My secondary school years were spent in a Mission school. One would easily think that it was probably due to years of ‘indoctrination’ that I come to the Christian faith. This is far from the truth. Although I would say I got to learn about the Christian faith more in secondary school, it also made me hate it more. My past experience and understanding of Christianity might be quite familiar to some of you.
I was born into a peculiar family. At that time, the very first Christians that I got to know are my grandparents. But, my grandparents are not very ‘good’ Christians. Every time when I get back to Hong Kong to visit them, the only things I could remember them doing is quarreling and shouting at one another. This pales in comparison to the ‘supposed’ message of love Christians often preached about. My aunt on the other hand is a religious fanatic. I remembered once when we went over to Toronto to visit her, she will insist on bringing us to church and get various people to preach and ‘convert’ us. Of course, we were extremely annoyed. “Why do these hypocrites keep wanting me to join their senseless religion?” I thought.
My impression of Christianity got worse in secondary school. Every week, we would be required to go for chapel. Sometimes, I can’t agree on the message shared by the preacher and feel that they are not sensitive. This is made worse when I have preachy friends who would always pester me and try to share the story of Jesus to me. I remembered one time I got so annoyed by my table partner who was trying to share the gospel with me I told him to ‘shut up’ in class.
To me, Christians have always been a bunch of irritating, preachy, hypocrites. I would never want to be a Christian. How can people be so entrenched in their self delusion? How can anyone believe in any religion in the face of scientific truth?! I have not killed, stolen or harmed anyone, why would I need God’s salvation?
So how did I come to know God? How can someone who hated Christianity, Christians and Jesus so much can suddenly acknowledge God? Honestly I don’t know either. But I guess it was a divine appointment with the Almighty Himself.
Being in a Mission school, it is inevitable that I have Christian friends. I remembered it was on a Good Friday in 2014, it was a school holiday and I went skating with a group of friends. When evening came, they told me that they would be going for a church service and asked if I wanted to come along. If not, I can wait outside all by myself. Wow! Thanks man! Not wanting to be left out, I followed them.
This was not the first time I have come to this church. I just tried to be polite and followed with the ‘normal procedures’. I was eagerly just wanting for this to end quickly. The pastor came and shared the gospel message. But somehow, this time round it was different. I have heard the gospel message many times in school and have always hated it. However, this time round it struck a chord in me. At the end of the message, I was able to see my sinful state and knew that I needed God. I received Christ as my savior.
Being a new Christian however doesn’t mean that I was changed totally at once nor did it mean that I knew all about God immediately. I still struggled with doubts. I struggled with what scientific theories say and what I have felt that cannot be denied; the reality of a God who is alive. I still remember that during my first day of bible study class, we were asked to write down what we would like to achieve through the class on the cover of our files. I wrote, “To learn about God and obey all as commanded.” To me, God was a faraway figure, impossible to phantom. It is after years that I have journeyed with God that I am now where I am today. Even now, I continue to learn new things about God as I interact and experience Him as He bring me through in each phase of my life.
As I walked with Him, I got to know God more as a person and with this He changed and molded my character to be more and more like the Jesus I once hated. This work is not complete. I am still continually being changed into His likeness.