Top 5 Arguments Skeptics Give Against the Christian Faith

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Whenever you find someone who believes strongly in something, there will be those who also doubt it. As Christians, healthy questioning of what we believe is needed,  as holding to a set of beliefs only because they were passed down to us makes our faith shallow and weak. I have no respect for untested faith, where someone is unwilling to let their faith be questioned out of fear or laziness.

Now that doesn’t mean everyone who questions your faith deserves a voice. Apostates lurk the blog world, looking for Christians they can attack. Jesus spoke about these kinds of people. He told the disciples to “shake the dust off their feet” if the apostles encountered someone not willing to listen. It is not my responsibility to convince a bitter and angry skeptic to believe in the faith. Because they want you to enter their arena of attack, they will guilt you with words like “the burden of proof is on you” or “if you are a Christian then you will stay loving and humble,” while they have the freedom to curse, demean and berate you. They lure Christians to enter dialogue where their fellow antagonists wait to attack. They are not our targets to evangelize. We should heed Jesus’ words and feel no guilt for their faithlessness. The Lord will be their judge.

With that said, we should still be aware of what skeptics are saying, especially in the questions they raise. Not all skeptics are close-minded and antagonistic to the faith. Here are five questions I see skeptics raising:

If God is a good God, how can He allow so much suffering and evil in the world?

shutterstock_492404062.jpg    One thing we cannot deny is evil exists in our world. Atrocious things happen to people that are seemingly undeserved. Yet, God is working in suffering; some of the most powerful testimonies have come from those who have endured great tragedy. God often raises beauty from ashes. It is God that gives us the hope that things can be better. We also need to remember that sin entered the world through disobedience and tainted all of humanity and the world. Disease, pestilence, drought, natural disasters, murders, bigotry, and all other catalyst of suffering are the result of sin. Some shake their fists at God, but it is we who brought this upon ourselves.

How could I come to church or believe in what you say when the church is full of hypocrites?

shutterstock_388569646.jpg   This is not totally false. Many hypocrites come to church every Sunday. I would argue it comes with the way a church is set up. Church welcomes all to come, including hypocrites. I wonder if anyone has been a part of any gathering, social club, or civic group where some didn’t poorly represent the greater identity? Poor examples don’t necessarily undermine the core as being strong and faithful. While the church should preach against hypocrisy and hold those accountable who practice it, people choose how they will live. There will always be those who confess Christ and live opposite of Him. The problem with this argument against the faith is it fails to acknowledge those who do live out their faith well. Not all live hypocritically, and as long as there are faithful servants of Christ, then the church is not lost. This argument is simply an excuse to justify their own unwillingness to set foot in church and to deny the faith. God transcends His followers as He is perfect and they are flawed and broken. Every Christian will make mistakes and be hypocritical in some manner.

Isn’t Christianity a crutch for people to avoid facing the realities of this world?

shutterstock_327126659.jpg    Karl Marx claimed that religion is “an opiate of society.” Skeptics argue in the same vein that faith is “pie in the sky” thinking, an unwillingness to deal with injustices in the world honestly. For a Christian, hope is found in Christ. It is not wishful thinking but the only reality that we can cling to that is consistent, loving, and pure. It is not a crutch or an escape; rather it is hope. Claiming that Christians are weak because they cannot face the harsh realities is a skeptic’s way of denying hope. What is life without hope? Faith is believing there is hope beyond what you can see. Some the most courageous people who have ever lived have been so because they clung to there faith. They faced incredible obstacles because God gave them strength to do so. They were not in denial of their sufferings but found hope in them through Christ.

How can you claim that Jesus is the only way to God?

shutterstock_218152.jpg     This is a big one. If God exists, why do Christians see their way as the only true way to God. Truth is, we don’t claim it. We do not exclude other faiths or deny their access to the true God. Jesus did. He said that He was “the way, the truth,and the life, and that no person comes to the Father but by Him” (John 14:6). Jesus made Christianity exclusive, and, as His followers, we do the same. It is through Jesus that one can be saved. It is not a popular belief, but it is the Gospel. Popularity has never been our goal. Narrow is the way and few who find it, says our sacred text. Many get tripped up by this, but we trust in the word of our Lord that says He alone is the way to God.

