Skip to comments.My Train Wreck Conversion..., I despised Christians. Then I somehow became one.
Posted on 02/08/2013 6:58:50 PM PST by daniel1212
The word Jesus stuck in my throat like an elephant tusk; no matter how hard I choked, I couldn't hack it out. Those who professed the name commanded my pity and wrath.
I began researching the Religious Right..
Ken Smith encouraged me to explore the kind of questions I admire:
Ken and his wife, Floy, and I became friends.
I started reading the Bible. I read the way a glutton devours.
I counted the costs. And I did not like the math on the other side..
Then, one ordinary day, I came to Jesus, openhanded..
(Excerpt) Read more at christianitytoday.com ...
It is indeed!
If we didn't; then most of us would be stuck on the wrong path.
Too many ‘modernists’ make the assumption that because BOOKS were in short supply back in the day, that READING was also.
It was mentioned that Jesus wrote in the sand.
WHY? if none could read?
1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
Drop Einstien off in Kathmandu, and HE'd be illiterate!
Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.
1 John 3:21-24
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps Gods commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
A 20# fish CAN be caught on a 5# line; if it's played right.
I was a young man; far from home.
A flatlander from central Indiana; now in the Air Force in Denver.
After watching a late night movie about the miracles at Lourdes at a local girl's house; I was walking back to the base, mulling over what I'd seen.
"Bunk!", thought I. That kinda stuff don't happen - except in movies.
It was a cold night - fall or maybe early winter. The stars were ablaze in that crisp latenight air.
As I looked up, the thought of evolution came to mind and how it explained how the Big Bang created all of what I was seeing. How the MASSIVE! outburst of energy spewed out all of this matter.
Yeah; that's how it happen, thought I!
Einstein - E=mc2 THAT was the ticket!
I was fine, then, walking along. Secure in my knowledge.
Then, in an almost audible voice, these words formed in my mind...
"Where did the ENERGY come from?"
Faith in Him should be enough to believe in our Creator.
However, historical writings, artifacts, simple common sense...and THE Shroud should be enough as well.
Certainly an “Intelligent Designer” of the Universe is self evident based on the perfect balance where we exist in space. Additionally, the deep complexity of human DNA still remains a mystery and to believe this was formed by itself from nothing is simply idiotic.
re: the Shroud, carbon dating of the ORIGINAL section (not the repaired section initially tested) proves it was created during the time of Christ.
Scientists discovered the pollen was unique to the geographic area that Christ resided.
It’s also been shown the 3D image on the Shroud was likely caused by a “mini-nuclear” micro-second explosion similar to the Big Bang.
That in 2000 years, this 3D image on a cloth has NEVER been reproduced.
If a Christian believes and it turns out they were wrong, no downside.
If an atheist is wrong, the downside is HUGE!
As a fairly good student of math; I knew the equation could be re-written:
but that didn't help answer The Question...
We do things a bit differently here in central Indiana...
I just read a list of the 10 worst books ever printed in the world, cause of mass genocide. (2008 list) the responses of the public were mostly - Why isn’t the Bible #1? More people have been killed because of it than any other book! (it isn’t on the list—neither is the Torah or the Koran)
It is public education-—PERIOD.
So if he was merely a character who was made up in order to expound philosophical doctrine, it really makes no difference. The doctrine itself can still stand or fall on its own merits.
On the other hand, if it were claimed by Plato that Socrates was born of a virgin, performed many miracles, and survived the grave, we would all rightly demand far more proof, or more likely reject the account out of hand as a fiction.
In the end, all the arguments you make rest upon the historical accuracy of the New Testament, and very little else. You are of course entitled to accept that, and I respect your decision to do so.
But for me, I find that C.S. Lewis' "trilemma" (later expanded on - poorly - by Lee Strobel, whom I doubt was ever an atheist) fails to consider a fourth option. Jesus - Liar, Lord, Lunatic, or Incorrectly Reported.
Yup, you have to step out of the boat ONTO the water...
I’m sure Buddhists have done the same thing. I’ve heard of Buddhists committing murder. Obviously, they are not walking the Buddhist walk. In it’s purest form, Buddhism is a philosophy. It doesn’t require belief in God, and especially, Jesus. It was Jesus I had the conflict with. No more. Now, I know what people mean about a personal relationship with Christ.
Actually; it does...
I was a broken mess. I did not want to lose everything that I loved. But the voice of God sang a sanguine love song in the rubble of my world.
In the context of the article, I took that to mean, she anticipated at the time of her crisis and conversion that she would probably loose what she loved.
Bellflower, I wasn’t aware that anyone had responded to my post until this morning. I read your post about coming to the Lord. It was beautiful.
I agree with you about the old hymns. I love them, too. Actually, I love a bunch of different types of music. I play such a wide variety, when my bass player first start playing with me, he said our style is schizophrenic.
