|Delivered||Saturday 25 July 2015|
|Welcome||Ladies and Gentlemen, Toastmasters & Guests, greetings. My name is James Te Kahupuku Hippolite.
(Pause 3 seconds between sections.)
|Introduction||I’m going to talk to you today about why I became a Christian.
My goal today is to give you a reasoned account for the hope that I have within me.
My purpose is to leave you with a better understanding of my worldview.
I’m going to discuss:
a) My “normal” atheistic background;
b) The crisis point which lead to my decision; and
c) The results of my decision.
|Point 1||My mother raised me not to be a bigot, but to hate all religion equally! (It’s okay, you’re allowed to laugh at that one.)
I attended a good school, where:
a) The creation myth was never discussed,
b) Evolution was taught as fact, and
c) Any vestigial Christian influence was suitably neutered of any actual Christian power.
I remember being required as a 7th form prefect to give a morning reading, but never once being told that the reading was meant to come from the Bible. As I had never read it before, it never occurred to me that was the expectation. So I read the lyrics from Dire Straits, Brothers In Arms instead. It sounded sufficiently reverential to me!
So I entered my university years inoculated against the virus of Christianity, with the firm belief that only un-intelligent morons could believe those fairy tales.
|Point 2||Then I met some intelligent Christians at university.
I was working as a tutor in the Computer labs. One night I was tidying up after class, and discovered a newsletter left behind. It was by the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship. I don’t remember any of the articles, but my eye was captured by the cartoons of the eight missing links between apes and men. You know: Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal, Piltdown, Java Man, etc.
But underneath each and every one of those pictures was a brief description of what happened to those bones after they were initially hailed as the great discoveries they were meant to represent. And in each case, those bones turned out to be either a hoax, or mistaken pieces of other animals, or just plain went missing.
It was at this point that I realised:
a) There are intelligent people who do believe in a specific creation, a short period of time ago; and
b) All facts are interpreted within the worldview of the observer.
For me, these two realisations were huge, and rocked me to my core. Through a series of other “coincidences” (which I will have to leave for another day, as my time in running out), I came to realise that Jesus was not a liar, nor a lunatic, but is indeed the Lord.
|Point 3||Since making my discovery, I have gone on to rectify my lack of education by:
a) Reading through the Bible;
b) Taking courses in Biblical history, Systematic Theology & New Testament Exegesis;
c) Fulfilling an internship at my local church (in Wellington); and
d) Various missions’ trips.
To say that my discovery gave my life new meaning would be an understatement. It would be more accurate to say that prior to my decision, my life had no higher purpose nor meaning.
|Summary||Let me begin to sum up with this. Do you know what a vlogger is? A vlogger is someone who makes a Video Blog. What’s a Blog? A blog is a Web Log of your activity. I recently heard a story (from my kids) of one atheist vlogger’s philosophy that, since there is no purpose in life, and life on this Earth is filled with pain, therefore he believes it is wrong to bring a child into this world. From his own worldview, I cannot fault his logic.
However, I have told you about:
a) My normal childhood attitudes against Christianity;
b) My epiphany at university; and
c) My subsequent new direction in life.
What I hope I have demonstrated to you today, is that there is a reason to doubt that vlogger’s cynicism.