In a soundbite culture, it is not always possible to give a comprehensive response to challenges people make to the Christian faith. Here are six of the most common criticisms of Christianity and some thought-provoking, sound-bite responses.
The Bible/God is immoral
You’re arguing that because you find something unpleasant that it is therefore untrue. This relies on your personal feelings to make the argument.
If you can first prove to me that the God of the Bible does not exist, then we can all disregard what this fictional character says and does.
If you can establish a basis for morality that exist outside of God’s nature and is superior to God, then you can rightly argue that he is immoral.
But you cannot start on the basis that you yourself find God to be repugnant and by this logically conclude that he doesn’t exist.
The Bible/God is morally inconsistant
Whenever someone is judged by God within the Bible you will always find several things:
1.) A willful rejection of God
2.) Self-reliance on the part of the person that is contrary to what God has said or shown
You will usually also find:
1.) Fair warning
2.) Opportunity for repentance
Mosaic Law in particular is often criticized for being overly harsh in its prescription for punishment. What is often overlooked is that the largest part of Mosaic Law is devoted to means and methods for sacrificial repentance from wrongdoing leading to forgiveness.
If God exists, how do you know that your God is the correct God? Why not Odin or Ra or Zeus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
I know that other systems of belief are untrue because I make a positive case for my system of belief being the correct one. If my arguments are valid and my system of belief is sound, then any contrary beliefs are necessarily false. It is not necessary for me to pick those systems of belief apart, merely show that they disagree with mine.
Atheism starts in the unique position of criticizing religious systems without having a positive worldview from which to judge, and then making baseless assertions about morality and standards that cannot be falsified because they are not grounded in anything.=
If the Bible is true, then God commands slavery and genocide
Once again, I refer you to the fact that just because you find something unpleasant does not make it untrue.
Most of the moral actions or commandments of God that are found to be particularly unpalatable are contained within the Old Testament and relate to special circumstances found only in that historic context.
Christians are followers of Christ. For a Christian to embrace some moral precept, it would have to be shown from the teachings of Christ and his Apostles that this moral precept is commanded. No innocent, grounded, and considerate person could read the Bible and come away with the conclusion that they were morally obligated or justified in enslaving or murdering their fellow human. People who pull such meaning from the Bible always have some prior motivation for doing so. They are either trying to justify an action or belief to which they were already committed, or they are trying to vilify the text by straining to draw that conclusion.
A person can be moral without God
Agreed. However, one cannot have perfection without God; and a perfect being would demand nothing less. Christians are not yet perfect, but they are perfected through the work of Jesus Christ.
If a good God existed, there wouldn’t be suffering
If God were to eliminate natural disasters such as disease and hurricanes, human evil would still remain.
If God were to offer immortality and invincibility to everyone such that they could neither kill nor harm one another, people would still be able make their own lives and each other’s lives emotionally miserable. This is not a deficiency in God, but rather in human beings.
The only solution, then, would be to remove natural evil as well as moral evil. This is exactly what God promises to do.
The Bible is full of holes and contradictions
Let’s say for the sake of argument that this is true. There is still very good reason to believe that New Testament accounts of Christ rising from the dead.
1.) There are hundreds of Old Testament prophecies that are suspiciously similar to Jesus life and ministry.
2.) The Romans and Jews could have simply presented the body of Jesus to stop the rumors of his resurrection, but they didn’t
3.) Early Christians were gladly tortured and killed for their beliefs, indicating they truly believed them.
4.) Scripture presents women to be the first eyewitnesses to the resurrection, which would have been considered worthless testimony during that day and age.
5.) Orthodox Jews who previously believed the Messiah would come as a conqueror were convinced and converted
6.) Paul who tortured Christians was suddenly and zealously converted
These facts have historic support even if the Bible is full of errors. If Jesus rose from the dead, as history indicates, then you still have to deal with the claims of Christianity.