Ginni (wife to be and wife still) wanted to get married in a church… but not wanting to be a hypocrite I told her I preferred we got married somewhere that didn’t represent something I didn’t believe in.
Ginni wouldn’t budge!
I decided to prove that God was a figment of an imagination that couldn’t cope with the real world, and then once having done that, at least in my mind, it wouldn’t matter where we got married.
‘Shouldn’t be too difficult’ I thought. Ask a couple of questions get a couple of dumb religious answers…job done.
I was dairy farming at the time and it happened that my relief milker (a guy I got on well with) was also the minister of a local church in the district. So next time he was over I casually asked him “hey, if there is a heaven, I’ve never killed anyone so I’ll go their wont I?”
I was expecting him to quote the bible (which I saw as a fairy tale written to appease the masses) and point his finger at me telling me I was a sinner destined for somewhere hot and unpleasant. Instead he told me a short story that pointed out that, as I would rightly be upset with a total stranger walking into my house and make himself at home, why then would I think I can expect to wonder into heaven if I don’t know the person who owns that place”?
Frustratingly, I found that to be a reasonable answer.
This by no means convinced me of anything, but over the weeks that followed it got me asking more questions, still with the intention I might add of proving it all to be a bunch of made up fairy tales.
However, it didn’t take too long to begin to realise that what I had believed were myths and legends actually had some historical evidence attached to them. So, after a couple of months of questions, discussions and interesting coincidences, I was ultimately left with one pivotal question “did Jesus actually rise from the dead like he claimed he would?
By this time, I had come to understand that Jesus had made some very bold claims about himself, claims that would show him to be either a liar, a lunatic (nutter), or who he actually claimed to be…’God’ in the flesh”.
I was left with either walking away from what I was discovering or walking towards it. In April 1987 I chose to walk towards it and have been seeking to walk in that direction ever since.
As I have said, I sincerely went out to prove God didn’t exist but I will add that although I believed I was right I was still willing to listen and consider the responses to the questions I was asking.