A website called exchristian.net is dedicated to ridiculing God, and they use every little misinformation they can get to mislead people into thinking Christianity is fiction and the bible is contradictory. As it is the case with websites that publish misleading information, they censor everybody who post comments that refute their claims. I have unfortunately been one of those censored. As such I would be writing a series of articles called ‘ExChristian.net Exposed’, to respond to the claims published on that website, and try to help some of the Ex-Christians who had real concerns and questions that lead to their rejection of Christianity and God.
On this series, we’ll be responding to an article called ‘Being a missionary showed me light’, written by Naomi Prettyman’, published on 4th February 2010. Here’s the link: (http://exchristian.net/testimonies/2010/02/being-missionary-showed-me-light.html ).
Let me first say that I sympathize with what you had to go through, especially since the death of your 5-year old sister. As you are probably aware now, your parents were wrong not to have taken your sister to a doctor. And more importantly, your parents were biblically wrong to have thought that God will miraculously heal your sister without the need for a doctor. Let me expand on this for a while to ensure that people don’t get a misguided view of what I just said.
The bible preaches what we call faith healing. In James 5:14-15, the bible says “Is any of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him………and the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well”. So there’s no doubt that the bible encourages Christians to pray for faith healing, and it clearly states that the sick person will be healed through that prayer. If I were atheist, this verse would have three implications:
1. Christians won’t ever have a permanent disease
If any sickness a Christian has can be prayed for and healed, then it’s clear that Christians won’t have to suffer any sickness for long, as long as they go to church and be prayed for.
2. Christians won’t die from sickness
If you get prayed for and healed every time you are sick, then it’s clear that you won’t die from sickness.
3. There’s no room for doctors in Christianity
Since elders in the church do the healing, there’s no need for a Christian to go to a doctor.
All of these three implications raised are misguided, but unfortunately atheists are not the only ones who believe them. There are Christians who actually believe that this is the case, and refuse to go the doctor as a result. Let me assure you that any church, whether denominational or not, that will encourage its members not to go to the doctor when a person is sick is cultist in nature. And if your church encouraged your parents not to take your sister to the doctor, then you are justified in leaving such a church. Unfortunately in America we seem to have more cases like this happening amongst Christians. Did you know that Billy Graham has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for about 15 years now, and he has been seeing medical doctors all that time, even having surgeries? What does he know that those Christians who refuse to go to the doctor don’t know? Let me shed the light to you, by replying to those three implications I mentioned earlier.
1. Christians are not exempt from suffering
There’s nowhere in the bible, where it is said that Christians won’t suffer just by being Christian. Infact the bible says Christians will suffer all kinds of suffering, just for being Christian. A great Christian, Apostle Paul, had a sickness that couldn’t be prayed for and healed. He described it as a ‘thorn in my flesh’. God refused to heal it because His ‘power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). So even though God said sick people should be prayed for and they will be healed, there are those sicknesses that are not meant to be healed, because they are for the edification of the person who is suffering from them. These sicknesses are meant to deter a Christian from relying on himself, and boast about his praying abilities. The same Apostle Paul said “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope” (Romans 5:4). A Christian has to learn to persevere in all conditions; otherwise they would soon be atheist. So God can and does use sicknesses for the benefit of Christians. The great example of this is Job, who was afflicted with a leprosy (skin cancer), and it couldn’t be healed because it was for his edification.
So there are sicknesses that certain Christians will get, and they won’t be healed because they are supernaturally induced.
2. Christians do die from all kinds of sicknesses
One thing we know for certain, is the fact that we (Christian or atheist) are all going to die, whether from sickness or not. And Christians will die from sicknesses, because when it’s time to go even faith healing can’t stand in the way. There’s nowhere in the bible where it says a man won’t die if you pray for them, when it’s their time. So when our time comes, we are all going, but if it’s not our time then faith healing will work.
3. Medicine is created by God
The biggest misconception atheists have, is the fact that they think God has nothing to do with science, and later medicine. In their folly, they think science and God can’t co-exist, that’s why they use science to rebel against God. Unfortunately many Christians are having that misconception as well, especially those who were drawn to God through faith healing. They think going to a doctor is a sign of weakness, or lack of faith on their part. They forget that it was God who created medicine, and He confirmed it in Exodus 28:3. They think God doesn’t use medicine as an answer to a prayer for healing. That is totally incorrect and biblically sinful, as it results in the death of most people who didn’t have to die.
