a Virginia Mission Parish in the Orthodox Anglican Church
Serving Poquoson and surrounding communities.
Why I am a Christian - a personal confession
- by Rev. Fr. Paul Hubbard
Some time ago I very intentionally read a book called "Why I am not a Christian" by Bertrand Russell. His reasons were disappointingly tepid. When all was said and done, I decided that the best reasons for not becoming a Christian have been given by the apologists themselves. It is as if they understand exactly what the unbeliever is trying to say and they say it even better. For example, C.S. Lewis' argument against God in The Problem of Pain is everything I could have hoped for if I were an atheist.
So the real challenge - to be parallel to the format of Russell's book - would be to give an apology as to why I have dissented from the prevailing view of modernity; that is, ‘why I am not an unbeliever’.
There is a very common reason given nowadays about why someone becomes a Christian; that is, why they stop being an unbeliever. Because, it is said, Christianity gives one a sense of romance that secular existentialism does not. But could this be true? Is conversion to Christianity the brute choice of a more romantic existentialism?
I like C.S. Lewis' explanation much better. If Christianity is true, I expect to be dragged into the Kingdom kicking and screaming (at least at first) against my will, not my reason. And, as it turns out, I see now how unreasonable I had been as an unbeliever. Because I had become unreasonable about nearly anything that happen to stand in my stubborn way – whether it be a pet scientific theory or a relationship or my fanciful opinion of myself.
And now (after my humiliating capture by Christ) that I have been all dressed, taken care of, loved and ennobled in this unworldly Kingdom, I can't imagine any reason for going back to the hellish, sputtering, spiteful, secular existentialism from which I have been delivered. Immersed in Reason Himself, I am speechless when someone asks me, by inference, why I am not an unbeliever. Having once seen my own destiny, I would have to repudiate my own humanity to return to the grimy world of my own self-righteous plan for an utterly temporary and unsatisfactory happiness. Yes, I could be drawn into the darkness again through the lust of the flesh, or the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. But then, he would just find me again and take me back home. Against all reason. For he will not leave my soul in hell.
Rev. Fr. Paul K. Hubbard