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.
Despite my strong background in Christianity, new ideas will always present a challenge to long-held beliefs. In college and the military, I was presented with views so different from my own that I called my beliefs into question. While presenting a somewhat convincing façade to the world, I struggled to maintain any sort of belief system and I floated for years. It was only after having my own children that I realized my double-mindedness. I knew that if I did not tear apart my preconceptions and hammer out my thinking, then I would be a terrible father and my sons would not have any sort of direction for their own life. So I began digging through the arguments against Christianity and even for other religions. I do not claim any special knowledge of philosophy, science or global religions but I read an enormous amount of material and thought through enough of the issues to realize that there is no ground that is more solid than the ground on which I stood. I realized that my faith was baseless and that when sought, truth will win out in the end.
I am a Christian because I know that the bible is correct. I know the truth in the bible externally (history, science and reason) and I know it internally (the effects on my psychology, my way of life). When it says that I am fallen and that Jesus’ resurrection has put me into a right standing with God then I know it is true both internally and externally. I am a Christian because it is the only cohesive worldview that makes sense of everything. I am a Christian because Christianity is all there is.
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