What's the POint of Being Christian?

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
I'm just curious, but what IS the point in being Christian.

Our Sunday School teacher told us that those who keep the commandments are saved, not those that know it. He was saying that everyone who keeps God's commandments are saved (muslims, budhists, etc).

I know people that have NO idea about their Chrisitan faith, and they have forgiven very bad things that have happened to them. So, what is the benefit then of boasting about being Christian?

Christ doesn't help u forgive. Its just people want to forgive anyway.

I mean, is the being Coptic really that important when you end up with the same results (IF NOT MORE!) by not even stepping a foot inside the Church?



  • That is an awesome question brother! I have noticed your very good at the art of questioning! At times, persoally i asked the exact question. Here is my two cents comments on what you have asked:

    Firstly, morals and values such as saying hello to your fellow walker or helping an old lady with the shopping is universal. Common Good or humanity serves one another, so we help one another care for another etc. It is not specific to one faith or religion. However, becoming a Christian defines and has richness. For example, humanity says you love those who love you only, and avoid those who bother you; Christ said: "If you love those who love you, what credit is it to you? The tax collectors do the same." It is not only loving your enemies, it is praying for them. It is showing that through your deeds, you show "the aroma of Christ" to others.

    Why be a Christian? Here i quote some youth leader in South Africa,

    "Why am I Christian besides all the facts that point otherwise about the existence of Christ? Because God has been good to ME. He has not let the enemy come near ME. He has sheltered ME. I shouldn’t be here, but I am here because of HIM. I can’t disregard that, it’s too big a factor." Wandile .T.Mamba

    In the end, i would like to say, good on you for asking questions, keep at it. It will strengthen your faith! We sit on a huge treasure box, which we belittle the value of it, but those outside, realise the true value of our faith and wish to be born in a Christian family. We take a lot for granted. Allow me to conclude with a quote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” - C. S. Lewis

    Thanks for hearing my 2 cents comments!

    Coptic Youth
  • I think you mean, "Good question, Sister"...  ;^)

    Last night, after watching many sacred music videos on YouTube, I pulled down my 30+ year old copy of C.S. Lewis' book, "Mere Christianity" and read a lot of it before sleep.  As I wrote in another post, I have been struggling with whether or not I believe--indeed, whether or not I even believe that there is ANYTHING to believe IN.  Well, last night, as I was reading this book, I had a transformative moment where I saw that I do believe. 

    I was not raised Christian.  I am as American as they come: three generations ago, my greatgrandparents came from England, from Germany, from French-speaking Canada.  I have no Arabic background, no Orthodox background.  When I became a Christian at age 19, I read about many denominations to find which one made the most sense to me based on what I could find from reading the Bible.  For most of my adult life, if I attended church, it was an evangelical Protestant church.

    I know one of the posters on another site likened Protestants to children who leave their mother and go after a "whore" but I think this is a good way for foolish pride to supercede Christ in our lives.  We are not here in order to judge others, but rather, to judge ourselves and find we need help.  Christianity says that the only remedy is for God to make a way for us.

    As Anthony de Mello said (paraphrasing him here), "Do you really think the God of the universe looks at us and cares what tenets we hold to be true in our brains?  Do you think that what we believe is more important than who we are and how we live?  It isn't that because we say we are Christian that we are, but the evidence in our lives that reveals who we are.  Jesus said, "By their fruits, ye shall know them." 

