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What made you accept Christianity as an adult?

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posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 06:13 PM
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There's a thread here: www.abovetopsecret.com... that discusses Richard Dawkins, the well-known atheist. The original article is by Alister McGrath, a fellow professor witgh Dawkins at Oxford, who himself has a PhD in molecular biophysics, but is actually a professor of theology. I did not want to hijack that thread with my diversions, ergo, here we are.

The interesting thing about McGrath is that he grew up in a protestant household in Northern Ireland, but became an atheist early on, blaming religion for Ireland's troubles. It wasn't until he went to Oxford that he converted to Christianity. Apparently he was converted by intellectual discussion with learned Christians who challenged his atheistic views as opposed to "God" talking over his shoulder or some sort of emotional conversion like that. He has a new book out, The Dawkins Delusion, which purports to counter Dawkin's own The God Delusion. Both books have been getting mixed reviews. I've not read either one.

My question is: What would compel someone to become a Christian as an adult? I was hoping to hear from some ATS members who have experienced it.

I know one possibility might be to say that McGrath never really was an atheist, that he had been indoctrinated in Christianity early on, but simply went through an atheistic phase before returning to it. Although that might be true, I'm hoping for a better answer than that.

I was never indoctrinated myself. I never went to Sunday School, never went to church. My mother was an atheist and my father did not talk about religion at all. I have been atheistic or nearly so my entire adult life, during times when it was not popular to be so. For example, I refused to attend church services in the Navy, so they made me stand extra guard duty as punishment. Though I have come nowhere near to becoming a "believer," I find my own attitude toward religion has mellowed over the years.

If you have been in my situation or close to it and converted, I'd like to hear your story.

Note: I surely do not want this thread to become an argumentative one over whether religion is true or not. That's not the point. I'd just like to listen to some personal conversion stories in an attempt to understand why this happens.




posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 06:23 PM
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Very interesting topic.


I myself am an Atheist/Agnostic but I'm looking forward to seeing some replies.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 07:00 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 

By coincidence, I've been drafting a thread on the subject, in response to a request, but it's already 1500 characters too long for a reply post.
I shall have to stick to the original plan after all.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 07:12 PM
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I was an atheist the first 19 years of my life. I was an ignorant and arrogant young man, and then when I joined the US Air Force I became agnostic and started going to Christian churches occasionally, but never really believed. When I was 21 years old, I was in the hospital because of a history of drug addiction and a suicide attempt, and I was on the verge of death (either from an OD or from killing myself)

I prayed to God for a sign that He existed, and the hospital phone rang, and it was a voice, asking me why I didnt believe in God, and if I believed in God now? every time I would say yes, then thought to myself no, im going nuts, etc , the voice would repeat again, in a more stern voice, if I believed in God or not. This happened several times, and while it was happening, the TV in the room was flickering and changing colors, nothing else in the room was different though, I was not hallucinating, I was not under the influence of drugs or withdrawing from any drugs....

After that happened, I kept experiencing synchroncities,that really shouldn't happen. I also had a series of intense dreams that were mostly about me being surrounded by angels in a hotel room (dont ask me why), and other things happened to me as well, though I do not feel like typing a big long story of every thing that happened...

I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit many times since then, and when I look back and see all the people God put in my life in the first 19 years of my life, to try and smarten me up, it's painfully obvious this life is planned and not as random as it seems sometimes

My personal experiences are not the only thing that lead me to the faith I have today, it is also through reading the Bible and studying theology, and looking into atheistic arguments, and arguments for and against God, for thousands of hours over the past 5 years, and the more I educate myself, the more I reaffirm my faith and my experiences as Truth.

Hope this is what you were looking for....God bless you and I hope you find what you're searching for....



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by Iason321
I prayed to God for a sign that He existed, and the hospital phone rang, and it was a voice, asking me why I didnt believe in God, and if I believed in God now? every time I would say yes, then thought to myself no, im going nuts, etc , the voice would repeat again, in a more stern voice, if I believed in God or not. This happened several times, and while it was happening, the TV in the room was flickering and changing colors, nothing else in the room was different though, I was not hallucinating, I was not under the influence of drugs or withdrawing from any drugs....


