Why We Believe: Vol. 8

January 20, 2008, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Featured, Job, Testimonies  | 1 Comment

This and following weekends, we will share the brief salvation testimony of each Bweinh!tributor. Read the previous seven right here.

There was a time in my life when I was living with a woman who was not my wife. I spent half my day crying and screaming in fits of inconsolable rage, drinking between 2 and 3 bottles a day — and then I turned two and moved onto solid foods.

This was how Houghton College’s Dr. Doug Gaerte began his chapel testimony, before a shocked, then hushed, then suddenly relieved student body, as he was one of the most gentle and Christlike professors on campus. He went on to explain that he had avoided giving his testimony before then because he felt, as do I, that his testimony was simply just not interesting enough. Like me, he was born into a Christian family and had been through the blitz of Sunday School and VBS to such a degree that the exact sea change of his soul was hard to pinpoint. And like me, he had to agree that that is a great testimony in and of itself.

But the fact remains that while a Christian heritage breeds a certain lifestyle that can be blessedly cyclical, the giving of one’s soul to Christ is not something that can be done for you. While I had a firm understanding of Jesus, and of grace even, at a tender age, it would take years to wrap my mind around my own salvation. My testimony doesn’t climax with my first altar experience at a camp in Northern Maine when I was 14, or at my baptism, or on a missions trip to Mexico when I was 16. These usual suspects were all pivotal, but they are, by no means, the true meat of my salvation.

As most people who know me somewhat intimately will tell you, I rarely exhibit Christ in any classic manner. I’m argumentative, counter-cultural, judgmental and oftentimes appallingly solo in my use of time, money and talents. I must strike many fellow believers as a builder who laid a real humdinger of a foundation, but seems content to live in a ramshackle lean-to atop it.

My struggles with other Christians and the constructed institution of Christianity is such an oozing scab that some might think a testimony from me — the clay that is apparently still drying — is a bit previous. But when I testify my faith, I feel no need to tell my story, so decidedly unfinished, unglamorous and incongruous. I’d just rather tell the story, as I glow with joy, of Christ’s death and resurrection — and no matter how I grapple with theology and fellowship, I do BELIEVE in it! I believe in the Jesus of the gospels and am never shy or ashamed of that.

For all of my faults, and the clumsy manner in which this testimony continues to grow and fester, I know I have a love for Jesus that will always rally. This hardest of hearts will always rise to the occasion, from no doing of my own but from a deeply seeded faith, as relentless and compulsive as gravity itself. This is Christ in me. This is my story. His story is my story, and I am plotless without Him.


1 Comment to “Why We Believe: Vol. 8”

  1. David on January 20th, 2008 10:53 pm

    I’m one of those people with a “great’ testimony. I’d trade it any day to have these scars removed. My consolation is that my kids have testimonies like yours, to the utterly unquenchable joy of my soul.

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