Are you Questioning your Christian Faith? You are not Alone!


Is the Bible really true?

I will bet that every Christian has had this disturbing thought pass through their consciousness at least once:  Wow.  That (a teaching in the Bible) doesn’t make sense.  What if my Christian Faith is false?

However, in most instances our doubt was quickly erased (or at least white-washed) after we consulted a more knowledgeable Christian about the matter, such as our parents, our Sunday School teacher, or our pastor.

I remember as a teenager first seeing pictures of the Holy Land:  What a desolate place!  How in the world could any one refer to Israel/Palestine as “a Land Flowing with Milk and Honey”??  I asked a more knowledgeable Christian about this and was told, “Oh Israel was a very lush, green, heavily forested country but the (evil, Muslim) Turks uprooted every tree to punish the Jews and Christians living there.  The Turks made Palestine a wasteland.

I bought it.

And so it went.  Every time I found something not quite right in the Bible, I asked a more knowledgeable Christian, and was always given a satisfactory explanation (harmonization).  But what would have happened if I had not been satisfied with the explanation given to me by other, more knowledgeable, Christians?  What could I have done to investigate the truthfulness of the claims in the Bible that I found hard to believe?

Well, in the 1970’s, when I was a teenager, there was no such thing as the “Internet”.  If I wanted to investigate if Palestine had ever been a lush, heavily forested land, I would have had to have gone to the library and spent hours researching it.  The library in my little town would probably not have had many books which dealt with the subject, so I would have had to have done a lot of research to find out what books were in publication that discussed this subject and then ordered and paid for the books to be mailed to my house!  All that just to find out if the Turks had truly uprooted all the trees in Palestine!

Bottom line:  The overwhelming majority of people in the 1970’s, and, for the first almost two thousand years of Christianity, did not have access (or at least easy access) to books that would allow them to verify the claims of the Christian Bible and Christian Churchmen.  Lay Christians were forced to accept as fact what our clergymen spoon fed us…or…we simply rejected it all out of hand and were told we obviously didn’t know enough to make such a decision.

The Internet changed all that.  And Clergymen hate it!

Tell a clergyman or a Christian apologist that you are questioning the Bible and what do they tell you to do?  (Do they tell you to read more of the Bible?  No.)  Do they tell you to do an internet search on the subject?  No.  They tell you to go read a stack of books by Christian scholars who will explain to you what God really meant to say in the Bible.  (So God didn’t write his message to mankind using understandable, clear terms?  Therefore, the perfect God needs help from imperfect humans to explain his Word to mankind!)

Hmm.

Well, dear questioning Christian, you do NOT need to read a stack of books by Christian apologists to know whether or not the Bible is telling you the truth.  All you have to do is use your brain:  human virgins do not become pregnant by ghostly fathers, and, people who have been brain dead for three days do not walk out of their tomb and fly off into outer space.

It is a tall tale!  It isn’t real.  It is a superstition!

And the good news is, my questioning Christian friend, you are not alone!  In the previous circa Nineteen hundred and ninety so years of Christianity, you would have been all alone in your non-belief in the Bible and its stories unless you lived in a large city and could find a group of ex-Christians who also questioned the accuracy of the claims of the Bible.  Now, with the Internet, no matter where you are, you can connect to thousands of former Christians who like you have discovered the truth, the real truth:  Traditional/orthodox/conservative Christianity is one big tall tale.  It isn’t true.  It belongs in the dustbin of history, right along with the tales of Zeus and Jupiter.

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5 thoughts on “Are you Questioning your Christian Faith? You are not Alone!

  1. Thanks for writing on this! I am a Christian, and think that questioning the Bible is of dire importance. The one place I will have to disagree with you is when you say, “They tell you to go read a stack of books by Christian scholars who will explain to you what God really meant to say in the Bible. (So God didn't write his message to mankind using understandable, clear terms? Therefore, the perfect God needs help from imperfect humans to explain his Word to mankind!).” I do think they shouldn't just direct you to one-sided books, rather they should direct you to scholars who approach the topic with various opinions. But stating that “God didn't write his message” assumes that God wrote the Bible. That is a fundamentally flawed statement and even the biggest evangelical fundamentals would see the false logic in it. Humans wrote Scripture. Fundamentalists believe it is “inspired” and therefore infallible, but still written by men. I think the Bible is the narrative of God drawing close to humanity and revealing Himself to them. It comes to its climax when Jesus fully reveals the way God operates. God is not the one out to get you or telling you to kill your (and His) enemies. God is the one who loves those who hate him so much He is willing to die by their hand. He would rather die than kill them. Jesus is God and reveals that all the pagan notions of an angry God who demands sacrifice and is out to get us are actually wrong. God is love. Anyway, a ton could be said about this, but enjoyed reading what you had to say.

