But I’m also still a Christian despite this.
What gives? Aren’t I too smart for this?
I’m not here to convert anyone, or even get into the theological weeds. This is just an attempt to answer a lot of questions I’ve gotten throughout my life from atheist friends who just can’t understand why I stick with my faith.
Instead of quoting chapter and verse, I’m going to present some logical arguments.
Logic? And religion? Isn’t that an oxymoron?
Hasnt religion outlived its usefulness anyway? It’s ultimately nothing more, the argument goes, than a fanciful delusion, an evolutionary survival mechanism designed to make us all feel safe and keep us in line. After all, belief in some mythical sky fairy keeping tabs on us is a powerful psychological coping mechanism.
But religion also turns its adherents into angry, power-hungry, murderous freaks who hate science, and sacrifice reason and logic on the altar of superstition.
Some “evolutionary survival mechanism.”
And we all know what Christians are really like: goofy at best, but typically theocratic, woman-hating nut-jobs who want nothing more than to ban all fun, freedom, and sex in the name of the all-holy Jeebus, amen!
Why are we like this? Well, because Christians are hypocritical assholes. Why else? You watch TV and movies, don’t you?
I’m trolling here, but only a bit. These are actual arguments against religion. Here are some more:
- Science has proven that the material world is all that there is.
- Any unexplained phenomena has a scientific basis that we just haven’t discovered yet.
- You’re a racist.
And so on.
I’m not here to refute all of these, since (a) they’re pretty much weak arguments on their face and (b) there are others who do a far better job of it than I could. But given the strong anti-Christian bent in the Western world lately, these are issues I’ve had to grapple with quite a bit.
So why stick with religion? It’s really not that difficult an issue for me.
There are two approaches I take to faith: the spiritual and the logical.
I’ll save the spiritual for another day except to say I tried the atheist hat on for a bit when I was in high school–you know, that time of life when we hate our parents and think we know everything about everything–but realized it just wasn’t for me.
But a logical argument for faith? Absolutely. Here I’ll throw out some more common anti-Christian arguments and how I deal with them.
Point: The Bible is a fraud, full of historical inaccuracy and made-up gobbledygook. How could a book written by God Himself be wrong, after all. Some God, right?
Counterpoint: No one denies that there may be historical inaccuracies. But no Christian believes that God wrote the Bible. People wrote it. And the Bible isn’t a single book, anyway. It’s a collection of books.
Also, the Gospels were written by people who were there with Jesus or his disciples, as were the Epistles. Like every single other historical document, especially ancient ones, we take them on faith. Believe the accounts or not, it’s up to you. Some people believe we never landed on the moon, and that happened in many of our lifetimes, so there you go. But it’s highly unreasonable to outright disregard certain historical documents merely because they pertain to Christ.
Point: Christianity is made up to give the church power.
Counterpoint: This is a common argument by people who have either never read, or don’t understand, scripture. Which describes a lot of Christians, unfortunately. Many people think they know what’s in it because so much of Western civilization is based on it.
If you’re looking for earthly power, I’m sorry to say that Jesus really isn’t the guy for you. Just check out a few of the things He said, among other things:
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Man, that’s one power-hungry dude!
Second, His followers, like God Himself, died horrific deaths willingly for His sake. Why would they do that? For the sake of a hoax that would give people hundreds of years in the future political power? Does that make any sense whatsoever?
Point: You can’t really believe that a person was resurrected from the dead.
Counterpoint: The supernatural aside, where’s the body? The corpse of the world’s most famous dead guy has never been found. You don’t think the Romans and the Jewish elites wanted nothing more than to find Jesus’s body so the early Christians would just shut the hell up and go away? They sealed Christ’s tomb and posted guards (Matthew 27:62-66) to specifically prevent rumors of His resurrection. And you want me to think a rag-tag bunch of apostles were able to dupe the Pharisees and the Roman Empire? But Christians are the crazy ones . . .
And then look at the New Testament itself. All of these people coordinated their lies for a hoax that was a guaranteed death sentence? I can’t buy that.
Again, believe or don’t believe all you want. I’m just offering a logical perspective on why I do.
To me, any God worth worshipping would not be the stabby/bomby kind, or of the shooting-thunderbolts-from-the-sky/humans-are-our-playthings variety. Also, if he, she, or they require human sacrifice, I’m out.
I’m much more willing to put my faith in a deity who:
- Makes promises with his creation and keeps them
- Teaches us to love everybody, including our enemies
- Offers, for free, redemption and forgiveness of sins
- Willingly became human and died a grisly death
- Mandates charity, love, compassion, humility, and kindness to all
That’s more my speed.
Rawle Nyanzi writes eloquently about some of the other logical issues with the idea of non-belief, including the paradox that if we are all materialistic and driven by biological impulses, we have less freedom than a God that offers us free will and the ability to choose right from wrong–He just showed us which is which.
As I said, I’m not here to bash atheists or win anyone over to Christ. I’m just here to show that, despite the prevailing zeitgeist, Christians aren’t the whackos you think we are.
God might be imaginary. Fine. If that’s the case, I’m just glad that my imaginary friend tells me to love you even though you hate me.