14 Accusations Against Christianity

The following accusations come from Sasha, who was commenting on my Top Reasons Christianity Is Superior to Any other Religion post.  I wondered if she was hurt by a church in my comments there, and here is her response:

No, I wasn’t hurt by a church. I went to a Christian school until 5th grade and loved it. The people are amazing. Just because someone finds illogic in your faith, doesn’t mean they’ve been “hurt.” I’ve been hurt more trying to discover the religion I have now but through an intellectual approach and sincerity, I saw the beauty of it. Christianity doesn’t make sense whatsoever.

I appreciate your kindness and I really wish more Christians were like you. Take care.

So my prayers are that the Spirit will move in her life and she will see the sense of true Christianity over her current religions, which I wonder if she is not a Jehovah’s Witness given her propensity for logic and her copy of the “true word.”

For apologetic purposes, here are my response to her 14 claims (her claims are in bold):

1. Christianity is the only religion where 1=3 and 3=1. Logic? Don’t think so.

This attack is often used by the skeptics of the faith and shows a misunderstanding of what we are saying about the Trinity. It also exalts human reason above the authority of Scripture as the final authority about what is true and not true. When we do this, we are making ourselves out to be gods and sitting in judgment of His word and revelation to us. This is a danger we all fall into when we come to Scripture and assume that something is true or not true based upon our own understanding of that truth.

Is God three in One? Yes, but let’s clarify what we mean by that. The Trinity is God in three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but One God. He is One is His essence, in that all three persons of the Godhead are equal in nature, and deity, yet separate in their personhood. Therefore we know that the Father is fully God, the Son is fully God and the Holy Spirit is fully God, but all three are individual in their personhood. All three share in the same attributes but differ in their roles.

Just because we cannot get our minds around this truth does not nullify the truth itself. God is beyond logic and beyond our comprehension. So to say that Christianity is wrong because we cannot understand the God who reveals Himself in Scripture is arrogant on our part. We need to come to Scripture, and God, with a sense of humility admitting that we will never understand that which is beyond our comprehension. Since He has revealed Himself to us as a Triune God, we must accept these truths even though we cannot fathom them. Some might say that this makes God illogical. I’m not saying that at all. He is completely logical, but our minds are unable to grasp Him in this way.

For clarity, let me quote the WCF Larger Catechism on the Trinity:

Q. 7. What is God?

A. God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible,  every where present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

 

Q. 8. Are there more Gods than one?

A. There is but one only, the living and true God.

Q. 9. How many persons are there in the Godhead?

A. There be three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties.

Q. 10. What are the personal properties of the three persons in the Godhead?

A. It is proper to the Father to beget the Son, and to the Son to be begotten of the Father, and to the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father and the Son from all eternity.

Q. 11. How doth it appear that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father?

A. The Scriptures manifest that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father, ascribing unto them such names, attributes, works, and worship, as are proper to God only.

2. Christianity is the only religion where their (G)od can be killed by human hands. 

This is true. The Second Person of the Trinity came and dwelt among us as our representative, In order for our debts to be paid, we needed someone who represented us, therefore the One to die on the cross had to be fully human in order to pay that debt for us. Under the Old Testament system the goats and bulls that were sacrificed could not represent us, since they were not human. They merely pointed to the coming of One who would do so.

Another way to understand this is that since we are the sinners, the ones made in the image of God, then the One making that sacrifice would also have to be made in the image of God. By being human, Jesus fully represented us on the cross.

He was also fully God as well. This was so that He could fully bear up under the wrath of God, and more importantly, pay the eternal debt that we owe to God for our sin. We owe an eternal debt to God because we have sinned against One who is an eternal being. This is why no mortal man can pay off that debt with enough good works. How does one pay an eternal debt? We can either pay that debt by serving out our sentence in eternal hell, or we can have an eternal being pay it for us. This is why Jesus was fully God, and fully man. He represented us as the Son of Man, and satisfied the wrath of the eternal Father by being the Son of God.

