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What if God is really evil? What if Jesus is really Satan in disguise? What if God is just pretending to be all sweetness and love now, but He’s really planning to throw us all into Hell the moment we die? What if the cross was just a big charade that was intended to give us a false sense of security about how much God loves us? What if the whole Bible is a crock and Christianity is just a nutty tale that some alpha personality invented one day and a bunch of other people went along with? What if all the prophets in the Bible were high on drugs when they had their “Divine visions”? As a Christian, have you ever found yourself asking these kinds of questions? How do you feel when you do?
THE GUILT RESPONSE
Whenever you find yourself mulling over some theory that grossly insults your Creators—such as the concept of Jesus being Satan—and then you suddenly realize what you’re doing and feel awful about it, it’s important to understand what is actually going on.
Why does your soul feel terrible for doubting God? Because your soul wants to please God. If your soul hated God, it wouldn’t be the least bit bothered by the suggestion that Jesus Christ is a sadistic creep or a mere delusion. Whenever you find yourself repulsed by what seems to be your own thought, you need to realize that the thought you’re reacting to didn’t originate from you.
Demons plant thoughts into your mind all the time, and they have a very clever way of deceiving you into taking credit for the rot they come up with. It’s a simple matter of watching their grammar. By using first person language, they can get you to take credit for pretty much anything.
The problem starts with you having a poor understanding of how thoughts arrive in your brain. For starters, you think your mind is some private room that demons have no access to. Look up the question “Can demons read our minds?” on the internet, and most Christian teachers will tell you that they can’t. Well, most Christian teachers are delusional. Demons most certainly can read your thoughts. They can also hear your soul’s communication with God, they can manipulate your flesh, and they can do perfect imitations of your “thought voice”. Demons are first rate impersonators, and they love to impersonate both you and God inside your head. When they want you to think that you’re talking to yourself, they use “I” language. When they want you to think God is talking to you, they use “you” language. For example:
You’re such a disappointment to Me. When you hear this thought, you instantly jump to the conclusion that God is talking, then you spiral down into all kinds of guilt and shame because you think God is rejecting you.
I think the whole Jesus thing is a crock. When you hear this thought, you instantly take credit for it, because you can’t imagine anyone else using “I” language in your mind. Because your soul really does want to please God, you then get all distressed at the idea that you are insulting your Savior. But in reality, you haven’t insulted anyone—demons planted the thought in your head just to agitate you and it worked because you don’t understand how they operate. It’s time to get more educated on this subject. See our post Voices in Your Mind to learn more about the origins of your thoughts. Learning to stop taking responsibility for thoughts that didn’t come from you is a critical part of developing good discernment.
THE FEAR RESPONSE
The kind of guilt we’ve been discussing is a result of your soul disagreeing with what is being said and feeling distressed by the idea of God being insulted. But as you listen to demons weaving clever arguments about why your faith in God is utterly misplaced, another emotion rises to the surface: fear.
So where is the fear coming from? Well, as demons rattle off their many reasons for why Jesus is evil or God is non-existent, you discover that you’re unable to come up with a convincing rebuttal. The reality is that your confidence in God is severely limited at the moment. Down in your core, you’ve got a lot of unresolved doubts that you usually try to avoid looking at because they scare you. And by constantly denying how insecure you really are in your relationship with God, you give yourself a false sense of confidence. “Of course I know God is good. Of course I know Christianity is the only true religion.” But do you really know these things?
When we talk about our faith in God, we are often describing who we wish we were, not who we actually are. We claim confidence and trust that we don’t really have. We publicly scoff at the idea of doubting, while inwardly we’re doubting like crazy. Such denial feels like an important defense at first, but if God lets us stay there, we’ll end up stagnating. So at some point, He’ll bring demons in to do what they do best: make you see the limits of your trust in God.
Every Christian starts out with raging insecurities and deep core fears when it comes to their relationship with God. But we’re such skilled blowhards that we can easily convince our brothers and sisters in the Lord that we’re far more advanced in the faith than we really are. We act like the wife who brags about how devoted her husband is to her while she inwardly worries that he’s having an affair. It’s very rare to find a Christian whose faith is as strong as he or she claims it is. Most Christians are just putting on acts that they desperately wish were true, yet their constant denial of their own fears is preventing them from ever growing past spiritual infancy.
The good news is that strong faith is not some unattainable fantasy. It is very possible to acquire rock solid confidence in the goodness of your Creators. More good news is that They are far more realistic than you are about the spiritual maturation process. While you panic in the face of doubts which you’ve been denying you have all this time, They have always known the limits of your confidence in Them. The reason They are now forcing you to see those limits is that the time has come for you to progress to the next level.
So how do you gain rock solid faith in God? The popular theory the Church puts out is that faith is strengthened by consistently refusing to acknowledge our doubts. When we buy into this theory, we end up with a long list of questions that “real Christians” aren’t supposed to ask. If you question certain fundamental truths about God out loud around other Christians, you’ll either end up getting shunned or you’ll be told that you must not really be saved. The common belief in the Church is that we simply don’t ask certain questions after we’re saved. Yet in reality, it is only after we are saved and progressing forward in our walks with God that He will cause certain questions to rise to the surface.
