Had Sex And Forgot About Jesus

A friend of yours, who by all accounts is a Christian, begins to have serious doubts about the faith and drifts away from church and his small group. How should you react? When you get lunch to ask him what’s going on he says that he’s not sure whether Christianity is really true. Is the Bible reliable? Are we sure that Jesus is the only way to God? How do we even know there is a God?

I think that our initial reaction is to try to answer our friend’s intellectual questions by offering intellectual answers. And if we don’t feel equipped to do so maybe we tell him to read a book on the subject. But is that the right response? Are his questions truly intellectual? Maybe. Perhaps he has encountered the “new” atheists or another group that is attacking the validity of Christianity and what he needs is some good answers from Christians who have thought deeply about these issues. But maybe not. Maybe he just had sex and that’s led to the questions and the doubts.

Soren Kierkegaard: “People try to persuade us that the objections to Christianity spring from doubt. That is a complete misunderstanding. The objections against Christianity spring from insubordination, the dislike of obedience, rebellion against all authority. As a result, people have hitherto been beating the air in their struggle against objections, because they have fought intellectually with doubt instead of fighting morally with rebellion.”

Kierkegaard is saying that doubt is often (not always) a moral issue not an intellectual one. In those cases intellectual arguments, no matter how true they are, will not defeat the doubts. The Bible essentially says the same thing when it says that we “suppress the truth by our wickedness (Romans 1:18).” We don’t know the truth because we don’t want to know the truth preferring moral darkness instead of the light of truth.

Then there’s the study at Penn State that was summarized in the Boston Globe. In the year after they lost their virginity, college students report a decline in attending religious services and that religion played a significantly less important role in their lives. The researchers surmise that the drop off in religious commitment may be “a way to relieve cognitive dissonance that results from engaging in prohibited behaviors” such as sex outside of marriage.

Guarding our heart against sin is essential if we want to know what’s true.

Jesus: “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” John 7:17

One Comment

  1. This is why it is important to get to know the individual person who’s doubting when deciding how to respond. It could be that he has genuine intellectual doubts that need to be answered, but it could be the reasons that you state above. A person’s doubts are likely a combination of intellectual, practical, emotional, and moral reasons, which is why a doubter can be helped by a combination of things such as apologetics, spiritual direction, therapy, community, worship, etc. I think Christians make a mistake when they take a “one size fits all” mentality when relating, approaching, or responding to a doubter. Apologetics will only go so far, but that’s the same for everything else. It’s good to really get to know the person, his problems, and his needs, and for help to be provided in various ways. I guess that’s why it’s good that the church is a community of people with different talents, gifts, and specialties.

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