When did you decide to be a Christian?
My family is Christian, but personally I took a decision to embrace the Christian faith and follow it by the age of fifteen.
Considering that a range of other religious and philosophical views are flourishing in todays society what convinced you that the Christian faith is truth?
I guess as a teenager; what convinced me was the spiritual experiences that followed my conversion. I realise that these do not mount as evidences to others, I realise also that experiences can be a part of other religious systems too, yet to me, personally, these experiences are the greatest evidence of the Christian faith.
John the apostle of Jesus writes:
'We accept man's testimony but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God which He has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart' (1 John 5: 9-10)
To me personally the greatest evidence for the Christian faith is God's work on my life including the spiritual experiences that followed at and after my conversion.
Obviously the greatest experience was the experience of the Spirit of God entering my life; again to any true Christian, this experience becomes a matter of personal evidence:
'And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us' (1 John 3: 24).
How do you explain that there are ex-Christians who testify to have had the Christian experience who now take a stand against it as either demonical or simply emotional?
There is a sense in which any person in a spiritual proximity of conversion can be emotional and be taken by the wave of such an atmosphere, yet without ever converting in a true sense. Jesus in his parable of the sower clearly alludes to this (Matthew chapter 13). There are those who receive the message and are infatuated about Christianity who nevertheless are only caught in a emotional embrace of Christianity, without truly surrendering their lives. Such persons according to Jesus in his parable of the sower will sooner or later abandon the Christian faith.
John the apostle of Jesus clarifies this effectively in his first epistle. His intention in the letter is to distinguish a true Christian from a false Christian; he provides three negative aspects that contradict the nature of a true Christian, despite that the individual carries the title Christian.
A Christian who abandons the Christian faith probably never belonged to the Christian faith in the first place:
They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us (1 John 2: 19)
Hence individuals who leave the Christian faith, whether to another religion or leave religion all together, according to the Biblical description were never Christians. The reason why they leave corresponds to what Jesus taught in his parable of the sower, they do not have the nature of a Christian and fail therefore to persevere.
A Christian who engages in evil has according to the Christian Scripture denied his faith and disproven his Christian nature (1 John 2: 3-6; 3: 1-10)
This is analogous to the teachings of both Paul (Romans Chapters 6-8) (1 Corinth 6: 9-11) and James the brother of Jesus (James 2: 14-25)
A true Christian can only be recognised as someone who is a follower of Jesus, that is why the early Christians were recognised by the name 'Christians' (Acts 11: 26), which is why John writes:
'Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did' (1 John 2: 6)
A third pointer in recognising a true Christian is love; love marks the nature of a true Christian. This would include love toward those who love us including our enemies (Matthew 5: 43-48).
This is why John writes:
'This is how we know who the children or God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother' (1 John 3: 10).