Keeping Faith in a Faithless Place

Anonymous asked a question:

Hi, Im taking up a BA in History and I get exposed to theories & philosophies that are either not in line with the truth of God or blatantly against Christianity. Sometimes I run out of arguments&words to stand up for my faith. I don’t know if I should be dealing with these or should I just ignore it. I hope you could help me out of this. I don’t want to drift away and be taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophies just as what Paul wrote to the Colossians. Thanks for your response.

Hey dear friend, to be truthful, I’ve gotten rather jaded about defending my faith to myself and to others. I’ve found that there are just about equal piles of evidence both for and against the existence of God and Christianity. I could easily argue on either side and create a compelling argument for both. So ultimately, it’s about what I choose to believe. At the start and end of each day, I must make that choice.

The hard part is that we are naturally biased to believe that a personal God must not exist. We each have a rebellious streak against authority; no one likes being told what to do; we all want some kind of freedom, whether sexual or financial or psychological — so the deck is already stacked against God. We never walk into such a debate on neutral terms. We all have a conflict of interest when it comes to believing in Him. Nobody is without bias on every side of this.

So while atheism or agnosticism or apathy all seem like viable choices, I think it can occasionally be the easy way out. I don’t think faith is the cop-out. It certainly is sometimes, and I know this is no measure of truth. But if at times you feel like it’s an uphill climb, that’s exactly what it is. Faith is tough; it requires so much more of you than intellectual assent.

I think the important thing is: Do you know the love of God? Is the work and person of Christ piercing through your heart and hands and feet? Are you compelled by the Gospel to love others with His love?

At some point, what’s more important to me is how Jesus moves me. I cannot sit in a box of philosophy forever. I’m done with that kind of academic checkmate. There’s a broken world out there, which needs a pure motivation to love others without expecting anything back. Only the powerful love of Christ can both rid me of my former guilt and purify my motives so that I can do the selfless work I need to do. Of course, we’re all capable of doing the right moral thing. Yet I believe it’s only Christ who can continually sustain me in the kind of sweaty, un-glamarous, behind-the-scenes work where I’m free from approval and trying to prove myself, because I’ve already been approved by Him. Morality for its own sake is only performance and self-serving validation. Nothing else can puncture me from my self-righteousness. That’s the difference, and it’s as wide as the arms that saved us.

— J.S.

Also check out:

– How Do You Defend Your Faith?

– Why Do You Believe In Jesus?

– Why Is Jesus Right And Others Wrong?

 Each of these posts are part of my book, What The Church Won’t Talk About.

8 thoughts on “Keeping Faith in a Faithless Place

  1. True – and not. People like Ravi Zacharias and Ray Comfort have a real ministry presenting Christ to those who think a lot – or think they think! But I know it is tough to love the people who challenge faith, love with a deep love from heaven, concern for their eternal life. Sometimes I collapse into a field of wanting to win the argument, be affirmed by non-believers that I made a good point. This is wrong, because it is for me rather than them! Through all of it my behaviour, generosity joy and respect will give Paraclete a wider avenue to work than my clever answers. So I would say, “Defend fearlessly, but remember fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”


  2. Anonymous, it’s tough to be in that environment. Pray for strength to cope and the wisdom to know when to speak and when be silent. Live out your faith, lovingly and gently, that is the best witness and the best way to present your views. You know what you believe, hold on to that and you won’t be swayed.


  3. I like what nopew said (above), “Through all of it my behaviour, generosity, joy and respect will give Paraclete a wider avenue to work than my clever answers.” I remember my brother’s recent tirade about the stupidity and gullibility of believers and on and on. Then I laughed and said, “Well, I’m gonna get off the phone and go pray for you now.” “No! No! Don’t pray for me!” he yells. “Too late,” I say, “love you!” I’ve found that conversations like that lead to softening in him -and me!- that would not happen otherwise.


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