Why I’m a Christian: 12 Reasons

In 1927, the famed British philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote an essay entitled, “Why I Am Not a Christian.”

Russell’s essay inspired the title of this post.

By “Christian,” I mean someone who has trusted their life to Jesus Christ as Crucified Savior and Resurrected Lord and seeks to follow Him each day. (I’m keenly aware that the term “Christian” has been hijacked to mean different things, hence the need to define.)

Three things to keep in mind about this list:

1) This isn’t a list of theological reasons (e.g., God chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world and the Holy Spirit revealed Christ to my heart).

2) This isn’t a list of why I am indebted to Jesus (He owns me; He bought me with His blood; He died for my sins, etc.) Instead, they are intellectual/emotional/experiential reasons why I trust in and follow Jesus.

3) This isn’t an exhaustive list (I can certainly list more reasons), and it doesn’t reflect any particular order or priority.

At the end of the list, I have a question for readers who aren’t following Jesus at the present time. And I’m really looking forward to hearing what they have to say.

So share this post via Facebook and Twitter using the links/buttons below.

Why I’m a Christian . . .

1. Because life makes no sense to me apart from Christ. Nor does it have any purpose.

2. Because I’ve tried to not believe in Jesus, and I find that I cannot. (Perhaps this is why the early Christians were called “believers.” We believe for reasons that we cannot naturally explain. We believe because we believe. I have certainly struggled with various doubts along the way and questioned why God does and doesn’t do certain things, but that’s a different issue.)

3. Because I’ve never seen the Gospel narratives refuted successfully. Every critique that’s sought to debunk them throughout the years has been discounted under careful scrutiny and scholarship. The Gospels have stood the test of time.

4. Because I’ve never seen the resurrection of Jesus refuted successfully. Upon careful study of all the historical data, it actually takes more faith to deny His resurrection than to believe it occurred.

5. Because it makes no sense to me that Jesus of Nazareth isn’t who He said He was – the Messiah, the Son of the living God. No human being has had nearly the kind of effect on world history as Jesus has (e.g., I’m writing this post in 2012 – what does “2012” mean?). No serious historian denies that Jesus of Nazareth existed (there is more historical attestation for His existence than there is to Julius Caesar and many other ancient figures). And C.S. Lewis’ trilemma – Jesus is either a lunatic, a liar, or lord – rings true for me.

6. Because I can’t help but see the biblical narrative of Creation, Fall, and Redemption echoed in every play, every work of art, every human story, every drama, every movie, and the news I read each day. The Christian story is deeply embedded in the soundtrack of human history and art.

7. Because every time I meet a true follower of Jesus for the first time, I feel like I’ve known him or her all my life.

8. Because Jesus is the most compelling, intriguing, awe-inspiring, and amazing person I know of who is worthy of the greatest admiration, obedience, love, and (uniquely) worship. To my mind, truth, justice, and beauty are all grounded in Him, and His story (as told in the Gospels) trumps every other story known to humanity.

9. Because I’ve never seen any religion or philosophy deliver people from a life of carnality and bondage to addictions. In my experience and observation at least, Jesus transforms people’s lives greater than anything else on the face of the earth.

10. Because I have a deep and unshakeable belief that the Lord Jesus Christ is with me and taking care of me . . . and has all of my life. I cannot imagine life without Christ.

11. Because there is no rational explanation for some of the prayers that I (and others I know) have seen answered “in Jesus’ name.”

12. Because I don’t weep easily, but I readily cry whenever I detect the fingerprints of my Lord or behold His handiwork.

My question today is for my non-Christian readers, those who do not follow Jesus. (So I’m asking for my Christian readers to hold off on commenting until we hear from our non-Christian friends.)

What are the reasons why you haven’t trusted your life to Jesus?

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Comments

  1. Joe Jones says

    What I notice about all unbelievers is that they are not prepared to follow the truth where ever it may lead. That is why I particulary liked the authors statement where he had tried not to believe anymore but found he could not. I understand this, I had a time in my life where I was so disappointed and angry at things that had happened to me that I turned away from the Lord and decided I would be an atheist. However, as time went on I realised I was been basically dishonest, I knew he was still there for me, and I was just a wayward child, as indeed I still am. God is merciful and there is no sin that is greater than His love. Everyday we must pray for the those who are lost, and the more the more horrible they are or the things they say the more they need His grace. God bless you all.

