From Darkness to Light – Alex Blagojevic’s Story

Apr 15, 2022

Side B Stories
Side B Stories
From Darkness to Light - Alex Blagojevic's Story
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Raised in a secular country, Alex embraced an atheist identity into adulthood when a surprising encounter with Jesus Christ dramatically changed his life.

Alex’s Website: Faith Thinkers https://faiththinkers.org/about-us

Recommended Resources:

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, Habermas and Licona

The Case for Christ, Strobel

To learn more about the C.S. Lewis Institute Fellows Program, visit www.cslewisinstitute.org

Hear more Side B Stories and learn more at www.sidebstories.com


Episode Transcript

Hello, and thanks for joining in. I’m Jana Harmon, and you’re listening to the Side B Podcast, where we see how skeptics flip the record of their lives. Each podcast, we listen to someone who once identified as an atheist who became a Christian. Oftentimes, they grew up in a world where there are no apparent traces of God, no reason to believe in God, no experiences of God in their lives. In my research with former atheists, the number one reason they gave for disbelief in God was that there was no subjective, no personal evidence for God in their lives. They didn’t see or feel God both in their lives and in the world.

In many Western, secularized, European countries, there are traces, artifacts of Christianity, of its historical presence and the remaining relics of architecture and its rituals and holidays, but there seems to be little apparent belief in the lives of people. The vibrant faith or hope that once was has been replaced with a settled independence and autonomy, for some a felt isolation, emptiness, and darkness. Atheism then seems a natural response to what is seen, what is felt, or perhaps what is not seen and what is not felt. Although it may not be existentially or emotionally desirable, it must be true, or so it is thought.

But what happens when someone is driven to press beyond their culture, beyond their circumstances, beyond their personal despair to look for something more? And in their journey encounter unexpected life and joy and a real God who they believed to not exist.

Alex’s story is nothing short of fascinating. It is truly a story of moving from darkness to light, from depression to life.  Alex moved from a world bereft of hope to someone who cannot help but tell almost everyone he meets about the God who saved his life. He wants others to experience the joy and love he now radiates. I hope you’ll come along to hear his amazing story of transformation and be inspired or challenged. I hope you’ll also stay to the end to hear him give advice to curious skeptics towards seriously considering the possibility of a real God, as well as advice to Christians on how they can best engage with those who don’t believe.

Welcome to the podcast, Alex. It’s so great to have you!

I’m so happy to be with you.

Wonderful. Alex, as we’re getting started, so the listeners can know a little bit about you, why don’t you tell us about your life right now?

Yes. First of all, like I said, I’m really happy to be with you. I always enjoy talking to you and seeing you at different events. I feel like I haven’t seen you in a while. But I live in southwest Florida, in a city called Fort Myers, and I love living here, and I’m a full-time financial advisor, and I have some Christian ministries on the side. But I feel like I’m a Christian minister 24/7 because we’re called to be ministers and sharing the gospel of life with everyone.

Oh, that’s wonderful, Alex! I can tell that you’re not native to Fort Myers, Florida, though. I hear a very distinct accent, and so I’m very curious. Of course, I’m familiar with your story, but for all of us, take us back to where you were born and where you were raised. Talk us through that world. What did it look like in terms of religion, God, your family. How did you grow up?

Yes. I was born in France in 1972, in Paris. My parents were immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, and they grew up—that was a Communist regime, and by the grace of God, even though they were not strong believers, they wanted freedom, and my dad was in his twenties, and so he was very fortunate to be able to leave the former Yugoslavia and go to France, which was—when I was born and before I was born, in the sixties, it was a wonderful country, very welcoming to immigrants, very loving. The neighborhoods, even in Paris, were big families, and so I grew up in that environment. And I had a fairly normal childhood, even though my parents were not wealthy. They always provided, and I had really nothing to complain about.

The only thing is that I didn’t like school very much, and the reason was because politically I didn’t see eye to eye with my teachers. My teachers, a lot of them, were Marxists. They were actually promoting the ideology that my parents had fled from.

