by Scott Huckaby

I recently heard an argument against Christianity that I had not previously addressed: that belief in Christ is superstition. Much like one would knock-on-wood to bring good luck when voicing a wish, this "devil's advocate" view says that Christians believe the Bible because they don't want to take a chance that it could be right.

This superstition argument was offered as a counter to Pascal's Wager. Pascal basically said that believing the Bible is logical because the consequences for rejecting it if it is true far outweigh the consequences for accepting it if it is false. So the superstitious person would take the path of least potential pain and accept the Bible.

One of the problems with this superstition argument is that for one to truly accept the Bible, he must accept all of it. This includes the portions that say the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Acts 14:10-12, etc.). The superstitious person would have to embrace all religions on the chance that they might be right as well. But it is not possible to lump true Christianity in with all religions.

Religion versus Relationship

True Christianity is best described as a relationship with God rather than a religion. All religions have one thing in common: they describe what you must do to merit salvation. Christianity is unique in saying that it is God alone who made the way of salvation, see my article on why "God Detests Religion."

It is easy to see how a person could come to the conclusion that religion is nothing more than superstition. Indeed this is what religions of the world are, doing things to merit salvation. The Unitarian Universalists sum up this perspective in their creed that truth can be learned from all religions. This politically correct smorgasbord of religions accepts all roads to heaven but true Christianity which says there is only one.

I can also see where a person can regard faith in Christ as superstition when their only exposure to Christianity has been a liberal form of it which denies the inerrancy of the Bible. If a person says they believe but acts like they don't, their ritualistic activities are nothing more than knocking-on-wood. A liberal view of the Bible which relegates it to a book of suggestions for earning favor with God is a religion that God detests. "All our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).

Superstition Defined

A dictionary definition of superstition is "a belief, practice, or rite unreasonably upheld by faith in magic, chance, or dogma." Certainly most religious activities fit this definition. Many religions are based on mysticism which is nothing more than a belief in magic. In a world that denies the Almighty nature of God, both magic and chance become powerful forces in which people will put their trust. But these are false hopes because God is sovereign over all His creation and in control of even the smallest of details (Matthew 10:29, Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:3).

Dogma is one of those words with negative connotations in our society. A definition of dogma is "a belief formally or authoritatively considered to be absolute truth." Dogma is like religion and has a bad reputation because most of it is indeed falsehoods proclaimed to be absolute truth. But this does not mean there is no absolute truth as our postmodern society now advocates.

The key word in the definition that disqualifies true Christianity as a superstition is "unreasonably." Faith in Christ is far from unreasonable for those who have truly experienced it. Human reasoning and logic are gifts from God. "Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD" (Isaiah 1:18).

The problem with reason and logic is that false conclusions can result if false assumptions are used. The old computer adage "garbage-in, garbage-out" is certainly applicable here. God has supplied us with the Bible which we should use as our "garbage filter" so that people may come to the right conclusions on their own. God wants a relationship with us and will not only give us the faith we need to be saved but will reinforce that faith as we seek His will.

Christianity & Experience

My own experience with being saved as an adult is still vivid in my mind. God revealed Himself to me in Bible prophecy which explained the direction current events were headed. I became convinced that there is none like God who has declared "the end from the beginning" (Isaiah 46:10). This led me to admit my sinful condition and begin trusting in Jesus as full payment of my sin debt.

As a new born-again child of God, I had many questions that God answered in miraculous ways. After I started listening to men expounding on the Word of God, there were many times that a Bible verse was given that answered a question even when an entirely different subject was being discussed. People that have not experienced faith in Christ will write this off as a mere coincidence. But I have learned first-hand that there are no coincidences, see my article, "Luck has nothing to do with it."

God wants you to take a chance on Him. I've heard many testimonies about people who simply gave God a try and ended up with "the peace of God that surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). You can have eternal life right now, just acknowledge your sinful condition before God in prayer and ask Him to give you the faith to believe Jesus. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). "And try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it" (Malichi 3:10).