10 Reasons that I’m a Christian—response to some objections

14 Apr

I just read a post on another blog that was called: “10 Reasons I’m not a Christian.” While it was tempting to write him back, intelligence prevailed, and I realized that it is seldom that we argue someone into Christianity. However, I am going to give 10 reasons for the hope that I have in Christ, and they respond to each of the other author’s points.

1. He suggested that there is no reason to believe that God exists. The very fact that we breathe and think and have love for fellow man suggests to me that God exists. I once heard a pastor say that it takes a lot more faith to believe that God does not exist than to believe that God does exist.

2. He said that the “Holy Bible” is anonymous mythology with bad messages and almost no historicity. The Bible is far from anonymous, and has a consistent theme in all 66 books, which suggests that it is far from mythology. The author probably doesn’t understand the message of the cross, or he most likely wouldn’t believe that the Bible has a bad message. The Bible’s historicity is more traceable,reliable, and heavily critiqued than any other book that has been passed through the times.

3. He said that Christianity is mentally and emotionally abusive. I’m not sure exactly what he was referring to, but I’m sure it has nothing to do with freeing captives (the Israelites from Egypt) or giving dignity to women, or because Jesus took our punishment upon himself. Maybe the last one is what the author was referring to…

4. He said that scripture can be interpreted to justify anything. It is amazing what a deceived mind can do (and I’m not referring to that author). We are incredible at justifying our wrong actions with scripture. If we strive to be Biblically literate, then we examine scripture in the context it was intended, and we can understand the author’s intent. As we approach scripture with a humble attitude, we are not in danger of falling into the author’s suggested trap. When we approach scripture as the great story of God’s love and rescue of his lost people, we see scripture as it was intended.

5. He said that Christianity is run on suffering, guilt, punishment, and condescension. While there clearly have been proprietors of this false-Christianity, it is not what Christ intended. Jesus told us that the two most important commandment are to love God with everything that we have, and to love people as we love ourselves. True Christianity is based on love and redemption.

6. He said that Christianity inspires hatred, intolerance, and violence. Manipulated and false Christianity may do exactly that. The Christianity of the Bible promotes love, acceptance, and peace.

7. He said that Christianity is the “opium of the masses” used for political means to keep suffering people in subjugation. The author is referring to Karl Marx’s famous quote as he attempted to marginalize religious belief or conviction. I would contend, however, that Christianity offers freedom from the constraints of sin, and freedom to love without restriction. Maybe this is the “opiate-effect” Marx was really referring to…

8. He said that faith is the antithesis of intelligence and critical thinking. The Bible speaks to this very issue…1 Corinthians 1: 18-19 says that the cross is “…foolishness to those who are perishing…”

For what the author has the ability to comprehend, as he wears spiritual blinders (2 Corinthians 4:4), his thoughts actually make sense.

9. He said that Christianity devalues human life. Christianity values human life so much that God sent his son to die on the cross for humans. There is no other religion that values humans to this extent.

10. He said that Christianity is based on self-deceit and denial. Christianity is based on denial of self, which paradoxically brings the greatest personal satisfaction.

Peace,

Neil

Advertisements

13 Responses to “10 Reasons that I’m a Christian—response to some objections”

  1. Eileen April 14, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    Sometimes it takes a tragedy in one’s life to make him or her believe. Sometimes a great loss in one’s life can break thru the denial. This is what happened to me, and now I know that Christ is with me.

  2. chillinatthecabstand April 14, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    I’ll respond to this when I get back from my WordPress break.

  3. chillinatthecabstand April 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm #

    I responded.

    http://chillinatthecabstand.wordpress.com/2008/04/14/defending-my-secularism/

  4. dbarrick April 14, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    free will
    n.
    The ability or discretion to choose; free choice: chose to remain behind of my own free will.
    The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.

    We all have it. I’m not going to condemn anyone’s beliefs, nor choose to believe them to be true. I am a Christian, it’s my belief and my choice. We may disagree however the author is a fellow human and my brother. if the author found himself in need and I was given the opportunity to assist/serve him, I would do so to the best of my ability just as I would for any human in need. This is the true lesson for me…LOVE and SERVE.

  5. Berny April 14, 2008 at 10:18 pm #

    Posted this in response to Chillinatthecabstand’s response to you:

    Neil wrote:
    “1.The very fact that we breathe and think and have love for fellow man suggests to me that God exists. I once heard a pastor say that it takes a lot more faith to believe that God does not exist than to believe that God does exist.”

    You responded:
    That’s the “Argument from Beauty,” easily the worst theist argument, which says “if it looks cool, it must be God.” It’s a very shallow, weak argument with no empiricism in it.

    You’ve built an impressive strawman. Apparently, “breathing,” and “thinking” are things that “look cool.” I suggest learning how to accurately rephrase your opponent’s position so that you don’t veer off course after shadows.

    Also, notice how your strawman has distorted your ability to mount an effective counterargument. You claim that Neil’s argument has “no empiricism in it,” yet breathing, thinking and moral actions are all empirically verifiable. What you mean to say is that these cannot empirically prove theism. But empiricism as the sole criterion by which to investigate truth claims has been decisively shown to be self-contradictory. The statement that an argument must be empirically proven in order to be true self-destructs since that statement itself cannot be empirically proven.