So most of my friends were from a Muslim background and from north Africa. So I learned a lot about Islam with them, but I was not very religious to start with. And we were what I call CEO Christians, Christmas and Easter Only. We went to church only twice a year, and so I was not very religious to start with, but then around the age of 13, 14, my dad had a heart attack, and that really shook my world. And I dealt with a lot of internal pain, seeing my dad suffering and knowing that one day he would die because he was a heavy smoker and he had health issues. That really shook my faith. I didn’t have much faith in God to start with, but then I made the decision that there was no benevolent God, no good God who cared about His creation because that’s what I thought, because otherwise why would He do that to my dad? You see how the roles get reversed. The responsibility’s not on people and how they live their lives but rather it’s on us blaming God and shifting the responsibility to God because we don’t want to accept our own.

So that’s the environment I grew up, and I lived in France until the age of twenty, from birth to twenty, and I failed high school at the age of twenty.

So I had a really difficult childhood because I didn’t care for school. I didn’t have any direction in life. I didn’t have any foundation. I didn’t have any peace or joy. And I’m a fairly happy person in general, but it was very hard for me.

Okay.

But that’s pretty much in a nutshell how I grew up.

Okay. Well, good. It sounds very interesting and challenging, especially in a culture where Marxism was becoming more prevalent, in a world that your parents were trying to escape and then they found again. I’m wondering, especially as a Marxist worldview was entering into your culture and the nominal religion that you were experiencing really wasn’t that meaningful, what did you think that God and religion and belief—what was all that? Was it just some kind of a social activity that people went to but it wasn’t real or true? What were your perceptions of religious people then?

Yes. In America, a lot of people perceive religion as a social activity or things of that nature because a lot of the churches are social clubs, or organizations are social clubs, or charitable organizations, so that’s how people perceived it, but in France, France being one of the most secular countries in the world, most people, including myself, perceived religion as being something for people who were ignorant, who were uneducated, and people who were anti scientific. So there were two spheres. And you can see that happening again. Everything that’s happening in France is happening now, forty years later, in the United States, where you can see how those who are atheists in America are trying to push people of faith into the sphere of uneducated, anti scientific people, right? And so that’s the way I perceived religion, for people who are fragile, people who are weak, and of course, I was always one of the more successful, because I’m a fairly driven person in general.

When I came to America, I started becoming successful in my business. Then that only made things worse, of me seeing myself as a person who is not a person of faith, being much stronger than any people of faith. And seeing people of faith as being weak and fragile mentally and needing a crutch, not realizing that faith actually is, and Christianity more specifically, is based on evidence. It’s not devoid of evidence or devoid of intellectual belief. To the contrary. And you know that all too well because of apologetics, which you and I really respect and like. But that was my thinking of religion, was that you had to be really weak to believe in a God and that you needed a God to believe in, versus I needed no one to believe in because I was my own man, and I was strong enough to control my life and do things—instead of you praying for God to do something for you, I was actually doing it while you were praying about. But that’s very common of people, thinking that way, right? And this false view that somehow people of faith are weak and fragile and need a crutch because they’re not strong enough on their own. So that was pretty much my view of religion in general.

Yeah. That’s interesting, that perception of people who believe in God, that it is anti-intellectual in their eyes, but yet you made a decision to finally reject God because He didn’t show up for you and for your father, that He wasn’t there, that He allowed, somehow, your father to become in poor health. So it was a real mixed bag, wasn’t it? It was not social, it was not scientific, and it was not intellectual, and yet there was this subjective reason, too, existential, that He just didn’t do the things that He was supposed to do.

It’s true that it seems like many people reject God not for intellectual reasons actually, because if they were seeking intellectual reasons, they would actually find God if they were genuine, but there’s always… it seems like, not always, but many times or most of the times there’s some kind of emotional element to the equation, where they were hurt.