What I’m trying to say is Christianity is totally against what your parents did for not taking your sister to a doctor; and you shouldn’t use that incident to be averse to Christianity.
You also mention the fact that your missionary trip to India has showed you light against Christianity. I would have thought it was supposed to be the other way around, and that trip should have made you even more compassionate on those people’s need for Jesus Christ. I live in South Africa, and here in Africa the issue of missionaries is something we are very grateful for. I am forever grateful to people like Malla Moe, John G Lake, and two missionaries from your country that came to Kimberley, South Africa, in the late 1930s. It is through these people and many others, especially from your country, who have made my salvation possible. Had they decided to be averse of Christianity because of their first missionary trip, then I wonder what kind of cultural practices we’ll still be practicing here. You think there’s nothing wrong with these practices, perhaps it’s because you don’t know much about them. Even atheists in Africa can’t deny the positive influence Christianity has had on this continent, so being a missionary is something God value greatly. (Perhaps you should research the cultural practices a little bit more, then you’ll get a clear view of what cultural practices can achieve).
I have never been to India, but many atheists I have encountered use India, China, and other eastern countries to claim God is unjust for looking to send those people to hell even though they have never been preached to. I always say to them: “what if God sent you to preach to them so they can avoid hell”. They always go away afterwards, because they realize that it might true that they are the reason those Indians and Chinese would be going to hell. I put the same question to you. Has God sent you to India, but you are refusing to go? Are you still justified in blaming God for the demise of those Indians, when He has sent you but you refuse to go? You took the easy way out by being atheist, if indeed God has sent you to India, which I don’t doubt since you care so much for them. You did what prophet Jonah did, after God sent him to Nineveh so that Nineveh people can avoid death and hell. He chose to rather go to Tarshish, instead of facing up to his missionary calling. Is that what you are doing, and you are justifying it by being blaming God?
You are probably thinking if you would have an impact in India, given that Christians only make up a small proportion of the population. Well do you think Malla Moe made an impact in Africa after he travelled to South Africa in 1892, given the fact that at the time the natives Africans had never heard the Gospel? 120 years later, 80% of the same natives say they are Christian. So if you don’t want to go to India because you think your impact won’t be felt, then perhaps you should take courage from Malla Moe.
You must be aware that I refuse to address you as an atheist, because you are not. You had a moment of doubt, and you decided to take time off God for a while. You struggled to deal with the fact that hell will be a packed place with billions of souls, and truly speaking no Christian can deal with that. But instead of blaming God for the predicament, we look for ways we can preach to people so they can avoid hell. This blog is my small, perhaps useless as most people say, way of trying to empty hell of souls of men. I cry whenever I preach to people and they refuse to accept Jesus, thinking that Christianity is some cult that Christians in the 4th century came up with. Whenever I go to my home town my heart bleeds because I know those people, and I know that without Christ they would condemned to eternal judgement. I also have two options like you had, I could preach to them or I could insult God for coming up with hell. All those two options will still not make hell less of a reality. And so is your decision to reject God.
Franklin Graham went to Chennai, India, in January. He went there because he was concerned about their spiritual well-being. He decided to preach to hardened hearts and hope that they will repent. You on the other hand decided to let those hardened hearts be, and let them think they are on the right track when they are not. I’m not saying you should be an evangelist, as you should use whatever God has put in your heart, but I’m saying you made a choice that was easy for you.
God’s message is still the same: “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!” (Ezekiel 33:11). God doesn’t rejoice when people go to hell, and He doesn’t want you or those Indians to go to hell, and you should know this because you must have read this scripture and many others saying the same thing. But God wants people to repent, and people can’t repent if there’s no one preaching to them and showing them the folly of their ways. That’s the only way those Indians can avoid hell, because dedicating your life to ridiculing God is not going to achieve anything.
I plead with you to approach God in prayer, and ask Him to help you see what He has planned for your life. If it means going to India, then go to India and save the Indians from God’s wrath.
You are right on one thing though, nobody deserves hell!