Testimony of an Ex-Atheist
I grew up in a non-Christian home. My father is an atheist and my
mother was a backslidden Christian, due mostly to marrying my father I
suspect. Anyway, I grew up an atheist. I never went to
Church or Sunday
school, stayed in bed till lunch-time on Sundays, and hated Christians
who I thought were all stupid.
When I came to adolescence I went through a really hard time due to
circumstances that I won't bore you with, and I decided life would be
easier to bear if I cut out all feelings and contact with other people.
I was eleven years old.
I spent the next decade working at achieving that goal and also trying
to find a meaning for my life.
I went through a stage of fads, where I
would be fanatically interested in some subject, and then drop it when
I found that it did little or nothing to feed the hunger in my soul. I
didn't have many friends at high school, and those I did associate with
decided I was the person most likely to initiate a global holocaust.
I dropped out of school after failing my University Entrance exams, and
got a job as a chemistry technician with the New Zealand Department of
Scientific and Industrial Research. With the money came independence. I
left home, was living in a house by myself, going to a job where I
spoke to no-one, and going to night school at the local polytechnic
where I did the same. I had achieved my goal: my life was empty of any
emotions or meaningful contact with others. - It sucked.
The second year I was at night school I noticed a guy in my class was
trying to talk to me. He'd
been trying for the previous year as well,
but I was too messed up to even notice. Luckily he was
type. He was a Christian and he invited me to go to an evangelistic
outreach with him.
I nearly punched him out. After that he tried just
to be my friend and not try any heavy evangelism on me.
As I grew to trust him we started talking about life and stuff like
that. I realized that a lot of what
I had been told about Christians
when I was growing up was not true. I started asking him questions
about his beliefs and he answered them, but had the sense not to push
it any further.
After a couple of years of this I realized that his worldview made more
sense than mine did. I started reading a Bible he gave me and one night
alone in my room it dawned on me that it was all true and
I was the
world's prize idiot. I hit the floor and asked Jesus to take control of
My Mother has since reclaimed her faith so my family is now divided
down the middle; my mother
and I are Christians, my father and brother
are atheists. Becoming a Christian didn't solve my problems, but it
helped me to understand them and it opened the way for God to start
me from my past.
After a few years I started going to Bible College at nights to learn
more about God. I did that for
two years, but then the pressures of
trying to hold down a full time and demanding job, go to Bible College
at night, and help out in the Church and its youth group got too much.
I dropped out of Church for a couple of months and failed my subjects
at Bible College. I wanted to do something
with my life for God, but I
didn't know what.
After a long struggle and a fair bit of soul-searching I quit my job
and applied for the Youth Intern position at my local Church. I have
switched from doing a Diploma of Biblical Studies to doing a Ministry
Internship Diploma, which is a much more practical course. I am trying
to do less studying
of God and more following him. So far I am enjoying
it, but I know following God is a lifetime journey.
I still have a long
way to go.
As an aside, my friend from polytech is the most effective evangelist I
have ever met. He has never been to Bible College or had any formal
training and he says I now know far more theology than he does. But he
has a love for God that still amazes me.