Why are you a Christian? What made you believe? Are there any personal reasons or experiences that specifically solidified your faith?

In a way, I am a Christian because I am gay.

I was raised in an ultraconservative family. My parents were members of the John Birch Society and sent me each year to a summer camp run by the John Birch Society. I was raised to believe all their crazy conspiracy theories. When I was a teenager my mother decided that Vatican II and Mass in English were also the results of a vast conspiracy to destroy the Church, and she insisted I go each Sunday to a schismatic chapel where they offered only the old Latin Mass.

This is the sort of offensive nonsense the John Birch Society put out.

While I was still pretty conservative, the whole idea of a massive conspiracy to destroy the Church by praying in English ultimately seemed far-fetched to me. I fought having to go to my mother's chapel filled with those wild-eyed conspiracy theorists. She pled with me to be "conditionally reconfirmed" by Archbishop Lefebvre, (who had been excommunicated because he was too conservative for Pope John Paul II!) because apparently the Holy Spirit does not reply to a summons in English. She tried to bribe me, but I refused. Not so much out of idealism, I have to admit, but just because it all seemed kind of creepy.

About this time, I began to admit to myself that I was gay. In those pre-Internet days, the only way to find out about anything was to go to your local library and see if you could find a book about it. Unless you wanted to ask the librarian (which I most certainly did NOT), it would take a while to find the right books.

What I learned from the books at my local library was that gay people were child molesters, hung out in public restrooms waiting to prey on unsuspecting victims, wanted to be women and were voraciously attracted to every male within reach.

Wait, you mean all gay men are NOT like this?

But none of this applied to me. I wasn't attracted to children. I had no desire to hang out in a restroom. I didn't want to be a woman or dress like one. I was not wildly attracted to every man I saw. And more importantly, I knew I did not choose my orientation as many insisted.

And yet this is what we were told that gay people were by Church and society. Clearly, I had been deceived. Conventional wisdom was entirely wrong about gay people, and I knew this to a fact first-hand.This was crazy! How could the world be so wrong?

What other things I had been taught were also wrong?

To me, the understanding of myself as a gay man, contrasted with what society and Church said about gay men, meant that I had to do a thorough inventory of everything I had been told was true to this point. If I had been lied to about this, then anything I was taught could be false. Even my religion.

Although I had rejected the extremism of the John Birch Society, I considered myself a moderate Republican, a fiscal conservative. But I grew increasingly frustrated with Ronald Reagan's refusal to acknowledge the AIDS epidemic raging around me. There were lots of photos of his wife Nancy hobnobbing with her gay friends in Studio One, and the idea she would abandon her friends to a shameful and lonely death to support her husband's political agenda was a real wake-up call to me.

AB101 protests in California, October 1991

But the realization of what the Republican party was becoming was made very clear in 1991 when Pete Wilson, Republican governor of California, vetoed AB101, a bill outlawing job discrimination against gays and lesbians, a bill he had promised to sign during his campaign.  I marched every night for weeks with massive crowds throughout the streets of Los Angeles, enraged at the deception of the governor and his sellout to religious extremists (http://articles.latimes.com/1991…). (The governor was dogged by crowds of angry protesters at every public appearance he made throughout the state, starting the first night at LACMA and continuing for months.) The GOP war was formally announced in 1992 when Pat Buchanan gave the famous "culture war" speech, declaring war on gays and lesbians on behalf of the Republican Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cul…).

Finally I could no longer be a Republican; could I remain Catholic? Was it just Catholicism that was the enemy, or was it Christianity itself? I had stopped practicing my faith in the mid-'80s. but why did I occasionally get up on a Sunday and feel the need to go to Mass? Was it just conditioning? I had to find out.

This photo should give you some idea of why Dorothy Day is awesome.

And so I began to read. I read John McNeill's seminal work The Church and the Homosexual, and learned things were not exactly the way some in the Church present them. I read about gay history and educated myself in theology and comparative religion. But I also began to read spiritual writers like Thomas Merton. I read the autobiography of Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness. And I started to go back to Mass more frequently, slipping into the back pew. I learned for the first time about the Christian responsibility to the poor and the outcast. Somehow, I had never learned this. It was like a revelation, because I was raised to think the Faith was all about being right when everyone else was wrong.

There was a lot of crap in the closet. Not just denial about one's orientation, but also implicit acceptance of all sorts of toxicity, and all sorts of assumptions left unexamined. But Christianity was not one of those things. It was true. I came to feel that in my heart. Because I learned it was not about the Church; it was about being a disciple of Jesus Christ — and not because of the Church, but sometimes in spite of the Church. But I came to understand the necessity of the Church to the continuation of the gospel, and I came to see my Catholicism not as a way of "being right" or some sort of tribal affiliation, but as a witness to the longed-for unity of all Christians. It's not easy to live in unity, often with people you disagree with, but it's worth trying.

Washing of the Feet by John August Swanson

And so it was one Holy Thursday that I slipped into a church in West Hollywood for the ancient Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, where the highlight is the re-enactment of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples as the ultimate model of humility and service. I was learning that Christianity was not about rules and theology, but about this simple act. I hungered for this wisdom and way of life.

And that's the day I reclaimed my faith.

Had I not been gay, today I may well have been an ultraconservative Catholic, unmoved by plight of the the poor and the oppressed, focused only on correct belief, petulant about liturgical minutiae and always trying to score a point "for my team" and conflating my identity as a Christian with my Republican party membership. But all that went out with the other crap in that damned closet.

19 Replies to “Why are you a Christian? What made you believe? Are there any personal reasons or experiences that specifically solidified your faith?”

  1. I grew up in a family that was nominally Christian, but hardly practicing. My father was an agnostic until he returned to the faith in the last two years of his life. My great-grandmother was a practicing Christian, but that was about it. A few members of my family were outright atheists.

    When I was about seven years old, my grandfather left me a book of Bible stories that I read, and later, when I was a few years older, I pulled out the family Bible and read the original scripture based on the stories that I had read. No one really prompted me or encouraged me to do this; it's something that I felt led to do on my own. To this day, I tell people this story and tell them that no one led me to the Christian faith as a child; I get rather displeased when someone says that kids are all brainwashed into religion. If anything, the environment I grew up in was discouraging toward any kind of faith. When my own relatives learned that I was a Christian, some of them used that knowledge against me. But at some point, either late in 1982 or early in 1983, I silently said a prayer in bed asking Jesus to come into my life. I wasn't even 10 years old at the time. It was my own choice, and even at that age, I can say it was an informed one. I was, shall we say, a rather precocious kid, and I was reading my father's college-level history books at that age.

