Why Would You Want It to be True?

Not too long ago, I was listening to someone who is involved in a ministry to college kids.  He said something that startled me: Before the kids he is trying to share the Gospel with will care whether or not it’s true, they need to be shown why they would want it to be true.  Before they will ever listen to the evidence for Christianity, they need to see why it would even be worth the time and energy.

When it comes to the evidence for Christianity, there is a tsunami of indifference today.  It wasn’t always like that.  Just ten to twenty years ago, people were generally interested in what the evidence had to say.  Books like Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ, Timothy Keller’s Reason for God, and C.S. Lewis’s classic Mere Christianity were in high demand and most nonbelievers were, at the very least, interested exploring the evidence they presented.

Today, most people won’t even bother.  The impression most non-believers have of Christianity is negative, that it is intolerant, bigoted, unscientific, and anti-intellectual.  Worst of all, the impression they have is that, to become Christian, to make Jesus the Lord of your life will, as Christopher Hitchens famously put it, be like living in North Korea.  It will be like living in a divine dictatorship.  In other words, it will make you miserable, and who would want that?

So, the most basic and perfectly legitimate question most nonbelievers have is: Why would I want Christianity to be true?

In a couple of wedding sermons I’ve done, I’ve begun by referencing the movie Jerry McGuire.  Even though the movie came out twenty years ago and most people barely remember it, a number of the lines from the movie have become iconic.  Most people are very familiar with them.  So, in my sermon, all I had to do is say the first few words, and in unison the entire congregation could finish them without skipping a beat.  For example, “Show me….”  And everyone responds: “…the money!’

In the climactic scene of the movie, Jerry McGuire, played by Tom Cruise, comes bursting through the door to profess his love to Renee Zelwiger’s character.  When he finishes his rambling speech, she delivers what might be the most famous line of the movie: “You had me…”  And, all together now: “…at hello!”   But before that happens, during his rambling speech, Cruise delivers another iconic line: “You…”  Again, in unison: “…complete me!”

In my sermon, I go on to say how true this is.  When you meet your soul mate and get married, they complete you.  You walk off into the sunset, in perfect bliss.  At this point, I look at all the married people there and say: We know how true this is, right!  And then I ask them if I can get an “Amen”?

To which, they all….laugh hysterically. 

Why?  Why do they laugh so hard?  Because they all so clearly recognize that marriage isn’t a panacea.  It doesn’t bring you perfect bliss.  Finding your soulmate doesn’t complete you.  No human being can.

That’s because you and I are made for an infinite love, a perfect love.  No finite being can fulfill you.  No finite love can complete you. 

Why would you want Christianity to be true?   Because it is the only worldview that provides this perfect, infinite love your heart longs for most.  A God of perfect love is only found in Jesus, is only possible with a Trinitarian God.  There are many reasons for this that I can’t get into now, but suffice it to say that what makes Christianity most unique is the foundational truth it proclaims that God is love—perfect love.

There’s also a lot more to why you would want Christianity to be true—like how Christianity provides a vision for a way of life that leads to the greatest fulfillment and meaning in life, as a number of recent studies now bear out, and like how Christianity provides the only real eternal hope.  However, the ultimate reason is that the God of Jesus Christ is the only one who can satisfy the deepest longing of our hearts.  He is the only one who can complete you.

Do you want Christianity to be true?  I’d love to hear your answer.  You can go to the “Contact E.J.” page of the Raising Jesus website and leave your comments there.  I look forward to hearing from you!

About Me

E.J. Sweeney is a true skeptic. He needs to see to believe. Hard Evidence. Compelling Proof. Solid Logic. This is what he believes in. In college, he encountered questions that the superficial faith he was raised on couldn’t handle. So he began a quest for Truth, a quest for the answers to life’s ultimate questions.

EJ Sweeney

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