As a former atheist, there were many reasons why I was not a theist (nonetheless a Christian). Usually, when the discussion of Christianity would come up I would have a few pocketed arguments I would reach for when pressed on the issue. Surely, folks reject the Christian faith for various reasons—some I have held in the past and some I have not. But, here are five (of many) poor reasons to reject Christianity.
I Have Met Some Bad People Who Are Christian
Nobody likes hypocrisy. Jesus was staunchly against it. In Matthew 23, Jesus is prescribing woes upon the Pharisees, calling them “hypocrites,” “blind guides,” and even a “child of hell.” These were the religious leaders of Jesus’ time, and they were hypocrites! Jesus even plainly tells them that “they preach, but do not practice” (Mt. 23:3). While hypocrisy is vile and detestable, it does not in and of itself affect the truth value of Christianity. If we are to judge a religion, we must do so by its tenets and by its claims.
A poor practitioner of a religion does not affect the religion’s validity or worth. Being opposed to Christianity because of hypocrisy implies an understanding that there is value in Christianity, otherwise, the hypocrisy wouldn’t be surprising or off-putting; it would be expected. Rejecting the Christian faith because of bad Christians does two things 1) admits that Christianity has some type of higher standard which its followers are amenable to, and 2) makes a large illogical jump to a conclusion.
Some Religions Are Evil So All Are
Usually, the argument is that since we can know and list some examples when atrocities were performed by religious fanatics, all religions and beliefs in a god are bad for society and should not be adhered to. I could do the same thing with atheism and agnosticism. While atheism certainly does cheapen human life and the sanctity thereof (it’s difficult to make an argument that a random collection of atoms which evolved from a primordial soup of dead matter by chance has unalienable rights), I cannot write off agnosticism as false because adherents to atheism have performed atrocities.
It’s been rightfully stated before that the belief that all religions are harmful to society because some are is akin to believing that I shouldn’t eat any fruits because some are poisonous. Another religion’s evil (or the evil of warped Christianity) does not impact the validity of Christianity.
Christianity Isn’t the Modern Way of Thinking
This statement asserts that because there are conflicting and more modern schools of thought, the older thought system of Christianity must, therefore, be false. Hopefully, the absurdity of such a stance is obvious. Christianity does not become increasingly less valid as time marches away from Jesus’ crucifixion. A theory, philosophy, religion, or school of thought does not become false simply because it is “old.” If such were the case, then whatever school of thought was the most modern (and contradicted the previous one) would be true.
If we are familiar with reality, we should recognize that truth does not operate on a “whatever is new is true” basis. If such were the case, whatever the newest philosophy is, it’s true! If the Bible was correct 2,000 years ago, it is correct now. We may not like what Christianity states, claims, or tells us about ourselves, but its age does not make it any less valid
There Are Many Supposed “gods”
This stance usually states that because there are so many gods which supposedly exist, there is no way to tell whether one does or not. And it is often stated that to claim that you know one god exists rather than another, you are being arrogant. Imagine if 1,000 people stole my identity. There they are, walking around as Forest Antemesaris, all claiming that they are the real Forest. And you conclude, “Since all of these people claim to be the real Forest Antemesaris, the real Forest Antemesaris doesn’t exist.” Meanwhile, here I am existing, unbeknownst to you.
If the God of Christianity exists, the claim of other gods existing does not affect His existence. Imagine if no other gods were supposed to exist, only the God of Christianity. Would that necessitate that the God of Christianity exists? No, it wouldn’t. Likewise, the claim of multiple gods does not necessitate that He doesn’t exist.
The Bible Has Been Corrupted/Is Unreliable
Each time I hear this I ask the individual for some evidence of the Bible’s corruption or unreliability, and invariably, they don’t have a response. The Bible is the most historically reliable document in human history boasting over 5,700 copies in its original language, many within the first few centuries of composition.
There are some textual variations in the Greek New Testament manuscripts, but only in 1/1,000 of the text (with most of the variations being grammar or spelling). The English Bibles we have today are not substantially different than the original Greek New Testament manuscripts. We might not like what the Bible says, but we can’t honestly, rationally conclude that it has been corrupted or that it is unreliable.
If you are holding to any of the above six reasons to reject Christianity, I hope you are willing to be open to reason. I encourage you to unbiasedly examine the claims of Christianity. Examine the tenets, the propositions, and the evidence—you may just be surprised what you find.