Why Unbelievers Hate Christians


To be a genuine Christian in this day and age is no easy task. The culture berates you at every turn for taking a stand: “How can you not be ok with same sex marriages?”; “How can you believe all that fairy tale crazy talk about an ark, David and Goliath, and resurrection?”; “How can you not see every religion as good as your own?”; “How can you be so judgmental?”

The negative rhetoric is increasing in intensity against Chrisitans as our culture turns further away from recognizing God as Sovereign and Majestic. The word of the day is “tolerance.”  They speak tolerance but behind the words we see a more sinister evil at work. Here is the common attitude of the nonbeliever and what they are really saying to Christians:

Christian, my belief or non-belief should be ok with you because I say it is. That’s all that should matter. You have to accept my beliefs as being as legitimate as your own. If not the consequences will be severe for you as I cannot tolerate your unacceptance. If you discredit my beliefs or my actions, no matter how immoral you think they are, I will  take issue with you, Christian, because I desperately need you to accept it so that I can be justified in my deception. I think tolerance is my move towards progressiveness and enlightenment but truth is I am blinded by Satan and I will fight with all I have to pressure you into feeling guilty and ultimately trying to get you to compromise your convictions. It is because I hate God and therefore, I hate you. Oh I will say I don’t but my words and actions show that I most definitely do. I will accuse you of bigotry, discirimination, and hate but it is because I cannot stand the guilt your convictions put on me. I cannot tolerate that you think you have the only right way.

 It makes me sick that you do not allow me to live like I want and be as blasphemous as I desire and it not be ok. I don’t want to be held accountable. Therefore, I will attack you in the name of tolerance until I can get you to not take a stand against me. 

I am ok if you judge some things, especially those things I do not practice. I don’t murder, so you can judge that. Stay away from any belief or immorality that I practice though. It makes me feel bad when you say it is wrong and I don’t want to feel bad so I will rally against you. I need it to be ok that I do whatever feels good to me. I don’t want to live in accordance with a higher standard or purpose. 

What I really want from you is to cower before my god, Satan. I want you to be passive and scared. I want you to be worried about being seen as judging and hateful because you stood up to me. I will do everything I can to shame you and make you feel discriminatory. I do it all because I need to be justified. I need to be ok. I don’t want to live for your God so I need you to say it is ok that I live my way. If you will do this Christian then you and I will be ok.

Christians, we cannot compromise the truth or cower in the face of pressure. We are not bigots and hateful for standing up for truth as long as we do it with love and respect. Don’t lose your voice for the truth!

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!

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!

God, Where is My Burning Bush So I Can Believe?

I am truly an infected saint. I doubt that God exists more than I care to admit. I have preached through much of the Scriptures. I have been through more schooling than should be allowed. I have dedicated my life to following Christ. Yet, I have times of doubt. Times where I wonder if it is real. “Is there anything beyond this life?,” is a question that whispers to me sometimes.

Honestly, I don’t like living by faith. I can see your face right now. It’s a look of disappointment. A pastor that doesn’t want to live by faith?! Shame on you, Dax. Yet, I really would like to know by visible signs. Not just trust and hope. I’d like for the Spirit to descend like a dove from the clouds and talk to me.Or a burning bush to start speaking to me in a divine voice and tell me to remove my Nikes because I am on holy ground. I want to know God is really there, that Jesus really walked on water and was raised from the dead.

I have staked my life on a God I cannot see, touch, hear, or prove. The skeptics laugh and ridicule.  They are willing to bet their entire existence on the idea that He does not exist. As John Ortberg said in his book, Faith and Doubt, “If God is there, why doesn’t He make more noise?”

Most people in our world believe in God. The minority who doesn’t believe in a higher power might dismiss the majority view as a logical fallacy known as argumentum ad populum, or “appeal to the people” —  simply because many people believe something to be true doesn’t make it true. But my faith is not based on the masses’ belief. It doesn’t hurt or help my faith that many believe.

I have faith because His word has been tested in my life. I cannot deny my own experiences. My salvation experience was supernatural. In that moment in 1992, I became acutely aware of my frailty and smallness in this universe. God revealed His glory and grace. It was beyond compelling… it was transformative. God is always there as I have faith to look. I see His hand working. I recognize His intervention in my life. Faith has been my rock and refuge in an unpredictable and often cruel world.

I even praise Him for the times of doubt because God has used it to strengthen my faith. These moments of doubt remind me why my faith is so powerful in my life.

What about you? Do you feel shame when you doubt? You shouldn’t. Doubt is part of being human. God is bigger than our doubt. Some of the greatest spiritual moments in my life occurred when I came out of a valley of doubt. Doubt makes my faith stronger. It causes me to question things and to seek Truth more. I don’t need a sign to be strong in my belief. Didn’t work for Israel. Wouldn’t work for me.

God is not easily found by our senses because He wants us to come to Him in the right way. Like Israel of old, miraculous signs and wonders would just leave us feeling entitled and wanting more and more sensational showings by God. We wouldn’t be satisfied enough to be fully devoted to  Him. It is in faith that we find our strength and resolve. For “blessed are those who have not yet seen but still believe.” John 20:29.

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

Pastors And Politicians And Why You Should Be Careful To Trust Either

PASTORS AND POLITICIANS AND WHY YOU SHOULD BE CAREFUL TO PUT YOUR TRUST  IN EITHER

Let me start by saying I am a full time pastor. My integrity is one of the most important things I possess. Once it is lost it is almost impossible to recover it. I often forget how skeptical people our of pastors. I assume they’re give me the benefit of the doubt because of my position. Not the case outside the church and downtime a within.

Many see pastors as no better than corrupt politicians, out for their own agenda and fame. Insincere orators who really don’t care about their audience but try hard to convince them otherwise plague the church today. It’s a real turn off. It’s not only happening in high profile churches but in churches of all sizes. Pastors are not trustworthy just because they have Reverend in front of their name.

A Pastor’s integrity is constantly challenged by the mainstream pastors you see on TV. While there are some strong bible preaching from men whose lives live up to their calling, hey are a rare commodity. Men like Adrian Rogers, Ravi Zacherias, John Piper, and David Platt. But not just well known names like the ones mentioned. There are pastors all across our nation who will never be spotlighted bit are faithful servants and handle the word faithfully. These men protect their integrity at all costs. They know their credibility is crucial for being effective in spreading the gospel.

Unfortunately there are plenty of highly visible ministers who seem to be out for only themselves. Who are involved in financial mismanagement, scandal, manipulations, and false teachings. These men give pastors a bad rep. Their polarizing figures. People either hate them or love them. The problem with this is pastors shouldn’t be polarizing because they shouldn’t be that noticeable. It’s not about them. It’s about the message of grace and the cross. When it becomes about them the message gets lost.

Here are a few litmus tests you should consider before you follow a preacher/pastor:

1) He is passionate about the word over his own agenda.

2) He cares more about his listeners than he does his own fame.

3) He makes the name of Jesus famous and not his own voice.

4) He strives to live what he preaches in all areas of life.

5) He readily admits he is not perfect and has struggles and failures like all men.

6) He speaks with a sincerity that bleeds through his words because he believes whole heartedly in the power of the word.

7) His family sees him as a strong Christian at home and not just on stage.

If your pastor(s) exhibit the above then encourage them today. Let them know you notice and pray for them. We desperately need pastors sold out to Jesus and not to themselves.