How I came to embrace Christianity
Also please read, A Short Testimony.
In high school a friend introduced me to yoga and eastern philosophy and soon I developed a craving for the experience I had during deep meditation. I believed that with practice I would develop the ability to expand my consciousness into a state of self-realization in which all thoughts, desires, feelings and attachments to this painful material world would dissolve.
This goal proved to be very elusive and I became increasingly frustrated and unhappy, so in an effort to accelerate the process of self-realization, I joined a spiritual community under the direction of an enlightened master from India. I was told that one minute of meditation in his presence was the equivalent of twenty years of solitary meditation. This was good news indeed and I now hoped to quickly achieve the difficult goal of self-realization.
For fifteen years I dedicated my heart and soul to the long struggle of following this path to the best of my ability, but I was never once assured that I was achieving the goal of self-realization. Yet the enlightened master was ever ready to curse me, humiliate me, or publicly deride me. In my studies I had learned that the disciple had to endure such harsh treatment as this in order to grow spiritually.
Occasionally, I had ecstatic experiences during deep meditation which encouraged me that I was making progress toward the goal of self-realization, but as the years went by these experiences happened less and less often. Slowly, I began to become deeply discouraged, but ten years went by and I kept practicing, hoping against hope for a breakthrough.
But eventually the evidence that something was wrong became overwhelming. My master's psychic predictions of the future all failed as the dates came and went, and no one seemed to notice except me. As the years came and went I observed as his disciples became more and more judgmental, critical and unhappy even though yoga was supposed to make us peaceful, calm and happy. I began to seek elsewhere for a solution to the stagnation I felt in my quest for self-realization which so far had led to misery, pain and frustration.
I sat in on a session with a trance-channeler who channeled a being from ancient Egypt named Hotep. The energy in the room was powerful and Hotep knew things about me that only I knew. I hoped that at last I could get the personal attention I needed in my spiritual walk and could finally achieve the goal of self-realization.
During the next five years I encountered many other beings from many other dimensions and times. I even spoke to the space brothers who visit planet earth in spaceships that travel faster than light. But after a time the energy and excitement I initially felt began to wear off and I began to sink into a state of boredom.
Then I became a Sufi dancer. After that I studied Native American tradition. Then Zen Buddhist meditation. Then I studied Buckminster Fuller's one world philosophy. Then holistic philosophy. And I continued to practice yoga and meditation. I had become a dedicated new age practitioner and longed for the day when the world would become united in peace under a one-world government; when hunger and human suffering would cease and humanity would finally achieve the universal goal of self-realization.
Only one thing clouded this vision of the imminent future: whenever I heard a new teaching it invariably contradicted every other teaching I had been led to believe. But no one seemed to notice except me. There was definitely something wrong here; I could feel it within my soul.
Perhaps by now you've notice a common thread in all this — truth was for me the guiding principle. If I discovered something wasn't true, I was compelled to reject it.
Meanwhile I had been listening to John MacArthur and Raul Reis on Christian radio. Soon after my first year in college I met a Christian woman who introduced me to the Bible. I thought Christianity was interesting but, of course, it couldn't be true.
Over the years I had spoken to dozens of born-again Christians. At first I felt intimidated by them, but eventually I looked forward to these encounters because I relished the challenge of holding my own in a discussion with them. I even called in to a Christian talk show to discuss the merits of meditation.
I started listening to Christian radio from time to time when I felt frustrated and discouraged in my search for self-realization. I remember how it would cheer me up and how my soul would drink in the words. But I was able to deny that there was any truth to these teachings — after all, Christianity wasn't really a spiritual path like eastern and new age philosophy were and I was, after all, a sincere seeker of self-realization.
But I began to plan my drive to work around certain programs on Christian radio. I bought a Bible but didn't read it much; I just looked up those several passages that "prove" reincarnation and that Jesus went to India to study yoga before he began his public ministry.
Then, one day I realized that I would never reach my goal of self-realization and I caught a glimpse of how I had wasted the past twenty years seeking something which was simply unattainable and certainly not even desirable. I had become more frustrated and discouraged than I could bear. I had run out of spiritual paths to walk and they had all failed miserably. Life had become pointless and meaningless.
But I had not yet tasted of what Jesus had to offer. So I declared him to be my new spiritual master and searched the gospels to see what sort of teaching he had to offer. Within a week I realized that he, and only he, could give me what I so desperately needed. He promised eternal fellowship with him in the presence of the one who created all things if I would just repent and follow him.
On that day I gave up my desire for self-realization and accepted in its place the joy and hope and peace that comes from Christ-realization. And through the years, the deep satisfaction within my soul has never faded but, rather, has steadily increased, for only Christ Jesus has the power to save the wretched soul of man. For he is the one who created man for his purpose — that we should look only to him in all things both physical and spiritual. For only when we submit our hearts, minds and wills to him; only then will we find fulfillment in life.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life: all other paths lead to destruction.