I was recently looking at a Facebook posting of an individual who was celebrating the fact that she was no longer a Christian, but had become agnostic. Her post was full of problems and conclusions that were not logically or evidentially supported. One of the reasons she gave for her leaving the Christian faith was her experience with Christians with whom she used to attend church. She went on and on about the bad things these people did and made ad hominem attacks against these people. The inference was that she, as an agnostic, would never do or treat people in the same manner as the Christians with whom she had been associated, yet she launched into a very personal attack against them, but I digress. The main inference in her writing about the actions of these Christians is one that is used very often by critics. It goes something like this: If Christianity is true, then Christians would be better people. They would not do the bad things they do and would not have done the bad things in the name of Christianity which they have done in the past. So, because Christians are not always good and have done bad things, Christianity is not true. This objection is a fairly common one and it is used by many famous skeptics including Christopher Hitchens, who uses it regularly in his debates and writing against the existence of God.


Let me start by first pointing out that when we become a Christians, our hearts are changed. We understand that we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We are to love God with all that we have and  love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Our faith in Christ, our being a Christian, should be manifested in our words and deeds. The world should see a difference in us. That being said, Christians do not inherit perfection when they come to Christ. We are still fallen and sinful creatures. Although we strive to live sinless lives and in no way believe or accept sin as something that is acceptable in our lives, at times we will make mistakes and exercise poor judgment. It is true that many times this failure hurts those around us. Christian have and do at times fail to live out our faith. When we do this we should and do recognize our sinful acts and ask for forgiveness. However, such failure does not lead to the conclusion this person makes and has nothing to do with the truth of Christianity.


Christianity makes very specific truth claims. There is specific evidence both historical and logical that supports its contentions. Although it is always concerning when Christians act inappropriately, such actions in no way undercut  the evidence for the truthfulness of Christianity. Such acts are simply irrelevant to Christianity’s truth claims. The evidential arguments for the truth of Christianity neither include nor are they dependent on the behavior of Christians. The hypocrisy of Christians has no bearing on the evidence for its truth. Thus this contention by the lady on Facebook asserting that Christianity is not true because of the bad actions of Christians simply does not follow. It is not a valid critique leading to the conclusion that Christianity is untrue. It does not deal with or counter any of the evidence demonstrating Christianity’s truth. It simple makes personal attacks on individual Christians and then seeks to somehow dovetail this into a broad and sweeping indictment of Christianity. In this manner, she and other have dramatically overplayed their positions. It is a nice try, but it does not effectively deal with the question, “Is there a sufficient basis to establish the truth of Christianity?” The position advocated by this lady on Facebook and others who use it is not an evidential one. It is an emotional postion and offers no evidential reason for one to doubt the truth of Christianity. Nice try, but to borrow a phrase, “That old dog just won’t hunt.”

One Comment

  1. Sid Salcido
    Hey man,

    This post is really about what much of atheism is about: emotionalism. They claim that it is intellectual why they rejected Christianity’s claims, but in reality it hinges more on the fact that they feel burnt by Christians.

    I do have to completely agree with you that attacking the actions of some Christians should not demonstrate the whole of Christianity. Bill Maher tried that in his film, Religilous, and showed he doesn’t have the guts to ask real, reasonable Christians such as the like of J.P. Moreland or authors like Stephen Meyer, because that will show his ignorance.

    On the other hand, we as Christians need to give the same common courtesy as we desire out of atheist. We shouldn’t point to Stalin and Mao to show how atheism is the foundation of evil regimes. We should deal with an atheist on his own level and not on what other atheists have done.

    That being said, there is a stark difference in attacking the acts of some Christians and attacking the acts of some atheists. Christians doing abominable things did not do them based on Biblical Christianity, but based on their own human nature response. The Bible is prolific in verses which show a much kinder, smarter, and loving Christianity, but atheists will only look at the acts of some Christians and say, “see, Christianity is for monsters.” If they honestly took a good read of the New Testament, they would never use that argument again.

    On the other hand, if one was to look at the acts of an atheist, and see the logic of where it is from (the source is random materialism which has no moral absolutes) then the source of bad behavior is NOT a person’s fault, since they cannot control their actions. Thus, the ultimate end result of an atheist, if he or she were to be completely honest and live with integrity of their beliefs, is a socio-path. While the end-result of an honest Christian who lives according to Biblical principles is- Jesus. Now, which one would be the better to live with?

    Please tell me that you eloquently pointed out that us humble servants of God are not perfect…..We are human. The one and ONLY perfect soul belongs to Him. That He loved us so very much that He sacrificed His only son so that our sins would be forgiven…..Again, people looking for a reason to turn away from the Church….Sad, but they have to have their own journey with God. Hopefully, she will see the error of her ways soon…

    Lisa West
    Well said, dear. A good reminder of why we must always take care how we behave because the world is watching. Nothing makes me cringe more than to see someone cutting people off in traffic and screaming in a car with a large ichthus on it. I may understand what is making that person behave that way, but it still makes me sad because I know what it makes non Christians think. What they don’t stop to think is that Jesus would never have done something like that, which is the whole point! Keep up the good work!


    Aren’t you making the same mistake that this woman was? She emotionally rejected the christian faith based on the immoral actions of a few bad Christians. You are claiming atheism is about emotionalism based on this one story of one women. Some people reject Christianity or a belief in God purely on intellectual grounds. I have talked to some absolutely BRILLIANT atheists that know the bible, history, myth, science and philosophy on an incredibly deep and sophisticated level, and they have very specific, logical reasons for their beliefs.

    Your other points are very well taken though.


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