I think that there are some Christians who just cannot understand why there are  certain types of non-believers who resist no matter how hard we hit them over the head with the Gospel. Why…we wonder…why do they dislike Jesus? Why are they so angry and annoyed with us? How can they not want to run to the Bible and to church. How can they reject the love of God? Why won’t they believe us???? (Shaking fist into the air)

Well I certainly do not have all of the answers about anything, but I do know at least a few of the answers to some of these questions for some people.

This is not intended to be an attack on Christianity. I am a follower of Christ and a believer in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. I just think that it is important that we as Christians try to understand others more instead of judging them.

First of all we tell them that the Bible is true and that we know this because it was divinely inspired by God. It was spoken by God to prophets and apostles and men  (no women???) who wrote it down for us so that we can know and understand God. Well I understand this as a believer, but let me tell you what many people are thinking about this.

They are looking around at all of the other religions who also have Holy Books (Koran, Book of Mormon, Bhagavad Gita etc. etc.) that they also say are true. And they also claim that they know that their books are true because they were divinely inspired by God. They also believe that these books were given to prophets by God so that we can know and understand God and his ways.

Just like people who were born into Christianity or converted into Christianity were taught the Bible as the true Holy Book, others were born or converted into other religions and were taught that their book is the true holy book. And if you read these books there are some really good things in them, and there are some really strange things that are hard to believe in them as well as some really disturbing things.

Non-believers see this in the Bible too. They see some really good things and some really off the wall sounding, hard to believe things as well as some disturbing things. They know that the contents of the Bible were decided on by a group of men (no women???) and that some of the books were thrown out too. So they do not see why they should choose to believe us Christians over any other world religion. Many times non-believers see us all (religious people of the world) as equally brain washed to believe the faith that we were taught is true.

So they think, “Why should I believe this crazy story just because someone is telling me to believe it? After all that is how people end up in cults!”

They have heard it a million times before. They have had family members badgering them. They have been given Gospel tracks. They have had people coming to their door, and they have even been to church. So they are just getting annoyed by it all now. Telling them the same thing over and over is not working! Arguing with them, and telling them that they are going to hell is not working. Just like telling them how happy you are now that you have “found” Jesus while they can see right through you and can see that you are no happier than anyone else is not working either! It is making it worse because now they see you lying so now they really cannot trust you!

I say this because it is the people who have to constantly tell others and try to convince others that they are happy who are obviously not really that happy inside! People can tell! People who are genuinely happy or have genuinely changed do not have to constantly tell people or try to convince people. They do not have to say it at all. People can just tell!

So just like many Christians or believers in God in general see atheism as an arrogant and self elevating belief…..many atheists see Christians as arrogant and holier than though too. Yes, it does seem a bit arrogant and self-centered of an atheist to think that they are one of the few in the world who have been intelligent enough to escape belief in a mass delusion caused by brain washing or to think that there is no power higher than themselves. But many times they see Christians the same way.

They wonder why Christians think that they are the ones who are right about it all. Why do Christians think that their religion is true and everyone else in the world is believing some false doctrine. Why, they wonder, do Christians seem to think that we have the moral high ground? And why, they wonder,  do we seem to use the Bible to back up our own personal world views while completely ignoring some of the other things in the Bible that contradict our views. And why does the Bible itself seem  contradictory sometimes such as a merciful loving God sending people to eternal damnation or giving laws in the old testament that say that the men in the town should stone a woman to death if she is not a virgin at marriage! (Deuteronomy 22:20) But nothing is said about a man’s virginity. YIKES! This alone is enough to scare any woman or kindhearted sane man away!

This takes us to another reason that some people are completely turned off by us Christians. The whole hell thing……If we as humans love our children, who do wrong things constantly, enough that we would never lock them in jail or punish them with eternal torment and separation from us with no way back whether they believe in us or love us back or not…..how can our loving God send us, his children, to eternal hell for believing the wrong things during this tiny finite time that we have on earth? Why would God send us out of eternity into life on earth knowing that we have a few years to get it right before we are doomed to eternal torture and hell? Why would he say that we have a choice, but if we choose wrong during our short lives which are just a blip on the radar compared to eternity…… we will pay for it forever?

I actually had a friend tell me that he loved his daughter so much that he would never do this to her no matter what she did, and he could never worship a God that would do this to his children!…….heavy stuff.… I know. That’s why I am writing it because as Christians we need to understand these very valid concerns that people have about our loving God and our faith.

