Does it matter why you believe in Jesus

I was thinking today about all the reasons people believe in Christ.  Obviously there are all kinds of justifications for belief in Christ: fear of hell, conformity, spiritual experience, etc. etc.   Some are converted when meeting with missionaries, some when they attend a revival meeting and see gifts of the spirit, some grow up believing. Mormons and Evangelicals often go back and forth in criticizing each other on the flimsy arguments, misleading statements, scare tactics, etc that are used to gain converts.

My question is: Is it theologically significant why a person believes in Christ, or in the correct view of Christ?

Here are a few outlying examples:

Does it matter if I believe in Christ based on:

From a religious perspective,  matter why you have faith in Jesus?  If not, why not?
If it doesn’t matter why we accept Christ, and the consequences for not accepting him so great, should we be using any means necessary?  (A sinner may be duped, deceived and manipulated into believing, but at least he won’t be in hell.)
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12 thoughts on “Does it matter why you believe in Jesus

  1. It doesn’t matter so much if people believe in Christ.

    Even the devil and his demons believe in Christ.

    What matters is this, does Christ know you, or not?

    Christ is after faith (trust), in what he has done on the cross for sinners. And He wants it so much that He gives that faith to those whom He chooses to do so.

  2. I don’t pretend to know anything about the afterlife, including who will be “in” and who will be “out” when it comes to heaven.

    If you want this life to be livable, though, then yes: it matters.

  3. Of course the motivations for our faith matter. Thankfully our imperfect faith is not what saves. It is the object of faith, the perfect work of Christ that saves.

  4. I think Jesus told a parable about seeds that has something to do with this. As Katie, suggested, accepting Jesus as Savior is not just about the afterlife.

    I think people come to Jesus with all kinds of bad motivations. It’s vital to transform ourselves and those motivations into a mature faith that recognizes the only thing important is that we get Jesus.

  5. Jared,

    Faith is not something we do, hypnotized or otherwise, it is a work of the Spirit.

  6. I suppose one point of the questions of the OP is to examine the beliefs that leads people to such distasteful means of adopting a faith.

    But I see that the question also deals with the accidental nature of finding faith.

  7. Tim, you finally said something I can hang my hat on!

    Gundek, are you suggesting that we don’t need faith to be saved?

    Katie L. said, “I don’t pretend to know anything about the afterlife, including who will be “in” and who will be “out”.. . . .”

    You don’t know THAT?

  8. Cal,

    A saving faith is necessary but Benny Hinn, holy laughter, hell house, etc are not the source of that faith.

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