Yes. And that certainly can at least be a significant part of many people’s story. So, Alex, here you are twenty years old. You are in school or getting out of school. You’re still living in France, but it’s not necessarily where you want to be at the moment. Talk us through that. Give us the next step in your story.

Yes. So I’m twenty years old. I just failed high school in France, which most kids fail at eighteen, and then they’re given another chance at nineteen, and usually they pass high school at nineteen. Well, I failed it at twenty. And so I really didn’t see the point.

So that added to the depression, too.

But by the grace of God, because God is so good that He knew my life from before the foundation of the world, He knew where I would be, where He would take me, He had His hand on my life, and I didn’t know any of it, but He sent me—my dad’s assistant at work, she overheard that I wanted to leave Europe and go to the United States. I don’t even know why United States. I have no idea why I kept saying the US. I didn’t really know anything about the US. Maybe because I wanted to make money, maybe America was rich. I really don’t know. I don’t remember. But I kept telling people I wanted to go to the United States, and my dad’s assistant at work overheard that, and she said, “How are you going to leave? How are you going to go there?” I said, “I really don’t know. I don’t know anybody there. But I really need to leave. Otherwise, I don’t know how I’m going to end up here. I may commit suicide because I really hate my life, and I hate being here.”

She said, “We have an American missionary from Kentucky, and she organizes trips for kids to go to America for a few months. You should meet her because she’s leaving next Tuesday,” so you’d better believe it, I woke up on Sunday and went to church, not because I wanted to meet God, but because I could meet somebody who could help me. Because it was all about me, right? It was all about me, and I was going to do whatever it takes for my wishes and desires to be fulfilled, even if it meant telling people that I’m a Christian. Because all that mattered was me getting ahead.

So I met this lady, and again by the grace of God, she helped me. Well, she helped me because I expected—see what happens, when you think a certain way, you project your thinking onto other people. You think that everybody else is like you, right? So because I was all calculating and only doing things that benefit me, I would never do something for you voluntarily because it doesn’t help me, then I projected that onto her. I’m like, “Why would she help me? What’s in it for her?”

So my expectations were very low, but then a month or two later, I got a letter in the mail, and I picked it up, and I read it, and she said that she had found a family for me, and I just want to cry right now because it brings so much memories to me and how she found a family in Illinois and that they would welcome me for a year to go to high school. I cried, and I ran, and I ran… I could’ve run a marathon. I had so much energy. I ran through Paris. I probably ran through a third of the whole city. I was so excited. And I couldn’t stop crying and being so joyful, so happy, and so anyway. So that was the beginning of my journey, and I came to America on October 2, 1992, and that was an interesting day, because I came. I didn’t speak English. I had $200 in my pocket. I had not met any Americans besides this lady. But when I landed at the Indianapolis airport, I honestly felt like I’d come home. And, like I said, United States is not perfect, and I didn’t understand why. Why would I be so excited? But then I found out later on that it was basically the Judeo-Christian roots of this nation. There was something in the air. There was the Holy Spirit, and I could sense the Holy Spirit, but I didn’t know what was going on.

So I went to school and was supposed to go to high school for one year, and during that year, I learned just a little bit of the language after three months, and I said, “You know, I’m wasting my time in high school. I’m not going to get any degrees. How about I go to community college, so I asked my parents. My parents were poor because, after my dad had a heart attack, he also lost his business. He did business with former Yugoslavia and put a lot of money into it, and then Yugoslavia went into civil war. So he basically lost everything. But my parents borrowed, and they always said yes to everything I wanted. And also I want to mention that I grew up, and the two things that I’m really proud of that happened in my parents’ lives is that my mom was always, me growing up and before I was born, was a fortune teller. And when my dad lost his job, she was cleaning houses, and he was a breadwinner, but then when he had a heart attack and couldn’t really work much, she went to a profession of being a fortune teller and won all kinds of prizes and things of that nature, but God always protected, and He always protected me, and I never was interested in any of it because, as an atheist, I was a hardcore atheist. To me, all of that was quite silly, and thank God I did not dabble in that stuff.

