The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Responding to Haters

178

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

If you begin with the assumption that there is no God, Christianity sounds pretty ludicrous, and dedicated Christians sound delusional. This is where the haters come in. There is a large crop of folks out there who have nothing better to do then sit around pointing out all the ways that Christians seem like idiots from their perspective. Many of them have gone so far as to construct elaborate websites which are dedicated to mocking Christian doctrines and specific Christian teachers.

Now if you really think Christians are idiots, why bother with them at all? Well, atheism is just another religion and among the adherents of any religion we can find those who are zealously trying to gain new converts. Many who feel a burning need to construct websites with the general theme of “all Christians are morons” identify themselves as being in the atheism camp and they’re just out to convince others to think like them.

FUNDAMENTALISTS

One of the popular bash labels of the day for crazy Christians is fundamentalist or fundie. When those who don’t know what they’re talking about come across Christian statements which sound extreme, they instantly whip out the “fundamentalist” label. Among the haters, to call a Christian a fundamentalist is supposed to be some major insult. Among Christians, many view the term as a positive label which separates them out from other Christians who they feel have drifted off course.

The fundamentalist movement in the Christian Church began as a reaction against theological liberalism. Those who call themselves fundamentalists view themselves as trying to get the Church back on track. One of the defining beliefs of true fundamentalists is supposed to be that the bible is inerrant. Since we teach that the bible is full of errors, it’s utterly laughable that the writers of this site get labeled as “fundies”, and yet we do all the time.

To attract critics, you only need to stand for something in this world and refuse to let other people define your beliefs for you. Since this is what we do, we have gained many critics both inside and outside of the Church. People are always impressed by strong convictions, even when they disagree with what those convictions are. So at some point you’ll probably come across a website that is spending a lot of space accurately and not so accurately quoting things that we’ve written and going on and on about what brainless fools we are. Does this bother us? No. Human opinions are irrelevant. We don’t do what we do to gather fans or make money. The purpose of this site is to provide guidance for people who already have an interest in developing a relationship with God. We have no interest in trying to artificially develop such an interest in people. Our position on mocking God is simple: go for it, and see how well that works out for you in eternity.

THE LIMITS OF HATERS

Now since all wisdom comes from God, those who mock Him are noticeably lacking in the wisdom department. You’ll find that many anti-Christian arguments are ridiculously weak because the ones doing the criticizing simply don’t know what they are talking about. For example, many God haters like to isolate one juicy verse in the Bible in which Yahweh is reaming out Israel or commanding her to kill people and then say, “See? God is an ogre.” Because they do not understand context, and because they’re intentionally ignoring all the other passages of Scripture in which Yahweh demonstrates great love and grace, haters think many of their arguments against Christianity are a lot more solid than they are.

Now every criticism of God stems from core beliefs about who He is. Haters fall into the same trap that many Christians do: they think that they get to decide who God can and can’t be. Because they don’t like the idea of a God who does evil or a God who inflicts pain on people, they think merely pointing out discussions of such things proves some amazing point about what idiots Christians are. Well, no, it doesn’t. God really does do all sorts of things that seem quite monstrous from our perspective. In the Old Testament, Yahweh takes full responsibility for bringing in human armies to cut open pregnant women with swords and bash infants to death on rocks. This is reality: God does horrific things to people in this world. Yet some haters think that to merely say, “The Christian God is a baby killer,” is as good as proving that the Christian God must not be real. This argument only holds up if we start with the assumption that a real God couldn’t ever do things we don’t like. Well, yes, He could and He does.

When we start with a foundation of lies, all of the arguments we build on that foundation are going to be utterly flawed. Many anti-Christian internet forums are simply places where people who desperately need God not to exist can gather to try and keep their delusions alive through the power of community confirmation. When you want to believe that a lie is true, it really helps if people constantly affirm you in that lie. This is why anti-Christian forums become so popular: the notion of us all having to answer to God when we die is utterly terrifying to those who know they are good candidates for being thrown into Hell. There are only two ways to resolve this crisis: suck up your pride and submit to your Creators, or keep shouting at the top of your lungs that all Christians are crazy and God isn’t real. Many choose to go that second route. Let them. Such rebellion is its own reward.

THE VALUE OF HATERS

Though their intentions are lousy, haters can actually be of benefit to you in your walk. While most of their arguments against Christianity only display their own ignorance, now and then they hit upon a valid flaw in Christian thinking. For example, when it comes to this business about the bible being inerrant, there’s all kinds of ground for mockery. As bad as haters are at interpreting Scripture, even they can dig up a few obvious examples of error in the bible. They’re also very good at pointing out apparent contradictions in Scripture, although many of the entries they cite are not valid because they don’t understand context. It makes for an interesting read to review some little hater’s long list of biblical errors which he’s taken countless hours to compile. If you ever come across such a list, see if you can resolve some of the discrepancies he thinks he has found. See if you can determine which are valid and which are just based on his own misunderstanding of context. Reading applications of Scripture from the viewpoint of those who hate God can give you a fresh perspective. It’s also a very good lesson on how easy it is to make Scriptures say whatever you want them to say in order to affirm your current beliefs.

One of the most useful functions haters serve is in helping you identify the weak points in your own faith. Haters will try their best to make your theological structure crumble by pelting you with all of the notoriously tough questions, like “If God is so good, why does He let some five-year-old get gunned down at school?” If you’re not well versed on the topics of God’s sovereignty, His involvement with evil, and His priorities, you’ll find such a question very upsetting. Here is where many Christians go into an unnecessary panic and think that if they can’t instantly come up with some perfectly worded zinger that shuts the hater down, perhaps the hater is right after all. Here’s where we need to understand how spiritual growth works.