    Here's the thing: if you can get to the place of grace without Jesus, then there is no point in being a Christian and Christ's existence is immaterial.  This is something I have thought about--struggled with--for years now, CO.  I am a lot older than you are and because of that, my perspective is different, naturally.  I have thought about my own path, my own beliefs, my own character, and I have often wondered--aloud, to my children, to my friends, to my family--whether anyone can get to the place of a transformed heart without Jesus.  I DO NOT KNOW and to say that WE DO KNOW is preposterous, for no one knows the heart of another--only God does and sometimes that person does, but the truth is that we are all fickle and the heart is deceitful.  We fool ourselves often about who we really are inside, and we assuage our own guilt (or falsely condemn ourselves) depending on our mood.  We do not see our own foolishness often, and we certainly do not see our own pride often.  Case in point, when my children were little, I was (still am, God help me) very fiery of temperament and prone to yell.  I would loathe myself for yelling at my children or for being frustrated/short-tempered with them. I would go to my bedroom to pray, get in there on my knees and start telling God what a jerk I was to be so ridiculous with my children, asking God to forgive me and to please change me, and in the midst of that, my children knock on the door---and what do you think I do?  I yell, "LEAVE ME ALONE, I'm PRAYIN' IN HERE!!!!"  I hope you can laugh at that perfect example of our human imperfection(s)...rather than condemn me (I have done plenty of that to myself, believe me.)  But that example right there tells me the point of being a Christian, because without Jesus, I am without hope, without forgiveness, without any way to get past my own failures, shortcomings, hurting others--even when I do not know I am or when I do not mean to hurt them--all I have as a way to get past myself is to keep trying harder.  Paul said to Peter, (Paraphrasing,again) when Peter was trying to get new believers in Christ to follow Jewish laws and customs, "What are you doing?  You are putting burdens on them that NONE of us--not us, not our fathers, nor those for generations past--have been able to carry!"  Without Jesus, we are either shirking the burden of even trying (by discounting God, by just going through the wide gate, by not caring) or else we are trying trying trying, as if somehow we could attain.  But if that were possible, then Jesus' death was entirely irrelevant and unwarranted. 

    But as for the actual question itself, what's the point of being a Christian? I think you have to look deep within yourself and tell the truth to yourself to the extent that you have eyes to see and ears to hear (We are all like onions--the Holy Spirit reveals truth to us about ourselves layer by layer--do you think I saw my ridiculousness when I was younger and praying as I did?  No, it was only when I was older and could look back at myself and see how much I thought I was "following the Lord" and saw how far short I fell.)  Ask yourself what difference following Christ makes it YOUR life.  Make it between you and God, not between you and any other person. 
  • Christianity is not just keeping the law (the commandments) but its also about FAITH.
    the end purpose is to go to heaven to be with Christ.
  • Hi ZanAmrikai,


    I have a question,if you dont mind. In another thread you wrote :

    I lived through betrayal, addiction, all kinds of abuse, but it was ultimately the ongoing adultery that ended it.

    My question is regarding the adultery part. I have this feeling that ,when it comes to this serious sin,women are more forgiving  and are more likely to give their cheating husbands a second chance .In traditional societies,such as Iran, for example, this case is different.Women may have to put up with the abuse of their husbands in order to raise their children ,pressure from family and so on. But,what makes women more forgiving in a society where she has more freedom and means to raise her Children, for example? I am not married, but as a male, just the idea of my wife cheating on me makes me feel tired. I may forgive her, but I would divorce her.So what is the mystery and how do women put this thing behind to start a new beginning? I hope you dont mind me asking.
  • I just saw your question--I am actually off to go work out right now, so I will post later when I am home.  By the way, in case any of you wonder, Zan means Woman and Amrikai means American.  ;^)  (In Persian.)
  • OK I am back from my run--three miles tonight.

    I wanted to talk about forgiving my ex-husband after I found out about his adultery, and trying to restore our marriage, and the ultimate decision to divorce.

    In my mind, when I said my vows, I truly DID say them "in the sight of God and these witnesses." I used the words, "Pledge and covenant" in my vows.  I know that for some people vows are only words; not for me.  A vow is something you say at a time when you are feeling happily in love--you can't imagine that some day you are going to SERIOUSLY doubt your decision to marry that person.  I don't mean you are going to be ticked off; I mean you are going to want to puke that this person is your spouse but you have taken vows so you keep moving forward into the marriage and, hopefully, toward greater intimacy.  (To me, this is the point of marriage: true intimacy between a man and woman, true lasting love unfolding and growing.)

    So, when I found out that my husband was having an affair, I was devastated.  I read Tough Love, a book all about how to tell the person that you love him/her but that it's their choice if they decide to leave the marriage, (vs. begging, pleading, etc).  I did this; my husband said he loved me, he loved our children, he loved my family, blah blah blah.  But he lied and kept up the affair.  Then when I realized this, he moved in with the other woman and the children and I moved away (to be closer to my parents) because we had no financial support.  At the time, I found out about Rejoice Marriage Ministry in Florida--a man and woman who believe in "Standing" for marriage, no matter WHAT the errant spouse does.  They believe that marriage is marriage, period, and that you should never remarry but always wait--pray and wait--for the spouse to return to you. 