    Several years later, as a young adult, I actually studied other faiths and religious traditions, but I found nothing to sway my views. In addition, many, many things have happened to me in my life that only make sense to me through the perspective of my faith. A nonbeliever could argue for coincidence in many of those cases, but there have been too many of them for me to think that so. Furthermore, I think my embracing Christianity at a young age probably saved my life, or at least prevented me from leading a reprehensible life. I am a person of exceptional intelligence–IQ consistently testing at between 140 and 150–and on many occasions in my life, I've had the chance to benefit myself by taking advantage of someone else without them being aware of it. My Christian morality is honestly the only thing that prevents me from doing so. I certainly had enough bad examples of manipulative behavior by others to learn from growing up.

    In saying all of this, I'm not going to sit here and say I believe everything in the Bible from cover to cover. I don't think that God literally made everything in six Earth days and then rested, for example. But I don't believe I have to. What's a "day" to God, anyway? It sure wasn't the amount of time in which the Earth rotates on its axis; it couldn't have been, since the Earth didn't exist yet. Both science and the Bible agree that there was a time before Earth and even our Universe existed. A "day" to God might very well be two billion of our years, or it may have no meaning at all in a human sense. It doesn't matter, anyway. When it comes to the Universe, modern scientists make stuff up when new discoveries don't fit their preconceived notions, just like creationists do. So-called "dark matter" is no different than the alleged "vapor canopy" before the Biblical flood. We don't know squat about some things. Sometimes I think we don't need to know, even though I admit that science does fascinate me (I'm even a most-viewed writer here on the subject of Pluto, and Pluto is a planet, dammit!). The human race sure didn't need to learn how to split atoms when we did, and it's caused us nothing but trouble ever since.

    So I try my best to follow the teachings of Jesus, in the way that I understand them from my own study, and leave it at that. I don't follow any particular denomination or school of thought. My favorite Christian symbol is the Chi-Rho, or labarum, a symbol that dates back to ancient times and possibly to the first followers of Jesus, and was adopted by the first Christian Emperor of Rome. It's the closest thing to an uncorrupted symbol of the faith there is. Ἐν Τούτῳ Νίκα!

    Sorry for such a long answer, but if you've read this far, you must have found it interesting. I've never tried to push my beliefs and my journey to them on others, but I'm glad to share them with those who are truly interested.

  2. One day, my life fell apart. My priorities failed me and my health failed me. Jesus put it back together. His spirit and his words and his church put it back together. God planted the seed of Christ in my heart.

    Jesus' teachings feel truer and deeper than anything else I've ever studied, lending true credibility to what he and countless thousands of followers were willing to die for. They lived nonviolent lives and, secure in their beliefs, they were persecuted and tortured for that message (Bible Gateway passage: Philippians 1 – NIV). They knew it was coming, and they did it because it was the only truth worth living for. And, one by one, they died for that message—all so that inquisitive hearers like us might come to a knowledge of the truth (Bible Gateway passage: Acts 21 – NIV). That God created us for his own reason, that he cares about our destiny, that he loves us and that every choice we make is an opportunity to develop our relationship.

    Deep down in my bones, I cannot see any other reason why Jesus' earliest followers would consider it an honor to die nonviolently for the message (Bible Gateway passage: Acts 5 – NIV; Bible Gateway passage: 2 Corinthians 4 – NIV). They felt in their hearts that Christ’s message was the truth from God—that communicating the message was more important than their very lives. In the first century C.E., the early Christian church was hated. The believers were poor and destitute and they were enemies of the state, everywhere they went. They had nothing to gain by going to the grave for that message except perhaps for the glory of the God they believed in. It is a fact that cannot be ignored, and it draws attention to Jesus—what he did and what he taught. You have to look at what he taught and decide on it for yourself.

    As a Christian, I hope in something more. I am always trying to become a brighter light for the Father—to be more like the God I believe in—never quite making it but always trying to be an exemplify his glory and honor. He helps me to never give up, despite how the ways of the world can weather my resolve. I am privileged to feel the peace that comes with a developing detachment from material goods and fleeting worldly honors. Instead, I get to spend my life seeking the truth—his truth—wherever it may be found. I believe that much wisdom is hidden in the pages of the Bible (for the careful reader). Unclear Biblical and theological texts can be unlocked through faith in the Spirit of God and discussion with a learned student of the scripture.

    I had to go through some harsh times—some lowly lows—in the process of trying a different way than my own. Prior to that, my life had been made a shambles. I had been out of options for a long while, scraping from the bottom of the barrel of existence. At some point, in the midst of my distress, I was given a New Testament and I read from it cover and cover, beginning in Luke (try Bible Gateway passage: Luke 4 – NIV), piecing together whatever limited understanding one person could muster on his own. For awhile, I would just open to random pages in the New Testament to see what they had to say. I was trying to see if any of the Bible really contained answers for me. It did.

    One day, I was invited to a church event and I said yes. I was so accustomed to saying no to things in life that I began to say yes to things. The church welcomed me in. The members there constantly applied the Bible's compassionate teachings to their lives. To a curious and discerning eye, their efforts truly showed in how they carried themselves. They were awash in God’s Spirit. At first, I actually suspected it was fake. Subsequently, I reasoned that they were just naive and oblivious and delusional. But then, after seeing the same authentically-sunny outlook and approach in them, day in and day out, I became ashamed of those assumptions. I'd realized that the world had trained me to view genuine, loving people as pretentious and false. As if it were impossible for people to possess both intelligence and faith in the unknown. I am embarrassed of this, but it is true. It became clear to me that I'd somehow let the world bias me and turn me into cynic with unquestioning cynicism. I had somehow let myself believe that it wasn't possible for people to be loving, humble, kind and real at the same time.

    It made me wonder what else I had been missing in life. I could see how genuinely happy they were and how ordered their lives were. It was as if they knew some secret that I was not yet privy to. They did. If I am honest with myself, I wanted what they had. The simplicity, the ease of life, the peaceful confidence. It comes from faith. I was jealous and so disappointed with myself and my life at the time. But as I learned (by asking many of them), the life I so desperately desired is actually free. It's available to anyone who wants it, in abundance. It is a gift for the one who will do the work of accepting it. But all of God’s impact does not come overnight. Or at least it didn’t for me. It's like seed planted and grown for harvest, and it takes daily practice, prayer and mindfulness. People plant and water, but God makes it grow (Bible Gateway passage: 1 Corinthians 3 – NIV).

