I’ve had a few conversations lately with people who seem to believe in a collage of various religions. It mostly sounds eastern with talk of energy and spirit, but there is a definite affirmation in some way of a Christian God. They’re fine with everyone else’s religion and are even inclined to borrow the elements they find helpful.
I have seen enough Christians steam roll people with Bible verses before truly understanding them. It’s as if the Christian becomes a vending machine just dispensing unwanted scripture verses pending on the situation. I have no interest in hammering people with scripture. I want to use scripture as a way to reveal God. As a by-product, what is false should be dispelled by what is true.
So here is my thinking: What makes Christianity better than other religions? What about Jesus should make other people want to drop their carefully constructed belief systems? What would make people drop everything in order to follow Jesus?
No pat answers please. I am talking about people who have really thought things through, or so they would say, and who often agree with what I say about the orthodox Christian God. Of course they hold other beliefs that I find hard to reconcile with Christianity. It’s a tough nut to crack.
So here is where I’m at.
First of all, God is distinct, unique, and supreme. He cannot be blended with other gods and religions. This assertion presupposes the truth of the Bible and it’s function as one of the ways God reveals himself to his creation, but there you have it. The Christian God does not share his glory.
Secondly, what makes this Christian God better than any other deity or religion man can cook up??? I have really wrestled with this. I can speak for myself, but it’s hard to answer such a question for someone else . . . who probably isn’t asking it, but should be.
For now, I can at least say this. God is real. He is present. He is in this world and he is speaking to his people. He makes the scriptures come alive, he meets his people in solitude and in community and speaks to them. He brings his joy, delight, and peace. The Lord does not make everything easy, in fact he’ll often make things harder.
Yet I cannot think of another religion where God truly lives “in” his people. He makes his dwelling inside of us. It is the Spirit of God who speaks to his people day in and day out that makes Christianity worthwhile. It’s the relationship with God that sets Christianity apart.
I suppose you could say this is why I am a Christian.