I'm just interested in the answer to this question. Sometimes I think we become so defensive about what we believe (I've been following some particularly nasty threads this evening) that we stop asking questions, close our minds, and forget the big picture.
Belief and faith are a part of my life and a part of who I am first of all because I was lucky enough to know and see true believers, and what Christ means to their lives. And because of the lives they led, and who they were, and the depth of their wisdom and understanding, hope and love, I wanted to know more. As I have walked through my Christian life, I have stumbled, fallen, and tried again. And through that process of falling, yet asking for and receiving a mercy and forgiveness beyone words- have personally found my Savior.
But if I had not been fortunate enough to have those examples in my life, I'm not sure that I would be a Christian today. I'm afraid that there are fewer and fewer genuine Christians who can be that example for others. It seems like the quiet, wise and faithful Christians have been replaced by a lot of loud, rude,and many times, arrogant - believers.? Maybe it's just a reflection of our society, but I'm fearful we have fewer and fewer people who get the opportunity to see what true Christianity is all about when it is a real and living part of a person. I certainly have not lived up to the example I saw, but I will never give up trying because I know what it can mean to another's life. I know why I'm a Christian.
But this is only part of the story...
Yes this is what a christian should be.
This is what everyone "CAN BE" regardless of which denomination of religion they belong to.
Each kind of religion describes their God differently than every other branch.
I wonder? A tree has branches growing in justabout EVERY direction. This is necessary for balance.
Its roots also reach out in every direction. This keeps the tree upright regardless of which way the strong wing blows from.
Isn't faith in our higher power described like a great tree.
Are the branches on the left side of the tree any closer to the heavens than those on the other side of the tree?
Well that is kinda what I'm thinking.
I think it is healthy to ask questions, because i think some people believe because they are told to believe. I am a Christian because I do not believe any religion can truly tell you how to feel God in your life. I feel that religion is somewhat of a guide until you can truly think for yourself. I am a Christian because i believe in our God the Father Almighty. And that he sent his very own Son, Jesus as a sacrafice for our sins.
Healthy to question what? Believers don't want any questions answered, nor do they want to discuss proof or evidence.
Let me ask..... Are you familiar with Lawrence Krauss's work?
Would you or any other believer care to debate his take on where we came from?
Not a single related discussion from a religionist in the last 3 years of this group of forum topics.
Why do you think that is?
You don't think it is healthy to ask any questions or answer any belief that are formed without a flying fairy is where the truth is.
No question about it a thought provoking question-Why am I a Christian?
I suspect their are a number of reasons I could claim why I'm a Christian based on evidence or facts however I'm not going to go that route.
I have looked at man's idea of what is a successful life and it entails riches, pride etc. however beyond that there is nothing. Example: let's say people manage to reach the top of the pinnacle that we call success-all the money they will ever need, all of the popularity they will ever have but Now What? They will die as we all do but this fleeting moment of wealth has no lasting value.
Success as I see it from the standpoint of a Christian is the ability to touch another's heart. Two people can be living on the street despond with virtually no income however one of them has a can of beans and they share that can be between them a bond has been created much stronger I would say than those of a wealthy person.
God does not focus on the material things in life like mankind does his teachings focuses on embracing and accepting that which society rejects, the poor, the despond, the needy. Being a Christian isn't something you do it is who you are.
That's a very thoughtful way to put it. I think you went straight to the heart of what it should mean to be a Christian.
Yes - straight to the empty place in a christian - the heart.
Thank you grinnin1. Perhaps one day all the reaching for that brass ring will disappear and you'll find the real gold are those who share in the idea of better relationships. Thanks again.
So no answers needed then?
Just here to flog your beliefs?
My faith that is based on a 'truth' that has been acknowledged as being accurate by my heart... and it would be impossible to deny it even if I wanted to.
First I decided that if there wasn't a reason behind this life then there was no point to it. I read up on various "religions" and decided that I didn't want to follow a man, I wanted to follow God. Christianity spelled out to me the purpose of my life and what to expect after it is over. It finally just started making sense. After taking that leap of faith and deciding that I would accept God's gift, then things started making even more sense.
I am a Christian because I have seen with my own eyes the difference that following Jesus has made in my life.
Why I'm a Christian? Well the ultimate reason is that God called me out of my sin and corruption to follow Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
How did God accomplish that? He had me born into a Christian home where the gospel was not only taught, but practiced. By practice, I don't mean that my parents were stellar Christians. Though missionaries, they fell short in so many ways. I'll never forget the time my father publicly confessed to a drinking problem and asked others to help him. That's practicing the gospel. It's being honest and open with who one is and seeking forgiveness and cleansing from the Lord and those we know have been affected by our sin.
So I grew up with that. The question becomes, "why wouldn't I become a Christian?"
The notion that, in order to have intellectual integrity, one must have checked out every other belief and then chosen the best is really rather overbearing. Who can ever do that? And when do you know what you're finished? Actually it arrogantly sets the individual up to be the judge of all reality. Of course you can always keep searching, 'cause searching is invigorating and stimulating. It can also be an excuse for never settling down to live out your beliefs.
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
---C. S. Lewis
This is very accurate as to how I came to believe in God. Like Greek One, my mind has determined this to be the truth - because I have seen a bit of how nature and mankind work, I suppose. Not a great revelation, I'm sure, but its what caused me to want to learn more about God's nature.
Because I was raised Catholic and it helps me cope with life and depression and I feel special knowing there's a God who loves me.
I think it's an odd presumption for such an open minded person to lump all "believers" into one group. In fact, it's exactly what the Christian fundamentalists do who close their ears to anything and everything that sounds like it might be questioning their beliefs.
I don't think narrow mindedness is healthy in any context: whether it be atheist, Christian, Jewish, whatever.
To answer your question, I think that the reason no one has taken you up on your offer is because of the sort of aggresive way you come across. I don't want to get into an argument. I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe. I'm certain that you've been exposed to Christian belief and you have made a conscious decision not to believe. You will not change my mind, and I will not change yours. But the variable you cannot rule out is faith. Faith is an intregal part of Christianity and that is where we differ.
You have wrongly assumed that faith means belief without questioning, belief without doubt. That kind of faith does exist- I think it's called blind faith. But that isn't the faith I base my beliefs in. I do question, I have always had friends and family who questioned my beliefs, or were of different religious backgrounds. From Agnostics, Buddhists, Hindus ,Jews and Mormons. I have questioned, listened and learned what they believe. I have read. A lot. Not to prove them wrong and evangelize, but to make sure for myself that I am open to all religions and beliefs, yet I choose to be a Christian. Because faith doesn't narrow my interest in what others believe, it opens me up to it. What is faith if you are unable to see from different perspectives, or unable to question ideas about what you believe? If your faith can't stand up to questioning, what good is it? I have made an intellectual decision to believe what I do.
I would gladly read Lawrence Krauss's work. I'm not familiar with him. Are you famliar with Martin Luther's work? C.S Lewis? Ravi Zhacarias?I'm interested in who/what you have read about Christianity.
Yes I have read a lot of diverse material, as I have a business online that requires me to read, and I have an appetite for learning.
I cannot imagine how you could miss Krauss, he has been lecturing around the world for years and has many videos explaining science for which he has won an award for his capacity to explain the very complex end of the sciences.
I am an ex-christian who has made an extensive and ongoing search for truth over many years.
What you call aggression is what I call my straight to the matter honesty about the subject and what my arguments are.
To pretend that it is aggression because it debunks the bible bull is an old ploy and very dishonest in my view.
Faith in a stone aged mythical entity who killed all of mankind bar 8 because he lost his temper like a 2 year old and had a tantrum about his own work requires more than faith.
It requires an arrogance that is unmatched except by the indoctrination that causes this selective excluding megalomanic thinking.
I guess my term aggression wasn't accurate. Maybe just underlying anger. I see where you're coming from, because I have probably experienced some of the same hypocricy, arrogance and ignorance within the church and some Christian circles. I don't pretend to understand all of ancient Hebrew writing- who can accurately judge or understand fully from a 21st century mindset the fullness of God in the old testament and Torah. The who, what and why of the Hebrew "I am". ?But it is an amazing and strange amassing of writings, even from a non-Christian or non-Jewish point of view. And then with the New Testament emerges a new kind of thinking and a new relationship with this Old Testament God. Interesting, at the very least. And I have to disagree about the arrogance, indoctrination and megalomanic thinking comments. How is it that one person can judge another's beliefs and call them indoctrinated when he knows n othing of the persons journey to belief? How would that person presume to have the only objective belief and understanding. And if he did, wouldn't that person be the one who was arrogant and guilty of megalomanic thinking?
"You will not change my mind, and I will not change yours."
This may be true, but not for the reasons you think.
As a businessman for most of my life, I have been willing to change my mind constantly, and given proof, will do so in a heartbeat.
I'm not sure God has to prove anything to man. But I hope you find the proof for whatever it is you're looking for.
I am a Christian because Jehovah is the most kind, loving and caring God.
It is in the rough times we draw closer to each other and my love fot Him deepens.
I cannot imagine one monment without Jehovah in it
If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, "You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord." When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)
Lucky you chose the right religion innit?
I am not a christian because I believe in free will, real answers to real questions through reason and negotiation with my neighbour at all levels and because I totally reject the idea that anything that might resemble the christian god would require people to kneel down to it, encourage such vile bigotry and hate, or put its words in the mouths of such vile bigoted people.
? Sounds as if you have experienced some pretty bad people within Christian circles. Wondering why you believe Christians do not have free will and how the Christian God requires us to kneel down to it.
Wondering how you differentiate between people choosing to become servants of God and people being forced to kneel down before him? What is the criteria for determining a Christian who is acting on free will and choosing to serve God and a Christian who is a puppet of God being forced to serve Him? And how does someone create or decide on such a criteria? Who would be so free of bias and full of understanding God's mind that they would be objective enough to do so?
One of the main reasons that led me to believe in Jesus and His establishment of His Church is the saints' lives.
I've read how people throughout history in all countries, under different governments and diverse social status, from children to the aged experienced fear, doubt, anger, hopelessness, pain and persecution and overcame these by their lives' end and died in peace as witnessed by those who were not believers.
I did not have an answer for all the injustices I witnessed as human beings. I found in the lives of the saints how they saw Jesus reflected in their neighbor and could then tolerate and even die FOR them. I liked how these Christians remained in peace in the midst of adversity in the name of God. It was the only common thread.
This led me to accept God's existence and His participation in our lives. The Bible is the history of the relationship between God and His people as recorded by the Jews. If I wanted to establish a good relationship with God, Whom I didn't see, I needed to establish good relations with people I did see.
Why are you a Christian?
I am a Muslim and it is a part of my faith to believe in Jesus as a truthful Messenger Prophet of the Creator God and to love Jesus, Mary and the truthful companions of Jesus.
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