  2. Charlie says

    Frank, this is fantastic. I came to this article at a time when I was doubting my faith quite considerably and you’ve really helped me with your words. I’ve taken time to read a lot of debate on your article above and still many of your arguments stand strong. Its perhaps true that some will not stand up to logical, philosophical or scientific debate but I think you’re very right in your consideration of faith and the relationship one has with Jesus as a deeply personal one. Thanks again, your site is fantastic! Charlie

  3. Tim says

    I am not a christian, I can easily rebuke all of these arguments. However, I stand by the fact that over the centuries religion has brought communities together, has helped in our growth as a species, and promotes moral action. All in all, christianity is a good thing. Just in the latest years, it is now slowing the progress of humans by not being flexible enough to include ideas such as evolution and the big bang theory, both of which are widely revered and accepted. Religion is preventing the youth and others from experiencing knowledge which can help grow the future. Science is the only way we understand the world, in other words, observation and our senses. Religion debates with the fact that we can’t not prove god doesn’t exist. It explains itself with the unexplainable, the supernatural, things that we cannot comprehend, which I, and many people deem to convenient. Religion has helped many societies grow over a period of time, but now, in the midst of this knowledge overload is holding us back. Religion (especially christianity) needs to be open, or it will be left in the dust of time.

    • Pat Coffey says

      Tim:
      Are you young and healthy?

      Do you identify yourself with a group of people that have been traditionally rejected by Christianity?

      Do you have anything in your life that you wish you could change?

      If your answers are all yes:

      Tim, you will need the Lord Jesus when you are very ill/injured or near death. (Statistics prove that you have a 100% chance of one or both of these occurrances)

      If you feel rejected by Christianity, join the rest of the world. We are all born with a nature contrary to the perfect will of God. Jesus Christ is your only remedy.

      To change anything that is troubling you, pray this simple prayer:
      I call upon the name of Jesus Christ to save me from ______ (i.e. fear, depression, loneliness, confusion, etc.).

      When you, personally, have something to report concerning Jesus Christ, please comment again.

  4. Michelle says

    1. Bad things happen in the world because God gives everyone free will.

    2. God doesn’t put anyone in Hell, people put themselves there by not believing in Him and His word

    3. If there wasn’t a God, how would two cells join to form a new human life?
    How would those cells know how to divide, form a heart and start to beat?
    How would the stars know how to line up perfectly?

    And don’t tell me all these things “just happened”

    • Jorge says

      Please do some more studying up on this idea of “free will” because His Word says that “those who sin are slaves to sin” John 8:34 this does not say we are free and even when Christ sets a person free from sin they become His servants.

      • Wahlen says

        Dear Jorge, the free will given to men caused men to be enslaved to sins. And by the same free will, we can accept Jesus in our hearts. Don’t also forget that Jesus came here on earth to serve. By accepting Jesus you become Child of God therefore co-heir of the Kingdom of God too.

  5. Spencer Brown says

    I was once a sincere Catholic, and now consider myself to be an atheist. Here’s why. Logically, it is the responsibility of the person who is asserting a thing’s existence to provide proof that the thing does indeed exist. Just because I can’t prove a negative(for the simple reason that I haven’t been everywhere and seen everything)doesn’t mean that you can leap to the conclusion of positively asserting that something exists. A big way I’ve seen believers try to provide proof is by mentioning subjective personal experience. If you experience something that tells you to live a certain way, then do it, but don’t try to use that as a reason that I should live that way.

  6. José Accioly says

    I’ve been a big fan of Bertrand Russell in his essay “why I am not a Christian” and of others saying “Religion is the opium of the people”. I could not believe, nor I believe nowadays in fabrications called Christian religions. Today I understand that despite all the evils introduced by religious greedy for power, they talk about Jesus Christ and this is good enough. The competence of the church is only this, to talk about Jesus Christ. Once you want to go further in the Christianity you have to go beyond the Churches, beyond religion, you have to look for the Holy Spirit that if you really wants, He will transform you in a new creature, teaching you objectively and with power. This learning process goes further endlessly and you will discover what really you becomes.

  7. Cat says

    I don’t think I can call myself a Christian yet.
    I wasn’t raised in a religious family, I’ve never even been to Church other than for weddings/funerals etc.
    I always believed in a ‘God’ but I didnt believe in Christianity. I’d seen it all debunked on some Zeitgiest show ages ago- how the Christian religion is basically a “copy” of many other religions.
    I’d think about religion fleetingly but never for long.
    However for about a month now its in my head. Every day. Not all day, no, but multiple times a day, sometimes long times, sometimes just 5 minutes. I can’t stop thinking about it. Being drawn to research it.
    And despite having seen it “debunked” I find myself drawn to Christianity, over so many other religions. I’m still researching into it all, talking to a friend who is Christian (I only know 1, shes an old school friend, just a shame she lives 150 miles away) and getting to know it all. It may sound stupid to non believers but since admitting to myself I believe in the Christian God and Jesus I feel the closest to God I have since being a child. And it is an impossible feeling to explain to non believers at the moment… Im still learning and deciding on my religion but I think this is the one…

    • Carol says

      I suppose discovering similarities between the Christian Gospel Message and the Revelations in other religious Traditions could be considered “debunking” Christianity; but I interpret it as “confirmation” of a universal Divine Revelation with the Christian Gospel being the fullest Revelation we have received so far.