And then my dad got really, really into Masonry, the Freemasons, and was moving up the ladder, because my dad was looking for brotherhood. He was looking for that kind of solidarity, for that kind of family, right? And he found it initially in the Masons. So my dad was moving up the ladder and was so proud to move up the ladder. He finally found something that he could invest himself in, give himself into, brothers and moving up the ladder. He was really proud

My dad was very disappointed with the Masons at the end of his life, and he felt like they were all in there for themselves and they were not interested, really, in investing in other people, but they were there to get something out of it. So he was very disappointed.

But here’s the thing I wanted to tell you about my parents. My dad. In 1996, on his deathbed—he had open heart surgery, and he got an infection. Eleven people died from the infection. He was the last one to die. He was there eight weeks, getting dialysis every day. He was on his deathbed. Eight weeks before he died, he had an out of body near-death experience, and he met Jesus face to face, and that, to me, is so incredible. And I talked to—of course you know, Dr. Gary Habermas, and I don’t know if many people know who are watching your show, but I imagine many do, but Dr. Habermas, if you don’t know, is one of the lead experts, if not the lead expert, on the resurrection of Christ and has written some books on near-death experiences. So I went to Dr. Habermas, and I said, “Gary, is this a near-death experience of my dad?” And I explained how he met Jesus. He said, “Alex, not only is it a near-death experience, it’s the most common near-death experience that people experience, when they meet Jesus.” And that is crossing a body of water. Because the water, I imagine, signifies the Holy Spirit.

But, anyway, so he came back to his body, and he was instantly born again, so everybody who walked into his room, he would say, “Sit down. I want to tell you about Jesus,” and of course all these friends who were secular… so they would say, “I don’t want to hear about Jesus.” He would say, “I’m sorry. If you don’t want to hear about Jesus, then the door is right there, so you can just leave right now.” And they said, “No, but I want to see you.” “Well, then I’m going to tell you about Jesus.” So he told everybody about Jesus before he died.

So obviously, as an atheist, I didn’t believe my dad’s experience. I thought it was from the drugs, that he was hallucinating, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And that was seven years before my experience, ‘96 to 2003, yeah, seven years.

And then my mom, after, became a Christian. she gave up fortune telling, got rid of her cards, and stopped doing that and started reading her Bible.

So I started working. After four years of university, I started working for a company, a major company, as a financial advisor. So I’m an atheist. I arrived in 1992. I finished my studies. Now I got hired to work as a financial advisor in 1997. So I’m still unhappy with myself, but I’m telling myself, “You know what? That’s because you’re poor. Once you become rich and you can afford buying anything you want, then you’re going to be happy. Obviously. Right now, the stress of life and not having funds to do what you want to do, that’s what’s keeping you from being happy.” So I started moving up the ladders. I worked very, very hard. And then, in 2002, my ex-wife left me, and she left me, and that really destroyed my world. Because she was my god. She was my everything. Not even money. Money was secondary to her. She was my idol. And when she left me and left me for good, my whole world fell apart.

And I went through six months of severe depression, and in April of 2003, I decided to finish my week, go home, and commit suicide. And I was still in the same place where I’m at now, in southwest Florida. So I finished my affairs and went home. I’m making a long story short. Because there are a lot of details. But I went home to commit suicide, sat down and started contemplating on my life, contemplating how I was going to commit suicide, and the only thing I could think of was my mother and my nephews and my sister, and how tomorrow, when I’m not there and the news is brought to them that I committed suicide, how they would react, and I knew they would suffer for life.

