People who won’t accept Christianity or who walk away from the faith tend to cite one of three reasons for doing so. One reason people give for leaving Christianity is that they have intellectual questions that remain answered. These questions often involve the problem of evil, reconciling science and the Bible (e.g., the age of the universe), exclusive truth claims of one faith over another, or similar theological issues.
A second reason people leave Christianity involves emotional considerations. Many times, they’ve had a bad experience with a church or a professing Christian, or perhaps they’ve been the victim of bad things personally happening to them. These experiences have left them hurting and angry.
A third common reason people reject or leave Christianity has to do with their own moral preferences. They might find the Bible’s ethical demands personally off-putting or feel the Christian faith isn’t morally in line with current cultural mores.
While all of these reasons are certainly worth investigating and wrestling with, none of them constitute a valid reason for rejecting or leaving Christianity. From a big picture standpoint, the Christian faith makes two truth claims:
1. God exists.
2. Jesus exists, and He rose from the dead.
If both of these assertions are true, then Christianity is true and should be embraced.
With respect to God existing, the only other option besides God for why everything exists is that an impersonal, non-conscious, meaningless, purposeless, and amoral universe—which science says is not eternal—accidentally created personal, conscious, moral beings who are obsessed with meaning and purpose. That option takes far more faith to believe than acknowledging an eternal Creator whose attributes match perfectly with those found in the Bible and what we see in the world.
When it comes to Jesus, there is no scholar or educated person who denies the existence of the historical Jesus and the basics about His life. And here’s an interesting fact: in the same way all educated historians believe Jesus of Nazareth existed, they also agree on the basic events surrounding His resurrection.
The facts that Jesus was crucified under Pontus Pilate, that He was buried, that His body went missing three days later, that reports of His appearing to various individuals and groups began circulating, and that all His disciples except one were martyred for proclaiming His resurrection are not disputed by historians—Christian or non-Christian—who have studied the subject. And while they do differ on the reasons for why those events occurred, the only alternative to resurrection is the hallucination hypothesis, which quickly falls apart under scrutiny.
So, while intellectual, emotional, or moral questions will come up with respect to Christianity, if God exists, and if Jesus exists and rose from the dead, then a person should embrace Christianity and remain in the faith.
Challenging questions arise in the scientific realm, too, but scientists don’t walk away from their discipline because they can’t immediately answer every single question. Instead, they keep researching, studying, and learning until they discover the answers they’ve been seeking. Christians should do the same with their faith.
The only reason to believe in something is that it’s true—and there is overwhelming evidence that says the two key foundations of the Christian faith are true.