      I read somewhere that there is a Buddhist sect (I forget which one) that believes the next Revelation will be through the life of a spiritual community rather than an idividual. It took me years to realize that perhaps that has already happened in the Christian Revelation of the Trinitarian Mystery. Of course many, perhaps most, of the Great Religions are triadic without being as specific as the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.

      A Revelation, like any other reality truth can be fully true without being exhaustively true. I believe that there are transcendent metaphysical Absolutes; but I also believe that all human understanding and experiences of them are relative and that goes for uniquely Christian beliefs and practices/experiences as well.

      There are three primary reasons why deeply committed followers of Jesus are leaving the institutional churches:
      1. Dogmatic absolutism
      2. Self-righteous judgmentalism
      3. Sectarian triumphalism

      These three attitudes, common within the ecclesial sub-culture, create and nourish rather than challenge the narcissistic egoism that the Gospel promises to heal us of and deliver us from.

    • adam says

      Maybe it’s not a matter of you “choosing a religion”, but simply a matter of accepting that God has chosen you:

      “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44

    • Ephemeral says

      Cat, I am so pleased for you. keep seeking… Jeremiah 29:13 . Continue to have faith, for faith is not blind. It just precedes understanding, but will lead you to it.

      St Anselm said – “Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this, too, I believe, that, unless I first believe, I shall not understand.”

      We can always raise doubts over this or that part of the Scriptures, but if we choose to suspend this mode of thinking and don’t let it stop us from keeping our minds fully open to what God is saying, we can finally see a bigger picture which may lead us to see the essence of the bible and feeling its compelling power.

      Like you, there was this inexplicable desire in me to seek God, like a small spark suddenly brought into life. As I sought God in faith, slowly everything seemed to fall into place. The Word of God is like a color vision chart – once the color blindness is gone, the words that have always been there all the time appear.

      I’ve found Him but in reality, it is He who called out to me. And for that, I’m eternally grateful. I believe He has placed that spark of grace in you to begin that journey of discovering Him.

  8. tom says

    Briefly, there are 2 aspects to my answer:

    1) First, and most important, although I do believe God exists, I don’t believe that Jesus was God.

    2) Second, I’ve known some Christians (I grew up as one) well enough to know how they really are in real life. Almost all of them, I do not want to be like they are. I have met only 1 or 2 Christians that I knew well and still respected.

  9. Ant Writes says

    After being radically saved (aren’t all salvations radical?) from a life of sin, I come to tears when i hear angry people spouting things like “You believe in a made up story” or quite a few seminary students intellectualize our Lord. I pray that they will get a visitation like I did. I’d have to be as dumb as a stump to NOT believe! My family has been blessed much more than I deserve. Numbers 10 and 11 are so right on target for me. When I see all my needs being fulfilled (plus many of my wants) without even having to ASK for them, I become stupefied.
    With society become very post-Christian, and with Christians being demonized (Chick-Fil-A is an example), the wheat may be separating from the chaff.

  10. Robyn G says

    Frank…I hope enough time has passed for “believers” to respond. It was so good to hear the hearts of unbelievers…which we all have been before we were believers…some longer; some more resistant…but while I needed to hear these conversations personally…it did it’s job…it broke my heart, made me sad, made me ponder, and made me ashamed that so many stumbling blocks are placed in the paths of these. I pray that all those sincerely seeking truth will not allow any human being or philosophy, regardless of their claim or title, be the reason they do not pursue and claim for themselves the purpose of their life…a relationship with the One True God through Jesus Christ our Savior.

  11. Jon McBride says

    Frank, I don’t know how you were able to get so many intelligent, thoughtful “non-believers” to post on your obviously “Christian site, but I am refreshed by the honest dialogue without personal attacks. I am a Christian because I am in it for the Love. I use to have other explanations, but really, I just honestly cannot find anywhere a Love that deep and saturating. I have wrestled with many of the logical hurdles listed in this post (not all) and I can NOT say they were satisfactorily answered for my intellect, but I just can’t walk away from God’s love. That sounds contradictory to all the experiences I see others sharing, and I DO know this world is horribly broken, but I know God is fixing it. Just not the way I would have, and as he shares that plan with me I am taken from my petty thinking into living beyond myself and the tyranny of the strife occurring around me. I find joy and hope. Some would rightly point out that I have no hard evidence ( or very little) that I can intellectually convince another of the cause of my hope. The confidence is internal and a bit mysterious to me. I just took a chance and asked for it, and it came with time and struggle, but it came