So now, for the first time in my life, I felt like I was not in control of my life anymore. I was at a dead end. A moral dilemma that I could not come up with a solution with. One, I didn’t want to live. I did not want to wake up another day to face life. Life was evil. People were evil. I was the only good person in the world. That’s how delusional I was. That I was the best person in the world and the whole rest of the world was evil. But at the same time, I couldn’t commit suicide because of my mom, my sister, and my nephews. So that moment I was going to turn—without even knowing, I decided—the only solution I could think of was that I was going to turn over my life to the devil. Now, I didn’t think of it in those terms, but I decided, “You know what? I’m just going to live like everyone else. I’m just going to take advantage of every single person. Financially, sexually. In whichever way, I’m just going to live for my own self.” Because I was already selfish, but I didn’t see it that way. I saw myself as a moral human being, but I was going to turn my life over completely to a devil.

And that moment I cried out out of anguish, because something in me was ignited, and I cried out, and my soul left my body, and I saw my whole life come in front of my eyes and how Jesus had walked with me from the beginning of life, when I was born, and how He protected me, and I saw my whole life. It was more beautiful than a Hollywood movie. It was so vivid and so beautiful. And then I came back to my body. And people tell me, “I don’t believe you, Alex.” I said, “I really don’t mind you not believing. I don’t care. Because I wouldn’t have believed myself. I didn’t believe my dad having the experience. So why would I expect you to believe it?”  But one thing you cannot explain is how, after I came back to my body, I went from total depression to total joy, total depression to total love. I felt like I had so much love in me I had to unbutton my shirt because I thought my chest was going to explode out of love. And since then, I’ve carried that joy of the Lord, and no one can truly explain that.

So that’s when I met the Lord, and then… It was around 11:00 PM at night, so I’m like, “Who do I call to tell what happened? To explain and tell them what happened,” and of course it was too late to call Europe. So I called my Muslim friend, a local, and I said, “Well, he’s religious, and I know that the most religious people I know are Muslims, because they give the appearance of being the most religious,” just like the Pharisees, they give the appearance of being religious, but again, that doesn’t mean that they are born again, that they have the Holy Spirit in them. So I called my Muslim friend, and I said, “You have to help me.” He said, “Come over, and I’m going to explain everything that happened to you.” So I went to his place, and he said, “Alex, everything that happened to you is in the Koran. You have to read the Koran. Everything.” I said, “But why the Koran? This is Jesus. I felt Jesus. I didn’t see him, but I felt Jesus. Jesus is Catholic. He’s not Muslim.” He said, “No, no, no.” That’s how much information I had. That’s how much knowledge I had. That he was Roman Catholic. And he said, “No, no, no. He was Muslim.” I said, “Jesus was Muslim?” “Absolutely, he was Muslim. Yes, you’ll see it all in the Koran.” I said, “Wow!” He said, “Yeah. It’s just we don’t believe that He’s God.” And I’m like, “Well, that makes sense. Maybe He’s not God. Why would he be God? He’s just a human being.”

So, anyway, I started reading the Koran before I read the Bible, but I read it with the Holy Spirit, and what happened, within days if not minutes. I can’t say minutes, but I would be willing to bet minutes. But within days for sure, I could tell this was not a religion from God. That it was not a revelation from God. And I started going back to my Muslim friend and friends in France, and they all started telling me. “I don’t know which Koran you’re reading, but you’re reading the wrong Koran.” I said, “Well, this is the Koran I bought.” They said, “No, no, no. Here, I’ll get you the right one.” I said, “Okay.” So I have seven Korans, and all seven Korans say the same thing, but they didn’t know that what I was showing, pointing out to them, was in the Koran. That’s how ignorant so many people of faith are. They don’t even know what’s in their holy books. Including Christians.

Yeah. Right.

People who claim to be Christians don’t know what the Bible teaches. So I went back to my friends, and when I went back to France, I did the same thing with my best friend that grew up with, Kamal, and I said, “Kamal, look what it says in the Koran.” And I was not a Christian per se yet. I was seeking. Even though I was born again and it was just a matter of time, but it had to make sense intellectually. And that’s why apologetics is important. That’s why Paul speaks of renewing the mind in Romans 12:2. Because just because you’re born again, you still have to work on renewing your mind and reading the Bible and work on loving God with all of your mind, because if you don’t, you’re going to start believing things. Even as a born again person, you could believe things that are false. Anyway, so that’s what I was doing, and I told my best friend in France, and when I showed it to him, he was really shaken. And then later on I baptized him, and he became a believer, so that was really beautiful.

