Scripture calls Christians to refute (i.e., prove false) false views (e.g., 2 Corinthians 10:4–5). And with just a little knowledge, they can usually easily refute false religions and beliefs.
Christians can refute false beliefs by using God’s Word (the absolute standard). It is important to know what the Bible teaches because using God’s Word is the best refutation method. All other authorities are lesser authorities, so appealing to lesser authorities to trump the ultimate authority winds up in a false authority fallacy every time. (A fallacy simply means that an argument has been refuted or is false.) Even so, sadly, many will still ignore the Bible’s refutation of their religion and continue believing false beliefs.
Another way Christians can refute a false belief or religion is by showing that the religion or belief is fallacious internally within its own story or set of beliefs. There are three ways this can be done. These religions can catch themselves in inconsistencies or arbitrariness, or those claiming to adhere to a false religion or belief have to give up their belief system and borrow from the Bible to make sense of things (this is called preconditions of intelligibility—my favorite type of refutation).
Any one refutation of a false set of beliefs is enough to refute the whole thing. It’s that simple.
Refutation usually grabs people’s attention by showing that these beliefs are really sinking sand. And any one refutation of a false set of beliefs (e.g., worldview, philosophical system, or religion) is enough to refute the whole thing. It’s that simple. So let’s look at some quick, easy refutations.
A Few Micro-refutations
Materialism, a belief that asserts that all things that exist are made up of matter and energy, is itself not material or energy, but a nonmaterial concept. This means materialism cannot exist within materialism. Thus, materialism is self-defeating and refuted.
Eastern religions, like Taoism and Hinduism, have an impersonal “god” (e.g., Brahman or ultimate reality). How then can anyone know that this “god” is impersonal? After all, this “god” cannot communicate anything about itself to man since communication is personal. This is arbitrary, to say the least, and self-refuting.
Agnosticism, which claims that one cannot know if God exists, has no basis for the existence of knowledge and thus is stuck in a catch-22. The agnostic cannot even know if he can or cannot know if knowledge exists. Thus, he cannot even know if he is in a position to determine if God exists or not. (Confusing, isn’t it?) Thus, it is inconsistent and self-contradictory.
The Koran (Qur’an) affirms that the Bible is true and the Word of God1 but then contradicts it,2 thus showing that the Koran has erred. The Koran says that no one can change the Word of God (Surah 6:34, 10:64), but then claims the Bible has been changed (Surah 2:75, 101; 3:70, 78, 187; 4:46), though there is no textual witness of such an occurrence. Then the Koran states that its words have changed (Surah 2:106; 15:90–93;3 16:101). Thus, the Koran contradicts both the Bible and itself.
Atheists say there is no God. To make this claim, the atheist must be omnipresent to observe that God does not exist in the past, present, or future heavenly or physical realms; the atheist must be omnipotent to have the power to stop an all-powerful God from taking his place as God; and lastly, the atheist must have all knowledge (omniscience) to finally know for sure that God doesn’t exist. Therefore, the atheist must be an omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscience “god” to say there is no omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient God. They must have the attributes of God to claim God doesn’t exist. Thus, the atheistic position is self-refuting.
Atheists continually attack God, whom they lump as mythical with the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus in books, articles, lectures, journals, memes, billboards, and so on—yet they don’t spend the effort to do this with the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. This is arbitrary and inconsistent. When it comes to suppression of the truth (Romans 1), actions speak louder than words.
I once had an atheistic evolutionist criticize me for believing in a literal Genesis as he argued that we were no different from squirrels. All the while, the evolutionist was wearing literal clothing—unlike a squirrel—which was instituted by man (not animals) in a literal Garden of Eden, after the first literal sin, with the first two literal people (Genesis 3).
Naturalism, which is a belief that nature (all that is physical) is all that exists, is itself not part of nature—being conceptual and nonphysical. Thus, naturalism stands opposed to naturalism. This is inconsistent and self-refuting.
Those in relativism criticize the absolute truth of Christianity by arguing that “absolute truth doesn’t exist.” So ask them why they are professing an absolute truth about absolute truth not existing. It’s that simple to refute.
The Illogical Sequence
If state schools really want to get all semblance of Christianity out of the classroom (which is really a thinly veiled attempt to replace it with a secular humanistic religion), they should stop having weekends (which are really Christian holidays—based on the Sabbath and Lord’s Day) and stop taking holidays (“holy days,” which are predicated on a holy God). Animals don’t take weekends or holidays off. Why isn’t the ACLU constantly suing schools to rid the school systems of weekends and other Christian holidays? It is very “Christian” for these schools to retain these Christian holidays.
Why isn’t the ACLU constantly suing schools to rid the school systems of weekends and other Christian holidays?
State schools and universities generally teach children the evolutionary position that they are animals, that there is no ultimate right and wrong, no God. However, when these same kids do drugs, vandalize, rape, get drunk, shoot their classmates, and live like animals, they are chastised for not “behaving” (acting with Christian morality).
Likewise, the transgender community is offended that I don’t accept them for who they are, when they don’t accept themselves for who they are (hence, the attempted transition from the gender they were); furthermore, they do not accept me for who I am (a double standard). Are they repentant over offending me by their actions? No. This is inconsistent and thus false.
Conclusion and Resources
Hopefully, this little introduction to micro-refutations will spur you on. There is so much more to learn about apologetics and refutation. Books like Confound the Critics, World Religions and Cults, Discerning Truth, and Inside the Nye-Ham Debate show powerful ways to refute false worldviews. If you really want to know how to refute false religions and beliefs, I encourage you to dive into them.
Naturally, immersing yourself in the Bible and its teachings is of utmost importance (Hebrews 4:12). This is still the most powerful refutation—for the Word of God will be the judge (John 12:48).
If you are new to the Bible, I suggest you start with some selected Scriptures in our book Begin to gain a big picture of what the Bible teaches. It is also an excellent book for those who are intimidated by knowing how and where to start with their Scripture readings. For those fairly well-versed in the Bible, I suggest programs like Online Bible to make biblical research quick and easy.