Things become more difficult, and at the same time simpler, when you accept an authority. I had accepted Jehovah (from here I’ll refer to Him as God) as the Creator, with no pre-established notions as to His involvement with men, method of creation, or much else.
I began studying the writings about Christ. The gospels, Paul’s letters, other books of the new testament, and some non-canonical sources. I decided to use the same test that the old church used to determine the Canon in the first place, with the idea that the Holy Spirit would guide me to the Truth regarding these books. I simply couldn’t bring myself to trust the priests of Carthage in 397 A.D. (how arrogant of me, eh?) I also couldn’t quite bring myself to trust any one particular translation of the Bible, so I began a practice of reading several different versions and looking up the hebrew and greek words when I wondered about the differences in the translations. Further, at this point I started listening to people whose intellect I respected. Usually, for me, these were and still are people who question things to find truth and come to reasoned conclusions. I have less respect for people who question things for the sake of questioning them, and never reach conclusions.
Anyway, my conclusion was that I believed Christ’s own claims that He was (and is) God, as part of the Trinity. Notice here, that this post is not written as a persuasive piece, but a narrative of my own struggle. If I wanted to persuade at the moment, I would be going to the trouble of giving more detail as to scripture references, etc. – just not my purpose with this entry.
This, in college, is when I accepted Christ as Savior. Whether the reader is a non-christian or a christian, you will certainly agree that this moment is pivotal in life. To the devout non-believer this is the moment that a person begins to see life through a fairy-tale lens, and disconnects from reality, accepting as fact things he can’t see, can’t prove, and honestly probably often still doubts. To the Christian, this is when he receives assurance and comfort that this life is not purposeless, that there is a before and after-life, that Love is available when life seems hopeless. When I became convinced and accepted Christ as my savior, it changed the lens through which I saw life.
What it did not do was make me the judgmental jackass that I was in high school. Oh I suppose I was still a bit of a jackass, but not nearly as judgmental. Because my behavior was not what connected me to God – it was what separated me. “All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” Romans 3:23. ALL have sinned. Even me. Often. And if I’m a Christian now because of what I believe and in spite of my sin, who am I to criticize the sins of others and suggest that they are not Christians as I am? Romans 2. This changed everything. I wish I could say I took it to heart quickly and fluently, but old habits die hard. I’m still working on it. Stay tuned.