MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY
was an atheist for twenty years, even though my parents raised me in a Christian home and sent me to Christian schools through the twelfth grade. Every sermon I heard about the crucifixion of Jesus during those years focused on the blood, the gore, and the violence, claiming God required His wrath to be appeased and every sin must be punished before God could forgive us. These sermons included a description of how bringing the blood of Christ to the Father and reminding Him of the suffering we caused Jesus appeased God’s wrath and made Him gracious, merciful, and forgiving. Each of these depictions of the crucifixion moved me farther from God. As a result, I graduated from Auburn Academy, a Christian school, an atheist. Consequently, I didn’t go near a church in a serious way for twenty years.
Many people point to a particular time when they surrendered their life to God and the struggles involved. For me it was different. I had bad habits and evil desires, but not bad habits or evil desires that I loved. Life had taught me they were destructive, so I didn’t love them. So deciding to give them up wasn’t a struggle.
The issue for me was, “Is God real?” How does someone with a Christian education decide people made up religion and the Scriptures to manipulate the masses? It wasn’t because I didn’t know the Scriptures, for during my Christian education, we studied the Old Testament in the odd years and the New Testament and church history in the even years, and life taught me they were good counsel. However, what teachers and pastors taught about God from the Scriptures didn’t make sense, and because it didn’t make sense, I decided people had made up religion and the Scriptures to manipulate the masses. This is how I became an atheist. A brief description of my journey back to God follows.
While going through a divorce, my now ex-wife threatened to use the fact I was an atheist against me in child custody proceedings. So I started attending Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, with her. I enjoyed the services and John Ed Mathison’s sermons, which contained practical life lessons. This started my journey back to God and answered Mother’s prayers, for she had long been praying for my salvation.
A few years later I was talking with some coworkers in a chemical plant. A Baptist fellow confessed that he was once an atheist. He explained how God had revealed His existence to him.
It happened at the top of a distillation unit, when he talked with God about his lusts; God reprogrammed the neural pathways in his brain, and his inappropriate sexual desires left in a heartbeat.
Later I was watching “The Party Machine” on MTV, which consisted of a group of half-naked women jumping up and down. While watching, I talked with God about my lusts, and God reprogrammed the neural pathways in my brain; my inappropriate sexual desires left in a heartbeat. My sexual desires haven’t been the same since. This experience has made God real to me, and since then, the search to know God and find truth has become serious business to me.
God didn’t handle all my problems in the same way. Gaining control of my tongue took a few years, for I had picked up a vocabulary incompatible with Christianity. Although the vocabulary of my coworkers is like my old vocabulary, I now seldom revert to my old patterns.
The search for truth has continued since God revealed His existence to me, and truth always makes sense. My spiritual growth continues as the Holy Spirit reveals truth from many and various sources. This book shares the most significant truths learned during my spiritual journey.