Questions about Christianity
- If God is there, why is there so much suffering in the world?
- Big Bang v. Creation
- What about other religions? Are all other religions wrong?
- How does the Church deal with (or how does God feel about) modern living? i.e. people living together before marriage etc.
- Is Homosexuality completely wrong?
- How can I believe in something I can’t see?
- How does God really affect my life? i.e. when I’m tired, it’s the middle of the night, the baby’s crying and I’ve got work in the morning?
- What is logical about God? People think that the Big Bang is a logical explanation but God creating the world is an “airy fairy” explanation.
- Some people think that religion is just a crutch for people who are having a bad time. Why go to church if life’s all going well?
God is extremely loving and caring and while we weep at all the suffering in the world, God is weeping more. The world today isn’t the perfect world that God created. The perfect world was in harmony with its creator, but the moment that Adam and Eve took a bite from the apple, disobedience and rebellion took the place of harmony. The floodgates to sin were opened and mankind continues to suffer the consequences of its daily disobedience and rebellion. We just can’t help it – we’re addicted! And as a result, there is terrible suffering in the world. The only reason that it’s not any worse than it is, is because God continues to love us, despite our rebellion. Indeed, you might turn the question on its head and ask: If God isn’t there, where is there so much good in the world?
People find it very difficult to believe that God made the world in 7x24 hours that we know today. The Bible quite clearly states that God isn’t bound by time and that ten thousand years is like 1 day and 1 day is like ten thousand years to God (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8). Therefore, life on earth millions of years ago does not contradict the Biblical teaching of Creation. Or to take it further, the Big Bang Theory (and it is only a theory) does not rule out Creation. Simply put, the Big Bang Theory proposes that 15 billion years ago the universe was a spec of dust smaller than the eye of a needle. The explosion of the spec resulted in expansion over billions of years producing stars and planets with gravity etc. But the question that begs asking is: where did the spec of dust (or more to the point, the universe) come from? We have three options:
A) The universe has always been here.
We know that the universe exists inside the dimension of time, but to say that the universe has always been there is to say that it exists outside of time. Or to put it another way, something that is eternal is also by nature unchanging. If there’s one thing that we know about matter it is that it is always changing. If the spec of dust is eternal, why did it turn into a universe? If the universe is eternal, why is it in a permanent state of decay? Therefore, the idea that the universe is “just there” without any explanation as to how it got there cannot be a credible answer.
B) The universe created itself.
The option that the universe created itself cannot be credible either. For something to create itself it has to already exist. If it doesn’t exist, then how can it be there to create itself?
C) The universe was created.
There is only one possible explanation left: the universe and the dimension of time in which it operates was designed and created by a Creator. Even if we subscribe to the Big Bang theory (and as with any unproven scientific theory, some do and others don’t), we most conclude that the universe was created (Genesis 1:1).
There is clearly a strong human desire to worship a God figure of some kind because around 85% of the world’s population is religious. There is much that different religions have in common with each other. Indeed, there is much that can be learned from other religions through their devotion, discipline and concern for the needy. But that does not mean that all religions lead to God. We see from the answer to Question 1 that the problem with our imperfect world is not for lack of effort to worship God, but for lack of effort to obey God. The resultant disharmony means that we can worship all we like, but until we are completely and perfectly restored to harmony with God, worshipping him is devoid of joy and purpose. Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism all recognise that there is a need to repair the disharmony, and on this matter they are in agreement with Christianity. But Christianity, unlike other religions, also recognises that we can’t do anything to make God love us any more than he does and we can’t do anything to repair the disharmony with God. There is nothing we can do to buy our way into God’s favour. All other religions believe that we can earn our reward but there is no religious act to get rid of sin…Jesus was the only one who could get rid of our sin. All we have to do is believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son who died on the cross to take the full punishment for our sins, rose from death and returned to his Father to be the mediator for those who trust him.
How does the Church deal with (or how does God feel about) modern living? i.e. people living together before marriage etc.
Although humans change with the wind, God is steadfast; He will never change or make allowances just to suit us. Therefore, living together before marriage was wrong and still is wrong. It hurts God when we go our own way and disregard his Word but God doesn’t distinguish between sins. There is no ranking system for sins; we are all sinners. The church is not there to judge – it not only provides a place to worship our Creator but also provides support. God still loves you just the same – God loves the sinner but hates the sin.
Some of us clearly have a homosexual orientation and that in itself is not sin. But sex outside of marriage is sin. The Bible clearly states that God’s gift to heterosexual marriage is sex. Therefore, if sex is being carried out in any way other than a man and woman who are married to each other, it is wrong. We are called to avoid all temptation and the Bible states that homosexuality is just like any other temptation i.e. adultery, stealing, coveting etc.
We can’t see gravity or wind but we all believe it because we see the effect of it. We can’t see God, but we can see the effect of God. Just look at creation (see question 2), history (Jesus Christ) and the Church (try spending time with some Christians for a few months and look for the marks of God in their lives – see Galatians 5:22-23 for a full list of signs to look for). Being a Christian means having a personal and very real relationship with God. The fact that we cannot look at him directly (this has not been possible since Adam and Eve disobeyed God – see question 1) means that we must take a step of faith based on the evidence we see in creation, Jesus Christ and the Church.
How does God really affect my life? i.e. when I’m tired, it’s the middle of the night, the baby’s crying and I’ve got work in the morning?
God cares and God understands – don’t forget: He sent His only Son to die for us on a cross. Jesus lived a human life and he understands what we go through. Through prayer, God wants us to go to him with our troubles and worries and through the Holy Spirit, God provides us with a peace that passes all understanding (peace is one of the effects of God you might look for in a Christian – see question 6).
What is logical about God? People think that the Big Bang is a logical explanation but God creating the world is an “airy fairy” explanation.
The idea that God created the world is more logical than any of the alternatives (see question 2). Indeed, it is the only logical explanation to the existence of anything. This is because, in order for such concepts as “time”, “space”, “physics”, “matter” to be there, something needs to exist that is outside of time, space, physics and matter that created them. If something exists outside of time, it must be eternal and omniscient. If something exists outside of space, it must be omnipresent. If something exists outside of physics, it must have no limitations to what it can do. If something exists outside of matter it must be able to take any shape or form it likes. So the logical explanation to time, space, physics and matter is that there must be an eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, limitless and amorphous being that created them. That is probably why 85% of the world believe that some kind of God exists. (The remaining 15% are made up of people who aren’t sure and people who can’t believe it.)
Some people think that religion is just a crutch for people who are having a bad time. Why go to church if life’s all going well?
Going to church and the purpose of being a Christian isn’t about having a crutch or just having something to help us get through each day – yes they are bonuses of being a Christian but being a Christian is less about us and more about giving the glory to an immense God; a God who has provided a way (through Jesus Christ) back into a harmonious relationship with him. Most of us have a view of God that is too small. So much so that our human brains cannot comprehend just how great, powerful, holy, fair and perfect He is.View All Letters