Who in their right mind would actually want to be a Christian, especial in the era of reason?
Please keep in mind that this section is as condensed as I can make it while highlighting a few of the major points regarding how and why I have become a Christian. It also mentions a few of the struggles I have faced during my time in the faith while brushing through what has led me to where I am today.
I grew up in what was essentially an agnostic home. My viewpoint of the Christian world through the entirety of my teens was on par with almost any atheist of today. Christians were silly, ignorant, close minded hypocrites with a need to feel superior to others by cramming their beliefs down the throats of others any chance they got. Through middle school and high school there wasn’t much in the way of mental sheltering for me within the home (for example; my favorite band by age 12 was Morbid Angel).
The high school that I attended just so happened to have a church directly across the street. And, whenever I was old enough to drive, I would have to pass by the screaming pastor to get to my car while flipping him off. As I passed him I would laugh at his nonsensical rants about repentance with his bible flailing in the air over his head.
I was a punk and Christians were the optimum of ignorance.
My favorite movie of the day back then probably would have been SLC Punk, because it was relevant to the atheistic substance seeking lifestyle I was already living. In my mind I didn’t remember anything from before I was born, so what was the point in thinking I would remember anything after death?
My addictions were horror movies, dark music, girls, and partying. By the time I was in the 10th grade I was a heavy drinker. I was at every party. And, I obviously smoked my fair share of pot. But all of that took the side stage once I was introduced to LSD after having read the book, Helter Skelter (which is a book that I don’t think anyone under 18 should read). I was a book that glorified murder and substance abuse despite being a historical account of gruesome events.
I started my use of LSD at home on the weekends while the rest of my family was asleep. Toward the end of high school I spent less time at home and more time elsewhere. Weekends alone on the drug wasn’t enough. It wasn’t long before I found myself gathering with 5 or more people in an apartment complex taking 13 hits of acid at a time. This caused my hallucinations to last days rather than hours. Ironically enough, my favorite band around this time happened to be a band called, Acid Bath, which was the best of both worlds. It glorified people such as Jeffery Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy. If you played their music loud enough there was one track on an album that actually repeated the phrase, “drop some acid. Kill your parents. Run from the police”.
I was clearly headed down a very dark path.
I could write an entire book on all of the hallucination based experiences that I had during that time in my life, but I will leave it with just this one. I recall one time we had a new girl join our group who had never done LSD before. The drug dealer made his rounds, dropping 13 hits into our mouths and eyes one person at a time. When he came to the new girl, she got the exact same dose as we did. Her first time was too much. We were all in the bathroom watching ourselves die while staring into the mirror of an endless vortex. This girl actually did almost die because of what she saw. In her mind, her face was melting causing the skin to endlessly run down her face. Since the liquid skin was running down her nose and mouth she thought that she was drowning. As a result, she literally quit breathing to the point of turning blue. For me it had just been another normal weekday before driving to school the following morning to spend the rest of my day at school spaced out and hallucinating while enjoying music that glorified murder.
The thing that I look back on and find disturbing about the entire event is this. I was in no way concerned for the girl’s life. Had she died, I was so focused on my self experience that it wouldn’t have affected me at all (which too, is ironic considering the fact that one of the main characters in SLC Punk dies in that movie from a drug overdose).
I eventually became so internally messed up from nearly an entire year of weekly LSD use that I actually began to think that my family had been using LSD the entire time. And, that I was just now finally joining them in our true existence. An existence that had been hidden from me for all of my childhood because in some way, I hadn’t been ready for the truth.
It also didn’t help that the movie The Matrix came out during this time of my life, feeding the internal confusion.
Needless to say, it didn’t take long for my mom to crack down on me after I started ranting about the rainbow people, lizards that can talk, and underground worlds that lead to alternate realms with melting faces. I was probably seeing a therapist for three months before realizing that we were having sessions.
Sure enough, after all that time being an atheist I had changed. After having laughed at anyone that believed in a creator regardless of their religious preference, here I was unable to maintain my daily life as a result of continually seeing into the unseen. And of all things, the one thing that I did learn after that much substance abuse was this; there is in fact a realm beyond the physical that we can’t control. But in fact, this unseen realm plays a major part in controlling the physical.
My atheistic world view was thrown to the wind.
But, what to believe in? There were so many religions. And the one religion I was definitely not going to pretend to be interested in would be the narrow minded hypocrisy known as Christianity.
One aspect of the drug related choices I had been making was my love for nature. There was nothing like being under the influence of drugs while in the woods or at a park gazing at the clouds, etc. As a result, the religion that I fell into (also surprising inspired and encouraged by the therapy sessions) was Wicca. In short, this is witchcraft that incorporates the worship of nature with Babylonian roots that obviously go much deeper than that.
And off I went on my religious journey.
The ironic place that I shortly after found myself in was this. In an attempt to escape the drug scene while hoping to overcome the excessive flashbacks I was constantly having, I found myself engrossed in a religion that encouraged the very thing I was trying to escape. And even if you weren’t using, the many books that I read were eager to teach you how to see into the unseen through meditation, chants, and rituals. Needless to say, my new found faith was only making my flashbacks worse, not better.
You spend an entire year in Wonderland, chasing the rabbit down the tunnel. And suddenly, you find yourself spending twice as much time attempting to climb back out.
Despite having a job, it was hard for me to maintain my mental composure while on the clock. It’s hard to explain, but I’d like to see you try to flip burgers at McDonald’s while staring into the abyss at a fire breathing dragon that is eagerly awaiting the day of his release from the unseen into the seen. While you are staring through realms into his eyes, he is staring right back. Because, he knows that you can see him seeing you.
