The reasons and excuses to not believe in Jesus can be daunting if they are all we feed ourselves. There are plenty of scientists and brilliant minds out there who give legitimacy to the little questions we have that doubt the existence of God when we hear about the latest terrible natural disaster or horrific crime on the news; or the anxiety we feel on a day when everything’s gone so terribly wrong that this whole “God and Jesus” thing starts to seem more like a sham than a relationship… nothing more than an institution created by greedy, selfish men for power and control. Every once in a while, we’re bound to stumble across some really tough questions that we don’t immediately know the explanation to, such as “Why do some parts of one biblical author’s account of Jesus’ life not match up perfectly to another author’s?” or “How is God ‘good’ if He created evil?” (more on that last one next week).
What– you think you’re the only one who wonders these things? I work for a church and these questions still cross my mind sometimes. Maybe I’m not supposed to admit that…
This article is for anyone who doubts God’s existence based on some logical rationalization like these that they’ve thought up themselves, read about, or heard from somewhere.
First of all, over the last two thousand years, billions upon billions of (mostly) intellectual human beings have chosen to drink this “crazy Kool-Aid” that you are apparently too clever for. Never mind the brilliant minds (including scientists) who have accepted the Gospel of Jesus as truth. And never mind the fact that every argument against Christ that you could come up with has already been considered and explained in a way that still makes Jesus a very real possibility. The entire concept has been thought through. I promise. Irrefutable scientific fact? Not exactly, but more so than you would probably think. And besides, gravity and light are in the same boat. We can measure each of them, sure. But we still have only vague theories about what either of these forces actually are. Does that mean we get to claim they don’t exist because of their mystery?
If you would just do some unbiased research… if you would stop only listening to people who have no hope in Christ and are arguing with the sole purpose of making themselves sound smart and prominent (why should they care that other people have hope for something bigger and they don’t?). Seek out the counterarguments as well, which are given by equally brilliant and logical thinkers who have a bit more humility to admit that we won’t have every answer to every question, but that it takes more faith to believe there is no God than to believe He’s real. You might start to see that there is no massive conspiracy theory that all Christians have been kept in the dark about. There is no Kool-Aid that’s brainwashing people and destroying their ability to reason. Maybe some unbelievers are more intelligent than many Christians, but the same is true vice versa, and there are still answers to refute every single excuse you can come up with to not believe that the Bible is onto something monumental. If there weren’t logical answers, this motive for faith wouldn’t have stood the test of martyrs giving up their lives for simply talking about what they saw with their own eyes (so much for power and control); of theologians dedicating their entire careers to figuring out how/if it all makes sense and still deciding on the side of faith; and of millions of other people asking the exact same tough questions that you’re asking and still choosing to believe.
Does the church (meaning the people within it) come under attack and fall victim to deception and corruption? Absolutely, and it’s tragic. But what’s more tragic is that the imperfections and misguidings of an individual who is no less vulnerable than anyone else to temptation or pride could be reflected onto the entire system of belief that he/she is a part of. We don’t judge Democracy based on the illegal citizen who scammed their way into getting a welfare check every month, do we? We don’t sue the car manufacturer for the terrible maintenance work done by the mechanic at Jiffy Lube, do we? So why reject Jesus based on the actions of someone who isn’t following what He taught? Don’t fall for that trick and decide that God must be a hypocrite simply because some people who say they know Him are hypocrites.
It’s not a question of whether you can believe. It’s about whether you want to. A good friend of mine explained it to me this way: you can take all the evidence in the world for God (or all the evidence against Him), but you’re still going to come up just short of what you wish you had to make that educated decision about Him– it’s going to take faith to get off the fence on either side. And I think God intended it that way. If you ask me, the side that has hope and eternal security looks a little greener.
If you decide that you don’t feel like believing in Christ as the hope of your salvation, which you cannot achieve or earn by yourself, then you’ll want to stay as far as you can from “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis (a former logical atheist who taught at Cambridge. You may also know him for his other works like “The Chronicles of Narnia”). And you definitely will want to steer clear of “The Case for Faith” and “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel (another former logical atheist who was a successful investigative reporter). GotQuestions.org also poses a serious threat to your unbelief for the way it provides honest dialogue with scriptural basis to tough ideas and questions.
As C.S. Lewis said, “A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.” And I would add that you cannot be too careful in your enjoyment and observation of the natural world. Be sure to never ask yourself why the nothingness in the universe decided to spontaneously create itself for no reason and bring about the very logical process you’re using to think and reason to begin with. The emotions you feel and decisions you make are just juices in your brain. Totally logical.