You may find that you encounter non-Christians who will argue with you about the Bible. They may try to tell you that it contradicts itself, that too many parts don’t make sense, or other similar things. As someone who used to argue with Christians let me give you a little insight into what was happening.
I was raised a Christian, like many people in America and at some point decided I didn’t want to be one. I grew up with the Ten Commandments and a strong knowledge of right from wrong. This did not stop me in the slightest from turning away from God to go my own selfish way.
I knew that the Bible showed how to live a good life, and that the life it showed was right. I also felt that life was not fun, and I wanted excuses to do what I wanted instead of what I knew was right. At some point in my late teens I started actively trying to find fault with the Bible. I think my subconscious reasoning was that if I could find flaws in it I could ignore all of it and do what I wanted.
There are a lot of people and materials available to those who want to find fault with the Bible. The pagan movement is alive and well, and has stronger numbers than most Christians will ever realize. It is filled with people who are selfish and want any excuse to live life their own way. There are some very good people who happen to be pagan, but the motto of the pagan movement is “and it harm none, do as you will”. This slogan, commonly called “The Witches Creed” is a justification that as long as nobody gets hurt a person should be able to do anything they want.
This is one of the attractions of the pagan movement over Christianity and the Bible. The Bible does not condone selfishness and self-indulgence. God told us through the laws he gave Moses that we should live a certain way. That way is one of the keys to eternal life through Jesus Christ. The laws God has set for us are often not fun and are definitely full of times when we must refrain from self-indulgence. In our modern society that is a “turn-off” and so people look for excuses to push away the Bible and it’s teachings.
Throughout the Internet, largely published by pagans and atheists, are websites and articles taking cheap shots at the Bible. People often see these articles and use them to re-assure themselves that the Bible is indeed flawed and it’s ok for them to ignore it and do what they want. However these articles are often not well-researched and usually taken out of context. A person who is trying to find fault with the Bible is not going to take a moment to open the Bible and read the entire chapter that the article is ridiculing, and so they acknowledge these articles as “truth” without ever examining them because they want them to be true.
For a long time I used these types of articles to argue with Christians against the Bible. I had a myriad collection of vague stories and references to the Bible from pagans and Atheists that I had spoken with or read articles from. I had so little understanding of what I was saying that I couldn’t have told anyone I was arguing with where to find the verses in question, just that it was in the “Old Testament” somewhere. I knew virtually nothing about what the people in the story were doing or why, and had no understanding of the context of the events I was arguing.
Speaking from experience, what these types of people are looking for are Christians who lack Bible knowledge so that when they argue something the Christian will not have any good defense. That way they can label them as just another “ignorant” Christian, and the person uses that encounter to reinforce their disdain for Christianity. I can’t count the number of times I argued against part of the Bible with a tin-foil sword of ignorance that the Christian not only did not have an answer for at the time, but also never looked up and later responded to. This is like having a clear opportunity in football for an interception, and just standing there watching.
As Christians it is our duty to know and understand God’s word. When someone says that the Bible contradicts itself you should ask them for a specific example. If they give you one look it up and come to a solid understanding of the area in question. Afterwards go back to that person and explain what it meant to you and how you think it was misinterpreted. If they are unable to give you a specific example take that as an opportunity to share one of your favorite parts of the Bible with them. They have created an opening by bringing up the contents of the Bible. Intercept the ball and run with it!
Looking back I feel that when I was arguing against the Bible with Christians what I was really doing was trying to tell someone on a subconscious level, “I don’t understand why this part is like this”. If someone could have explained it to me it might have weakened my anti-Christian defenses. When someone is arguing against the Bible it is unlikely that they are going to have much knowledge and understanding of it. They are against the Bible, so they are probably not going to read much of it.
That means that if you know and understand the Bible you will be able to break down their arguments. As you clear up each misunderstanding and excuse they will be left with less and less defense against God’s word and Jesus’ message. In the end you may be left with someone whose doubts have been cleared up and who is ready to be saved.
Daniel, I was thoroughly impressed with your honesty on this subject. Most people who would admit to this would normally only do so in church as a testimony, but then they never go further with it. This is a terrific testimony and needs to be told often. The world is filled with misinformation, not only on the Bible, but a host of other topics as well. Congratulations on your gift never think of your writing talent as anything else. I don’t know what your life is like, but it seems to me that God has plans for you. God bless.