Answering the spiritual seekers in your world.
| posted 3/01/2000
Recently someone approached me with the following problem: "Nobody can talk me out of being a Christian, but I can't talk anyone else into it. Can you help me?"
Perhaps she thought she was the only one struggling with this, but I've been asked this question hundreds of times. You see, I was once an atheist who set out to prove Christianity was untrue. But during my investigation, I discovered overwhelming evidence that demonstrates the validity of Christianity. And because of a dedicated Christian who was prepared to answer my questions, my heart was reached.
Are you prepared to answer the spiritual seekers in your world? Are you wondering if Christianity's really true? Here's a look at ten objections skeptics pose toward Christianity—and how to respond.
- Christians are hypocrites.
A hypocrite is an actor, a person who pretends to be something she isn't. Jesus' harshest words were reserved for hypocrites.
The reality is, there always have been and always will be some hypocrites in the Church. But Jesus doesn't ask us to follow others; he asks us to follow him.
Although Christians can represent Jesus either poorly or well, the real question isn't whether there are hypocrites in the Church, but whether Jesus is a hypocrite. If someone can prove that Jesus was a hypocrite, then the whole structure of Christianity falls into ruin. The Bible, God's Word, presents Jesus as nothing less than perfect. Jesus' disciples testified that Jesus was without sin (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5). Even Jesus himself challenged others to prove that he'd ever sinned (John 8:46).
- What about the atrocities Christians have committed?
Some blame Christianity for religious wars, the Crusades, burning witches, the Inquisition, slavery, even the Holocaust.
The issue of atrocities is simply an extension of the question of hypocrites. So-called believers who didn't practice true Christianity have perpetrated evil. In reality, these people were Christian in name only.
Focusing on their atrocities is a smoke screen to avoid the real issue. Christianity has far more positive achievements than negative influences. It's been instrumental in the formation of countless hospitals, schools, colleges, orphanages, relief agencies, and charity agencies. No other religion in history can compare.
- Christianity is a crutch.
Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto, said, "Religion is the opiate of the masses." Critics such as Marx have charged that religion is an invention designed for people incapable of coping with life's pressures. Some critics respond that they don't need this type of emotional comfort, as though that fact falsifies Christianity. Such individuals often claim to be "stronger" because they're brave enough to face life without a "crutch." To imply non-religious people don't need a crutch is misleading. Dependence on drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, money, power, other people, and material possessions demonstrates some people's need for a crutch. Atheism—the belief that there is no God—can become a crutch for those addicted to a lifestyle contrary to God's standards of morality.
Rather than being weak, Christians are strong—not because they depend on themselves, but because they depend on Jesus.
Everyone needs assistance. The question is, what will you lean on? Christianity provides what atheism or other religions never can: spiritual fulfillment, peace, and forgiveness.