Someone in the blog world recently observed that acceptance of Christianity later in life is more about one’s emotional feelings related to death than anything else.
It has often been demonstrated that when parents follow the biblical instructions in Proverbs to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” — the child will nearly always stay “in the faith” as s/he grows into adulthood. The ongoing and constant indoctrination — from nighttime prayers to grace at dinner to children’s church to church camps to Sunday School and finally, to regular Sunday worship — will most certainly accomplish the prime directive. (This is not to say they will remain in the faith, but that’s a discussion for another time.)
But what about those individuals who were not exposed to this indoctrination? Why do they turn to Christianity as an adult? I think it goes back to the introductory sentence of this blog post … “emotional feelings related to death.”
Or to put it bluntly … Fear of Death.
Naturally, any Christian reading this post who “found Christ” as an adult will disagree and offer a myriad of reasons why they disagree. But speaking from personal experience, I feel I can authoritatively say that FEAR is the underlying motive. Although the fear I felt (as described in the referenced post) was more about the pain and horrors described in the Book of Revelation, it was ultimately about the fear of death.
Believers like to talk a lot about the “love of Christ,” but this is nothing more than a feel-good aphorism used and repeated by church leaders to help people forget … deny … overcome the fear that rests at the core of every human being: the certainty of our demise.
I’m sure many have noticed that church congregations are often made up of senior citizens. The ever-present realization that death is fast approaching is a strong incentive to believe the oft-repeated (and thus must be true!) promise of everlasting life.
Folks, the cessation of Life is inevitable. And while it may offer comfort to think/believe there is “something more,” until someone reports back … it is nothing more than solace for the soul.
That’s why my personal philosophy lies with the motto coined more than 2,000 years ago by the Roman poet Horace — Carpe Diem!
(Besides, way back in 1965, Doris Day explicitly told us … 🎵”Whatever will be will be.”)