    The Bible is a guide to what it looks like when God shepherds mankind through life, and what it looks like when man rejects God. Jesus explains, "Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 7 – NIV). Those who diligently live it out to the best of their abilities do exist, and they are humbled by the message the Bible conveys. They live normal lives in extraordinary ways. They are loving and respectful of all kinds of people, as well as the right they have to their own opinions and choices—which God bestowed to them. Such people have difficult pasts and presents, rife with their own experiences of sin and strife, that they are ready and willing to share with you as a testament to how God has worked in and on their lives. They prefer to thank God for the gifts that they have been given.

    Perhaps you think that Christians or believers in God are hypocrites, but Jesus himself loathed hypocrisy (Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 7 – NIV). When I first met devout Christians, I felt oddly as if they were judging me by their life and words. After getting to know them, I realized that this was my primarily own projection of those feelings. They were simply living their lives as they believed to be right, and I was projecting judgment on myself by unfavorable comparison. The judgment was coming from within myself, not from them. I had been cleverly finding ways to blame them for my own selfish insecurity. No one would have told me that, but it was true.

    Meeting true Christians (even in all their imperfection) inspired me to follow Christ's example. I thought to myself, "this group of people is the best living example of righteousness that I have ever seen." I repented ("turned away") from my old ways, and I began to learn what "church" really means. It turns out that the word "church"—ekklēsia—is a Koine Greek word meaning "assembly.” Church is wherever you openly consider God's word with other believers. Jesus himself dwells in any assembly for him (Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 18 – NIV). It is a gathering for one to enjoy attending because it helps one grow as a person with others that are on the same life journey. Taking joy in the assembly is a necessary part of belief because God made the Christian a part of Jesus’ very body (Bible Gateway passage: Ephesians 5 – NIV). The church is of Jesus, and Jesus is of God. God's church community is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom in and out of the weekly service. As one hand washes another on the human body, one person helps another to grow in the church.

    I try to weave consideration and gratefulness for God into the fabric of my life. The church of Jesus Christ stuck together like glue in the first century (Bible Gateway passage: Acts 2 – NIV). As they say about training for sports, you need to practice with those of higher skill level if you wish to improve your skills: "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another" (Bible Gateway passage: Proverbs 27 – NIV). Search for people of God while they can be found. They are out there. You can literally show up to a church for a service, introduce yourself and give it a shot to see for yourself. Go and find out; it really is just that simple. The Christian wants to help others get closer to God. That’s one of the ways they develop their relationship with him—with and through you (Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 25 – NIV). Ask someone to crack open the Bible with you. Simply read a paragraph, and talk together about what you think it might mean. If you aren’t sure, write the passage down and ask someone else who might have an idea. Or, hey, ask me.

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (Bible Gateway passage: 2 Timothy 3:16 – NIV). When I formally studied parts of the Bible for the first time with church-members, I never stopped questioning things. I (respectfully) asked so many questions. Parts of the Old Testament, for example, really tripped me up. A lot of times, Old Testament accounts are only there so that the one trained in Christ (New Testament) can learn from past mistakes. Sometimes the answers and explanations were satisfying; sometimes they were not as satisfying. But I kept an open mind and kept trying to learn. After all, this is no ordinary matter. Later, as I developed friendships and fellowship, I would ask for phone numbers and could call people up at any time, if necessary, to get a different perspective on a confusing or complicated Bible passage. The more I did this, the more I realized that there's so much more in any given Bible passage than meets the eye. I felt like the Bible study process was actually an opportunity work at getting closer to God. With patience and perseverance and prayer and contemplation, I learn more from my efforts with each passing day.

    As for my walk with God, I continue to fall short, but it’s not how many times you fall—it’s how many times you get back up. Every day I renew my quest for God with an open mind, and I have been given confidence in my journey. Having seen what God has done in my life, which was once very dark and selfish, I have finally become contented. Everything comes from God or is allowed by God for his purposes—even the difficult things (Bible Gateway passage: Job 1 – NIV). But life is a marathon, not a sprint. The continued search is important to me, and keeping an open mind is also important to me. Doubts, which I encounter frequently, can be healthy if I talk about them with faithful Christians. They can become an opportunity for growth. But if I don't talk about things, those doubts will begin to eat away at me. A Christian will respond to your doubts with humble, compassionate, Biblically-sound insight and perhaps a story of their own struggles. If they cannot answer, they will refer you to someone who can. Life entails recognizing our mistakes as they happen and discussing them humbly. Salvation is a gift of compassion from above. The motivation to live your life well for God is in the desire to honor your Father because of who he is.

    In my worst of times, I felt Christ's truth firsthand. What he says in the Bible is true. It was true then, it is true now, and it will be true forever. Every moment is an opportunity to act in response to what you believe to be the truth. What do you believe in? What is your truth? In every moment, there is a choice. What you choose to do in this life counts for something. Do you need a Savior? For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

    Jesus saves. He saves for God. He saved me from me. He continues to save me. He will continue to save me. He saves yesterday, today and tomorrow, and if you are willing to accept it, he saved your life 2000 years in advance.

  3. I grew up in church. So I saw the values of people in terms of kindness to strangers, friendliness, and family. Meals together as a church were truly a celebration and a time of community and Christian family. My parents had genuine relationships with other people in church and I could see how they treated other people. Their lives were witness to change—their lives were witness—as they lived as ambassadors of faith in home, work, and during time off with family.

    1. I knew that a life lived for others was more fulfilling and meaningful.
    2. I understood the importance of treating each other with respect, empathy, and virtue.
    3. I understood the importance of building character over time.
    4. I knew that a life lived valuing others over valuing material good was better.
    5. I knew the values of integrity, loyalty, friendliness, and kindness, and service were all important.
    6. I could see the fingerprints of God’s design all over creation. The engineering of organisms and complex systems provided the foundation of an understanding of what I was looking at. It didn’t just happen. It wasn’t just random. It wasn’t just luck. Life didn’t just emerge from inorganic materials.
    7. I could see the brush strokes on the sky in terms of illuminating and lumenescent sunsets—that pointed as signs on the highway toward something higher, bigger, and more profound.

