"I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood."

- George Carlin

"Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on."

- Stairway to Heaven
Led Zeppelin

And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

- Luke 14:27 NIV



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"Our hymns were loaded with arrogance -- self-congratulation on how cozy we were with the Almighty and what a high opinion he had of us, what hell everybody else would catch come Judgment Day."

- Robert Heinlein

"Why do born-again people so often make you wish they'd never been born the first time?"

- Katherine Whitehorn

10.1 Reasons to reject the Bible

I dismissd the Bible most of my life because of the hypocrisy of certain self-professing believers, and mistaken beliefs about God and the Bible. I never heard any theology explained to me with regard to science, logic, or historical proofs; nor did I bother to ask.

While I never had a problem with what I interpreted to be the Bible's general message of "be nice to people", church seemed nothing more than empty ritual punctuated with emotional hype and pop psychology. Christianity failed to make any real and positive difference in my life. Ever felt that way?

10.2 Screaming backwoods Bible-beaters

By college, my sinking opinion of organized religion was further irritated every time one of several backwoods yahoos regularly appeared on campus literally screaming, "You're all goin' to hell!" I was embarrassed by such a person's apparent inability to see that the God-concept was whatever one wanted it to be.

Favoring Shakespeare's line (from Hamlet?) "Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so", I thought people believed the Bible only because they were not educated enough to know better. In my eyes, those screamers were either idiots or, at best, philosophically immature. They weren't about to win me over to anything.

By reading parts of books from other religions such as the Bhagava-Gita, the Qur'an, and a collection of writings by Ghandi, I felt I was enabled to see the Bible's metaphorical mythology for its higher interpretations. I was not going to naively mistake it to contain literal facts as did those raving fundamentalists. I saw nothing particularly attractive in them, nor anything so undesirable in me, as to stir up any desire to change or even question my beliefs.

10.3 Stevie Ray Vaughan preached the Word

Only after many years and one divorce later did I become more open-minded about re-evaluating the alleged spiritual aspects of life. Yet I still rejected the Bible without having read it or any analytical argument for it.

At an August evening Kansas City concert, I heard legendary blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan surprisingly give a short message near the end of his set praising Jesus Christ. He told the crowd of thousands that he had been turned from drugs and aimless wandering by the help of his brother and by belief in Jesus Christ.

It was a feel-good way to wrap up the night, but why anyone would encourage a roaring party crowd to believe in Jesus seemed weird. The authenticity of Stevie Ray Vaughan's beliefs, or his level of commitment toward living them out I didn't know. I did recall his testimony quite vividly upon hearing he died in a helicopter crash not very long afterwards.

Though SRV's words didn't convince me to follow Jesus, at least not that night, Jesus turned to me through a co-worker. This co-worker shared his answers for my many questions about the Bible as best he could; questions that were sometimes quite pointed. I debated virtually everything about Jesus and the Bible with him to the point that he gave up on me.

As I reflected on the answers I had heard, and listened to a particular sermon on tape over and over ("Examine Yourself" by John MacArthur), I became more and more irritated. I was irritated by the fact that "God's way" was so narrow and that the speaker was so certain of the Bible's authenticity. I was also irritated that I was unable to defeat his arguments. At the same time, I really did want to have a certain love for others that my grandmother Helen Reichert exemplified more than most people. So I ventured to read the Bible, and read about the Bible

My irritation was methodically dispelled as I came to see that the Bible satisfied my need for intellectual integrity to an astonishing degree. God instilled in me the truth of Jesus Christ through the words of my friend, the actions of my grandmother, and through my own exploration of the historicity and veracity of the scriptural writings. By believing Jesus to be Almighty God, and by studying his words in the Bible, I began to increasingly discern and confirm his hand in my life.

10.4 Couldn't stand the weather

So I returned to my university and started yelling "You're all goin' to hell" (just kidding!!! - besides, I'd have gone to my sisters' schools - KU & MU - to do that).

While I did find a church with good bible teaching, and even began bringing my girlfriend, my inward desires were not yet very pure; neither toward her nor other parts of my life. Having once been a two-bit guitarist in a crude and short-lived KISS "tribute band", I neither intended to lessen my worship of rock 'n roll.

Yet in all this, the truth behind something that C.S. Lewis once said of the new Christian slowly became apparent in me: "It's not that God makes you give up all the things you love, rather he gives you a love for all new things".

With increasing frequency, I began to want to listen to Bible teaching and praise songs on the radio. I began to not want a life cluttered with unimportant pointless stuff. No one ever ordered me to shun rock music, as one example. It's just that interest in Christ and his teachings progressively began to exceed other interests. (I still love the guitar and still have hopes of playing at least one SRV song convincingly well.)

Issue by issue, reading the Bible continues to intellectually confirm his will in my conscience. While sometimes my feelings are split between living according to my will versus God's will, it always reduces to either living like the hypocrites that I hated so much in my early church experience, or loving Christ enough to allow his desires for me to supersede my own (read What is the gospel?).

10.5 What I can do for you

The question I now struggle with is "How can I relate to others the truth of that which I myself failed to recognize for so long?" Christ is so beautiful, and has done so much for me, that I so very much want everyone to see his glory.

I used to think that going to heaven was about being good, or keeping the Ten Commandments, or having good intentions, or even just believing that there is a God. But understanding the real truth and finally accepting it was something that did not come easily or quickly. It came only after considering the evidence for Jesus and the Bible, and, as a consequence, realizing my own need for God.

Because asking questions and looking for answers played such a key role in my birth into the faith, and my growth ever since, it seems appropriate that I share those findings and beliefs with you.

I have researched and arranged, mostly in logical order, a series of questions about the Bible: questions largely generated by the years and experiences I lived as a non-Christian, from discussions with non-Christian friends, and from various non or anti-Christian internet sites.

It is my desire that from wherever you are, you will be able to identify with the unbelief I once held, and more fully comprehend how one can come to life-altering belief in Jesus Christ through the Bible.

10.6 What I can't do for you

Finally, while this site can certainly add to your knowledge, it cannot subtract from it. I can neither justify nor erase your experiences with immature Christians, bad churches, or outright hypocrites.

I can tell you that I, too, have had bad experiences with immature Christians, loathed church, and still know hypocrites - both inside and outside the faith. I can also tell you that no man is perfect, no man is righteous, and that includes me. But my inability to live a scripturally perfect life no more disproves Christianity than my failure to balance a checkbook disproves arithmetic. It only reflects on my maturity, willingness, and abilities. Both are realities that I can only carry out so well.

So the more that I believe God to have both the power and desire to change me, and the closer I live out God's exhortations in the Bible, the more evident it will be that I truly hold God's Word to be as believable as history reveals and as this site endeavors to set forth.


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See also:

What is the gospel?

What is the Bible all about?

What is truth?

What is Christian?

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I grew up having to attend church. I increasingly hated it. In college, I made a more honest expression by simply, and gratefully, not going any more.

Later I took interest in Christian Science and, for a short while, Transcendental Meditation.

I became a Christian at age 28 and now attend and serve at Colonial Presbyterian Church in the Kansas City area.

I graduated in Interior Architecture from Kansas State University in 1983 (cum laude); also attending Southeast Missouri State University and Harvard Graduate School of Design. I largely work on law offices, corporate interiors, and sports stadiums. Please, have a look here or here.