Are Christians Just Gullible? Part 2

It’s a good question for us to ask ourselves: is my faith really just wishful thinking, or is it logical, defendable and justifiable based on the evidence? I want us to consider this question by examining whether or not our belief in Christ is something that can hold up to the scrutiny of skepticism and unbelief.

We can start by looking at why we as believers can have confidence that Christ truly was who he said he was: the Son of God. Christ both directly and indirectly claimed that he was not just man, but also God. He declared an intimate relationship with God when he used phrases like, “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30) and “I am in the Father and the Father in me” (John 14:10). Such statements aroused indignation among the Jews because he was asserting divinity each time he identified himself in this way. And besides these direct references, he also indirectly assigned deity to himself when he claimed that he could forgive people of their sins or when he healed the people he touched. Such declarations and actions cannot be ignored, but can they be believed?

Let’s look at some of the historical evidence that gives credence to what Christ thought of himself as it will help us determine whether or not his claims can be considered trustworthy:

1. Hundreds of people saw him do miracles. They saw him heal people and walk on water and raise people from the dead.
2. The disciples became convinced of Christ’s deity. Despite living in close contact with one another, his disciples never found the sins in Jesus that they found in themselves. His closest witnesses could attest that his character upheld his claims.
3. After his crucifixion and resurrection, hundreds of people saw the risen Christ. They touched him. They ate with him. These eye witness accounts are difficult to dismiss.
4. The experience of seeing the risen Christ changed people in such a way that many gave their lives for him.
5. The gospels are historical accounts, not legends or lies. Why? The gospels were written 30-60 years after Jesus’ death, very close to the actual events. Paul’s letters, which support all the accounts, came just 20 years after the events. These documents could have been refuted by those still alive at the time if they weren’t true. Besides, their content is far too counter-productive to be legends. The accounts of Jesus crying out that God had abandoned him, or the resurrection where all the witnesses were women, did not help Christianity in the eyes of first century readers. The only historically plausible reason that these incidents are recorded is that they happened.

So what do we do with this persuasive evidence? Well obviously, there are two ways to respond. Many have chosen to continue to reject Christ as God despite evidence to the contrary or to simply discredit the claims based on other philosophical grounds. The second response is to accept that Christ really was who he said he was based on credible evidence, not gullibility. There will always be skeptics, but not necessarily because there is insufficient evidence to believe. The Bible teaches that belief occurs when our eyes are opened by God to see Christ and his teaching as the source of truth. An honest, humble and diligent search will ultimately lead us to the answers we seek. So ask yourself, when the answers are found, will you believe?

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