In Part 1 of this series, I cite a question posed to Richard Dawkins last year on his Twitter page by one @seonf who asked,”Why do Christians think questioning their beliefs is attacking them?” I then listed a number of the respondents’ answers and am attempting to explain from the perspective of someone who was in that mindset for so long.
“It’s easier to not have to think about it, so most just push it away.”
Sometimes, there’s a lot more involved in answering an objection or question than simply “answering an objection or question.” Some of the questions that unbelievers have are difficult, and the answer requires careful thinking, phrasing and/or stretching in order to remain within the bounds of what the believer thinks is acceptable theology. For a fundamentalist, making a theological mis-step can potentially land one in dangerous water where eternity is concerned. (Have a wrong belief about the Trinity? You might be worshiping the wrong god!)
If the unbeliever’s questions lie in one of these “danger-zones,” the unbeliever may sometimes unwittingly find themselves being accused of asking “trick questions” that are designed as “deceptions” and “stumbling blocks” and may find himself being compared to the Pharisees who were trying to trick Jesus with questions designed to get him into trouble. (Often, these accusations go unspoken during the conversation, but may be discussed with other Christians later)
One popular line taught in probably the majority of churches is a portion of James 4:7 which reads,”….resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” If the believer happens to think that you are operating under evil influence (and you don’t even know it!) then that person might take the approach of simply pushing your questions away as if those questions were the “fiery darts of the wicked” rather than honest-to-goodness questions/objections that you have.
Remember that some/many believers often think of things happening in a supernatural realm, where good is fighting with evil and where the prize is our souls. Many of them don’t believe in much being said or done that has no spiritual cause, purpose, significance or consequence. If a question or objection is too complex, touchy or doubt-inducing, sometimes it’s just easier (and safer) to push it away and chalk it up to an attack on their faith by “the enemy.”