He graciously chose to lay down His life on our behalf.  The beauty is that He was raised from the dead on the third day as He told us He would be. This shows God’s good pleasure in His Son. In doing so, we know that we have a true and real Savior that can truly save us from our sins.

However Sasha’s statement is also false. While Christ laid down His life on our behalf, the Father did not lay down His life, nor did the Holy Spirit. Did the God-Man die on the cross? Yes He did. Did God die that day? No He did not. We put to death the Savior, but killing the Triune God is an impossibility since we cannot kill that which is eternal.

3. Christianity is the only religion where your sin is automatically forgiven without effort.

Absolutely! We are saved by faith in Christ’s atoning works and not in ourselves, so that we cannot boast, even our faith is a gift from Him (Ephesians 2:8-10).

The problem with the assumption behind Sasha’s statement is that anyone can be forgiven for their sins with effort. This is what sets true Christianity apart from the rest of the religions of the world. All those in other religions are trying to “save” themselves through their own efforts. But our works are considered as filthy rags before the Father because they are tainted with our sin. This is why the unbeliever’s works are unacceptable.

In the Old Testament, the Jews had to offer up sacrifices that were unblemished and perfect. This wasn’t so they could be forgiven. Their sacrifices did not save them, but the sacrifices did point to the One who would save them, and was offered on their behalf without spot or blemish. The requirement that the sacrifice be without spot or blemish was to show the Israelites the necessity of a sinless sacrifice. The sacrifices had to be perfect in order to be acceptable to God. They were intended to paint a picture for the Jews so they could see the sinfulness of sin. Just one spot, or one tiny blemished, rendered the lamb unacceptable.

If our works, given to God, are tainted by sin in the least, they are unacceptable. Since we are all sinful and fallen, we have no works in and of ourselves to give to God to pay the eternal debt of sin we owe to Him.

This is why the Scriptures make it clear that Jesus was without sin. He is the acceptable sacrifice for those who would be saved.

By putting our faith in Him for salvation and forgiveness, His works and righteousness are imputed to us, and our sins are imputed to Him. He pays for our sins, and gives us His righteous works.

No other religion can compare because those in the other religions are sinful and fallen. Every so called “good work” they perform are done in sin, apart from Christ and are unacceptable to the Father. They cannot pay the eternal debt that they owe.

4.Christianity is the only religion where another person (oops sorry. GOD) takes the blame for everyone else’s sins. 

True, but not worded the way I would word it. Christ takes the wrath of God on for the sins of His children. He pays the debt for our sins because He is the only that can do so. (See question 2 above).

No other religion can satisfy God’s wrath. This is why the gospel is the love of God before mankind. He shows us that we are helpless, and then His Son voluntarily comes to earth to do what we cannot do. No other religion can come close to dealing with our sins, or reflecting God’s rich love toward His people.

5. Christianity is the only religion where their prophets were drunkards, adulterous, and incestuous (Noah, David, Lot, respectively).

Yup! The Bible is full of sinners, of which, Jesus came to save. As I like to point out, a majority of the Bible has been written by murderers (Moses, David and Paul). We fully admit that all those in the Scripture are sinful, fallen humans in need of a Savior.

The premise behind Sasha’s statement is wrong. She is presupposing that other religions have sinless leaders, therefore, they are authentic leaders and their religions are more pure. This is a false assumption because no one is sinless, except Christ alone. The men she mentions, Noah, David and Lot, are not in the Bible for us to follow. They were there pointing us to the sinless One to come.

Moses looked forward to Christ’s day, because he knew he needed a Savior. David wrote about THE LORD speaking to HIS LORD and setting up HIS LORD on the throne (Psalm 110). Paul called himself the chief among sinners, and counted all his life as dung, except the reality of knowing Jesus Christ.

