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Do Agnostics Believe in Anything?

Agnostics do have a faith system, although it is based on uncertainty. Unlike theists, agnostics cannot be certain that a “God” exists. An agnostic strongly questions the existence of God, salvation, and life after death.

Contributing Writer
Dec 16, 2021
Do Agnostics Believe in Anything?

There are many different false faith systems in the world today, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and others. It is not common for people to associate agnosticism with a belief system, but agnosticism is actually a belief system? Agnostics do believe in things, but they do not believe in agreement with other belief systems or Christianity.

Believing in the Unknown

Agnostics are different from atheists. It is all too common that people mix up agnostics with atheists. Atheists do not believe in God; however, depending on who you talk with, some agnostics believe there is a “God” while others are not quite sure if they believe God exists or if he does not exist.

In other words, agnostics as a whole are not quite sure if they believe there is a god or not. An agnostic can be defined as “anyone who doesn't claim to know whether any gods exist or not.” As stated by writer, Elizabeth Enochs, “Being agnostic means you can question everything, question nothing, or do both.”

It is common that you will hear the term “agnostic atheist,” which is actually an oxymoron. A person cannot truly be an agnostic atheist because atheists do not believe in God at all; however, agnostics believe there could be a god.

Therefore, agnostics do have a faith system, although it is based in uncertainty. Unlike theists, agnostics cannot be certain that a “God” exists. An agnostic strongly questions the existence of God, salvation, and life after death.

Some agnostics believe there is a “God,” but they believe this “God” has distanced himself from us and no longer communicates with his creation. It is an understatement to say that agnostics do not have a correct understanding of God.

God has revealed Himself in general revelation and special revelation; therefore, mankind is without excuse for failing to place faith in Him (Romans 1:20).

According to the Pew Research Lab, 39% of Americans between the ages of 18-29 years old are agnostics. Within America, there are more men who are agnostics rather than women. Agnostics are very passionate about retaining their religious beliefs and are proud of their skepticism of the supernatural.

As stated by Elizabeth Enochs, “Please don't waste your time trying to convince us to change our minds. It won't work, and it will just make things awkward between us” (Ibid.). Despite not being certain of God’s existence, they are surprisingly comfortable in their uncertainty concerning God, salvation, and life after death.

Concerning the afterlife, agnostics believe we cannot truly know if there is life after death. Since agnostics are skeptical about God’s existence, they are skeptical if there is a heaven. The major theme among agnostics is that we cannot be certain whether God or life after death exists.

Most agnostics are still respectful of other religions that believe in God, including Christianity; however, they are not eager to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Agnostics are open to the possibility of God, yet they approach God with increased skepticism.

Many agnostics have grown up in Christian households and were pushed away from Christianity due to legalism or other reasons (Ibid.). Even though many agnostics are opposed to the gospel, Christians can still share the message of Jesus with them.

Sharing the Gospel with Agnostics

Since agnostics are open to the idea of God being true, Christians have a common ground to start with them. Despite not believing in the reality of God, Christians can help agnostics understand the truth of the Bible and what it teaches about the Person of God. It is not surprising that agnostics do not believe Jesus is God.

Agnostics either believe Jesus was just a mere man or that He was not a historical person. While many agnostics claim to be respectful of Christianity, there are agnostics who negatively refer to Jesus as the “Jesus myth” or “Jebus.” “Jebus” carries only negative connotations with it, and it is normally a “sarcastic reference to Christ.”

As Christians share the gospel with agnostics, the individual needs to be mindful of these facts. The Bible tells us Jesus is the Son of God and that He came to save humanity from our sins (John 1:1, 3:16-17). Apart from placing faith in Jesus, there is no salvation (Acts 4:12). 

Agnostics do not see a need for salvation from personal sin or inherited sin. Furthermore, they do not believe that one needs salvation in order to abstain from going to hell (Ibid.). Since agnostics are skeptical about spiritual matters, they are not dogmatic about the reality of heaven or hell.

Due to an agnostic not believing in the need for salvation from sin or hell, it can be quite difficult to share the gospel; however, nothing is impossible when God is involved (Luke 1:37). In addition to not believing in Jesus and not believing in sin or hell, agnostics believe the Bible is a collection of myths, folklore, and lies (Ibid.).

Agnostics do not believe the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God. Rather than viewing the Bible as it truly is — the Word of God, agnostics believe it is myths crafted by religious leaders in order to control people by the masses (Ibid). It goes without saying that agnostics do not have an accurate understanding of God, the Bible, or Christianity.

All Christians need to be aware of these different beliefs found within agnosticism. Many people believe agnostics do not believe in anything; however, they do believe in things — it is just erroneous beliefs that do not align with the truth of the Bible.

If you have a friend, family member, or someone you know who is agnostic, you can still help them to know Christ. It will be difficult, yet it is still possible to help your agnostic friend to accept Jesus as their Savior. Agnostics are opposed to Christian presenting “proofs” to them as they believe they have already heard our “proofs” and still do not believe in God.

Share the observable aspects of God, such as creation. The created universe attests to the reality of an Intelligent Designer, who is the Lord God. If the earth was slightly closer to the sun, we would burn up; however, if the earth was slightly further away from the sun, we would freeze.

This argues for the existence of God as the Big Bang Theory simply believes everything came into existence by chance. Another way to share the truth of God with agnostics is by challenging them with Pascal’s Wager, which is a philosophical argument that wagers God’s existence.

In other words, Pascal’s Wager challenges the agnostic with the idea that if God does exist and they fail to accept Him, they would spend eternity in hell; however, if God was not real, they would have nothing to lose because there is no afterlife (Ibid.).

What Does This Mean?

As Christians, we know there is a God, and He is the God of the Bible and that there is no salvation outside of placing faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). Even with sharing these truths with an agnostic, he or she may still refuse to believe in God.

You can continue to share the truth of God in your words and actions. Agnostics will try to argue with you concerning God’s existence; however, they cannot argue with your own personal testimony.

You can share how God has changed your life since you placed faith in Christ and how He continues to give you peace each day. Nobody can argue with your own personal testimony. Thus, agnostics do believe in things; however, they are erroneous beliefs.

For further reading:

Can Someone Believe in God but Not Be Saved?

Why Is Being a Good Person Not Enough to Get into Heaven?

Why Do We Expect People to Please God if They Do Not Have Faith?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Khosrork

Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

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