Introduction to the 100 Questions/Challenges confronting Christians today
Before we get to the 100 questions, let me discuss why this blog exists. The reason for this blog is to demonstrate that it is reasonable and rational to believe the teaching of the Christian faith because all questions that challenge the faith can be rationally answered. It is neither foolish nor contrary to science to believe what Christianity teaches. Further, the answers are internally consistent and rationally coherent. Up to this point I have focused on challenges presented by secular understandings of science and atheistic misrepresentations. These include challenges from science about things like evolution and the age of the earth to philosophical challenges from the “New Atheists” like Richard Dawkins.
While responses to these topics are helpful to all ages, I particularly want to provide solid answers for teens and college-age students who are challenged in their faith by teachers, professors and the secular worldview taught in most curricula that stand against the teachings of the Christian faith. Over the past 15 years or so, Christian leaders have recognized that even though Christian parents are sending their kids to church, Sunday School, Christian schools and colleges, many young people do not remain in the faith. Current estimates are that 65 to 70% of youth entering college have already abandoned their Christian faith, or at least any confidence that the teaching of Christianity is true.
That number: 65-75% of youth leaving high school that have left their faith behind are born out in stats such as these:
Ken Ham summarizing a survey from 2002 stating,
“George Barna found that two-thirds of young people, two-thirds of young people in our churches, by the time they reach college age are going to walk away from the church.”
In 2019 Lifeway Research reported:
“Two-thirds (66 percent) of American young adults who attended a Protestant church regularly for at least a year as a teenager say they also dropped out for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22…”
The trend is clear and it appears to be remaining steady at about two-thirds of young people leaving what faith they had by the time they head for college. Like Ken Ham, I have focused much of my attention on addressing the science objections because it remains one of the top reasons both youth and adults have as objections to the faith. As they note in “You Lost Me,” yet another book on why youth are leaving Christianity, regarding the broad reasons for leaving, the authors indicate the number three reason for leaving is that the church is:
“Anti-Science. Many young Christians have come to the conclusion that faith and science are incompatible. Yet they see the mostly helpful role science plays in the world they inhabit – in medicine, personal technology, travel, care of the natural world, and other areas. What’s more, science seems accessible in a way that the church does not; science appears to welcome questions and skepticism, while matters of faith seem impenetrable.”
For these reasons I have devoted much time and blog space to addressing science challenges to the faith – Age of the earth, evolution, etc. while at the same time showing why Biblical accounts are true – concerning all of it: creation, flood, evidences of a young earth, where dinosaurs fit, etc. But, as Tom Gilson at the Stream points out, there are many other questions challenging the faith these days. He has posted more than 100 questions or challenges to the church and Christians in an article titled “Are We Ready? More than a Hundred Challenges Christians Have Never Faced Before.”
Since it’s my desire to address questions that are problematic for both those investigating Christianity and for those either young or young in faith, it is clear to me it is both necessary and appropriate for me to address these questions. I pray they answers will be like a guiding light to one lost and wandering in darkness.
With that introduction I turn to the first of the 100+ questions. While they may seem daunting and difficult to many, I believe we’ll find a pattern to the reason why the questions are even questions at all. I expect we’ll see many examples of misunderstandings due to logical errors such as:
As well as perceived problems due to moral failings such as:
- Ignorance of God / Scripture
- Denials of truth
- Refusal to admit love of sin
No doubt there are a few others, but I expect these will be the top reasons. So without further ado, here we go.
Why do Christians care so much about what people do in their bedrooms?
This question is made possible by poisoned-well thinking that leads to a red herring that hides the real reason: a refusal to admit love of sin. The unstated (and poisoned-well) assumption is that anything done between two consenting adults in their bedroom is okay, so why do you care, Christian? That’s clearly not true, and it’s likely a more popular sentiment than it should be because of the poisoning of the well of our societal morals. The free-love 60’s did more harm than most of us realize. We’ll see much more of this poisoned-well thinking in questions to come. This particular question appears to be about personal privacy in the bedroom, but that’s not really what the question is about. When I clarify what the question is really about it should be immediately apparent why it’s false. What the question is really asking is this: Is everything done in the bedroom okay? Does that make it easier for you? Not yet? Let me give you a few scenarios.
Let me start these scenarios with some pictures courtesy of the work of Hamas murderers and terrorists. Here’s a picture of a child’s blood stained bed, the child being one of the hundreds killed. Here is a video of a captured Hamas terrorist stating it was their goal to rape women and children. Here is video of one witness’s testimony of a mother who watched as Hamas shot her baby in the head. There are many other Hamas atrocities that could be provided but you get the point. It is likely some of this evil took place in bedrooms. But even if it didn’t, here are some questions for you:
- Is it okay to kidnap women and children so you can rape them in the privacy of your bedroom?
- Is it okay to behead, burn and shoot children in the head as Hamas did?
- Is it okay to murder parents in front of their children and children in front of their parents?