As the worship leader/music director of our church, I draw from a wide variety of sources for our song service - hymns, gospel, CCM, and some times, secular sources. I think it’s important to have the song service and the sermon complement each other, enhancing the message of God through music and word.
One of my favorite songs to sing is “Closer Walk With Thee”. I learned it right after my conversion to Christianity, borrowing from the country swing style of Pasty Cline.
Here is a list of songs for our service tomorrow:
I’ll Fly Away (Albert Brumley, country gospel)
Here I am (old blues songs)
Above All (CCM)
Jesus Paid It All (hymn)
To Canaan’s Land (country gospel)
I Don’t Want To Get Adjusted To This World (country gospel - I love this song)
Peace Give I To Thee (70’s Jesus Movement song, I think)
There’s Something About That Name (Gaithers)
Last week, we had many more CCM songs then we do this week, but God gave us many voices. Why just listen to the radio and hear only a few?
Now, I’ll get off of my soap box. My web site is http://www.kandkband.com There are several videos of solo and band music. As a band we play at a lot of secular events. As Christians, we always bring in gospel music. It’s amazing how people respond to it out in the world. They don’t know they are missing it, until we start to play something. Some people get turned off. Those are a small minority.
I thank God that He kept me around because I can use the gift He gave me to give back a little bit. We’re having a ball!
I think a lot more people were literate in the Roman world, that many people assume.
Interesting that she is now a pastor’s wife in a Presbyterian denomination that practices the regulative principle of worship, i.e., exclusive psalmody without instruments. Definitely a world that’s a far cry from the left-wing/feminist/lesbian one she used to inhabit.
It doesn't make any sense until you have it.
Then you you GET IT!!!
And Praise God for it.
It’s the best thing EVER.
Interesting that she is now a pastors wife in a Presbyterian denomination that practices the regulative principle of worship, i.e., exclusive psalmody without instruments.
More to the RPW than exclusive psalmody. (Which is arguable, but not here and now.)
I think I'd like to read her book.
Definitely a world thats a far cry from the left-wing/feminist/lesbian one she used to inhabit.
OH, true that.
Can’t argue with that
Many Jewish men knew how to read, if only the Torah, because they would have had to do so in order to go through the rituals of becoming a man in the religion.
It could be that it has been added as excerpt and link only (and not added to the "list" thread yet), and CT demands no more than 100.
Some sites won't allow for FR to even post anything from them, some only allow a title and link. This attitude only hurts them.
Books were in short supply, so they were carefully stored and shared.
Each “house of study” (synagogue) had its own copies of the holy writings. Adult believers would go there to ask for a copy of the stored scrolls to study and discuss.
I know why folks compare the Holy Family to the poor and homeless; it's a 'Social Justice' thing, but it's very annoying.
If an atheist is wrong, the downside is HUGE!
Call it what you will.
It’s still true.
It IS true, just giving it a name. Pascal was a believer, too.
I would like to put this statement by the OP:
but his teachings (or whoever originated the concepts attributed to him), definitely were extremely important to mankind.
along with your comment below together:
As a final thought, C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel have pointed out that Jesus left no room in our minds that he could be anything other than the Son of God, a delusional madman, or a liar.
Bear with me please, as it will take a while to get to the point I'd like to make.
Does anyone doubt that the teachings of Christ were a roadmap for a way for us to live together? He distilled all of the law into a very simple statement of less than 50 words as translated into English
New International Version (NIV)
36 Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?
37 Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
It has struck me for quite some time that this is an extraordinary truth.There is so much implied here, that I can't really do it any kind of justice in the kind of space and time I have for it right now (I think someone more talented and gifted with words than I could extract a book from the above few sentances). However, let me take it apart briefly.
First, "Love the Lord your God". There are many things implied within this. A man at peace with himself will love his creator. He will recognise his limitations in comparison to same. He will see the love God has for him and cherish it. If you love Him with all your heart, you love Him deeply, from the core of your being. While today we don't think of the heart as an organ being a 'feeling' part of our body for thousands of years men have recognised that it is an essential part of your being. Destroy a man's heart and he will not live. I believe this is one reason that since ancient times we have considered the heart to be the seat of your soul, and from whence it is that love itself springs.
Loving the Lord with your soul means implies loving with the metaphysical part of you, that which is indestructable and immortal. I believe that the 'soul' is that part of you that embodies the unconscious part of your being, that which dreams. I suspect it is where conscience comes from, if it is not a gift of the Spirit. Again, He is saying to feel the love for your maker from the deepest part of your psyche.
Loving the Lord with your Mind includes all those things that we normally think of as our mind, and probably more. We should understand that God is with us, and loves us (why else would He have given us chocolate, coffee, and beer?), and wants us to be happy in him. If you fully understand, and conciously think about all he has done for us and given to us, how can you help not to love him?
