Why are you Christian for? Why do you believe?

Dear brothers and sisters,

I'm preparing a Bible Study  - but to address it well, I'd just like to ask you a few a questions as to why you are Christian:

I am just curious to know why you are Christian?

Christ rose from the dead - but did you witness His Resurrection? 

Only when the disciples and apostles saw Him Risen did they believe. Without the Resurrection, they would have never believed. 

The miracles they witnessed before (healings, Lazarus etc) made absolutely zero difference. It was only when seeing Christ Risen did they believe. 

If an atheist came here and asked you : Why are you all Coptic? You'd say that your parents were Coptic. Why aren't you Muslim? If your parents were born in Pakistan or Saudia Arabia, you'd have been Muslim, and equally defending your faith in Islam. 

The Gospels are telling you that without the resurrection, your faith is pointless. So what right do you have in saying you are Christian when the Apostles didn't believe and even saw tons of miracles. You seem to like the Christian ideology, but you have not had any evidence that Christ IS indeed Risen.

What is your evidence??

Oh, before I forget, I have the answer to these questions .. I just want to make sure I've perfected my Bible Study homework before I present it to our prayer group. 

Basically, the question asks: What claim do you have to say you are a Christian when you haven't seen Christ Risen?


  • Three reasons I choose to be Christian:

    1. Apostles who started Christianity, and preached that Christ was risen, died for that belief. It doesn't make sense to make something up and die for it. Mohammed would easily renounce Islam if you have a sword to his neck because he knows that s**t is made up. This is different from a follower of a religion dying for their belief because they truly believe it based on simple trust of the founder.

    2. There are modern miracles that have enough evidence to make them believable. In our wonderful Egyptian society where literally everything is a "miracle" the word loses its meaning. But if you look past all the dumb stories, there are well documented miracles that have at least some merit. Example would be someone with a terminal cancer that spontaneously regresses within a short period of time and findings are documented by a muslim physician. The miracles people witnessed from Jesus did make a difference ... he had a huge following. Jesus himself asked skeptics to believe in him because of the works he did (John 14:11). 

    3. Apparition of St. Mary in Zeitoun 1968 which was witnessed by a large number of people of many religions. At the very least, it gives credence to the existence of a "spiritual" world beyond the physical one. But it also gives merit to belief in Christianity specifically, with the apparition being in the shape of St. Mary and being over a church dome, etc...

    However, none of these is absolute evidence. Apostles could have all been brainwashed/crazy or maybe the historical evidence for their martyrdom is bogus. It is also possible that there are perfectly reasonable natural explanations for these "miracles" and the apparition. But you have to look at it in the context of Pascal's Wager (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S93jMOqF-oE). Pascal just arbitrarily assumed a 50% chance that God exists. But given the above points, I (and I think most reasonable people) would put it somewhere between 75-90%. Given these odds, you are better off living as a Christian to have a chance of going to heaven if it exists.

    Conclusion: There is nothing to prove Christianity beyond reasonable doubt. However, given the above evidence, it would be pragmatic to live as a Christian to avoid the very real possibility of going to hell and have a chance of going to heaven if they exist. 

    (This is just why I choose to be Christian, but I certainly don't speak for other Christians)
  • "There is nothing to prove Christianity beyond reasonable doubt."
    I do not agree with this. The church fathers have used many methods to prove Christianity such the prophesies and the natural arguments for God. www.reasonablefaith.com is a good resource even though it it protestant.

  • edited December 2020
    May I suggest you create the lesson in a different way? The entire argument is based on Western individualism. The "didn't witness" usage reeks of, "...if I didn't see it I don't believe it..." thought. Self is a relatively new thing to Copts. And not all of us are Coptic by ethnicity, nor is everyone Christian who are currently a part of the church.

    Maybe bring up how the faith survives beyond secular, ethnic and political conflicts? How our traditions and Traditions have been so "orthodox" with 1,500 years of separation? I agree with you're main point. Perhaps NOT about if an individual doesn't believe, but how God welcomes someone back? Use more universal examples of those doubted their faith and put it in contemporary examples and issues within the conversation, not the main them of the lesson.
  • edited December 2020
    I am a Christian because, after knowing the holy people that I have known, after experiencing their faith, I cannot not be Christian. After not only knowing them, but experiencing heaven itself, in prayer, in scripture, in the Divine Liturgy, in the confession. I know that there is no greater spiritual food than what I have here. Here, my spiritual food is God Himself, literally, in the Eucharist!
  • Replying to CanadianCopt: 

    Yes indeed there are a lot of philosophical attempts to "logic" God into existence. The majority of such arguments fall short either simply because they happen to be bad or circular arguments, or they fail to prove the existence of any particular god. I think this is a problem in our church and many other churches, trying to prove something (let alone a religion) beyond a reasonable doubt is such a huge undertaking that you are simply setting yourself up for failure. It is much easier, and more honest, to embrace the uncertainty and let people come to their own conclusions.

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