…Except, I am a Christian. That title is misleading. Sorry. This post is about the reasons why I am not a Christian. There are many reasons why I am a Christian, but these are, from my perspective, common misconceptions about why people are Christians or turn to the faith. Does that make any sense?
5. I’m not a Christian because I can’t face reality – Too many times I’ve seen this assumption. It’s usually not even negative. It’s more like, “Oh, well if your faith helps you get through hard times or because you’re afraid of what happens after you die and this comforts you, than more power to ya”. Except…no. As I wrote in a recent post, I actually find it harder to be close to God during difficult times in my life. Thinking of heaven and living for eternity actually scares the crap of me, because I can’t wrap my mind around it! So, no. I am not a Christian because I need “comfort” or because I’m “weak” or because I’m scared of dying.
4. I’m not a Christian because I need a sense of community – I have a lot of great friends, and most of them are non-Christians. I also have an amazing family, and spend a lot of time with my cousins. I also go to university and have a group of friends there. Once you are a Christian, spending time in the church or within a small group or young adults group or whatever it is, is very rewarding. But I didn’t become a Christian because I was searching for some sense of belonging. Actually, when I was a teenager up until I was around 18, I was very disconnected from the church – yet I still went.
3. I’m not a Christian because I want my life to turn out perfectly – Yeah, actually, if you read the Bible, pretty much all the followers of Jesus were persecuted or banished or had difficult, sometimes even miserable, lives. I don’t expect an easy ride through life because I’m a Christian. Actually, I expect it to be harder.
2. I’m not a Christian because I had some miraculous moment where God spoke to me – You know that “Damascus Road Conversion?! Yeah, that never happened to me. It has, and will happen to some Christians. I have heard some pretty awesome testimonies that I know were real and authentic. However, I believe this is rare. In my boring life, this never happened to me. Maybe because I didn’t need it. Maybe because I already knew, even during the brief few years where I considered myself a non-Christian, I still knew. I’m not a Christian because God suddenly spoke to me or because I saw something written in the clouds or because a strong wind blew through my bedroom and flipped the pages of my Bible to a meaningful scripture verse. No. That never happened to me.
1. I’m not a Christian because of my anxiety – No. I am not a Christian because I can’t handle my fears or worries or depression or anxiety. These things actually make being a Christian so much harder for me. This is sort of related to #5. I’m not a Christian because my anxiety makes me so weak that I need some one or some thing to help me. Your #1 may be depression, or a physical disability, or a great loss you’ve suffered. Whatever it is, I assume you are not a Christian just because of that. If you’re like me, it may have nothing to do with your faith. I’m not saying that my faith hasn’t helped me through times of great anxiety and worry, but my faith did not start growing as a result of my anxiety.
So, here are the reasons why I am not a Christian. Maybe you’ve encountered this before. Maybe you’ve thought these things before.
I’ll let you know why I am a Christian though.
I am a Christian because I know what it’s like to not be one.
Please note: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with becoming a Christian for any of the above reasons.