If God is real and Jesus is alive, then why doesn’t He do a public broadcast across the globe telling who He is and His intentions for us?

shutterstock_559280869       Silence is deafening for skeptics. They can’t get past the fact that God would be so “aloof” with His creation. At one time, God did walk among us. But through man’s disobedience, humanity was banned from His garden and presence. Now through Christ, we are reunited with Him by faith to one day see Him “face to face” again. When Thomas touched the scars after the resurrection, Jesus told him that he believed because He saw with his own eyes but “blessed are those who have not yet seen and still believe.” Skeptics are unwilling to acknowledge faith, but it is faith that saves us and brings us into right relationship with God. One day, God’s presence will be overwhelmingly evident to all. There will be no more skeptics on that day. “Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord”—from the most faithful to the vilest to the most bitter atheist.

This list is far from exhaustive, but these are questions I encounter often as I talk with those who doubt our faith. We will never be able to “talk” anyone into salvation, but that should not stop us from sharing our faith and doing all we can to answer their questions. Not to do so shows a lack of care and willingness to help them see. Yet, many skeptics have one agenda: to ridicule and belittle the faith. They do this because they must. They need to justify their doubt lest they are proved wrong and condemned. Show them grace, but do not waste your time. Instead, find those willing to listen and spread the Gospel!

TruthHurts #1

I’m starting a segment on my blog called TruthHurts. A “TH” is one specific statement that is meant to be a blast from the truth that moves us to wake up and think.  Think of it as a reality check for Christians. I hope it challenges you to deeper things.

TH#1

If your faith doesn’t revolve around helping those in need and showing grace to others, perhaps better words for what you practice is a “customized religion” rather than “genuine faith.”

How Do I Understand What the Bible is Saying to Me?


“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training so that every person may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17

Must Use a Proper Hermeneutic 

The Bible is full of profound messages and soul gripping truths. Yet, it can also be a source of great division and animosity if misinterpreted for our own agendas or taken out of context. Wars have started over misinterpretations of a single verse! Therefore, it is crucial we use proper hermeneutics when studying the Bible.

Hermeneutics is the art of interpreting the Bible. I use the word “art” because it involves a developed skill and a curious, imaginative mind. Curious because the more you explore and unpack Scripture, the more nuggets of treasure you find. Imaginative in that, the more you can put yourself in the mindset of a Hebrew farmer, a God-fearing Gentile, or a Roman soldier, the better you will understand the setting of the Scripture. A work of history never veers far from its historical setting, lest it be fictitious or erroneous. The Bible is no different in that sense.

Each Book in the Bible Had Its Own Setting and Circumstance

The Bible can only be understood properly in its historical setting and each book comes with a whole different circumstance and place to understand. If you study James, then you will want to know of the diaspora—the scattered ones. It is crucial to know that James is written to the Jews scattered all around Jerusalem because they were persecuted and had to flee the Holy City. If you are studying Revelation, you need to have understanding of apocalyptic literature. You need to know about the reign of Nero and why John wrote in “code.” Without the context, you can’t know the author’s intention. God inspired Scripture, but man’s imprint is there. In studying the languages, you will see a vast difference between Luke and Paul’s usage of Greek. Luke wrote precisely and with great articulation; no surprise, as he was a doctor. Paul often wrote in run-on sentences and used emotive, and even evocative, language often. Two very different styles between these two but both inspired by God to write His message.  God wrote this for men to comprehend, and that means it is written in the setting and situation of the times.

Context Makes the Bible Come Alive

The Bible comes alive when you take the time to get into its context. Understanding the difference between things like wheat and tare, importance of circumcision, the feasts of the Jews, the Pax Romana, the shipping routes to the cities beside the sea, the idols of the day, become vital to properly understanding what the biblical authors were saying.

