I will try to list some of the advantages of the Christian faith, and then follow that up with listing some of the disadvantages. Today we will begin with some of the advantages.
1/If Christianity is true, and if we believe God and trust Christ for our salvation (as the Bible instructs us to do), then we are anchored in the real world. Of course that is a big if. There is no guarantee that Christianity is true. We all, Christians and non-Christians, live by faith. But the majesty of the Bible seems a strong, if inconclusive, evidence that Christianity is true. It would be a great advantage to us to be anchored in the real world.
2/It sort of follows from point 1, that the Christian faith gives us intellectual solid ground on which to live our entire lives. Christ said that if we act upon His words, we are people who have built our house on the rock, rather than on shifting sand. (Matthew 7:24-27) If we don’t build on the rock, we end up with some sort of shifting sand as our foundation–eclectic ideas pulled from here and there, with no consistency or common thread in what we believe. I remember my pre-Christian days. I had no solid ground for my thinking. I was living, doing good and evil, but without an overarching point of view that would guide my thoughts and actions in a wise direction. Granted, I am a person who likes my ducks in a row–I want and need a worldview in which all the pieces fit together. Clearly, not everyone is like me–for many people, their ducks don’t need to be in a row. They are content with a worldview composed of eclectic ideas and principles of many different types. So be it. But for me that is a very uncomfortable way to live. I lived like that for 2 1/2 decades! So I was able to do it. But looking back, it was a ridiculous way to live.
3/Once we internalize the teachings of the Christian faith, our behavior begins to move more and more toward doing what is right, simply because we know it to be right. We don’t need to argue out each situation. Thus if a clerk accidentally hands me $5.00 too much change, I don’t need to argue with myself what to do. I inform the clerk, and hand him back the $5.00. No controversy in my soul. Life becomes much simpler, once we have Christian principles. And that simpler is also better, because as we do what is right, that also turns out to be good for others as well as for ourselves.
4/If Christianity is true (again: if; we can’t prove it), then Christians who die will nevertheless have an eternity of joy in the afterlife. Non-Christians risk the possibility of eternal torment, or annihilation, or extensive punishment prior to salvation. The afterlife is likely also to provide worthwhile work for Christians to do.
5/Christianity encourages us to be hardworking and productive. This is good not only for us, as we become people able to provide for ourselves and our families, but also permits us to have something to share with others who have need. (Ephesians 4:28) Try to picture a world in which every person was determined to provide for himself and his family, even if his job was not high paying. We would think ourselves to be living on the fringes of heaven. Yet such a world is precisely what the Christian faith encourages. The Bible is full to the brim with praises for working, and with criticisms of laziness.
Well, this has been a start in listing some of the advantages of becoming a Christian. Next week, Lord willing, we will proceed with a few more advantages.