    I knew that if God was the God of the universe, that he did indeed deserve our humility, reverence, and awe.

    Given all of the above—the value of Christianity both to me and to others was indeed profound and definitely worth the changes needed in my life. But I would learn so much as I moved on, that grace and forgiveness was indeed incredibly freeing—it freed me of much guilt—it freed me to be relational and not try to play a perfectionist game. Gods love, generosity, and blessings were poured out through my life and I tried to pour those out to others as well.

  4. I suppose, to some degree at least, I am a Christian because of the barrenness of atheism. I hope all the atheists here don’t decide to jump all over me for that now; answering this is a request to bare my soul about the most personal and most intimate relationship in my life. But this seems like a sincere question, so I will try.

    I did not grow up Christian. My father was an atheist who believed in what he could verify and he taught me to do the same. The worst possible thing that could ever happen in my father’s world, it seemed to me, was to be fooled. He could not “believe”—what if it turned out he was wrong? What if he believed and it turned out he’d been fooled? He was a brilliant man in so many ways, and committed to his family; he worked hard, was reasonably successful in his career, (we were upper middle class); he and my mother were socially active with many friends. He was well read. I loved him deeply. But he was not a happy man. And ours was not a happy home.

    I was invited to stay the night with a friend once in grade school and she asked if I was Protestant or Catholic. I didn’t know what that was. I had to ask my mother. I went to church with her and heard my first sermon on God’s unconditional love. I started to cry; at 9 years old I knew I had nothing like that anywhere in my life.

    In our town we were surrounded mostly by Catholics, and when I went to friends’ homes and saw the interaction of their families, I could not help but see the contrast with mine. They treated one another differently than my family did. I didn’t know what it was, but I could see there was something that my family didn’t have.

    But adolescence soon kicked in, and adolescent angst and anger and rebellion—and sex of course. God can hardly hold a candle to the pull of sexuality. By the time I was 15 I was pretty wild and was already at a true moral crossroads. I decided there is really only one moral question in life and that is: is there a God? Because if there is no God, then there is only other people’s opinions on right and wrong. Perhaps there is consensus, but so what? Why should that matter to me, if I don’t agree? Why should I even consider living my one life to suit anyone else but myself? The only societal rule I would need to be concerned with was: don’t get caught. Otherwise I could suit myself. I had not yet heard of Ayn Rand but I was already echoing at least some of her reasoning.

    However, I also thought, if there is a God, then there is most likely also a final accounting and I realized I was probably already in deep kimche. So I decided to begin a search in earnest to determine the answer.

    Since I was in “Christian” America, I decided not to begin with Christianity. I didn’t actually even begin assuming the idea of God was real; I started with psychology and the possibility that the whole thing was a manifestation of issues in man’s loosey goosey noodle! Then I added philosophy; then logic; then I finally started studying religion, but I still did not start with Christianity. I resisted it. Perhaps I didn’t want to know the answer to the question as much as I thought I did. I pursued it intellectually—claimed I did—but ran away from it in every other way as well. Perhaps I was more like my father than I knew.

    Time passed and I married a widower with two children. It was hard. Hard and painful. They were all grieving and wounded terribly and death walked around with us every day like a shadow in every room.

    The children were just 4 and 6 years old. Some days they clung to me like leeches and wouldn’t even let me go to the bathroom on my own; other days I couldn’t do anything right and everything I said and did was met with, “My mother did that better.” My new husband was drinking every day. I was in way over my head. I did all I could, I cared and I tried, but I couldn’t fix anything for them. It was killing me and I wasn’t doing any good for them. I decided I had to leave for my own survival.

    I was packing my bags, the sun was setting. I didn’t bother turning on lights. I was crying. And I heard a voice. Literally. I heard a voice say, “If you leave now, those children will never find me.” And I was so shocked I stopped and sat down.

    I assumed I was so emotionally distressed I was losing my mind. But part of me wondered. So I answered. “Well who are you?” But there was only silence then. And I realized that was MY question really, the one I’d always been asking. I was the one now faced with it; all my intellectual reasoning and searching and logic and science had all come down to this: a question of will. A choice: to believe or not to believe.

    And it was about those kids and it was about who I wanted to be: do I let those children lose someone else yet again after losing their mother—do I hurt those children to protect myself—or do I hurt myself to protect them? I couldn’t bear anymore pain. I was at my end. I couldn’t go either way. And something inside me just broke, and I said, “Help me, please, help me. I need you.” And everything in my life started to change from that point on.

    I stayed. I found out about Jesus. I got baptized. That was 45 years ago. Those boys did grow up to find God. They never did make it easy on me. But they made it worthwhile. They got two more siblings and they didn’t make it easy either, but I have come to see that is the way of things that matter. People matter. I now have 13 grandchildren, and all the beauty and goodness and the overflow of love in my life I know without any doubt at all, I owe all of it to God.

  5. I have both reasons and experiences that led me to become a Christian.

    Reasons

    I have studied and observed other religions closely. Christianity is the only one that made logical sense to me.

    In other religions their god is often capricious. Their god is constrained by human emotions. In Christianity and Judaism God may be partially described by human emotions, but is not defined by them. I don't want a god who might remind me of my teens on a bad day.

    In Christianity there is an overall consistency. In the Garden of Eden sin leads to death. In the Judaic sacrificial system sin leads to death of a sacrificial substitute. In Christianity the perfect sacrifice is killed for all sin.

    Jesus’ human lineage includes some of the best and some of the worst of the human race. It shows us that there is no one beyond salvation.

    In regards to the Bible, there is an amazing consistency in a series of books and letters written over a timespan of more than a millennia.

    Experiences

    I grew up in a Christian family, my great-grandparents were Christian missionaries, one set of grandparents were Christian missionaries and the other a pastor, my parents were Christian missionaries and relief workers. I was going to be a Christian missionary, but there was a problem, I wasn't a Christian.

    As a missionary kid (MK) I saw a different side of Christianity than many of my fellow Westerners. I saw some miracles. I saw people stand up to horrible persecution. My language teacher and my math teacher’s husband were both killed for being Christians.

    One time the self appointed persecutors were looking for a church leader and instead rounded up a non-Christian with the same name. They tortured him for three days telling him to renounce Jesus before the figured out he was the wrong John Doe. After being let go John Doe #2 found John Doe #1 and asked him to explain this Jesus because he felt that Jesus must be worthy of service.