Why does the Bible do this? It does this to show that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All are in need of a Savior. All fail to measure up to God’s holy standards, except Jesus HIMSELF, and He willingly laid down His life on the believer’s behalf. He said so Himself. He came to save sinners, not those who thought themselves well.

We do not look to the men of the Bible to be our guide. We look to Christ alone. Only He can save. Only He is worthy of worship. Only Christ is worthy of praise. The men of the Bible, just like we are, have feet of clay, are fallen, and in need of the perfect Savior.

6. Christianity is a religion where the people don’t even know their own scripture because it’s been altered thousands of times to fit their needs.

TRUE and FALSE.

Actually there are two accusations in this one. The first is that Christians don’t know their own Bible. There is truth to that on one hand. Many church goers do not know Scripture. However, those who are truly saved, truly trust in Christ, know God’s word because we know it leads to our spiritual well being. We cannot survive without God’s word…

As for the Bible being altered, this is a false charge. See this post here with Dan Wallace clarifying that the more ancient Greek manuscripts we find, the more certainty we have in the Bible given to us through history. Or as Bruce Metzger puts it, there are some 20,000 lines in the New Testament, and considering all the manuscripts we have, only 40 of those lines are up for debate as to their meaning. Of those 40 lines, none of them affect any major doctrine of Christianity. No other ancient manuscript has such an accuracy rating.

7. Christianity is a religion where the people cherry-pick the parts they want to follow and conveniently disregard the rest. (Did you know that pork, wine, and wearing white for men are prohibited in the Bible? Oh and women have to cover their heads or else shave off their hair.) 

This is one of those charges that not only Sasha makes, but those in the Gay community make as well. Please Sasha, stop making this claim. You are siding with company I don’t think you want to side with.

There are several charges. First, pork was forbidden under the Mosaic Covenant so that the Israelites were never to eat it nor keep pigs. They were seen as unclean animals. This is the same argument as the shellfish argument that many make. The problem is that the Mosaic Covenant has been set aside because is was the lesser covenant and replaced by the New Covenant (see the book of Hebrews). The dietary and ceremonial laws were all set aside with the coming of Christ and the institution of the New Covenant. Those who still hold to them are legalistic in their nature. This does not mean we are laying aside the moral laws found in the Ten Commandments. Those are still binding today, but the ceremonial and dietary laws have been laid aside.

As for wine, not sure what Sasha is referring to since our LORD instituted the LORD’s Supper using wine and Paul even recommends it for Timothy. I know in the Old Testament in Isaiah, that those who set their hearts on it for their being (making it idolatry) are condemned by the prophet for drunkenness, but no where is the use of wine forbidden.

As for the hair, it is true that if a woman has shaved her head, as the temple prostitutes of Paul’s day were known for doing, then they were to cover their heads. Otherwise, they were to grow their hair long for their covering.

8. Christianity is a religion where their god has to come in HUMAN FORM to mediate. Like he can’t do it from the heavens.

He could have done it from heaven, but chose to do otherwise in His wise and holy counsel. Jesus is our Mediator and was qualified to be so because of His earthly ministry and death on the cross. In fact, that was part of His mediation and the reason we have access to the Father. This charge is really against God’s plan for salvation. I agree that God could have done it in some other manner, but He chose to do it this way because it brings Him the most glory. This is really a charge against the mind of God and His decisions and we should not go there. Our ways are not His ways, and our thoughts are not His thoughts. To try and peer into the mind of God is exceedingly arrogant.

But also see above. Christ came in human form to represent us and fulfill all the Old Testament Law, as well as the whole of Scripture. He was the Second Adam. Whereby the first Adam brought sin into the world, thereby death, Christ is the Second Adam bringing righteousness and life.

Whereby Adam was given the charge to subdue the world, and failed, Jesus came to subdue it, the spiritual world, and the devil. This is why we have the miracles, showing Christ’s dominion over sickness, death, evil spirits, and Satan. He truly does what Adam was charged to do, but failed in his sinfulness.

