At one level, my faith will be considered to be largely irrelevant to many people. However, it shapes every area of my life including my work. (Feel free to ask me how!)
I'm heavily involved in the Emmanuel Bristol family of churches and encourage you to check it out if you are ever in Bristol.
Below is a testimony to my faith in Jesus that I wrote over a decade ago.
I believe in the Jesus Christ and know him to be my Lord and saviour! I became a Christian in 2002 at the age of 20. Before that I didn’t believe in God in any form, he didn’t exist, science was my god. I went through my first two years at university with these strong convictions; I couldn’t fit the idea of God in with the fact that my Aunt, a few years earlier, had died a slow and painful death with brain cancer. I was fortunate enough to have a Christian housemate, Paul, for the first three years I was at university. Every now and again he would pester me to go to something at church. Eventually (after two years) I got fed up of him asking and I went along to an Alpha course at Christ Church Clifton in Bristol along with one of my other housemates, Emily. That was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Sitting back and relaxing as I write this, I can only think of how imperfect this world is; all the greed, suffering and poverty. The vast majority of this caused by us. How could we ever think we could be good enough to reach the standards of a perfect God? Though I don’t murder, steal or cheat, I am still so far from perfect. There’s the homeless people I walk past everyday without thought, people who I malign behind their backs and the less than complimentary thoughts which wander through my mind. Yes I give to charity, yes I do volunteer work and lots of other “good” things. That still isn’t enough. I’m still so far from perfection. I cannot live to God’s standards. Yet I long for the time when we are made anew, made perfect in every way, to be with God for ever more. I am always disappointed when I hear people saying they wouldn’t want to go to heaven, they seem to have this strange idea that it will be all “fluffy” and boring. It won’t. It will be better than anything, yes anything, you have experienced on earth. And it will never get boring. But if we can’t reach God’s standards, how can we possibly get in to heaven? Because of Jesus. The one person who was perfect, the one person who could get in to heaven on his own merits. He opens the door for us. If you don’t believe in a God ask yourself this, what if there is a god? What if you were to face him tomorrow? What could you say in defence of all your actions? I can say I know Jesus, I know he lived two thousand years ago — that is a matter of history — and I know he lives now.
I am an Evangelical Christian, that means that I believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God. I know a lot of people think that the Bible is out of date and irrelevant for modern society, but how can a book on human nature and an unchanging God ever go out of date? People are the same as they always have been, two thousand years ago they were governed by the same feelings as we are, and we are certainly no more intelligent than they. Of course we have science, but science alone cannot answer the fundamental questions of life. The Bible is full of the most encouraging material I have ever read and it gives us all something good to aspire to.
If you are interested in learning more about Christianity, as most people don’t really know what it is truly about, then here are a few suggestions:
A Fresh Start (John Chapman) – A great introduction to the Christian faith. This book should answer most of the questions you’ve ever had about Christianity.
Turning Points (Vaughan Roberts) – Another good introductory book, though this one isn’t so thick! However it is still packed with great material.
Quarks, Chaos and Christianity (John Polkinghorne) – A good book if you are from a science background. It shows how science and religion aren’t at odds with each other, though many people would have you think otherwise.
Here I have to say thank you to all those people who have helped me on my continuing journey towards God; Paul and Emily, you are great friends and I don’t think you’ll ever know how much that means to me. Matt, Emma, Kath, Michael, and Ed, you were all a great support to me during my first steps as a Christian, thank you. Also many thanks to many, many more people who have encouraged and challenged me in my walk with Christ, I pray that you will continue to do so.