I recently enjoyed answering 10 questions for atheists which gave me an idea, why don’t I also write 10 questions for Christians? To add more information, none of these questions are intended to trap you or to disprove God; I only ask the questions because I want to know the answer. This is not intended to be one of those “10 Questions Christian’s can’t Answer” type articles. The questions asked comes from the perspective of someone who used to believe, and was a strong believer for a really long time.
Question 1: Why do so many Christians doubt?
When I was a Christian it would often seem that any random strange question would cause me to spiral into a series of doubts that took a lot of thinking to be resolved. It wasn’t just me, a lot of people had this, with the phrase “I’m going to have to think about that” being extremely common. How can you have a strong personal relationship with someone for a long time, yet doubt their existence? If you have doubts, is the strong personal relationship really that strong?
Question 2: Do you feel most Christians are in a filter bubble?
For those who don’t know, a filter bubble is where all the information around you from friends, social media, and news sources already agrees with you, without challenging or showing you different ideas. To give an example, a filter bubble for a flat earther is being exposed to nothing other than pro flat-earther ideas.
I ask this because I feel I was inside a filter bubble when I was a Christian, and I’m interested if people have the same experience, and if so, if they’re trying to escape the filter bubble.
Part of the issue I’ve seen is that the most popular content against your position is deliberately intended to mock people who hold your beliefs. I understand why nobody would ever really want to watch this, but if you are in a filter bubble, I really recommend trying to find reasonable and honest people on the other side who don’t want to mock others. I try to do the same, so let me know if you have any recommendations.
Question 3: Why has Christianity Not Spread Further?
This question may sound funny to some, as over 2 billion Christians isn’t a small number, but this is still a world minority, why hasn’t an all powerful, all loving God who wants everyone to know the truth and obtain eternal life not spread their message further?
Why in many places is atheism or ‘none’ growing faster than Christianity? Why in many places is church attendance falling?
Is it that you are not showing them the evidence to believe, or is it that the evidence isn’t convincing?
Question 4: What Would Convince you Christianity is False?
It’s often proudly declared that nothing will convince you that Christianity is false, but I’m not sure if that’s true. What if you found yourself in a different afterlife, or if a new religion with undeniable evidence swept the world? I think most people would change their mind if that happened. Is there anything less crazy than this that would convince you that Christianity was false? For example results from experiments in prayer, finding that the case for Christ is weaker than you thought, finding parts of the bible that you morally disagree with etc.
You have the right to ask me this same question for Atheism, so I will answer it in advance. Every time I listen to a new argument for the existence of God or see new evidence for the case for Christ I’m open to changing my world view and considering what the evidence means in terms of my beliefs. If you’re instead asking what would convince me that Christianity was true, that would be the discovery of much more evidence supporting the case for Christ or an undeniable encounter with Jesus. I am still investigating and researching the evidence, so I may actually find something, although it won’t be something that scholars have talked about as their main argument as I’ve listened to a lots of debates already.
Question 5: Why Should Doubting be Punished?
Why are people scared of doubting, and why are some people punished for doubting God? If God is real, then surely exploration of doubt will only allow you to find the answer you need, ensuring you never have that doubt again. If God is not real, then surely exploring the doubt will help you to stop believing something that is incorrect? In both cases, I really don’t see a good reason to not explore doubt. It’s a win-win.
If a Buddhist was doubting their own religion, and interested in researching your brand of Christianity, of course you would encourage their doubts for Buddhism. If you were skating on a frozen lake, which was starting to crack, would you value doubt that the lake was safe? It’s with examples like these, that I only see doubt as a positive force in the world.
Question 6: How do you treat those who stopped believing?
When a believer stops believing, it can be incredibly scary and intimidating because of how you are treated. In my church there was a hostile sigma towards those who were Christians yet stopped believing, as if it meant that you were stupid, proud, arrogant, and just wanted to sin. But people don’t change their personality so quickly, just their beliefs. Isn’t a better approach to still talk to these people, be kind and friendly, honest and open, trying to understand why they changed their mind, and then have a respectful discussion without impeding each others boundaries?
It’s the stigma towards non-believers which has made me not tell Christians I’m an atheist for about 4 years now. If a sincere friend didn’t believe, and felt too scared to tell you, wouldn’t you hate that?
Question 7: What is Hell Like? Will I go there?
Is eternal punishment really necessary for finite crimes? It is really justice? I am what I would call a “non-resistant non-believer”, which means I feel I have honestly searched for God, looking at the evidence and the claims, and am yet still not convinced simply because I do not find the evidence convincing. Most interpretations of heaven consider those who have not had the opportunity to be heard, but what about those who have searched honestly and yet not been convinced?
Question 8: Why are there so many different versions of Christianity?
Is the trinity real? Is the wafer literally the flesh of Jesus? Did Jesus die for all or just for the few? The answer depends on which version of Christianity you believe. It’s obvious to all that in each case, both interpretations can’t be right, so why is there a difference? If God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33) why are there so many alternate interpretations? If Christians are all praying to the same God, why is he telling one thing to some, and another thing to others?
Question 9: Why is there a God rather than nothing?
The big bang was a finite, non-conscious, scientifically understood event, which as many Christians say, demands an explanation. In comparison, God, who is conscious, all-powerful and all-knowing is much more complex, so surely must demand an explanation even more so? Why when science can’t explain the origins of the big bang is it ok to assume that God created it, when we lack an explanation for God in just the same way?
Question 10: What Language did Jesus Speak? What Language were the Gospels written in? Who were the Authors of the Gospels?
First of all, if you don’t know the answers to these questions, I’d rather you didn’t look them up straight away. Instead please leave a comment telling me what your best guess is, and then research, and correct yourself if your answer was wrong. This is a fun experiment I’m doing.
If you don’t know and you are a Christian, then that’s ok because I didn’t know this when I was a Christian either. If you are interested in knowing the answer, and have already written the comment, I’ll answer the question now. Jesus spoke Aramaic, the language of the gospels is Greek (specifically Greco-Roman Greek), and my guess is that the next question is what most people will get wrong, because the gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, instead, they were written at a minimum of 30 years after the death of Jesus, by highly educated Greek speaking writers who were all writing anonymously, meaning the correct answer to “who were the authors of the gospels?” is “I don’t know”.
Why does it seem that so few Christians are aware of basic information highly relevant to their sincerely held beliefs? In a world where a vast mountain of new testament knowledge is freely available at your fingertips, is there any good reason not to know all this relevant information about the important documents that are so relevant to your life? If you are going to live your life following the bible as your teacher, don’t you want to know where it comes from?