    I suggest you leave behind the scientism of Dawkins. You would be hard pressed to find philosophers today who accept such a methodology as valid.

    Neil wrote:
    “2. The Bible is far from anonymous, and has a consistent theme in all 66 books, which suggests that it is far from mythology. The author probably doesn’t understand the message of the cross, or he most likely wouldn’t believe that the Bible has a bad message. The Bible’s historicity is more traceable,reliable, and heavily critiqued than any other book that has been passed through the times.”

    You responded:
    The Bible IS anonymous, unless you want to be silly and say that God wrote it. The Bible is about as historically accurate as Lord of the Rings – it’s parables and mythology with no basis in reality.

    Fundamentalism is just embarrassingly silly.

    The Bible is a collection of books. Perhaps you’d like to offer an argument for the anonymity of particular books within the larger collection called the Bible. Yet questioning the anonymity of books fails to grapple with the content inside. If your critique of the Bible is relegated to attacking the traditional authorship of certain books, then I’ll take that as a tacit admission that you are unable to deal with the actual text so you deal with extra-textual matters such as authorship.

    And to say that the Bible is about as historically reliable as Lord of the Rings removes all doubt that you’re entirely ignorant of world history, ANE history, and Roman history, world religions, the philosophy of religion, comparative mythologies, which are all secular disciplines–to say nothing of Christian ones, such as biblical history, church history, and text criticism.

    I’d say it’s your atheism that is embarrassingly fundamentalist.

    Neil wrote:
    “5. He said that Christianity is run on suffering, guilt, punishment, and condescension. While there clearly have been proprietors of this false-Christianity, it is not what Christ intended. Jesus told us that the two most important commandment are to love God with everything that we have, and to love people as we love ourselves. True Christianity is based on love and redemption.”

    You responded:
    It is not false Christianity, but Christianity in its truest form. Jesus had one helluva “my way or the highway” attitude, which helps fuel this air of self-hatred. It is not based on love, but rather on self-hatred and obedience. As for redemption, thinking that you NEED redemption is self-hatred and condescension.

    Your antipathy towards Christ is revealing an adolescent form of rebellion that you see at private high schools when kids decide to be true revolutionaries and untuck their shirts in between classes to show the establishment that they underestimate the student rebels’ internal push for freedom from tyranny. Time to grow up.

    Do you respond this way to your wife? To your girlfriend? “What do you mean you want me to be faithful to you and only you? Do you realize that what you are saying is profoundly self-hateful?”

    Since you’re unable to mount an internal critique–which is essential if you’re going to argue against a system on its own grounds–I’m going to give you a few pointers. First, you need to establish a moral inconsistency within the system.

    In Christianity, the God of Scripture is the one true God. All the other gods are false gods. It makes sense, then, according to the internal logic within Scripture, that if Christ is the only way to salvation, that he present himself as the only way to salvation.

    In this case, Christ’s exclusive claims are profoundly loving, not hateful. If he would’ve said, “Don’t stress it, believe what you want” he would’ve been a deceiver. It would’ve sounded nice to the masses who wanted to continue worshipping idols, but it would’ve ultimately led them to their eternal peril.

    Neil wrote:
    “6. He said that Christianity inspires hatred, intolerance, and violence. Manipulated and false Christianity may do exactly that. The Christianity of the Bible promotes love, acceptance, and peace.”

    First off, there is no “Christianity of the Bible” as Jesus’ teachings were just meant to be a fulfillment of Judaism. And as for the Bible’s “love, acceptance, and peace,” all I have to say is hell no.

    You’ve already been unmasked as an ignoramus when it comes to Scripture, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to readers to see this kind of nonsense from you. Christ referred to his incarnation as “new wineskins” that have come to replace the “old.” He repeatedly made mention of God’s plan of salvation towards Gentiles (non Jews). He resisted the official teachers of Israel countless times, and even described them as the sons of hell. If he wanted to reform Judaism rather than replace it, why did he tell the woman at the well that things were about to change in a drastic way; that soon the true worshipers of God wouldn’t worship at a physical location but would worship wherever they were, all over the world? The examples go on and on.

    You’re partially right: love, acceptance and peace come only to those who repent and believe in Jesus Christ. The rest find that they get what they wanted on this earth, final separation from God forever.

    Read Christ’s words again: “I didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword.”

    Neil wrote:
    7. He said that Christianity is the “opium of the masses” used for political means to keep suffering people in subjugation. The author is referring to Karl Marx’s famous quote as he attempted to marginalize religious belief or conviction. I would contend, however, that Christianity offers freedom from the constraints of sin, and freedom to love without restriction. Maybe this is the “opiate-effect” Marx was really referring to…

    No, it is definitely opium. And believing in constraint and internal corruption isn’t healthy. You don’t have to live nicely in this world or even be treated humanely because so what? You’re going to heaven for being poor and oppressed, so you can take shit here because God will reward you extra for it.