    This sounds insane to me now.

    But that is what I did.  I also believed that we are all only human and that ANY of us, given the "right" conditions might fall into sins we think we are immune to...that we are all vulnerable depending on the situation.  I gave my husband a lot of room for his pain--and I felt very convicted within myself of how I had fallen short as a wife and repented of any of my own behavior that may have driven him away.  (Now I look at this with very different eyes--not because I think I am perfect, but in fact, because NONE of us is perfect and to imagine that it was MY fault that my husband made the decisions he did is just ludicrous.  Was it because of him that I remained faithful? After all, I was in the same painful marriage!)

    He came back to our family after nine or so months living with that other woman...but then other things kept happening, and he ended up having (I think) other affairs, until the latest one that ended our marriage finally, with another woman who left her husband and children for my husband. 

    I tell you that one of the hardest things about adultery is that you realize that this sacred connection between you--the sacred sexual union--has been breached by another person, and no matter what, the memory of it is ALWAYS there and it sullies the marriage bed.  That is my opinion, having lived through it. 

    It speaks to a person's character what s/he does or does not do.  Whether or not a person crosses lines, whether or not a person remains faithful to vows.  I guess my staying with my husband had to do with my character, as much as it had to do with anything--even though some people want to pathologize someone who stays in a marriage after adultery.  We all have our weaknesses and strengths.  I am not sure how much difference it makes that I had my faith--plenty of people I know who are true believers would never have been able to take their husband/wife back after an affair.  Here's what I think: repairing a marriage after an affair is extremely difficult to do, but it will ONLY work when BOTH people are committed to the MARRIAGE and when the offender is committed to being accountable and to earning back trust (because trust is GONE FOREVER unless this happens), and to letting the "victim" have whatever assurances are necessary for there to be a feeling of safety and love again.

    You are right that things are different in Iran; of course it is still an exceptionally patriarchal culture with fewer rights for women (few rights for anyone, for that matter!) than here.  But women are still generally dependent on a man if they give up their own education and career path, as I did, to support their husband's goals. 

    Few things are as devastating as living through betrayal.  It rocks you to the core.  My children have never been the same.
  • thank you for sharing that with us sister,
    may God heal your children and lead you ask you seek His face.
  • Hey Cerifiedorthodox! I really think the book mentioned by someone on this thread is worth reading: "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. It answers your question really well. Also, I suggest reading (I must confess, I haven't read it all), "Abolition of Man", also. You can usually get a book with his signature classics. As a side-note,his book, "The Screwtape Letters" is a very good read, too.

    I also read a book called, "The Twilight of Atheism" by Alister McGrath. It deals with why these questions you (and we ourselves) are asking are so common today.
  • What is the point of being Christian? This is the point:

  • Great video, thank you :)
    One of the fathers said that we are not God so we dont/cant judge who and what religion will go to heaven. But he said that to make sure 100% that you reach Christ , Orthodox christianity is the choice. He compared it to different ships traveling in the ocean trying to reach the same destination; while many ships could somehow reach this destination but only true faithful orthodox christianity can guarantee that it will get you to that destination.
    We dont know how God's mercy and justice will combine on judement day, God has an unlimited knowledge and wisdom and he is the only one that can say whether a non-christian will be worthy to enter the kingdom. However, the church teaches us that being a true christian will make the narrow door easy to reach.

    Pray for me
  • The point of being Christian is to grow into the likeness of God, through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. As Saint Seraphim of Sarov said: our purpose is to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

    Read this article!
    Saint Seraphim of Sarov

    I'm not sure if this is the answer to the question that was being asked originally, but it's still good food for thought.
  • The point of being a Christian is to be in communion with God. God loved us to the extent that He send His Only-Begotten Son to suffer for our sins. The least we could do to try to repay is to dedicate our life (which was given to us for free) to our Creator. This doesnt not mean that every should be a monk or nun. But we should have God in every part of our lives.

