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Why do Christians become Christians?
#1
Why do Christians become Christians?
It has come up in another thread that natural theology (philosophical arguments) are not the reason once becomes a Christian. Natural theology should be properly understood as support for the direct revelation and personal revelation from God (the Bible and personal relationship respectively).

I believe, especially for an adult not raised in a Christian home, it is the appeal of Jesus as a person coupled with his teachings that draws people. Why do these things resonate with a large number of people? 

It is obvious that we are somehow wired to believe in God/higher power/supernatural/purpose/destiny etc. Of course you will say this is a product of our evolution. There are several theories centered around the adaptive values of religion (social solidarity for one). However, these theories presuppose naturalism. So the result of this reasoning is that if God did exist or did not exist, we would still be wired to believe God exists. 

I think another reason this resonates with people is Jesus' main message that forgiveness, personal peace, a relationship with God, and eteral life is possible. 
a. there are a lot of people, who have had tough experiences that find the forgiveness and internal peace very appealing.
b. when you meet someone who has been a Christian a long time and exemplifies Jesus' teachings and shares how God has been a constant comfort and support to them in their daily lives, that is very appealing as well.
c. eternal life, how can you beat that? This component also helps you make sense/cope of the shortness of life, tragedies, and pain endured while we are here. 

Another appealing quality of Christianity is having the question of purpose and place in the universe answered. 
a. with atheism, at best, you are a happy accident with no overall purpose that will very shortly die and cease to exist.
b. contrast that with the purpose of man is to "Glorify God and enjoy him forever". We were created for a reason and daily life has purpose and you really want others to know what you have found. 

In addition, Jesus modeled his teachings of love, compassion, and forgiveness for your fellow man and in doing so set an example that, if aspired to, would result in a very fulfilling life. Perhaps you are not old enough, but once you contemplate the brevity of life, finding fulfillment becames important.

While I know the one-liners will start flying in a moment, please contemplate the point I made at the beginning: It is not the KCA, or where did life come from, or arguments about origins of morality that converts people to Christianity, it is Jesus and his message that does that and I thought it important to make that clear.
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#2
RE: Why do Christians become Christians?
Obviously my wiring is pretty screwed up.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.
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#3
RE: Why do Christians become Christians?
We're not wired to believe. We're wired to seek security in belonging to a group, which is hardly surprising, given that we're a social species.

I'm probably talking to a brick wall here, but it would do some of you some good to look up newer research on other socials species.

The only part of your rather lenghty post I'm willing to accept, is the security part and the one about not being comfortable with not having all the answers. Classic god of the gaps. Classic cavemen, looking up at the sun and the moon, not being able to explain their nature and calling them gods. Yes, people want security, they want to feel cherrished and they want to be taken by the hand. But that's about all.
[Image: Bumper+Sticker+-+Asheville+-+Praise+Dog3.JPG]
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#4
RE: Why do Christians become Christians?
Becoming a Christian usually is only evident by a persons statements to that effect. My asserting I'm a Voltone from Prxfldduq 2 doesn't actually make me any more of an alien than one might be able to discern via behavior a given christian claimant takes any of the relavant scriptures seriously themselves.
 The granting of a pardon is an imputation of guilt, and the acceptance a confession of it. 




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#5
RE: Why do Christians become Christians?
Most people become part of the religion of their culture. In a Christian dominated community, a child is likely to grow up Christian. Most who convert are in some vulnerable position, like testimony about drug addiction, or fox holes, or deathbeds. There are exceptions, but those are the exceptions to the rule.
Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

10 Christ-like figures that predate Jesus. Link shortened to Chris ate Jesus for some reason...
http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-chris...ate-jesus/

Good video to watch, if you want to know how common the Jesus story really is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50

A list of biblical contradictions from the infallible word of Yahweh.
http://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_m...tions.html

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#6
RE: Why do Christians become Christians?
We're brainwashed at an early age to believe what our parents believe.  Our parents believe what their parents believed.  It's almost always the dominant religion of that geographical area.  
[Image: f1cad4607076348dc0f13d25d3de8a4e.jpg]

I have no freaking clue why someone who had the good fortune to be raised without religion and taught to think rationally and evaluate evidence would ever convert to christianity or any other religion.  What type of mental illness or ( . . . maybe a horrific tragedy, where they are all alone and taken in by religious people? . . . ) would make a person run into the arms of magical thinking, death cults, ritualized cannibalism and spell-casting?
"The family that prays together...is brainwashing their children."- Albert Einstein
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#7
RE: Why do Christians become Christians?
(May 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm)SteveII Wrote: I believe, especially for an adult not raised in a Christian home, it is the appeal of Jesus as a person coupled with his teachings that draws people. Why do these things resonate with a large number of people? 

The bulk of conversions occur between the ages of 4 and 14. For those who don't get it young from family, it isn't a "large number" of people that convert. Perhaps in Africa the situation is different, but there I suspect the church's draw as a social and community center is the drawing factor, not Jesus.

(May 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm)SteveII Wrote: It is obvious that we are somehow wired to believe in God/higher power/supernatural/purpose/destiny etc. Of course you will say this is a product of our evolution. There are several theories centered around the adaptive values of religion (social solidarity for one). However, these theories presuppose naturalism. So the result of this reasoning is that if God did exist or did not exist, we would still be wired to believe God exists.

We are wired to make socializing with invisible minds a natural skill. It's a mere side effect of these social cognitions that we have the concepts of disembodied minds like ghosts, spirits, souls, and gods. That we are wired in a way which makes god belief natural doesn't say anything one way or another about the practical truth of such beliefs. It may just be an unfortunate side effect. I'd say we are more wired for religion than any particular one, and that doesn't bode well for you attributing it to the strength of the character of Jesus. Religions come and go. The ascendancy of Christ centered religion is possibly more historical accident than any sign of inherent fitness.
[Image: Fenrir-sign.jpg]
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#8
RE: Why do Christians become Christians?
-So what if we ARE hard-wired to believe? We're also hard-wired to run down antelope on foot, shit in the open, and commit infanticide when resources are scarce. Somehow, I've managed to not do ANY of that.

-You've conveniently left out the other bits of Jesus' teaching, like eternal damnation for people who - with good and sufficient reason - simply don't believe that Jesus was divine.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#9
RE: Why do Christians become Christians?
The last Christian I had a religious discussion with (completely civil), didn't put it quite as eloquently:
"I don't know...I guess I'm supposed to, right? I mean we're like, supposed to believe in God and Jesus or whatever. At least, that's what I was raised to believe. Shit...I don't know."
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#10
RE: Why do Christians become Christians?
Is there a point in 4th or 5th or 6th grade where a kid decides to change course and become a slacker ?

Growing up in a household suffused with the 'slacker' scripture cherry picking take on christianity probably doesn't inspire that break thru moment for a kid to go, "Yes, slacker christianity is for ME!!"

Rather, the kid, if lucky might grow bored with the tepid and feeble religious zeal (s)he sees at home and might take to educating themself about other religions and even no religion.

And then we might find, they are primed for that "AHA!!! moment" when they realize not only is it impossible for all the different religions to be right, it might actually be possible that NONE are.

And then they start posting here . . .
 The granting of a pardon is an imputation of guilt, and the acceptance a confession of it. 




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