In this bulletin series we’ve been looking at the common objections to Christianity. This week I want to look at the objection that Christianity didn’t work for the person in the past so they’re not interested in it now.

Sometimes when you’re speaking to someone about Christianity, they will object to what you’re saying by claiming that they tried to be a Christian once, but it didn’t work for them and so they stopped being a Christian. Thus they reject your encouragements to them to become a Christian because their experience has proven the Christian religion to be false.

But using your own experience is not an appropriate way to judge whether something is true or false. Particularly when it is possible that the experience that you had, may not have been a normal experience. For example, imagine that you flew in a plane and were terribly unwell. You might conclude that you tried flying once but it didn’t work for you. Thus you will never fly again. But the vast majority of people who fly on planes have no problem with air sickness. Might it not have been that your experience was not a true experience of what it is to fly on a plane? May it not have been that you simply experienced unusual flying conditions?

It is the same with people who claim to have ‘experienced’ Christianity. The Bible speaks very clearly about false conversions to Christianity. For example, in the parable of the sower Jesus says of some people: ‘Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away’ (Mark 4:16-19). These people receive the word but fall away indicating they never fully made Christ their Lord. Their experience of Christ was not a genuine experience. They were never a Christian.

So the question for those who claim Christianity didn’t work for them is ‘Are you sure you really were a Christian?’ Did they truly repent of their sins, or did they hang onto some of them? Did they truly believe that Jesus died for them? Usually it is quickly apparent that they never truly understood the gospel and never gave any true evidence of Christian belief.

Do you object to Christianity because your past experience of it ‘didn’t work’ for you? Or do you recognise that experience is not always a good judge of truth?

Joel Radford.