Below are a selection of commonly asked questions in regards to what it means to be a Christian. The responses given below have been kept as concise as possible to make for a simple read on this site and we’d therefore love the opportunity to talk further with you about them and any other questions they may raise.
Why not have a look at the Exploring Christianity page to see some of the courses that the church runs, or pop in one Sunday to find out more. Additionally some of the links on the Useful Sites page may be of interest if you have more questions.
How do we know God is there?
We can only know God is there if he chooses to make himself known. He has done this in creation, through the Bible and supremely in the person of Jesus. Had we lived almost 2000 years ago, we could have seen him face to face. Jesus claimed to be God and he backed up those claims with his actions. He calmed storms, healed the sick, cast out evil spirits, raised the dead, and forgave people. When Jesus himself was put to death, he rose again. The evidence of Jesus’ life and actions demonstrate that he was who he claimed to be: the living God.
How do you know the gospels are reliable?
Scholars of history apply various tests to ancient documents to establish their historical reliability. When these tests are applied to the Bible it stands head and shoulders above any comparable early writings as a document to be taken seriously as real history. The New Testament writings were written down close in time to the events of Jesus’ life, and that of the early church. The large number of copies of the original manuscripts means we can be confident that what we read today is what was written then. Other historical writings confirm what is recorded in the Bible at many points. Many of the Biblical authors themselves stress that they are recording historical events based on eye-witness accounts. The best way to check this out would be to read one of the accounts of Jesus’ life (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) with an open mind and weigh up what it says about him for yourself.
Isn't a Christian just a good person or someone who believes in God?
God wants us to be friends with him not just good enemies. It is not good enough just to believe God exists (even some people who hate God believe that). We actually need to apologise to God for rebelling against him, and thank him for the death of Jesus which pays for our rebellion. We should then ask God to help us live with Jesus as our Lord. We will then want to live in a way that pleases God, because we have been forgiven, not in order to be forgiven.
Aren't Christians just a bunch of hypocrites?
Christians don’t claim to be perfect and we are aware that we often don’t live in a way that pleases God. Ultimately, though, you should decide about the value of the Christian faith not on the bad performance of its followers but on the basis of its founder – Jesus. The accounts of his life in the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) show he was no hypocrite, he perfectly practised what he preached. Read one of them for yourself and check out his life and claims.
For more answers to big questions why not check out the “Tough Questions” section of the Christianity Explored website.