Am I a Christian Because I Was Raised a Christian?

This criticism of Christianity can have some merit.  It is my guess that many who call themselves Christian (especially in the U.S.) grew up in Christian homes or were introduced to Christianity at a young age. They might consider themselves Christian because that’s all they’ve ever known. In fact, many who call themselves Christian do so because they grew up in the United States and feel that it’s the religion of this country.  Therefore, those who criticize Christianity sometimes point out that we would not be Christian if we grew up in places like India or Iran.  They would argue that our location and background influence our religion of choice.

I would agree that our geographical location and our family background can greatly influence our religious worldview. However, these factors do not have anything to do with why I remain a Christian.

Although I have not thoroughly investigated every religion, I have examined in detail the claims of Christianity enough to form a standard by which to compare world philosophies and religions.

I have discovered that Christianity is the only world religion which offers an historical claim that can be examined and tested. That claim is the raising from the dead its founder, Jesus of Nazareth.  Jesus pinned His entire ministry on His resurrection (Matt 12:39-40).  If He could not rise from the dead under His own power, then His claims can be dismissed. However, if He can come back from being dead after several days, then His claims must be considered as truthful and righteous.

Mohammed claimed to be God’s true prophet. However, Mohammed did not provide any method by which we could examine and judge his claim. Followers of Islam teach that by reading the Qur’an one will be convinced that it is right. This same method of judging truth is encouraged by the Mormons.  They claim that one will have a “burning in the bosom” while reading the Book of Mormon.

These claims, regardless how spiritual they may sound, do not rise above the level of being completely subjective. In other words, they cannot be tested to see if they are true in reality. What if one reads the Qur’an or Book of Mormon but does not feel this “inner testimony?” Does it mean that those books are not true?

Christianity, on the other hand, provides an empirical, non-subjective test to gauge truth. Its truth hangs upon the hinges of an historical moment. If the resurrection did not happen in reality, then Christianity is not true. If the resurrection happened in reality, then it is true.  And, if Christianity is true, any conflicting claim to truth must be false.

My examination of the resurrection has led me to the conclusion that Christianity is true. Therefore, I am a Christian because the available evidence leads me to that conclusion. I may have been raised in a Christian home, but I remain a Christian because I choose to be one.



Dane Cramer is a backpacker, Christian blogger, jail chaplain, and author of two books: Romancing the Trail and The Nephilim: A Monster Among Us.



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