I grew up in the Southern Baptist church. My parents met, and were married in a Southern Baptist church, where they naturally raised their children. I said the sinner’s prayer and made a profession of faith when I was 7 years old, and was baptized in a Southern Baptist church in NC. I was home schooled, so being raised and schooled in a “Christian” home, bible reading was a part of everyday curriculum. The single most important thing that my parents taught me is that the Bible is the inspired word of God, no matter what, it is true! This played a very key role later on.
When I was 12 or so years old, I stumbled across some pornography; this led to curiosity and lust. By the time I was 14 I had my own computer and was able to use it as a wicked tool of the devil’s. For the next several years in my personal life I was indulging in the vilest and most disgusting lusts of my heart. Meanwhile I was a part of a youth group. I was one of the most active members. I went to the church more than the pastor did. I participated in youth group, helped in children’s afterschool, helped in multimedia and participated in all of the Sunday school, and bible studies I could. At the age of sixteen I was staff at a Boy’s Summer camp owned by the Southern Baptist convention. Teaching boys how to grow in their relationship with Christ and reach others and I wasn’t even saved!
After I left the camp, I got involved with a girl who was in the youth group. After a few weeks her parents decided that they didn’t want her in a relationship with me anymore. So we were talking on the phone behind their backs. She wanted to run away from home. She was rebellious, and all of her desires were worldly and carnal, but being where I was it was okay with me.
During this time however I was doing my daily bible reading, I was reading passage after passage about God’s anger towards sin, righteous men, and being free from sin. This whole concept was new to me. In the Southern Baptist church these things are not taught. I was caught in my sin, and even confessed it, doubted my salvation, and yet was convinced by my “spiritual authorities” that I was sealed! It was a done deal! Nothing can take you out of God’s hand! Remember that prayer you said way back when ... you’re good to go no matter what you do. These were the lies that inflamed my sin, and drove me further from God. So I continued to study.
Meanwhile, my now best friend had just gotten born again about a year earlier. He was getting married and we were starting to hang out more, since he had gotten saved he had tried to avoid me because of the sin he knew I was in. He came over and showed me a video.... The video talked about this idea of repentance, an idea I had NEVER HEARD BEFORE!
Turning from sin? Why it all made sense with my daily bible reading it was all coming together. But what does that mean as far as my walk? Would I have to give up my girlfriend? I knew my porn was wrong but how do you stop? And if that is different from what I have believed what else is different?
I got a phone call from the girl I had been seeing. She wanted to tell me that she was ending our relationship so she could pursue one with a guy I had introduced to her. She later ended up running away from home to go be with his family. This broke me down. I knew my relationship with her was ungodly and that was going to be the hardest thing for me to decide to repent of and God removed the temptation to pursue it.
In the beginning of 2009 I truly repented from my selfishness, lust, my greed, and all of my sin that God had been dealing with me about, and was born again. My Christian friends were all involved with ministry and so I got involved. I began to weed through friendships, entertainment, music, teachings, and doctrine. Even after I started believing in holiness, OSAS [once saved always saved] was still engrained into me. I believed a lot of Calvinistic doctrine, not as a Calvinist, but as Southern Baptist doctrine. I was able to question my friends, read my bible, and question my folks as well. This led to a lot of controversy. I was able to use Evangelical Outreach’s site as a tool in my studies, as well as formulate “arguments” against the OSAS craze.
God used a lot of circumstances to speak to me. He has set me free. Free from pornography, free from idolatry, free from my anger that I used to harbor, free from OSAS doctrine, and free from the bondage of my sin (not just the consequence of sin). It is still a struggle to try to explain to those you love, the error of their doctrine, trying to balance acceptance, and intolerance towards ungodliness. Continue to keep [in prayer] not just myself, but all of those whose close relatives are deceived by this doctrine.
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