Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

“Without Excuse.”

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” -Romans 1:18-20

Looking back on the time in my life when I rejected God and Christianity, I see things that I didn’t really see then. I had reasons for suppressing the truth of Christianity and rejecting it. I thought that it was better to live as if there was no God and as if Jesus was not the Son of God and is not the King of the universe.

I think back to conversations with my brother, when he made perfect sense and I couldn’t come up with answers for his questions other than simply saying, “I don’t know.”

As I said, “I don’t know,” I had to fight to keep a sly grin from coming across my face, because I was thinking about the reasons I couldn’t buy into what he was saying. I didn’t think that he could provide evidence for what he told me, and even when he did provide evidence, I brushed it off. If he gave me anything from the Bible, my defense was that the Bible wasn’t credible. Those things happened too long ago. How could anybody live their life around something that happened 2000 years ago? But the reason that I rejected everything he said was that I had to reject those things to live the way that I wanted to live.

Then things started to change. God started pursuing me. Certain weird things started happening in my life- I was living farther away from my dad than I had ever been, and I started having this crazy longing to have a son and thinking about what it would take to raise him and all the things that I wanted to teach him. I had this longing for the closeness that I have with my dad, along with the longing to someday build a similar father-son relationship with a son of my own. I was very strangely emotional about father-son relationships in TV shows and movies.

I started thinking more about the Christian life, and decided that it would probably be good to somehow teach my children the values that I learned being brought up in a Christian home. I remember thinking that I would definitely rather live in a neighborhood full of Christians than a neighborhood full of atheists, because I thought Christians were more “virtuous” in general.

I realized that I was being an idiot pursuing the kind of girls that I was pursuing, and I thought about all the “good girls” that I passed over when I was in college because I was looking for girls that “wanted to have fun.”

I decided that I would like to marry a Christian girl, because Christian girls are likely to be more virtuous. And because I thought that would be a good way to arrange for my kids to be brought up with Christian virtues. I decided that if I married a Christian girl, then I would be okay with going to church with her and our kids if/when we had kids for the sake of their virtues.

All of these things came together to elevate the Christian life in my eyes. Then, I “happened” to move to Houston, TX.

My brother gave me the Biblical evidence for the resurrection, and the only think I had to cling to was that the Bible wasn’t credible.

Then I came to realize that there was an enormous difference in the way that I read things. I remembered reading “The Da Vinci Code,” and I couldn’t get enough of it. As ludicrous as the ideas that “The Da Vinci Code” puts forth were, just the idea that it provided an argument against Jesus and Christianity spurred me on and I finished it in 3 or 4 days.

So, when I “happened” to stumble across Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ,” I began reading it with a realization that I read things differently depending on whether they supported or rejected Christianity.

So, with an elevated view of the Christin life, with my brother’s arguments, and with Strobel’s evidence for the credibility of the Bible, I was convinced that Jesus really was resurrected from the dead, and that He really is the King of the universe.

I truly believe that if you do not believe, then you are in the same position that I was in. Just as I suppressed the truth so that I could live the way that I wanted to, as if there was no God, I believe that you are suppressing the truth as well.

God has made it evident to you, and you have decided to reject the evidence. The poetry of life screams that there was a Divine Poet who set it all in motion, and we will all come face to face with Him one day.

If you do not repent of your sins, and turn to Jesus and accept and treasure Him as the only way to be reconciled with God, then you will have no excuse on that day.

I hope and pray that God will pursue you in the same way that He pursued me, because I know that I do not deserve it any more than you do.

Whatever explanations or excuses you have cannot account for the perfection and righteousness that God requires of us. Jesus’ death on the cross bought you, whether you accept it or not. The God who created everything in this universe requires absolute perfection and absolute righteousness from us. None of us are anything close to absolutely perfect or absolutely righteous. But our infinitely just and loving Creator provides an absolute perfection and an absolute righteousness in the person of Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully man. And that perfection and that righteousness are extended to all who will accept it. It is an open invitation to all who are willing to give up the filth of this world for the treasures that God has to offer, lose the life that they want, and find the better life and the satisfaction that are only possible in Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of the Power that is in Heaven.

