Why—with all the atrocities past and present committed in God’s name, amidst all the hostile divisions ripping apart Christ’s Church, in spite of all our own doubts and frustrations and fears about faith—are we still Christian?
If you have been around the church for longer than a month, you've probably asked that question. For some, there isn't a sufficient answer and they leave. Many of us stay, but its not because we haven't asked the question, or because we have answers that are completely satisfying. Most people I know would love some help with this.
That's why the "Why Christian?" conference caught my eye. The other thing that caught my eye were the sponsors: Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber. I've read their books and listened to them talk. I have been inspired by their honesty, wisdom and insight. I wasn't able to go to the conference but knew that if these two were hosting a conference addressing that question, it was bound to be worthwhile.
From all accounts, it was. I was most impressed by this recent reflection from Evans. Its worth a read.
Its also worth some reflection. I believe one of the reasons the church does such a poor job with evangelism is because we don't have personally satisfying answers to the simple question- "Why Christian?" Lacking a good answer, we instead revert to programs, formulas or propositions (i.e., The Four Spiritual Laws, the Roman Road, etc.) about faith. We don't trust our own experience so we refer them to a pastor- they are the 'experts' after all!
Here's the deal: No one is more an expert about why you are Christian than you. There is something deep in your soul that resonates with the love and work of God. The more we are able to articulate that rumbling and that connection, the more the Gospel becomes truly, Good News.
Which of the answers Rachel gives would be true for you? What would you add or say differently? There are people you meet everyday who want to know, starting with you.