From fake to genuine
God is faithful, loving and patient: This is my story.
Meet the "Christian atheist"
You might consider the term "Christian atheist" a little weird or unusual. Actually, you'd be correct. It is weird; in fact it makes for a good oxymoron for obvious reasons. However, it might not be as "unusual" as you may think. Read on and you'll understand why.
My name is Fola and I'm from Nigeria. I'd like to tell you my story. This is a story about how I moved from being a nominal religious "Christian" to having a real relationship with Christ.
I grew up in a Christian family. My parents raised me up in the fear of God. As a result, that became the "default" for me. Christian values and morals helped shape my worldview. This is usually a blessing but it has its downsides. Growing up in a home like that meant I always felt "safe" spiritually. I always considered myself to be in God's "good books" largely because of my parents. Truth is, I considered myself to be a good person, good enough to merit heaven. I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus neither did I feel it was necessary. Even though I professed many biblical truths, my lifestyle didn't always reflect it. God just happened to be a "part" of my life. I just agreed He was around – somewhere but lived like He never existed. This is why I coined the term "Christian atheist" earlier.
About 6 years ago, I completed my secondary education and sought admission into the university. I got admitted into a preparatory program that was to last 9 months and through which I could gain admission to the university. I got enrolled and that meant that for the first time, I'd be living away from my parents and family. It was exciting. For the first time I felt responsible -at least for some of my decisions. I met different people. Some of them pseudo-Christian (just like me) or simply unbelieving. It was then I began to think about my faith. At some point, I questioned the very beliefs I confessed so often. I had questions and I sought answers. Unknown to me, God was already preparing me. I attended church with some folks in my hostel and during one of their services I heard the Gospel -again. It wasn't the first time but it was different.
I can still remember that evening vividly. The minister was concluding his sermon and that point I felt an overwhelming sense of guilty like I'd never felt before. For the first time, I realized I was a sinner.I realized I had a choice. To accept or to reject this free gift of salvation. I realized that I have SINNED! It dawned on me that I needed mercy desperately. Jesus has been Lord all the while but I had defied His Lordship, broken His laws and was under His wrath, condemned. Miraculously, I was humbled. I remember muttering the phrase "Forgive me Lord!"
That experience changed my life. I confessed my sins, repented of them and put my trust in Jesus for my salvation. As promised, He forgave them all and granted me peace and eternal life.
How does this change anything?
This changed EVERTHING. That was a radical turnaround in my life. Now I look at everything in my through the gospel lens. I no longer own myself, Christ owns me. He bought me. All of my pride and self-righteousness -GONE! All I laid down at the cross. Now, I'm learning to live and love like He did.
I am not suggesting that it has been easy and effortless. Not at all! Every day, the Truth confronts my sins and weakness. Every day, I face spiritual battles and sadly, I lose some of them. Sometimes, I wander away taking my eyes off the Master. But God is faithful and He NEVER forsakes me. Other times, I'm tempted to return to my former hypocritical way of life. But I am encouraged whenever I am reminded that He said; "I will never leave you nor forsake you".
So, my dear friend, don't wait any longer. Throw in the towel. Give up trying to do it your way and simply follow The Way.
Think about that…