10 Questions Every Christian Should Ask
That’s the title of an Atheist Missionary Tract. The questions are supposed to trigger thoughts that will make Christians say, “Whoa. I never pondered these things before this brilliant atheist brought them to my mind. Why, the things that I believe must be crazy because there is just no rational response to these provocative questions. Sir, what must I do to become an Atheist?”
The main point of this Missionary Tract is that prayer doesn’t work. Therefore God doesn’t exist. The creator of this Missionary Tract says that it’s designed specifically for:
“Christians who are intelligent, college educated, professional types.”
Isn’t that just like those who are apart from Christ; judging people’s worth and ability by their education? You can be sure that where you find someone judging others by their intelligence, judging by appearance and degree of wealth won’t be far behind. This shouldn’t surprise. Intelligence is tremendously important to atheists because intelligence is the main object of their faith, with science and pride being the second and third aspects of their triune god. Thankfully, Jesus operates on a plain with more substance and acceptance than that. Anyhow, the questions in this Tract begin as follows:
1. Why won’t God heal amputees?
Hmmm. If God won’t heal amputees then He must not exist. Don’t laugh! That is the exact conclusion of the author of this post. Now, I agree, the word “miracle” is overused and misused. Generally, people’s use of the word completely overlooks the fact that miracles, as they are described in the Bible, are always and only used in regard to building the Kingdom of God. Nevertheless, the author says that a Christian, even one with a college education will only be able to come up with a “poor rationalization” in response to this perceived conundrum. Well, how about this? The reason that God doesn’t cause a new limb to appear, and the reason we don't ask Him to make this happen is because when an arm or a leg or whatever is cut off, as far as our time on earth is concerned, it’s the end of the line. Praying for a new leg to appear would be like praying to make it to the airport on time when you know that your plane left two hours ago. It would be like praying for the company that closed last fall to give you a big raise for this coming Christmas. It would be like praying for your uncle who died ten years ago to drop in for a visit tomorrow. It’s a done deal my friend. The show is over. The train has left the station. Some things are the end of the book, and losing a limb is one of them.
2. Why are there so many starving people?
How about war, greed, corrupted self-love, selfishness and a lust for power? How about because you won’t share your wealth with the poor? All of these things come under the umbrella of sin. You know? That thing that atheists say doesn't exist?
3. Why does God demand the death of innocent people in the Bible?
You don’t have to listen to atheists very long before you get the impression that they think an ideal world would be one where no one ever dies. No negative consequences for planet earth there, huh?
The fact is, death is a part of the type of world that those in rebellion to God forced us to have. We’ve got this type of world until Jesus returns and we’d be better off learning to adapt to it instead of shedding crocodile tears over questions about which you aren’t even interested in the answers. More importantly, don’t you think it’s weird how the author of this tract and people like him will focus on a war, or famine or school shooting and demand an answer from God as to why He allowed these things to happen? And they’ll say something like, "How can He be a God of love when, blah, blah, blah!" They sound so enthralled with their logic. It’s even more weird how they’ll never demand an answer from God as to why He gave them hands that work perfectly, picking up, turning things off and on, fixing, adjusting, caressing, creating and exploring with exquisite dexterity. It’s mind-boggling to watch how they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He gave them mouths with the ability to sound out words, taste foods, sense temperature and texture with extraordinary sensitivity; mouths and vocal cords that can moan, cry and sing. They never seem to consider the contradiction in how they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He gave them eyes that can communicate emotion and explore the majestic beauty of Creation. They use the word creation without ever considering the Creator. They never seem to wonder why it is that they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He has allowed them to be born in an unimaginably huge and hostile universe on this little jewel of a planet. They don’t ever consider why they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He continues to allow them to take for granted the fact that they have more food than they can eat; as much money as they need, and a health care system that the majority of humanity cannot even conceive of. They don’t ever seem to wonder what kind of a person would take all of these gifts and still curse the God who gave it all to them. They don’t ever seem to think it odd that they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He is so good to them even when they hate Him, ignore Him, reject Him and hate those who love Him. Of course if a conversation goes in this direction, they will immediately yell "There is no God," since it doesn’t work so well to let God exist only when you want to blame Him for something.
Because none of us are innocent, the most important question of all is, “Why does Jesus grant salvation to billions of people who don’t deserve it?”
4. Why is there anti scientific material in the Bible?
Have you ever considered how arrogant a person must be to say, “Because I can’t understand something, therefore no one else can understand it either? Because I haven’t discovered truth, I therefore declare, ‘There is no truth’?
The author says that because a flood could never cover Mt. Everest therefore no flood ever happened. It’s never occurred to the author that Mt. Everest wasn’t always Mt. Everest. We can know that at one time, based on fossil evidence that parts of Mt. Everest were once part of the sea floor. Something, something cataclysmic caused tremendous shifting of the earth’s plates and what we now know as Mt. Everest was formed. Actually, that’s pretty scientific. Another comment was that the Bible says that Adam was created from a handful of dust. Ya, well, if it comes down to non life turning into life via the command of a Creator or non turning into life accidentally (atheists actually claim that inanimate and inorganic gases evolved - Pfft), I’ll take the Creator version every time.
