Why did I ever become a creationist?
I grew up in a Christian family. However, I soon noticed that all the nature specials on television were very strongly based on evolutionary thinking. Almost every day I would see various science programs. It didn't seem to matter whether the program was on physics, astronomy, or Biology; and they all strongly promoted Evolution as scientific fact. As I grew up, I began to wonder about this problem more and more. Was the Bible right or was Evolution correct? To help settle my curiosity, I went to a graduate school (Loma Linda University) where creation research was being done to determine how substantial creation science could be. I was already familiar with Evolution, so I thought.
In graduate school, I often oscillated back and forth between the two positions. Creationary science does ask some very interesting questions that need to be addressed by the scientific community; Yet, the Evolutionary position based on a preponderance of data has already been researched very exhaustively and the thinking has been worked out to a fine level of detail.
I thought that creationism might be correct and at times, I did think it could be correct. I often felt that questions addressed by the Creationary community were not being addressed by the scientific community at large. Mostly, I saw that Creationary science was being ignored as not being worth their time to consider. When I considered why this might be so, I had to acknowledge that I was not really sure which might be the more correct approach myself. There were just too many possible answers to the questions that I had in my mind. How could I be sure whether one position was better than another with insufficient data?
Another issue for me was the direction of my possible future in science, the strong political nature of science itself loomed up in my mind. Did I really want to be known as a creationist. Because creation science is considered to be a pseudoscience by most scientist and many think that most Creationists are either not honest in their work and/or are just not competent. Having the Creation science stigma to my name means that many or most scientists will not even consider my position as being a viable option. So I thought twice about sticking my neck out.
I eventually chose to get into mainstream science rather than brave the onslaught that was sure to follow. After all, in addition to wanting to eat and do science, I was not sure of the validity of Creationism myself. So, after choosing to go into mainstream science, I promptly became a missionary.
This strange turn of events occurred because I had felt a spiritual need in my life, so I started reading the Bible every day. My decision to ignore the Creation/Evolution issue really bothered me yet I didn't really know why at the time.
It finally came down to this: I have always told myself that I went into science to find out about origins, yet now, I seemed to be walking away from even wanting to know what happened. Is that what I want? Or do I want to try to get to the bottom of this issue?
The Bible study awakened in me a fresh desire to understand my origins. Yet I wasn't ready to jump in the fracas just yet. I wanted time to consider what I should do. I still didn't know whether either position was correct. I also knew I needed to spend more time to know both God and myself before I could begin facing the data. So I became a missionary to Puerto Rico as a Biology teacher at Antillian College, which is a Christian school in Puerto Rico.
God started showing Himself to me
As a missionary a very different reality quickly rose to the surface. I realized very quickly that in order to get to Puerto Rico one had to fly. The only problem is that I was deafly afraid of flying. So much so that my white knuckles would show as I held on to my seat on the plane. By the end of the day when I would get off the plane in Mayaquez Puerto Rico from the States, my heart would be hurting because it had been beating way over 100 all day!
On one such trip, I was going back to the states and was voluntarily entering the cabin of the small plane under my own power when I began to question my own sanity. Why was I subjecting myself to this! As the plane rose and went into the clouds of a tropical summer day, we began to bounce around quite a bit. Again my white knuckles started showing and my heart would race away. In stark terror I desperately searched for the ground with my eyes as if I could keep the plane right side up by seeing it.
As the minutes dragged by I began to wonder why I was so afraid. Why was I in this condition when everyone around me, though somewhat nervous, looked normal.
I'm a Christian, why am I afraid to die? I remembered the thoughts of one who traveled with the pilgrims on the Mayflower but was not one himself. He had asked the very same question I just did: "Why am I afraid to die"? He saw that the pilgrims were not afraid to die yet he himself was and yet he was a Christian. I also remembered the Christians who were fed to the lions in Rome. They were also unafraid. What was it that they had that I didn't?
You can believe I was praying for protection on that plane. But now, there was a new thought that came to me, and I am not sure what brought this thought to me. But I started to ask my self: Am I being harassed by demons? It was a scary thought to think that beings that I could not even see, were having fun with me, trying to make my life as difficult as possible.
What could I do? I thought of the many stories I heard in church as a child. Many times, people who were troubled by demons had been cleared of this problem when Satan was commanded to leave. Also, in the Bible Jesus had healed those who were tormented by demons by declaring that they must leave.