  12. ABM says

    Ordinarily, I wouldn’t come forward with this, but since the question was asked and this caught my eye, sure. I would like to think I am a Christian. At this point, I don’t know if I am or not. I do believe in Jesus Christ. Absolutely. But I do not believe in the modern church. I first experienced this sentiment as an altar boy in 4th grade Catholic school; in later years, within the Potestant church. I won’t belabor everything I perceive broken within the institutional church system. I have never derived sustenance from it, then or now. I felt that a transition to an “organic” expression of church was the answer. Two years later, I can say my experience with organic church has been every bit as damaging to me as institutional church, if not more so. I agree entirely with the principle of an organic expression of church- a close community of believers abiding and living by Jesus Christ as the head. In my experience, I simply never saw this happening, and I’m not sure where I went wrong or what I missed along the way. Most “meetings” usually either devolved into some sort of theological discourse, or a comparison of all the things “wrong” with the institution and everything “right” with organic, like these are two denominations. At best, I came away with new “information”- which I always felt I had to have enough of in order to justify leaving an institutional church to my spouse, family, and church congregation. And over the course of 2+ years, this was utterly, absolutely exhausting. I have grown so tired of “right vs. wrong”, “black vs. white” discussions with my spouse that I now avoid any religious conversation with anyone like the plague. It could be said I don’t have the correct “vision” of Jesus Christ, but how exactly does one acquire this “vision”? Seemingly, it’s based on how many books you read, or blogs you follow? Is it based on how many conferences you attend and speakers you listen to? Is it recognizing that in His multi-membered body, everyone carries a small piece of this larger person, and that’s what I should be looking for? I don’t have any strength left to look, and I’ve grown so very, very, very tired of looking. I know nothing about this person, and I am so tired, that right now, I don’t know what to believe. One side says you have to be doing, doing, doing. The other side says resing and abiding. One side promotes fixing yourself and become more disciplined to be like Christ. The other side says God isn’t interested in fixing me as a human. One side reminds me of sinfulness and unworthiness. The other says I’m not a sinner, I’m the most glorious possession God has. The list goes on and on. So, I don’t go to church. I don’t currently mix with other believers. I don’t feed the hungry, I don’t witness, I don’t discple others, and I don’t imitate the actions of Jesus straight out of the book. In this regard, call me non-christian, or simply a “fan” and not a “follower” of Christ. I’m doing only what I know how- existing day to day, grateful for the occasions when the Lord shows me something of Himself in nature or in the world.

    • says

      ABM, I get confused just reading your post. It makes me feel as though I am standing between two convincing observations and do not know which one to choose. Like I can fully understand that this side is right and there other left and yet I do not know which one to choose. It makes one feel like giving up, like there is no fight to pursue. No better nor worse, like I am waiting for someone or something to convince to choose a side, But I don’t want to choose, I just want to remain there until something starts making more sense than the other, it sounds “agnostic”, if you’ll allow me to use that term. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”.

  13. Scot says

    To me this article AND it comments illustrate the greatest challenge the church/body of Christ faces today! In order to be effective and avoid irrelevance the church must acknowledge that it’s target audience (bad term) doesn’t necessarily embrace the same ideologies. A human’s ideology determines how he/she defines truth or whether they accept the idea of “truth”. Historically the church has written off such people and moved on to more promising targets and thereby disenfranchised this crew that doesn’t acknowledge “the truth” the way we do.
    QUERY : DOES THE GOSPEL DISENFRANCHISE ANYNONE?
    Thanks to postmodernism the pool of those who acknowledged/define truth like we do is shrinking! What to do? Stop clinging to outdated techniques/methods and join “the Truth” aka Jesus in reaching the “ideologically different” via the workings of the Holy Spirit! That’s the timeless stratagem of advancing His Kingdom no matter what point in history you serve Him!

  14. TJ says

    I am a Christian because:

    1. There is a drastically overwhelming amount of evidence of Jesus Christ’s existence on this earth. Take for instance the origin of our years we count up. The writings from those combined in the New Testament and outside it. The fact that we have two different religions that testifies to His existence; Judaism and Islam. The testimony of a man (Paul) who persecuted Christians and killed them for what they believed and then had an experience that completely turned his beliefs around and was beheaded because he preached the very Christ he used to be completely against.

    2. I have read the Bible, a collection of historical documents, poems, songs, prophecies, biographies, eyewitness testimonies, private and personal letters and a nations culture wrapped into what we call the books of the Holy Bible. Because everything that I’ve learned and am still learning from the New Testament is exactly what I am experiencing in this life.

    3. The focus is Christ and His selfless act to take our place. The love of a perfect God to want a relationship with imperfect man so much that He sent Himself down in human form to do the very thing we could never do, live a perfect life and fulfill the law for us. No other religion makes the statement that love existed before life.

