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!

What Do I Say To An Atheist?


The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good. Psalm 14:1

Have you ever noticed that atheists get highly offended by a God they claim doesn’t exist? What’s up with that? Conscience is the answer.
We were all born with a conscience, the ability to discern right from wrong. From early on we know certain things are wrong without anyone having to tell us. Studies have been done where small children are observed hitting other children. After they hit their body temperature rises, heartbeat increases, and pupils slightly dilate. They feel panic that often is arrivistes to being caught in a wrongdoing. Most begin to look around to see if they are in trouble. You don’t have to teach them that hurting someone is bad. Their conscience tells them this. You merely reinforce what they already know to be true.

What does that have to do with an atheist? Well if we are born with a conscience, defined as a law written upon hearts, then we have to ask who put it there? There cannot be a law without a law giver. C.S Lewis makes this argument for the existence of God in his book, Mere Christianity. My point is that atheists have a conscience that lets them know something greater than themselves is out there but they refuse to acknowledge it. They bow instead before science and reason. So why are atheists so offended by a God they don’t think exists? Because in their soul they know He does. His fingerprints are all over His creation (Romans 1). His law is written upon their hearts (Romans 2:15). So how do we share the gospel with an atheist?

My suggestion to Christians who are sharing the gospel with someone who is an atheist is to consider these things:

1) Dont apologize for faith . When I share the gospel and someone says the Bible is a fairy tale or God is a figment of my imagination, I don’t throw something at their head or fall on the floor and throw a tantrum. I simply tell them I believe the word and that God exists by faith. If they demand proof, I don’t panic or try and accommodate.  I tell them that faith is the only way. I don’t have to try and convince them or prove it to them. If it were that easy we wouldn’t need faith. I simply just tell the truth and if they reject it then they do. I can’t talk them into salvation. I can only share the truth.

2) God doesn’t need you to defend Him. Sometimes when I witness to an atheist they get harsh against God. What kind of God would let people die they might say. When this happens I explain that this world is sinful and that evil things happen. If they go on to attack God, I do not defend Him. He doesn’t need me too. I just simply stay calm and confident in the Lord. If we get defensive for God then we might be showing our own doubt in Him. If we get anxious and argumentative we are saying that their words hit a chord with us. Maybe we don’t trust God as much as we think we do? But when we are calm and confident and we don’t let their words move us, then we communicate that we are sure of God and don’t need to try and get them to think better of Him. They don’t need to think better of God; they need to fall at His feet and worship Him.

3) There are really no such thing as atheists. Atheists say they do not put their faith in a higher power but that is simply not true. Their high power might not be God; instead it might be science, reason, math or astronomy or maybe money, power or fame. Whatever it might be they worship something. They are not an atheist in the truest sense. Doesn’t exist.

4) Always share with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to be prepared at all times to give a reason for the hope that is in us. When we share we are to do it with two approaches: gentleness and respect. No matter how angry or mean the atheist gets, we should be gentle, compassionate, patient, and kind to them. They are lost and in desperate need to hear the truth we have to share. We don’t need our attitude, or temper, or pride to get in the way of that.

5) Your only authority is the word of God. You can’t reason an atheist into heaven. You can’t prove God’s existence with mathematical certainty. What you know to be true about God comes from His word. That is your authority. If they reject the word then they will reject the gospel. You can’t seperate the two.

I hope you will look for opportunities to share your faith. Apply the above and trust God to use your faithfulness.

Dax

WHAT OTHER RELIGIONS SAY ABOUT JESUS

As I read Scripture it is evident that the central crux of  faith is Jesus Christ. Everything we believe is based on the revelation of Him. We know Jesus is someone recognized even outside of Christianity. He made such an impact that most  religions have something to say about him. Is Jesus central to their faith? Let’s look:

1) ISLAM- Isa Ibn Maryam is known as Jesus in the New Testament and is considered a messenger of God. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary according to the Qur’an. Jesus was not killed on the cross but raised up to Heaven by God. Jesus considered himself Muslim and taught the straight way. He is not the greatest prophet, that accolade going to Muhammed. Jesus is not considered God but a prophet of God.

2) HINDUISM- Ishu, who was born in a cowshed, was visited by three holy men, performed many amazing miracles, walked on water and spoke a wonderful sermon on a mountain. Ishu being Jesus in Hinduism. Jesus is seen as much more, as an Avatar, specifically a Shaktavesha Avatar or an empowered incarnation. This means that God has sent Jesus for a specific mission to fulfill God’s will on earth. They believe that Jesus was murdered but he did not resurrect but reincarnated. Jesus is not considered God but an Avatar.

3) JUDAISM- Yeshua was one of many false messiahs in Judaism. Yeshua being the Hebrew name for Jesus. They do give Jesus the distinction of being the most damaging of all false messiahs. The Jewish leaders had Jesus killed but not for claiming to be the messiah. Jesus claimed to be God (Jn 10:30; Lk 22:70; Jn 8:56-58), blasphemy to the Jews. Judaism taught that no one outside the Father could be worshiped less they commit idolatry. They condemned Jesus on the charges of blasphemy. Jesus was a false messiah and a miscreant according to Judaism.

4) BUDDHISM- Buddhism is considered a philosophical approach to life more than a religion. It has little intersection with Christianity and very little to say about Jesus. Some modern Buddhists have said that Jesus was Buddha reincarnated. There have been several Buddhists who have drawn parallels between Jesus and Buddha’s teachings. Without the need for faith or any real belief system, Buddhism recognizes Jesus as an enlightened man with great influence but not divine.

5) JEHOVAH WITNESS- JW has a lot to say about Jesus. Jesus was the firstborn of creation and not considered to be God. They reject the idea of the Trinity seeing it as polytheistic (more than one god). JWs’ teach that Jesus pre-existent form in Heaven was as Michael, the Archangel. He took on human form for the purpose of setting people free from sin and death. Only a select few are really saved by being JW and doing certain good works. Jesus has no real power to save in that he is not divine.

6) LATTER DAY SAINTS (MORMONS)- LDS church desires to be viewed as a Christian denomination. They are adamant that they fit within the Christian worldview. So what do they believe about Jesus? According to LDS, Jesus was the son of God in Heaven along with his brother, Lucifer. Lucifer went the path of the devil and Jesus stayed faithful to His Father’s calling. A precursory look of LDS belief on Jesus is comparable to Christianity’s teachings about Jesus. The problem lies in what is not said but insinuated. For example, LDS teach that all people are saved by the blood of Christ regardless of whether or not they put their trust in him. This is starkly in contrast to what the Bible teaches about salvation (Jn 14:6; Rmn 10:9-13; Mt 7:21) LDS holds to Universalism. They also teach that works and special rites as set by the LDS church determine your position in heaven. Achievement can result in LDS males being declared god over their own planet! There is no denying that there are many similarities between LDS and Christianity’s belief on Jesus but the subtle differences make these two different faiths altogether.

7) SCIENTOLOGY- Jesus is recognized by scientologists as part of its early religious heritage. Scientology teaches that man is basically good at his core and he alone can free himself from the trappings of his mind. The idea that Jesus was God is considered fiction to Scientologists and comes from unenlightened minds.

A few closing comments to ponder:

1) What we believe about Jesus will determine our eternal destiny. John 14:6- I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except by me. 

2) Most other religions recognize Jesus but He must be declared as fully human and fully God or it is not the Jesus of the Bible (Col 1).

3) Religions want to play nice with Jesus but he must be made supreme or we do nothing but insult him (Phill 2:10).

4) Every religion should be boiled down to what it believes about Jesus and then be measured by that in accordance with Scripture (Acts 4:12).