What it mean to be a Christian?
“What's your religion?”
said the firm, authoritative voice. The sergeant's eyes remained fixed on his clipboard waiting for my response. The Army induction center didn't seem like the place that I would be confronted with spiritual questions, but religious preference was a standard question asked of every inductee. It would be stamped on my dog tags, I suppose to guide funeral services if I were killed in combat.
I hesitated briefly from answering… knowing that I had not attended church for several years. But I began to think… "I must be a Christian, after all I was raised in a church-going Christian home, and I did sorta believe in God and Jesus… and definitely knew I wasn't a Muslim, Buddhist or Atheist."
“Well, what is it son?”
he asked again. “Well I'm, uh, Christian,”
I replied meekly. But as soon as I heard the sound of my own voice, I realized my answer was hollow and lacked conviction. Sure, I held a traditional and philosophical affection toward Christianity. I believed there was a God and that Jesus was His son... and as a child I had even said my prayers and had my own Bible... however I knew inwardly that my heart was far away from God. Had I been prosecuted for being a Christian, I don't think there was enough evidence to convict me.
I usually avoided thinking about such things... but was occasionally troubled, especially at the thought of what might happen when I died. Would I go to Heaven or not? I shuddered at the thought that there might be a real and literal Hell, and if so, I didn't want to go there.
It took a few more years, but I eventually discovered what it actually meant to become a Christian... and to have a real and genuine relationship with Jesus as my Savior and Lord. When I did, my heart and life were transformed by this real and powerful experience with Christ... Read More >>