    If you really sit down with yourself and think about all of what the Lord our God has done for us, it is an amazing experience.  How can the Alpha and Omega have a personal relationship with His creation?! Why does the Creator of everything love us so much?! If God loves us enough to suffer for us even though He did nothing wrong, then how can we love him back?! How does the All-Mighty Eternal God love us, protect us, and guide us, the humans who are mortal and who reject Him?! What is this great love?! How can the Immortal Logos allow us to enter into His kingdom?!

    "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." ~ John 3:16

    These are all questions that we need to understand and contemplate on, but we can never fully explain or understand God's love.
    This is the point of being a Christian: "Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’" and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

    "If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also." ~ 1 John 4:20-21

    God bless you and please pray for me and my weakness
  • [quote author=CertifiedOrthodox link=topic=8830.msg110674#msg110674 date=1266318917]
    I'm just curious, but what IS the point in being Christian.

    Our Sunday School teacher told us that those who keep the commandments are saved, not those that know it. He was saying that everyone who keeps God's commandments are saved (muslims, budhists, etc).

    I know people that have NO idea about their Chrisitan faith, and they have forgiven very bad things that have happened to them. So, what is the benefit then of boasting about being Christian?

    Christ doesn't help u forgive. Its just people want to forgive anyway.

    I mean, is the being Coptic really that important when you end up with the same results (IF NOT MORE!) by not even stepping a foot inside the Church?


    CertifiedOrthodox, first off, nobody should boast about being a Christian. Nobody should boast period. Is it right to boast that we have bested the devil once while he has bested us a multitude? Its not our place to know or judge who is saved and who is not, we can go by scriptures to understand which path is the correct path. Orthodoxy is the correct path and the only way towards salvation. Our early church fathers have referred to the church as "The body of Christ" and Christ has said in Lk 11:13 "He that is not with me is against me." So this is a commandment is it not? Showing that we need to be in Him as much as He is in us, through Communion.

    Being part of another religion while keeping the commandments of God is not possible. No non-Orthodox is permitted to receive communion under any circumstances so they cannot keep that commandment. There are exceptions for those who never heard the Gospel and did not have the option to accept or reject His word, they will be judged differently. You cannot reach the same goal through another religion nor denomination as the Orthodox have the chance to. Some on this website have argued that Orthodoxy is the FULL revelation where as the other denominations are mere half truths, still Christian but not completely. While Christ has told us in Rev 3:16 "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit thee out of my mouth." This also applies to the Orthodox who have every opprotunity to participate in their salvation and choose to take it lightly.

    So while we all want to believe that everyone is good and going to heaven this is not true, this is the heresy of universal salvation, and is just plain false. Orthodoxy is the true church, as we say in the creed and it is the only means by which to gain salvation. Hopefully this helps certifiedorthodox, may the prayers of all the saints be with you!
  • [quote author=CertifiedOrthodox link=topic=8830.msg110674#msg110674 date=1266318917]
    I'm just curious, but what IS the point in being Christian.

    Our Sunday School teacher told us that those who keep the commandments are saved, not those that know it. He was saying that everyone who keeps God's commandments are saved (muslims, budhists, etc).

    I know people that have NO idea about their Chrisitan faith, and they have forgiven very bad things that have happened to them.

    Doesn't this contradict the verse, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5)" Doesn't being Christian give us that?
  • Peace to you sister in the Name of Our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ

    If i could humbly make a point of why be Christian? [coptic][/coptic]

    As the name suggest, Christians are those set aside for the Lord, unlike other people Christians in the true sense have died to this world in order to live in Jesus Christ, by loving our enemies and following his commandments, we share in his suffering for righteousness sake, we love others by introducing them to Jesus Christ so that those who are spiritually dead can be alive in him, because there is no other name in heaven, on earth or under the earth by which we were saved, are being saved and shall be saved, so through the love of the Father, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit, we live in Jesus Christ, because he died for our sins, so if we die to sin, we will live in him, the Orthodox Faith is the same faith given by our Lord to the Apostles, and the Holy Spirit guides us into Christ, until the time when he delivers all things to The Father.

    Glory to The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, One God. Amen
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