What would it take for you to give up your faith?
Not just a pile of cash or something like that. More like what kind of scientific discovery would it take for you to give it up, stop going to church, admit to yourself that it’s all not true?
It kind of amazes me how no matter what scientists discovers, Christians usually find an explanation that leaves Jesus unharmed by science’s evil advance.
For example, scientists have come up with lots of data about the brains of religous people and all the chemical reactions that happen when people pray and go to church. There’s archaeologists who make new finds that don’t always line up with the Bible. Plus, there’s all those fossils that “prove” we came from apes, and Stephen Hawking, who can prove everything about the universe with just his brain.
This week, it was announced that babies seem to have an internal sense of morality, that they know the difference between good and evil. This seems pretty obvious to me. Babies cry everytime something remotely “evil” happens to them. Then they turn two, and choose to be evil. I’m sure some people will think this points to a genetic disposition toward religion, or other ethical belief systems. I happen to think it proves more of what C.S. Lewis was saying in Mere Christianity.
Anyway, it got me thinking about all the things Christians hold dear, hoping that some loudmouth scientist doesn’t come along and “proves” that belief is wrong. What would it take for you to admit Christianity might be a hoax?
Evolution is a fact.
This is the big one. Creation vs. Evolution! I don’t think they’ve done it yet. But if they really found a living “missing link,” some ape who didn’t fully evolve, but somehow could use perfect English to buy Little Debbie snack cakes at the grocery store, would you drop Genesis?
To me, if I can look around today and not believe we evolved from apes, there’s probably nothing that’s going to change my mind.
Fish don’t eat people.
The Old Testament has some real doozies. What if they proved that Jonah could not possibly have survived inside a fish for three days?
If they proved this, I would wonder just how they proved it. Who volunteered for that study? I went to Quintiles for a day to try to get into a medical study once, and that one day was bad. I won’t give you the details, but it involved a lot of urine…so much urine.
But I digress. Being in a fish wouldn’t be like in Pinocchio. Fish aren’t hollow. It would be gross. But I’d be able to let that story go and still be okay. How much of the Old Testament could you let go of, if you had to?
The Israelites weren’t monotheists.
That one’s a trick. Some smart guy archaeologist made that announcement a few weeks ago. According to his studies, the ancient Israelites “may not have been true monotheists.” No kidding? That’s what the whole Bible is about! The Israelites did not want to be monotheists, and God was always forcing His views down their throats like the biggest evangelical ever!
Mary wasn’t a virgin.
Now we’re taking off the kid gloves. This one would be tough, as I personally think it’s important. I don’t treat Mary the way the Catholics typically do. In fact, I’m not really sure what Catholics are doing with Mary, and I’d like one to enlighten me. But I do think it’s important that Jesus was concieved supernaturally.
But again, how would anyone go about proving she wasn’t a virgin? The, um…”traditional” means of proving virginity isn’t exactly available to us. And if it is, it’s got to be locked away in some church, which makes me shudder to think about. Still, I think I could do without the virgin birth and still be a Christian.
What if aliens exist? Are they, or we the pinnacle of creation? Are they redeemed, or will they be in heaven? Some people would probably have a problem learning that God was doing a lot of things outside the Bible. I fully expect that God had his holy hands full with other things besides the Israelites. After dealing with them, I’d need a diversion when I came home from work. Not to say that Jesus was visiting other alien planets, because we’re the best. But if the aliens tell us about how they populated our planet and embedded themselves into our minds, we’re all going to be eating a lot of crow for making fun of Tom Cruise, and that won’t be fun.
Thomas’ name was really “Steve.”
I actually think this is the case. It’s a conspiracy, actually. Over half of the disciples were really named “Steve.” Bartholomew? That’s a name-made-up-by-an-evil-conspiracy if I ever heard one. I don’t think it’s a big deal, really.
The “religious” gene.
I think this is might be a bigger threat than finding “codes” in the Bible. Scientists are hard at work mapping out the whole of human DNA. They hope they can find every behavior rooted in our genetic code. They’re looking for “fat” genes and “gay” genes, and someone’s probably looking for a “Jesus” gene. I’m not worried. If they ever find it, and prove that all religious people are playing out an instinct given to them by their genetic makeup, I think I’ll finally become a Calvinist. Election win!
I guess I am pretty closed minded. Unless they actually found a corpse with a pen in his hand and a piece of paper that said “My name is Jesus of Nazareth, and I am not God, nor did I rise from the dead, as you can see,” then I don’t think they can “prove” anything that can make me lose my faith.
I guess that’s how Christianity has survived. Christians used to be threatened by Galileo saying the world was round. Turned out, it didn’t matter so much.
What would it take for you? What would put Christianity in serious doubt? Is your faith impervious to the continual advancement of science? Or is your faith more threatened by the questions that science can’t prove or disprove?