Monday, June 14, 2010

Debunking Christianity: Step Outside the Box and See it for What it is

Recently John W. Loftus posted an article on his blog that I think shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be a Christian. He asserts that people are Christians because they have been indoctrinated because we are raised as Christians. If Loftus is correct than we would never expect people who were not raised in a Christian context or culture to ever become Christians. And only people who learn about psychology and anthropology and science would leave Christianity. The problem is that there is too much examples of how none of these things are true. How do you explain people like William Lane Craig and Lee Strobel? They were atheists and became Christians. I was raised in church my whole life. Although I've dedicated my career to science and engineering, going as far to earn advanced degrees in physics, engineering, and computer science, and yet I just don't see any evidence that would prove that the Bible is untrustworthy. Loftus himself tried this argument against David Wood in his debate with him earlier this year to which Wood responded that he had been an atheist and was raised an atheist. As long as people like Wood exist, Loftus' argument can't be valid.

Let's step it up a notch, and ask what about people like me who are Christians and were raised as Christians? We all come to God the same way. We have to agree with God that He is right and we have to make the committment to God for ourselves. My father and mother choosing to live lives serving God means nothing for me and my life. It means they get the blessings and rewards but not me after the point in which I had to decide for myself if Jesus is what He claimed to be and if the Bible is true. After researching other religions and examining the Bible throughout my life I find that it more than measures up. Are there things in the Bible that I would change? Yes. This is why I am accountable. But I can't reach that standard on my own. Neither can you. Because it cuts through everyone's excuses and calls us to a higher standard than anyone of us can live on our own, this is evidence that the Bible is true.

John Loftus wrote:

Christians ought to learn about the influences in their lives that cause them to believe as they do. They should study a bit of psychology and anthropology that describe how we think and how foreign other cultures are to one another. I think doing so will cause them to be skeptics. For skepticism is an acquired trait through the process of learning about these things. Doing so will cause Christians to begin to see their own inherited religion as the box it is. I'm a skeptic in part because I have learned through the sciences that I should be skeptical. Skepticism is therefore an acquired virtue. People who are unaware of the cultural influences that shape their thinking have not yet developed this acquired virtue. It requires a certain distance from ourselves and our cultures. But only through skepticism can someone see the cultural box as a cultural box. Until you have the courage and the will to be skeptical, you don't even know you're in one.

I disagree that holding fast to the Bible and its revelations is choosing to be in box. No, rather, holding on to Jesus is breaking out of the box that you don't know just how deep you in. When a person gets saved they have an epithany. They realize just how wonderful and holy God is and then you take a look at yourself and for the first time in your life to you see you as truly are. All apostates and people who walk away from Christianity all have in common that they have not had that experience. When you realize how hopeless in sin you are - drowning your own crap - and crying out to Jesus and He helps you out of it - giving you a new heart and a change of mind. If you have not experienced it you cannot understand it. However, I love the testimony from Isaiah. I didn't have the experience He had where He saw God's glory and he immediately understood his place. I didn't see God's glory but I had the same realization. This is why I understand Isaiah's gratitude for salvation. Isaiah said in Isaiah 6:5 -

"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

This is exactly how I felt when I got saved. It's not about what you do but what God does for you. It's about the purpose for which God made us not what we think or what we want. Christianity is not supposed to be a religion engaged in fear and manipulation where you try to live a life good enough to convince God to let you into Heaven. Christianity is not about you getting to live any kind of way just because you prayed the "sinner's prayer" at some point but there is no change in their character. Loftus says he understands Christianity but he misses these fundamental points. The proof is his poor showing in his debates against D'Souza and David Wood. Apostates like Loftus merely trade one box for another and they don't even realize it. They think they are free but even more hopelessly enslaved. Christianity is not's a gift that not everyone gets.

Debunking Christianity: Step Outside the Box and See it for What it is
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