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Questions about God

Questions about Christianity

'Isn't a Christian just a good person or someone who believes in God?'
God wants us to be friends with him not just good enemies. It is not good enough to just to believe God exists (even some people who hate God believe that). We actually need to apologise to God for rebelling against him, and thank him for the death of Jesus which pays for our rebellion. We should then ask God to help us live with Jesus as our Lord. We are to live in a way that pleases God because we have been forgiven, not in order to be forgiven.

'Do I have to go to church to be a Christian?'
The short answer is No! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than walking into a garage makes you a car. A Christian is not defined by what they do for God, but by their trust in what God has done for them in Jesus. God is not after church attenders; he is building a family. Of course, once you are a member of his family it will be natural to want to meet with other members of the family, learn together and encourage each other and church is a great way to do that.

'Aren't Christians just a bunch of hypocrites?'
Christians don't claim to be perfect and we are aware that we often don't live in a way that pleases God. Ultimately, though, you should decide about the value of the Christian faith not on the bad performance of its followers but on the basis of its founder - Jesus. The accounts of his life in the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) show he was no hypocrite, he perfectly practised what he preached. Read one of them for yourself and check out his life and claims

'Hasn't science disproved Christianity?'
Science assumes order and uniformity in the world, and provides ways of understanding what normally happens. It doesn't 'disprove' the miracles recorded in the Bible, since these are examples of God at work in the world in 'unusual' ways which we would not be able to predict. Science doesn't set out to answer the bigger questions such as 'Why are we here ?' and 'How should we relate to God?' and cannot do so. To find the answers to these questions we need to look at what God himself has said in the Bible.

Questions about the Bible

'How do you know the gospels are reliable?'
Scholars of history apply various tests to ancient documents to establish their historical reliability. When these tests are applied to the Bible it stands head and shoulders above any comparable early writings as a document to be taken seriously as reliable history. The New Testament writings were written close in time to the events of Jesus' life, and that of the early church. The large number of copies of the original manuscripts means we can be confident that what we read today is what was originally written. Other historical writings confirm what is recorded in the Bible at many points. Many of the Biblical authors themselves stress that they are recording historical events based on eye-witness accounts. The best way to check this out would be to read one of the accounts of Jesus' life (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) with an open mind and weigh up what it says about him for yourself.

'What about other religions?'
There are many people who sincerely believe in a different 'religion' or 'creed'. However, sincerity is not the issue - people can be sincerely wrong. Truth is the issue. It is not possible for every religion to be true or right because they contradict each other. Christianity has some distinctive features which are not compatible with other religions. Other religions say you must do certain things in order to be right with God. Christianity says Jesus has done it all, by dying to take the punishment that we deserved so that we could be right with God. Jesus himself said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

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