“FREE PIZZA!” - the enticing sign for a broke and hungry student during Freshers at university.
“Christians = well-meaning elderly folk, yet naive to the real world and real problems” I thought as I scoffed down as many Hawaiians I could, trying to sober up. My suspicions came true as a white middle-aged man in a cardigan grabbed the attention of the room and began to speak about the Bible. I immediately turned my back
against the speaker, grabbed a pizza box and counted the seconds until the man said the dreaded words Christ or Sin. These two spine chilling words epitomised what I despised about Christianity - “What don’t these Christians understand! Life is to be lived and enjoyed and if Christ is anything, he is a killjoy!”
A woman on my Uni course was there; I thought she was very nice and polite but kept talking about and inviting me to churchy things. She was starting to irritate me, so I combated with Dawkins and facts about whale’s esophagi as proof for my atheism. But the woman graciously, without a hint of superiority or animosity, corrected my misconceptions. As my ego was getting more and more bruised, I decided to start my own misguided crusade against this woman, to prove her wrong, “The Bible is too strange to possibly be true!”
I expected her to fight back, to waver in this pious façade, but the woman continued to show a simple genuine willingness to help me – I met my match. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Christ and the Bible, but I realised I knew nothing. I ended the conversation by having a childish tantrum, pointing my finger and exclaiming, “I will NEVER be a Christian! You can’t save me!” I’m very dramatic, if you can’t already tell.
Though the pizza party was over, the words of those Christians chewed away in my head. So, I started reading the Bible, doing some in depth historical and scientific research – trying the find the weak link. I really tried, but ironically, I found I had now accumulated so much evidence that Christ died and rose again. I was terrified - if God was real then why did I deserve to be saved?
I realised the truth. I was right about one thing – the woman couldn’t save me, it was God. It was God who opened my eyes to the truth, not because of anything I am or have done but simply because He loved me. I didn’t deserve to be saved, that’s why Christ died for me. My salvation is entirely the work of a loving God who like any good father, wants the very best for his child.
I found the woman again to apologise. We’re married now, so I think she’s forgiven me.
The Bible is strange, but that doesn’t make it untrue.
Knowing Jesus Christ is the greatest everlasting joy you may know. I pray you too may know this.
Brad has been a faithful member of Wigmore for some time, and attends regulary with his wife Athaliah. He has recently taken on new duties as a Trainee deacon and with Athaliah oversees the Youth work at WEFC