Author Topic: Fox News' Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower: Of all people surprised that I became an evangelical Christian, I'm the most surprised.  (Read 1614 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/november/fox-news-highly-reluctant-jesus-follower-kirsten-powers.html?paging=off

Fox News' Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower
Of all people surprised that I became an evangelical Christian, I'm the most surprised.
Kirsten Powers
[ posted 10/22/2013 2:21PM ]

Just seven years ago, if someone had told me that I'd be writing for Christianity Today magazine about how I came to believe in God, I would have laughed out loud. If there was one thing in which I was completely secure, it was that I would never adhere to any religion—especially to evangelical Christianity, which I held in particular contempt.

I grew up in the Episcopal Church in Alaska, but my belief was superficial and flimsy. It was borrowed from my archaeologist father, who was so brilliant he taught himself to speak and read Russian. When I encountered doubt, I would fall back on the fact that he believed.

Leaning on my father's faith got me through high school. But by college it wasn't enough, especially because as I grew older he began to confide in me his own doubts. What little faith I had couldn't withstand this revelation. From my early 20s on, I would waver between atheism and agnosticism, never coming close to considering that God could be real.

After college I worked as an appointee in the Clinton administration from 1992 to 1998. The White House surrounded me with intellectual people who, if they had any deep faith in God, never expressed it. Later, when I moved to New York, where I worked in Democratic politics, my world became aggressively secular. Everyone I knew was politically left-leaning, and my group of friends was overwhelmingly atheist.

I sometimes hear Christians talk about how terrible life must be for atheists. But our lives were not terrible. Life actually seemed pretty wonderful, filled with opportunity and good conversation and privilege. I know now that it was not as wonderful as it could have been. But you don't know what you don't know. How could I have missed something I didn't think existed?


Very Open-Minded

To the extent that I encountered Christians, it was in the news cycle. And inevitably they were saying something about gay people or feminists. I didn't feel I was missing much. So when I began dating a man who was into Jesus, I was not looking for God. In fact, the week before I met him, a friend had asked me if I had any deal breakers in dating. My response: "Just nobody who is religious."

A few months into our relationship, my boyfriend called to say he had something important to talk to me about. I remember exactly where I was sitting in my West Village apartment when he said, "Do you believe Jesus is your Savior?" My stomach sank. I started to panic. Oh no, was my first thought. He's crazy.

When I answered no, he asked, "Do you think you could ever believe it?" He explained that he was at a point in life when he wanted to get married and felt that I could be that person, but he couldn't marry a non-Christian. I said I didn't want to mislead him—that I would never believe in Jesus.

Then he said the magic words for a liberal: "Do you think you could keep an open mind about it?" Well, of course. "I'm very open-minded!" Even though I wasn't at all. I derided Christians as anti-intellectual bigots who were too weak to face the reality that there is no rhyme or reason to the world. I had found this man's church attendance an oddity to overlook, not a point in his favor.

As he talked, I grew conflicted. On the one hand, I was creeped out. On the other hand, I had enormous respect for him. He is smart, educated, and intellectually curious. I remember thinking, What if this is true, and I'm not even willing to consider it?

A few weeks later I went to church with him. I was so clueless about Christianity that I didn't know that some Presbyterians were evangelicals. So when we arrived at the Upper East Side service of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, I was shocked and repelled by what I saw. I was used to the high-church liturgy of my youth. We were meeting in an auditorium with a band playing what I later learned was "praise music." I thought, How am I going to tell him I can never come back?

But then the pastor preached. I was fascinated. I had never heard a pastor talk about the things he did. Tim Keller's sermon was intellectually rigorous, weaving in art and history and philosophy. I decided to come back to hear him again. Soon, hearing Keller speak on Sunday became the highlight of my week. I thought of it as just an interesting lecture—not really church. I just tolerated the rest of it in order to hear him. Any person who is familiar with Keller's preaching knows that he usually brings Jesus in at the end of the sermon to tie his points together. For the first few months, I left feeling frustrated: Why did he have to ruin a perfectly good talk with this Jesus nonsense?

Each week, Keller made the case for Christianity. He also made the case against atheism and agnosticism. He expertly exposed the intellectual weaknesses of a purely secular worldview. I came to realize that even if Christianity wasn't the real thing, neither was atheism.

