For Global Diversity Week (that I didn’t know existed until about a month ago), my school decided to focus on the religion. So as you do, I volunteered to help out despite my hate of public speaking because my faith’s more important than stage fright!
The topic chosen by Christian Union was ‘Why Christianity?‘, a very valid question. One way you could look at it is why not just be an atheist, forget God. Or you could take the why Christianity and not Judaism or Islam which are very similar. Hell, why not just be a satanist? But whichever angle is taken, I’ve always found it an impossible question to answer that hasn’t prevented it being the most common question I face.
I was raised a Christian, I know more about it than I do about any other religion. I know the basic ideals of the other main religions, but not enough to ever persuade me to convert. So I’m very biased, and that bias has been ingrained in me literally since birth. Most of my family are Christians so of course that would influence my answer. So in a sense, my family answered the ‘why Christianity?‘ question for me, a very long time ago. But that’s 1 – not a satisfactory answer to non-Christians, and 2 – not the whole story.
Despite being raised in a Christian family, there was never pressure to be open and outgoing about your faith. So lots of cousins have turned agnostic or atheist, I on the other hand, am a bit of a Jesus freak. In the last four years, thanks to various people and events, I’ve become far more personally involved in my faith. Somewhere along the line, I made the choice that this – believing in Jesus & God and all that entails – was a fundamental part of my character.
But I never really thought about why I made this choice, until this week. Family issues were initially a deciding factor, I went through the whole ‘screw God, he’s never there when I need him and never answers my prayers‘ phase because of said issues. That didn’t work out, it was only a couple months before I reverted back to my old ways. I was then lucky to become friends with two lovely ladies – who know who they are – one of whom forced, begged and bribed me to get me to Christian Union. And I got a sense of fulfilment there, with my friends that I didn’t really get anywhere else. For me, that’s what made the difference. Being there felt right, it felt like home. I didn’t know or appreciate it at the time, but when I moved schools and it was gone I felt significantly different.
So for me, the answer to ‘why Christianity?‘ is simple. It feels like home, it feels safe and loving. I feel safe enough to make mistakes, it’s a trial and error gig. And the bible proves to me that God accepts people for what’s in their hearts not what’s in their past. It’s the family and home I’ve never had, yet simultaneously always have. There’s a serenity I get from knowing that I always have God behind me, and that he’ll always love me, even when I’ve royally screwed up and even Mother Teresa herself couldn’t forgive me.
Of course, this isn’t enough for a lot of people. Some people need facts, which I think a theologian would be better equipped to answer, others need a sign from God to bring them to him. I honestly can’t help those people, as much as I’d love to, especially with so fickle an answer to why I’m a Christian. But for me it’s one of those, when you know, you’ll know things. Not very helpful, I know!
I won’t claim that I know it all and am 100% confident that the God I pray to is out there somewhere. I believe he is, 99.8% of the time, but I’ll always wonder if actually Buddhists have the right end of the stick and I’m wasting my time as well as ignoring a lot of Gods who want my attention. Maybe there is no God, maybe it’s all a big con, who knows. I just have a feeling that I can’t describe, that tells me he’s here, with me and that’s all I need.