Strong faith is acquired not by running from doubts or by trying to ignore their existence, but rather by facing them head on. Now what makes facing our doubts so threatening is the fact that we cannot resolve them on our own. For example, God is the only One who can really convince you of His reality. Until you look to Him directly and stop with all of the religious props, you’ll never obtain the confidence you really need. Does the Church help you in this process? No, she blocks you at every turn. She tells you to blindly accept the fact that the Bible is “God-breathed” and then she tells you that the Book is all the “proof” you need that God is real. Well, no, it’s really not. Many religions have their sacred texts which they claim to be divinely inspired. It is a fact that Allah does not exist, yet look at how many ardent followers he has in the world today. How do people get themselves into a position where they have put their faith in a complete delusion? By doing what the Church tells us to do: placing their faith in a written book and certain human teachers instead of seeking a direct connection with the deity they are supposed to be worshiping.
God is the only One who can convince you that He is real and that He is good. Why does this upset you? Because you can’t control God. He isn’t a book you can open whenever you feel like. You can’t force God to speak to you. The Church works hard to protect you from this truth by teaching you that God and the Bible are one and the same, therefore to open up the Word is to part God’s very lips for Him. This is such idolatrous rot. God is most certainly not a book, and if some book is all you’re going on, you’re in big trouble. There must be a real soul connection between you and your Creators, or you have nothing. When you quote chapter and verse, you are merely quoting words that mere mortals penned centuries ago. We could just as easily quote from an email you dashed off to your friend five years ago and call that “Divinely inspired.” What’s the difference? You didn’t personally know any of the men who wrote the documents in our modern day Bible. On what authority can you say that Moses wasn’t some raving fruitcake? How do you know that Isaiah was accurately speaking the words of Yahweh? The Church today is filled with phony prophets who are declaring all kinds of “words” that God never said. How do you know Ezekiel, Micah, and Nahum were any different? If your relationship with God is going to truly thrive, the day must come when you face up to the fact that most of what you believe is based on things other humans have taught you—humans who you barely know and really have no reason to trust.
What sets Christianity apart from every other religion in the world is that our Gods are real, not mere delusions. Yet how many Christians today really understand this? How many Christians can honestly say that their faith in God is not solely built on the words in a book and doctrines of the Church? The sad reality is that many of us are acting no different than the pagans. We’re just going along with the majority opinion in our religious communities and blindly believing whatever some alpha personality says about who God is. We aren’t really seeking our Gods directly in the privacy of our own souls. We aren’t open to Them showing us that the Church is wrong, the Bible is flawed, and that the real truth is much different than we’ve been led to believe. We don’t really believe that our Gods are capable or willing to make us sure of who They are so we avoid asking Them certain questions. Well, such games will get us nowhere. Our Gods did not create us to spend our lives worshiping some pile of historical documents. They do not like it when we hang on the words of deluded teachers like the apostle Paul and act like the man is incapable of error. They do not like it when we say the Bible is all we need to guide us in life.
There’s only one way to gain certainty in God, and that is to drop your entire belief system at His feet and say, “Please correct it, purge it, and change it until Your truth is all that’s left.” Every doctrine must be surrendered to God. Every truth that you’ve always taken for granted must be placed under the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit. As long as we’re telling God that He can’t contradict our pastor or the Bible, we’re not really seeking Him, we’re just playing games. God is the only Authority on God. You can’t possibly claim that any doctrine is true until God Himself has confirmed it to you.
In the real pursuit of truth, we must not shrink back from asking certain questions. The only way you’re going to stop feeling threatened by the “what ifs” demons pelt you with is by taking their suggestions straight to God and asking Him to put your doubts to rest for you. “Jesus, the honest truth is that I don’t feel like I really know You at all, so how can I say for sure that You’re not evil?” This is an honest question, and you’re never going to get in trouble with God for being honest. Does Jesus expect you to have an intimate knowledge of Him the moment you get saved? Of course not. When we first come to our Creators, we are coming to virtual Strangers. We’re like a bride who meets her husband for the first time on her wedding day. She can sincerely promise to be faithful to him without understanding who he even is. In the same way, our submission to our Gods can be sincere before we understand who They really are. It is the sincerity of our submission that saves us, not our depth of understanding. But salvation is just the beginning. Our Gods then want us to go on to develop rich relationships with Them. A glorious, intimate, eternal romance is what They have in mind, not some cold, distant connection. But before They will teach us about Themselves, They insist that we open up to Them and be honest about our fears and doubts. We mustn’t hold anything back, for it is only total honesty that will be rewarded with a rich understanding of truth.
Can Jesus convince you of His reality, Divinity, and goodness? Absolutely. Can the Holy Spirit resolve your doubts for you? Yes, and when He resolves them, they will be resolved for real. We like to talk about the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, but we’re not willing to do the work that is required to obtain that peace. Denial must give way to honesty. Awkward, upsetting, and threatening questions must be asked. We must be willing to have God change our core beliefs and show us the error of our ways. We must stop putting other authorities above Him and finally accept the fact that He is the only One who can accurately teach us who He is.
Confidence in God will change your whole life. A real understanding of truth fills your soul with peace and frees you up from the need for other people to agree with you. Once you know the real Gods, you don’t need anything else. “All of You is more than enough for me”—we sing these words in our corporate worship sessions, but very few of us will ever realize how true they are. Do not be afraid to question God. When He forces you to face the current limits of your confidence in Him, He is showing you how much room there is to grow. Ask God to teach you His truth, and He will. As long as your confidence is rooted in a Bible or in the words of human beings, it will remain weak and easy to take down. But once God Himself becomes the Source of your confidence, it will be unshakable.
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Angry at God
Practicing Discernment: The Structure of Beliefs
How do we know that God is good?
How to Seek God