When Christians reject the claims of all religions but their own, aren’t they doing the same thing Atheists do? That is, aren’t they skeptics, but just not as skeptical as atheists? This question is often posed by anti-theists seemingly trying to demonstrate that Christians are close to the truth, but not as close as the atheist. It is also a question that sidesteps something very important.
Christians do not reject other religions from the same skepticism as that expressed by anti-theists. False doctrines are rejected by Christians because they have had their eyes open to the realities of sin, and God’s gift of redemption. Christians reject false doctrine because of a posteriori knowledge; that is, knowledge only known by experience. In this case, it is secondary to God’s gift of salvation. It’s understandable that an atheist, especially anti-theists, would be skeptical because a Christian cannot share his or her first-hand knowledge. It’s like trying to tell someone what a broken bone feels like. You can tell someone it hurts, you can show them how the body functions to experience pain, but you cannot KNOW how a broken bone feels until you’ve had one. But it seems the skepticism of anti-theists is very different than that expressed by Christians.
The skepticism of anti-theists, at least those with whom I have had dialog, amounts to rejection of anything that would lead to even the possibility that there may be a God. Too be clear, Christians reject that which contradicts his or her own first-hand experience with God, atheists usually reject other people’s a posteriori knowledge, but anti-theists reject anything that results in a conclusion they don’t want to reach. Take a moment to scan social media debates with a critical mind. It’s clear there are those who change their standard of acceptable evidence depending on to what conclusion that evidence would lead. There is a difference between the type of skepticism.
God calls everyone to repentance. Everyone has the freedom to accept or reject His offer of salvation and forgiveness of sin through the blood of his son Jesus. It doesn’t matter what I’ve experienced, or what an anti-theist wants you to accept or reject. The most important question is: Will you accept His gift, or reject it without consideration?