So I studied for a year and a half, and what really helped me was apologetics. And that’s why I like apologetics so much. Specifically one book, The Case for Christ, and of course you know that book. Lee Strobel. And that really, really helped me. And I was like, “Wow! There is so much evidence!” And then I started reading people who… I was like, “Christianity is based on evidence. It’s not devoid of intellectual belief or reasoning.” Then I started reading people like Bart Ehrman and things of that nature. And then I started realizing how weak his arguments are and how even sometimes, and I know many people are friends with him, Christians, and they don’t want to use these words, but how dishonest some of the arguments are.

So a year and a half later, finally I knew 99.999% that Jesus was who He claimed to be in the Bible, and the Bible was the word of God. And then I always remember my Jamaican friends, that asked, “What are you waiting for?” “Well, I’m waiting for 100%.” They said, “No. Alex, please. If you wait for 100%, you’re never going to get 100%. You’re at 99.999%. I think that’s enough, so tonight you should give your life to Christ.” And I did. And even though I was born again, that was a commitment. It’s like loving a woman and wanting to marry her and marrying her.

Yes.

The love is there. The love is there. The passion is there, right? But still making that commitment was quite important for me, and when I did, I regretted immediately that I had not done it a year and a half earlier. But I had to go through what I had to go through. That’s part of life.

But then what I did, I went and got a master’s degree at Biola University online in apologetics, and I learned so much, and I loved it. I met some great people. Great professors. And I learned so much. That gave me a foundation for apologetics. My mission, not God’s mission, my mission was to be a prophet or a minister to America. I absolutely did not want to go anywhere else because I still love this country so much, and I didn’t like the rest of the world. So why would I want to go elsewhere?

Well, that was my thinking, but my plans are not God’s plans, so I went to France one time, and I met a man that God told me, told me his name, and when I met him, it was a confirmation that I was supposed to meet him. So I explained my testimony, like I did to you, but just in five minutes, and he looked at me. He said, “Alex, next year I’m organizing the first public debate in France between Muslims, radical Muslims, and Christians. You will be the Christian. And I looked at him and said, “No. Absolutely not, Sir. Absolutely not. I appreciate you trusting me, but, A, I haven’t spoken French in years, and my French is really rusty, B, my whole theological training in apologetics and Islam is in English, so I don’t even know the translation, the words in French, and C, my ministry is to America, not to France. I don’t like France.” So he said, “Sorry. God told me. You’re going to have to do it.” And I’m like, “Okay. Sure. I understand you think you heard from God, but I assure you you didn’t hear from God.” So I had one question for him. I said, “Sayid, what if I lose? What if I lose? I’m not an expert. What if I lose?” And I love his answer, and that answer stayed with me ever since, because sometimes we are our own worst enemies. We will say, “Oh, I’m not equipped. I’m not good enough. I’m not this. I’m not that.” And we don’t do the things we should be doing, instead of just jumping in faith and letting God be God through us, right?

Yes.

So he looked at me. He said, “Alex, you cannot lose because we won 2,000 years ago.” And he said, “You go and open yourself to God, and I promise you good things will happen.” I’m like, “All right. Now you’re putting it on me and my conscience,” so I said, “Okay, Sir. I’ll try my best.” He said, “You’ll be fine.” So I did the debate and more debates and more debates