If we fail to do this, we can be guilty of what is called isogesis. This is when we “read into the text whatever we want it to say.” Many are guilty of this today—from the prosperity gospel to racism, from holy wars to those who disdain Scripture. All of these make the Bible fit their agenda. We must let the Word speak clearly what it says, interpreting Scripture in light of other Scripture. Never build a theology on one verse! We must recognize that there are some difficult passages in the Bible to understand, and the best way to understand them is in light of other Scripture. These difficult passages cannot be passed over but given thoughtful reflection in light of context, genre, author’s intention, syntax, and in light of other Scripture.

Interpret It First for Your Soul Not Theirs

Before you interpret Scripture for someone else’s benefit, make sure it speaks to your heart and mind first. Let me say it this way: Don’t read the word as much as you allow the Word read you. The Word is alive as the Holy Spirit takes it and moves in our lives with it. I have found this movement of the Spirit starts with my dedication and diligence to study. It doesn’t happen without real investment in the Word.

As a Christian, the Word is our authority. In speaking to those who are skeptics, they will dismiss Scripture as authoritative. Yet, for a believer, it is the Word that is the voice of God. You have nothing of supernatural consequence to say outside of the Word. If they reject that, then you have done what you can. I don’t mean stop loving them. But arguing with them is fruitless.

When we read Scripture, we don’t check our mind at the door. It is important that we use sound, interpretative principles. I suggest investing in these resources to bring more depth and accuracy to your study of God’s Word:

Concordance—This allows you to find the occurrences of a particular word throughout the Scriptures. This is very important in understanding how that word is used in different settings and context. The more you see it used, the clearer it becomes in its meaning. A good study Bible has this in the back. The Internet has good tools for this as well.  Here is just one—http://biblehub.com/concordance/.

Study Bible—A study bible will have notes, usually at the bottom of the page, that will help interpret the Scripture for you. It also gives introductions to each book so that you know the date, author, setting, and occasion. I recommend the ESV Study Bible, MacArthur’s Study Bible, or the new Christian Standard Study Bible.

Bible Dictionary—A Bible dictionary allows you to learn more about a topic, not only within Scripture, but the greater world at that time. For example, if you looked up the word “crucifix,” you would read about the Romans use of it and why they used it. You would have a much clearer understanding of what it meant for it to be the way in which Jesus died. Here is a great source for several solid Bible dictionaries: http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/.

Let us be diligent to read the Word and to take time to understand it within its context and setting. Our study will not be in vain. Riches await!

Top 10 Reasons Life Is A Disaster Without Jesus

Life without Christ is disastrous. Check your soul and you will see it is true. We all know this deep down that there is something more for us beyond ourselves and his world. 

Here are ten reasons living without Jesus doesn’t work:

1. You need to be perfect to meet God’s standard and you can’t even get close by your own efforts.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.      Isaiah 64:6

2. You waste your whole life pursuing stuff and people that never brings you real joy and peace.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?   Mark 8:36-37

3. You are trying to find purpose in life without ever connecting with the only one who can give you real purpose. (It is like playing chess without the king on the board.)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.   Romans 12:1-2

4. Being religious in order to clean up is about as beneficial as putting perfume and nice clothes on a corpse and calling it full of life.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.  Matthew 23:27-28



5. Your enemy is stronger than you and can beat you down every time without divine intervention.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

6. You were made to bring glory to God and you are trying to give it to someone or something else and it’s making you miserable inside.

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth- everyone who is called by my name  whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43:6-7

7. You place all your emphasis on living it up for the 70 years or so on earth and give no emphasis or preparation for the eternity you will have left after this life.

Set your mind on things above and not on earthly things.  Colossians 3:2

… yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:14

8. You are blind, unaware, ignorant and deceived and you think you can figure out your meaning on this earth on your own.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.   John 15:5

9. You will face a terrible judgment by the most powerful judge of all time who has overwhelming proof against you and can give the most devastating punishment and you are willing to take a chance that it will all go in your favor without any real reason to believe so except that you want it to be ok.

For the wages of sin is death… Romans 6:23

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.  Revelation 20:14-15

10. You think you are pretty good compared to most of the world when your wickedness just looks different than yours.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23

Truth is only found in Jesus and only when we have Jesus do we really know what it is to live
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  John 10:10