Become a Fan
By Kevin L. Whitworth
Saturday, March 15, 2003
I have been fulfilled through faith in Christ
There was a time in the not so distant past that I loathed religion and all religious systems. Religion appeared to be illogical and seemed like superstition. If someone tried to discus religion with me, I would. Usually start an argument, with them. "Show me what your selling!" I would say. "I'm not trying to sell you anything," the would be evangelist would reply. "If you can't show me your product then don't bother me about it anymore. Go tell your fairy tales to someone else! I'm not buying any tickets!" I would assert. There were exceptions to these actions, but they were rare. I thought churches, and church people fell into one of three categories:
The first group I viewed as multilevel marketers selling religion to the masses. They made people feel good about each other and earned a nice profit for themselves. "Just come to Jesus . . . Send me your money . . . Everything will be perfect." (You have probably seen the type). They give people the country club or plaza setting, sing and dance, pass the plate, divvy up the booty and head to the bank and sometimes the Bahamas. (Sadly, this seems true for some but, thankfully, not all).
The second assembly, the weak. Were just that, weak, both mentally and/or physically. They just needed someone to lean on or something to believe in. These people to me were pathetic. "Boo Hoo, go cry on someone else's shoulder," I thought. I wouldn't have anything to do with them unless there was something in it for me.
The last group was the confused and ignorant, and included the poor misguided souls who believed in what they were teaching and learning. They believed in God - believed the Bible - did what it said (at least tried) and were basically good people. I didn't have a problem with them as long as they didn't preach to me. I can remember thinking,
"I wish I could be as simple minded as they are . . . life would be so much easier." Many people I crossed paths with believed. But, I couldn't believe the Bible. I did not see how it was the infallible Word of God.
I surmised, If there were a God, and he was the author of the Bible, then when man got his hands on it he screwed it up. That's what people do, "screw things up," so it seemed reasonable to me. Looking back I never once remember questioning the authenticity of Darwin, Huxley, Leaky or any of the other books I had read - and they were far from first editions. I read these books because they claimed to have answers about mans mysterious existence, but most of their conclusions were inconsistent with themselves and each other. None of them were any help at finding answers to the age old question, "what is life for?"
I questioned only the Bible. Why? I do not know. I never really read it. I didn't even know what was in there. I thought I knew the children's stories in the Old Testament, you know, Noah's Ark, Moses parting the Red Sea, David and Goliath, etc. . . I didn't believe anybody really knew where The New Testament came from. To some extent I was also a pragmatist so whatever works for you is okay with me, okay that is, as long as you didn't try to preach to me.
However, this life style was getting old and the empty philosophy was wearing thin too. Sure I sounded really intelligent quoting Lyle or Nietzsche when people tried to talk religion with me, or at least I thought I did. But, as I said it didn't help me.
The drugs and alcohol weren't working anymore either. I felt empty . . . I was only using substances to cover up the pain and guilt I felt for abandoning my wife and four children. I am not sure, but looking back I believe my denial of God's existence was my way of escaping the fear of God's judgment. How did I get so far from God. I attended church and claimed to be a Christian as a teen.
I had drunk alcohol since I was a child. The first time I remember drinking I was sitting on my Grandpa's lap. I had not yet begun school. The first time I got drunk I was riding around with my father in his car. I was in first grade I believe. I can still remember my dad saying as we crossed the railroad tracks on Old Race Track Road: "You drink one beer you haven't got anything - Same thing with two beers. Now - with three beers you're starting to get somewhere . . . When you get to six your feeling pretty good but then you have to go get more beer." The alcohol had been in my life for a long time. The drugs; however, I used for recreation only. Although I ocasionaly used; I did not start abusing drugs until alcohol had destroyed my family life I started using day and night as a way to cope with feelings guilt and hopelessness.
One thing about using drugs and alcohol is, if you use them often you will get caught. And when you do the state will provide you with a place to stay rent free. It is called the jail. It was in jail that I had time to read books on Philosophy, Evolution, Sociology, and other subjects of interest. I would read nearly anything to pass the time. Well, anything except the Bible. After reading different world views I became a "Deist," believing God made the world but was not active in it. I believed God just sat and watched. Then I bacame a hopeful "Agnostic." A hopeful agnostic is someone who is convinced there is not enough physical evidence to know whether God exists. But, hopes if there is a God that He would understand why they could not believe in Him. This deception progressed and Towards the end of `98 I was leaning helplessly toward "Atheism" Believing there's no God at all. Then some thing happened.
I began feeling a strong desire to recover my relationship with my wife, but she insisted that we go to marriage counseling. My wife couldn't stand anymore of my drug abuse, womanizing, drinking continually, or the unfathomable amount of other loathsome deeds I had done in the past. There was no way out of it, so I called my parents' pastor, and he agreed to counsel my wife and me. It seemed like a good deal, and actually it was, it was free and it changed my life.
I told the pastor up front that I did not necessarily believe in God, but he exhorted us anyway. As a token of appreciation I attended a couple of his sermons. I did not like much of what he said so I decided to snare him by his own standard, the Bible. Then I got busy, I arrived at church early, pen and paper in hand, eager to take notes. That way I could find inconsistencies and convict the pastor in the court of my mind, and tell him what I thought of his paradoxical measure of life.
Something went awry, you see the more I read and studied the Bible; the more it made sense to me. The more it made sense to me; the more I believed. I still didn't wholeheartedly believe that Christ wanted a relationship with me, but I had no problem believing that I was a sinner, if there ever was one, it was me. I was now attending church because I wanted to learn about this concept of excepting Jesus as my savior.
That is when it happened on April 2, 1999. I was irresistibly drawn to the altar, there I confessed my sins. This was very therapeutic but that is not all that happened. I decided to make the Bible my standard and Jesus my example. This helped save my marriage and family from certain destruction. My family could see such a profound change in me that they to gave there lives to Christ.
I had drunk alcohol since grade school; now, suddenly I no longer needed it. I chewed tobacco for 22 years I quit without a problem, and the drugs that I so desperately needed to cover guilt and pain - gone. I am a new man and I have a new family we have all been transformed by Jesus Christ.
Prior to becoming a Christian I thought it would be nice to have my old life with my family back. I have received something so much better. I got my family back, and we all have a new calling. This has set me off on a never ending journey of learning, and helping people.
I am now seeking a career in Christian ministry. People tell me it's not a very lucrative profession, pastors and teachers are among the nations lowest paid professionals, that's okay I never planed to get rich doing it. I only want to serve God and help people who, as I was, aren't quite sure what to believe. I know the emptiness I was trying so hard to fill was the hollowness of my soul, because I was living life without God, and He never intends it to be that way.
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|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|so glad for you! your life will get so much better, now that you have god in your life! i pray that god blesses you and yours tremendously; he sure has blessed me a lot! great inspirational testimony! love, a new friend in texas, karen lynn. (((HUGS))) :) god bless you, kevin!|