If you said no to any of these, then you agree these are wrong. These acts are evil and it doesn’t matter where they are done – whether in a bedroom or not. So clearly the location – the bedroom is just a red-herring. If it’s wrong to rape women and children anywhere (where’s Dr. Seuss?), it’s wrong here, there and and everywhere – including the privacy of your bedroom. What the person who asks why Christians care about what goes on in the bedroom wants Christians to agree that any kind of sex (which typically happens in the bedroom) is okay or at least stop proclaiming those sexual sins are wrong. But those are sins, and they are wrong just as the Hamas atrocities are wrong. We won’t concern ourselves with comparing which is a worse sin, we’ll simply note both are sins, and the penalty of all sin – even one apparently simple as eating forbidden fruit – is death. (Gen 2.17) In actuality, no sin is a “simple” sin. All sin is rebellion against God.
Christians are charged with proclaiming the truth (Matt 10.27-28; Col 1.28), so we cannot acquiesce and stop saying sexual sin is sin. Those who want Christians to be silent either don’t know or are in denial that sexual immorality is an outrageous affront to an infinitely Holy God who sees what’s done in secret. (Matt 6.18) The Bible is exceedingly clear. “πορνια” – pornia – illicit sexual intercourse or “fornication”as the KJV puts it – meaning any type of sex outside of Biblical marriage – is wrong. (1 Cor 6.9-10)
The other implied objection is: Even if it is wrong, why do you care if it’s done in the secret of my bedroom? The above examples should have made that clear. Should not everyone, not just Christians, care if children are shot in the head, beheaded and/or burned alive as the Hamas terrorist criminals did? Does it matter if it’s in the bedroom or somewhere else that the atrocities are done? You see, once you acknowledge the evil, you acknowledge it should not be done anywhere. Once you acknowledge something is wrong, then you also acknowledge that talking about the location where it happens is just a red herring, a distraction from the truth. It’s irrelevant to the evil that’s done. Such evil must be stopped and punished regardless of the location.
That or course requires the evil is recognized. That’s where repentance comes in. It’s not without reason that Jesus began preaching the gospel by stating, “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1.15) Repentance involves first changing your mind and agreeing with God. You cannot repent from evil deeds until you first repent from your belief that the evil you thought was good, is actually evil – as God proclaimed. Repentance involves agreeing with God instead of continuing to rebel against him.
On a more practical level, sin does not just affect the sinner. Innocents are always hurt when someone sins. And here is a principle that is not apparent to those unfamiliar with scripture. When the judgment of God falls on such gross wickedness, even the innocent are swept away in the judgment.
Here is an example. Consider the prophet Daniel, whom the Bible considers a very righteous man. (Eze 14.14) Yet, when God’s judgment fell on the southern Kingdom by the hand of the pagan King Nebuchadnezzar, due to the continued rebellion of the people of God against his righteous decrees, even righteous Daniel along with his three friends were swept up in the judgment and carried away to captivity. (Dan 1.1-6) So sin and judgment of sin affects even the godly who do not participate in the sin.
Thus, aside from the desire to stop evil regardless of where it occurs (and yes sexual immorality is evil) and end the affront to a holy God, should Christians not be concerned about the judgment that will fall also on us who live in a land wallowing in all types of sexual evil? Why were the nations that Israel drove out during the conquest of Canaan driven out? It was because of rampant evils which included sexual immorality. (Lev 18.22-24) Will a holy God spare this nation that is awash in sexual sin?
Finally, since Christians have been charged with proclaiming the truth, if we fall short and do not, that too is sin which God will judge. (Eze 34.6-10) As the Apostle Paul says “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” (1 Cor 6.16)
- God is a holy God (Is 6.3)
- God hates evil and at the culmination of all things will rid the world of all sin and evil (Rev 21.27)
- Evil is evil wherever it happens
- Sin is evil. That includes sexual sin.
Accordingly, there are a number of reasons Christians care so much about what goes on in the bedroom.
- We must do what we can to stop all evil.
- Sexual sin (evil) happens in bedrooms – though society would like Christians to pretend not to notice.
- We must speak against the evil.
- Judgment comes because of unrepentant evil; we’d prefer not to be swept away in the judgment on that evil.
- We’ve been charged with speaking up against evil; it is sin if we do not.
- “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.”
- “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.”
2. “Most Teenagers Drop Out of Church When They Become Young Adults”, Lifeway Research, Jan 15, 2019, https://research.lifeway.com/2019/01/15/most-teenagers-drop-out-of-church-as-young-adults/
3. David Kinnaman with Aly Hawkins You Lost Me, Grand Rapids MI:BakerBooks, 2011, p. 92 (Kindle Ed. loc 1356)
4. Tom Gilson, “Are We Ready? More Than a Hundred Challenges Christians Have Never Faced Before”, The Stream, Sept 23, 2023
5. Photo Blood stained bed, The Ben Shapiro Show, Ep. 1826, Oct 11, 2023,~5:67
6. Shapiro, Ep 1826, ~15:33
7. Shapiro, Ep 1826, ~10:59