Archive for April, 2012

April 4, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Charlie

by Max Andrews

I was raised in a few different households. My mother was addicted to drugs and my father was running around on her. I was taken in by my father when my mom was deemed unfit to have custody of me. My stepmother was the woman my father had been seeing while he was married and saw me as a reminder of my mother, but played the part of caring mother to please my father.

I was beat, harassed, and ridiculed by my stepmother for the sole reason of not being her child. To her, I was a constant reminder of a burden that she had no intention to bear. I recall her taking me with her children to church on the “important days” of Easter and Christmas. She claimed she was a believer of God.

My grandmother, who had adopted my mother, got to see me every other weekend. I recall that she would take me to church whenever I was spending the weekend with her and worked hard to get me to see all that Christianity had to offer. She truly was a loving woman. When she was seven years old she was given 7 months to live and she lived to be 70, dying 7 days after being admitted to the hospital and 7 hours after I had last visited her. I did not see it then.

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April 4, 2012

So, You Need an Education to Understand the Bible? How Dare You Say Such a Thing

by Max Andrews

I recently shared a previous post of mine in which I discuss my response to the atheist objection that God is a moral monster on Facebook.  Referring to my comment that understanding the Levitical law requires an advanced knowledge of hermeneutics an agnostic/atheist responded:

Are you saying that a person can’t judge morality without some fancy education?

No, this is not what I’m saying at all.  My point is that you don’t learn the hermeneutical approach to understanding the laws and commands in the Old Testament in a first year hermeneutics class.  However, if one wants to have a deep knowledge of the material one does need an education on it.  This doesn’t mean you have to get a degree in it but you do need to be well read on hermeneutics.  Somehow Christians and non-Christians have a stigma suggesting that it’s offensive if a certain degree of knowledge is required to understand something.  How is this offensive? Surely, the Bible can be understood without a degree in theology or biblical studies but to understand it with depth you will have to read and learn.  We do we demand such simplicity?  If a cosmologist says that I need an advanced knowledge of relativity theory and quantum theory to understand the early models of our universe should I be offended? No. There are certain antecedent conditions that must be met in order to really understand something with meaningful depth.  It’s the process of learning and getting an education.

April 4, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Miles

by Max Andrews

I was not raised in a religious home (unless you count praying over dinner to be religious). I don’t recall having many, if any, conversations about religion with my parents when I was a child. I went to maybe two or three Catholic Masses with my grandparents (not of my own volition). I had no idea what was going on during these services. Moreover, I’ve never really had a “religious” experience, that I can recall except a minor one a few months ago.

I’ve believed in God as long as I could remember, although my definition and concept has not always been clear, consistent, or obvious to me. When I was younger I reeled at the concept of God, not quite understanding His nature fully (perhaps from some terrible definitions and explanations given by my parents and others). I also found myself dumbfounded at the possibility of the universe being infinite in volume (extending in each direction forever), and also the fact that I would cease to be (I was about 8 years old, for reference). So, I’ve always been curious and interested in deeper “philosophical” issues. My parents were not much help in consoling me over the latter concern of death.

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April 4, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Nick Peters

by Max Andrews

I grew up in a small town in Tennessee and went to church regularly with my parents. At the age of 11, I gave my life to Christ and my faith was always an integral part of my life. I was a unique child as at an early age I was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum having Asperger’s. This caused me however to have a difficult time socially and was usually to myself a lot of times. I would not even spend much time with my family as I wanted to avoid such situations.

When I was in High School, I started suffering from panic attacks and depression. That started me on a long quest to see what my life really meant. The one area of interest I really had when I graduated from High School was the Bible and I went to Bible College with that. Already, I had been doing online evangelism as the internet had been for me, like it has been for many on the spectrum, a way to improve my social skills.

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April 3, 2012

VT Debate–Response to the Atheist Objection that God is a Moral Monster

by Max Andrews

There were two main objections, which my atheist opponents defended during the VT debate on the existence of God.  One of the objections was from the problem of gratuitous evil, particularly natural evil, which I have already responded to here. The other objection raised during the debate was presented first after my opening statements. The argument was that because me and my debate partner were Christian theists the Christian God cannot exist because of the supposed atrocities in the Bible and other doctrines such as hell.

The argument began with the problem of predisposition. In other words, why you must approach your faith of choice with objectivity and skepticism and not confirmation bias.  However, in response, in order to identify and affirm the discovery of a truth one must not exhaust all possibilities.  Additionally, it works both ways.  If the criterion is applied fairly how can one deny the proposition, in this case, God exists, without examining all possibilities?  This criterion is untenable.  Also, to suggest that one is a Christian because of environment or spatiotemporal location is to commit the genetic fallacy.

