Every few months I get an article that extols the reasons why a person is leaving the Christian faith and why he or she is now an atheist. I read these articles and become disappointed thinking about the view of Christianity this person has seen to make them go astray. But it is the view of American Christianity that many people have. The view is that Christians are self-centered, money-hungry, two-faced, homophobes, that are trying to force everyone that disagrees with us to bow to our wishes. We are made to look bad when we stand up for what we believe, so when we do slip people pile on.
All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. John 16:1
When I read this verse it helped me realize that some people will go astray. They will walk away from Christianity because life happens, or because they have found many reasons to not believe in the God of the bible (Luke 8). Let’s face it, there are reasons given daily on the TV or in new books or every Easter and Christmas in a special segment that magazines run. If you look you can find a reason almost daily to go astray because enlightened people don’t believe in God, and more specifically, the God of the bible. In the parable of the sower, Jesus calls this cares. The cares of the world just became so great that the person does go astray from their faith.
So how do we overcome this?
Stop Focusing On The Negative.
Yes, you should check everything you read. No, you should not check your brain at the door. But you should ask yourself how much of this is true and how much is false. Take Creationism for example. You can’t prove creation scientifically, just like some Christians say they can’t really prove Darwinism. Now can we see that one or the other is true absolutely because we are here? Does your Christian faith rest on whether or not God spoke and created everything, absolutely not! Salvation requires you to put your trust in Jesus and trust him with your life, not believe in creationism.
Don’t put the weight of trying to learn every nuance of the Christian faith on yourself.
We try so hard to obey when we read, “Always have an answer.” This has made us overly skeptical of people that are not Christians. We project a mean spirit when we act like we have all the answers or try to have all the answers. If someone asks you a question it’s o.k. to say, “I don’t know.” They want to look smart so let them, and don’t worry about it.
Jesus said to love each other and serve each other so we need to serve. Do we serve well? No, not all the time but we are human. We are trying to be better at serving. But, it is ingrained in our culture to be self-serving and expecting the rest of the world to come to us. Missional churches are learning to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Not to get people in the door, but to just serve people and let them know God loves them.
One of the best ways to stop focusing on struggling with your faith is focusing on the hungry and hurting. Give back instead of trying to find fault. I am not saying that this is the cure for those who are seriously doubting their faith. I am saying this to those that these few things will begin to help those who are seriously trying to resolve issues.
What If You Want To Give In?
If you have done your due diligence and really tried to examine the Christian faith. I mean really tried to prove or disprove it, and you decide Christianity is not right for you, that’s o.k. see Luke 8. But, if you have just heard someone say Christianity isn’t cool and you decide to go astray because you want to fit in, then you have done a disservice to what you say you believe. Try to really look at what real faith is. Look at 1st Corinthians 13 and try to live your life on it, not just facts. Most importantly, Don’t just give up!