I stumbled upon a Facebook post last week that challenged the very foundation upon which my life is grounded; talking about my Christian faith. It had a bold caption that read “THIS IS WHY YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN TODAY”whilst displaying the image of a black slave being whipped by a white master.
It went on to say that blacks weren’t originally Christians but were tortured and forced by their white masters to share in their faith and belief, which led to the first generation of black Christians who subsequently passed it on to successive generations and here we are today.
As it is for any topic of this sort on social media, it attracted series of responses, follow-up questions & counter responses, those who are for and those who are against, and being a black Christian myself, I was poised to go on the defensive but relented to really consider the issue.
Apparently, the writer was right in some way. Black slaves weren’t originally Christians, their white masters were and yes, some were forced to practice Christianity outside of their own volition which saw the transcendence of that belief across generations.
“This is probably why most blacks were Christians then but is this why I’m a Christian now?” I thought to myself. Am I a professing Christian now only because my ancestors were forced to be one? Absolutely not! This I said after several minutes of pondering on the subject. At this point, I had found my answer, my perfect response to the topic of discussion.
Here’s my answer: “I really don’t know why anyone else is a Christian, but this I know, that I am a Christian today because the Lord Jesus willingly accepted upon Himself, the consequences of my guilt and died on the cross to show His love for me. A love I probably would have doubted but for those who left the comfort of their families and homes and sailed millions of miles across the Atlantic, scorched by the unfriendly African weather, died from malaria and other ailments just to tell me of the same love. In and through them, I saw and experienced the love of God. This is why I’m a Christian today: because of the sacrifice my Lord Jesus and that of His missionaries, who gave up everything just like He did for the same reason; that I might be saved.”
Now i ask you, why are you a Christian? Is it simply because you were born into a Christian home and you dare not break the family heritage? Could it be that it’s because your parents took you to church and exposed you to religious activities throughout your early years and now you just find yourself observing the same routine, haven developed a habit of it & being caught in the web of a ‘holy addiction’? Is it because of the vast population of professing Christians? Are you just following the trend? Why are you a Christian? Ask yourself! Religion can be passed on as a heritage but salvation can’t be. We are saved not because we merely profess to be Christians but by believing in Christ Jesus and having faith in Him.
If you sincerely cannot profess Christianity based on a personal conviction, then I’d suggest you take time out and ponder on the following questions: what is being a Christian really about? Why should i be one? And do i want to be one? Because the Lord Jesus Himself told His disciples that “no one builds a house without first counting the cost” and it’s only logical to go through the terms of a contract before signing one lest somewhere along the line you suffer shipwreck, or in the end, He’ll say ‘I never knew you’ and all you might have done, even in His name would count for nothing.
For by association, the grains and tares grow together on the same soil and benefit from the same nutrients, but when the time for the harvest is come, the Lord of the harvest will say “Gather the grains into my barn but throw out the tares into the fire where there’ll be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Think about it!