Last week we began our new series, why we believe what we believe. I had some great feedback from some of yall after telling me how excited you were to hear what I was going to be teaching for the next few weeks. I am excited about it too.
I think if we know what we believe, we are less likely to give in to the pressure around us, but if we know why we believe those things, then we are much less likely to give in when pressured.
This is a study of apologetics. I told yall last week, apologetics is a word that isn’t in our daily vocabulary, but all of you use apologetics every day. It doesn’t mean to apologize or say you are sorry, but to give a defense of what you believe to be true.
One of my favorite movies is Remember the Titans. I have a lot of reasons why that is my favorite movie, and I can defend that position. When I defend that position, I am using apologetics.
I really believe that Christianity is either EVERYTHING for mankind, or NOTHING. It is the highest certainty or the greatest delusion. If Christianity is everything for mankind, it is incredibly important for everyone to be able to give good reason for following Christ.
We went through 4 misconceptions of Christianity last week and I ran out of time before I could get to the last one, but I wanted to be able to use that one to lead into a few more introductory things before we really get going.
Misconception 5. I have an intellectual problem.
The rejection of Christianity is often more an objection of the will rather than the mind. Most of the time when people reject Christianity it is because they don’t want to submit to the things that Christianity requires of them. It isn’t so much “I can’t,” but “I won’t”.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people with intellectual excuses, but not many who you and I will come in contact with have actual intellectual problems with Christianity.
Over the years I have seen 3 reasons most people reject Christianity.
- Moral issues
They claim not to be able to trust Jesus based on what they believe to be true about Christianity, but really, they don’t know as much as they think that they do. I’m not saying they are ignorant in a negative way, just that they don’t know the truth. Over this study I am going to teach you some things about Christianity that you probably didn’t know.
The second reason some say that they have an intellectual problem with Christianity is because they are prideful and don’t want someone or something else telling them what they can and can’t do. In that case they claim that they just can’t believe in Christianity because of some intellectual problem that they have probably made up.
The last reason is because of moral issues. I heard a story about a girl who decided in college she was fed up with Christianity because she had come to believe that it wasn’t based on historical facts.
She convinced everyone that she had done all of the research and found profound intellectual problems. Several people tried and failed to persuade her of the truth about Jesus because they approached her intellectually to answer her many questions.
After a while someone finally asked her the correct questions and came to find that she developed these fake intellectual doubts in order to excuse the immoral way she had chosen to live her life in college.
I honestly believe that if someone comes to the claims of Jesus Christ wanting to know if they are true, willing to follow His teachings if they are true, they will find out that they are. But we cannot come unwilling to accept the truth and expect to find it.
We are living in a time right now that is referred to as postmodernism. This is a view of life that is dominated by thinking in a relativistic way about truth. What is true for you might not be true for me. There is no absolute truth, only truth that is relevant to each individual. We touched a little on that last week.
It assumes that Christianity may be true for some people, in some places and at some times, but it is not true for all people, in all places, at all times. It is relatively true, not absolutely or universally true.
Postmoderns say that truth is relative to the community in which we live. That sounds scary when you think about what the Nazi’s in Germany believed to be true. Think about it. If all truth is relative, then no one can say that what Hitler did was wrong.
If truth is relative, then no one is ever wrong—even when they are. As long as something is true to me, then I’m right even when I’m wrong. One of the drawbacks is that we could never learn anything, because learning is moving from a false belief to a true one.
It is funny because most professors on college campuses, and I’d say many of your teachers in high school live with a postmodern worldview, but they will give you a bad grade on the test if you put an answer other than what they want.
Don’t yall think it is crazy there are people who deny that objective truth exists? For most people, they don’t believe that in their everyday lives. They want there to be absolute, or objective, truth when it comes to their bank account; when it comes to the laws protecting them.
Seriously, a person couldn’t function or live long if they consistently acted as though truth were a matter of perspective rather than an objective reality. We would bounce checks if only “to us” our bank account had money, we might drink poison if “to us” it was lemonade, we would get hit by a bus if “to us” it wasn’t really there. Objective truth has to exist for us to function in the world.
The claims of Christianity stand in complete clarity and contrast to the fuzzy thinking of postmodernism. Jesus left absolutely no doubt that he is the only way and the only hope for a relationship with God. Turn in your Bible to John 14:6. Jesus said, “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life”.
Peter said the same thing in Acts 4:12. There is no wiggle room there. There is no salvation in any other name for there is no other name given by which we can be saved.
When we evaluate the claims of Christianity, a clear choice emerges. Jesus is either the answer for all people, at all times, and in all places, or he is the answer for no one, at no time, and in no place.
When there is no objective truth, then there is nothing that is wrong. What most people would consider repulsive (murder, stealing, lying) all must now be accepted because it is acceptable to some people.
Out of this framework there has been a rise in atheism among young people. Most of yall know someone who would consider themselves an atheist. When I was growing up, I didn’t know anyone who was my age and would have openly said that.
The word atheism comes from two greek words, “a” meaning “no” and “theos” meaning “God”. So an atheist makes the claim that there is no God, which is a very difficult position to defend. Unless someone possesses all possible knowledge, there is no way to be able to back that claim up.
Think about how dim the future looks for people and society if there is no God. If there is no God, there is no morality. If there is no morality, there is no reason for us to be civilized, no reason for me not to walk up and shoot somebody to take what they have….
Because of the difficulty of defending an atheist position, most people who are not religious say that they are agnostic. They just say that they are not sure if there is a God. These people acknowledge that they do not possess all possible knowledge but they cannot come to the point where they really believe in God.
Most of these atheists and agnostics come from the scientific field and oddly enough it is from science that we are finding some of the greatest and most shocking evidence for God’s existence. The more science discovers, the more eye-opening the concept of a Creator turns out to be.
The more we learn about DNA it has become increasingly clear that a structural identity has been discovered between the genetic message on DNA and the written messages of a human language.
One guy I read said that a structural identity has been discovered between the genetic message on DNA and the written messages of a human language. There is an identity of structure between DNA
(and protein) and written linguistic messages. Since we know by experience that intelligence produces written messages, and no other cause is known, the implication is that intelligent cause produced DNA and protein.
He went on to say the significance of this result lies in the security of it, for it is much stronger than if the structures were just similar. We are not dealing with anything like a superficial resemblance between DNA and a written text. He said, “We are not saying DNA is like a message. Rather, DNA is a message.”
When looking at the universe, it is so fine tuned, that it really is hard to believe that the universe came into existence out of nothing. The faith that we have in a creator is much less than the faith it takes for someone to believe that all of this world, with its precise calculations for everything to happen came out of nothing.