I began to read the Bible. My boyfriend would pray with me for God to reveal himself to me. After about eight months of going to hear Keller, I concluded that the weight of evidence was on the side of Christianity. But I didn't feel any connection to God, and frankly, I was fine with that. I continued to think that people who talked of hearing from God or experiencing God were either delusional or lying. In my most generous moments, I allowed that they were just imagining things that made them feel good.

Then one night on a trip to Taiwan, I woke up in what felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality. Jesus came to me and said, "Here I am." It felt so real. I didn't know what to make of it. I called my boyfriend, but before I had time to tell him about it, he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. Honestly, while I was upset, I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me.


Completely True

I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses, but I couldn't shake it. When I returned to New York a few days later, I was lost. I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion. I started to fear I was going crazy.

I didn't know what to do, so I spoke with writer Eric Metaxas, whom I had met through my boyfriend and who had talked with me quite a bit about God. "You need to be in a Bible study," he said. "And Kathy Keller's Bible study is the one you need to be in." I didn't like the sound of that, but I was desperate. My whole world was imploding. How was I going to tell my family or friends about what had happened? Nobody would understand. I didn't understand. (It says a lot about the family in which I grew up that one of my most pressing concerns was that Christians would try to turn me into a Republican.)

I remember walking into the Bible study. I had a knot in my stomach. In my mind, only weirdoes and zealots went to Bible studies. I don't remember what was said that day. All I know is that when I left, everything had changed. I'll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, "It's true. It's completely true." The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.

The horror of the prospect of being a devout Christian crept back in almost immediately. I spent the next few months doing my best to wrestle away from God. It was pointless. Everywhere I turned, there he was. Slowly there was less fear and more joy. The Hound of Heaven had pursued me and caught me—whether I liked it or not.

Kirsten Powers is a contributor to USA Today and a columnist for Newsweek/The Daily Beast. She is a Democratic commentator at Fox News.

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline R4 TrumPence

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Wow that is amazing.  I have noticed her being different on Fox for about a year now.
That was such a touching testimony too :0001:


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Online Lando Lincoln

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For the progressive, there is very little to love about the United States. Washington, Jefferson, Madison? A bunch of rotten slaveholders, hypocrites, and cowards even when their hearts were in the right places. The Declaration of Independence? A manifesto for the propertied classes. The Constitution? An artifact of sexism and white supremacy. The sacrifices in the great wars of the 20th century? Feeding the poor and the disenfranchised into the meat-grinder of imperialism. The gifts of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Astor? Blood money from self-aggrandizing robber barons. Nat Rev

Offline happyg

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Good story! I bet she reached a lot of people with that testimony.

Offline musiclady

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Wow.  Praise the Lord for this testimony!

Side note............Tim Keller is awesome!  If you want a taste of his work, try The Reason for God - Belief in an Age of Skepticism., or better yet watch the video series.  He patiently, lovingly and truthfully deals with people like Kirsten Powers - intelligent, skeptical, but searching for truth.
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Offline Cincinnatus

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This is remarkable and highly gratifying news.

Welcome to the Light Side, Kirsten. I hope you new found life in Christ will awaken you in some other areas of your life.
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

Offline EC

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That was a wonderful read and a wonderful witness!

Welcome, Kirsten! Don't give a single damn about your politics - just welcome to fellowship.

Quote
But I didn't feel any connection to God, and frankly, I was fine with that. I continued to think that people who talked of hearing from God or experiencing God were either delusional or lying. In my most generous moments, I allowed that they were just imagining things that made them feel good.

Dude is busy. The universe doesn't run itself. If you are doing what you are supposed to be doing - he'll not talk much. Why should he? You slip or trip, His hand is there to catch you. You start doing wrong, or if there is something you really should be doing, you'll hear from him - quietly, in the dark of the night. Otherwise, he'll leave you be. We praise Him. Not the other way around.
Anyone who tells you you can't buy happiness has never been in a book store or an animal shelter.

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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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That is one terrific read.  Thanks for posting it Rap!

Offline katzenjammer

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Thanks for posting, always great to read about another name written into the Lamb's Book of Life!!