    I saw brave men and women suffering for the being Christians, but all this time I was not one. I thought I was, after all I was the descendent of three generations of missionaries, how could I not be a Christian.

    So there I was in Bible college, preparing to be a Christian missionary. One afternoon, just before dinner, my roommate called me outside. A bunch of students were gathered on the balcony pointing at the horizon and babbling excitedly. I looked where they were pointing and I was gripped with fear, there in the eastern sky was a flaming cross. Everyone else was excitedly wondering if this was Jesus’ return. I was afraid they might be right.

    The “cross” turned out to be the reflection of sunlight on the underside of a jet. The flaming look was probably due to the cylindrical nature of the fuselage. There was nothing miraculous or supernatural about the event. My classmates trudged off to dinner disappointed and I was relieved.

    Over the next few weeks I pondered my reaction. Why was I afraid at the thought of Jesus’ return? That's not a logical response for a Christian. Eventually I recognized that while I believed what Scripture said, I had never committed my life to what it spoke of. And so, during a church service where the sermon had nothing to do with salvation, I argued with God and then finally committed my life to Him.

    I didn't take up the family business. That was oddly one of the things I surrendered. I'm a decent engineer, a husband and a father of 3+1. I do serve in the church, but it's nothing grand, I pass out bulletins. And I am content with where God has placed me.

  6. I know this seems counter-intuitive, but I really don't like to talk about it. I was in a bad way when I was a teenager, and violent. I did a great many things I regret now, including choking out a classmate…in front of the whole class, teacher included. There were a lot of times that I thought I was screwed.

    To cap it off, I had the same dream every night that year, involving me jumping off a building and falling to my death. It was the same dream, same details, same everything, in defiance of all laws of probability. My problems kept getting worse during the day, and because of the dream, I never felt like I had any rest at night. I know it sounds weird–it was weird–I had two nervous breakdowns that year. It was getting bad.

    On Christmas Eve, I prayed. It wasn't a very good prayer, to be honest. I said:

    God,

    If you're there and you can help me, let me know.

    I don't know what I was expecting would come of it. There was no immediate response–no angels with trumpets or anything like that. I heard nothing back and I went to sleep.

    That night, the same dream happened. But this time, something snagged me on the way down, and I was pulled into a room. The room was empty except for a crucifix on the wall. And then I heard a voice:

    Follow me, and I will change things.

    The next morning, I woke up and prayed again:

    Jesus, if you get me out of this, I'm all yours.

    No charges were ever filed against me. The people I hurt? No ill will. That didn't take away every consequence, of course. I still had to kick a few bad habits, and many of my friends from back then are dead or have done time. And it terms of the quality of a person, I'm not better than any of them, and some of them were better people than me. The only real difference, when I think about it, was those two prayers.

    That's why I'm a Christian.

  7. I’m a follower of Christ because I had an actual encouter with God.

    I wasn’t looking for him, and the last thing I ever wanted for myself was a life of religious servitude.

    This was back in the days before the word atheist was proudly worn as a badge of honor. I simply didn’t believe that God existed, and that’s all there was to it for me. I never bothered with the idea of defining myself by this postion, nor did I feel angered or threatened by those who believed in God. It never occurred to me to attack the Christian faith, or to look for fights or arguments with Christians like the anti-theists do today.

    So there I was, 40 years ago, an atheist, standing in an unpaved alley behind a Burger King restaurant, talking to a friend…

    Our conversation began 2 days earlier. He had been saying some interesting things about God, about Jesus, about eternity, and about having a relationship with him.

    Naturally, none of these things made any sense to me, and so I continued to probe him in effort to understand what he was talking about. It seemed the more he struggled to answer my questions, the less I understood. And then it happened…

    I no longer heard what my friend was saying. In one moment, all of my whirling thoughts and questions became one cohesive revelation—that Jesus was who He claimed to be. He was the eternal Son of God, his death on the cross paid for MY sins, he rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and he is coming back someday.

    In that one moment, it felt as though someone had taken the old me away, and left a new version of me in its place. The love, the peace, and the joy that filled my heart was indescribable. I was forever changed, and everyone who knew me could see it.

    I had no familiarity with The Bible at the time, and it was several years later before I finally understood the theology behind my experience…

    The Father drew me to Christ, and I learned directly from him who Jesus is. He raised my dead spirit to life, he opened my eyes, forgave my sins, and caused The Holy Spirit to begin residing within me.

    And that’s why I believe. While I continue to have my doubts when it comes to the organized religion of Christianity, my faith in Jesus has never waivered.

  8. Can I give the world's shortest (and best) answer???

    Because it's true!

    And, because the Holy Spirit removed my natural state of hostility towards God. That's the most important part, because without it, you'll never get to the 'because it's true' part.

    Now, unpacking that might take a good bit of work. And, that's what I do as a Christian apologist. But, that's really the only reason you should believe anything. If you search for Christian apologetics, you'll find lots of resources to help answer that question.

    As for personal reasons or experiences, absolutely. I've seen God working in my life, and I guess I've always been aware of God and the necessity of the super-natural in reality. But, that's not necessarily sufficient to defend one's belief in a particular religious system. For example, I'd bet a Mormon, New Ager, or Buddhist might say something similar in terms of personal experience. To check out the 'is it true' aspect you need to look into the evidence (and, in fact, the Bible tells us to do that).

  9. I was not always a Christian. I grew up in a Christian home and heard the Bible stories countless times. For much of my young life, I merely accepted the stories as true, because I did know to question them, or even that it was okay to question them. In my mind I was a Christian, but in my heart? Well, it wasn't until October 2000 (I was 15) that I started to really take a look at my heart in the mirror. I did not like the reflection. Who I was inside was completely different from the faith I had professed up to that point, and it was then that I began wondering how I can bring my heart (character) into alignment with my head (knowledge).

    For years I tried again and again to live by the standard that I thought was good: love God with all my heart, mind, and strength; and love my neighbor as myself. I failed. I was incapable of loving God that way, because my heart and mind disagreed. My heart loved myself, and in my mind I didn't know what I loved. I thought I loved God, but was confused when I saw my actions saying otherwise.

    And then it hit me. Rather, I guess, I hit it. I was limping around in the metaphorical dark, unable to see where I was going, when I suddenly ran into the rock of my salvation.

    Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

    All the time and effort I spent trying to make myself measure up to what I thought was good only served to make me weary and exhausted. Not only that, but I was weighed down by the heavy burden of perfectionism, which only made it that much harder to get to where I wanted to be. I heard Jesus say the above passage, and I realized: I could not do it my own. It was then that I turned my heart toward God. I asked him to help me, to make me more like Jesus. And from the moment I asked that until now, my heart and my mind have, slowly but surely, been coming into alignment under the authority of God in Christ Jesus.

    So, why am I a Christian? Because God does not require perfection from us, but humility. He does not desire mindless obedience to rules, but a heart that seeks him above all else. He does not ask people to worship him in one place at one time during the week, but to worship him in Spirit and Truth.

    Why am I a Christian? It is because Jesus is freedom, and everywhere else is not.

  10. I am a Follower of Jesus because He chose me to be so. Not because I deserved it but because He is graceful. This is how He made it happen: There was someone in my life who became a follower of His and I HATED her for it. I could not stand all the religious babbling and the "self-righteous" talk of everyone needing Jesus. However, I could not deny what was happening with her. She changed so much in two months, for the better, that it was hard to believe. Just like that. She became amazingly different and could only point to His name for responsibility of this change.

    Later the door was opened for me to begin wondering about life and its Creator. I always knew there was something out there but did not care that much. I thought I was a Christian but it was according to me, not according to Christ. However, something happened. I found myself in a little village in Mexico crying like a newborn in a small church in front of the pacific ocean and feeling something I could not explain even if I tried. And I can tell you, It was not I who chose where to go, how to do it, and how it was going to happen. It was orchestrated amazingly, like a man plans how he will make a woman fall in love with Him. And that's what happened. I, like many others had my preferred sin that I did not think was wrong because I was born like that and it harmed no one. I was lustful since I was a child. I also had serious attitude problems I was pretty much born with but Jesus has made these struggles be insignificant in my life. They no longer rule me. God isn't done with me yet but MUCH has changed. My eyes were opened to a completely new type of existence and I truly live for Jesus and His everlasting Kingdom, now being able to choose to believe God over man in every topic because He is the ultimate witness.

    No religion Just Pure Jesus and His Kingdom. I believe God now because I am no longer His enemy and I have chosen to believe the Judge over the one who is to be judged. Creator over creation. I am now able to love everyone regardless of their beliefs because I know Jesus loved me when I didn't love or believe Him. I do this gladly and it is one of the few things that bring me joy. Being in communion with God through loving people made in His image without compromising His truth.

    Thank you for reading.

  11. When growing up, I went to church with my family around the age of 6–8 because my mother died, and I think my father was looking for some answers. However, we ended up not going after a couple of years. I later found out that my father stopped, because of some religious pressure that was being put on him by some of the vicars. My father still believes there must be something more than just us, i.e. a creator, though I don’t believe he believes in the institutional church so to speak.

    Anyway, I always believed in God and Jesus, though I didn’t know anything much that Jesus taught other than what was communicated in Religious Education classes in school. In my teens, my dog died, and I remember getting really angry with God, telling him to F off. I think my strong reaction came because of hurt buried from my mother dying at such a young age. In any case for the next couple of years at high school, I remember being quite harsh to a friend of mine for being Christian, calling him names, etc.

    In college when I was 16, I didn’t really know what to do with my life, so just studied something I enjoyed, art. For some reasons in my first year I started drawing a lot of pictures of Jesus on the cross. I can’t think of any particular reason, other than that the image appealed to me. College was a fun time, though I wasted a lot of the time on drugs and drinking, etc. The first year was good, but then over the course of the second and third year, my mental health took a bit of a dive because of the drugs. However, something that also contributed to this was questions that I was asking myself (and I guess God – though I didn’t know it). The questions were mainly centred around death, what’s the purpose of life if I am going to die. This led to severe darkness and depression. I could see that so much of what enthrals and encapsulates the world was meaningless, passing pleasure that would be ripped from them when they die, but I didn’t have any answers.

    It was during this time that I found my way to the teachings of Jesus. What he taught answered my questions. In particular the sermon on the mount and Matthew 6. What Jesus taught about working for God and not money (Matthew 6:24) and the following teaching about being like the birds and the flowers (Matthew 6:25–34), not taking thought for material provision and trusting God for all things, was the most incredible thing I had ever heard. A huge weight was lifted from me. Now, I could work for love, not worrying about tomorrow, and if I died today, so what, I lose nothing, because I am not building a life of money, prestige, respect, possessions.

    I struggled with this revelation for a couple of years, acting in fear and not faith. I had to hit rock bottom again before I had the courage to really step out in faith and follow Jesus, but almost 13 years down the line, and I am so thankful that I did.

    So, why am I a Christian? There seems to be so many different answers to that, but I think the main one would be because Jesus’ teachings really are the answer to our individual and thus global problems. IF people just took him seriously and did what he said without twisting his words to mean the opposite of what he said, we would have such a beautiful world. A world where we share with one another. A world where we resolved our differences, where people work for love for God and others. So much could be achieved if love replaced the motivation of greed and profit and production.

    Jesus is coming back, and there is an invitation going out right now to one and all to come and be a part of his coming Kingdom. It’s not a call from a religious group, or a denomination or organization, but a call that is going into the hearts and conscience of everyone on the planet. If you’ve ever thought about how you’d like organize things to make the world better, well, you may just get your chance, when we reign with Christ for a thousand years (and beyond).

    Well, I am probably rambled on enough, but I hope some of what I have shared is helpful for others.

  12. I was raised Christian. Recently I've been experimenting with my faith and how I practice it, to find something with a more personal meaning to me, but I think I can safely say I will on some level continue to be Christian.

    On the night of the most recent lunar eclipse, my mother and I drove a long way out into the country to where the city lights wouldn't interfere with our view. We came to a campground, mostly deserted, and pulled over. A stray cat ghosted past us and climbed a tree. It was a beautifully surreal night.

    I sat on a picnic table and looked up. The sky was absolutely overwhelming, thousands of thousands of stars, more than I could ever hope to count, and the huge pearlescent band of the Milky Way beyond. I had never seen the Milky Way before, always been a city kid, and it took my breath away. It was dazzling, breathtaking, the idea of how far away were the things I could see, the huge stretches of space punctured by stars. I felt everything in me short-circuit from pure joy.

