I love the Church, but shutter over her ineffectiveness in reaching the culture with the gospel. God called me into ministry, not by some gentle prodding, but by slapping me into reality. I was on my way to hell; my family was falling apart; and my vocation as a lawyer was unrewarding. Growing up a Roman Catholic, I had become an atheist by studying philosophy and comparative religions at a Catholic university. It wasn’t until my Jewish wife discovered Christ at an outreach dinner party that I revisited Christianity, mainly to refute and silence her witness. Unable to shake her faith, I discovered the irony of God, for the more I studied to gain evidence to counter the claims of Christ, I became more enamored with the person called Jesus. Accepting the reality of his existence, I was confronted with the choice of Jesus as lunatic for claiming to be God or as Lord because that was the only other alternative. He could not have been a wonderful teacher because the assertions he made would have categorized him as a charlatan and liar. I realized that if Jesus was Lord and God I would have to submit to his governance and do what he required of his servants. This was a struggle for a former Marine combat veteran who prided himself with stoicism and self-sufficiency. One day while driving from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia I gave up by crying out, “Jesus, if you are who you say you are, here I am. Make me into the person you want me to be, for I am sick and tired of being who I am.” At that moment I started crying like a baby and Marines don’t cry. Although I threw up a contingent prayer I understand now that God was engineering the day of my salvation. From that moment on, my life was drastically changed. My wife and I reconciled by forgiving one another and then dedicated our lives to becoming a disciple of Christ. Although I had made other plans for my life’s work, the Lord was directing my steps at every turn.[i] Eventually, I became a “recovering lawyer” by exchanging law books for the Bible and theological treatises. The Lord loved me enough to give his life for me. What more could I do but dedicate my life to him and serve his Church?
[i] Proverbs 16:9