Monday, February 29, 2016

Why Are You A Christian? Why Am I A Christian?


            Have you ever wondered why you are a Christian?

            If you have not, then please take a few moments off now to consider an answer to this question. This is a significant question, for your answer should be credible.

            Let’s consider some answers to this question:

I Don’t Know

            ‘I don’t know why I am a Christian. I have not thought about that.’

            ‘But why haven’t you thought about it?’

            ‘I don’t know, I did not think about it.’

            If you seriously confess that you do not know why you are Christian, then it certainly is the most honest admission of ignorance. Your heart is not calloused. This is a good starting point, provided you get on the right track as soon as possible.  

I Don’t Care

            ‘I don’t care why I am a Christian. I am a busy person and I do not have the time to think about these trivial matters.’

            If you don’t care about your Christianity, you are quite possibly living dangerously. The danger is that you MAY not even be a Christian to begin with.

            You are neither giving a right or a wrong answer when you say that you do not care as to why you are a Christian. The answer that you do not care is nonsensical, for it seems that you do not possess the ability to state either the right or even the wrong answer!

            Significantly, by stating that you do not care about your faith, you have judged your religion to be a trivial aspect of your life and you have buried God into insignificance. This is a sin against God. You have not accorded God HIS rightful preeminent place in your life. When we sin against God, we are living dangerously.  

            1 Peter 3:15 mandates us to offer the reason for our hope in Christ. If we do not care about our hope in Christ, we disobey this mandate and hence we sin against God.

            It’s ok if you do not know why you are a Christian. But it is not ok if you do not care as to why you are a Christian.

            In response to the question, why are you a Christian, many Christians offer these reasons:

I Believe the Bible

            “I am a Christian because I believe the Bible.”

            You may say that you are a Christian because you have read the Bible and believe its content. But a Muslim says that he has read the Quran and believes its content. A Mormon would say the same about his Scripture.

            What makes your belief in the Bible unique or better than that of the Muslim or the Mormon?

            You may say that the Bible is God’s word, but isn’t that what a Muslim or a Mormon say too? How do you know that the Bible is God’s Word? You cannot say that the Bible is God’s word because the Bible says so, for that is an invalid argument.

I am My Father’s Son

            “I am a Christian because my parents are Christians.”

            Alternately you may say that you are a Christian because you were raised in a Christian home. This answer may sound correct, but it is not correct. Why?

            If you are a Christian because your parents are, then by the same logic, a Muslim born in a Muslim home or an atheist born into an atheistic household would be justified to be a Muslim or an atheist, respectively.

            If our religious identity is predicated on the religious identity of our parents, then our parents seem to determine our religion. If parents determine the child’s religion, then parents are of a greater value than the truthfulness of the religion.

            So this is another wrong answer. Our response to the one, true and a living God, not our parents, should determine our religion.

I Experienced God

            “God drew me closer to HIM, hence I am Christian.”

            An alternate rendering of this reason is to say that you became a Christian when your friend introduced you to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while you were living a godless life. Christ then spoke to you and hence you are Christian.

            This sounds like a correct answer, but your answer could be disputed. Non-Christians, with the exception of certain worldviews e.g. pantheism, do not believe that Christ is God. Moreover, there are similar testimonies in the other religions about God speaking to man e.g. Islam, Church of Latter Day Saints etc.

            In other words, what makes your testimony better or more truthful than the testimony of your non-Christian friend? If the reason to your Christianity is as stated above, then your testimony, in itself, is neither bulletproof nor more truthful than the testimony of your non-Christian friend.

            Surprised?

            None of the above can convince your non-Christian friend from the perspective of the credibility of Christianity or bringing him/her closer to Christ.

            How then could you establish credibility for your faith with your answer that would bring a non-Christian closer to Christ?

Christianity Is True

            “I am a Christian because Christianity is true.” 

            If Christianity is not true, then your experience of God and your testimony are false. If Christianity is not true, then your parents led you into a false religion. If Christianity is not true, then the Bible you read is a false document.

            Every reason you may offer for your Christianity is predicated on the fact that Christianity is true. If you cannot posit reasonable evidences for the truthfulness of Christianity, then you would be unable to offer a sound reason for your hope in Christ.

            When we claim Christianity’s truthfulness, we are positing objective truth i.e. Christianity is true whether anyone believes or not. While we posit objective truth, we negate subjective truth-claims i.e. Christianity is true for you and Buddhism is true for me. Therefore, if Christianity is true, all other religious worldviews are false.

            Reasonable evidences can be posited for Christianity’s truth-claims from the domains of history, philosophy, science and logic. The scope of this short essay is not to present these evidences but merely to assert the presence of very reasonable evidences for the objective truth-claims of Christianity.

            These are some public domain websites that offer the much needed evidences:

            Dr. William Lane Craig’s www.reasonablefaith.org

            Dr. John Lennox’s http://www.johnlennox.org/

            J. Warner Wallace’s http://coldcasechristianity.com/

            Greg Koukl’s www.str.org

            Dr. Frank Turek’s http://crossexamined.org/

            Dr. Timothy McGrew’s http://historicalapologetics.org/

            Dr. Edward Feser’s http://edwardfeser.blogspot.in/

            Christian Apologetics Alliance’s http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/

            Dr. Ravi Zacharias’ www.rzim.org

            Southern Evangelical Seminary’s Veritas Player http://subsplash.com/veritasplayer/app#!/ses-apologetics-app

            Are we aware of these evidences? If not, please dig deep to know why Christianity is true.  



Endnote:


I was inspired to write this short essay after hearing Brett Kunkle’s podcast, Why I am A Christian?”

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