Obviously there are many people who are not Christians. These non-Christians can be divided into two groups: those who have not considered Christianity and those who have rejected Christianity. Here I am going to deal with the rejecters. I am not suggesting these four reasons explain everyone’s decision, but they are the top four. They are not in any particular order.
1. Intellectual doubts. Some people have looked at the evidence for Christianity and have found it wanting. They may have doubts about God’s role in creation, in the historical reliability of the Bible, the possibility of miracles and so on. I would suggest that there are responses to these doubts but I must acknowledge that these play a role for some rejecters.
2. Bad church experiences. Most of us have had some bad church experiences, at least to some degree. Whether it is a power hungry pastor, Christians who cheat on their spouses or just hypocrisy in general, people are affected by it. It was a crisis of faith for me when I first realized that not every Christian is really a follower of Jesus. I believe that Christianity should be judged by the evidence rather than by the actions of Christians. But I still understand how people can be discouraged by it.
3. General suffering. By this I mean things like natural disasters, diseases, wars, crimes and so on. If God is good, why does he allow such things? I actually find that some so-called atheists are actually open to God’s existence but the suffering in the world makes them not want to believe in God.
4. Personal suffering. This is suffering that hits close to home. These are things like serious illnesses to the person or a loved one. It could be a broken relationship, abuse, financial difficulties and many other things. People assume that if there is a God, he would protect us from all these things. Obviously he does not.
I am not giving responses to each of these in this post. I provide this list only because we need to understand the reasons before we address them.