5. Why does God condone slavery?
He doesn’t. In fact we are told in the Bible that there will be a special punishment for “Slave Traders.” As well, Paul says that if you can legally get out of being a slave then by all means, do so. On the other hand, Paul gives advice to those who are CHRISTIAN slaves and it applies to all of us, even to those who feel like they're treated like slaves by their employer. In the Bible you’ll find that the story line deals with life as it is, not as it might be in our dreams. You see, a life with God isn’t about running away from reality. It’s about living an abundant and full life in the midst of reality. People typically spend so much time running away from the difficulties of life that they completely miss the learning and growth in character that comes from wading into the middle of those difficulties. There are many good posts on the internet re: the subject of slavery in the Bible. These posts are clearly presented and if the author was serious about addressing this subject he’d do more than just throw out unsubstantiated claims.
6. Why do bad things happen to good people?
How about, because we live in a world where bad things happen - to all people. Here’s a better question. Why did bad things happen to Jesus, the only “good” and perfectly innocent person to ever walk the face of the earth? Whatever we may say about how and why God has allowed His creation to wallow in the effects of sin, the fact remains that God took His own medicine. This is an important point for someone like the author to contemplate. Why would God come to earth to specifically experience the horrors that this life has to offer? And it wasn’t just run-of-the-mill life that He experienced. Unlike North American atheists, the hardships that Jesus suffered went beyond having to listen to people talk about Christ at Christmas.
No, Jesus’ time on this planet was earth-bound life at its worst. We are told in the Bible, “Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered.” We are told in the Bible “Jesus was a man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief and suffering.” These are familiar words, but to what exactly are they referring? Some say that what Jesus suffered was what He experienced on the cross. Certainly Jesus was obedient “even unto death on the cross.” However you don’t bench press 100kgs. before you’ve first learned to lift 50kgs. Jesus had obviously learned obedience in lighter issues long, long before He lifted His cross. Just a few of the many examples:
. He was born, on purpose, into grinding poverty and purposely remained there throughout His life on earth.
. He was born into a race of people that is almost universally hated.
. He later experienced the hatred of people from His own race.
. He experienced undiluted rejection by those closest to Him - His own family
. He experienced at a young age the death of someone close - His Dad
. He will have born the weight of responsibility - Oldest Son
. He was misunderstood by literally everyone, including his closest friends and students.
These are just a fraction of the “bad things” that happened to the only truly good person who ever lived. And as to the question of why? That happened so that you could be forgiven. That happened so that you could be freed from the power of sin and the consequences of real guilt.
7. Why is there no evidence of Jesus miracles?
You mean other than a resurrection that resulted in the most vibrant, exciting, freedom giving movement to ever appear on the face of the earth? You mean other than a resurrection that changed the world into a “before Christ” and “after Christ” frame of reference? You mean other than a resurrection that brought a change so drastic in individuals lives that hospitals came into being? And not just hospitals but Orphanages, Emergency shelters, Addictions treatment centres, Schools, Home building projects, Emergency food programs, Treatment centres for leprosy, AID’s shelters, Relief programs, Seniors homes, Drop-in centres, and Clothing depots. You mean other than a resurrection that placed Christianity at the forefront of all the most technologically and industrially advanced countries in the world? You mean other than a resurrection that generated followers who began the first universities and laid the groundwork for modern science?
8. Why doesn’t Jesus just appear in front of you?
He doesn’t need to. The overwhelming evidence of Jesus’ death on the cross, His burial and His resurrection and appearance to others, as well as the presence of His Spirit in my soul are enough evidence for me. This isn’t a rationalisation. It’s the facts, Jack. Besides, if Jesus appeared in front of an atheist, s/he’d find a naturalistic explanation for it. Remember? Atheists don’t believe in miracles.
9. Why does he ask us to eat his body and drink his blood?
He doesn’t. It’s unfortunate that the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church have resulted in turning out more atheists and agnostics than any other system of thought on earth. Nevertheless, Jesus was speaking metaphorically regarding His sacrificial death on the cross. He was telling us to be willing to follow Him down any path, including the one leading to death if it is required of us. As Christians we are to take part in the Lord’s supper or communion “In remembrance of Me.” Taken in context with the rest of Jesus’ teaching, it is impossible to make a case for Jesus saying that taking this sacrament
(a) turns into His body and blood, and
(b) leads to salvation.
I’m certain that Jesus statements in John 6:53-68 were intended to be confusing as He was addressing those who had, up to this point refused to believe any and all signs that Jesus had presented to them. He instead laid out for those willing to learn what His sacrifice meant for them. That He spoke about eternal life as a result of “eating and drinking” should show that He was not talking about eating in the normal earthly sense. The key to understanding John 6:53-68 is found in the verses 6:51 - “I am the living bread that came down from heaven,”and 6:63 - “The Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” In 6:51 He is speaking metaphorically. In 6:63, to make sure that He isn’t misunderstood, Jesus explains to the disciples that He was speaking metaphorically.
10. Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as normal people.
Christians get divorced to the degree that they obey or disobey Jesus and how He asks us to treat each other. For example -
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control), impartial and sincere. Peace makers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness (James 3: 17,18 (insertion of spiritual fruit mine). Or
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, Holy, and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. And forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:12, 13).
This is as good a recipe for a great marriage as any I’ve found. To the degree that Christians follow it, to that degree will their marriage last. Currently, many Christians are following that advice to the same degree that non Christians are following that advice. Hence, the same divorce rate.
One final thing. I don’t need from Jesus an answer to every little thing. When someone has proved himself to me 99 times, I’m confident that number 100 will turn out ok as well.