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8/11/2004


Why I am a Christian

You know what? I had an entire entry ready talking about how I became a Christian and it totally missed the point about why I am a Christian. It was a long one too. Maybe I’ll keep it for later.

This post is not about why you should be a Christian, although I believe you should trust Jesus as your personal savior. It’s not about making theological points to debate on, although I am sure it’s going to happen. This is about why I decided to become a follower of the triune God.

Many people would claim that I only acted on what I was taught as a kid since I was brought up in a Christian home. I would agree on that point to a certain extent. Being brought up in a Christian home removed any stigma or fear I believe someone non-believing would have towards Christianity. But being brought up in a Christian home did not make me a Christian. Nor did it make me want to become one.

When I was a kid, Sunday was never a good day in my book. I hated Sundays. Sunday meant no playing with friends, sitting in an overly hot (summer and winter) uncomfortable service where the preacher rarely spoke to my heart. It meant forced afternoon napping, boredom and a constant reminder that tomorrow was Monday, a school day. Nevertheless, I did learn what it was to be a Christian while I attended that Church. I learned of Christ’s death and resurrection, his miracles, creation, the fall of man, and our redemption. I also learned that the Bible was riddled with errors. Mom and Dad taught me that. Even at 13, it didn’t take that much of a leap for me to understand that my faith was built on something less than fact. Why would I want to be Christian if it meant abject boredom and belief in something based on feeling and not fact? My parent’s and friend’s inevitable disappointment in me kept me from denouncing God’s existence. So instead I held fast, said my prayers, went to church and memorized my Bible verses for Sunday School. I had hoped that one day someone would be able to answer my questions. For example: Why do we follow the Bible as God’s inspired word if there are errors in it? The best answer I could get is “You’ve got to have faith.”

When I turned 13 we visited a large church called Sunshine Community where Pastor Lew Vandermeer was preaching. It was at this church that I realized that the stuffy blahzay church that I belonged to was a “dead” church in my opinion. It fostered boredom and contempt for the Lord’s Day. I walked into Sunshine and immediately I could tell that many of the people there actually wanted to be there. They loved hearing the Word, singing songs with all their heart to God the creator, and stuck around after the service to talk to one another. The preaching given by Pastor Lew was dynamic and articulate. He made his service interactive by moving around the podium, looking directly at the audience, and asking questions which he would expect an answer for. He made the word of God come alive. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be? I was actually interested in coming to church now. It dawned on me that although I had many questions about God that needed to be answered, I saw too many people’s lives changed to discount his presence. I became convinced of God’s existence while attending Sunshine.

Sometime during the spring of 1988 I came to the conclusion that I was holding out on accepting Christ as my personal savior. I remember lying down on my bed struggling with the thought that I needed to be willing to give my life in its entirety over to God. I had to accept his will over my life and not my own. I did not want to do that. At first I resisted the call, because I didn’t want to stop swearing, lusting, listening to certain music, messing around with my girlfriends, etc, because I found that those sins were pretty dang fun. And yes, I did recognize them as sin. But I wasn’t about to give them up without a fight. It was then that the Holy Spirit reminded me of the ultimate sacrifice that Christ had made for me, and it made these “hold-outs” of mine seem like small sacrifices in comparison. It was on that point he won me over. I was acting quite selfishly and I knew it from the very start. That night I said my prayers, asked God into my heart and yielded to his will. I became born again and later that summer made a public profession of my faith.

I was not delusional that day. I know that many of the sins I had difficulty with then are still present today. The difference is how willing I was to let God change me towards his image. Before that prayer I was unwilling, afterward I wanted him to change me forever. He’s still working on me.

People are brought to Christ in many different ways. This is the way he brought me to him. I had to accept him with a child-like faith before he revealed to me that my faith is based on fact. It was five years ago that he began directing my life in such a way that many of the questions I had as a child and young adult were finally being answered.

He brought us to a Bible Church whose Pastor had a firm grasp of the Bible, it’s history, and it’s translations. Pastor Rich is a Man of God that God used to convict me of my sin again and again till it hurt. And he didn’t let up. God directed me to the Christian Research Institute, a Para-church organization that helps answer questions of faith, including the question of an errant Bible. Imagine my surprise when I found that it was inerrant (without error). I heard that for the first time 5 years ago. Why hadn’t anyone defended God’s word while I was growing up? I’ll never understand that. The information I found today existed 30 years ago. There is no excuse for parents to not know the answers to both easy and difficult questions. It is okay to say you don’t know the answer. But don’t stop there. Find out and get the info. It will go a long way in helping your kids. I wish I could write a book about all the answers and all the studying I’ve done over the last five years. Maybe someday, with some prodding from my heavenly Father, I will. For now, I will share some links to resources that helped mold who I am today. No longer is my faith reliant just upon the heart, it is routed in historical fact. It should have been that way from the beginning. These resources have worked to solidify my relationship with Christ and the reality of his existence so solidly that he is as real to me as the skin on my bones.

The Bible
The Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff
RZIM - Ravi Zacharias
CARM - Christian Apologetics & Research Institute

posted by: Brian Scott


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