What an incredible story! Thank you for sharing it. I've never heard anything quite like it before.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 08:28 PM
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I avoided the whole God subject until one day when I was 27 I layed down on the lawn of the Governor Generals residence in Prince Edward Island and read the Gospel of John ...I guess you could say I became a believer that day ... It was the word of God then and its even more so today for me .....peace



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


a music teacher passed the word on to me...

took awhile till I could jam, but I am starting to make harmonies.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by the2ofusr1
I avoided the whole God subject until one day when I was 27 I layed down on the lawn of the Governor Generals residence in Prince Edward Island and read the Gospel of John ...I guess you could say I became a believer that day ... It was the word of God then and its even more so today for me .....peace


Sounds like an idyllic place. Did you also read Matthew, Mark, and Luke? The reason I ask is that John is kind of the outlier gospel. It's a little different, a little longer, and apparently a little newer than the so-called "synoptic" Gospels. 90% of the text is unique to John (unlike the inter-related synoptics). So what clicked with you? What triggered the belief? Please believe that I ask these questions with the utmost respect.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 08:57 PM
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My story is very simular to yours. I was never raised a Christian or anything really . At primary school we sang hymns but that's it my dads an atheist etc. I always believed in god / supernatural (but not really Christian god) until I was about 17 and I just thought deffinately no god and all religions are laughable. I held that belief until I met a born again Christian and a Muslim and through discussions with them I realised I knew very little about anything and started to do my own research. And like you I'm no believer but I think that religion can answer alot of things I once thought it couldn't and that I have a lot more interest, respect and tolerance towards the idea of god.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


It's always by a revelation of Jesus Christ, keep asking God for one. Never give up.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 09:06 PM
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Anthony Flew said he changed his mind from all the debates with Christians.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 09:07 PM
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I used to be an athiest when I was in my late teens, then became agnostic once into conspiratorial research starting with 9/11 and some other things. As I kept researching on the internet, I followed the philosophy of keeping an open mind and listen to everything, and boy, how wrong I was. When you have an open mind, anything can come in; it's like a city sewer, it accepts everything and anything that goes in. Now I learned It's very important to have a closed mind with strong filters. I'm not open for 2+2=5, I'm closed on it equal to 4.

Eventually, after listening to so many guys who are into all this conspiracy stuff, I got sucked into the new age movement, starting with David Wilcock, Jordan Maxwell and other scam artists I don't even remember. Man those guys are lying, disgusting little devils. I then moved on to people like David Icke the lizard people pusher, Graham Hancock the ancient aliens and ayahuasca pusher, and Terence McKenna and the whole psychodelics nonsense. More lying devils. I guess McKenna was more of a discoverer, a psychonaut if you will, more than a new age pusher, so he deserves some credit. Eventually I felt so spiritually empty and depressed, and I had this friend who kept pushing all the Jesus stuff on me... which I wanted nothing to do with. I was in a total mess spiritually. One night I got on my knees and said, "God if you are real, show me who you are." I really meant it, too. I was getting sick and tired of meeting people who believed the same things I did, and finding them to be a bunch of pot smokers and dreamers... just total losers... people who had no respect and are just immoral trash. I was mad, I've had it. I realized that you just cannot trust in men. I was thinking then, "There has to be something perfectly holy and good in all ways.. out there." I was desiring for righteousness then. Not my own righteousness, because I have none, but the righteousness of God.


Then one day I had this deep respect for Christianity and I wanted to know more about it, so I found a Bible and started reading the Gospels, and things began to change for the better since then. I can't say much about it because it happened so quickly. I had spiritual meltdown going on inside my mind, all these years of new age theories going down the toilet, being washed away. All of that being replaced by something much better and permanent. It's a good investment to believe in absolutes rather than experiences and feelings, which what the new age is based on. I was 22 years old then.



Conspiratorial research should lead one to Christ, but in front of the free gift of salvation is a giant snare that I like to call the new age movement.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 09:15 PM
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reply to post by netgamer7k
 


some religions have grass involved in them, personally as I grew older it clouds things but I never really had a dislike for it as I do alcohol and drugs.

grass was put on the earth as it is.

edit on 11-4-2012 by SisyphusRide because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by SisyphusRide
reply to post by netgamer7k
 


some religions have grass involved in them, personally as I grew older it clouds things but I never really had a dislike for it as I do alcohol and drugs.

grass was put on the earth as it is.

edit on 11-4-2012 by SisyphusRide because: (no reason given)


I understand, but just look at the fruit of those who use it frequently. It doesn't lead one to Jesus. Why do I feel guilty after I smoked? It's the same guilt you feel after masturbation. It's a sin, that's why the guilt is there. The Law is written on our hearts.
edit on 11-4-2012 by netgamer7k because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:56 AM
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reply to post by schuyler
 
Yes I read the other gospels ...Its kind of funny because at the time all I had was a New testament Gospel and I didn't know there was such a thing as a old testament ...It would have been a couple months after reading the new someone mentioned the 10 commandment and I hadn't remembered seeing them that I think I asked someone and found out ....I am not sure what made a click or if there was a click moment ...I know that I was shocked and quite perplexed when they crucified Him ,,actually I stopped reading at that time and only went back to reading a few hours later only to be blown away by His resurrection ... peace



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 08:49 AM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


Interesting Thread schuyler, reading so many diverse testimonies of how God reveals himself is joyous to me.

My path has been dark and extreme. A mother who tried to murder me, a father who worked diligently to conceal her actions, an uncle who molested me and mother telling me he did it for love. My intuition told me the metaphysical was real. I desired to discover what that meant but made no active attempt to seek knowledge. A journey through the esoteric, non sought, all stumbled upon, only astrology had the flavour of Truth about it. The rest, from new age philosophies through Eastern tradition to English paganism and the Abrahamics, all left me feeling dissatisfied. Reading Solzenitsen, Icelandic Saga, Hardy, taking in the novelist's observations of the human spirit, I learnt a lot but still, I was hungry, I thirsted for Truth. Embraced a sex and drugs and rock and roll lifestyle that brought me to my knees, desirous of disconnect from the mortal coil.

Then, I met a group of very inclusive Christians. They invited me to church. I went. One day, the person leading the service suggested we visualise Christ and then tell Him the thing most pressing on our hearts. I visualised a man hanging on a cross. He smiled at me! I told him about the unloved child that lived inside me. In my visualisation, He came down from the Cross and folded me in His arms. I felt overwhelmed with a sense of peace.

Thus began my conscious journey with the Lord.

edit on 12/4/2012 by teapot because: add



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 10:30 AM
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I was an atheist until I was 30. I grew up in a home where my parents and siblings went to church, but no one ever talked about why we went or what they really believed in. I think my parents went mostly because it was just what was expected of them, what their parents did growing up. I didn't believe there was a God, to me the idea was simply ludicrous, a panacea for people who were too weak to deal with life on life's terms or too stupid to think beyond what they had been taught. When my dad said we should say prayers at night, I silently ridiculed the idea - what was the point of speaking into the air? Really, no one was listening.

When I was about 30, someone gave me a little gideons New Testament Bible. I read it, thinking to myself that I could read it, I could even understand it, but how on earth did people really believe that it was real? What happened next can only be summarized by me as an encounter with the One True Living God. The details matter not, they don't convey the supernaturalness of what occured to me, but that I day, I knew it was all true, that Jesus had died for us. I can describe it as a paradigm shift, a veil being lifted, scales falling from my eyes, but those descriptions fall short until you actually experience it.

It's a happening that you can never deny because it changes you so totally that you can never look back and wonder if it was real, if it really happened. And it wasn't just that moment in time, it changed everything about what I thought I knew, what I thought I understood in the past and going forward. Sorry, words don't come close to describing it, and I'm not always the best at picking the best descriptives.

Thanks for posting the thread OP.

edit on 12-4-2012 by Redux because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by Iason321
 


I prayed to God for a sign that He existed, and the hospital phone rang, and it was a voice, asking me why I didnt believe in God, and if I believed in God now? every time I would say yes, then thought to myself no, im going nuts, etc , the voice would repeat again, in a more stern voice, if I believed in God or not. This happened several times, and while it was happening, the TV in the room was flickering and changing colors, nothing else in the room was different though, I was not hallucinating, I was not under the influence of drugs or withdrawing from any drugs....

Not to flame you, or call you anything, but if you really think God called you on the phone, please seek some professional help. You are delusional to say the least, and that would explain your posts in here. Please, get help.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by autowrench
 


Oh ye of little faith, so quick to judge



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 03:28 PM
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If you want to believe in God, go sit on a mountain and watch the beauty of nature.

If you want to believe in faked up gods, pick up a Bible and make Jesus your false icon for god. imho


Moses worshipped the Volcano god of Midian's Jethro, and things have been just as misleading ever since.


Google "Moses Volcano god", and learn how not to be deceived.

Make science your Bible and you will discover truth. Truth is the highest religion.

edit on 12-4-2012 by MagnumOpus because: Bible stories found out as deceptive





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