My mother asked me the other day, “Have you ever wondered why you’re a Christian?” “All the time” I answered.
I was born on a Wednesday, and I was in Church that Sunday. Some would say I was brainwashed from an early age, being exposed to something at an early age and not being allowed to make my own decision on if I wanted that or not. But, that’s not what happened, and I’ll tell you why.
I accepted Jesus because I didn’t want to go to Hell. That’s all, that’s the only reason. I was told that I was going to a fiery, chaotic place where I would burn for all eternity, and I wouldn’t be in a peaceful, beautiful place with Jesus and live a happy life. So, I chose the latter. Everyone else was doing it, and plus, I’m from the north, I don’t like hot weather. Why would I want to spend the rest of my life somewhere hot? (That last reason I just came up with right now).
I heard the sermons, but I never listened to them. I was bored, they didn’t make me happy, and I had already done the one thing I needed to do. After that, I didn’t care what happened.
But then, I heard that I had to repent of my sins every time I sinned. After a while, I just repented at the end of the month when my “sin tank” was full. “A new month is coming up, better make room.” Because I knew that I was going to sin. And after a while, I just stopped doing that all together. It’s tedious work having to remember to ask for forgiveness.
I went to Church because Mom dragged me. I slept through most of my church-going days though. Then, when I got old enough to go to the kid’s classes, I learned about the stories in the Bible (Joseph, Daniel, Noah, etc.). Wow, those are some cool stories.
And then I started to go to the “middle school Sunday class,” where I was told that I had to live my life for God by telling everyone I met, “Hey, do you know Jesus? Let me tell you about Jesus.” Did I even know Jesus? What was I supposed to say? “Except this guy who died to save you from your sins?” Actually, yes. But what I wasn’t supposed to say was, “After you do that, you have to remember every day to ask for forgiveness for your sins, because if you die and you haven’t repented, then you’re going to Hell. You have to be clean when you die, or else you can’t go to Heaven, and you never know when you might die.”
Really? And what are the sins? Sure, we’ve got the Ten Commandments, but there are loads of other crap that could be considered sins. If I, a church-going girl, can’t keep them straight, how could this random person, this newly Christian, do so?
I never did that. I never talked about God and stuff like that. I didn’t know anything past, “You should accept Jesus.” Why? Why should they? So they wouldn’t go to Hell? Essentially, yes, that is why He died. But why did He die? What was His motive? I couldn’t talk about something I knew nothing about (unlike some people).
After a while, Mom and I stopped going to Church. We didn’t like it, it was screwy. Thanks Jesus for dying for me, but what else did you do? What else have you done? What else will you do?
Why am I a Christian? Why do I believe? Why, people? Why? Is it because I know more? Is it because I’ve seen Jesus? Is it because I have to believe something? Or is it just because it’s what I’ve always done? Why haven’t I gone out in search for something that will better suit me? Is it because I’ve been raised in Church?
Whoever you are, whatever your beliefs, ask yourself why? Why do you believe what you do? Why don’t you believe anything else? Were you “brainwashed” or did you come to that yourself?
To answer this question honestly, I like thinking that what I believe is true. I want it to be true. I want it so bad to be true, because if it is, then all of this praying and thinking and hoping and believe would all be worth it. But if it’s not, if I’m reincarnated, if there is no life after this, then at least I was happy for a moment. At least I lived my life like I wanted (or in my case, how God wanted it).
It doesn’t matter if I believe it or not, if it is true. Because if it is, then it is, I can’t change that. And I like to believe that it is. There is a line that Chris August wrote in a song that sums up my thoughts:
No matter how I feel, I know Your truth is still true.
And if it is real, God help those people who don’t believe…