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Why Aren’t You a Christian? An Open Letter to Those Who Haven’t Yet Believed
Could we begin by agreeing that it really doesn’t make good sense to just flat-out deny the existence of God? For one thing we don’t know everything. And because we don’t know everything, we really can’t ever be certain that God doesn’t exist. So that fact alone pretty much outrules atheism as a realistic option.
I’d submit that agnosticism isn’t a good option either. In fact, it very often amounts to not much more than uncommitted (maybe even cowardly) fence-sitting. It ignores the evidence that is there by hiding behind what isn’t. It’s a bit like the man who sat and worried every day of his life that the sun might not rise tomorrow because no one could absolutely prove to him that it would. Agnosticism is neither courageous nor sensible.
That leaves deism or theism-in one form or another, i.e. pantheism, panentheism, polytheism, heno-theism, or monotheism. But if there really are gods, or a God, in this Universe-what are they, or what is He (or It) like? Is it possible that this “God” has revealed Himself to us in some discernible way?
As we ask this question, we are forced to consider the Person of Jesus Christ. Christ claimed to be the incarnation of the infinite, personal, God of the Universe, and the mark that He has left in this world presses us to seriously consider His claim. If Jesus was not God, what do we do with the significant body of evidence that points toward the fact that He was? What do we do with the Bible? What do we do with the scores of Old Testament prophetic passages about Him that are quite evidently fulfilled in the New Testament record?
At this point I must ask you a question: What is it that you do believe? And are you content with it? Does what you believe satisfy you intellectually? emotionally? spiritually? Does it work? And does it adequately respond to the question of who Jesus was or is?
Writer Philip Yancey once said that the reasons he is a Christian reduce to two: “1) the lack of good alternatives, and 2) Jesus. Brilliant, untamed, tender, creative, slippery, irreducible, paradoxically humble- Jesus stands up to scrutiny. He is who I want my God to be.”
Why aren’t you a Christian? You may say, “Well, I just haven’t thought much about it.” Or “I’m too confused with all of the conflicting religious views in the world. So I’m non-committal.” But can you really afford the risk of not taking any position? According to Christ, the eternal consequence of hedging on the fact that He really is who He claimed to be will not be a happy one-if it turns out that He was right.
Josh McDowell once wrote that he knows many folks who have readily admitted that they know Christianity is true, yet refuse to become Christians. He diagnoses this as a problem of the will, not the mind-a deliberate attempt to “suppress the truth”, or a refusal to turn from sin and follow Christ. Ravi Zacharias has written: “A man rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the paucity of evidence. A man rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit his need for God.”
Please take it from someone who is already “in the pool”-come on in, the water’s fine. What is no doubt hard for you to understand from the outside looking in is nevertheless true-when you come to Christ and surrender yourself to Him, you don’t really lose anything. You gain. You win. You go ahead.
Once again this year, I’m inviting you to act on the evidence we’ve been presenting you in this thoughtletter month after month, and come to Christ. Repent of your sin today, and invite Him in prayer to forgive you. Receive Him as your Savior. Make a sincere attempt to follow Him as Lord. Learn of Him in the Scripture. Begin to attend a Bible-preaching church near your home this Sunday. Get baptized. And then also, we invite you to write to us and tell us of your decision. We’ll send you some free follow-up material.
Daryl E. Witmer Monson, Maine Summer, 1997