The Top Three Turn-Offs of Christianity

By Robin Schumacher

In the near countless debates and conversations I’ve had with both unbelievers and believers alike about Christianity, there are without a doubt three top stumbling blocks or “turn-off’s” that have surfaced in most conversations that are either one of the reasons non-Christians say they won’t consider Christ or that have caused Christians to struggle in their faith. Although there are certainly plenty of other items that unbelievers cite as to why they won’t embrace Christianity or that believers mention that they find difficult, here are the top three obstacles that I’ve seen come up most times.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

What do Charles Darwin, Ted Turner, and Bart Ehrman have in common? Although in different disciplines, all have very strong intellects and all admit that the reason they either reject God entirely or are agnostic about His existence is because they can’t square the evil they’ve experienced in their own lives or seen played out on the world’s stage and the idea of a supreme Deity.

For Turner it was watching his young sister die [1], with Darwin it was the death of his young daughter Annie [2], and for Ehrman it is the general problem of theodicy. [3]

The problems of reconciling an all-powerful/good God with the evil and tragedies that occur in life have caused endless discussions between unbelievers and believers. No thinking person can deny the thorny issue that the topic presents, especially when it’s your child who is accidentally killed or dies slowly from a degenerative disease or when it’s your particular nationality that is systematically hunted down and exterminated by political tyrants.

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When evil touches them, oftentimes people begin to question God’s existence and consider the atheist option offered by Richard Dawkins for why evil exists:

In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. [4]

Unanswered Prayer

(Spoiler Alert: if you haven’t seen the movie God’s Not Dead yet and don’t want to know the ending, skip the first parts of this section).
Near the end of the movie God’s Not Dead, the atheist college professor who has attacked and ridiculed his Christian student’s faith throughout the film admits that it was his mother’s death from an illness and his unanswered prayers for her healing when he was young that drove him to atheism. When he converses with a pastor who attempts to comfort him as he lies dying, the pastor says that God sometimes says “no” to our prayers. The professor then with anguish utters something that is to me one of the most poignant statements of the movie…


The Top Three Turn-Offs of Christianity