    4. I have honestly made an effort to look into the ‘evidences’ and claims of what our society calls science and its inconsistencies that no one seems to take the effort to look into for themselves but instead rather merely believe what those that hold to it claim. Much is the same with other topics such as health, politics, education and government. All 4 of these are failing in our country, health (Obesity rising), politics (candidates that only disagree on social issues), education (just watch the documemtary ‘Waiting for Superman’), and government (inflation of big government and its correlation to lost liberties as a people grow more and more dependent on government to solve all their problems). Science and its technology biased in one direction and its dating methods founded on Charles Lyell’s 1840’s theoretical uniformitarianist geologic column that set the precedent as to what to base dating methods on like Willard Libby’s carbon dating method which became one of the first models. (Watch ‘Expelled’ with Ben Stein to see how harshly universities hold to their biases).

    5. Last but not least, the overwhelming evidence of our brokeness and the sin that exists innately in our nature. The fact that we are all selfish and that something is wrong with us that we need fixed. The Bible defines love as complete selflessness, the denying of our nature for the good of others. Love is giving, and thats exactly what God did. John 3:16.

  15. ella says

    thanks for this post! good to know the thoughts of the non believers. makes me understand more about them. on your post, #7 struck me the most.

  16. says

    I am a Christian because like some horror movie trope, every time I have attempted to flee the village I have run into the woods, only to find myself running deadlong back into the village. I am unable to quit on a faith that holds strong despite all the weakness inherent in my being. I may quit the faith from time to time, but the faith never quits on me.
    I believe often in spite of my disbelief. In the darkest night the faith lights my way, and guides my path.
    This is I think, the thing, you cannot explain. We are Christians despite our weakness, despite our petty annoyances, and despite the hate and evil that threatens to overwhelm our lives and hearts.

  17. Murray says

    I was raised catholic, but I grew up reading about the myths and legends of ancient greece and rome and the norse gods. The stories of thor and odin and their conflicts with the ice giants and the trolls, tales of theseus and achillies, the labrynth and the minotaur.

    One day I realised that a long time ago people believed in these gods as I believed in mine. Since there was no reason that their belief was any less valid than my belief I just assumed that everyone was right.

    That got me thinking about heavan vs valhalla vs hades and which afterlife would I prefer. I mean, heavan sounded a bit boring, why not worship Odin and spend my days fighting and nights drinking and wenching. As a child this sounded much better.

    Then I rationalised, why not make up my own religion so that I could have my own perfect afterlife. I could pray to my own special god that no one else knew about and go to my own perfect afterlife.

    And that’s when it hit me. It’s all made up. People just made it all up. Jesus, Zues, Thor, they are all just mythologies from a forgotten time. Sure, they have the seed of truth as root, achillies was probably a real person, and Troy was a real city, but there was no pegasus.

    When I really thought about it, the whole thing was a bit silly.

    And so, I worship no god, and you know what, everything has worked out just fine. I don’t pray, but good things still happen to me. Sure bad things happen too, but I don’t feel like a supernatural being is showing me their displeasure by causing me to have a motrobike accident. These things happen. One day I’ll die, but I was fine with that before I was born, so I’m sure it’ll be ok when I’m no more as well.

    I just hope I make the world a little bit better for the people I’m lucky enough to meet on my short time on this planet.

  18. Bob says

    Why I am not a Christian…

    Because of the Christian assumption that there is only one correct answer to religion. Namely that if you do not believe in Jesus Christ as the crucified savior and resurrected lord that you are wrong. Christians maintain that any other religious belief has no merit. Christians account for approximately 2.2 billion people or 33% of the worlds population (hardly a majority). Assuming that Christians are correct, this would mean that 4.6 billion other people are wrong in what they believe. So,among others, the 1.5 billion Muslims, 950 million Hindus, and 480 million Budhists just all got confused, right? To some extent being a Christian must mean that you think of all the people who have pondered the meaning of life or sought to understand and explain a higher power you are the only group who truly figured it out. We are all human, we are all fallable and therefore the arrogance it takes to interpret god in an us versus them argument (For Christian -Jesus is the only savior,For Muslims – Only one God and Muhammad is his prophet) has always stunned me. So my point is that this it isn’t just a “Why I am not a Christian” argument, it is a “Why I am not religious” argument. I don’t want to go off topic so in summary I am not a Christian because I flat out don’t buy into what you or any other religion I have encountered are selling.

    • says

      I can understand that frustration Bob. But, do you refuse to buy into it because you examined the evidence and determined on careful study that Christianity (or any other religion for that matter) is wrong? Or, do you not “buy” it because the thought of the arrogance disgusts you? If it’s the latter, considering what each religion claims to be at stake if you DON’T believe, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to do the former? Just asking?

      • A Simple Non-Believer says

        Considering what the Quran claims is at stake if you aren’t Muslim, why would anyone be Christian?

        Considering what the Bible claims is at stake if you aren’t Christian, why would anyone be Muslim?

