Why I Became a Jesus Follower
Different Journeys, One Destination
Have you ever looked at "religious" people and just thought, that's not me?
At SVC we love to celebrate the many different types of people and the journeys to Jesus represented in our congregation. We welcome the cautious, curious, quirky, bold, uncertain! We honor all the beauty and messiness of family, and would love to see you find a home in our community.
Below are a few stories from our family.
Agnostic Seeking Buddhism
Looking for truth
I always considered myself agnostic. I grew up in a Buddhist / Confucianist family, reading texts like Xi You Ji and some stories on the life of Guan Yin and such. I couldn’t really bring myself to fully believe in it. They were fantastical stories, maybe with a grain of truth. The theology of it never made sense to me and my parents couldn’t really explain why. One example would be, that in praying for the healing of a loved one, your offering is to shorten your life for them. I couldn’t understand how a benevolent God could work that way. So I just agreed to believe that a greater power existed, but I did't have any sense of what that power was.
Studying abroad in China and visiting Buddhist temples. I was hoping for a new understanding of my faith, to be enlightened or something, but all I found were dead relics.
During that time, I became close friends with some Christian students in the international dorms. They shared the Bible with me and tried their best to answer my questions. I had read bits and pieces of the Bible in the past to argue with Christians who were trying to convert me. Not until China had I run into Christians who were humble in their debate with me, acknowledging when they lacked knowledge and acknowledging the faults of the church and bad Christian examples in history (I was a history buff).
A Paradigm Shift
Ultimately, I just wanted someone to speak pure truth to me. These friends encouraged me to read the Bible for what it is and not to compare/judge God from what man did historically. That was my turning point, I started to see the God of the Bible.
It was about a year and a half after I started seeking God through the Bible and going to church that I was ready to commit my life to Jesus. I came to Christianity largely because I could not find logical, truthful, helpful, and applicable responses to my life questions in Buddhism or Confucianism.
Struggles and Joy
One of the biggest struggles I faced at this point was learning how to navigate my family life as a Christian. I was still living at home. I felt like I knew the answer to my family's and relatives’ problem…Christ!...but I didn’t know how to share it and change doesn't come easily to anyone. I lost all of my close friends. My two best friends of ten years could not accept my faith and our friendship slowly waned way. This saddened me, but ultimately it was hard to communicate and support each other when our world views were so different. The happy news is that I have gained a large family of faithful friends since then!
I guess my last thought would just be this: read the Bible! Find a group to share and learn! God’s Word is alive and powerful, don’t let your Horizon of Expectation (Hans Robert Jauss’s Reception Theory) limit your understanding of God’s Word!
LINKS TO RESOURCES
Have you ever wondered how Christianity is different to Buddhism? Can't we just choose the way we like the most, or that connects best with our culture? Below are some links to sites that may be helpful to you.