Yoke-Peng Kong’s journey from Buddhism to Christ
Understanding Genesis was the key to confidence
Published: 5 July 2011 (GMT+10)
I was born in Ipoh, Malaysia into a Buddhist or Taoist family, but I attended a Christian school. At school we had chapel service once a week and I enjoyed singing all the hymns. Everyone at school could recite the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ together and one Australian speaker (forgotten his name) was very impressed with us. I was also very impressed with his talk and had wanted to convert to Christianity at the time. However, my two older brothers talked me out of it and that was the end of it.
When I came to Australia to study in 1975, on looking back, I was really searching but didn’t realize it. I attended Overseas Christian Fellowship meetings on some Fridays and also attended the Swanston Street church where most attendees were Asian. I also attended Baha’i discussion groups at homes which they called ‘firesides’. I have to say, one influencing factor in my acceptance of the Baha’i Faith so readily was that it fitted my own philosophy. I fell into the “false philosophy” that Colossians 2:8 describes,
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (NIV)
From Baha’i to the Bible
I used to think that there are good and smart people in all religions, so all religions must be true and good. As Baha’i Faith accepts all religions as the truth, it sees no contradiction at all between different religions. In the Baha’i ‘Answers Book’, it was also written that Christ’s resurrection was symbolic. There was no reason for me to doubt what was written there as I have been told that there are Christians who converted to Baha’i Faith. Furthermore, one other Christian student who came to the Baha’i meeting confessed to be totally shaken by what was told to him. Well, that made it even more enticing to me that Baha’is must know what they are talking about since this supposedly devout Christian can be so shaken by what the Baha’is are saying. So, I became a Baha’i in 1976.
It wasn’t until 2005 when I was invited to a church meeting that my real journey to Christianity started. My intention then was really to find out more about Christianity so that I could question them. In any case, I started to attend church and Bible studies regularly. It was also then that I decided to read the Bible from start to end for myself. I wanted to be an informed enquirer. I had several sessions with the Pastor at church to answer my queries. That was fruitful. It was also then that I realized that Christ’s resurrection was not symbolic at all. Just before my conversion, I discovered that I had rejected Christ all this while due to two arrogant supposedly devout Christian girls at school. It was then that I vowed not to be a Christian because I equated arrogance to Christianity. I asked the pastor then if I can convert without calling myself a Christian because I would not want to be in the same boat as those two girls. The pastor prayed for me to forgive them and after that, reflecting on them didn’t affect me anymore. Hence, my conversion to Christ and baptism in 2007.
Overcoming the evolution challenge
Soon after my conversion, my other non-Christian friends started to bombard me with negative comments and articles about Christianity. One evolutionist friend in particular asked if I accepted the nonsense in Genesis. I didn’t really know what to say. All I knew was that I had to accept the Bible in totality if I accepted Christ. However, deep down, I was already beginning to wonder if I have been too emotional in my conversion. What should I think?
Thank God, my Bible study leader organized for his group to attend a talk by Creation Ministries International. I was so thrilled to hear the speaker explain how to view things from biblical perspective. After that meeting, I wanted more information on how to defend the Bible. It was important for me to be grounded in my own faith. Otherwise, there is no hope of me telling others about it. I felt intimidated by people, especially evolutionists, coming up with questions that I had no answers to.
I started to attend more talks by CMI, read books and subscribed to their wonderful and appealing Creation magazine. My faith and confidence in Christianity has now grown to the point where I do not feel intimidated by any non-Christians’ objections or questions about Christianity at all. In fact, I like to bring up the subject and instigate a discussion.
Now, I can accept the Bible intellectually as well as spiritually. I don’t have to shy away from non-believers and evolutionists. There are so many articles on creation.com that I have yet to find a non-believer whose reasons for objections are not covered.