In the past few weeks, I’ve encountered on the internet and in life, various arguments against the existence of God and the Christian faith. I often pass by such arguments without commenting on the things I perceive to be misinterpretations and misconceptions because I do not have a perfect explanation for every question raised against faith and even in the things that I’m right, I might lack the words to convey my thoughts. I also do not think I have the right to jump into every discussion on social media because I think I’ve got the better argument so, I choose my arguments and discussions wisely.
In most of these arguments, one thing I’ve noticed is attempts by some zealous Christians to, by all means, prove the existence of God. Many times they fail to do that and the discussions ends in rancour. I do not blame these Christians. They are attempting an activity that is beyond their powers.
It is possible to believe in God and the Christian faith without rational explanations for such belief. After all, faith itself is not rational. Hence, to the Christian who has not engaged in a careful study of the things that make up our belief, I plead with you not to engage in arguments with people who deride the faith or blaspheme against God. You’re not equipped to do so, and there’s a chance no one is fully equipped to do so.
…trying to defend God is like defending a lion.
God requires no rational proof of his existence. Like the rapper and spoken word artist Propaganda said in his viral video, The Gospel in Four Minutes, “…trying to defend God is like defending a lion. Homie, he don’t (sic) need your help, just unlock the cage.” I chuckle every time I hear this because in spite of the imperfection of the imagery, it is quite amusing to picture it happen.
Does this imply there are no philosophically sound arguments for the existence of God? Of course there are, however, to attempt such defence implies you must have studied a bit of apologetics. Every Christian who has engaged in preaching the message understands the good in having an explanation for basic questions about sin, human nature, death and salvation. These explanations are not the things that save men, but they offer illumination to people who might be in the dark concerning those things. That is apologetics.
I believe apologetics starts with a proper understanding of the scriptures, not just as an academic document or a book of history but as the revealed word of God. I’m not a Christian apologist but I know the value of understanding the content of the New Testament, how they relate to the Laws and the Prophets and the explanations made by Apostles like John and Paul. I also believe anyone who intends to explain his faith to others should study popular Christian apologists like C.S. Lewis and Ravi Zacharias (my favourites) to see how they present our faith to people who have genuine questions.
Will these studies help you win arguments? If winning arguments is what you are interested in then you do not understand a thing about the Christian faith. What it would however do for you is to understand the perspectives of people who present honest concerns about the validity of the Christian faith and to realise when some are just trolling.
They are not the problem and we are not the solution.
Apostle Peter encourages us to be ready to answer anyone who asks us to give reasons for the hope we have*. “But do this with gentleness and respect” he adds at the end of the injunction. It is important for us to understand that there is a difference between defending our faith in God and defending God himself. None of the two warrants anger or violence from us. And we should never see the man that asks questions about our faith as the enemy because that is against the faith we profess. We should never feel threatened by their questions the point where we attack other people. They are not the problem and we are not the solution.
Also, the phrase, “Because my pastor said so” should never be heard from a Christian. If we have no answers to questions asked, it is better we keep our mouth shut than make that ridiculous statement. A proper study of the bible is the way to grow and if we are not doing enough of that and relying just on the teaching of our pastors then our faith is already under siege. Remember to be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth**.
*1 Peter 3:15
**2 Timothy 2:15