    Writers like David Aikman of Time Magazine have meticulously researched atheist regimes and their devastating consequences. Today, Marxist thought is responsible for cruelty never before seen under any abuse of Christian principles.

    It is established by all except the blindest of atheistic sycophants that anti-theism in politics breeds unmitigated cruelty and oppression. So this sword cuts both ways.

    And poverty doesn’t merit anyone salvation. Only the perfect life of Christ and his sacrificial death can cancel away our sins and make us righteous. We only gain heaven on his perfect record. Not ours.
    Neil wrote:
    “9. He said that Christianity devalues human life. Christianity values human life so much that God sent his son to die on the cross for humans. There is no other religion that values humans to this extent.”

    You responded:
    Christianity really is paradoxical in this sense, because it both degrades humans, calling them evil sinners not worthy of living and at the same time giving them self-righteousness. And, for the record, I meant that it devalues our carnal, earthly existences. Like, “life in human bodies” could sound better.

    Your devotion to secular humanism is touching. It’s time you looked outside your window. Humanity is fallen, it’s depraved.

    Don’t take my word for it, here is author H. G. Wells’ take on the glory of humanity.

    In 1937:
    “Can we doubt that presently our race will more than realize our boldest imaginations, that it will achieve unity and peace, and that our children will live in a world made more splendid and lovely than any palace or garden that we know, going on from strength to strength in an ever-widening circle of achievement? What man has done, the little triumphs of his present state…form but the prelude to the things that man has yet to do.” (H. G. Wells, A Short History of the World, 1937)

    Here is Wells in 1946:
    “The cold-blooded massacres of the defenseless, the return of deliberate and organized torture, mental torment, and fear to a world from which such things had seemed well nigh banished–has come near to breaking my spirit altogether…. “Homo Sapiens,” as he has been pleased to call himself, is played out.” (H. G. Wells, A Mind at the End of Its Tether, 1946)

    Secular humanism is absolutely invalidated by life all around us. In fact, it’s contrary to evolutionary thought. I see that your system, in its denial of the fallenness of humanity, has all but contradicted your adherence to basic evolutionary suppositions.

    No true Christian has any platform for which to consider himself worthy to receive salvation. We all understand how deep God had to reach us in our own sinful states in order to apply his redeeming grace. None of us merited it. That’s why it’s grace.

    All in all, your reasons, as well as your responses to Neil, are too weak to register on the radar. I would hope that if you reject a system that has been around for thousands of years you would at least familiarize yourself with the best arguments it has to offer, but all I see is a strawman factory excelling at the assembly line. I suggest you take a couple of years to read up on Christianity before you try again.

  6. Chris Dills April 14, 2008 at 10:38 pm #

    Good post, although I would greatly recommend when writing a rebuttle that you support your points with solid proof. Also, while Scripture is the most important proof when conversing with a believer (sola scriptura), it means little to someone who disregards the Bible completely. One of the biggest defenses against Christianity is that we are irrational and cannot support our cliams. We have a responsibility that not only is our faith a good philosophy, but it is reality; truth absolutely.

  7. Christine Gofron April 14, 2008 at 11:04 pm #

    Bring it, pastor.

  8. Neil April 15, 2008 at 7:18 am #

    Chris,

    Thanks for your response! When I posted yesterday, I spent just a minute looking at each point that the author made. I had no real intention of “deeply” looking at each of his points.

    In making a real rebuttal, I would agree…my arguments need to be better explained. However, as I wrote early in my post, I’ve rarely seen hearts changed when “solid proof” is offered.

  9. Neil April 15, 2008 at 7:19 am #

    Berny,

    You are a scholar! Thanks for your in-depth defense.

  10. Chris Dills April 15, 2008 at 9:05 am #

    dbarrick,

    Without breaking out in a full theological discourse, I think you are a touch off in your view of free will. The Bible is quite clear that, without Christ, we only have the ability to “choose” evil. Our will is bound by our sinful nature and without the regeneration of the Holy Spirit our will cannot be freed. I do, however, commend you for your desire to image Christ by loving and serving.

  11. chillinatthecabstand April 16, 2008 at 6:54 am #

    Berny –

    I responded to you, too.

    http://chillinatthecabstand.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/defending-my-pitiful-ignorance/

  12. Steve April 22, 2008 at 12:59 am #

    This is a great topic….& some passionate debate here as well. I would say that all men are certainly allowed to contend for the reasons why they don’t believe in God….yet no man is able to prove that He doesn’t exist. Mr. Dawkins is argueably one of the most respected frontrunners in the atheist movement & even he will confess that one cannot disprove God. At the end of the day it truly does take a great deal of faith to hope that matter somehow worked itself out to create the known universe & mankind as we know it (which there would have to be an uncaused cause under this line of reasoning)…& theists call this uncaused cause God. Any way you break it down – we all have faith. I’ll put mine unashamedly & unapologetically in Jesus Christ.

  13. Neil April 22, 2008 at 7:34 am #

    Steve,

    I could not have put it any better. YOUR faith is evidenced by how you live…period.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: