Christ of Lost and Found
Getting Personal With Christianity
During a pivotal time in life, I did not believe in God, but desperately desired to believe in something--something bigger than ... well, me! The pivot in my life excluded the Christian God, who seemed too unbelievable--hard time wrapping my mind around that virgin birth.
Needing a change to excite my passions for faith, a glimmer of hope appeared while in high school social studies (or world history). We learned about the Moors, Black Muslims of Northern Africa, and their worship of Allah. Immediately, I decided that Allah did exist, and I would learn as much about Him as possible.
This article is about a journey, a brief look into how by losing Christ, I found Him in a most unlikely place just by being open to the possibility that He was someone I could seek.
Finding Him started by learning about Islam. The Nation of Islam consisted of what I could find on the internet at the school library, not much in the 1990s. My interest had to have been skin-deep seeing that I loved the clothing these people wore--desiring to wear those smart outfits too! I decided to become a Muslim and learn about Malcolm X and the lot.
Doubting the doubts I had about God, I searched Him out in another faith.
We occasionally allow ourselves to become paralyzed by the things that cause us to pause in life. Because I did not want to remain trapped in the quagmire of disbelief, I struck out to find religion again. For me, Islam was safe from the deception of shady clergymen and miraculous virgin births, right? Wouldn't you know that Muslims believe in the Virgin Birth too!
Finding Jesus Christ
God has a way of leading us to the truths that we need to know at the moment we need to know them so that we can get closer to the truths that lead us to Him.
If we want to believe that there is a higher being and refuse to go beyond that point of belief, He will work with us and provide blessings within or limit to that realm of belief. He did for me. He blessed me and aided me in all stages of my way to Him.
I was open to the truth, willing to accept anything that I was told about God. I was thirsty for information. I was ready for Islam
Finding all the information that I could on the computer about Islam, I decided to check on some books about Islam that would provide me further information at the school library. Unfortunately, at that time there existed no public library within my range of travel of which I was aware. I am sure there was no Qur’an in the library at that time either, but I searched.
I searched for Moors. To my great joy, I found a book that had something to do with Moors. I thought I did at least. It was sky blue with clouds on it and had a golden man blowing a trumpet on it. The title read: The Book of Mormon.
Whatever you, the reader, may have heard about this book I did not know at the time. I thought it contained words about The Great and Honorable Prophet Mohammad. I remember reading about moor-men on one of the sites I had visited online or in a book. I, therefore, figured Mormon was just another name for Black Muslims from North Africa.
I had never heard of Mormon or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My young brain was too slow and erratic to connect the name listed as publisher on the book with any Christian organization.
I dived into the book reading all I could. I could not stop! I found myself enthralled by the words of the strange prophets in the book! I began preaching from the book to myself. I imagined audiences of people before me as I read. That book converted me to Jesus Christ.
It testified of the virgin birth, and I believed it. It testified that Jesus was the son of God, and I accepted it. All my doubts and worries melted away when I found another book that testified that Jesus was the Christ.
I decided to be Christian again. I started going to church again taking my book with me to every place that I attended. I would ever hold that book dear for reintroducing me to my faith in Christ and supporting the truths contained in the Bible.
Christianity No Longer Absurd
There was no magical enchantment on the book that made all of my doubts go away. There was no vision from heaven that gave me a new brain.
Experience is what helps me to overcome my doubts in my faith in Christ and to accept Him as the Lord whom I would follow. I read The Book of Mormon, but I still did not have a personal relationship with God. My prayers were not to God; they were at Him--as if I was wishing on a star.
The relationship with God would come later. Because of the experiences that I had searching and then deciding for myself--coming to my own conclusions based on what I had read--I made a choice to believe the scriptures rather than have empirical evidence of everything.
In the beginning, my dilemma was I wanted every aspect of Christianity to make logical sense so that I could believe. The solution was to believe without explanation. It was easier for me to do that with two different books declaring that Christ was Lord; however, it was more than that alone.
My heart and mind had accepted the idea that Jesus Christ really is the Son of God. I learned that the Bible is its own witness of God's love and does not depend on the character of the person who declares it to me, though good character can only help. The Book of Mormon was my other witness--the witness that converted me to Christ and restored my faith in the Christian religion.
The Actuality of Christianity
In my personal walk toward God, knowing that He lives, did not come until I met missionaries who taught me how to pray. Even after I found that I had His ear and could talk with Him about my beliefs I still would pause on the virgin birth and how I felt about it before I decided to follow Christ again.
I wondered if other people might feel that way. If there were other people who did, I have never heard of them. Christians should take stock of how our beliefs may seem strange and contradictory to non-Christians. We should look for ways to help others understand what we believe without throwing up on them--giving too much information.
Each person must decide for his or herself if he or she wants to know the truth about God. From there, God will work through experience to teach the willing learner the truth. It worked with me.
God loves all people and His teachings are not about force, but entreat. Christ asks us to follow Him. He will never drive us before Him.
God waited until I was ready; He then opened up my eyes as He will do yours and others.
© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson