Why am I a Christian? Glad you asked (hee hee).
Here are the Nots:
Well it's not because I gave into pressure from the world around me to be a Christian. Christianity is NOT the default religion of the U.S. (though some may think so- "A Christian Nation" etc.) and I'm not following the pack.
It's not because I'm following the promise of health and or financial stability. I have found that God does NOT promise that in the Bible. There are people who promise that, but they are missing the point entirely. [In fact, the Bible promises that if you are a Christian- you will suffer more than the average person. You will go hungry, you will be sick, you will - more often than not- die earlier than others.]
It's not because I get comfort from snapping into a pre-defined moral system and having the hard part of personal moral establishment done for me. In fact- you have to pound out the words of Jesus and snap and break desires inside to even get close to really establishing a moral framework. Here-and-now morality is the lazy way to operate while sticking to a moral right even to and beyond the point of personal loss is the truly hard path to choose. It takes fortitude to stick to an absolute moral code- and it's critical to the working of the world.
Finally it's not because I want a 'life insurance policy' for the after life. I have found that the rewards of hanging out with Jesus is SO great now- that even with oblivion or hell at the end of life- I'd still be a Christian- a follower of Jesus. He is my Lord (ruler, leader, governor) and he is God.
Here are the Whys:
First let me start with a disclaimer. I know that intellectual
arguments alone will not convince anyone that Jesus is Lord and he is the ONLY way. The
Bible says that you can't convince anyone of this. If we could figure out God and
how he works and find Him ourselves- then we would be His superior in some way. He
would not be in charge of some part of the universe he created and continues to sustain
second by second by his active will (as opposed to the 'blind watchmaker' philosophy where
God made it all then went on to another project letting galaxies spin and dust motes dance
all by themselves). He even goes as far as to promise that His way (1 Corinthians
1:18-25) of running the universe will look stupid and ridiculous to everyone who tries to
figure it out. SO I did not come to Him through thought alone- it also took a
supernatural unveiling of the truth in me. It will take a supernatural unveiling of
truth in you as well.
If you think that I might be sane and might have a point in what I write below- then float a trial balloon. It can't hurt to ask in your mind (since God is suppose to hear what you think) to Him that he show you - internally - a glimpse of what is truth and what is lies in the world around you.
Ok, so here goes. I am a Christian because I know God. I know
Jesus. He is a friend and a companion to me. I read the Bible and it resonates in my guts
as truth. He speaks almost continually to me throughout the day guiding me, warning
me of danger and picking me up from the dumbness (commonly called sin) I choose to play
around with. He wakes me up in the morning (yes- I have not used an alarm clock in 4
years). He has healed me physically (my reflux esophagiitis (spelling) was healed
about 4 years ago) and had delivered me and freed me from gluttony (I weigh 180 instead of
220-240 and have 15% bodyfat instead of 40-45% bodyfat) ever since I got prayed for in a
house church (well, it took a year for the weight to come off- but it's staying off).
He helps me play my viola in bands and in church and on recordings- all by ear- often without me knowing the song at all. He gives me rest when I need it and a peace that sinks through even the worst times I live through.
I see him rescue hurt and broken people weekly and save them from all sorts of personal problems and dead end self destructive ways of life. I have seen Him alter the weather (a clear spot over my camp site in Alaska that lasted 8 hours while the rest of the state had clouds and rain - it was a SMALL clear spot right overhead). A bunch of kids, Scott Shideler and I prayed for a blind person and she got her sight back.
Though I don't understand all He does and all that is in the universe (who will!) but I always see perfection in the glimpses I have of Jesus's way of running things. I can't help complimenting Him (a weak way to say praise Him) on all that He is and all I see Him doing.
Jesus and the Father and His Spirit are/is God. The one and only God. Jesus via His Spirit (that unveiling is the Spirit's job) is the only path to God. Everything else I've tried (Buddhism, Hinduism, a slew of "New Age" type things, and different philosophies etc. etc. etc.) don't get to God because only through Jesus do you not have to work to get to God. God does not want us to work our way to Him (because we could boast and we'd have done something that puts us on His par rather than clearly below him as His creation). Everyone else (Mormons, Jews, some Catholics, some Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jehovah Witnesses, Bahai, Ekenkars, Scientologists etc.) is working to please God or earn salvation or clean themselves or keep in God's good favor somehow. That is opposite of how Jesus created us and the universe.
I know that stating an absolute like this is not cool today. I
know that saying anyone's religion is not IT is not cool today. But if I'm right-
then that HAS to be said! If I'm right then God will do the supernatural thing
needed for you to see it if you ask. If I'm wrong then you are talking to
yourself in your head- and if you don't make faces when you do it- then nobody has to know
He is real and He is God and He will come if you ask. (You can play with the logic if you like- if you are not to be called- why would you even consider asking Him? Why would you have read very far here through all these claims?).
Only God can reveal this stuff to you and save you- it has to be that way for the reasons I've stated above. Now I've tasted Him I've found He is the BEST way to live (the right power that runs life). Anything else is either a substitute or a numbing distraction.
In my newsletters of earlier (not yet online) I put down my testimony (how I came to
know Him) and I'll get posted back here eventually. I will probably also put down
common questions and the answers I have for them here in the future. Ask me any
questions you like (at firstname.lastname@example.org ).
The plan of salvation is written out (by somebody else) and copied on the next page