Word-y Gifts for Christian Faith & Life

Why are you (still) a Christian?

“Christianity is toxic.” So read a line in an article I read recently. The description is rather disturbing, perhaps even dangerous. Although some Christians—past and present—have indeed done and continue to do wrong-headed or un-Christ-like things in the name of Christ, I disagreed with the characterization because it does not describe biblical Christianity, Christian theology, or, in my view, the practice of most Christians.

Yet, as disturbing as the line may be, it is worth remembering that even in Christianity’s early days, Christians and the faith in general were called all sorts of disturbing names, usually by those who believed Christianity threatened their interests. Christ was called a blasphemer (Matt. 26:65) and accused of working with demons (Matt. 12:24). The disciples were called disrupters of the peace (Acts 17:6), threats to the economy (Acts 19: 24-27), unsophisticated or uneducated (Acts 4:13), political dissidents (Acts 17:7), troublemakers (Acts 24:5), and so on. The insults often became threats of physical harm, and eventually believers were beaten, stoned, or killed in some of the most gruesome ways imaginable.  

But, despite it all, those early believers persisted. They continued to tell the world about Jesus. As their persecution worsened, they met regularly, encouraged and strengthened one another, and reminded each other of the treasure they had in Christ. They were not ashamed of their faith; they were grateful for it. Although the world around them used the term “Christian” in a derogatory manner, to the disciples it was a term of honor and everything they wanted to be—people who not only followed Jesus but belonged to him. They never stopped calling themselves “Christians.”   

What was the secret to their persistence and perseverance? The Apostle Paul would say, “I know in whom I have believed…” (2 Tim. 1:12)

Why are you (still) a Christian?

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