Like many of you, I’ve been saddened by reading the various stories chronicled in The Christian Post of people walking away from Christianity. The reasons for their departure have been different, but the result has been the same – a person who now believes the truth claims of the Christian faith are false.
I’ve seen myself in many of their stories and have gone through some of the exact same things they have, but I’d like to tell you why I have no plans to leave Christianity. To get started, let’s look at what I believe to be the three main causes of these ‘de-conversion’ stories.
There’s a reason why every book in the New Testament except one warns against false teaching. Bad instruction leads to bad beliefs that lead to bad outcomes.
Whether it was a misunderstanding about certain doctrines such as creation or heretical teachers pushing their own agenda via extra-biblical directives, a number of people in these articles were the victims of bad or flat-out false teaching. Much like professor Bart Ehrman whose faith began to unravel in seminary after he encountered one biblical issue he couldn’t overcome, their dominos fell over in rapid succession because of one doctrinal or false teacher misstep.
“The more I studied the Bible, the more I disliked the character of the Christian God. . . . I just can’t love a God that I dislike so much,” said one person who left the faith.
The second cause behind these people’s renunciation of Christianity started with a superficial Bible reading or study that produced within them wrong conclusions, which then led to them leaving the Christian faith in their rear view mirror. In the end, they create a deity of preference who matches their personal definition for what they think God should really be like.
Bad Things in General
The problem of evil (theodicy) cropped up a number of times in these stories, and is actually the primary reason Bart Ehrman cites for his loss of faith. This is most times the first line of defense unbelievers use to support their denial of God.
A Path Forward
Like these people, I’ve wrestled with the exact same things. Doctrinal questions like those of creation and the young earth/old earth debate puzzled me for some time.
And the problem of evil? I watched my first wife die right in front of me, leaving me with our one-year old daughter to raise alone, so I’ve definitely been there.
But despite these things, I have no intention of abandoning Christianity. And my reasons why are not hard to follow or difficult to understand.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Robin Schumacher