We’re going through the list of questions from the program “Unbelievable” in the U.K. Right now, I’d like to look at the second one which is the title for this post, but I’d like to hit it from a different angle. I could go on about the evidences for Christianity. I could write about philosophical arguments for God’s existence, scientific arguments showing fine-tuning, archaeological evidences for the validity of Scripture, the internal consistency therein, the accuracy of the manuscripts, etc.
And someday, I will probably go through those.
I’d like to hit on this from a different angle. Let’s consider first off history. In the ancient world, we know that Christians were not the most popular bunch. I think even Christ mythers, as ignorant of history as they are, would affirm this. Christians were set on fire by Nero for his ceremonies and were shamed in the public marketplaces and not until the Edict of Milan did they get any safety, and that was in 313 A.D.!
It seems if one was making up a religion, they would not make up a religion like that. Consider also a city like Corinth where the word Corinthian came to mean a person that was sexually immoral. With such religions around, why would one create a religion that was so different? Let’s see. If we’re choosing based on what we like, we can choose this religion where sex is part of the worship, or this one that tells me to deny myself, take up my cross, and be prepared for suffering.
Ah decisions, decisions.
In fact, not only that, but later on if you join this religion, the emperors will want your head. You will be acting in treason against the Roman Empire by refusing to do emperor worship. You will not be able to buy or sell in the marketplace if you don’t worship the emperor either. Thus, you can expect a painful existence if you become a Christian, which again, is a religion that promises its followers they will suffer.
Let’s look at this from another point.
Why would I wish a religion like this?
As Dinesh D’Souza said, “Look at the Ten Commandments. I can think of three I’d scratch off right now.”
Look. I’m a single guy. I guarantee you there are times as a Christian it’d be nice to be able to ignore my faith at the sight of certain ladies. I know though that Christianity tells me something. That when I have these strong desires, I am to control them and wait. Yes. One of the strongest desires of all if not the strongest, I am told to wait on.
Despite sometimes I just want to scream….
Yep. I choose this religion because I always love it so much!
I give income of mine to the church that I could use elsewhere.
Yep. I love it so much!
Now don’t get me wrong. I love being a Christian really. I just don’t always love everything about it. I love the thought that God sent his only Son to die for me and that he loves me that much. I love that this universe will be re-created to be a paradise. I love the fellowship that I have with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
But Paul exhorts us to do many things probably because they’re difficult. Self-control is difficult. Learning to love your enemies is difficult. Learning to be devoted to prayer is difficult. Learning to control your temple is difficult. Learning to avoid sexual immorality is difficult. Friends. The Christian life is not a life for quitters.
Also, I know people who are going to Hell forever. Yes. They died without Christ. I willingly choose that? If I was making this up, everyone would go to Heaven. I’d be a universalist. There are times we must all admit when we wish universalism was true, but wishing it was true does not make it true. I believe Jesus spoke plainly of the reality of Hell. I believe sadly those Mormons that were at my door are going to Hell if they don’t come to the real Jesus. I take no joy out of that. Not a bit. It saddens me as I say it. Honestly, I’m not a crier sadly, but I get watery eyes a bit typing that out.
I only believe Christianity for one reason.
In fact, there’s no other reason ultimately to believe anything.
Friends. Christianity does have the facts behind it, and it also isn’t wish fulfillment by any means. This is not a made-up faith.