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December 1, 2007 - Posted by | Atheism, Atheist, children, Christ, Christianity, family, God, grace, Jesus, Life, love, mercy, Religion, Resurrection, righteousness, spouse, testimony, the Bible, virtue

14 Comments »

  1. Amen!

    Hallelujah!

    Jimbo

    Comment by Jim Hamilton | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  2. […] providence of God my younger brother, David, became a Christian in March of this year. He has an insightful account of what happened in his brain as the Lord drew him, and there’s a lot of other good stuff on […]

    Pingback by A Trophy of Grace Proclaims the Gospel « For His Renown | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  3. You say that there are only two ways to live your life. You can reject God or you can accept God and Christianity.

    I want to offer a third alternative. You can reject Christianity and accept God. After decades of adhering to the first alternative, I embraced the second. I became a fundamentalist Christian and tried very hard to live the Christian ideal.

    I was born again and baptized. I studied the Bible every day. I became deeply involved in a number of different churches from different denominations. I led study groups for adults, youth groups, I tithed, attended seminars, went to Bible college and did anything else I could to deepen my faith and share it with others. This went on for 25 years.

    All during this time I too felt God pursuing me, and strange things happened that confirmed his presence in my life. There was one other thing I did that ultimately led to a great change in my faith. I prayed.

    You see, throughout those 25 years of fundamentalism there was always this nagging doubt that what I was hearing from the preachers and reading in the Bible did not correspond with what I was feeling in my heart, thinking in my mind, and seeing with my own two eyes.

    I suppressed anything that was contrary to the Christian way and fervently prayed that God would take away my doubt and lead me to the truth. The more I prayed for God to reveal himself, the more I doubted.

    After 25 years of this, I was ready to understand the truth. And what is that truth that I finally came to understand after so long?

    The truth is this.

    Christianity and all other organized religions are but a shadow of the truth. At their core they contain God’s perfect truth, but through the ages they have been adulterated by the imperfect dogma of mankind. The same is true of the Bible and other holy books.

    This twisting of God’s perfection was inevitable. If you have a mind to think, then think! If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, look around and see. Pay attention and hear.

    The Church is in shambles. Their leaders steal your money and rape your children. The Bible says you have free will but also says that if you do not choose the Christian God’s way that you will forever burn in hell. What kind of a choice is that? Does any of this really make sense?

    There is another way. Embrace God and reject organized religion. Seek God in your own way or in the company of others who have the courage to leave the dogma of Christianity behind and rely only on the voice and will of God himself.

    You don’t need an intermediary to intercede with God on your behalf. This is a man-made construct injected into Christianity by the early church leaders in order to strengthen their control over the masses. These leaders were spiritual middlemen who did not want you to go directly to the source and bypass them.

    Yes, by all means believe in God. Yes, by all means believe that he was willing to die for you on the cross. Yes, by all means believe whatever you are led to believe, but be sure you are being led by God and not by the dogma of mankind’s twisted misrepresentation of our loving creator.

    Ask God to reveal himself to you in a way that you can understand. Question your faith! You know those nagging little doubts you have about what you have been told? That is God trying to get you to think and feel for yourself.

    True faith is not blind. It is wonderful to know what you believe, but it is even better to know why you believe it.

    If you have never allowed yourself to question your faith then your faith is a sham. I am not suggesting you throw it all away. I am suggesting that you push the twisted words of men away long enough for the true words of God to come through.

    Comment by imabbb | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  4. imabbb,

    Thank you for your input. It is refreshing to see a disagreeing response that lacks the usual hostility that often accompanies disagreements on these issues.

    I agree with some of what you said, but I see a big problem in your logic. You seem to assess that churches=the Bible=Christianity. Based on that assessment, a problem with a “Christian” church is a problem with the Bible and/or a problem with Christianity.