    http://godsfoolishness.blogspot.com/2015/10/evangelicalism-questioners-and-seeking.html

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  2. I don't know if Joe is going to come back and respond to my question, but let me go into more detail.

    I appreciate Joe's comment that Christian apologists should tell Christians to read both Christian AND skeptic scholars regarding the historical claims of the Bible. That is what we do for all other controversial issues: We listen to both sides and then choose who to believe.

    I will bet that there is a high percentage of Christian clergymen who do NOT want you to read books by skeptics, however. They fear that an invisible being named Satan will penetrate your brain and will turn you away from God.

    This is very illogical thinking.

    Next: The Bible.

    If God is not the author of the Bible, then why bother believing it?? If the Bible is simply a book written by men ABOUT God, how do we know that men writing in the Bronze and Iron Ages knew what they were talking about?

    If the Bible is not GOD'S Word, but only MAN'S word, it has no more authority than any other text from Antiquity.

    Lastly: God is love.

    If you genuinely believe that God is love, then you don't believe in Hell or any punishment for non-believers like me. And if that is your position, you are a liberal Christian, and I have no issue with your (superstitions) faith.

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  3. Whatever God does if you do not love him or obey him will be good. I'm not certain how all of it will play out. The New Testament emphatically states that God is good, that he is the author of good, that nothing evil can come from him, and on and on. So, a few thoughts on this – 1st. Fire throughout Scripture is a symbol of purification. In fact the idea that the earth will burn that is discussed in the book of Revelation is not about God destroying his creation, but rather about him renewing or “fixing” his creation – The Greek word for “new” (καινός) in Revelation 21 is better translated renewed, restored, fresh, fixed. There are hints that those who reject God (whatever that may mean) will face some kind of “judgement”, but judgement in the Scripture is always for the purpose of setting things right, not for the purpose of retribution. In addition to this the New Testament hints of the possibility that everything and everyone will be redeemed. You find this fleshed out a few times in Paul where he says that “as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ”. “God is in Christ reconciling all things to Himself” and there are more, I just won't get into it all right now because you believe the Bible is a “tall tale”.

    Second, nowhere in the Bible does it call itself “God's Word”. The Word of God throughout the Old Testament is tied to God's revelation of Himself – which can even be spoken of by Creation (Psalm 19). The New Testament defines Jesus as the Word of God, and multiple times calls him things like “the image of God”, “the exact representation of God”, the “fullness of all the Godhead bodily”, etc. So, the New Testament claims that Jesus is the full revelation of what God is like – not that the Bible is.

    I believe the Bible is man wrestling with understanding God and telling the story from a human perspective of how God is interacting with humanity – so it's not flawless, and sometimes can be downright ugly. But the point – or the climax – of the story is Jesus. Jesus Himself claimed this to be the case when he said “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” The Bible is not the goal in and of itself, the Bible points to the goal – Jesus who is the full revelation of God. This means according to the story of the Bible that Jesus corrected the bad theology before he came (and he continues to correct it now). If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. If you want to know if God can look on sin, or touch a sinner, look at Jesus. If you want to know how God treats those out to kill Him, look at Jesus: He would rather die than kill those who want to kill him, and in the act he says “Father, forgive them”. So, is God love? Look at Jesus. There is a ton more than could be said, but for now we can disagree. I don't think I'm a “liberal Christian”, I think I actually want to know Jesus (the foundation of Christianity), who I think is a pretty big challenge to the fundamentalist world.

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  4. I like your attitude, Joe.

    And if believing in Jesus makes you a kinder more compassionate human being—as long as there are no negative consequences for me or other non-believers in your theology—I have no problem with your belief system.

    I hope that one day the label “Christian” will only refer to someone who follows the humanistic teachings of Jesus. It will not refer to someone who believes in good and bad ghosts constantly battling for control of our brains (souls).

    Peace to you, Joe.

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