“’Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the Lord…” Isaiah 1:17
In this series I will be addressing a list of “40 harmful effects of Christianity” that originated on the American Atheists Facebook page and has since made its way around the internet. Having read this list over, I can say that its truth value, to say the least, is dubitable. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I take issue with the items on this list and how they are presented. If you are a disciplof Jesus Christ, you should, too. How would you (if you are a believer), in the Spirit of 1 Peter 3:15, answer these accusations? In this post, the first in a series, I will briefly address these “harmful effects” of Christianity from a biblical worldview.
Harmful Effect #1: The discouragement of rational, critical thought
For me to even engage in such criticism as this is to express rational, critical thought. It is my very dedication to Christianity that encourages me to interact with such statements. The Lord calls us, in Isaiah 1:17, to reason. In the gospels, Jesus is seen skillfully engaging his detractors, often making a fortiori arguments. Clearly, Christianity is not antithetical to “rational, critical thought.” I can say, from my own personal experience, that Christianity has never discouraged me to think rationally and critically.
This is not to say that there are not (those who at least claim to be) Christians who refuse to engage in rational, critical thought. However, their doing so is in direct conflict with a biblical worldview. Furthermore, such non-critical religious persons are hardly unique to Christianity. In fact, a non-critical nature is not unique to the religious person! This supposed “harmful effect” of religion is merely a sad reality of the human condition.
The Christian doctrine of Total Depravity holds that man is so marred by (original) sin that his very thinking is futile. The Christian can argue from scripture that the tendency of men to engage in irrational thought is adequately explained by the Christian worldview. What explanation does the non-Christian have for such thought?
In my next post in this series, I’ll address the following:
Harmful Effect #2. Vilification of homosexuality, resulting in discrimination, parents disowning their children, murder, and suicide.
Though, I wonder if I will be able to do so “briefly”.
[Contributed by Seth Dunn]
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.