9. Christianity is the only religion where there are two testaments that completely contradict each other.

To the untrained mind, I can see why this charge is made. But the two testaments affirm one another, especially in the prophecies given about Christ, the types of Christ’s portrayed there and fulfillment of all the promises in Christ.

The Bible is one plan of redemption from beginning to end, which is depicted in man’s fall, and God’s promise to redeem His people. You see the beginning of that in Genesis 3, the development of that covenant of grace through the people of God and it’s fulfillment in Christ. So to say that there is complete contradiction is a misunderstanding of God’s purposes, His covenants and His plan of redemption.

10. Christianity is a religion used to justify imperialism in the past.

Yes, this charge can be true. But so is every other religion if given the power, including atheism. Just because the adherents of a faith do not act in accordance to that faith does not negate the faith. We fully admit that the church is a mixed bag of both believers and non-believers (see wheat and tares/sheep and goat examples in the gospels). The more non-believers in the church lead to periods of unholiness and wickedness. The more true believers lead to more grace and liberty.

While this charge is true, it also must be pointed out that Sasha has freedom of religion because of Christianity and the liberties found in our religion. We have charitable organizations because of Christianity. We have freedom to worship whom we please because of Christianity and the liberty found there.

So while you may make this charge, remember the freedom you do have because of Christianity. Islam, as we are seeing, offers no such liberty.

11. Christianity is a religion where women are property.

This is false. Women were liberated because of Christianity. Jesus brought worth, value and dignity to women through His ministry and women are seen as having souls in Christianity. I would have to have more clarity to answer more fully. What do you mean by this?

12. Christianity is the only religion where unbaptized babies go to hell.

Several issues are wrapped up in this charge. First, being baptized does not guarantee someone entrance into heaven. We are saved by faith and faith alone in Christ alone for salvation.

Secondly, only God’s elect will go to heaven. This means only those who believe in Christ for salvation will be saved by Him. This includes those dying in infancy who are of the elect, will be saved. Baptism is not the saving mechanism. Faith is the saving mechanism and the Spirit moves when and where and how He pleases in a person’s life.

We know that the Spirit can move in an infant’s life at an early age because John the Baptist knew when His Savior entered the room even though both were still in the womb. The knowledge was based upon what the Spirit was doing in John, not in John’s ability to understand or reason out the truth. This is an example of God’s grace and what it takes to be saved. The Spirit must move in a person in order to change their hearts from one of stone to flesh in order for them to believe and be saved. It is all God’s grace, not our ability to reason or logically discern something. Even the most intelligent people in the world cannot save themselves through logic and reasoning. Salvation is all be God’s grace. Therefore if He chooses to save the elect who die in infancy, that is HIS choice, not ours.

Baptism has nothing to do with our election or faith. It is a sign that points to the greater reality of salvation in our lives. A sign merely points to something greater. It doesn’t do the saving itself.

13. Christianity is the only religion where they fool their children into being faithful through games, dancing, camps, and never actually really reading the scripture or letting them think for themselves. No intellectual approach whatsoever.

Depending on the church itself, this could be true. But the “no intellectual approach whatsoever” is a straw man. We are to love the LORD our God with our heart, soul, strength and minds, and we do when we teach the truths of Scripture to our children. This is why we catechize our children, so that they grow up knowing the truths of God’s word.

I would also ask that you spend some time reading the great minds of the faith, like Augustine, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, and a host of others, including John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Some of the greatest thinkers in Western Civilization have been Christians. It is sad that you are too closed minded and ignorant of their works to know this.

14. And last but not least, Christianity is a flawed religion that is “perfected by faith.

Not sure what she means by this one. We are perfected by faith, but I see no flaws in our religion. I see flaws in Christians, myself included. All that does is drive me back to my Savior, in whom there are no flaws.

I believe in the original words of the one true God and his book, not the current Bible that was written by man.

This statement leads me to believe that Sasha is a Jehovah Witness, but I could be wrong.

