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Is unbelief a symptom of rebellion?

Stuart,

Your claim that “unbelief is a symptom of rebellion” is absurd! Do you rebel against Allah, and Thor, and Shiva? Of course not! You just don’t believe that they are real. If you don’t believe someone when they claim to have flown to the moon and back on a winged horse, are you committing an “act of rebellion” against them? Of course not. That’s absurd!

Unbelief is just the normal, everyday reaction to silly stories like the virgin birth of Christ, and has nothing intrinsically to do with any “rebellion”.

I’m not “rebelling.” I’m waiting for a good reason to believe. If you have reasonable evidence to back up the story where God got the girl pregnant, I’m very willing to examine your evidence. But I’ve been waiting a very, very long time…

Joe Black

Hi Joe,

Nice to hear from you. You rightly emphasise the need for evidence. Good!

The point I was getting at, however, is that once sufficient evidence has been given, or a call to seek the truth of the matter has been made sufficiently clear, then the explanation that people continue in their unbelief and/or refuse to genuinely seek out the truth must be explained by rebellion. Ultimately, it seems, people don’t want to believe in God and place their trust in Him. They want to live their own way instead of God’s way.

And on the Christian view, all have (or at least in this life will eventually have received) sufficient evidence to believe. Read here,

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Roman 1:18-20

Thus, on the Christian view, continued unbelief is explained by “suppressing the truth.” A phenomena many can attest to, including former avowed atheists. For instance, Brad Pitt has recently admitted as much.

“…I called myself an atheist for a while. Just being rebellious, but I labelled myself that for a while.”

GQ Magazine

Saying, “Not enough evidence” or the like, is an excuse people give as a cover to hide their biases.

You can take that or leave it. What matters in the end is what it comes down to – the evidence. And you rightly petition for that evidence. Well done!

With regards to the evidence for the virgin birth, I don’t know what kind of evidence would be left behind — other than the story we have recorded in the gospels – from such an event if such a thing really happened. A conception (not impregnation as you might be inclined to characterise it), is by its very nature a private matter, very significant for the person involved, but nevertheless a small matter not expected to garner much attention or create much spectacle. Thankfully, it’s not a claim the Christian religion hangs its hat on – you can believe it as handed down or remain sceptical about it if you so desire. If it didn’t happen, then Christianity may still stand. It doesn’t need to stop you embracing the Christian faith.

The central claim of the Christianity upon which the religion stands or falls is not the virgin birth, but the resurrection of Jesus. It is this event that entails the rest, not the other way around. Thankfully, it was public in nature, a spectacle and exactly the kind of thing that would leave a mark in history. Various evidences and arguments have been compiled to support the historicity of this event. Here I might offer the opening statement of an online debate I participated in a while ago. See here.

But will you look into this information, seek out the truth the matter like a wise king, and grapple earnestly with your desire to disbelieve? Or will you ignore it instead? Perhaps you’ll skim read it to trick yourself into believing you’ve done your due diligence, then push the argument aside with a lame excuse so you can continue in your unbelief and think it’s a silly story? That’s up to you.

All the best.

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