To even bring this up in various settings as I travel it has brought up much emotion. To openly mention it, and discuss it, seems to be quite offensive, as we certainly hold the Bible in highest regard. It truly is the Word of God, the Truth, and God breathed. It is God’s revealed message to us. Millions, if not billions, after hearing the Truth found in Scripture have been saved. If this is all true, could it even be possible that someone could say they are rejecting the Christian faith because of it? I am mentioning it because there countless amounts of people who say they are not Christians because of the Bible.
As mentioned in an earlier post, as we have done research to see what kind of messages and material is being found on the internet about Christianity, we have found a lot of negative messages. A majority of the material is aimed at discrediting our Faith and giving reasons to avoid it, reject it, and oppose it. The most common denominator in all of this material, which is being used to attack the faith of this generation, is indeed the Bible.
This is not a new issue. There always have been people who argued against the existence of God, Christianity, the Bible, and faith in general. However, there are changes. The sear volume of material has exploded as quickly as the internet has grown. The age at which this material is aimed at is changing. At one time these challenges were things our students dealt with primarily in university, but today it is hitting kids and youth of all ages.
This coupled with the fact that it is no longer taboo to publicly criticize, demean, or disagree with the Bible has create a new world for us. In society, in general, the respect for the Church, those who lead it, and the Bible has certainly declined. The attack on the Bible is now an acceptable practice.
You need be aware, whether you are a pastor, leader, or parent, that the majority of material available to this generation on the Bible or Christianity,questions the credibility of everything you teach. This is an attack against the actual foundations of our Faith. Against the reliability of scripture, the deity of Christ, and questions if Christianity is a religion of hate and intolerance. Without a strong foundation a house falls.
We would like to believe that is movement is only being spearheaded by bitter, disillusioned, or uninformed former church goers. Perhaps there are some of those, but this movement is also being championed by intelligent, well spoken, sincere, and even well-intentioned men and women. Many, to their knowledge, are doing this in a sincere attempt to make the world a better place for themselves and future generations. For example they would believe by removing religion they can stop the needless discrimination, abuse, war, and the death of millions happening every year in the name of god.
I have been involved in countless outreach events around the world, and have seen and heard of many more. One of the common approaches to sharing the gospel with people has been to start by asking a question. ‘Do you believe you are good person?’ or ‘Have you ever done anything wrong?’ are some starting points people have used to begin sharing about how everyone has sinned and are in need of a savour. Why do Christian ministries and groups use these approaches? Because they have worked to start a conversation about faith and to introduce Jesus.
Today this same approach is being used to try to convince youth that they should leave their faith behind. They are being asked how they can serve a God who promotes things as repulsive as slavery. “However, you may purchase male and female slaves from among the nations around you.” Leviticus 25:44 (NLT) Or, if God is a truly loving God, why did He command the killing of children? ‘But the Lord our God handed him over to us, and we crushed him, his sons, and all his people. We conquered all his towns and completely destroyed everyone—men, women, and children. Not a single person was spared.’ Deuteronomy 2:33-34 (NLT)
We live in a day an age where intolerance is not accepted and those who commit atrocities are criminals. Does a young person know how to answer why the angel of the Lord was responsible for death of the first born of every family in Egypt? (Exodus 12:29) Why God Himself sent wild beasts to kill children? (Lev 26:22) Or how could God command or even allow such a perversion where a society was massacred but the Israelite men got to take all the young girls for themselves. ‘So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.’ (Numbers 31:17-18)
Hundreds of examples from the Bible are being used to convince this generation that the Bible is indeed not a message of hope and love. Instead it promotes hate, intolerance, injustice, discrimination, and extremism. In fact the same arguments Christians have used against other religions such as Islam and the Koran are being used against us.
With the opening of the information highway the difficult, misunderstood, and just hard to understand issues in the Bible are on display for all to see. So is everyone’s opinion on each of them. Many of these arguments and scriptures presented may be taken out of context, out of their cultural relevance, or time period. However, no matter where or how they are coming up, they are being used to present the Bible and Christianity as absolute lunacy in our society today.
What I have found incredibly sad is the large amount of young adults I have talked to, or have received their stories, who have been effected by this. I have been told how many went looking for answers, but received none, even in the Church. They have been told not to question, just accept, it was just culture, or so on. To them it seemed that those asking the questions seemed to know more, so perhaps they were right.
I have also discovered something else. The reason why most youth leaders, church leaders, parents, and ministers don’t have a response is because they either have the same questions, or do not know the answers themselves. It appears to most of this generation who is struggling with these questions that the Church has had no response, which adds the doubt that has already planted.
What is true is that there are actually many Christian leaders, authors, writers who take on these issues. Josh or Sean Mcdowelll are good examples. www.seanmcdowell.org – Joe Boot is another, but there are literally hundreds if not thousands out there. As leaders we need to be trying to answer the questions of our generation, and this is one of them. What do we do with the Bible?