Agnostic to Apologist: CARM’s Matt Slick
Matt Slick's Personal Testimony
by Matt Slick
I have hesitated in writing my testimony because of the events surrounding my conversion. To some, my experience is not believable and to others, well, they say "nice things" as they change the subject. But, there are those Christians who rejoice with me when I tell them. To lay this testimony out for all to see makes the most important and significant event(s) of my life a target for examination and mockery. Nevertheless, here it is.
My parents were never religious people. Church was something we did on Easter or when there was a funeral. We had moved 27 times before I was twelve because my dad was in the service. So, attending church regularly was not something we did. The Lord was not a part of our home and I became an agnostic.
When I was 17 some high-school friends of mine invited me to a local church to see a film about the rapture. I went. The film scared me with the idea of being left behind. So, when the pastor asked if people would be interested in learning more about Jesus, I raised my hand.
The last thing I wanted to do was go up in front of the church. But to my dismay, he called all of us forward who had raised our hands. Church members had spotted me, so I could not really get out of going forward. Up I went not knowing what to expect.
So, there I was, on my knees along with a bunch of others who had raised their hands. I didn't know about them, but I was stuck, embarrassed, and eagerly waiting for it all to be over.
A man from the congregation, with a huge Bible that had gold pages, was somehow designated to speak to me specifically and to teach me about Jesus so I could receive Him as savior. At this point, we were all kneeling at the front of the church, beneath the pulpit, and each potential convert had been matched to a congregation member. I scoffed under my breath as mine began to recite scripture and blab some religious mumbo-jumbo that I seriously tried to ignore. I wanted desperately to leave.
Then, unexpectedly, a woman about ten feet from me who had also come forward, started to cry. She cried with such depth and feeling that I was shocked. It was weird. This fanatical display was not what I wanted to be a part of, so I just focused on getting through it so I could leave.
Then someone else began to cry the same way and another. I wanted out!
By now, I was nervous. I wasn't sure what to do or to expect, so I looked at the man I had been ignoring and decided to listen to him for just a second and then I'd continue to ignore him. All the while I was wondering how to get out of there. But, in that moment where I paid attention, he asked, "So, do you want to receive Jesus as your Savior?"
Now, I am not the "jump on the band-wagon" kind of a guy, not at all. I wasn't going to fall into this emotional hype sweeping through the church. So, I decided to focus and think logically. I examined this man. I remember very clearly looking at him. He seemed normal enough. Then a thought occurred to me. I realized that this situation might be important and I didn't want to simply scoff at it and ignore it. Maybe there was something to this God stuff. After all, I don't know everything. So, I thought about the options: If I choose God and He is there, I win. If He is not there, it doesn't matter. If He is there and I don't choose Him, I lose. Logically, I should give God a try. It made sense.
I knew that if God was real that I should, at least, manifest some form of sincerity even if it wasn't much. I figured that being flippant with God, if He were real, wouldn't be a good idea. It wouldn't hurt to try and be sincere and these people in the church seemed to have some common purpose and identity. It was, to say the least, interesting. So, I quickly addressed a prayer to God (not knowing if He was there) and said, "God, if you're there, then I'll try and be sincere and accept you. If you're not there, it won't cost me anything."
I looked at the man and said, "Yes."
"Good," he said. "Let's pray," and he led me in the sinner's prayer.
As I started to pray, I tried to manifest a sincere and honest heart. I was "giving God a chance." I followed the man's lead and I began to confess my "sins" to God and to ask Jesus to forgive me… everything was fine until something completely unexpected happened…
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