditions, or to absolve us of our own responsibilities. Drought and failed harvests play a prominent role in later chapters of Genesis, while in a biblical exhortation to look after what has been provided for us, Leviticus 25:4 says that every seventh year the land itself needs to rest and recover.

The answer to abuse – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” [Eph 5:22, 25]

This is presented, not merely as the recipe for domestic harmony on Iles’ terms, but as “the answer to abuse,” i.e. guidance on how people should behave when such harmony has completely and dangerously broken down. To tell an abusive husband to love his wife may be well-intentioned, though he will probably reply that he really does so already. To tell an abused wife to submit to her husband is to ask her to behave as so many women tragically do; to accept the completely unacceptable, at risk to her happiness, her health, and, all too often, her life. And when Iles says “submit,” he really does mean submit [3].

The answer to historic wrongs that cannot be undone – “forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” [Col 3:13]

We are dealing here with a question that is the subject of much recent debate. What obligations if any do those of European descent owe to the peoples whom they have abused or enslaved, and whose land they have stolen? The answer according to Iles is very simple. The victims should simply forgive those who have wronged them, and the problem will disappear. I should mention, to put his opinion in context, that Iles is a white Australian [4].

The answer to life – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16]

I’m not sure how this verse would actually prove useful to anyone faced with major decisions. However, I note that this is the only verse he quotes from the Gospels. It is indeed relatively rare from creationists to quote the Gospels, apart from this one verse, and even rarer for them to quote any of the actual words attributed to Jesus [5].

But how does Martyn Iles describe those who disagree with him? The final section of his post tells us:

The contemporary answer for every one of these issues is Cultural Marxism… divisive, angry, vengeful rebellion and power-grabbing between warring identity groups.

God’s answers bring peace and contentment, if only we’d submit to them, and stop running away from them.

So, for Iles, disagreement is Marxism, just as for Tim LaHaye it was humanism, and for the creationists of the McCarthy era it was Communism. If we only listened to God’s answers to these questions, all the conflicts between different interest groups would immediately disappear. Any assertions that things may be a little bit more complicated than that are “divisive, angry, vengeful rebellion and power-grabbing.”

Rebellion, of course, is the gravest of all possible sins in his theology. It is the sin of Satan, from which all others follow. But Iles’ way of looking at it does raise an interesting question. If homosexuals, assertive women, proponents of reparations to historically disadvantaged groups, and those concerned about environmental degradation, are all into the business of power-grabbing, just who is it that they are grabbing power from?


1] The Facebook page is here, and I am commenting on the entry for 19 May 2021, screenshot below (fair use claimed), which can also be retrieved by keyword search (Iles is so prolific that I expect some culling is unavoidable. However, the Facebook page, like the Answers in Genesis website, is out of order, difficult to search, and with numerous duplications.)

2] Some of us wondered when Ken Ham took him to his bosom how soon Iles would upstage him, just as Ken Ham, decades ago, upstaged Henry Morris and the Institute for Creation Research, but I don’t think we expected things to start happening quite so quickly. It might also be significant that while on the Answers in Genesis website, Iles is described as Chief Ministry Officer of Answers in Genesis, on his own Facebook page Iles describes himself  as “Answers in Genesis Chief Ministry Officer (USA) Managing Director (Australia).”

3] Iles, Facebook, 6th June,

A word like “independent” is a direct assault on God’s design for women… A woman who prizes strength in independence is a woman rebelling against her nature.

4] As Iles puts it on his Facebook page, entry for 4th September,

[R]econciliation is a once forever act. Warring parties are reconciled through repentance by the one and forgiveness by the other. That is when the past is treated as if it never happened, and a new day dawns. New wrongs may be addressed, but past wrongs may not.

The ‘reconciliation’ movement is far from that model. It is a grievance movement, pouring [sic] over sins of the past, resisting forgiveness. This opposes God’s very nature.

5] One exception is Matthew 25:41, “‘Depart from me, you who are cursed…”, Freely quoted in connection with the severity of God’s judgement, but never in its context about clothing the naked, visiting prisoners, that kind of thing.