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Switch to Forum Live View How did you get saved? your testimonies!
6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 9:11PM #1
Godgirl
Posts: 973
If your a Christian...how did you get saved? Please share your testimonies!
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 9:12PM #2
tawonda
Posts: 4,367
I was saved about 2,000 years ago on a hill outside Jerusalem.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 9:26PM #3
mom-6
Posts: 511
Amen to Tawonda's answer!

For more specifics of how I have grown into my understanding of it...just ask.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2009 - 8:31AM #4
Xristocharis
Posts: 5,051

tawonda wrote:

I was saved about 2,000 years ago on a hill outside Jerusalem.


Ditto. I found out about it only within the last 26 (almost 27) years though.

-Jon

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." - Dom Hélder Câmara
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2009 - 9:45AM #5
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
What they said.

Hopefully, I continue to grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ.

Salvation is also the journey, not only the destination.
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2009 - 5:08PM #6
Godgirl
Posts: 973
I was hoping for more elaborate stories! Like "I was addicted to drugs and someone came by and shared the gospel to me...then i acepted Jesus Christ and i got help for the drugs and now i am a commited christian" or "I was in college when approached by so and so and they noticed i was having a bad day then they started talking to me and asked me if i wanted to get saved and i said yes." I was hoping for more of those types of stories. Or "i was saved at five years old in the church." Whatever your story is please share it. Maybe i should have titled the tread as "please share your born again stories of how you got saved."
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2009 - 5:58PM #7
tawonda
Posts: 4,367
I think, Godgirl, the responses you've been getting are because of your phraseology and the underlying assumption that "getting saved" is 1)something that WE do by doing/thinking/feeling the right things; and 2)the more dramatic the story the more meritorious the "saving." That may because we use different "faithspeak" due to our differing Christian traditions. Or maybe not.

Here's the deal, from my perspective as a catholic Christian in the Lutheran tradition: My salvation doesn't hinge on me -- not my "earning points by doing stuff"; not my thinking the right things about God or feeling the right things about God. God reconciled us all to God through Jesus' self-sacrificing act of love. That is nothing that I could do by my own effort or will. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit has called me into a relationship with God -- made me a daughter of God, a sister of Christ, an heir and member of God's household, to paraphrase Scripture -- through my baptism; something that for me happened when I was a 3 1/2 pound infant in an incubator. God was the initiator of all this; not me.

Now, how I have lived into this relationship is a whole 'nother story. I spent the first 25 years of my life as a very passionate, committed Christian. Due to a number of reasons I won't go into detail here -- personal stuff, the loss of a supportive faith community, family tumoil -- I lost my connection to the faith community, and became estranged from my own faith. I became Christianity-antagonistic, as a matter of fact, for many years. But despite my best efforts to be "post-Christian," God wouldn't let me go; I kept having what to me where annoying, disturbing thoughts about the God I did not want to believe in; my faith experiences as a child and young adult, my love of going to church, my accumulated memories of liturgy and hymns and Scripture, kept intruding into my consciousness at unexpected moments. And finally I just gave in: "You win."

This was not an ecstatic, whoo-hoo experience; at first I was a pretty reluctant returnee to the fold. But God gradually wooed me, prodded me and occasionally drop-kicked me into a return to active life in a faith community where I was loved and supported and encouraged to use my gifts for the good of the community. I wound up feeling a call to the lay ministry, and went through three years of education to become a commissioned lay minister -- an unpaid position while I keep my day job -- and am enjoying it very much; I feel like I'm where I need to be.

But please keep in mind that this process was not about me "getting saved." It was about God saving me -- over and over and over again; even when I thought that I was the farthest away from God, and wanted to stay there. In fact, God has to save me every day -- from my own sinfulness, to be sure, but also from the vagaries of my own thoughts and emotions, which make me feel really close to God one day and down in the depths of desolation the next. But it's not about my feelings or thoughts being in charge of my state of grace. It's all about God.

There are Christians reading this who have had dramatic adult conversion experiences like St. Paul. There are others here who don't remember ever not being Christian; who've never had a remarkable "peak" experience, who've never wandered out in the weeds, as my pastor likes to say. There is absolutely nothing meritorious in either type of Christian experience. Because it's not about us; it's about God, the author of our salvation. 

I think you might get more mileage out of your question if you simply ask people to describe their faith journeys.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2009 - 7:36PM #8
Godgirl
Posts: 973

tawonda wrote:

I think you might get more mileage out of your question if you simply ask people to describe their faith journeys.


Ok i will try that in a new forum

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 31, 2009 - 2:35AM #9
Xristocharis
Posts: 5,051

Godgirl wrote:

I was hoping for more elaborate stories! Like "I was addicted to drugs and someone came by and shared the gospel to me...then i acepted Jesus Christ and i got help for the drugs and now i am a commited christian" or "I was in college when approached by so and so and they noticed i was having a bad day then they started talking to me and asked me if i wanted to get saved and i said yes." I was hoping for more of those types of stories. Or "i was saved at five years old in the church." Whatever your story is please share it. Maybe i should have titled the tread as "please share your born again stories of how you got saved."


There's never been a time in my life I didn't believe, so from that aspect I've simply always been a Christian. But it's been a long, often arduous and ongoing story.

I grew up with a theology that believed/believes that salvation is a moment that happens when you "ask Jesus into your heart", so near my 4th birthday, with my grandfather having just suffered a near-fatal stroke and still in the hospital, my parents led me through the "Sinner's Prayer". I was so serious about it that, when my parents corrected my misunderstanding, that I'd still die even though I was "saved" I tried to "shoo" Jesus out of my heart. Hey, I wasn't even four yet.

At around the age of eight I confessed to my dad that I was worried about my own salvation, because I just wasn't sure if I had "meant it" before--this is something I would continue to struggle with spiritually, emotionally and psychologically for years to come--and so I went through the Sinner's Prayer again (just to make sure it "stuck" this time). At around this same time due to circumstances my mom was kicked out of our church and so we had to go look for a new church where we found a church in the Foursquare denomination.

At around the age of twelve puberty had hit in full swing, all my sexual--normal--thoughts about the opposite gender terrified me. I dreaded the possibility that these were a sign I was without God, and I was haunted by the notion that at any moment Jesus would just abandon me to the wayside. An evangelist came to our church and offered us youngins the chance to be "baptized with the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues", went through the whole shabang, fell over backwards (off topic, but while today I do speak in tongues in my own private prayer life, I'm convinced that the sounds I uttered in this experience were plain ol' nonsense). I still struggled, however, though I think parts of me began to take my religion more seriously, if only barely. The question of my salvation was still up in the air. Despite the fact that in the theology in which I was entrenched one was "once saved, always saved". Yet, the question of whether I had ever actually been saved continued to haunt me, how could I be sincere when I really didn't *get* a lot of it? How could one know if one actually *meant* it?

At around the age of sixteen I started attending my church's youth group, and went on a mission trip down to San Francisco to work with the homeless. We spent a week doing training in Salem, Oregon at a YWAM camp where I learned some clowning and how to make animal balloons for inner city kids. During this week of training they put on an "interactive passion play" with the Christ-figure on the cross one moment, then with our heads bowed in prayer I opened my eyes and the cross was empty. The experience I had in that moment still has me struggling to find words to this day, the best I've ever been able to explain to anyone is that I had an encounter with Jesus Christ that was vision-less, word-less and sense-less. There was no fuzzy feeling, nothing extraordinary, but in that moment somehow and in someway I met Jesus Christ, and not the Jesus of my imagination or my opinion, but an actual Person who was far beyond anything I could ever articulate with words or even fathom with my own mind. I'll even go so far as to say that before and since that moment I've had "mystical" experiences, moments of feeling God's presence in one way or another, and nothing before or since that moment has come close to what happened in that small fraction of a second. To this day I consider it one of the most important and powerful and life-shaping moments of my life.

Sadly, even though I was filled with a new passion and zeal for my Christian faith, I allowed that passion to overtake me. I became a Jerk4Jesus in a lot of ways, I allowed myself to think that other churches and other forms of Christianity were "cold and dead" and had become convinced of the absolute rightness of what my church taught to the exclusion of any other possibility--this is even more sad when you understand that my church was actually deeply ecumenical in spirit and refused to subscribe to the notion that we were absolutely right to the exclusion of everyone else.

