Losing Faith, Leaving Christianity
Recently, I sat with a group of Bible Study women, pretty much all of whom had watched a loved one walk away from their faith in Christ. I don't mean that these folks just stopped attending church or got lazy in their prayer life and Bible Study.
I'm referring to the increasingly common practice of churched people rejecting the faith of their childhood altogether in favor of replacing it with atheism, or even paganism.
After a few unwelcome attempts at having faith conversations, these women felt left with no other option than to grit their teeth and pray. I'll bet you've experiences something similar:
- Maybe you have a sister who was treated poorly by the church, and so she stopped going. Eventually, she started doubting that God was even real.
- Maybe you raised kids in church but their High School & College classes convinced them that God doesn't exist and the Bible isn't true or reliable. Or moral. And now, they're totally uninterested having a personal faith.
- Or possibly, you have family members who simply decided that all roads lead to God, and so they stopped having any kind of meaningful faith in Christ.
We all know that part of following Jesus faithfully is sharing your faith. It's hard enough to do under normal circumstances, but it's even more difficult now that Christianity has been in decline for years.
All sorts of influences have dominated the public conversations for the last few decades and insist that Christianity is false and the Bible is unreliable. It's no wonder that these women feel like they're left with nothing else but shrugging their shoulders.
But is that really true?
Is there nothing we can do?
The Role of Christian Apologetics
Sweet friends, if Jesus Christ really is the Lord of everything, then Christianity isn't just a beloved personal belief system that you and I happen to hold at the same time.
If Jesus Christ is Lord, He is Lord of Everything, which means that the Christian Worldview isn't just a religion, it's truth. And if it's truth, then somewhere, somehow there must be evidence that you and I can point people to in order that they can see for themselves that faith in Christ is rooted in reality.
Learning the reasons why the Christian Worldview is true (called Christian Apologetics) takes a whole new set of skills and resources, but it's well worth the investment of time and energy. When we make the effort, here's what happens when we roll up our sleeves and get busy:
- We strengthen our own faith. Yup, believe it or not, we can ditch our own doubts and enrich our own faith. It's amazing what happens to your confidence levels when you understand the reasons found in science, history, archaeology and philosophy which actually support the truth of the Christian Worldview.
- We become better witnesses. How many times have you wanted to tell someone about Jesus, or what He's done in your life but you didn't because you were afraid you'd get asked a question you couldn't answer? How many times have you wandered into a conversation with someone who just shut you down with their negative attitudes, comments and objections which you were totally unprepared for? And then, each time you tried to share your faith after that, you had this gnawing fear that it would happen again, so you stayed quiet? We become better, more confident witnesses for Christ when we understand the reasons why the Christian Worldview is true.
- We reduce our own discomfort. Like I said above, we become more comfortable and more relaxed about getting a question or an objection, when we've worked through them ourselves. After thinking through some basic questions and answers, we find we're less likely to get frustrated, rattled or angry when talking to a resistant soul. We also find that we're a little more comfortable saying something like, "I don't know the answer to your question, but I'll go find out and get back with you!"
- We increase our effectiveness in the world. As you train yourself to defend your faith, you begin to notice cultural blind spots that you previously ignored. As you develop these skills, you become better at shaping, extending and defending a distinctly Christian view of life and the world, for the good of others and the glory of God.
Christian Apologetics For Women
As a woman of faith, its never been more important for YOU to understand your faith at the deepest levels -- knowing what you believe as well as why you believe it. The Next Generation is suffering record levels of doubt and unbelief, so that positions you as an incredibly important resource in rescuing the faith of those who are younger.
I'll be adding new Bible Study Guides and Online Courses as often as I create them, but a good place to get started (as they become available) is:
Design, Not Darwin -- This is a short online course derived from a presentation I gave live to a group of youth. It helps them understand the reasons why evolution and science actually come up short when explaining the human experience, and why Christianity gets it right.
The God Confidence ToolBox -- This is an ever-growing set of short online courses which are designed to answer specific questions and objections against Christianity. Not only will it help you respond to accusations against Christian faith, it will also help you see why your faith in Christ is well-placed.
Revival, Not Revolution - This is a Biblical look at various cultural revolutions and how they compare to the social change seen as a result of Christian Revivals.