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Why I am a Christian
My parents both taught me about the Lord Jesus Christ and we went to Church regularly. I even went to two Sunday schools and two services each Sunday for a number of years. I believed in the existence of God but never made a commitment to Him. When I was in my early teens I even played in a Salvation Army band and wore a Salvation Army uniform. I had a head knowledge of the Lord but no personal relationship with Him nor had I ever admitted I was a sinner in need of a Saviour.
The following is difficult to share because I am still too proud to mention some of these things but I believe the Lord would want me to for the following reasons:
My parents did not get along well, so I was not able to share problems with them. When I was in grade four, I was molested by a "Christian". This went on for a number of years. Naturally I was not ready at that age to deal with my sexuality.
I was also an avid reader and had lots of time on my hands since my dad would not allow me to take part in any school sports. So when I visited a neighbor's home I discovered some novels, some of which were rather racy in nature. When I visited the local store to buy and trade comics, I discovered that the same store had an adults section. I would sneak books out of those sections; take them to another section and read the sexually explicit parts while making out like I was deciding on which books to purchase. This started my addiction to pornography. The most deadly sins do not leap upon us, but creep up on us, and so over the years I gradually desired progressively more filthy reading material. During this time I still went to church at times voluntarily and later by force. I kept my addiction a secret and so lived a double life. This addiction gradually took up more of my time and money. It continued into my adult years at which time I was concerned that I would no longer be able to determine the line between fantasy and reality.
When I was twenty-four my mom would pester me to go downtown to a Christian coffee house. Finally to get her off my case, I gave in and met some young people who were bold in their testimony for the Lord, and one in particular, told how the Lord had saved him from addiction to heroin. I had tried to quit my bad habit many times on my own, but had never been able to do so. Then I began to think that maybe there was hope for me. I realized that if I did not have a change in my life, I could end up in prison for some sex crime.
I had a great inner conflict going on in my heart. To avoid thinking about the Lord, I would turn on some local rock stations, only to hear Amazing Grace accompanied by bagpipes. This song somehow made the hit parade at that time. It really gave me the creeps, but it was used by the Holy Spirit to speak to me.
At that time I also attended the odd young peoples' meetings at a church which included the fellow who was saved from heroin addiction. In addition, many of the young people were on fire for the Lord, many of whom had been former hippies. At one particular meeting I told the Lord that if a certain minister who was affiliated with that church would drop by the young people's meeting, that I would make a decision to follow Him. This was quite possible, but not necessarily likely since the meetings were run by the young people. Just before the meeting was over, the minister walked in to talk with some of the young people.
Victory in Jesus!
At that moment, I experienced the very forces of darkness. My whole body shook as I tried to get up and talk to that minister. I finally realized the reality of these dark forces and how they wanted to keep me addicted. I must have been up and down from my chair three or four times, and just as the minister was going out the door, I finally ran out and told him I wanted to become a Christian.
We went into the pastors office where Pastor Burt Dumerton and Pastor Bob Birch got down on their knees with me and asked me to tell the Lord what I wanted. I confessed all my sins and especially my lust and addiction to pornography. I told the Lord that I accepted His free gift of his death on the cross for my sins and that I believed He was God in the flesh who was raised from the dead, as an example for me of a new spiritual life and an eternal life with Him. I quit blaming others for my addiction and forgave those whom I felt contributed to it. I cried like a baby due to all the evil I realized I could have done and had done. I felt like a huge weight had been removed from me, I experienced God's cleansing . So on June 10th, 1972 I became a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I was spiritually reborn. Hallelujah!
The next morning, everything seemed totally new and the whole world looked different. It was an amazing experience. I started telling others that the Lord had saved me. I got an insatiable appetite for God's Word and His Holy Spirit now let me determine it's meaning. The next day was Sunday and I was asked to come and say a few words to the congregation. This was a major step, since I had been very introverted and would not get up before any audience. However, I was still too proud to share what it was the Lord had saved me from. The Lord dealt with me about that a few years later, and now I know that others who have the same addiction as I had, must be told that ".. if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36
I have been serving the Lord for over 43 years now. He gives me victory over pornography, but I must still actively put to death my old nature and avoid places which sell that stuff. The more time I spend serving the Lord, the less often Satan will bring temptation my way. The more I have victory over my temptations the less I am tempted.
I believe that the temptations facing men today regarding pornography are greater than ever. I was addicted via written words, but the visual stuff available today via TV, Cablevision, Satellite TV, CD-ROMs, DVDs and the Internet are way more addictive and dangerous. In fact the temptations will only get worse since virtual reality is about to cater to the lust of the flesh. Men are very visual beings and as Dr. Dobson, who was on the Attorney General's commission on pornography stated, "there is a causal relationship between pornography and sex crimes." I believe that this stuff causes many to commit adultery in their hearts and a lot worse.
Some Bible verses which I find very relevant for me are:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5
Thank you for allowing me to share my testimony with you. If you would like to get to know more about how to know the Lord personally please let me know.