I always hold out hope that their new eyes and ears will lead them to further truth, I believe that Bob Beckel is also on the path...  Prayers up for them both!!

Offline olde north church

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I would rather have her as an Intellectual Conservative than a Believing Leftist.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Online mountaineer

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I would rather have her as an Intellectual Conservative than a Believing Leftist.
Intellectual and believing are not mutually exclusive, but we can hope she'll come around to our political point of view.
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Offline NavyCanDo

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I don’t know how many testimonials from former atheist and agnostics and people caught up in the occult and even those who have had failed suicides, I have heard.  Testimonies that would bring the entire congregation to tears.    One of the most beautiful things to witness is to see a lost person with no hope, come to Christ and change their life around.  And It’s not unusual for them to develop closer  walk with Christ than those who have grown up in the Church – even PKs (preacher kids).

I wish Kirsten well on her walk. She really does have a good head on her shoulders, and is able of think for herself and is not shy about being critical of her own party when they are wrong.  And  it’s only natural  for someone like her  (and I will include Greta) to become more conservative as their eyes are opened.   
A nation that turns away from prayer will ultimately find itself in desperate need of it. :Jonathan Cahn

Offline DCPatriot

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Thanks for the lump in my throat, Rap!  Great way to start my Monday morning!   :laugh:
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family".    ...Mother Teresa

Offline EC

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I don’t know how many testimonials from former atheist and agnostics and people caught up in the occult and even those who have had failed suicides, I have heard.  Testimonies that would bring the entire congregation to tears.    One of the most beautiful things to witness is to see a lost person with no hope, come to Christ and change their life around.  And It’s not unusual for them to develop closer  walk with Christ than those who have grown up in the Church – even PKs (preacher kids).

I wish Kirsten well on her walk. She really does have a good head on her shoulders, and is able of think for herself and is not shy about being critical of her own party when they are wrong.  And  it’s only natural  for someone like her  (and I will include Greta) to become more conservative as their eyes are opened.   

You reminded me of something that was in the back of my mind.

Hit up an AA meeting - not all of them are hugely religious (some are) - but the tone is exactly the same. Joy and relief in putting down the burden.

Her path is hers. Where it takes her is up to her. She is our sister though, and should be supported and cherished.
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Online Bigun

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Wow that is amazing.  I have noticed her being different on Fox for about a year now.
That was such a touching testimony too :0001:

And now we know why! She came to the right conclusions for the right reasons and has a long and wonderful journey in front of her now!
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Offline olde north church

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Intellectual and believing are not mutually exclusive, but we can hope she'll come around to our political point of view.

Oh, I didn't mean intellectual in an intelligence level sense.  I meant as in arriving to conservatism by observation, life experience, the like.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

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Offline NavyCanDo

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Her testimony about how she was turned off by the church of her youth so never considered going back to another church hits home for millions.   There is hardly an American alive or dead who has not at one time stepped into a church – even for a Christmas or Easter Service.    My Dad was turned off from going to Church for the simple reason he could not read higher than a 3rd grade level. The kids in his Sunday school took turns reading Bible scripture and when it came his turn he was put to shame. He stopped going and never entered another church until he was in his 40s, but he still did not become a regular attendee, though he did like the Pastor and he enjoyed the Southern Gospel  - Statler Brothers style of worship music.  He did give his heart to Jesus while in Hospice. The day before he died I have never seen such peace in his eyes.

The lesson here, is if you don’t feel welcomed in a church, or don’t enjoy the style of service, then try another church. We tried several before finding our church home.
A nation that turns away from prayer will ultimately find itself in desperate need of it. :Jonathan Cahn

Offline Relic

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Ms. Powers has been a very rare type of person for at least for a couple of years. That rare breed is a thinking, logical, liberal. I've noticed it for at least a year, and my feeble memory tells me 2 years. She doesn't scream, she doesn't try to talk over others, she doesn't make stupid, unsupportable claims. She tries her best to see things objectively.

Kirstin Powers is a liberal I respect, and wish the best.

Offline SouthTexas

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To me, she seemed to make too much sense to be a true leftist. 

As Paul Harvey would say, "and now you know the rest of the story".


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