I call myself a Christian because I want to live my life close to Jesus Christ. I would love nothing more than to know that this blog helps you to live your life closer to him as well. But I understand that the name “Jesus Christ” may make you want to scream and run the other direction. Or you may feel that you would have to “check your brain at the door” before you could call yourself a Christian. CS Lewis said, “I am not asking anyone to accept Christianity if his best reasoning tells him that the weight of evidence is against it. That is not the point at which Faith comes in.” I completely agree.
The Apostle Paul didn’t instruct us “to be transformed by the removal of your mind”,* but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. (Rom. 12:2) I believe that the weight of evidence is for Christianity and that Faith transformed me when God renewed my mind. I know that God loves you and wants to transform you, but you have to want to be transformed. I can pray for your transformation, but ultimately, God is the one responsible for drawing you to Him (John 6:44).
And when He does draw you, will you call Jesus your “Lord and Savior”? Your “Ruler and Redeemer”? Or is that all “Christianese”? How about “Leader and Forgiver”? Maybe that’s better, but it brings up another point. What do I need to be forgiven of? I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m a good person. That’s where I was almost 21 years ago.
You could say that the world’s largest religion is called “Good-personism”.* Just make sure that, at the end of your life, your “good” outweighs your “bad”. Sounds simple enough. But how do you know when you’ve done enough? How much is enough? And what if you’ve done something really horrible? How much good do you have to do to make up for that? And what if your definition of “really horrible” is vastly different from my definition of “really horrible”? Maybe there’s a better way. Maybe that way is called “Christianity”.
Christianity is the only religion where:*
1) Everyone is welcome
2) Everyone gets in the exact same way
3) Everyone can meet the requirement
So, how do you get in? You turn to Jesus. That’s it. Sounds simple, right? Well, if you’ve never done it, it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Why? We don’t want anyone telling us what to do. Especially not in America. We have our rights, after all. We should be able to do what we want. We’ve got to look out for #1. So, why would we, in our right minds, give control of our lives over to someone else? We’ve got to be pretty darn sure that whoever we give control over to has our best interests in mind.
I can tell you, from my own personal experience, that Jesus does have our best interests in mind. But that’s something you need to experience for yourself. And consider this. Most people who reject Christianity still say that Jesus was a good teacher, a good moral leader. But consider what he said about himself.
Here’s a link to the Book of John in BibleGateway.com. Jesus makes some pretty outlandish statements about himself: “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9); “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:11); “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” (John 17:21). Good teachers and good moral leaders don’t walk around claiming to be God, but Jesus did.
Jesus doesn’t give us the option to say that he’s a good, moral teacher. Either he’s a liar or a lunatic or he’s the Lord.* Those are our only options.
Here’s what Bono had to say about Jesus in an interview posted on Glenn Beck’s website on 3-31-15:
“It’s a defining question for Christian. Who was Christ? I don’t think you’re let off easily by saying he was a great thinker or great philosopher. Because, actually, he went around saying he was the Messiah. That’s why he was crucified. He was crucified because he said he was the Son of God. So, he either, in my view, was the Son of God or he was nuts. Forget rock-and-roll messianic complexes. I mean Charlie Manson-type delirium. And I find it hard to accept that all the millions and millions of lives, half the Earth, for 2,000 years have been touched, have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter. I don’t believe it.”
Check out the 3 minute interview by clicking here.
But, really, here’s the bigger question to ask yourself:
If I became a Christian today, what would happen tomorrow? What would the consequences be? How would my life have to change if I were to believe this?
So, we come back to the fact that we have to want to turn to Jesus. And that’s what is so hard. Humility is brutal. Saying “no” to ourselves and “yes” to something better feels excruciating in the moment. Do you know where the word “excruciating” came from? That word was created to describe the act of being crucified. That’s what was done for us. We have turned away from God, but Jesus died to pay for all of our “turning away“.
“All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”
What will you do with Jesus?
Here’s what I decided to do with Jesus: A Forgiven Atheist?
If you’d like to chat more, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.