Critics sometimes claim that Christianity is based on myths and that it is an unreasonable, exclusive, and unloving religion. However, these claims are the actual myths.
The myth that Christianity is an unreasonable Faith.
Atheists and secular philosophers are very fond of levelling this accusation. Even when they don’t say it, the implication is that Christians are ignorant folk who can’t or won’t concede that their faith is in something unscientific and illogical. They usually cite biblical creationism and claim that evolutionary theory discredits and disqualifies the naive claim that God created the universe. The theory of evolution is elevated, without observable,
measureable, or repeatable evidence to the status of ‘fact’. Creationism is written off as a ‘non-fact’ without much, if any, consideration of the genre of the book of Genesis, which contains the record of the creation, or the several different legitimate ways of understanding the biblical account. Critics also disparage biblical miracles as unscientific and focus especially on the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the biggest ‘whopper’ of all. Ironically, the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is arguably the best attested and certainly the most researched and written about event in human history.
To anyone, atheists included, who take the trouble to honestly study the scriptures, examine the volumes of research available, and carefully weigh the evidence, he or she will find that Christianity stands on very reasonable intellectual ground. Believers need never think that their convictions are based only on blind faith; faith, yes, but also facts.
For those interested in verifying what I have said, and more, I give just two of the many reliable sources:
- The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict – Fully Updated To Answer The Questions Challenging Christians by Josh McDowell, and the extended video of one of his lectures on this subject.
- William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith website that contains a lot of excellent material.
The myth that Christianity is an exclusive Faith
In an age where it is deemed improper to claim exclusivity for any belief, or to hold dogmatically to any contention, Christian dogma declares boldly that only in and through Jesus is there salvation. Religions like:
- Hinduism and Buddhism set out their paths to blessed eternal life but do not claim that theirs are the only paths.
- Atheists are offended by Christianity’s claim because they don’t believe in eternal life and
- agnostics generally don’t care enough about such things to be more than just irritated by Christianity’s claims.
It is true that Jesus taught that He is ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6) and then immediately went on to say that “No one comes to the Father except through me”. So yes, Christianity presents just one means of salvation but all who genuinely wish to may avail themselves of this means. Jesus likened himself to a gate and said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9). One ‘gate’ but ‘whosoever’ may enter through it.
The claim that Jesus is the only means of blessed eternal life is based on simple logic. The biblical revelation is that Jesus is God incarnate, and He has declared that faith in him alone is the ordained means of salvation. Christianity’s contentions are not elitist or attempts to exclude anyone from being ‘one of us’, but simply a belief in what God had revealed as truth.
Despite many futile attempts over the millennia to disprove the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, or to ‘prove’ that the Bible is unreliable, both stand as well attested truths. The two resources I have already cited give ample and compelling evidence of this.
The myth that Christianity is an unloving faith.
In our day, Christians are often accused of being unloving towards those who do not conform to biblical standards of behaviour or lifestyle. Words like intolerant, prejudiced, and even hateful are flung in the faces of those who believe that the Bible condemns certain human attitudes, actions, and lifestyles.
In the Old Testaments the prophets often spoke as God’s direct mouthpieces, and here are some of the things that God declared that He hates:
- Isaiah 61:8, “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity”.
- Amos 5:21, “I hate, I despise your religious feasts”.
- Zechariah 8:17, ‘ “do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord’.
- Malachi 2:16 ‘ “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel’.
So, God hates robbery and iniquity, insincere religious feasts, false swearing, and divorce. All of these are things that some people do, but they are behaviours and not the people themselves. The New Testament revelation is even clearer. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44). Paul wrote that ‘Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good’ (Romans 12:9).
Christianity cannot be accused of being an unloving Faith because love is one of its central tenets. In fact, the Bible, Christianity’s foundational document, declares that love is the dominant characteristic of God himself. John wrote that ‘God is love’ and then immediately wrote that ‘whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him’ (1 John 4:16).
The claims that Christianity is unreasonable, exclusive, and unloving are simply unfounded myths. So, have confidence in the fact that our Faith is logically defendable, open to all who will repent, believe and confess, and is loving to its very core.