9 Objections to Christianity

Over the past 2 days I have watched much of the Resurgence13 Conference (you may have seen a lot of #R13 on social media.) This Seattle based conference had live sites scattered across America and also and online contingency of over 20,000 viewers. Over the 48 hours of the conference delegates and online subscribers heard messages from Mark Driscoll, Rick Warren, Judah Smith, James McDonald and Matt Chandler just to name a few. The heart of the conference was for delegates to learn lessons from ministry leaders who have seen God’s faithfulness as they respond to his call. Many of these sessions I managed to see and found all of them especially helpful, compelling and empowering. I’m sure in time these sessions will made available at The Resurgence.

In the final session of the conference Pastor Mark Driscoll shared of a number of new developments that he, his church (Mars Hill) and The Resurgence website would be working on. One of those is a project that will become a book, sermon series and small group studies on the 9 objections to Christianity
the unchurched and dechurched (people that haven’t attended church for a considerable amount of time.)

The market research (done by some of the market leaders in research) has already been undertaken and after numerous survey’s, focus groups and interviews Mark shared the summary of the Top 9 objections to Christianity. I for one, am incredibly thankful for the time, energy and expense that has been invested and await eagerly the finalisation and communication in full of the data, it’s findings and how we as believers are to respond. So these are the 9 and below also a quote from different participants of the study.


“Some Christian groups are too intolerant”

“The Christian religion and I have different views on social issues like abortion and gay marriage

“I don’t like how some Christian groups meddle in politics”

“Most Christians are hypocrites”

“There are lots of religions, and I’m not sure only one has to be the right way”

“All people are not created equal in the Christian faith”

“I don’t really share the beliefs that the Christian faith tells me I should”

“Christianity is about making money, not religion”

“The Christian faith is not relevant to modern times”

I wish I could post the session as I greatly appreciated how in just 90 minutes Mark unpacked these objections, it would obviously help further explain what each subheading specifically spoke too. I look forward to this project and it’s findings being shared on the global scale in the first half of 2014.

I truly believe It’s important for us as believers to be engaging in the conversations our culture is having, and be able to speak the truth into issues, shortcomings and falsehoods people have about Christianity.


Skip to the good bit

If you are anything like me, you tend to skip the greetings in the epistles to get to ‘the good bit’. However, if you do that in Ephesians you miss an incredibly important truth. Paul refers to everyone in the church as ‘Saints… in Christ Jesus’ (Ephesians 1:1-2). When we hear the terminology of saint (which isn’t used by accident) we often think of people like Mother Teresa in India or for me personally in conjures up images of catholic saints. Sainthood isn’t about things you have done or achieved, being a saint requires one step: Be in Christ. Many teens & 20’s I meet with do not believe they are redeemed image bearers of Christ and Saints. They instead believe they are sinners defined by their sin.

Sin may explain some of your activity, but not your identity. saints and sinners

Acknowledgement of your sin, confession & repentance is an important part of our faith journey. It however doesn’t define you. Your identity is in Christ, and because of this and by God’s grace, and in the spirits power you can change your activity.

I think everyone has regrets and to a degree feels remorse. The older I get and my relationship with Christ matures I see the reality of my sinfulness more clearly & grieve it more deeply. The Apostle Paul himself in 1 Timothy 1:15 he refers to himself as the “chief” of sinners.  Remorse can be a good thing, as God by his spirit convicts us of sin it calls us to repentance and to live in the freedom that can only be found in Jesus. What can happen really easy is our conviction moves to condemnation.

Conviction… Condemnation…
Is from God Is from Satan
Leads to life Leads to despair
Ends in joy Ends in sorrow
Makes us want to change Makes us believe we can’t change
Leads to new identity in Christ Leads to old identity in Sin
Brings specific awareness of sin Brings vague uncertainty about sin
Looks to Jesus Looks to Self
Is a Blessing Is a Burden

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

As saints we are tempted to sin, just as Jesus was. But we are not obliged to sinfully respond to temptation. Temptation isn’t sin.  They are two very different things. To be tempted is to be presented with an opportunity to either sin against God or worship God. Being tempted doesn’t make you guilty of sin after all Jesus was sinless and yet was tempted and we see this recoded in Matthew 4.

 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

When you are tempted to entertain and act out in sin, remember that in Christ you are a saint, knowing your identity in Christ is the key. In Christ there is forgiveness of sin!

I Am

Starting this Sunday at my church I’ll begin preaching to our teens and twenties on the subject of identity. This is by far one of, if not the most important and yet untouched messages young people need to hear.

This series is based from statements made by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians of how we are now viewed because of and through Jesus. Ephesians 1:3-14 says this:

Blessed be the God a20130203-105741.jpgnd Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

So over the next few months I plan to encourage and teach our young people that:


1) I Am in Christ
2) I Am a Saint
3) I Am Blessed
4) I Am Saved
5) I am Reconciled
6) I Am Afflicted
7) I Am New
8) I Am Forgiven
9) I Am Adopted
10) I Am Loved
11) I Am Victorious

My prayer for not only my young people, but for you, is that as you commence 2013 you would know Jesus more intimately and that you would know who you are now because of Jesus.

A great book to read on this would be Mark Driscoll’s “Who Do You Think You Are.”