I involved myself in a discussion on Facebook regarding religion that I felt compelled to more fully address here. Specifically, I’d like to speak to some common arguments made against Christianity (as being the only way to eternal life). I don’t desire to cram anything down anyone’s throat and I don’t make any claim to having all of the answers or even a partial understanding about God. I do believe, however, that if we truly believe what we say we believe as Christians, then we cannot shy away from taking on the tough questions.
Objection #1: Christians are hypocrites and intolerant which sharply contrasts the example Christ established
I can’t argue with that one bit. We are a big bunch of sinners (Romans 3:23) and we screw up ALOT. That doesn’t change the fact that Christ calls us to denounce sin, both in ourselves and in the world. Sin deceives and destroys lives, especially when left unchallenged. Could we do a better job in challenging it? Absolutely!
Objective #2: Sin is subjective because the Bible is open to interpretation
One needs only look at all of the different denominations of Christianity to see the validity in this argument. Yes, specific sins/doctrine can be debated. But that is directly attributable to man’s inability to understand the mind of a perfect, omniscient God. This is where understanding that Christianity is about a relationship with Christ is paramount. The Bible is a tool that, in conjunction with prayer, helps us to develop that relationship.
Objection #3: All religions are essentially the same – it’s all about how to be a “good” person
Christianity actually differs from all other religions on this point. While the Bible does provide guidance on how we are to conduct ourselves, it very clearly cautions us that “being good” will not get us into heaven (Galatians 2:21). The only way to God is through his son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17). To put it bluntly, if you accept his gift (the ultimate sacrifice) you go to heaven. If you don’t, you end up in hell.
Though many view this belief as intolerant or close-minded, I have found it to be the most accepting way offered by any religion because it enables even the most heinous of us to be forgiven. Think about it – everyone wants to believe that they are “good.” Many toil away to prove that we are as if somehow we can make our good deeds outweigh the bad. Living life that way will make you crazy. You know why? Because deep down, we all know just how bad we are.
Grace is the ultimate act of tolerance. Bono once said of the widely accepted, but flawed, notion of Karma that ” …the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma…the point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death.”
Objection #4: The Bible is written by man and is therefore fallible and inaccurate
The same can be said for every historical document and every scientific “fact” ever written. The truth is, we put a lot of faith in what men tell us ALL THE TIME. And you know what? They are wrong ALL THE TIME. Many scholars, both Christians and non-Christians, have successfully validated the claims and origins of the Bible. However, most who make this argument have rarely, if ever, investigated the matter for themselves.
If you want to challenge the spiritual accuracy and applicability of the Bible, then I encourage you to read it for yourself. Too many people rely on the commentary of others and never commit to their own personal exploration of what Christ offers. If you truly desire answers, Luke 11:9-10 says “seek and you will find.”
Though I’ll conclude my commentary for the moment, I welcome further discussion. I’ll end with this: My faith in Jesus Christ is not the result of a lifelong fact-finding, evidence gathering mission; nor did it come about as some epiphany that resulted from a moment of utter desperation. My faith (being certain of what we hope for but do not see) has been shaken and tested time and time again but I am constantly reassured because He answers when I call; because I am compelled to behave in ways that are against my instinctual desires when I surrender my will for His; and because the results of my obedience, my life, are inexplicable when the logic of this world is applied. God has been so good to me in spite of myself. I am totally undeserving but eternally grateful for His love.