Another reason that some non-believers reject Christianity is because there are some very vocal Christians who completely reject science. They believe that in order to believe God and the Bible means that you must not believe that there is anything scientific about how God creates. They assume that if God spoke something into creation then there was no physics, quantum physics, chemistry or biology that occurred at that time. It just happened…..poof….and there is absolutely no scientific explanation. Some non-believers study science and understand it’s workings and so to completely ignore it makes these believers seem to be living in a fantasy world.

There are some (not all) Christians who try so hard to fit science into the Bible in order to legitimize Biblical truth that they end up missing the point. The Bible is not a science book. It was not intended to teach science or explain science so why are people trying to make science out of it? There is room for scientific truth and Biblical truth. Science does not cancel out the Bible, and the Bible does not cancel out science. The more that I learn about the intricacies of science and the universe the more amazed I become at God’s complexity, brilliance, and perfection.

And there are many more reasons, but I do not want to write an entire book on the subject so I will stop there, but you get the picture I hope.

I understand these questions and concerns because I have wrestled with them myself. I also talk to non-believers quite often and I understand where they are coming from. I am a believer, but I do not have all of the answers to these things unfortunately. I still wrestle with them at times. I have been given some explanations before that helped  a little but not enough to clear it all up.

So why do I believe at all? In a nutshell……

I grew up in church being taught about God, Christ and the Bible, but when I became old enough to think for myself  I could not believe all of it just because people told me to believe it. I did believe in God and in the love of Christ because I had too much experience with this love in my life to deny it. I could see that the words of Jesus were good, but I still had all of the concerns mentioned above plus some so I left the church and searched for about 10 years.

This search began with me being extremely angry with God for all that I had been through. I did even say,”Either there is no God or God hates me!” Deep down I knew that there was a God, but I was angry and hurt, and I let God know!

As I prayed and searched I came out of this anger. I studied many holy books from different religions including the Bible. I studied under several gurus and practiced different meditations and spiritual practices. I studied other cultures. I constantly prayed. That was the one thing that remained the same. I prayed.

During these years I had many many supernatural experiences. I had way too many tangible brushes with God to ever think that all of this life and the universe could be just a random coincidence. I actually learned so much during my time of searching, and I came to understand other people and their beliefs. Because of my learning and experience with other beliefs and cultures I am now able to connect with and understand different people so much better and without much judgment.

Honestly I cannot explain exactly how, but through all of my searching and learning and praying God brought me back around to Christ. I prayed continuously and genuinely cried out to God to show me the truth. And he did. He revealed things to me in a new way and did miraculous things in my life. But this time my belief was the real thing. This was not the religion that people told me I had to believe. This was not a belief just to keep me out of hell. This was not me blindly following my culture or my family. I had come to this belief through going out on my own in a search for truth. I had come to this belief through real tangible supernatural experiences. And I truly believe in the life, sacrificial death, and supernatural resurrection of Jesus Christ. I know the great love and mercy of God first hand.

I still wrestle with my faith and with unanswered questions, but God has revealed himself to me enough for me to know that I do not have to have the answers. I will never in this lifetime understand it all. I do not let that keep me away from God because God is way too complex for me to comprehend in my finite life with my limited brain. I just surrender it to him knowing that he is love, and he has it all figured out already.

I think that it is important for Christians to understand that there is a certain group of non-believers who have very legitimate questions, concerns, and problems with our religion. They are not going to believe because we tell them that they are going to hell or because we constantly preach at them or throw Bible verses in their faces. That just makes us sound more judgmental and self-righteous to them. And sometimes they may be right in thinking that.

If we refuse to understand them and accept that they have some good points to think about then we are not doing our job. If we refuse to acknowledge the hard questions and the confusing or even somewhat disturbing things about our own religion then we are leaving behind a large group of people who God loves dearly. And we are prohibiting ourselves from some of the most profound growth in God that can take place in a true believer.

If our own faith cannot withstand the hard questions then maybe we need to examine it and wrestle with it a little in order to grow stronger. If we are just believing because that is what we were always told and that is what we have always done, and we have never really faced the questions and doubts that we have deep inside then maybe we should just be honest with God about our doubts.

He knows already anyway, and I have found that when I bring my questions and doubts and fears to God I am always brought to a deeper faith in him and a more profound understanding in the end.

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