Why Are You a Christian?

Jun 26, 2011

When someone posed the question “Why are you a Christian” on Twitter a few days ago I was completely caught off guard. Unable to formulate a response any deeper than “I just am”, I realized that I had never given a reasonable amount of thought to why Christianity is important to me and why I think it’s true.

In African-American culture, religion is “the sun around which all things tend to revolve” and many people, not just myself, never question what they have subscribed to. But there is nothing wrong with a healthy skepticism, for unless you know not only what you believe but why it's true, then how can you be well-grounded in your beliefs? So, I spent the past week or so mulling over this question of why and this is what I've come up with...
Christianity was not forced down my throat. I was given the freedom to chose to know God or not. I wasn’t coerced into walking up to the alter at a Baptist assembly and reciting a prayer of salvation, knowing that my heart wasn't in it. By my own free will, I accepted God’s offer to believe in Him--Christ's birth, His life, His death, His Resurrection, and His promises of eternal life by grace through faith. And it is through that personal and conscious decision that I was able to develop a love RELATIONSHIP with my Creator instead of blindly subscribing to a religion or a set of rituals.

To me “getting to know God for myself” didn't mean making up my own personal "God" that fit my life and would allow me to continue living how I wanted. I feel that God was, is, and forever will be the same and getting to know Him meant learning who HE says HE is and . It wasn't solely based on what pastors, family members, friends, or the world had to say about God, but what HE says about HIMSELF and the way for me to know that was through the Bible. And it is in the Bible that Christ himself claims "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me".

I believe in the uniqueness of the Bible, "written by 40 authors from 8 countries over 1500 years in 3 languages and all with a consistent and unique message of a God of love who saved us from our sins" (source). I don't just assume the Bible is infallible and reliable, nor do I have to. There are thousands of archaeological discoveries confirm the Bibles historical accuracy and it has more manuscript evidence than any ten pieces of classical literature combined. So, it seems irrational for me to embrace the .2% "error" (variation in the text due to translation) in the Bible as an excuse to not believe any of it.

Ultimately, I am a Christian because after spending time with God's Word and learning more and more about Him, my life and outlook on this world has changed completely, a change that I feel could not have been accomplished otherwise. The greatest commandments are to “Love God with all my heart and love my neighbor as myself". I am most spiritual when I am simply loving other people. What better way is there to live than that? See, If upon my death, I find out that God is not real, I will have lived a life of love and lost nothing. But if I died a nonbeliever and found out God is real, I will have lost everything. 

So, why are you a Christian?

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

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