5 Obstacles to Faith

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As I surfed around the internet this morning, I encountered several news stories and blog posts that got me thinking about how hard it is for some people to come to Christ and give their lives to him. Here are a few of the obstacles I have encountered and my thoughts about them.

1.      Christians who have abused or hurt people are representing what God wants. If they represent God, I want nothing to do with him.

Truth: Christians are sinful. We are poor examples of Christ, because we make mistakes and can hurt people just like non-Christians can. If you have been hurt by the church or by a church leader, I want to offer you my sincere apologies. The Bible says God will hold those who teach to a higher standard because of the influence they have on people. God does NOT condone that abuse, or that hurt. That was not from him and I’m so sorry you had to endure that. The great hope is that God himself is perfect and will never hurt you or abandon you. He loves you and desires a close relationship with you.

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2.      Science is head knowledge and cannot coexist with faith, which is heart knowledge.

Truth: It is intellectual arrogance to disregard someone’s faith. And it is spiritual arrogance to disregard science. Both sides have hurled accusations at the other and committed the sin of arrogance. The truth is that science and faith can coexist and inform each other. As I write this I am looking out the window at the crashing waves of the Gulf of Mexico. The tiny intricate shell I picked up yesterday is so beautiful and detailed, I can only wonder at the Creator. That may not be convincing to you, but would you be willing to consider that creation might point to a designer?

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3.      I shouldn’t have to do anything I don’t want to do and Christianity is about following a bunch of rules. Besides, they are all judgemental haters.

Truth: The rules or guidelines we live by are designed for our own good. Sin is the real slave-master and following God actually provides freedom from sin. Living a selfish life will be its own reward. In other words there is no benefit beyond the momentary pleasure you experience when you live only for yourself. Ultimately, it is an empty way to live.

God does not condone hate. He loves all of his creation and calls his followers to love. We haven’t always done it well. We believe God’s plan leads to the best and most fulfilling way to live. We want that for you too. We are also called to live separately from the world. The Bible tells us to live in the world, but not of the world. It is a challenging balance to maintain.

4.      A good God couldn’t let evil happen in the world.

Truth: God is not the author of evil. The evil in the world is the result of sin. Ultimately, God is going to conquer sin and death and redeem the world. In the mean time, this is very hard to understand especially when we see the suffering some people endure.

We have a view of this world that says this life is worth everything. Death is the ultimate wrong and we should do anything to stop it. Christianity says that this world is not the only reality. Life with God or without God goes on eternally. This life is like a blade of grass blown away in the wind. Our true goal, our only concern should be for the next life. This life is temporary. That doesn’t make it easy to understand evil or pain in this world, but it gives us a slightly different perspective on it.

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What obstacles to faith have you encountered?

 

Kathy EricksonComment