THE PROCESS OF MATURITY

Maturing in your walk with God is a process. You’re not going to have all of the answers today, but you can get a lot more answers than the Church will lead you to believe. Many Christians are discouraged from seeking out answers to tough questions. Instead they’re told to sweep all difficult topics under the “God’s ways are mysterious” rug and stop thinking about them. Well, this kind of copout isn’t going to get you where you want to go.

While God is infinitely complex and His intelligence is utterly mind-blowing, His ways aren’t nearly as mysterious as we’re encouraged to believe. Though we’ll never be able to predict God’s next move, we can certainly understand the basic principles of why He does what He does. A firm grasp of those principles takes much of the fear, shock, and confusion out of life. For example, everything that God does in your life is about creating opportunities to strengthen your personal bond with Him. This is true for both the saved and the unsaved. God is pursuing us all while we are on this earth. This place is like a testing ground in which we’re given the chance to decide how we’re going to respond to our Creators. We can either submit to Them or defy Them. We can either pursue Them or reject Them. Once we understand that our lives are not a serious of random events, but instead a series of carefully orchestrated events, we are no longer stumped by the question “Why did God do such-and-such”. We know why He did it: to draw souls closer to Him. Because we can’t see people’s souls from God’s perspective, we won’t understand the exact mechanics of how one particular event is spiritually advantageous for every single soul who is affected by it. But we can certainly understand God’s ultimate goal, and that takes much of the mystery out of it. It’s like watching a chef at work in a kitchen—you can understand that he is baking a cake without understanding all of the steps involved.

Now what’s fascinating about God is that the closer we get to Him, the more He explains the reasoning behind His methods, and the more He spikes our curiosity to learn more. Drawing closer to God is an endless cycle of new questions and fascinating answers. The more we learn, the more we want to learn.

RESPONDING TO HATERS

There’s no need to feel threatened by haters if your faith is actually grounded in God and not in a mere book or the beliefs of other people. But if you’re just following the confident voices of others in life and you don’t have any real connection to God yourself, then haters will do you a favor by knocking your weak faith onto the ground. You see, haters are a committed crowd. They’re committed to lies, but they’re still committed, and they’ll triumph over wafflers every time. If you come across some argument for why Christianity is a crock and you feel utterly unraveled by it, it’s time to get back to basics. If God is as real as Christians claim He is, and if He loves you as much as He says He does, then you have nothing to worry about. As Yahweh once said to a group of spiritual rebels:

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all of your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)

You can’t find God unless He reveals Himself to you. He says that He will if you sincerely seek Him. So if you come across some site or speech or blog or comment that makes you suddenly have serious doubts about God’s existence, this is a very good thing. The fact that you can still be pushed into such a state demonstrates there are some major holes in your confidence. Better to find this out now and get those holes shored up than to go through your entire life with some illusion of security.

If the haters are right and Christianity is a crock, don’t you want to find this out? You do if you sincerely want to know the truth. If the Christians aren’t right, some other group might be, for the world is filled with conflicting religions which are all claiming to be the only way. A wise person will seek out truth with a wide open mind, prepared for the real truth to be very different than what they were expecting.

It’s a very serious problem if you’re only calling yourself a Christian because that’s what your parents called you or because of your nationality or because you want to belong to some church group. Christianity says that Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are the only Creators in existence. Christianity teaches that when we die, we will all answer to these three Creators and end up in either Heaven or Hell based on how well we pleased Them on earth. Before you waste your time trying to please these Gods, you need to be darn sure that They are real, and you can’t possibly acquire such certainty by trusting in the opinions of mere mortals.

Even if you get to the point where you know Christianity is right, which version is right? Christians are constantly bickering amongst each other and dividing over various doctrines. Some say God does evil, others insist He doesn’t. Some say the bible is perfect, others say it’s full of error. Some say salvation is permanent, others say it can be lost. What are you to make of all this? Well, all of this fighting boils down to one question: How do our Gods operate and what do They want from us? Clearly They are the only Ones who can accurately answer this question for you. So if you really want to know the truth, you need to bypass the yammering middlemen and go direct: ask Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to teach you Their truth. If you’re feeling uncertain that these three are really the right Gods, don’t panic and don’t lie about where you are at. We must be totally honest about our doubts if we’re ever to gain rock-solid confidence in truth. If you’re having doubts about who God is or if He even exists, then back up a step and pray, “God if You are real, help me to find You and know You.”

The search for truth is not complicated, but it takes courage to face our doubts. Some of you are lying to yourselves about how uncertain you are about your faith. Some of you feel too ashamed or scared to ask certain questions. Realize that your doubts aren’t going to go away until you face up to them and start seeking answers, so why waste any more time? If the haters have you worked into anxious knots about what you really believe, good. They’ve done you a big favor by helping you see that you’re not nearly as sure about truth as you thought you were. It’s time to pray. If God is real, you’ve got nothing to worry about, for He will resolve your questions for you.

The road to peace begins with the courage to ask some honest questions. Seek God, and you will find Him. You will find Him and know Him and be so certain of what truth is that all the little haters will have to start attacking you as well because just seeing your confidence will make them realize how uncertain they are about their own beliefs. God can’t be defined by us and He won’t cease to be at our command—these two pesky truths really haunt the haters. A little honest soul searching would do them a lot of good, but most of them won’t go there because the reality is that they have already encountered God in their souls and they already know that He is. This is why they shout so loudly and so continuously—it is their useless attempt to drown out His Voice in their hearts. Perhaps some of them will tire of their games and face the truth. By facing up to your own doubts, you can show them the way.

FURTHER READING:
How do I find God?
Why You Need to Mock God (For Non-Christians)
Faith in Crisis: How to Grow Through the Storm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: