Thursday, January 05, 2012

Choosing My Religion

A friend of mine posted the "A Flowchart for Choosing Your Religion" on his Facebook.  It is pretty funny, especially the part about magical underwear meaning you should become a Mormon.  Here it is, below:

Even though this is a joke, it does illuminate a common view among people -that one "chooses" to become a Christian.  But what non-Christians (and actually, many Christians) do not understand is that you do not choose to become a Christian -you are hit by the Gospel, claimed by it.  It is more like a drive-by-shooting than checking a box on a piece of paper.  Yes, there was a moment in time where you believed in Jesus.  God doesn't do the believing for you.  But when you believed you were already impacted by the Gospel -you believed because you were impacted.  That "impact" resulted in your believing.  The scales fell off your eyes.  You saw yourself, and Jesus, for what you and He are.

It may not be some dramatic experience.  It may not be some existential epiphany where someone "found God."  But the Gospel struck you and shook you.

I remember it with me.  It struck me by knocking down my idol of self-righteousness.  In one swoop, I realized that if Jesus had to die for me (and I knew He did) in order for me to be made right with God then I am not a "good person" like I had convinced myself to believe.  Those couldn't both be true.  I knew at that moment that I was a man who had lived in rebellion against his Maker, no matter the excuses and delusions of spirituality and morality.  Comparing myself to other people and saying, "I'm not that bad," won't do.  Jesus died for me.  He had to but He was glad to.  That changes everything.  I didn't "choose" that.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.

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