Creation magazine opened my eyes to the Gospel!
First published in Prayer News, 2000 (Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom)
Speaking from an individualistic point of view, I don’t normally like being put into a category. The author of the book Creation Evangelism for the New Millennium [now called Why Won’t They Listen?], on pages 133–136, in black and white, describes my former self very accurately. The reason he ‘almost’ succeeded is because I was mostly category 5 and partly category 6. Let me explain.
My mother was a category 3–4. She went to church once a week. She basically believed the Bible to be true (although did not read it, nor I suspect had any real understanding of it), and had the Christian ‘world view’—no sex before marriage, no drugs etc. Most people accept this view as ‘Christian’. My Father was not a Christian, so during my growing up I did not see how a Christian family life should be—where the children are taught from the Bible and have family prayer time, etc.
I suppose I was a typical ‘church kid’. Went once a week to Sunday school and heard Bible stories. I was also confirmed at thirteen because it was the thing to do and it made my Mother happy. I also attended a ‘Christian’ school where I was taught evolution as fact in Science. It was also generally accepted that we descended from apemen/cavemen in history. I found it interesting that these Christian teachers had accepted evolution and could still believe the Bible. As far as I was concerned, I thought they were a bunch of hypocrites. It didn’t make much sense since even I could see that evolution and the Creation of the world as written in Genesis could not possibly be the same.
I didn’t realise it then, but these teachings, along with the subtle evolutionary teachings from TV documentaries, museum displays, newspapers and magazines such as the National Geographic and World (the children’s version), and I’m sure there were many other sources, all played a major influence on my view of the world and how I should live it.
The message of Jesus made no sense to me because as far as I was concerned ‘sinners’ were those murderers in gaol and I was not one of those. I realise now that the reason I didn’t understand is because I had no foundation. Sin was whatever I wanted it to be since I had no definite, clear description or definition of it.
The reason I didn’t have a clear definition is because I was told that Genesis was a myth. That the people back in ‘those days’ were not intelligent enough to understand the creation of the world, so God had to tell them in a way that they would understand. When I questioned my mother about the days of creation, she told me that they represented millions of years. Basically what I was being told was that Genesis (particularly the first 11 chapters) was a big fairy story and not historical fact. This was further impacted by the millions of years, cavemen/apemen influences from school and other areas. This led me to believe that the Bible was a big lie. If God couldn’t tell the truth from the beginning, then when did he start?
Later on I concluded that people had made God up as a crutch. The reason they needed this crutch is because as far as I could see, this life led no-where. We are born, we live a short finite time and then we die—no before-life, no after-life. To me it seemed futile and purposeless. So I figured that the Bible was man’s way of coping with this dilemma. Surely if we were made from some primordial soup then God didn’t exist.
Once I had rejected the Bible and its ‘Laws’, I became rebellious. This led to smoking, drinking, drugs and worse. All this was ‘normal’ existence by today’s standards. The only problem would have been if the police caught me. Quite frankly I couldn’t understand why the law didn’t permit all these practises. Surely the law was old and outdated and not keeping up with the times. To me the rules were all relative. As long as I didn’t hurt anyone else, I didn’t care what I did. As far as I was concerned, I had the right to do whatever I wanted since it was my own body. What I didn’t realise was that I don’t actually own it, God does!
Eventually I left my slovenly lifestyle and became career orientated. This was after realising that even though this life was purposeless I might as well do something with it while I was here. Also, I saw so much sadness, violence and hopelessness in the people I lived with and hung out with that I realised that I didn’t want to be like them in ten or so years’ time.
At this stage of my life I did have one or two ‘Christian’ friends. From my church and school background I did have some knowledge of how a Christian should behave and these friends took Christ’s grace for granted. They got drunk on a regular basis, wore revealing clothing etc. They talked the walk but didn’t walk the talk! As I look back, I believe that these friends were not Christians but were happy to be called such and hang out with their youth group friends. They didn’t realise the immensity of assuming the title of ‘Christ ones’. Their behaviour, I must say, was not a good witness to me. I thought all Christians behaved like these hypocrites.
When I met Darren, this view was radically changed. At first I didn’t know he was a Christian but it soon became clear that he was after an incident at work. I was walking through part of the laboratory one day and an enthusiastic Bible Basher was talking to someone about Jesus. Just imagine my scornful, belittling view of this person. To me it was quite obvious that he didn’t have a brain if he subscribed to that rubbish. ‘Jesus’ I said, ‘What a crock … ’. What I didn’t realise was that by even talking to this guy I had opened up the door for him to attempt to convert me! I said to Darren, ‘This guy is a fruitloop, keep him away from me.’ Darren told me that he just had a different perspective on things than I did.
Then Darren started to talk to me about animals, plants, the universe etc. He would memorise articles from Creation magazine (or photocopy long ones and bring them to me the next day). He would share the information and then tell me how they had to have been made by a creator. Darren witnessed faithfully to me for about two and a half to three years before I became a Christian! Often I would ask a question that he couldn’t answer and he would tell me that he would try and find the answer. Sure enough he would have the answer for me the next day.
The process was interesting in that once I realised that Creation could have happened—thereby removing my evolutionary foundation and replacing it with the Creation foundation, I then found it easy to accept the entire Gospel message. This did not happen overnight as I was thoroughly indoctrinated with evolutionary ideology and had already rejected the Bible.
Many Christians consider that the Gospel is solely Jesus death and resurrection and nothing else but it is not. It is far broader, as the Gospel begins right in the first chapters of Genesis, as Paul proclaims in 1 Corinthians 15:21–22. In fact the last reference to the Gospel is in Revelation 14:6–7 where we are instructed to amongst other things ‘worship him who made the heavens … ’ If you preach Jesus’ death and resurrection alone it is like watching only the climax of a movie, missing the beginning (therefore having no foundation and understanding) and missing the end so you don’t know exactly how it finishes. It is an incomplete account. All you can do is guess or accept someone else’s view. You don’t know the truth. If you dismiss any of it as ‘side issues’ or ‘red herrings’ then you are not obeying the command in 1 Peter 3:15 and Colossians 4:6.
It was God’s grace in using the information from Darren which destroyed my faith in evolution and allowed me to see, for the first time, the power of the Creator God, as shown in Genesis, which brought me to commitment in Christ. What then shocked me was to find the church full of people who claimed to accept the Bible as written but who rejected the Genesis account of Creation. They preferred the views of men who don’t know everything, continually make mistakes, and who weren’t there, to God’s infallible Word.
So this is my testimony. I pray that others will see God’s creation as I now do and will accept the Bible as written. Using this method of evangelism may possibly be slow but once the foundation is right, biblical teaching falls into place. I thoroughly recommend "Why Won't They Listen?" to any Christian who would like to have a better understanding of how the people of today think and how to outreach to them. Also, if you have any questions about the creation/evolution topic I suggest that you contact [CMI].
Sonia lives in Australia and has a degree in Chemistry. Return to top.