Terry T.

Terry T.

from MO
Story #509
I went to small church as a boy and I remember nice old ladies in Sunday School and enjoying Vacation Bible School but not much beyond that. I was baptized as a baby and then again when I was a 11 or 12 but it really didn’t mean much in a spiritual sense. Along about that time, our family just sort of faded away from church and never went back. I guess I would say that I had some sort of nominal belief in God and the Bible as being a Holy book but certainly didn’t own any type of personal faith or knowledge of the Bible.

Something that had an impact on my beliefs happened in junior high school. In a debate class, I used a quote from the Bible to make a point and my teacher shot that down. She told me that the Bible was a collection of fables and stories from a lot of different people, none which could be supported by evidence or critical thinking and I had to find “real evidence” to support my point (even though what we were debating was an issue of ethics and values). Lacking evidence to the contrary, I accepted that this must be true of the Bible and chalked church and Christianity up as being a good support system for those that needed such a thing but not based in history or fact.

I came of age in the 70s and pretty much pursued everything that that entailed. My generation challenged social norms and pushed boundaries in nearly every area. Some of that was very good and needed to be challenged but as GK Chesteton said, “Whenever you move any fence, always pause long enough to ask why it was put there in the first place.” In an effort to assert our autonomy, we launched a demolition process on the moral law of our society that that culminates in a society where nothing can be objected to other then objecting to something.

But that left me lacking. I didn’t know what for but there was a vacuum that couldn’t be filled with things or pleasure or personal accomplishments.

Fast forward to the US Navy. I got drafted with 6-months left to go to get a degree in electronics and joined the Navy. I had two good buddies in my shop that we hung out together. They were both married but as soon as we left port acted like they weren’t. In every port we “hit the gut” which was the bad part of town and bar hopped and partied there. When we returned to the states my friend’s wives basically met them on the pier and gave them both an ultimatum. They would go to church together or divorce court together. So Danny and Scotty became church guys. I figured it wouldn’t take but over the next months, I watched my friends change. It wasn’t just a matter of them changing habits - they became different people. They were still Danny and Scotty but a much better, much happier version of themselves. Then they started working on me.

Over the next months they invited me to church a bunch of times. Finally, I agreed to go to an Easter service. They told me that their church was Rock Church. I thought, well cool. Rock and roll church. How bad can that be? Turns out it was Rock Church as in “on this rock I will build my church…” Jesus. Anyway, I went. As best as I can remember, this is the first time I heard a real salvation message. I faced the fact that be it sooner or later, I was going to die and then what? I figured that I was a pretty good person and if there was a God and he graded on a curve, I was probably OK but the preacher explained that God’s standards was much higher than mine and there was no way I, or anyone for that matter could measure up on their own. That was bad news but God provided a payment and that was what Jesus was all about. I can’t say that I totally understood all of that but that morning; I decided that I believed it.

That’s HOW I BECAME a Christian. I believe that the more compelling and interesting story is WHY I AM a Christian. I accepted Jesus on faith but I still had a lot of questions such as: Is the Bible historically accurate? Can it really be trusted? Is it the truth? Don’t all religions pretty much end up at the same place albeit by taking different paths? Are science and theology – intellect and faith incompatible?

For me, years of questioning, seeking truth, learning and growing has not only strengthened my faith but in fact for me, makes belief in anything other than Biblical Christianity intellectually indefensible.

I urge you to check it out for yourself. There are great sources such as Lee Strobel’s - The Case for Christ, C.S. Lewis’ – Mere Christianity, Josh McDowell’s – Evidence that Demands a Verdict or Ravi Zacharias – Jesus Among Other Gods are great places to start. Hit me back on my email link below if you want to chat.

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