        Both theologies make claims of post death existences, and both cannot be right. This isn’t even going unto the umpteen billion other religions and mythos and what they say hangs in the balance, dependent on what you do or do not believe.

        The “But what happens when you die?” question loses its weight when you understand that its technically an equally likely possibility that all of them are wrong, and one that either never, or only briefly existed in the human consciousness, is the correct one.

        With so many contradictory and incompatible possibilities, all with little to no actual evidence supporting them, why should belief be put into any of them?

        Unsubstantiated claims are not a good basis for belief, and idle extortion towards disbelief is certainly less of one.

    • Pat Coffey says

      Bob:
      Christians are not smarter or “better choosers” of our “religion”.

      Truth:
      John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

      John 6:65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

      Bob, you are on a Christian website and commenting.

      Ask the Father:
      Are you drawing me to Jesus Christ? Please let me know now.
      Thank you in Jesus Christ’s mighty name.
      Amen.

  19. Nikki[FSM!!] says

    God taught me nothing. I learned good morals, the distinction between right and wrong, by myself. I would never worship a “god” who has commited genocide, killing millions of innocent people just because he doesn’t get his way. Imo, god does not exist. If he did there would be no war, famine, disease, and hate. And if he does then he is malevolent, unjust, and uncaring, and only cares that he is worshipped and praised. Imo, the Bible is a load of bull, written by sheepherders who started it 150 years after it all happened. And not only that but it has been translated into many different languages and has no doubt been misinterpreted.

    • Carrie says

      Nikki, it stuns me too that since God is good, he doesn’t intervene more than he currently does in the world. In our house group discussion, the idea came up that God doesn’t even stand up for HIMSELF! That thought really surprised me! He didn’t stand up for Himself in the garden when Satan lied to Eve about what God thinks. God didn’t stand up for himself when he was killed on the cross. In American culture, you just don’t sit back and let yourself be bullied! Do I really want to serve a God who just lays there and takes it? Am I looking for a God who comes in and destroys evil or a God who comes in and saves the evildoers?

        • Patti says

          Thanks for that, Frank! your recommendation is why I bought it. A couple of years ago, our church family read through the entire bible in 90 days. It was the 1st time I’ve read through the Old Testament so quickly and it really was interesting how one could see the overall story that way. Several things really stuck out to me: 1) God’s continuing message of his steadfast love if his people would obey him, 2) the context around all of the special verses people usually focus on, but don’t pay any attention to as to their relevance to the promise they do pay attention to, and 3) all of the “smiting” and seeminly overly harsh actions and reactions of God. I’ve had a difficult, almost impossible, time trying to reconcile the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New. This book was perfect for that and to show the beauty, grace, mercy, and steadfast love of God.
          One other thing: my brother, Tim Pagaard, responded to this blog with why he isn’t a Christian (at 5:21pm 7/30/12), but I can’t find it anywhere.

          • says

            Thx. It may have gone into spam. I’ve not read it, but WordPress funnels really long posts go into spam for some reason or that have links. If he keeps it short with no links, it should get on.

  20. fnorgby says

    You asked, so I’ll answer:

    A purely physical world with no underlying mysticism just makes more sense to me. The evidence which you find compelling is not compelling to me. I’ve never believed in God, Jesus or the Bible. I’ve read the Bible, cover-to-cover, more than once. I’ve also read the Quran, as many Buddhist Sutras as I could stand, and parts of the Vedas and Bhagavad-Gita.

    Not only are none of them compelling, no one stands out as more credible (to me) than the others.

    While I’m sure you have good reasons for believing what you believe, and while I recognize that your view of the world is valid for you, all I ask in return is that you accept that (to me) my reasons for what I beleive and don’t believe are (to me) good reasons, and that my view of the world is valid for me.

  21. yianniy says

    I am not Christian, because…

    1) the Holy trinity makes no sense to me.
    2) Jesus was just saying that we are all children of god and all connected to the devine.
    3) It is hubris to believe that we can fathom the will of the divine.
    4) I recognize, that in the end I and I alone am the final moral authority. Even if god commanded me to do something, I must decide if it is good or evil and choose how to act. I am responsible for every choice I make, every action I take, all of my successes and all of my failures.
    5) I oppose dogmatic thinking in all of its forms.

  22. Frederick Lawrence says

    I’m not a Christian because to me, the world makes no sense and life seems pointless and purposeless if there is an omniscient being who knows my life and everything that will happen to me.
    I am not a Christian because life seems hollow when one’s morality hinges on the thought of eternal punishment, and not because of altruism.

    I am not a Christian because I cannot see how Christians can give credit to God for everything good that happens in the world, say that everything happens for a reason when mass murders occur, then praise God when someone survives an awful calamity that he could have prevented. I am not a Christian because for every prayer “answered”, there are millions more that don’t even get put on hold.