looking back now, people either converted that I debated, so I baptized an imam, the second-most influential imam in France. I baptized him. He’s thriving now, preaching the gospel all around the world. The one person I debated the most, who, according to me, would never come to Christ and is still not confessing accepting Jesus, but he should, because he, a couple of years ago, came out and publicly said that the crucifixion of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus are the two most sure historical facts from antiquity. So for a Muslim, it would be—supposedly Muslims deny that Jesus was crucified and thus resurrected. So God has been really using me, and by His grace, and I’m still surprised when I’m on your show or when I’m speaking about God, because it’s not like I was the best candidate for those kind of things. God has opened some doors, and I’ve been able to minister to people in power, and that’s been really quite amazing. Amazing that God has opened those doors. And so that’s my prayer request if people are watching your show, listening, that they would pray that God would send more souls in my life, because I love seeing people—when somebody comes to Christ, my faith gets multiplied. It’s not in addition. It’s a multiplication. And when we see people coming to Christ, it’s just the most beautiful thing. And then you realize that what you’re doing is worth it. It’s completely worth it. But even if we don’t see it, we still should be doing it. Because that’s what we’re called to do. And the harvest is plentiful, as we are told, but few are the workers, right?

Right.

So the things that are important is discipling and preaching the gospel. Those are the priorities, and when we do those things, we know 100% that God is on our side, that that will always be in His will, and He is going to honor our efforts because He will bless those efforts by the power of his Holy Spirit.

Those are powerful words, Alex. And it’s an amazing, amazing testimony. Talk about going from darkness to light, or depression to joy. I love the way that you really spoke to that. Your life really shows, demonstrates that contrast of just lostness, I guess you could say. And just looking and then finding in such a profound way the person of Christ. So unexpected, really. I mean, you said you were actually calling out for darkness, and you found light and said Jesus showed up, like He had done in the life of your father and even your mother. Showed up to you.

It’s just incredible. It’s incredible, and I think your story may surprise some people, in terms of the spiritual experiential nature of it, but for me, I guess, having heard your story before. I’ve spent some time in France, with the church in France. And hearing, really, if I can say this, the oppression, the spiritual oppression and the darkness that is being experienced there and the power of spiritual darkness there, and hearing more stories like yours, where darkness is broken by powerful spiritual experiences. So, for me, it’s not a surprise, but for our listeners, it may be. But you’re one among many, and I want to make that really clear, that the Lord works in very powerful and personal and experiential ways even today in the West. It’s not just in unknown parts of the world. It’s where God needs to be revealed, and He reveals Himself in ways that cannot be denied. Obviously, in your life, your life took just a complete change immediately, just like your father, to where you cannot help talking to others about Christ. And that is your mission in life. It’s so, so very clear. It’s compelling. And inspiring.

I’m wondering now, for those who may be curious about your story who are not believers, who are skeptical, willing to perhaps look, maybe open, because obviously they’re intrigued by your story and the complete life change that you’ve had, based on what you believe to be true and real and good. And very relevant to your life. What would you say to the curious skeptic who may be listening in?

Yes. Very good question. Yes. You’re not alone. Most people have questions. And many people have actually good questions. And so just because someone you ask, someone who believes in God, doesn’t have the answer. It doesn’t mean the answer is not there. A lot of people are not trained to give answers. That’s the sad part. All of the Ivy League schools were founded for students to be trained to give answers to those objections, but the church today, sadly, has gotten too comfortable for too long and does not train people to give answers, because what is a church? One is to go and be in communion with the body and to worship together and be with the body, but two is to train us, to prepare us to go to the world. And that’s what the church is about, and sadly, the church has not trained its people to go and answer these objections.

So if you have questions and objections, please reach out to us, because there are answers. I promise you. Answers to every objection. Now, are the answers always specific? For example, if your question is why did this specifically happen to me? We’re not God, so we may not know why specifically something happens at a certain time, but if it is an intellectual objection, some kind of objection to God, His existence, or the Bible’s veracity, or Jesus’ crucifixion, or His deity, whatever it is, the Christian faith is based on evidence, and you can see that. Luke, when he opens his gospel, his first chapter, he tells us that… And he’s a physician. He was not an uneducated person. He was a very educated man. He tells us that the accounts were written, it’s a historical account of what eyewitnesses and those who were disciples or companions of eyewitnesses, what they saw with their own eyes. So the evidence of Christianity is based on evidence, and so if you have objections, if you have questions, please reach out to us.

