Big Questions Section
This section includes answers to some big questions. We don’t claim to have the answers (only God has all the answers!) But we hope and pray this helps you and the young people you work with. These are not definitive and you may way disagree or be able to add more, but they hopefully act as an inspiration or starting point.
There are 18 questions answered here. We must credit “When Skeptics Ask” by Norman Geisler and “Cosmic Codes” by Chuck Missler, “It makes sense” by Stephen Gaukroger and the website http://carm.org/ (Christian Research and Apologetics Ministry). We’ve tried our very best to give easy answers to the questions and then more advanced / detailed answers and even further study.
Are Christians ‘Fundamentalists’ ?
It depends what people mean when they say this!
Sometimes we hear people insult Christians by using words like ‘extremists’ and ‘fundamentalists’. It’s like saying to someone ‘you’re a nutcase’. But it’s also like someone saying to you, ‘what you think is dangerous so don’t force that on me’. Anyone seen as being a ‘fundamentalist’ is like someone who is being watched because they’re dangerous. But this is completely not true of Christians and it is used in the wrong way, often deliberately by people who want to silence Christianity or pretend it’s bad. They do this to promote their own ‘religion’ such as atheism and humanism (people not believing in God or thinking that humanity alone has the answers). Wrong!
In the world today, there are extremists and they are dangerous. But these are the people that commit mass murder (like dictators) or those who force their beliefs on everyone and kill, torture or destroy people and property that don’t agree with them (like Islamist terrorists). Around the world these kinds of people are responsible for blowing up cars, buses, people, buildings. These kinds of fundamentalists kidnap people, shut down churches, destroy churches, burn down villages, rape women and force people to convert to their mad version of Islam. Of course, these kinds of people are dangerous! Remember that the majority of Muslims are nothing like this.
But then people accuse Christians of being ‘fundamentalists’. What do they mean by this? They mean people who ‘believe the Bible’ or ‘believe God created the world’ or ‘people who believe that living against Bible principles is sin’. These aren’t people who force anyone to believe anything; they’re not people who kill or even steal or destroy or cause hate. People may feel these cause hate but they are not hateful. The amazing thing is that Christianity can’t be forced on anyone because believing in Jesus is a personal choice that we have to want and agree to. No-one can ‘force’ Christianity on anyone and no Christian would ever want to!
More than this, Christians want to see others know Jesus because Jesus makes a difference in people’s lives. Instead of living by rules (like praying 5 times a week or obeying laws), God works by changing us from the inside and this is shown by what we do on the ‘outside’. Christians believe that Jesus is the answer – he changes people; makes what is bad into what is good; he has good plans for people’s lives; he wants what is best for us. A society that promotes Christian / Bible principles is a society that will prosper – that means it benefits all of society. Less crime / less corruption / less violence / less hate / less sexual abuse / less slavery / less disruption / more peace / more good / more people paying taxes / more stable marriages and stable families etc.
The whole of the justice system and the rule of law comes from the Bible. Things like the 10 Commandments have no equal. Although Jesus ‘fulfilled’ the Law and although the Law cannot make us right with God, the truth is that living within the boundaries of the 10 Commandments actually protects and makes things better for individuals and society.
All of the good things in Britain have come as a result of Christian ‘fundamentalists’. Improvements and radical changes for good in nursing, housing, prisons, schools, social care, ending of slavery, the basis of modern science etc. So don’t let anyone ever accuse you in a bad way of being a ‘fundamentalist’.
A Christian ‘fundamentalist’ only wants what’s best for people and love people with God’s love. Other fundamentalists want only to control you to believe only what they believe and their beliefs often create hatred and even death.
As Christians we never tell people what to believe and we don’t reject people but keep on loving people who are different and disagree with us, unlike the aggressive atheism and radical Islam who often want to silence anyone who dares disagree with them, both in violent ways and in ways that seem very polite and educated. And remember that there have been Christians who have and do act in wrong ways, sometimes hateful and hurtful. But when Christians do this they are acting against the nature of God and against the character of true Christianity. And there is always a way back with God – by saying sorry and turning back to him.
If we are called fundamentalists, let’s be know for this in a good way – people that live radically to bring love, hope, peace, joy, change for the better, restoration, healing and good! Like Jesus.
“Leave Your Beliefs At Home” – Advanced
Sometimes people say things like ‘leave your beliefs at home’. But everyone has a belief system – people may believe there is no God. But that is a belief system. Others believe that moving your furniture around in a certain way makes your home happier. Other people believe that money makes you happy. Others believe that we should be ‘one’ with the earth and Mother Nature. Other people believe that we evolved and that the only purpose for humanity is to produce more humans! All of these are belief systems and they all impact what we do. No-one can ever ‘leave their beliefs at home’. What people often mean by this is, “I don’t want to hear about God.”
If I believe that there is no God and there is no heaven or hell, then I will do things that reflect this – often people do this and they make choices that cause serious problems for the rest of society. So if it’s OK to drink as much as you like and do what you want – you will cause problems for yourself (health); your family (wasting money, maybe violence); the police (dealing with you when drunk or disorderly); hospitals (if you are ill or drink too much or get beaten up); the courts (if people are charged with a crime or drink & drive etc). The cost is huge to society of alcohol abuse alone – costing around £3 billion a year! But this comes from a belief system.
The amazing thing about the Christian beliefs is that when I look around at what Christians are doing and what their beliefs lead to, I’m amazed because it is so positive. So we have Christians in schools as chaplains and youth workers, helping young people. We have Christian education projects seeing young people succeed where everything else fails. There are Christian prison projects which see men changed away from a life of crime. There are Christian social projects (Eden Project, Message Trust) where housing estates are changed, crime drops, drugs use drops. We have the Street Pastors on our streets at night helping the emergency services and credited with drops in crime. There are Healing on the Streets teams out on the streets loving and praying for people, seeing people healed. There are Christians working across the planet with children with disabilities who have been rejected by their parents and society.
Leave your beliefs at home? No way! It’s my beliefs who make me who I am and are the inspiration behind the good that God uses me to do. Unlike many others, if Christians left their beliefs at home, society would lose so much good; lose so much love; lose so much restoration; lose so much peace; lose so much transformation.
Take your beliefs with you. Not doing so would make you a hypocrite!