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April 3, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Juan

by Max Andrews

I am a Christian because I didn’t choose God, rather He chose me.

I was 18 years old in college. After experiencing the human condition; the lack of love, care, charity and the abundance of pain and suffering in the world and in myself. I realized that although I had a very good life, I was loved and cared for, and suffered comparatively to others very little; my own struggles always took precedence over others and realized that even when I did something good it was often with selfish reasons (It felt good or I will be liked). I looked in the mirror attached to my combination dresser/desk of my small dorm and wondered, why are we the way we are? It was then that I realized that there was something intrinsically wrong with all of us.

In my search for answers; I engulfed myself in searching for that silver bullet that could explain this predicament. It wasn’t until my second year in college that I really started to get depressed over this seemingly unattainable goal; I saw no explanation in sight. Until one night as I cried on my mother’s lap and she asked me what was wrong. I asked her in the hopes that maybe she knew the answer but she didn’t.

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April 3, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Allison

by Max Andrews

Sometimes I think about how crazy it is that I believe in God. I mean really! Why do I believe in someone who claims to be an All-Powerful, Knowing, Loving, Creator of all, and Great in spite of all the unanswered questions in life and bad things that happen?  Why do I continue to cling so tightly to a particular way of life and faith that is most of the time so hard.  HAVING FAITH IN GOD IS HARD.  I have thought to myself,  “Man, it would probably be so much easier NOT to believe in God, not to hold on to these values that seem so difficult and impossible sometimes.  Plus, some people ‘without’ God seem to be doing alright”.

But that is a lie. And I honestly would never trade my faith in Jesus Christ for anything.  I don’t want to live one day without trust, hope and faith in Him.

My faith is my own.  It is very personal to me.  I believe some things others may not.  I believe things in the Bible not everyone does.  And I believe God is alive supernaturally in my heart, in my soul, and in life and creation itself.

God is not dead.  He is not non-existent.  He has miraculously and supernaturally made himself very real to ME in ways that I could never doubt His existence.

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April 3, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Kevin

by Max Andrews

I departed from Christianity as an act of rebellion from the cold religion that my parents raised me in. I was blinded, most likely by my ambitions, to the rich, colorful, robust Christianity that laid in wait for me.

I went to a secular State college and Jesus found me. Woke me up with reason and thoughtful reflection from the slumber my mind was in. It was by reason (and the Holy Spirit’s leading) that I became a Christian.

Why do I stay a Christian?

Experience, Reason, the Universe.

The first three, despite their short comings, tell of the Glory of the Lord. They tell of his love, mercy and Grace,

They tell, each in their own ways, of his existence in a way that denying his existence does not make sense. 

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April 3, 2012

You Are Not Alone (YANA): An Organization to Help the Hurting

by Max Andrews

One of my friends recently founded an organization that I believe is a powerful witness to the hope that we have within us for the hurting.  Here’s a little bit about the organization.

You Are Not Alone, or YANA, was founded in late March 2012 as a result of the eyes of two college students being opened to the reality of domestic abuse.  Charlie Evans and Austin Rahn found themselves in a heartfelt discussion about the friends and family they know who have dealt with abuse, and decided it was time someone did something about it.  Literally overnight, YANA was born.  The two immediately began to put together a Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube video, etc. in accordance with their slogan, “Speak Up, Speak Out, Speak Now.”  In less than two days the Facebook page had over 100 fans.   

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April 3, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Bryan

by Max Andrews

I hear about so many people who come from broken backgrounds.  Often their spiritual journey takes them into amazing locations and their conversion to Christianity results in more than a spiritual change, it creates something like an entire lifestyle and change of worldview as well.  My story does not take me to the far edge of the spiritual universe.

My home was a great one.  My father is the man I want to become and my mother is not only the most intelligent woman I know, but also the hardest working.  Both will drop everything to help a stranger so you can imagine what they do for their kids.  They are both solid Christians.  From the burned Honduran girl they housed and treated to the hitchhikers who have been given a new start to the children who they have bailed out of troubled times, my parents have ALWAYS lived far below their means because of their willingness to help others.  I want to be like my parents.  They have influenced my Christianity more than any single person but I am not a Christian because of them.

My church was a typical backwoods Baptist church.  Perhaps every stereotype would apply to some of the churches I have attended.  What stands out from these churches is a pastor who adopted me as a sort of son and whose own sons are still my best friends.  Their friendship has shaped my life more than any other friendships but I am not a Christian because of them. 

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