Why I am a Christian

April 3, 2010


Some people who know me through the church setting would probably say “Of course he’s a Christian because he goes to church and got involved with activities”. Other group of people might not know much about my “church life” and don’t care about it either way. But as I was reflecting on easter weekend, I decided to share a bit of why I am a Christian.

I want to start off by saying, my claim of being a Christian doesn’t stem from being righteous – far from it. The claim of following Christ comes from realizing how much debt I had to repay and they are all wiped clean by none other than the complete work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

There has been countless of books written to explain and to argue for and against the whole religion of Christianity. Even though having fundamental understanding of Christianity is important and it’s part of my journey, I’m not going to address it too much on academic level. I’ll leave that to people who are smarter than I am.

Background

Coming from the largest Muslim country in the world in population and having been exposed to many different faiths when I grew up, I have my shares of struggle in finding out what I would pick to believe. Not until later, I found out that it wasn’t me doing the picking. God has been pursuing me, and when I finally came to my senses, I responded. I believe God is doing the pursue on everyone, not because we deserve it, or because He needs us. But because of His nature of love, He can’t help it but to do that.

Two things I learned from my background:

1.  Being born in a certain culture, family or country may predispose you to certain beliefs, but ultimately you have a choice to assess the claim of each religion and make your own decision.

2. Many people think all religions are fundamentally the same, and superficially different, but being exposed to many major world religions, they are in fact superficially the same (golden rules, be respectful, etc), but fundamentally different. Christianity isn’t the only religion that claims exclusivity. All religions have it’s own exclusive claim. Even Baha’ism, which is supposed to include all religion, is excluding the exclusivists. Since they are all claiming different things, it is more logical to say all religions are wrong than to say all religions are right.

World View

I believe everyone is on a journey. Along the way, the journey shapes the way way they view the world, life, God and other people. That in turn shapes the decisions they make to determine their course of destiny. I found that Christianity offers the most compelling and coherent world view. It is unique in its ability to answer all of  the following 4 questions: origin, meaning, morality and destiny.

Empty Tomb

The teachings of Jesus Christ was admittedly inspiring, fresh, and delivered with authority, even by His contemporary. His opponents thought they could nullify all that by killing Him. That would work if he stayed dead. Instead, His teaching was verified by coming back to life.

It’s amazing how some people just dismissed this historical event without looking and understanding the cultural context.

1. No, the body wasn’t stolen by His disciples. As I recalled it, all but 1 disciple fled to save their own lives.That fact, coupled with the Roman soldiers, which were known for their brutality and their toughness, guarding the highly controversial tomb with their own lives, it is highly improbable to have this scenario taken place.

2. No, the body wasn’t stolen by His opponents. Why would they? They are trying to disproof Him not to proof. If they did it, why didn’t they just produce the dead body to settle the controversy.

3. Yes, it was Jesus who was on the cross and died. The Romans and the people who wanted him dead made sure of it.

And many other other facts and cultural context point to the only possible scenario, which was the prediction He had foretold Himself, indeed actually happened. He was dead and raised.

Personal Encounter

Unless God met me where I was, all those facts were just knowledge. Something to be told and discussed. The God, which story was told in the Bible and did all those miracles are the same God who answered my prayers, no matter how small or personal they are. The God who revealed Himself to 500 people after He was resurrected was  the same God who thought enough about me to call me into His kingdom. There’s no other respond I could give except to bend my knees and accept the embrace of a loving God.

I just want to conclude with 2 thoughts:

1. Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people alive.

2. People who are alive because of it will do good with the motivation of bringing people alive.

Happy Easter

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One Response to “Why I am a Christian”

  1. Bethany Says:

    Good thoughts, Latif. Especially like the 2 concluding thoughts.


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