I’m in a “top ten” sort of mood this final week of 2011. Today, I share my top 10 reasons that I’m a Christian. Now, I’m sure that if I sat back for another 10 hours and contemplated this subject on a deeper level, that the list would morph a bit. However, if I were to list areas off the top of my head, they’d include…
10) I was born into a Christian family.
9) Youth group. Mission trips, authentic faith exploration, fun games, great youth pastor, summer camps, and common experiences with teenage friends. Youth group (along with going to a Christian high school) was huge.
8 ) People in the church (both family and friends) showed me love when I needed a helping hand as a lower class child.
7) Christianity is historically reasonable.
6) The movement of the church begins with and is for the marginalized of society… which is a movement worth being part of.
5) I am invited to become more fully human as God’s Spirit conforms my life to the “image” of Christ and believe that such an opportunity can transform any person in the world.
4) I’ve experienced Christian community.
3) The way of Jesus is others-focused. It invites us on a journey that is exciting and hard. I can try all my life and will never perfectly live out the Sermon on the Mount – but seeking the Jesus of the Sermon is a task worth taking on even if imperfectly.
2) God’s mission to redeem all of created reality is something that is worth giving our lives to – for the good of all people and the good of the world. God’s restorative justice that will one day arrive at the union of heaven and earth (Romans 8.18-28, Revelation 21-22) can be reflected by the people of God in the present as we manifest the Kingdom by: loving each other, choosing patterns of living that are counter-cultural, giving selflessly to the poor, delivering people and systems from oppression, eating together, praying together, and serving together.
1) I’ve encountered the love of the Father of the crucified and raised Jesus Christ through a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit. I may not be able to prove that God is real or that Jesus resurrected, but I can tell my story. My experience is my apologetic. I can’t convince people that God is real through an apologetic strategy but can only attest to a knowledge based on agape from Abba. As Paul says: “… to know a love that surpasses knowledge.”
What would your “top ten” list look like?