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WHY I AM NOT AN ATHEIST
I never really thought that much about atheism until it raised its ugly head in our family. Since then, I’ve been watching a lot of videos, and I’ve realized that most Christians are not equipped to debate an Atheist; and in fact, often embarrass themselves in doing so. Atheists don’t believe there is a God, so you can’t use the Bible to support your contention that there is a God. You have to make an appeal in another way.
There seems to be an increase in the number of Atheists, as well as those who are noncommittal in any sort of religious beliefs. I attribute that to the Supreme Court decision on June 25, 1962 that removed prayer from public schools and effectively took God out of our schools. But, in listening to a lot of Atheists, it’s amazing how many were raised in Christian homes. In fact, I’ve even seen where ministers have become Atheists. So what happened?
In many churches they have a good youth program, where music and worship is a good draw. They are very participatory, and get caught up in the fervor of it all. What is perceived as God’s anointing, in some cases is nothing more than a cathartic release. You see, It’s all about devotion, not the emotion. It’s all about establishing a relationship with God, spending time in prayer and being grounded in the Bible. Without that, there isn’t anything to hold onto, because there aren’t any roots. The problem is, that when you never had a personal experience with God, you don’t have anything tangible to base your faith on.
For me, I was predisposed to Christianity, because as a child, my Mother took me to Church on a regular basis. I remember during the summer months I would see my friends outside playing– but I had to go to Church. I really didn’t have a choice. Now, I could have gone and had a bad attitude, been resentful and miserable. Instead, I chose to make my time productive and learn something, since I had to be there anyway. And, I was very skeptical. I remember one time, when I was about 11, when we visited another Church. At the end of the service we all ended up at the front of the Church as the preacher went by to pray for everyone. And they were all dropping like flies– what they call “falling under the power.” I looked over at my Mom, Bam!, down she went. When he got to me and put his hand on my head to start praying, I realized that he was trying to push me down; and I leaned into it just to communicate to him that I wasn’t going down.
Probably the 2 things that swayed me was the story of Evangelist Leroy Jenkins. My Mom had gone to one of his crusades and brought home a couple of his booklets. It turns out that as a young man in 1960, his arm had been nearly severed in a freak accident, was surgically repaired as good as they could for that time, yet gangrene had already started setting in when he went to an A. A. Allen miracle crusade to be prayed for, and his arm was healed and completely restored. Of course, many people have denied the authenticity of this miracle. But I saw one up close and personal. Ronald R. Coyne (pronounced “Coin”) an evangelist from Tulsa, Oklahoma came to our Church around 1967. He had been blinded in one eye as a child due to an accident, and wore a glass eye. He could see ‘through’ this glass eye, or could even see through the exposed eye socket. I saw his head bandaged up and I saw him read things out of his blind eye that were brought up by members of the congregation. This made a tremendous impression on me. Some years later, on the ABC-TV show “That’s Incredible,” their investigation could not disprove the miracle. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD9ULJyRBg4
When I got married, what prompted me to get back to Church, even though I had certain doubts, was the fact that I had been hit by a car when I was 2 years old, in my early 20s my car slid on ice into the back of a car and my head went through the windshield, and in my late 20s my appendix burst and I didn’t get to the hospital until the next day. Something deep down inside was telling me that God had His hand on me.
Another thing was the confirmation I was finding in the Bible. At an early age, I began reading Bible prophecy, because it was just so interesting. But, in 1978, I heard a cassette tape where a guy was saying that he had been a member of the Illuminati. What he was saying was so fantastic that I started doing research to prove him wrong. Instead, I got a validation of what I heard in Church. I would sit in Church and hear all this stuff about the Antichrist and the Tribulation and I wondered how these things could possibly happen. My research turned up the existence of a group who had been working since the 1700s to create one-world government. Two thousand years ago the Bible foretold that and lays out the geopolitical picture that is now emerging in the world.
One of the stock responses Christians have for Atheists, is that we know that God is real, because we just talked to Him this morning. However, I can tell you, from personal experience, that is true. As I mentioned earlier, I had started doing research about this group that was manipulating history behind-the-scenes. I worked on a manuscript from 1978 to 1984, typing it up on my trusty manual Smith-Corona typewriter, so I could send copies to publishers. I was unsuccessful. Then came President Bush and the birth of the New World Order, so I dusted off the manuscript and began reworking it. By this time, I had graduated to a word processor, and decided to self-publish it. It was a minor success. I realized that I needed to have a website to get my research on-line, but I couldn’t afford to buy a computer. One morning I got up early and went down to the living room to pray. I sat on the floor and just talked to God. I remember saying that if he wanted me to get this information out to a larger audience, I needed the resources to do that, and I needed a computer. Literally, a couple days later at Church, one of the guys walked up to me and said that God told him to give me his computer. He brought it to my house and set it up for me. See, with God, it’s like the wind, you can’t see it, but you know it’s there because you can see the results.
There are Christians who hear God, and there have been times in my life that I believe God spoke to me, only to find out later that he probably didn’t. However, there are a couple times in my life that I knew, that I knew, that I knew it was God, and I listened.
One of those times was when I was preparing a message to preach at Church, because our Pastors were going to be out of town. I got the overwhelming inclination that I had to apologize to my wife for the way that I had been treating her. I remember saying to myself, “I can do that.” But then I got a response in my Spirit that said, “And you have to do it in front of the Church.” Uh-oh. It was then that I knew this was not coming from me. It’s hard enough to get a man to apologize, let alone to get him to apologize in front of other people. This really concerned me because I didn’t know if I could do that; and I wondered what would happen if I didn’t. That night, after preaching my message, I asked my wife to stand, and I apologized to her. Immediately afterward, something happened in the Spirit realm that I never felt before to that extent. I felt the anointing of God on me so much that I felt like I was full of an energy that had to be released, so my wife and I began praying for other people.
Remember how I said that someone tried to push me down when they were praying for me? Well, that’s the only time that ever happened. I’ve been prayed for many times in my life, but never experienced a sensation that caused me to fall backwards. That is, until one particular night when a guest minister prayed for me. When he laid his hand on me, I literally felt electricity going through my body, my knees buckled, and I fell forward onto the platform. It hasn’t happened since.
I am not an Atheist, because God made Himself real to me. He has spoken to me, He has touched me, He has healed me, and He has answered prayer.
In the book of Genesis, we read that Satan tempted Eve. We’ve been led to believe that it was because women are the weaker sex. But that wasn’t the reason. The Bible indicates that God put Adam into the garden to take care of it, He brought all the living creatures He created to Adam to name them, and Adam walked with God in the garden in the cool of the day. Eve never had a chance to experience the work of God’s power, and because of that didn’t have the relationship with God that Adam did and Satan exploited that for his purposes.
When you have an experience with God, you know that there is a God and you know that He is real. But the only way to have an experience with God, is to have a relationship with God. Maintaining that level of relationship is hard, which is why not everyone can do it, and it’s what we strive for as Christians. Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29
) As a believer, when I die, and I’m wrong, I’ve lost nothing; but, if I don’t believe, and I’m wrong, I’ve lost everything.