    The reason that is a significant error in logic is that there are a lot of churches that consider themselves to be “Christian” that contradict whats in the Bible, or at least avoid the more difficult instructions of the Bible, and therefore do not accurately represent Christianity.

    Many other churches base their practices more on what works in worldly measures rather than what the Bible prescribes.

    I have heard many people tell of contradictions between what their churches taught and what the Bible says, but never of contradictions between the Bible and their heart. That is new to me, and I would love to hear more about it.

    But, churches that either do not stand firmly on the Rock, and adhere as best they can to the prescriptions of the Bible, or rely more heavily on “successful methods” than they do on the Bible cannot have their problems attributed to Christianity itself when things go wrong.

    The Bible is the best blueprint for life, and it is the best blueprint for a church. When a person or a church strays from that Blueprint, the Bible is not to blame.

    I agree with you that we don’t need an intermediary to intercede with God on our behalf. That is Biblical. As far as I know, that is a man-made construct that was injected into Catholicism. Christians are the new temple, and we are founded on Jesus, who is the Corner Stone.

    Once again, problems with Catholicism do not inherantly mean problems with the Bible or with Christianity.

    I also agree with your encouragement for people to question their faith. I look at it like I would if I thought that I was ready to marry a girl. You could call it strength if I never doubted whether she was the girl that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, but I would call that foolishness. I totally believe that with any big decisions, including but not limited to faith and marriage, it is best to have a reasonable level of doubt and question your decisions. If you cannot come up with good answers for doubts and questions, then either your faith or your marriage are going to be headed for rocky times because it is impossible to live life with zero questions and zero doubting.

    Thanks again for your comment, and I hope to hear from you again.

    -David

    Comment by bigham | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  5. My brother recently did a 2-part seminar on the local church. The first part was titled “What is the Church?” http://www.bcredeemer.org/audio/Redeemer_Inst_session_1.m3u

    and the second part was titled “How Does the Church Militant Wage Her War?”
    http://www.bcredeemer.org/audio/Redeemer_Inst_session_2.m3u

    Comment by bigham | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  6. What a gift grace is, no? Reading your blog has blessed my day, and I am sure heaven is rejoicing by what is taking place in your heart and life. Stay faithful, and keep on rockin’ it for jesus!

    Comment by kpauly | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  7. kpauly,
    Grace is indeed a sweet, sweet gift.
    Thank you for your kind words and the encouragement!

    Comment by bigham | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  8. I actually was procrastinating studying today and “happened” to stumble onto your blog. Sometimes it’s easy to disregard what we are deciding and how we are changing as God’s hand on our lives. You are only a couple of years older than I am, but I never would have guessed by the words you’ve written. There is much wisdom there, and it was a positive reminder (one that I needed today) that God works for the better of those who follow him. I am encouraged by your testimony, and I hope that, in turn, you are encouraged. Who knew that some stranger’s blog could be a reminder to me that God is alive and well and at work in the world? God Bless.
    Karis

    Comment by kpauly | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  9. Hey man, thanks for writing, it’s a big encouragement.

    Comment by jordan | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  10. Congratulations David. I have been praying and He has answered. Amen brother.

    In Christ, RAP

    Comment by ltbp | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  11. Great post, bro. I love your testimony. What an answer to prayer.

    Comment by Denny Burk | December 2, 2007 | Reply

  12. Thanks so much for sharing this testimony. Always encouraging to hear accounts of the Lord’s mercy.

    Comment by jakeporter | December 3, 2007 | Reply

  13. […] So, two things I didn’t really like about “Without Excuse“: […]

    Pingback by Easy and Emotional? « Eyes That See | December 7, 2007 | Reply

  14. Thanks very much for this encouraging post.
    Just one thing I would caution you on, is not to paint all non-Christians wiht the same brush. You are correct, that many react negatively to the proclamation of the gospel for the same reasons you say you have. But there are many other reasons of course, and we should not make assumptions about people based on our own experience.
    You articulate the faith very well brother. I pray that God will use you as you grow more deeply in the faith now. Blessings.

    Comment by Jeff Kilmartin | January 12, 2008 | Reply


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