    I was already kind of babbling at this point, about how amazing it was to even be alive, how incredible that the universe had somehow come together to create something capable of loving it, how breathtaking that I belonged to that beauty, that the universe was a thing I was and lived and moved in, not just something I observed, how I felt like I was born to love the universe, like the universe has created us just so someone could adore it like it deserved, when my mom looked over and said, “You know what religion tells us? The universe loves you back.”

    I think I cried. Putting what I knew of my faith, what I believe about how God loves us personally, fully, unconditionally, with the love of a parent, proud and concerned and always there, together with that celestial extravagence of beauty, was more than I could take. That something distant, huge, and utterly alien could love me so completely and want me to be safe and happy—me! One tiny person out of billions! So utterly tiny I'm invisible even on a city-wide scale, let alone the scale of countless galaxies—just electrified me. I've never felt that deeply in my life. The universe loves me back!

  13. Because Christianity is my way up the mountain. 
    My route doesn't invalidate your route.
    And vice versa.

    My relationship with God has been a crazy one.  From my spending Halloween night of my sophomore year doing an all-night prayer vigil at a campus church to casting a pagan circle in my apartment in my 20s to being unwilling to talk about anything spiritual for most of my early 30s to church-hunting from Unity to Unitarian to non-denominational at present:  I've been all over the God map.

    Here's where I am at right now.  God is Love.  God is super-positional between existence and non-existence.  God's stuff is God's stuff.  What I call God, how I worship God, the decisions I make and actions I take to follow God or please God:  that's all my stuff.

    So, yes, I was raised Christian, and when I pray, I often default to the Lord's Prayer, and when I look for wisdom, I often go to Proverbs, and when I think on God's love, I often think in terms of Jesus.  But I believe — and I know many would disagree with me — that I could access God's love without any of these trappings of my own tradition.  I believe that there are many ways up the mountain, and the fact that Christianity is my path has far more to do with my parents and my influences than providence.

    My deepest fundamental belief is that love is never petty, and so God is never petty.  "Our God is a jealous God."  Sorry, early church fathers.  I don't buy it.  I don't buy that God would condemn millions for choosing a different name, or different book, or different style of worship.  I think anyone who thinks God would be that capricious and demanding are bringing their own spoiled food to the party.

    I include this answer in case anyone might feel torn between a relationship with God and an endorsement of a particular "brand" of faith.  Maybe others feel the same.

  14. I used to be fairly atheistic although I might have been considered agnostic as it was moreso that I objected to talking about God and I did not want to even think about him. I kept this a secret from everyone around me for the entirety of this period. During this time I didn't really care about anything, I would have to say that upon looking back I was an utterly selfish prat with only self indulgence and pleasure as a goal. I must point out that I did not really care at all about what I did only about the punishments that might occur because of them.

    Eventually I was driving back to my home on a Saturday in March when I just felt myself become overwhelmed by my life and the direction it was going in. Granted I'd had similar thoughts in the past but they never were this intense and overpowering. I felt trapped in the situation that was my life and sought in that moment an escape. That is when God came back into my thoughts and with him came a reminder, that Jesus came to die for the sins of mankind so that all that might believe on him would live and be free. I wanted to be free from the burden of my sin and to never live like this again. I saw the error in my ways and begged forgiveness of God. I sought Christ and he gave me Salvation. He gave me eternal life and I could feel his salvation, his Spirit, his life in my soul. This might seem like a strange experience to an unbeliever but this is my story and ever since then I have been a changed man.

    I have at times doubted my salvation but since then I have always known God, the doubt has only been a manifestation of guilt over sin which is good it causes one to beg forgiveness again.

    I know that God sent his one and only Son into the world to die for my sins and rise again, becoming my Savior and Lord. He has freed me and I can tell you for certain the joy this has caused me is indescribable and the effect it has had on me is universal.

    I hope this has helped you! I don't believe I've ever actually shared my story before at least not in its entirety!

  15. After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, all 12 disciples were told
    by various officials:
     
    Shut up about Jesus.  Otherwise we will kill you, too.

    Not one of the 12 took that advice.  They all went to their
    deaths — often horrible deaths — proclaiming the divinity of Christ. 
    John, the last of the original 12 disciples, was exiled to the island of Patmos.
    He died there after writing The Book of Revelation.
     
    Clearly, Jesus rose from the dead.  Hundreds of his followers witnessed the risen Christ with their own eyes
     
    From the resurrection onward, the disciples never waivered or retreated — even
    when they were threatened, imprisoned, tortured, and killed.
     
    And that's why I am a Christian.

     

    1.  Andrew                                                     Crucified on an X-shaped cross

    2.  Bartholomew or Nathanael                 Flayed alive with knives

    3.  James the elder                                      First apostle martyred

    4.  James the lesser                                     Sawn in pieces

    5.  John                                                          Died on the isle of Patmos

    6.  Matthias                                                   Crucified at Colchis

    7.  Jude or Thaddeus                                   Killed with arrows

    8.  Matthew or Levi                                     Martyred in Ethiopia

    9.  Peter                                                          Crucified upside-down on a cross

    10.  Philip                                                       Died by hanging

    11.  Simon the Zealot                                    Died a martyrs death

    12.  Thomas                                                    Killed with a spear

     

  16. Many people don't have hope for a better future because of the world we live in. War World 2 was massive and it killed so many people (Est. 80 million from Wikipedia), so when people look at that, then look at the Bible, they cringe. They have good reason to- they really do.

    Racism is everywhere. Children are starving and dying. People are taking their own lives. Immorality is being glamorized. I could go on and on, I seriously could, but I think we already know this list doesn't end.

    The Bible predicted that quite accurately, and when I read the Bible, it just seems so obvious to me that everything I'm reading is true. I'm not brainwashed nor am I delusional, everything I say is of my own free will, just like everything I believe in is of my own free will. My parents didn't force me to read the Bible, they advised me to, and because I respected them, I listened and found that I believed every single word. The Bible cannot be understood word by word, or sentence by sentence – but there are just things that only people with common sense and logical understanding will interpret properly. If it proves fruitful, then it is true. I know in my heart that God exists, and there's no strange reason for my faith in him.



  17. Many people hear the Lord’s calling and in one instant are changed forever.

    But for me, it was a much more gradual process.

    I have been around Christianity my whole life— my parents are believers and a couple of my uncles are pastors.

