Why Are You a Christian (Originally published March 13, 2013)
“Why are you a Christian? Do we ever stop to really think about why we profess to be a Christian? On the surface, the answer seems to be self-explanatory. Upon deeper reflection, I think you’d be surprised as to why you or anyone else “really” claims that title.
Some claim to be a Christian because it’s what we do. Our nation, started on Christian principles as some would say, has claimed Christianity almost like a national religion. Sure, other religious practices abound in America, but they are drastically outnumbered. Christianity, in all its denominational forms, is practiced by most of us claiming a religious belief. (I’ll go ahead and say right here that denominationalism is, in fact, not really Christianity at all but man’s feeble attempt to mold God’s law to his desires. The church of Christ is the church of Christ and it will always and forever belong to Him.)
Some claim to be a Christian to be a part of the “in” crowd. In many areas, one can plug themselves into the community by who they know and associate with at church. It’s all about what they can get out of the relationship. Networking at its finest.
Others call themselves a Christian because it’s what they’ve always done. They were raised in the church, they were baptized, and now they just go with the flow because of its comfort level. They have never stopped to ask why they believe what they believe.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:25-30 that we cannot be divided among different loyalties. We cannot choose which part of God or Christianity we like as if we’re dealing with some spiritual buffet. Verse 30 reminds us that we’re either “all in” or “all out.” Our choice is not just to become a Christian and have our sins forgiven and that is the end of our commitment. Our only choice is to follow God completely! If there is not a complete commitment, isn’t it true that we are just “playing” Christian? Christ scolds the church of Laodicea in chapter 3 of Revelation for this very thing… halfheartedness. They showed a zeal for Christ when it met their needs and stayed quiet and complacent the rest of the time. In fact, Christ even says He would rather us pick a side. There is no in between.
Well? Why are you a Christian? If serving God and others is not at the top of your list of reasons, you might want to rethink your commitment. And don’t forget that the choice we make has very real eternal consequences.”
I still enjoy the simplicity of this post because I think it sums up what is at the very core of religious belief or belief in anything for that matter. We should be willing to ask the “Why” for what we do, whether it be our religious beliefs, our marriages, or even our chosen careers. Motivation has always been an important factor for mankind and helps decide how dedicated we’ll be to any given endeavor. There is no place where this is more important than our Christian beliefs.
Since this was written, I still stand by the assertion that our reasons for following God really matter. Multiple times throughout God’s word we are reminded of where our heart should be when living a Christian life. God can read the genuineness of our heart, so if we have ulterior motives for serving him, we’re really fooling no one but ourselves. I also still stand by the fact that, in Christ’s eyes, there is but one church and that he is Lord over it. Man’s propensity for creating false religions or other comfortable forms of Christianity that make it easy to live life with a watered-down faith really reveals our ability to serve ourselves rather than living in full submission to a sovereign God.
In the end, we need to ask ourselves the question that I posited when I first wrote this post, being “Why are you a Christian?” To me, the only correct answer is to wholly follow and serve a God that has done everything for me.