But what could I do? I was in the plane, holding on, with people all around. If I started speaking out I was sure I would find myself in the funny farm for sure. What I eventually decided to do was to pray to God quietly in my mind.
So I bowed my head and closed my eyes and started talking to God. I apologized for not being able to say out loud: "demons, in the name of Jesus, you leave me!" I seemed to know that God knew both my situation and my fears and I felt a security I hadn't felt before.
I knew from my reading of the Bible, that sin separates us from God. So I began asking for forgiveness for what I have done in my life. If there was anything that would separate me from God, I asked that He would forgive me.
Now I began to talk to God about my fright of flying and my lack of Christian grace. Would he answer my prayer? I started asking Him that if evil angels were indeed tormenting me, giving me uncontrollable fear, that God would force them away from me!
When I finally closed my prayer and said amen! I noticed something happening! In the space of about 3 or 4 seconds, I felt my whole body relax. And after that I noticed that I was no longer afraid! Sure I was nervous but I was no longer having to try to hold up the plane with my feelings!
For the first time I could relax my muscles! What a feeling! I was actually able to read my Bible for the rest of the trip. I had never been actually able to read anything in a plane before, I was so nervous I could not concentrate on anything. But now, I was almost comfortable.
For your information, today I am a private pilot. I have flown in very bumpy weather with my plane bouncing around to the extent that I had trouble getting my hands on the right instruments when I needed to change the radio etc. yet I wasn't overly afraid! You will be able to see, when I start, the progression of my home-made sport aircraft which is also on my web pages. I praise God for what He has done for me!
This change that came over me was not a slight occurrence. It has changed my life! On growing up, I use to be afraid of almost everything. I was an extremely fearful child. I was always having to live with fears that others probably never realize.
As you can imagine, I talked about this to various friends and family and I slowly came to realize that maybe there was a reason why I was attacked. Back several generations in the Pennsylvania Dutch regions of our country, there was an ancestor of mine who's position in life was to cast spells on people. I'm sure you have seen the hex signs on barns and houses if you have been to that part of the country. Today, it seems to represent a colorful tradition that can be seen in the country side, but in the past, the casting of spells was a serious threat to people. So people had these hex signs to ward off evil spirits.
I do not really know if that has been why I experienced the problems that I did, however, I have heard from some, that demons or devils follow families from generation to generation. My sisters were held down in bed by some unseen force one night. I also have had some things happen to me such as knocking on the walls, people talking in the next room when there is no one there (believe me I checked it out!). Some of the other things that happened to me I wrote in a book (the third chapter has some of my early experiences with demons) , and the entire book is on-line.
Since that time I have noticed other things happening in my life. I will tell you some of the most outstanding occurrences.
One Friday evening as the sun set over the sea in Puerto Rico (the sun sets fast in the tropics) I was studying my Bible when a strong impression came over me. I felt sure that God was asking something from me. He was asking that I preach a sermon in a church! At that time, being a new teacher, I was usually a nervous wreck in front of a dozen students in class; But my church had over 500 members!
This impression didn't go away no matter what I did. In fact the more things I did, the stronger the impression became. Did I really want to get in front of a group and preach? I knew I was a terrible speaker and that it would be a nightmare.
The impression only got stronger, so I started praying and I eventually came to this position. OK God I will preach a sermon but you will have to get somebody to ask me. Please get somebody to ask me. I didn't want to go to my pastor and say that I wanted to preach, just out of the blue.
God took that offer, and suddenly peace and joy flooded my thoughts. I knew this was a sign that God wanted me to preach and that He accepted my proposal.
The next day, after church I went home to cook dinner. While I was cooking, a car drove up. Going out to see who it was, I found that it was one of the Elders of the church. Right then and there he asked me if I wanted to preach a sermon. It was only a day after I had said to God that I would preach!
Yes I did preach a sermon and God helped me with my fear of speaking. My fear didn't even come to mind and I was able to concentrate on what I wanted to present. This was very unusual for me because in class with just a few students, I almost always had stage fright.
In addition I found that God had very definite ideas on what He wanted me to preach. He actually changed to topic of my sermon from one topic to a completely different subject. When ever I got stuck or I wanted to ask for help, I prayed for wisdom. And just like clock work, when I said amen, a totally new idea would come to mind. These new ideas were strong impressions. I knew that God was in that room with me!
So God not only had me preach, He had me preach His sermon!