Considering Faith

Perhaps the hardest aspect of evangelizing is that the Bible simply doesn’t make sense to a non-believer. I don’t know how many non-Christians I’ve heard say, “I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover, and it’s terrible!” A taoist wrote that the Bible was base and vulgar compared to the Tao Te Ching; long and rambling rather than succint and poetic like a holy text should be. Who cares about long lists of genealogy or measurements of geography? An atheist might remark on the war and violence in the Old Testament and a polytheist might point out that the concept of the Holy Trinity is clearly not monotheistic.

Each of these statements, however, is made in ignorance. The Hebrew Bible, what we Christians call the Old Testament, was written for the Jews who care a great deal about genealogy. It wasn’t just a holy text to them, but also a record of their history. War in the Old Testament only makes sense if you understand the difference between murder and execution (the first committed by an individual, the second by a nation), and the Holy Trinity has always been a matter of faith.

What I have found is that, for every question someone might bring up that attempts to tear down or discredit our faith, there is a reasonable and satisfying answer. But more often than not, the questioner will not seek out the answer simply because they have no faith. With no strong belief that God is good, there is no reason to look beyond base assumptions; one can simply write the Bible off and give up. But for the Christian, it is imperative that we learn the answers to these questions or we will be unable to give an account for our faith. How can we expect someone else to acknowledge even the reasonableness of our beliefs if we cannot state why we hold those beliefs?

If we are unable or unwilling to ask questions, seek answers, and then accept what we find, we must ask ourselves what kind of faith we hold. Are we so unsure and so weak that we fear chasing after the Truth? If that is the case, pray that God helps your unfaith and gives you the strength to seek honestly. He will give answers eventually, but we must remain faithful and steadfast in our desire for God’s Truth.