I hope the Spirit moves in her as she reads this to help her see the truthfulness of Christ and His religion for His people. But I know from experience that when a JW or Mormon come to your door, they are not truly open for debate. They seek merely to persuade and get you to sign their dotted lines. As Christians, we truly must wait on the Holy Spirit to move in the life of a person for them to be saved. This is both an advantage and disadvantage. It’s a disadvantage because we can only present the truth and trust in the Spirit to convince the lost of their need of Christ. If a person is truly to be saved, we must wait on the Spirit.

But it is an advantage because when the Spirit moves, the person in question truly is saved for all eternity. It is through God’s work and not ours that they are saved. May the Holy Spirit move in Sasha’s life and others who read this article.

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14 thoughts on “14 Accusations Against Christianity

  1. 1. Doesn’t seem to me that “3 in 1” is a problem, logically. I mean, a human being is body, soul, and spirit. Separate but not distinct. What’s the problem?

    2. There is a hymn that I love with the simple exception that it makes the very same fundamental error. “How can it be … that Thou my God shouldst die for me?” It can’t. Didn’t happen. Nonsense. Jesus the man died. God the Son cannot. Just as in human beings, His death was a separation of body and spirit. The spirit doesn’t die. God didn’t die.

    3. No religion has “automatic forgiveness”, including Christianity.

    4. God does not take the blame for anyone’s sin. He pays the price. That happens everywhere. (Like when a father pays the fine for a son’s indiscretion.) Problem?

    7. (Wearing white is forbidden??? What … after Labor Day or something?)

    8. The penalty was death. Humans, not Gods, die. The remedy demanded a perfect human being pay the penalty for sins not committed. (The remedy also required that a deity do this because the payment of one man would only cover the sins of one man.) The demands of justice required that the Son become flesh, live a sinless life, and die for the sins of others.

    9. Interesting that I see “continuity and agreement” and Sasha sees “contradiction” between testaments.

    10. I have never understood how “misuse of x” constitutes “x is false”. (Item 13 is just such a claim.)

    I have no comments on most of your comments (… you know … because your comments were quite good). It is interesting to me that so many people like Sasha (Male or female? Can’t tell from the name.) say things like “I grew up in the church” (or, in this case, “I went to a Christian school”) and end up completely uninformed about what Christianity actually holds, teaches, affirms, and confirms. Most of the complaints I see are regurgitated from others who 1) don’t know what Christianity actually teaches and 2) apparently doesn’t know that the complaints have been answered before. But we are required to give answers, so we will continue to do so.

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    1. Hi Stan,
      Thanks for your additional responses. They are helpful as well.

      My hope is that Sasha and others will see that there are explanations to these common held accusations against Christianity. When you think about it, most of the accusations are nothing more than excuses not to believe. Hopefully Sasha will see that and… believe in Christ instead of her religion.

      Blessings

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  2. Jody

    I’m compelled to disagree with your analysis of #1:

    God, according to His revelation, is not 3 in the way that God is 1, and not 1 in the way that God is 3. This falls under “category error.”

    Example: A cylinder can that is the same in height as in width is, in one sense, round and in another sense square, but it is not square in the same way that it is round. It is not a logical contradiction that it is both “square” and “round” at the same time, but not in the same way. (This is for illustrative purposes ONLY, and is NOT intended as an analogy.)

    “Essence” and “substance” are terms that the Fathers used and wrestled with, but that makes make them neither meaningless nor nonsense.

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    1. Well, there in lies the problem of a finite mind describing that which is infinite… and very difficult at best. Always trying to refine my explanations on the Trinity, obviously haven’t quite arrived at it yet.

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      1. Jody

        My point, which I feel like I failed to make, was that the Trinity is not logically inconsistent, illogical, or contrary to logic. It is something beyond this universe, and our minds are pretty much limited to functioning on realities that are limited to this universe.

