People are members of a particular faith for lots of reasons. Often, it’s because their parents were of that faith. Their families, too. They grew up that way, and the society they’ve always been part of holds to that faith.
Maybe it’s because they find comfort in a particular idea about God. Maybe they’re afraid of Hell. Maybe it’s because they find the idea of reincarnation attractive, or like the idea that someday they might become gods themselves. It could just the idea that the’ll be reunited with loved ones who die before them.
Or maybe they’re attracted to the leader of a religion, like Mohammed or Buddha or Jesus or Joseph Smith or Mary Baker Eddy or L. Ron Hubbard. They find the leader charismatic or brilliant or wise.
There are many, many other reasons as well, but those are some of the major ones.
And all of them — every single one — is a bad reason to have a particular faith, to hold to a particular religion.
I would argue that there’s only one legitimate reason to believe in a religious system — even if that system is one without any deity at all.
That reason is simple: IS IT TRUE?
I’m amazed at how rarely I see this given as the reason for believing in a particular religion. But no other reason should satisfy.
This is why I’m a Christian. Not because it comforts me (although it does), not because I’ll go to heaven (I will, although it’s through no merit or effort on my part), not because I grew up in a Christian house or because of any other reason.
I’m a Christian because it’s true. You’re welcome to believe it’s false, of course. But it’s my experience that most who say that haven’t really studied the claims of Christianity in any serious way. Some have, and come to the opposite conclusion. I can only say of them that I differ, and I’m confident that the historicity of Christianity, and the reality of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection can be examined and verified (or refuted) in a way no other religion that’s ever existed on this earth can. (This is what the study of apologetics is all about.)
So, if you want to know why you should be a Christian or Muslim or Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon or Jew or whatever, do not endeavor to find that religion to which you’re most attracted, but that one which you believe is true. All other reasons fall short.
What do you think? Is Christianity true? Is it false? Have you studied its claims closely, or those of another religion? Let me know in the comments.