G.K. Chesterton wrote that “Christianity has never been tried and found wanting, but found difficult and untried.” However, I am increasingly encountering people who have tried Christianity in the manner it was offered to them and found it wanting for all it contained was empty religion and not authentic transforming power of life with Christ. Christians make grandiose claims about what the Christian life is supposed to look like and then we don’t deliver.
Unbelievers are asking good questions that deserve respectful reasonable answers and many Christians get defensive instead of helpful in this process of inquiry. Many Christians have not examined their own belief system to an extent where they are capable of reasonably answering questions about the faith they live. This is a sad reality.
Skeptics claim the burden of proof lies with the Christian. To a great extent, I agree. As a Christian, I owe people an encounter with God. Not only should I be prepared to give reasonable answers for the hope that I have in Christ Jesus, I should be a living testimony of that answer for He who is the Answer lives in me. If my claims are true, there should be apparent evidence of this reality in my life. If this evidence is non-existent, then people have a good reason to doubt my words.
We take our commission to be His witnesses for granted. We carry the hope of the world inside us and yet are practical atheist ourselves. We live as if God doesn’t exist much of the time. If we can live the life we are living without God’s help we are not living the way we were created to live. People are looking for truth and we throw them pat answers about how Jesus is the only way to God, but we fail to live supernatural lives that transcend man-made religion and truly exemplify the call of Christ.
Why should an unbeliever take any of our claims to heart when they look at Christianity and only see religion? This isn’t their fault. It’s ours! They ought to demand authenticity. They ought to demand real answers. They ought to compare the Christian claims to that of the rest of the world. And we ought to be living lives that are supernaturally empowered, full of love, and rooted in truth that we can clearly communicate to those who ask for the reason for the hope we have in Jesus.