        Logic, interestingly enough, transcends the universe. Logic, from all appearances, flows from and is a product of God’s character.

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  3. 1. Since Sasha can’t understand it, it must be illogical. Only possible explanation.

    2. “Can be killed?” No, HAS been killed, once. He submitted willingly, never to happen again. It’s not like He was ambushed, put up a valiant struggle, and was slaughtered because his attackers were too strong. If anything, the self-sacrifice of Christ lends MORE credence to His claim of being a Messiah, not less.

    3. What automatic forgiveness? And clearly this person has never made an “effort” to live a life pleasing to God.

    4. “He paid a debt He didn’t owe, because we owe a debt we can’t pay.”

    5. Interesting of Sasha to point this out and claim it’s a point against the doctrines of Christianity…because every other doubter I’ve run across seems to have the idea that that Bible is full of pious people who never had any problems. People whose example isn’t applicable anymore.

    6. And Sasha knows any of this, HOW exactly?

    7. My experience has been that it’s the atheists, not Christians, who cherry-pick the Bible…and they do so out of a preconceived agenda and desire to beat believers over the head with the Bible and try to paint them as hypocrites. (See the shellfish argument, already mentioned.)

    8. It’s also the only one I’m aware of whose God cared about us enough to leave glory behind for a little while…because the message was so important, it had to be delivered in person.

    9. Another groundless, recycled talking point. Specifics, please?

    10. Islam is being used to justify imperialism *right now.* How about spreading the condemnation around a little bit? Besides, it was also Christians who eventually put a stop to the evils of slavery and the abuses of the British empire…not to mention the many crimes against humanity committed by atheist empires like Nazi Germany.

    11. That’s Islam who does that, too. I think Sasha has us confused with the jihadis.

    12. How does Sasha know where unbaptized babies end up?

    13. Based on what examples? Has Sasha actually been to such a camp as a youngster and found it long on brainwashing or short on intellectual rigor? Every camp I ever went to as a kid was an experience for learning and questioning.

    14. “A flawed religion?” Based on what standard? The arbitrary measurement of human beings who reject its teachings because it makes them uncomfortable and offers teachings that go against our baser nature? Anyone who’s spent five minutes with the book of Romans would know that it’s human beings who need perfecting, not the other way around.

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    1. Hi Matt,
      Yes, I have comment moderation up and running to prevent spammers and those who wish to add unacceptable dialog. Sorry for the confusion and thanks for your contribution.

      BTW, once you have been approved, you don’t have to wait for moderation. 🙂

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  4. Timothy, on point 1, my late professor Dr. Kenyon liked to respond to the 1+1+1=3 objection by asking the objector what 1x1x1 equals (i.e. 1) and if that answer is logical. I don’t know that this is some sort of definitive answer, but it handles that particular objection well.

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  5. Christians, remember that we are compassed about with crowd of wittnesses, so we need to run this race with a focused mind! The word of God is true and clear. It does not hide anyone’s sins, and the interesting thing is that no one is excusable, both the acusaer and the acused. Making hay while the sun shine!

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  6. Dear Pastor,

    First of all, I would like to extend my sincere thanks for such a good post. I would also like to thank “Sasha” for making it happen, because obviously if she/he hadn’t asked those questions the post wouldn’t be here.

    Secondly, I believe, God allowed His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that Satan would not be able to accuse God of using His power to save mankind much like the forcible conversions of Christians to Hinduism as is going on in India. If we go a bit deeper into the scriptures, Satan was cast away from heaven by God’s might. So he made man to sin to stake claim over God’s creation. God would have easily made man sinless by using His might but then Satan would be able to say that God was partial and unjust because He gave man free will in the beginning itself. In order that God be blameless, He sent His Son so that whoever believes in Him may have everlasting life. This is regarding point no.8 in your post.

    Thirdly, Sin is forgiven only if we repent. Repentance comes automatically when we realize the great sacrifice God has done for us on the cross.

    Thank you once again.

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