Former Buddhist shows that upbringing doesn’t necessarily determine your outcome

Buddha“Well, you’re just a Christian because you grew up in a Christian home. If you grew up in a home with another religion, you probably wouldn’t even be a Christian.” That happens to be a line I’ve been told several times when I’ve shared the gospel with an unbeliever or defended the Christian faith to an unbeliever. I usually have to point out that there are more Christians in Asia now than in North America, and those are predominantly pagan lands. I also point out that 60-75% of young people who grow up in Christian homes forsake Christianity once they leave their parents’ home. Bottom line–a relationship with Christ is a personal decision and God can save anyone no matter how they were raised.

Which brings me to the story of Alexander Chu, who was born into and grew up in a Taiwanese Buddhist family. Chu’s family home in Kansas was filled with 30+ gods of their Buddhist pantheon and his parents’ daily Buddhist meditation mantras. Buddhism was part of his family history going back many generations. Nevertheless, that began to change when he attended college at the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign in the mid-1990s. Chu remembers encountering Asian American students in his dorm who were part of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

He was impressed how compassionate and loving they were, not only toward one another, but also toward others outside their group as if they had a greater purpose in life beyond themselves. Chu realized Buddhism didn’t provide that for him, so he decided to attend their InterVarsity gatherings. After several months of watching them worship, explain the Bible, and soundly defend the Christian faith, he knew that he needed to repent of his sins and confess Jesus as his Lord, which he did one night during a study break on his own.

But it took Chu several months to share with his Buddhist parents what happened to him. When he finally did, his parents investigated Christianity for themselves to see what was going on. His father eventually told his son that if he went into Christian ministry, he would disown him. However, Chu delayed going into the ministry since his father fell sick with heart disease and helped at home until his father got better. He finally went into ministry after his parents softened to the idea and he now serves in a Chicago suburb as the outreach pastor for a local church. For more of Alexander Chu’s testimony, you can read his article that was released today at Christianity Today.

Chu’s life is proof that when God is in the picture, your upbringing doesn’t always determine your outcome.

Harry A. Gaylord

2 thoughts on “Former Buddhist shows that upbringing doesn’t necessarily determine your outcome

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  1. When Jesus comes knocking, and you open up to Him and surrender, it doesn’t matter if you were brought up an atheist . . . He will turn your life around, as this sinner writing here (who had publicly denied Him) can testify.


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