Am I a Christian?

John Wesley (ca. 1766) by Nathaniel Hone, oil on canvas, 49 1/2 x 39 1/4, National Portrait Gallery, London

Am I a Christian? I have been asking myself this question today. It’s not that I’ve done anything particularly bad. Nor am I struggling with my faith. I’ve been reading John Wesley, the eighteenth-century founder of Methodism. A Moravian pastor once asked him, Do you know Jesus Christ? Wesley was a clergyman and a missionary, yet he was shaken by the question. Although he answered in the affirmative, he feared his words “were in vain.”

In fundamentalist Christian circles, certainty is the hallmark of true faith. I remember one Baptist layman asking an evangelism prospect, “How sure are you that you’re going to Heaven—50, 75, or 100 percent?” The right answer was 100. Anything less meant you weren’t saved. At least that’s what he believed.

But true faith does not preclude healthy introspection, or even doubt. St. Paul told the Christians at Corinth, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:2). Being willing to question your faith and entertain doubts is a sign of humility, not unbelief. That’s something I appreciate about Wesley. He honestly examined his heart and life. He was willing to ask himself, Am I a Christian? Are you?

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3 Comments

Filed under devotionals

3 responses to “Am I a Christian?

  1. G

    Some days I’m not sure, but most days I am sure that I am in the faith. We don’t see ourselves as Gods sees us, our warts and bumps get in the way! He sees us through the blood of his Son, Jesus. Praise to His name.

  2. Matthew

    I question if I am really a Christian quite frequently actually. Sometimes I have to remind myself of the fundamentals of what it means to be a Christian because when I look at how politically different I am from mainstream/commercialized Christianity I feel like maybe I missed something. Your example of “the right answer” being 100% certainty was incredibly insightful and correctly expresses a feeling I’ve never quite been able to put into words myself. Great post!

  3. Matt,
    Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you found this post helpful. Remember, Jesus wasn’t “mainstream” either.
    Peace,
    TM

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