Welcome, 2021! I hope the new year has brought you renewed hope and encouragement in our Savior.
But not everyone recognizes how a sincere relationship with Jesus adds hope and power to our lives. As I continue to study the issues affecting our young people, I came across an article stating reasons that people gave for questioning Christianity:
25 Reasons Why People Stopped Believing in God*
- Watching a loved one die.
- Being exorcised.
- Working in the medical field.
- Experiencing infidelity and divorce.
- Being gay.
- Knowing believers who weren’t compassionate.
- Seeing a family fall apart.
- Not having any evidence. … ‘I needed empirical evidence, and there simply was none.’
- Witnessing greed.
- Seeing parents stay in a bad marriage.
- Feeling restricted … ‘I was constantly told I was going to hell for the smallest of things, like playing with a Magic 8 ball or reading Harry Potter.’
- Being forced into having faith. … ‘I didn’t want to be pushed into believing things that have no proof of being true.’
- Experiencing infertility.
- Having unanswered prayers.
- Feeling uncomfortable.
- Connecting with the universe … ‘I saw the Milky Way with zero light pollution. I knew right then and there that some man-made deity was not my way. I felt more connected with the universe than I ever had before.’
- Viewing God as a child’s myth.
- Having unanswered questions … ‘I would get in trouble for asking questions about dinosaurs and earth’s timeline.’
- Seeing faith do more harm than good … ‘After learning of all the persecution and atrocities that had been committed in the name of Christianity, I came to the conclusion that the world would be a better place without religion.’
- Being shunned by peers … ‘I went to church on my own for years, until I started dating a boy who didn’t go to church himself. I was completely ostracized by my entire youth group.’
- Seeing God as selfish.
- Meeting people of different faiths. … ‘all the people I met would be condemned to hell for having a different faith.’
- Feeling overwhelmed by guilt. … we were told about heaven, hell, and sin, which made me worried and obsessed about everything I did. Guilt is not what religion is supposed to be about, so I decided to have faith in myself.
- Researching the roots of religion … ‘when I learned in high school that the Bible is entirely written by humans and not a divine creator.’
- Experiencing constant fear … ‘I realized that, for my whole life, I had only ‘believed’ out of fear of getting in trouble or going to hell.’
Friends, I think there are two basic problems here: Ignorance and lack of relationships. And two basic solutions: Knowledge and relationships.
We can’t punish people for having questions. In fact, we need to ask questions! Otherwise our faith isn’t real. The historical facts of Christianity DO stand up to close scrutiny!
PS: Check out some of my answers to people questioning the Christian faith here.
(*Ajani Bazile, “25 Reasons Why People Stopped Believing in God”, BuzzFeed, April 28, 2019, https://www.buzzfeed.com/ajanibazile/reasons-people-stopped-believing-in-god)