We live in a world where truth is often seen as impossible to know or questionable at best. We’re constantly hearing buzzwords like “fake news” and “alternative facts.” Some falsehoods have deep roots and are commonly held. There are a lot of culturally common myths regarding Christianity and the existence of God.
Below is a list of common beliefs that are widely held but false. I’ve held all of them in the past and have heard them more times than I can count. I ask you to keep an open mind, and if the proof is there, reject the myths below.
Science Has Proven That God Doesn’t Exist
Many times I have heard this and reply, “which experiment was it that disproved God’s existence?” Often times it is proposed that since there is no scientific proof of God’s existence, He must not exist. But, that is not scientific proof. When Stephen Hawking was pressed on this issue, he simply replied that since we cannot know everything that God would, God cannot exist. This isn’t scientific, nor does it disprove anything.
The fact of the matter is that there is no observation or experiment to conclusively disprove God. It is put forth that science has brought us to a point that we know so much about the universe and can see that there is no need for the existence of God. Yet, science fails to answer some of the most crucial questions. How did life arise from non-living matter? Has this ever been recreated or observed? How did unconscious matter gain consciousness? Why does the universe appear to be so finely tuned? The list goes on. While science is amazing and crucial to civilization, it has not disproven God.
The Bible Has Been Heavily Corrupted
The popular claims of the Bible’s corruption span from King James’ supposed editing and Constantine’s oversight at the Council of Nicea to over-zealous scribes. But, the proof is lacking. Most modern translations are based on New Testament manuscripts that pre-date King James and even Constantine.
When scholars compare these earlier manuscripts with translations post-Constantine the differences are marginal and rarely significant. The bottom line is, there is enough evidence and manuscript support for us to be confident in what the original text said, and this is expressed in most modern English translations.
The Bible is Full of Contradictions
If you feel so inclined, you can go to several websites and read lists of hundreds of supposed Bible contradictions. The problem with all of these that I’ve investigated is that they are not true contradictions. Most of the contradictions usually cited are not true contradictions because they can either be reasonably explained or the two passages are adding detail, not contradictory material.
As an example, it is often cited that there is a contradiction on the first page of the Bible. It is proposed by some that the detail in Genesis that God made light on day one and the sun on day four is a contradiction. This can only be the case if the sun is the only possible light source that could be mentioned in Genesis 1:3. However, if it is meant that God made light itself (i.e. the electromagnetic wave we sense with our eyes and refer to as “light”) or any other source of light other than the sun, then these statements are not contradictory. Since nothing in the text or otherwise demands that the light in Genesis 1:3 is the sun, these statements are not contradictory.
In another example, varying details in the gospel accounts are often cited as contradictory material. But think of this example: if four people described a car accident and one witness said “a car ran into the back of a car,” another said “a red automobile skidded into a car,” another said “a candy apple red car ran into the back of a stopped taxicab” and the last witness said “a red car slammed on its breaks before plowing into the back of a yellow taxi cab driven by a man with sunglasses,” no contradiction has occurred, only varying degrees of detail.
A true contradiction is two or more statements that cannot be reasonably explained in any way other than contradictory to each other. If two or more statements give varying degrees of detail or seem like they might contradict only under certain circumstances, they are not truly contradictory.
Jesus Never Claimed to Be God
If Jesus never claimed to be God, then Christians in the first century onward yield an unwarranted zeal. Often the idea that Jesus never claimed to be God is used to justify dismissing Jesus’ significance or Christianity altogether. Two questions must be answered for the claim to be made rightfully. 1) What source do we use to decide what Jesus has said, and 2) what did Jesus say about being God in this source?
SEE ALSO: IS JESUS GOD?
The obvious source we have for what Jesus has said directly is the New Testament. Specifically, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This is what can be called the normative source for the words of Jesus, that is the gospels are the trustworthy standard of the words and actions of Jesus. These four men either followed Jesus around during His ministry or were in close contact with those who had. If we are going to answer the question of who Jesus claimed to be, the gospels must be our standard. Otherwise, we don’t know anything other than what might come from obviously false, spurious pseudo-gospels, or whatever we feel like might be the case.
When we view this source of Jesus’ sayings in the collection known as the gospels, it is clear that Jesus claimed on multiple occasions to be God either by implication or action, and the New Testament as a whole testifies to this fact (Jn. 1:1-3, 5:16-18, 8:58-59; Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:3). Jesus claimed to be God, and Jews in the first century risked death and social ostracizing to treat Him as such.
It’s Impossible to Know if God Exists
This popular myth reveals our culture’s view of truth. Today it is submitted that to truly know anything is impossible. Of course, this depends on how we define know. If we define knowledge as only something we can determine with our senses, then logic and reason cannot be trusted. This is self-contradictory because most who say that they can only know what they sense used logic to come to that conclusion and not their senses. Further, there are people who deny that even what we sense cannot be trusted. How then can we determine the truth?
While we can, by and large, be certain of what we sense, we must be able to use reason and logic to determine truth beyond a reasonable doubt. Otherwise, it is impossible to know if your mom is your mom, if anybody is guilty of any crime you did not witness personally, maps of places you’ve never been cannot be trusted, and you cannot be sure that any location other than the one you are currently at is in existence.
Obviously, it is impossible to go through life with this definition of knowledge. Since we can know things through reason and logic, if the existence of God can be shown through reason and logic the existence of God can be known. God can be shown to exist through reason and logic by means of the cosmological, teleological, and moral arguments. So, we can know that God exists the same way we know other things we have deduced by sound reason/logic even if they are impossible to perceive with our senses.
Overall, our culture’s myths regarding the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated. Ideas our culture hold onto in order to discredit Christianity rarely hold any water. What should our response be? Seek truth and live accordingly.
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