There are millions of Christians with many different beliefs and interpretations so I do not represent the entire faith but here’s some quick answers.
- Why do Christians get married so young?
Some Christians get married younger than the rest of us, some don’t. I’ve found that every time my non Christian friends are talking about this, without a doubt, someone will make this comment with a smirk: ‘it’s just because they can’t wait to have sex’. I’m sure for some that has been a reason for the sudden engagement! However Christians have brains and often think rationally! I don’t know many Christians who would commit their entire life to someone and spend thousands on a wedding just for a shag.
Many Christians get married young because they take commitment very seriously. It is possible that many Christians don’t stay in relationships if they can’t see their partner as a spouse in the future. This perhaps means they don’t pursue as many relationships and thus get to ‘the one’ faster, maybe? Most Christians I know won’t live together unmarried. Maybe this is why they move quicker in the pursuit of marriage. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are rushing into it. Many Christians will pray a great deal before proposing marriage.
- Why can’t you have sex before marriage?
This is another favourite question I get! Essentially sex is part of the marriage procedure. Marriage is a holy covenant between two people and God. After a marriage ceremony in the presence of God, a man and woman physically become one flesh through the act of sex. Its purpose is to unite people in a lifelong covenant that is taken very seriously by God. That’s why Christians try to not have sex before marriage, so it can be saved for that holy day and for that one person. Then there is the whole your ‘body is a temple’ thing that you might have heard of. ‘The sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God’ – 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.
Furthermore, you can avoid using people for sex, being used for sex or ‘leading someone on’ by avoiding sex before commitment. This ties into loving your neighbour by avoiding the hurt caused by sex.
- How can good people go to hell?
There’s many better qualified people than me to answer this question, but you’re stuck with me. The heaven and hell thing isn’t as simple as actions that make you good or bad. “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). For this reason no one is sent to heaven or hell based on sinning or not, as everyone sins.
I understand it as this. We go to heaven based on repenting (asking for forgiveness) for our sins. If God is good then he is just. Therefore he holds everyone accountable for sin. This greatly ranges from ignoring your friend at school to the extreme of raping a child. Because of the severity of sins such as political corruption or paedophilia, they all need to be acknowledged. But they can all be forgiven. John 3:17 – ‘For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him’. Jesus dying gave everyone the opportunity to believe that sin can be removed through Jesus’ sacrifice. If you repent then you will have eternal life. Therefore, if we say sorry and mean it then we will have eternal life. That’s pretty sound, as the cool kids would say.
People find it offensive that if they don’t believe in Jesus then they will go to hell. That’s fair enough! One answer I have to that is: how can you expect to go to heaven if you don’t believe it exists? The alternative is death, – hell. Or, how can you repent of your sins if you don’t believe in the person who can remove them? According to the bible you can’t enter heaven carrying your sins.
- Why does God allow suffering?
At school I used to panic that I couldn’t answer this one. No one can completely understand this, it is beyond our human understanding. However I’ve got some points.
God doesn’t plan for people to sin or suffer, I think. The brokenness of the world can be argued as a result of the fall of man. This is referring to when man ate the apple – we sinned. Suffering can also be explained by the actions of one of the fallen angels – the devil.
Moreover, God doesn’t enforce a perfect world because we wouldn’t know what was good or joyful if we only knew good. Another point, suffering is caused by human free will. God allows free will so that we make our own decisions and therefore chose to love God or not. Or, perhaps, God uses suffering to teach us or to show us His glory through healing.
I hope I’ve answered some of the questions I get asked a lot by non Christians! My arguments are definitely not flawless and you can write essays and essays on these questions but I tried to make them short and comprehensible.
By Ella Johnson