Now we get to what I consder to be the really amazing part. "Love your neighbor as yourself". Take all of that love and understanding that I mentioned before, and now apply it to your neighbor. Once you've done this, can you steal from him? Can you assault him? Can you covet his goods or wife? Could you stand to see him or his children to be hungry or in pain? Can you want anything for him but happiness and peace? I mean, if you just think about that for just a moment, and apply that to the world at large, the implications are astounding. Can you go to war with a neighbor that you love with your heart, soul, and mind? This planet would be a paradise of the highest order if we just listened to those five words.
Let's take the last half of that phrase. "as yourself". From a gramatical standpoint the operative phrasing would be "love yourself". Look around you today. How many destructive behaviors do you see in the world because people don't truely love themselves. In my humble opinion suicide is the ultimate form of self-hate, though others are much more common. What are drug abuse, depression, resentment, envy, obesity, and many other common vices we see all around us but manifestations of a lack of love for one's own self?
Put it together. Loving God, allows you to understand the love He has for you. How can you not love something (yourself) that He loves enough to have paid the ultimate price for? If we had the love of our neighbors, we would also see the worth of ourselves.
It's amazing how it all fits together.
So here we have it. In less than 50 english words, Jesus provided us with a path to paradise and happiness on earth for those who would think about, and consider His words.
Does this sound like the rantings of a lunatic? The manipulations of a liar? Putting aside the things He did, with multitudes of witnesses around, which would tend to argue against the 'lunatic' question, do His words strike you as the words of a liar? What would He have gain from them?
That's all I have for the moment. Thanks for haning the hook that allowed me to talk for a while. One other brif note I'd make is that Christianity is not an easy walk. It is hard to love your enemies. It is hard to master your desires. It can be hard to see the good in life. I often see non-christians write about the hypocrasy of Christians. My response to that is a simple "DUH!" The bar is set very high, and it take a lot of faith to strive to make the mark especially when you know that you will mostly fall short, especially with the temptations around us in today's society. Jesus said that to merely lust after another woman is to commit adultry, and to be angry with your neighbor is to kill. Yes. it's a high bar and I know for a fact that I am woefully short of it far too much of the time. but the goal and desire to reach it will make my small patch of ground a better place for it.
In a former, backslidden life, I was amazed at how many people that were hanging out in bars had a Christian background!
MY wife and I arrived late in Bryce, Utah one night and tried to get a room there.
We got the M&J reply, too.
BAcktracked 50-75 miles or so to Escalante where we overnighted in a State Park Campground.
Back in Texas, when I was playing in bars, the later it got, the more we played gospel songs. For a long time, I thought gospel songs were drinking songs. When I moved to AZ, they didn’t do that. It must have been the bible belt influence.
I wonder if the "They all get better looking at closing time" effect was in play in Texas?
The website http://www.spurcrosscowboychurch.com/ doesn’t seem to have much on it!
No. There is not. The board of trustees of Spur Cross Cowboy Church shut the church down without the permission of the congregation, taking the operating capital with them. Apparently, they did not like the direction the church was going.
This happened at the beginning of December. The pastor plead with the board, begging them not to close it down. They did anyway and just before our big Christmas program which was scheduled for December 22. We quickly reorganized the church under another name, reorganized the Christmas program and hosted about 150 people that night.
You might say we had a split, I think it was more like a coup. The new church is North Valley Christian Church. It still has the western/cowboy flavor, but we stand firmly on the bible. It’s been a weird ride, to say the least, but God has been really good and kept us going.
Where was the Spur Cross link? I’ve tried to change all of them to the new web site so folks don’t get confused. It’s confusing enough, as it is. It’s a sad story, but also a testimony because the church is not it’s money, or even it’s leadership. It is the spirit that is in the people.
I pray that we never forget the lesson of Spur Cross.
God’s grace is freakin awesome !!!
1 John 1
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Introduction, The Incarnate Word
1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
9 I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and [g]perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was [h]in the Spirit on the Lords day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, 11 saying, Write in a [i]book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.
Whoever wrote this stuff claimed to be the same John who hung out with Jesus.
And nobody ever came forward and said, “This is ridiculous. Let me show you Jesus’ body. It’s right here in this tomb. We have Roman soldiers making sure it’s right where it’s supposed to be.”
Strobel takes the cynical approach through a series of interviews. His interview with a forensic pathologist really puts the crucifixion in perspective.
Peter and Andrew effectively were business owners. The same goes for James and John.
I just Googled it. Saw the name on one of your videos
Alas; I never knew ye then...
I saw that as quite a contrast as well.
A powerful testimony to the power of Jesus to change lives.
Thank you, Elsie. You don’t know how much I appreciate that you took a few minutes and watched some of our videos. We hope to have more with better quality soon.