Seek, because we’re promised in the Bible, if you’re seeking with the right kind of attitude, not seeking for the sole objection to attack Christianity or to deny it. If that’s your sole priority or objective, then you’re not seeking with the right mind and with a right heart. But if your objective and if you’re seeking, like, “I truly want the truth. Wherever the truth takes me, I will be willing to go,” I promise you, you will get the answers. I promise you. Because the answers are there. So reach out to me or to Jana or whomever it is. Please reach out to us, because we are there to help, because we have been helped.

The reason I’m here, where I’m at, is because, I wanted truth. I didn’t care about people’s personalities or character or what they did, whether they’re sinful, sinless. I wanted the truth. I had questions, and I wanted answers to those questions. So you should have the same attitude. Sadly, many people reject Christianity because they’ve had a bad experience, and I remember one time one guy said, “Oh, I stopped going to church once I saw my priest buying a lottery ticket.” What does that have to do with your relationship with God? Relationship with people. We are to be seeking God, not seeking people. Our faith is not in people, but if you have questions and objections, seek the answers to those questions and not people. Because many people join Mormonism or Islam because they’re looking for community, the same reason my dad joined the Masons, because he was looking for community. He was looking for brotherhood, right? So he found it initially, but that does not make Mormonism or Islam or Freemasonry true. So seek the answer to questions. Remove emotions. We’re emotional beings, and trust me, I’m one of the most emotional people you’ll meet, but remove emotions from the equation. When you’re seeking truth, you’re removing emotions from the equation, and you’re looking for answers to your objections. And you’ll find them.

 

That’s wonderful. And I wonder if you have a word for the Christian, too. I’ve heard you speak about the need for training, preparation, the encouragement to be on mission for God, to be prayerful. I wonder if you could speak to any of those things or whatever’s on your heart for the Christian.

We need to help one another, because we need one another. No one is an island. We’re not created to be lone rangers. We’re created to be a body. That’s what the Bible speaks of. It compares the church to a body, where I may be the arm, and then you may be the eye, and the other person is the ear. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. But how is one part of the body going to function without the rest of the body? And how powerful is the whole body when it comes together? When we come together and we’re united, nothing can stop us. Absolutely nothing can stop us. But the enemy wants to divide this body. So that’s the work of the enemy.

So if we come together and we train one another and we help one another, you don’t have to go to seminary. You don’t have to go and get a PhD in apologetics. Just go to a group of men, and you will learn so much, one from the other, and then maybe do some ministry together as a group, and go preach the gospel or minister to the poor or orphans and the widows. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. You do something, and you’re going to see a result, and it’s going to be quite visible, and it’s going to be quite powerful.

Thank you for that challenge. Your story truly has been completely inspiring, Alex. Just your person, the way that you radiate Christ, and your passion for Him. Not only your intellect but also your mission. You have found life abundant, and you want to give it away, and you’re looking for the best for the other. It’s incredible. Truly incredible. So I thank you for coming on to share your story with us today, Alex.

Thank you so much. And all glory to Jesus, all glory to Him, because I was blind, and when you’re blind, I cannot choose to see. I was blind, and He’s the one who gave me sight. So all glory to Him.

Yes. Yes. Absolutely. Thank you so much.

Thank you.

Thank you for tuning in to the Side B Podcast to hear Alex’s story today. You can find out more about Alex by looking at the episode notes and his contact information there. For questions and feedback about this episode, you can reach me by email at thesidebpodcast@cslewisinstitute.org. If you enjoyed it, follow, rate, and review, and share our podcast with your friends and social network. We would really appreciate it. In the meantime, I’ll be looking forward to seeing you next time, where we’ll see how another skeptic flips the record of their life.

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