Skeptics are good for the church, Christians, and the faith. They keep us honest in proclaiming the Truth. In the Apostolic group there was not only a traitor (Judas)… there was a skeptic… Thomas. This is recoreded after the resurrection in John 20:24-29
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas required “proof” before he would believe… which by God’s grace he received. But I love what Jesus said in v 29 because it includes everyone that has ever believed since the resurrection… which means me and I hope you too. However… consider this… even Jesus’ resurrection was not enough for some people to believe and trust in Him as savior! Consider…
Luke 16:27 I beg you, father, to send him (Lazarus) to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”
Acts 26:23 (Paul) “The Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” 24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. 26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this (Jesus’ death and resurrection) has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”
In Luke it is recorded that if people won’t believe based on what is found in Scripture, they wouldn’t believe the resurrection either. In Acts it is recorded that Jesus’ resurrection was well known because it was “not done in a corner.” So just because the resurrection is a historical fact… attested to by many witnesses… even those things will not be enough for some to believe!
I have a friend who is kind, moral, and ethical. We’ve talked many times about Jesus and salvation. He’s read books by skeptics who became Christians. He intellectually agrees with everything in Scripture. But still does not have saving faith. He even attends church! But he says to me… “I don’t know what it is. I just can’t believe. I need more. What that is… I don’t know.”
I have often wondered if Thomas really did put his finger in the hands and hand in the side of Jesus. Scripture never says that he did (to my knowledge). Jesus told him to, but I have a sneaky suspicion that he did not. That would have been truly bold if he did. Just a thought.
As far as your friend is concerned, at least he admits his unbelief. Many Christians worship every week, and then leave to live like the world. Some question, but are afraid to admit it.
Your first two remarks are lies, friend. “Let every fact be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses.” Back up those remarks with two or three Scriptures that say the same thing. You cannot do so. If a man isn’t honest, skeptics won’t make him honest and if he is honest, it’s not because of skeptics, it’s because the man sees the value of honesty. Skeptics don’t keep me honest and they didn’t keep Jesus honest. You didn’t draw that conclusion by submitting your opinions to the Word of God, but something else.
Furthermore, if skeptics have such value, tell me how many are going to be in Heaven. Jesus said that He will cast out all things that offend. Skeptics scoff, mock and offend and Ps. 1 says blessed is the man, not who has them in his church, but who doesn’t sit in their seat, in other words, doesn’t listen to their council, advice and opinions.
We need the correction and admonition of the righteous, not the blasphemy of the scoffer and skeptic.
It’s not that hard to see through faulty reasoning; it just takes a little effort in comparing your opinions with the Word of God.
There is value in wondering why Jesus picked a thief, but you must learn to discern the wisdom of God and not pop off with absurd conclusions.
“The heart of the righteous meditates how to answer: but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.”
My goodness Gary! I am suprised by the vitrolic nature of your reply. I will follow what you suggest in your third paragraph when you wrote, “We need the correction and admonition of the righteous…” Therefore…
You must have forgotten what is written in Ephesians 4:29… “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” What you wrote is not in keeping with what is encoruaged by God through Paul in this passage. I can’t help but wonder what has happened in your life that seems to have caused you to be so harsh and ascerbic in your accusation. If your interaction with others continues in the manner which you set forth here, you will cause many to stumble away from the cross instead of toward it. What you wrote to me does not offend me for I am confident that what I wrote is a valid evaluation of the proposition I set forth. So your comments fall on deaf ears. But let me continue…
You may want to consider something else our brother Paul wrote that is found in 2 Timothy 4:2… Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience… The way you engage people needs to be winsome… not angry. Otherwise you will drive people away from Christ. Remember… “Knowledge puffs up, love BUILDS UP!” (1 Cor 8:1). Just because someone has a view different from your own does not make them wrong. That would be the reason it is written in Romans 14:13, “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” And again in Romans 15:1-2, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”
Building up… not being a stumbling block… and bearing with the failings of the weak are very much needed in your interactions… at least in this case. It may be that you are much more intelligent, gifted, and beyond me in understanding. The Lord will judge that… not you or me. My position regarding what you wrote again comes from our brother Paul in 1 Cor 4:3-4, “With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.”
I hope and pray that you will find ways to encourage rather than judge and condemn. Thank you for your comment!
You’re absolutely right. I stand corrected.
I did write again to try to soften the acerbity, but the ugliness had already been committed to print.
It’s a glaring weakness and I need a change in my heart. I’m sorry. Thank you for speaking out.
Honestly… I have struggled against being acerbic and somewhat mean spirited myself. When a person is passionate about what they believe it is hard not to attack what is believed to be error. I am learning how to be a little softer in my words and writing, but it isn’t easy.
Consider it in the past and I hope you continue to visit here often and comment as God so leads.
God bless you!