I’m not sure how long I worked fast food. But at some point, one of my managers was asking me about my religious beliefs. Why was I Wiccan? Were my rituals and incantations really doing anything? How and why did I choose that particular religion? So on… and so on. Although I did my best to answer all of his questions, in the end it always came down to one thing. It’s up to you. It’s your choice (you know, free will and what have you).
It turned out that this manager of mine had a Pentecostal Christian friend who was telling him the same things that I was. Bla… Bla… Bla…, but it’s your choice. You need to “choose” Christ. You need to “choose” Paganism.
This manager of mine did what any smart person would do. Rather than blindly making a choice for or against either religion while clearly doing some soul searching of his own, he had an idea. He would have the Pentecostal Christian and the Wiccan Pagan meet face to face and just sit back to see what would happen.
I obliged and we met.
Little did this fast food manager realize, I was at my wit’s end. My attempt at escaping the flashbacks through meditation and my new found religion were only making things worse. While meeting with the Christian, I heard him tell me all the same old cliché things we have all heard. Christ died and rose again. He can save you. Repent or you will burn in hell for eternity. Hellfire and brimstone. Bla… Bla… Bla…
Despite the bible bashing that I expected to walk into when meeting this Christian, I opened up to him. I told him my story. I explain my mental struggle of attempting to overcome the internal lack of control resulting from my excessive use of LSD. And, that it would be great if the flashbacks went away so that I could have my life back.
Then, he said something to me that I had never heard any Christian say before. He quoted 2 Corinthians 5:17. It reads; Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
He told me that accepting Christ could make me a new man. And that the old man would be cast away. And that God could heal my mind and heart. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t believe him. Christians were ignorant, remember? Either way, he talked me into coming to church. And I went, not once, not twice, but three times. On that third visit, after the message, I found myself up front raising my hands to the heavens with a large group of people surrounding me as I accepted Christ into my heart.
Again with the honesty…
I didn’t accept Christ in that moment. My reasons for going up there and going through the motions were self-centered. I didn’t want Christ’s hypocrisy. I wanted to regain control over my mental life. And that meant that I was willing to try anything. Even this Jesus fellow.
Shortly after I began to attend church regularly with this Pentecostal group, I had a physical ailment resulting from excessive cigarette use. One of my lunges had collapsed and I found myself in the hospital trying to figure out what had happened. My Christian friend came and visited me. And again, told me about the healing power of this so called Jesus character. The next Sunday that I attended church the entire congregation surrounded me and spent time praying over my lunges for healing.
And, that is when it happened.
I literally felt an internal change of heart take place. What was happening to me was real. I truly did want a new life. A fresh start.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. – Mathew 7:7-8
And that is exactly what I had been doing. I had been seeking answers. Asking for truth. Because of my open heart and willingness, Christ entered my being. I allowed the unseen to affect the seen. And behold, I was made new. The old man had indeed been cast away. And I was made new. My lunges were healed. And my flashbacks had drastically subsided over night.
My life was immediately changed from that day forward. Although I have had my ups and downs, I haven’t put the bible down since. The more that I read and study, the more proofs that I find, both historical and circumstantial, that validate the authenticity of scripture.
He is coming. And I can’t wait… but I will. Yet, it doesn’t end there.
My entire Christian life has been spent in the Futurist camp, waiting on the rapture so that the tribulation can begin. Like anyone who has been committed to their belief system for as long as I have, there have been plenty of struggles along the way. Seasons of growth. Seasons of stagnant content. Seasons of disdain and worldly pleasure seeking.
It turns out that I had in fact become one of those bigoted pretentious hypocritical Christians after all. Just going through the motions but living in the world. I was no different than the world outside of what I did with my time on Sunday mornings.
But, as life will do from time to time, I had a unexpected major wake up call. After having been good friends with a co-worker for several years, I was asked one simple question. A question that I was not prepared to answer because I was so focused on myself (sound familiar?). I was in a season of being upset with God. And when my friend, whom I knew to be an extremely depressed substance abuser, asked me whether or not if going to church worked, I told him “no” without hesitation.
The truth is, going to church doesn’t get you saved. Having a relationship with God through Christ does. So, in a sense my answer was true. But, that’s not what he was asking. And yes, going to church would have helped him. He needed to be around positive people that could help him overcome his addictions by seeing light at the end of his struggles through relationship building within the church.
With that, my answer to him should have been a proud “yes“.
But it wasn’t.
The very next night after work I found myself at his home cleaning blood and brains off of the back porch where he had ended his own life with a gun. In this world, as Christians we are supposed to be the light in a dark and dying sea. And in this situation it was I that had been asleep. Although I don’t blame myself for his death, I could have, should have been the support that he was seeking in his time of despair.
Although it wasn’t instantaneous, it was this very situation that made me realize that I had been asleep in my faith for several years, enjoying the pleasures of the world rather than focusing on Christ. It was time for a change. I began to evaluate why I believed what I believed. It turns out not all of it is true. Not every denomination or eschatological camp has the whole truth, but is in fact founded on the traditions of modern thinkers and the theories of men. A lot of what is taught in the modern protestant world has no biblical foundation for support.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. – 1 Thessalonians 5:21
I began to dig. I encourage you to do the same. It may change your perspective so drastically that it changes the way that you live your life for Christ’s sake. Proverbs 18 says, he that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
We all need a wake up call know and again. Unfortunately, my wake up call came at the expense of life. Regardless, you will be surprised at what you find if you seek God with an honest heart by testing scripture against scripture rather than the traditions of men. For example, the Anti-Christ is already here and has been for a long time. The mark of the beast isn’t what you would expect; and, so much more. But, for that… you’ll need to visit the other site content associated with the Church Page.
Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.