Because I grew up in the culturally diverse Bay Area, and I was educated in hyper-liberal San Francisco with only a Catholic infant baptism and no accurate depiction of what the gospel meant and who Jesus is, I spent most of my life categorizing such matters as mere “religion,” and sought happiness through earthly things. Most of the people talking about anything “religious” around me were attacking it, and so people who spoke with loaded words like “sin” and “scripture” freaked me out.
Despite my ignorance, I was put off by people who would make bold claims such as, “there is no God,” or similar assumptions because I recognized that they were no authority on the matter, and they just wanted to feel free to live a life that wasn’t conventional.
But as I began to see myself getting older, I realized that just seeking romantic love wasn’t fulfilling. I thought often about the inevitability of death and the mystery of what lies beyond, because “don’t worry, be happy” just wasn’t assuring.
Through the years, I had even tried reading the New Testament, and even got through Matthew, but I didn’t understand the miracles or what Jesus’s resurrection even meant.
Nobody had ever told me, “You must receive Christ as your Savior and Lord,” so I just went on assuming that “being religious” was just about being good and following rules, which would explain why it was more appealing to bury myself in secular music and culture and let popular culture and gut reactions determine my moral compass.
The push to learn more about Christianity came in the form of another guy who was hanging out in bars like I was at the time. Had he been like most of the good Christians who stayed away from bars, I would not have met him. Because he was where he “shouldn’t have been,” I had a chance to have somebody who understood Christ come to me. This friend had invited me to spend time with him outside of the bar scene, where he first began to talk about his faith. Though he wasn’t a theologian or even a seminary student, he knew enough about the Bible to challenge the worldly assumptions I was living by at the time.
My friend invited me to church, so I went with him to a San Jose church and so life as a Christian began when I prayed to receive Jesus after hearing a sermon about Elijah telling people not to sit on the fence about God.
I began to attend different churches and fellowships, as well as listening to sermons and reading the Bible and Christian books in my journey to learn more about God and to challenge all the bad information coming at me to sabotage my new faith.
I became involved with PCAC because several year prior I had met Pastor David Siow at a local church and soon found we were neighbors. Pastor David has been a great mentor and friend who has since helped me get involved with fellowships, a church plant, and more recently PCAC. God’s grace and sovereignty are amazing!
Life before Christ, I went to Catholic Church regularly ever since I could remember. Looking back at it I never really understood the whole gospel. For example, I didn’t understand the significance of communion and other religious practices.
In high school, my friend who was a Christian invited me to his Sunday service, which I attended and thought was the same as Catholic mass.
About half a year ago I was invited to an event at PCAC and ever since I have been coming to worship here. Here Pastor David helped me with clarifications to the gospel, specifically we don’t have to earn salvation as Jesus has already died on the cross for our sins. It is by God’s grace and all we have to do is believe and take the step of faith to accept Him. I came to Christ because I believed the Bible is truth and that Jesus is the only road to salvation.
I saw other people who were Christian and saw good fruit. They were joyful and loving. I have a cousin who was raised as a Catholic and later became a Christian. I saw how much he changed from when we were kids.
I also see athletes such as Tim Tebow, Jeremy Lin, Stephen Curry, and Russell Wilson who proclaimed to be Christians, and they seem to be good people.
I also noticed that Christians want to go to church rather than attending out of habit or obligation. Christians want to fellowship with one another and choose to come to church, not because they have to do anything to earn God’s favor.
I am now more excited about going to church regularly and learning more from the bible. I keep myself out of trouble. I try not to get so angry or hurt others with my words, and I want to share the gospel with others.
Moving forward I would like to be more involved in the church. I’d like to see the English congregation grow. I want God to use me using the talents He’s given me.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13