Piety has become a substitute for actual effort and thought. Why answer a doubting person when you could make them feel bad about their doubts instead? Piety is the coat that distinguishes you, so you can get the greetings in the marketplace of ideas.
Pretend Piety has made us lazy. I will give you my experience to show you. I was scrolling through a Facebook Group, in this group, a person expressed doubt about a certain event in the Bible. They asked what evidence outside of the Bible do we have for this event?
So, remember the question is, “What evidence do we have for X OUTSIDE of the Bible?”
The majority of the answers followed suit with this top comment “If you don’t accept the Bible, no evidence will convince you.”
This answer is astonishingly misguided. It begs the question, it’s circular and it scowls at the doubter from their high horse. When you ask for evidence outside the Bible, you can’t then point to the Bible. By doing so, you’re ignoring the question, which will give the doubter the impression there isn’t any outside evidence for biblical claims.
That wasn’t the only problem, but rampant fideism has become a problem for those comfortable to believe supernatural claims without thinking about them.
It shouldn’t be controversial to say, I believe the Bible because of the evidence, not just having faith. Faith is important, yes, but the Bible condemns blind faith. (Proverbs 14:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, John 14:11, 2 Corinthians 10:5) Which is what fideism is, faith without any evidence, excessive faith in faith, ironically.
Irrespective of your perspective on God’s decrees and predestination, what we do know is that Atheists often cite the inability of Christians to answer questions to a doubter as a big reason they rejected the faith. Which makes sense.
If you’re so confident in your theology to pronounce your pious statements, you should be comfortable enough to answer a question that challenges your assumptions.
Or some would ask inane questions like “What in the Bible would make you think X didn’t occur?” That would be the equivalent of saying “What part of Greek Mythology made you question the existence of Pandora and her box?” When someone is asking for something outside the Bible, this isn’t the time to bash them over the head with one. This is the opportunity to counter the cultural narrative that the Bible has no supporting evidence. In any other topic, you’d have to provide supporting evidence for your thesis, your syllogism usually has two premises. But no, when it comes to pretend piety, start at the conclusion, assume the conclusion and attack the person’s character for being a doubter.
Your pretend piety is no excuse for being a lazy thinker. Fake piety reeks of the stench of the pharisee praying to God “thank God i’m not like him.” These pretend pious, accumulating lots of Facebook likes from the echos in the chamber, do a disservice to Christian apologetics when they essentially pray “Thank God, I’m not as one of these doubters, who ask for evidence. I believe without evidence. I’m faithful!”
Answer questions, take doubt seriously, get off your high horse.