I try to be an equal opportunity devil’s advocate. Let me know where I fail.
Reflections on religious studies.
To people who don’t want anyone to challenge their Christianity:
Having people ask questions should cause you to seek answers and thereby strengthen your faith. Are you not supposed to be always ready to give an answer as to why you believe (I Peter 3:15)? No reasonable person should expect you to have all the answers but when you keep seeking answers, you can live your life with what you do understand, accept the rest, and answer better next time.
To the Christians who do not want to try to convert others:
Are you not commanded to tell the Gospel to the world (Matthew 28:19-20)? Some Christians have created a bad taste in the mouths of the world by being aggressive, overbearing… domineering. Doesn’t Jesus’ example tell you to see others with love, compassion, and with the desire for them know the truth? If you or your message is not received, shut up and leave it alone (my paraphrase of Matthew 10:14). It is not your job to hound them. Maybe God will send them someone else.
To the atheist and the Satanist:
Where does your morality come from? The Satanist says, “and do no harm.” I have heard this phrase from Wiccans too. Why not harm anyone? If there is no higher power, why shouldn’t we just do whatever it takes to get what we want despite stepping on the backs of others to get it, other than the actions being illegal. I have heard atheists say that banding together for the common good was a survival mechanism. This banding together may have helped us fight against predators and to hunt food, but in the main, it helped us develop an us versus them mentality. It made us stronger to fight against other humans in competition for territory and food. If there is no higher power to fear, then the only thing to fear, (besides fear itself,) is other people. Might makes right. The same survival mechanism that brought us together was the catalyst for bigger wars.
Another general point:
Our worldview must make philosophical sense. For example, If I believe that Christianity is true, then Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, and Taoism cannot be true. They cannot all be true. One truth for me and another truth for you is illogical and philosophically unsound. We would never accept this sort of reasoning in politics, business, or science. When we say that something is true for you but not for me, we are really saying something else.
Truth is not very important so it’s okay if people believe a falsehood.
This leads down some rocky roads because this worldview does not affect only religion; it bleeds over into what we expect of government, personal relationships, and other areas.
We don’t care enough about others to discourse on truth.
For those of us who profess Christianity, numbers two and three are antithetical to the teachings of Jesus. We should care about all people, even those who mock us for our faith.
We aren’t sure in our own minds that what we believe is true.
When questions come up that we can’t answer, It’s time to study to show ourselves approved 2 Timothy 2:15.