    Growing up, my parents would take me to Church every Sunday and each summer we would visit our relatives and go to a week-long “Vacation Bible School” with games and lessons about Christianity.

    Yet, even though I grew up around all of this, I never fully took it to be my own for a long time.

    As a young kid, I was more concerned with having fun than learning.

    And as I got to my mid teenage years, I said I believed in God yet I knew I wasn’t fully telling the truth because my actions didn’t line up with my words.

    I remember many Sunday mornings when I would hear my parents footsteps coming up the steps at 9:00 a.m. to see if I was going to Church for 10:00 a.m.

    My dad would peak open my door to see if I was awake and even though I was fully awake, I would close my eyes and lay still, pretending to be asleep.

    Some days, I stayed in bed for an entire hour pretending to be asleep until I heard their car doors close.

    And when they did get me to Church, often times I would be hungover from drinking the night before with friends.

    One particular morning, I remember sitting in Church with my head pounding listening to our pastor speak.

    I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to have the same wisdom and peace he had but I didn’t want to give up all the fun things in life (partying and girls) to get it.

    After this service, there were a series of events over the next couple years that all slowly started changing me.

    • First, hearing my uncle’s story of how he became a Christian.

    I looked up greatly to both my uncle and his son, my older cousin. They have always been physically strong men but they were also very smart and grounded. They were what I thought of as “real men” and naturally, I wanted to be more like them.

    My uncle was the pastor of the church in Texas that we went to for Vacation Bible School. During my last summer there, he told everyone the story of how he became a Christian.

    A defining point in his story was when he was working on an oil rig as a young man. This oil rig was surrounded by nothing but water and on this particular day he was standing on one of the highest points of the rig overlooking the sunset.

    As he watched the sunset over the water, he became overwhelmed with a feeling that there just had to be something greater out there that designed this beautiful scene. It couldn’t be by chance.

    Hearing him talk about the emotions he felt made me want to feel this same powerful feeling.

    • Second, my junior year of high-school, a young couple came to our school to give a talk in front of the whole school.

    The talk was about chastity and it’s importance in real love.

    At first, we all thought this was lame. But as the two of them kept talking about how meaningful waiting for each other sexually was and how it’s impacted their marriage, I couldn’t help but feel that they were telling the truth.

    Many of my other friends made fun of them, but I felt deep down that they were right.

    The days and weeks following this talk, my initial emotion towards the subject slowly faded and I returned back to the same way I was living before, but something deep down had been planted in my heart and I knew it.

    Since then, I’ve never been able to look at relationships the same. I now see a clear distinction between merely physical attraction and real love.

    • Third, a direct experience from the Lord my freshman year of college left an impact on me forever.

    During freshman year, I was reading a book called The Prayer of Jabez. This book talked about a powerful way to pray where you ask the Lord to give you chances to talk about your faith to other people. The book said that if you accepted these opportunities, God would speak through you.

    I wasn’t sure if it was all nonsense but I prayed the prayer every day for a couple weeks.

    Not much happened until one night in my dorm room.

    My roommate, John, and I are were casually talking about the day as we got ready for bed. I can’t remember exactly how it happened but the conversation somehow ended up on God and whether or not we believed in all that stuff.

    John and I had never talked about anything like this before, but before I even knew what was happening, I felt myself telling him how I did believe and all the reasons why.

    As I was speaking, I remembered the book and the prayer! At that same moment, I became overwhelmed with emotion, realizing that this was the moment the book was describing!

    I somehow was able to finish the conversation with a straight face but when I got into bed, I broke down in tears of joy.

    God had just spoken through me.


    The combination of these three events, and others, all came together to slowly change me.

    I started getting bored with the way my friends were living their lives and wanted more for my life than partying and superficial gossip about other people.

    Over time, I continued to seek out people and ways to learn more about Christianity and God. The more I learned, the more I became fascinated with it.

    I felt my heart changing and my actions as well. At some point along this journey, I accepted Christ as my savior and gave my life to the Lord.

    Now, my ultimate goal in life is to live in a way that honors the Lord and leads other people to Him.

    This drives me to continually improve myself in every way possible and to gain all the wisdom I can.

    I’m by no means a perfect person and I still sin all the time. But my heart and mind have been changed forever.

  18. If someone thinks that being Christian is dependent on your will or your choice, you're completely wrong.
    It may sound paradoxically but way to Christian faith starts from disbelief. Ask other Christians, the  majority started as anti-Christians. They were atheists, liberals, followers of other teachings or faiths, alcoholics, criminals, drug-addicted, prostitutes, gays and lesbians, etc.
    If other teachings tell you what you have to do to earn your pass to heaven, Christianity does it vice versa.
    God Himself stepped down to save not good but fallen people.
    God tells words not to your ear but your soul.
    God is Heavenly Father who loves His kids despite our behaviour, acts and relations with Him.
    God is love that He even brought His only begotten Son as sacrifice for all our sins.
    Have you ever  discovered or heard that other gods were willing to die for people? I doubt.
    Christ took the fall for all of us and instead of us, He drank the full cup of bitterness for being betrayed,  arrested, falsely accused, terribly beaten and executed. Christ's brutal and shameful death on the cross healed our wounds, covered our shame. His precious blood washed away our sins.
    This is amazing grace that set us free from burden of Law of sin and death.
    People complaints about hard life, bad luck, deceases that seem not cured, loss of meaning of life, dissatisfaction and disappointment, the void in the heart, exhausted soul etc.
    Jesus said
    28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    U29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
    Matt 11:28-30
    Christ is the only way to take off your burdens, to forgive your sins, to lead you to the Kingdom of Heaven.
    The starting point is your willingness to be reconciled to God through your repentance, belief that Jesus Christ is Lord God and Saviour, his death on the cross defeated satan,  set you free from curse of God's wrath and took away your iniquity.
    Christ is Healer who came not to healthy but sick.
      

  19. I am a Christian because I have researched theological arguments for other religions, as well as arguments for atheism. I've read books and essays and articles. After everything, Christianity has proven to be the most logical in my eyes. I also grew up in a Christian home, which got me started, but I began to doubt, and that's what launched my research.

    But the logical aspect of Christianity isn't the only thing that gets me. It's the emotional aspect of God's love. I still have a ways to go in this area, but I truly want to please God because I know that it will be reciprocated. I feel His love around me each day. He has never failed me. Even when I wandered away, He waited for me.

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