Was I really a Christian?
This was a question that constantly nagged at me as a child. The constant threat of hell coupled with my frequent disagreements on issues with my parents, led me to often question my salvation.
I found myself frequently rededicating my life to God and seeking his forgiveness, just in case it wasn’t sincere earlier. Shouldn’t I have more confidence if indeed I am truly saved? Shouldn’t these doubts begin to ease up?
In college, I was blessed to receive some relief by realizing more clearly that these doubts are almost universal among Christians to some degree. However, as a child they scared me and made me wonder “what must I do to be saved….and know it”. Of course even questioning your faith was taboo so little discussion of this issue was brought up to my Christian mentors. Those that did mostly emphasized that if you are doing the right things and sincere, you are probably a Christian.
However, in high school I think my parents began to wonder about my salvation as well (I mean after all what born again teenager has desires for women, listens to music his parents don’t approve of, and wants to go to a movie?). I was presented with numerous Christian faith building books, theology classes, and apologetics for Christ. These I often found interesting, but at times felt offensive. How could I meet these standards which seemed so lofty compare to others and yet only vaguely biblical? What grounds did someone else have to doubt my faith when compare to most I was perhaps more sincere?