    I’m not a Christian because I see miracles every day – man-made miracles. I’m not a Christian because I choose to put my faith in the atheist researchers who cure disease every day, who provide us innovations without ever acknowledging or believing in a god. I choose to put my faith in the godless heathens who are trying to make this world a better place. I put my faith in Christians who would do the same, but not because they are being guided by a god.

  23. SpaceGhoti says

    > What are the reasons why you haven’t trusted your life to Jesus?

    1. Because I’ve trusted my life to Jesus before. I didn’t know any better and trusted what my mother and other authority figures told me. I grew up believing that I was worthless, that I owed my life to a higher power that didn’t speak to me but revealed himself through vague prophecies and portents interpreted by other believers. It was only after I recognized that my religious beliefs were no more valid than any other that I stopped lying to myself because it was expected of me.

    2. Because there’s no evidence that Jesus lives today, or that there’s ever been a god who created anything let alone is in control of everything.

    3. Because NOT believing doesn’t have dire consequences for our lives or societies. The US is the most religious industrialized nation and the most forward about it. And yet, our incidents of crime are higher than any other industrialized nation. There’s no evidence that belief enriches our lives; the evidence suggests otherwise.

    4. I have no reason to believe.

    • Brad says

      Hi SpaceGhoti,

      IF God was real AND Satan was real, then wouldn’t it make more sense why there is more bad in a society that believes in God? Satan, as the main bad guy in the story, wouldn’t want God to get His way and so Satan would do everything he could to ruin it for Him. I’m not trying to get deep or theological, but just make some sense of why bad things happen.

  24. AGaW says

    I haven’t trusted my life to Jesus for the same reason you haven’t trusted your life to Wotan or Mithra or Thor.

  25. E says

    My reasons for becoming a nonbeliever is pretty well expressed with quote often attributed to Bertrand Russell:

    “Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence.”

    • Tanya says

      Really? Even the atheists who study the world are now stating the world looks designed…
      I recommend reading, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist” for starters.

  26. says

    Great post! And a great reminder that God is calling everyone to himself through those reasons and many others.

    I think it’s helpful to see the “reasons” for being a christian on two tiers: on the first tier, we could say “I am a Christian because God . . .”
    On the second tier, we can say “I am a Christian be cause I . . .”
    The second tier depends upon the first.

    On my second tier, I would say,
    1. I have a God-fearing father and mother who taught me the love of Jesus and the fatherhood of God.
    2. I have met him personally after being spoken to by His word.
    3. I have seen unbelievable things that nothing but the grace of God can accomplish – the transformation of lives, the daily fight for grace in impossible circumstances, and the refreshment that the Spirit gives each morning.
    4. I see in him the only explanation for any truth or meaning in the world (Col. 2:3)

  27. Jeff says

    I’m not a Christian because of how most of the Christians I’ve known treat each other. Not loving like their founder taught but just the opposite. I like that your list wasn’t apologetic or combative but personal and I respect that. Rare but nice to see.

    • says

      Thanks for “getting it,” Jeff. As a Christian, I agree with and bemoan your observation about how so many Christians treat each other. In fact, I’ve written about this quite often. Hopefully it’s making some difference, even a little.

    • TJ says

      I agree that there are several individuals that claim to be Christian, but live in opposition to what their faith teaches. I have seen these people lie, cheat, and hurt other people and I have been hurt by them myself. My question to you though is this: Apart from meeting those that claim the Christian faith but live in opposition to it, how does this reflect upon the validity or truth of the person of Christ rather than the bondage of sinful nature? (As those who claim it but don’t follow it are merely a testament to the corruptible nature of mankind and its innate selfishness.)

      • Sarah says

        TJ, it’s easy to say that christians who treat other christians poorly aren’t really christians, but that’s usually not the case. Just look at most christian facebook groups. There are genuine Jesus followers on those bickering, fighting, judging, gossipping about, and attacking one another and other christians. They don’t see it as a wrong and justify it. I know some of these people and I don’t doubt their faith, they just put sins like lying, stealing, homosexuality, murder, etc. above other kinds of sins, the ones they commit by their words.