After a couple years I began to study Church history, theology, I found Beliefnet and met people who were very different than me. Very frightening for someone living in such a small world as the one I had grown up in. People like Tawonda here managed to finally convince me by the sheer consistency and honesty of their faith that Christianity was dozens of times much larger than what I had heretofore allowed myself to believe.

I came to a breakthrough at around the age of 20 or 21, when it finally dawned on me that salvation had nothing to do with me. God saving me was an act of unconditional and unmerited grace through Jesus Christ Incarnate, Crucified and Risen. This was a theological and psychological atomic bomb for me. It was as though for the first time I could grasp that the chains no longer fettered me and that I was truly and legitimately free in Jesus Christ to live and love God and be a Christian. No longer heavy laden with the yoke that salvation somehow depended upon my will, my beliefs, or my actions. God loved me, God saved me, God liberated me and He did this all 2000 years ago.

Reading "for it is by grace.." in Paul's letter to the Ephesians suddenly and finally made sense to me. It wasn't me at all, it had never been me, God wasn't up there waiting for me to get it all right, He had already made things right through His Son. I was free, finally free, and I finally knew it. I haven't looked back since, and since then it's radically changed every way I "do" theology.

God is still saving me, His redemption is here every day, redeeming my will, my ethics, my way of life, my behaviors; rescuing me from seeking myself, saving my thoughts, my actions, my relationships. He's present, grace after grace, drawing me, moving me, and pulling me toward that greater and bigger picture that is Jesus Christ. Some days I can't see it at all, some days I see a bit better through this dim sheet of glass; but through everything I remain hopeful and confident that He who began a good work will continue to do that good work until either I leave this mortal coil or the Son of Man comes back.

God saved me 2000 years ago, He's saving me every day for these past 26 years, and He will save me when the Lord comes back and I join with all who are raised from the dead. All to the glory of God the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.

-Jon

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." - Dom Hélder Câmara
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 01, 2009 - 9:11AM #10
mom-6
Posts: 511
Like others here, mine has been a faith journey with several significant milestones, a number of "aha" moments, but nothing majorly dramatic.

As an infant, my parents had me baptized as soon as they felt comfortable taking me to church (I think I was a couple of months old.).  Going to SS and church (morning & evening) was the norm.  My dad had been a SS teacher for years before I was born and continued to be until after I was grown.  My mom taught SS for a while when I was in elementary school.  During this time I joined the church with all my classmates.  I'm not sure I really had much grasp on the significance of this at the time...just what I was supposed to do.

As a young teenager at camp, I felt a desire to 'do something' in response to a particular message, but as I saw it, I'd already joined the church and the only other option was saying I wanted to be a missionary and I wasn't having any part of the 'mud hut in Africa' thing, thank you very much, so I was left with a vague feeling of dissatisfaction, but no real clue as to how to alleviate it.

Several years later as a college student, I was feeling like my church attendance/choir membership was sort of hypocritical, since there didn't seem to be any difference between me and those who did not particularly claim to be Christians, except that I got up on Sunday morning and went to church and they slept in...maybe they had the better deal, ya know? 

It was at this point in my life that I got to know some people who for various reasons I liked the way they 'were'.  They were fun, enthusiastic, caring, etc.  If being a part of their group would make me like them, then I wanted that.  So I prayed the prayer in their little booklet (although I never felt that I wasn't a Christian before that, just that maybe I was more of one afterwards). 

I do think this was a turning point or a major step forward, because as I became more involved in the group I also began to enjoy studying the Bible and became aware of the significance of a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  Previously I had seen it all as sort of impersonal and all encompassing, but not individually transforming. 

One especially transforming realization was that I didn't have to/couldn't really please God by my own efforts, but rather could/should/must depend on the Holy Spirit to bring about the changes in my life that I was seeing as desirable in order to become the kind of person I felt God wanted me to be becoming.

I was still experiencing some of the same vague feeling of needing to 'do something else' that I had originally sensed in jr.high years.  And still worrying about the mud hut in Africa thing too!  Finally I decided that if that was what God wanted me to do, I was willing, but I sure hoped that wasn't what would happen.  Anyway, I've been led in other directions and at this point, all these years later, I'm not thinking it would be all that bad if I did someday end up in that mud hut, although I see it as rather unlikely.  Instead, I've discovered that it's a day to day thing, being ready to share as opportunities arise, but not forcing those opportunities or being argumentative.
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