Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I was once a person that identified as being a born again Christian. Even as I write this, I can reason as an Evangelical reasons. I can still speak as if the Bible is true and inspired.
The reason I don’t let up in publicly criticizing Christianity and other faith based perspectives is first and foremost because I am concerned about what is true in the world. This is not to say that believing Christians are not also concerned about what is true but perhaps every seeker of the truth should be more willing to put their beliefs to the test? This is exactly what I am here to advocate.
I could very well be wrong in thinking that a God does not exist. I am totally willing to concede this. At the same time I am persuaded that many of my questions about the Bible and the nature of faith are both sound and legitimate. This is because my life has brought me to do the born again test.
I am not saying that people who identify as being born again have not been impacted by the Bible’s message of Jesus. Many people very obviously have been deeply moved to alter the course of their lives in response to what is called the truth of the gospel. My challenge for these folks, which was also a challenge that I gave to myself, is to critically question the nature of their personal attachment to these religious claims.
Is it valuable to question everything about a religiously based claim? In light of how these so called truths are transferred and presented to us, I have to say, yes! It is absolutely necessary to question any set of ideas that are primarily contained within books that are quite literally written by human hands. Biblical ideas are precisely this.
Not only that but Biblical ideas about Jesus and God are set up to impact us not with good old fashioned hard evidence, but rather with a claim of authority and inspiration. Should authority and inspiration ever truly precede a good body of actual evidence for a claim? You tell me, my friends! What I can readily discern however is that Christianity is just one of a plethora of religions that does this.
This is why religions are so varied and unwilling to bow to the authoritative narratives of one another. They all operate from a poor principle which places the need for evidence at the very bottom of the rung, and authority at the top. Good luck in attempting to go worldwide with your beliefs. At some point we are simply going to hit a standstill and the world will run amuck with pockets of differing religions everywhere, not a uniform movement that is able to put the majority of people on the same page!
This signifies something very important about the nature of the Christian message. It is not nearly as magical as people have made it out to be, and yes, there is an increasing turnover that is occurring directly in response to the way the Bible presents so called facts. So part of the test involves asking this question: At what point should one consider whether it is actually sin and rebellion that leads people to stray away from Jesus?
I say this because whether my believing friends want to admit this or not, the fear of unbelief and apostasy is very alive among those who believe. The Bible explicitly warns people not to go astray because in so doing one is committing a faith based suicide. The Old Testament advocates stoning the blasphemer to death and the New Testament states that unbelievers are deceived by the devil and are being prepared for eternal destruction. I mean, let us not be naive about what is happening here. The Bible would have us all believe that there are no other alternatives to consider! There is no other way to approach the human predicament. Or is there?