        • Robert says

          Sarah, unfortunately it IS ALWAYS the case. Christians who treat other Christians (or anyone else for that matter) poorly are Never following Christ as he intended and commanded. That doesn’t change the gospel message one bit. Whether the gospels are true or not have nothing to do with how many people are living them out. Jesus predicted that most would not be able to let go of this world to follow Him. His simple commands boil down to love God above all others and love each other as ourselves. So simple to say but so hard to live out by our own power. Are we really loving others as ourselves when we bicker, fight, judge, gossip about, and attack each other? Are we honoring God in this? Are we following Jesus commandments? The Bible testifies against these sins from cover to cover. It is only evidence that even as we try to follow Jesus, we are not perfect as he is and will continue to be tripped up by our own sins (i.e.treating others poorly). Even after his conversion Paul wrote that he was the “chief” of sinners and I’m pretty sure he was better than me. But he knew he could never measure up to Jesus who was perfect. If we fix our eyes only on what people are doing we will always be disappointed. I choose to fix my eyes on Jesus and what He has done to save me, a sinner, and the impact it’s had on my life. I don’t have to honestly look very far inside my heart to know I have a natural sinful nature. I won’t judge you just because you sin differently than I do but there is a Judge and I believe there will one day be a judgement. I thank Jesus that He made the perfect sacrifice needed to atone for it in my life, even as I continue to mess it up, I strive to move forward toward Him.

  28. Nowhere Man says

    I really don’t know that much about it yet. I don’t have any religious background and I’ve only begun to read this book. But based on my observations so far religion doesn’t seem that far apart from slavery. Servitude, blind faith, getting on your knees.. these are all blatant characteristics of slavery. A bondage that practitioners knowingly and willingly except without question. If there is a God I don’t think he would want it that way. He would want people to live their lives the way it was meant to be lived.. free.

    • says

      Thanks for your reply. How did you find the post? I’d be happy to give you my 13 cents should you have any specific questions. If not, I wish you the best on your journey.

    • Norm M. says

      You make a good point that I, as a Christian, agree with. Many people have been exploited and enslaved (in one form or another) in the name of religion. God has indeed created us as free creatures with a free will. The Bible is about entering a relationship with God–a relationship made possible by Jesus.

    • Robyn G says

      Servant, yes…and what I’ve learned about what is described in the Bible as a “bond servant” is that historically many “slaves/servants” who had to serve or earn their freedom due to some debt…not always because they were a “captive” often had such respect, trust and even love for their masters, that upon the payment of their debt they chose to remain in servanthood voluntarily. It’s a beautiful picture of God…that we owe something we cannot pay…he gives us a way to make payment…and upon receipt of that freedom…we long to remain with Him. Freedom, surrender, love is all God offers…there is nothing that God asks of us that is harmful for us or others and what He asks of us there is no law against. I name the things that God asks of me and I ask myself…why wouldn’t I want to do that?

  29. says

    I love this. If we are ever going to communicate to others the value of Christianity we must first discover for ourselves what we find valuable about Christianity. Awesome Post!

  30. says

    Thanks Frank, great list. I experienced a common conversion, I was intellectually engaged by the power and vision of the Gospel. I may have been exposed to the Gospel throughout my young life but was more attracted to philosophy and eastern mysticism. Unlocking the mysteries of conscious and the divine were intriguing to me at a very young age, I read everything, I allowed my imagination to guide me, I would sit with friends and ask the craziest questions, and finally a friend invited me to church. I was instantly transfixed, I devoured the bible and other books, but it was Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” that converted my mind to Christ; convincing me of the supremacy of Christian morality, the deep mystery of divine union, and the excellency of God’s love displayed in the Gospel. My heart was filled with hope and my mind full of truth.

    It was not until much later that My heart and whole self was fully given to Christ. I love that St. Augustine goes into so much detail about his experience of bodily (mental) conversion and separates it from spiritual (inner) conversion. This distinction is valuable and has remained a theological mainstay at the core of Christianity; so that we can seek the coalesced initial conversion and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit upon the surrender of all will.

    Reading opposing philosphies is probably the most beneficial spiriual preparation for becoming a Christian in my life. The ultimate lack of spirtual (real) relevance in endless debate and speculation led me to a literal Christ, who literally lived, died, resurrected, and extended to me a life filled with mystery, pull, and glory.

  31. Donald Borsch Jr. says

    #7 was brilliant. Ours has always been a relational story, hasn’t it?

    Nicely said on all counts, Mr. Viola.

  32. says

    Frank,

    Thanks so much for this post. It’s very encouraging. I’ve been a Christ-follower for many years, but haven’t crystallized in my mind all you’ve listed here. Great stuff.

    I like all of what you’ve written in this post, but number seven in particular rings true for me. You said, “Because every time I meet a true follower of Jesus for the first time, I feel like I’ve known him or her all my life.” I’ve experienced the same thing. What a joy it is to meet another believer!

  33. Rosalyn Zografos says

    I am a Christian because at a small age of 3 God provided loving parental substitues to show me his love. He did this until I was 18. I have been in many dangerous places and God has always provided his love and protection. He guides me through dreams and visions and I have seen miracles by being in his presence. Other lives have been changed because of my relationship with a living GOD. I don’t take the credit, I wasn’t seeking the miracles it just happened when his Glory fell. God taught me about LOVE when nobody wanted to love me that should have been my saftey zone. (family)

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