On Sunday my pastor noted that, "Some people will believe anything, as long as it's not written in the Bible."

Why is that? There are three main reasons that I can think of, though you may come up with more.

First, Christians are often not very good representatives of what the Bible teaches. All sorts of evils have been done because "God told me to", so many unbelievers are wary of putting their faith in a document that's been clearly misused and misconstrued over the ages.

Second, most people don't know a lot about what the Bible says. Even many Christians know very little of what God has written, or only know Bible soundbites ("Love your neighbor as yourself", "Thou shalt not X"). This plays into the first reason: Christians often don't follow God's commands because they don't know God's commands; unbelievers only know a very little of what the Bible says, but they know a great deal about the silly, hypocritical things Christians do. I can't even count the number of times I've had unbelievers tell me that they don't want to be a Christian because of something they think they know about the Bible, but that in fact is completely false.

Third, most people don't like the message of the Bible. This dislike is natural -- all people are evil in their hearts and love themselves more than God -- and it often leads to both disobedience and ignorance of the Bible. Why study something that clashes so uncomfortably with the enjoyable lifestyle you crave? Why obey in hard circumstances when it is (apparently) so easy to get away with doing wrong? Much better to just forget about it and secretly hope that ignorance will be a suitable excuse when -- and if -- God ever gets around to judging people.

And the consequence of these three factors is that the Bible has been largely discredited in our culture. When telling someone about God, saying "because it's written in the Bible" carries very little weight. People reject the idea of faith and belief and instead clamor for proof, which is impossible to produce, because God is not a tangible thing that can be boxed in by theorems and logic. Further, the actions of Christians often don't demonstrate a God that is worthy of faith.

Nevertheless, Christians shouldn't forget that when Jesus confronted Satan directly, his most powerful weapon were three simple words: "it is written".



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