According to this former minister, Christians are to just ‘shut up and believe’

Over on a friend’s blog the other day I saw this from a self-described former minister. 

“The message remains… ‘shut up and just believe.'”

My purpose here is not to call this person out for his words but instead to ask pastors, ministers, church leaders, Sunday School teachers, apologists, and ordinary lay Christians who read this blog if they have ever taught or been taught to “shut up and just believe.”

My guess is they have not because the way I see it and, contrary to what skeptics may say, Christianity isn’t about checking your brains at the church door so you can be properly trained in Christian groupthink. Christianity isn’t about hearing a message and dutifully believing it without question. Christianity isn’t about being pushed into a role of subservience and submission by dishonest overseers. Christianity isn’t about not allowing believers to thoughtfully weigh the evidences and truth claims of a religious system that has stood up to intense scrutiny for more than 2,000 years. Chrisistianity isn’t about “the Bible says it so it must be true.” And Christianity (as this same person said some time ago) isn’t about pointing members who “fall out of line” back to the house of indoctrination for more sermons on being a good, obedient, and unquestioning sheep.

If you are willing to be honest, you’ll find that Christianity is overall more consistent with evidence and logic than any other worldview. Yes, faith is required but “shut up and just believe” is not. In fact, it’s absurd, especially absurd coming from someone who was active in ministry for 25 years.


Categories: Apologetics, Christianity

Tags: , , , , ,

20 replies

  1. I read that same blog’s post and I never “got” that thought that the former minister “got.”
    Believing firstly in God, then accepting his son Jesus, then breathing in that of the Spirit—it is a living relationship–and as in living relationships–there is a communion of heart, body and soul—there is no room for shutting up and merely “following” like a lemming mindlessly—
    Relationships, and in this case, a relationship of love…there is growing, changing, melding—there is a fluid movement—a beautiful dance as it were, of those who have fallen in love-A far cry from telling something to simply and mindlessly shut up and believe–which has more of an indoctrination ring to it…ours is a living relationship, steeped in love….seems our former minister friend words harken more to a sentiment of resentment and bitterness…


  2. “Christianity is overall more consistent with evidence and logic than any other worldview.”

    What world views would those be James apart from other religions of course?


  3. Thank you for calling this out. I’ve known Pastors like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL! I have not been taught to just shut up and believe. I think I could provide an extensive list of pastoral victims too, er I mean, “witnesses,” willing to testify to that fact.

    I’ve questioned God Himself a few times, so really questioning people doesn’t seem scary at all.

    There is a time to shut up and listen too, however, or as kinder people have put it, “just close your eyes and feel the music.” Sometimes we can be like little kids just asking “why,why,why” over and over again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the point IB, no one is taught to just shut up an believe which means the former minister is lying to make Christianity seem worse than it is.

      Unless he taught people to shut up and believe as a minister which would mean he lied to people for years.

      Glad you pointed out that there are times when we are to shut up and listen, that’s important.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. James

    One of the very first sermons I ever actually paid close attention to will illustrate. I say that, because before I did believe, I frankly paid little attention. I suppose that is another topic.

    At any rate I remember to this day my pastor saying something like this:

    “Don’t you ever believe something just because I stand up here and say it; you check it out for yourself and see.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Agree. Jesus didn’t tell the man who said “I believe help my unbelief” to shut up and believe

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When I was young, I left the Catholic Church. The priests told us what to believe, but they did not spend much time on why. When I was much older, I read the Bible. Then I learned why I could have faith in Jesus.

    What is funny is that the best book I have read on apologetics is a work written by a Catholic. I have heard Catholic priests give excellent sermons, but when I was young catechism did not emphasize digging into the Bible and apologetics.

    Anyway, I left my two cents for the guy who thinks it is all about shutting up and believing. Didn’t work for me. Before I could have faith, I had to have a reason to believe. Only then could I trust in Jesus. If you don’t believe He is real, how can you trust Him to save you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment Tom.

      I think there is a big difference between not spending a lot of time on the why and simply telling people to “shut up and just believe.”

      I know a few pastors who don’t spend much time on apologetics or reasons to believe but not a single one who would ever tell someone that the Christian faith isn’t rational or that it’s claims can’t be questioned.

      The straw man here is that if Christians were to (for example) watch “real evidence” presented on YouTube, they would run from faith therefore YouTube is forbidden.

      I have left my two cents for the guy countless times over the past almost two years to no avail but that is expected. He has a “former minister” schtick that plays well with its intended audience and he gets attention for it which is all he really wants.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sometimes with the amount of strawman I wonder how much these apostates really understood Christianity when they were supposedly in the faith or even were ministers…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like many others I have interacted with in the past 20 years, this particular former minister has never given me the impression he understands Christianity at all Jim.

      I understand backsliding and doubt but the idea that someone who was truly born again can speak so harshly about their “former” savior just blows my mind.

      “Former minister” is an appeal to authority that plays well with certain people I guess, still, it confuses me.

      Liked by 1 person

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