The strangest thing that ever happened to me was becoming a Christian.
It was impossible.
I would have laughed at anyone who said otherwise.
Before I was a Christian, I had it all figured out. I knew what I was doing! I was proud of my “open” mind and keen instincts for counterfeit philosophies and ideas.
I quickly brushed aside Christians who approached me time and time again with their naïve, childish beliefs — I was too smart for their fairy tales.
I thought it better to believe an unpleasant truth than delude myself with a pleasant lie. I refused to abdicate reason!
For 25 years, I said to my Christian friends:
“I want to believe what you believe. Who wouldn’t?! Look at the benefits: life eternal, and a loving relationship with the all-powerful Creator of space, time, and matter!
“But, answer this question: what makes your faith any different from that of a Muslim, Taoist, or Hindu? Or any worldview other than your own? Because from where I stand, your faith looks all the same. Having faith in your beliefs doesn’t make them true! And you can’t all be right, although you could all be wrong!”
“Oh Marc, I know it’s true because Jesus is in my heart!”
“That’s not an answer! Emotions don’t make something true!” I’d retort. Not aloud, but to myself—I didn’t say it.
All the while, I would think this unlucky person had lost their mind. Another casualty of The Christian Body Snatchers. Another zombie for Christ! I would recoil, intellectually, if not physically. If it was catching, I sure didn’t want to stand close to the carrier! If this person could lose their sanity, which one of us was next? I had better stay vigilant and on top of my game, or I too could succumb!
Over the years, no one ever answered my questions with reason.
If someone had, maybe I would have dropped my guard enough to listen & come to God by an easier & earlier path.
You see, I didn’t have God to protect me, so the intellect was my protector. Like a bouncer at the door, nothing got by and near the heart without the intellect’s approval. That’s why the bouncer regularly sent Christians on their way, patience for their nonsense lost long ago. If only one person had given a rational answer to my questions, I believe the bouncer would have listened and stepped aside.
Did that finally happen?
Then how did I become a Christian?
Through personal disaster: the culmination of doing things my way for 46 years. Despite the best intentions & efforts, all that was important & dear to me was in chaos or destroyed.
Defeat drove the bouncer to his knees. He then moved aside and motioned that a book on Christianity given to me by a friend could pass by. The book convinced my heart, independent of the mind’s protests raised during the reading.
After I became a Christian, I then knew the quandary of all the Christians I had questioned. I had become one of them! Jesus was in my heart, as he was for them, and my explanations also fell short! How could I reconcile the new man with the old? I was in an awkward spot.
I knew I had to bridge the gap between the old & the new.
In 2011 another friend introduced me to a book on Apologetics titled “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.”
Here it was—the bridge! Apologetics was the bridge! Now I could answer my own questions!
I now know why it’s true, and how it’s true—not just that it’s true.
I know what I believe, and why I believe it!
Mustn’t we hold all worldviews accountable to reason, logic, and evidence? Beginning with our own?
Because the subjective nature of feelings alone, without the light of reason, is like driving a dark road without headlights at night.
Who would do that?!
“In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted
that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps,
that night, the most dejected and reluctant
convert in all England. I did not then see
what is now the most shining and
obvious thing; the Divine humility
which will accept a convert
even on such terms.”
“You shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and
with all your mind. This is the great
and first commandment.”