God, Jesus & Us

We're Christians

Both of us are Christians, and we've been going to Chatswood Baptist church since April 2002. It's been a great place to learn more about God and share with other Christians. If you want to drop in and say hello, we attend the morning congregation at 9:30.

Well, what does it mean exactly to be a Christian? In a sentence this means that we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. On this page we'll to briefly describe the who, what and why of what we believe. We'd like to challenge you to read through the discussion presented here, and have a serious think about the implications.

What's a Christian

To understand what a Christian is, it's best to look at what we believe, and how we've responded to Jesus. Here are some of the core concepts:

But, hang on, this doesn't sound right. Christians do good stuff, follow the ten commandments or something like that, and then they get into heaven, right? Nope. To be sure, there are going to be some bitterly disappointed people who thought they could get in on their own steam. Rather, the reason that Christians 'do good stuff' is because they feel compelled to, in part from gratitude for what Jesus has done for them, and in part because God's spirit is working in us to change us.

So, it's kinda like the Matrix. There is a reality greater than just the physical world we perceive. But even if we can't see God and these things now, we will in due course. So it's a good idea to work out if you're with God or against God before it's too late.

Objections to Christianity

So now you've got the Christ1001 of what we believe. But why do we believe this things. Why should the two of us, two intelligent, university educated people (I'll just give myself a wrap here) believe this stuff? Indeed, people put forward lots of reasons why they think Christians are barking mad.

We'll look at some of these objections. Unfortunately it's hard to provide a compelling argument in a sentence. But, believe me, these are well discussed questions that have good answers, and it would therefore be ignorant to dismiss Christianity for any reason without checking to see if there's any validity to that reason.

God Reveals Himself

"You can neither prove nor disprove God" is a common quoted phrase. But it's interesting that Jesus' early followers had it proved to them beyond doubt that he was God. So, a better way of phrasing this common objection might be that science cannot prove or disprove God. Rather, rational thought and historical study are more appropriate tools for investigation.

Evidences to support the claims of the bible generally fall into three baskets:

  1. Jesus Christ was an extraordinary man. He made extraordinary claims. He claimed that he was God. But he backed these claims up by performing miracles that only the creator of the universe could do. Below is one example from the book of Mark, chapter 2:

    ...When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

    'But many of his miracles aren't physically possible!' This is the point - that they aren't physically possible demonstrates that God must exist and have power over all things - he did, after all, make the laws of physics. 'But they must be lies!' These miracles were often performed in front of large crowds, including Jesus' enemies. Yet not even his enemies denied his miracles. Further, many of these early witnesses were later executed for their beliefs. Who would die for a lie?
  2. Historicity of the bible. The bible describes many places, people and events in both the old testament and the new testament. Many of these have been verified through archaeology. The text of the bible has also been faithfully and accurately preserved throughout the centuries. The bible succeeds where it can be tested - it is therefore prudent to accept it where it cannot be tested.
  3. General revelation is a fancy name for all the clues God has given us in the world around us. Indeed we don't need to look past the end of our nose to find evidence of Gods handy work. "Intelligent Design" is an unpopular phrase these days. But it describes that the world, ecology, environment, universe, our own bodies, DNA, and brain are all such intricate systems that are all so perfectly tuned to their task that they could not have possibly come about through unguided processes as modern science suggests. They must have been created by an intelligent designer - God. Even the fact that you're thinking your very own conscious thoughts, your self-awareness, cannot be explained by the 'mechanical' physics alone that science gives us.

Further to this, we experience him personally in a variety of ways. Though answers to prayers, though the way he shapes our character, and through the way he directs the course of our lives in ways that we otherwise wouldn't have gone on our own. It's like having a pen friend. At first, the medium of communication may appear to only be on paper, but through the development of the relationship you know personally there's a very real person at the other end.

So, what do you think?

Hopefully you understand a bit more about what makes a Christian who they are, and what makes the two of us who we are. But more importantly, maybe you've thought a bit more about this important topic. It seems that most people do more research into their next digital camera purchase then their eternity. If you have more questions, please talk to one of us. If you disagree... please talk to us and tell us why we're wrong. Don't be too shy, lazy, proud, stubborn, uninterested, distracted to look into this important issue further.

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2006-10-23