I recently read in the news that lead vocalist of the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson "no longer believes in God." About 1-2 months ago I read that very prominent influencers Rhett & Link no longer believed as well. They set out to deconstruct their faith through a podcast series that reaches millions of their followers and fans. Jon Steingard (Hawk Nelson) said that "he simply had doubts, but once they solidified into a genuine point of view, it began to feel dishonest not to talk about it." Having doubts about Christianity does not somehow nullify it or render it void and untrue. However, it can shake the Christian in his/her belief when so many high profile influencers "no longer believe" and claim that Christianity is untrue or cannot be true. So, what do we do? How can we work through these tough situations?
It seems like almost every other week we hear another viral news headliner about a prominent influencer forsaking their faith. I must be clear here that I am referring to their faith in God and that God is the God of the Bible. The way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) as Jesus put it. It must be said this way because there is no way to forsake ones faith entirely. Faith derives from the Latin term "confide," which means to have full assurance, confidence, and believe/trust in something. This is important to establish right away because no human being on this earth lives his/her life without operating on faith. When you go out to eat you have faith that the food is good and does not contain poison. Operating on that faith you partake, pay your bill, and then vacate the premises.
The point I am trying to make here before addressing the main question is that it is impossible to live life without faith. This goes for the Atheist, the Agnostic, the Muslim, Christian, or disciples of the flying spaghetti monster (yes this is a real thing). Therefore, faith is indeed an important system for any and all peoples regardless of what they believe. We could spend an exuberant amount of time addressing those other belief systems before addressing doubt but we don't have to! Do you wanna know why? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
You see faith in God (Christianity) is not rooted in your emotions, your assurances or doubts, it is rooted in the God of the universe the God who created all things and said, "I am the LORD and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God" (Isaiah 45:5). We could stop here and say, well God said it that settles it but let's got a bit further and address doubt. The Bible testifies that it is indeed God's word and never says otherwise. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." The word inspired there means to literally "breathe out."
You know what Paul did not have when he was inspired to write that "all scripture is breathed out by God," the New Testament. He was referring to the Old Testament. I know, now you are thinking "ah-ha! Got ya!" Well not quite, look at what Peter says in 2 Peter 3:15-16 "15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."
Did you read that!? Peter, who was inspired by God and also referring to the Old Testament as Scripture, equated Paul's writings to Scripture. Furthermore, Peter says that the untaught and unstable distort or twist the scripture for sordid gain but to their own destruction. Did you get that? The untaught and unstable are the ones who distort or twist scripture it's not the Christian that is untaught or unstable.
Look again at 2 Timothy. The word "word" is logos in the Greek and this is the same word used in John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." If we go back to Genesis we can see in the first chapter that God created everything by His word.
Let's quickly recap what we covered. The Bible itself testifies that it is the word of God as Paul said in 2 Timothy. God says He is the only God and there is no other in Isaiah (and many other places). God says His word will accomplish that which He sends it to do and it will not fail (Isaiah 55:10-11). John says that God was in the beginning and so was Jesus (as God) and He created by His word. But there is still the question of doubt.
Doubt is never a bad thing. It forces us to ask questions and seek answers. This is good. But the reason we have all have doubts is because of Genesis 3:1 "Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"
You see what Satan (aka the father of lies) was doing was creating doubt in the mind of Eve. When we doubt we do not trust something fully. We are unable to accept it. But this does not make it is any less true. It simply means that your doubts have not been properly addressed with questions and answers. If we do not seek out answers to the most pressing questions in opposition to Christianity we will sway one way or the other every time someone claims they no longer believe. Therefore, this post is the first in a series of learning how to answer the four biggest questions of life; how the Christian worldview can do so coherently, logically, and scientifically. Hopefully, this will help address some of those doubts.
I must finish this post with some strong words that may come off as a bit harsh; but, I am okay with that because they are not mine but the inspired words of God. 1 John 2 talks about the spirit of the anti-Christ. In sum, this is a spirit within anyone that is in direct opposition to the truth claims of Christ. Basically, if you reject Christ as who He (and scripture) said He is, you have the spirit of the anti-Christ within you. See, I told you they would be harsh. But the point I am making here is that Jon Steingard, Rhett & Link and anyone else who "decides" they no longer believe are walking with the spirit of the anti-Christ within them. Don't believe it, read 1 John 2:18-24 which says,
"18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father."
May God bless you and keep you! Until next time, J - esus, O - thers, Y - ourself!