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My Pursuit of the Truth

After dinner, as we were all chatting and they started telling us about their “new church” and how very different it was from any other Christian churches.
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It all began around 2005. We were a happy family of four, and our girls were five and three years of age. Since we now had little ones in tow, my wife Melissa had a parental yearning to find a church we could all attend. I remember vividly praying with her about this to God. 

In 2006, Melissa bumped into an old high school friend, and he had two young children of his own. Well, we invited him and his family for dinner and reconnected. After dinner, as we were all chatting, the high school friend started telling us about their “new church” they’ve been attending in the San Fernando Valley and how very different it was from any other Christian churches.

He shared with us how this church held seminars to teach you the Bible from the beginning in Genesis. However, he started saying that “Angels don’t have wings” and that “You don’t go to heaven when you die.” All I remember was saying to myself, “Uh-oh.” I started to tune myself out of the conversation. Melissa recalls that I got up and left the room. 

Nonetheless, the friend sharing the Truth that night caught Melissa’s attention. She liked the fact that his church taught the Bible from the beginning, despite what we then considered to be all the other nonsense. She had grown up attending different churches in LA, and yet the Bible never made sense to her. She just figured she wasn’t smart enough to understand the Bible. So, she was intrigued by the seminar classes they offered. 

Melissa very much wanted to attend the Bible seminars, but our kids were so young that it was difficult to leave them and let Daddy take care of the children all on his own. Therefore, Melissa’s friend provided the next best thing. Rather than attending the Bible seminars, she listened to CDs entitled “Learn to Read the Bible Effectively,” which he gave her.

The Seminar Made Sense

Everything she heard on the CDs made sense as if puzzle pieces were coming perfectly together. The man teaching in those CDs was Bro. Dennis Bevans. Later, in 2006, Melissa’s high school friend told her that a new seminar would begin. That’s when Melissa voiced to me that she wanted to go. Well, we made all the necessary arrangements so that she could attend the seminars. I remember her coming home at 10 pm and unloading everything she had learned. Everything would just go right over my sleepy head. Even though I may not have agreed or understood what she was learning, I supported her. 

She prayed for me a lot.

A year and a half later, in Oct 2008, she was baptized into the saving name of our Lord Jesus Christ at the Reseda Ecclesia. The following year and a half after Melissa’s baptism, we had many debates about the Bible and her newfound beliefs. If you were to ask her, it was a trying time for us and especially for her. She prayed for me a lot.

Where’s Dad?

She took the kids to Sunday School and Memorial Meeting, while I stayed home on Sundays watching football. One Sunday, when they all returned from the ecclesia, Issy, my firstborn, came up to me as I was sprawled out on the couch and asked, “Daddy, how come we don’t go to church as a family?”

Well, those words melted my heart, and that was all it took for me to get off of my behind, put on a suit and go to church with them on Sundays. 

I recall on one particular Sunday, as we were getting ready for church, we had a heated debate about baptism and the wearing of a cross necklace. During our debate, Melissa blurted out to me, “Well, you know, the Christadelphians don’t believe in a supernatural devil or Satan that causes people to sin!” Those words caught my attention and stopped me dead in my tracks.

You Mean There’s No Devil? 

You see, from a very young age, I’ve always been afraid of the devil and Satan. As I got older, I tried to do my own research in the Bible on this subject. I went to all of the famous passages of Scriptures that Christianity quoted from, but I couldn’t find it. None of it made sense. None of it showed me how this supernatural devil came to be. I just resigned myself that I wasn’t smart enough to understand it. 

I couldn’t believe that there was a Christian group out there that didn’t believe in a supernatural devil or Satan. I was so relieved because I knew I wasn’t crazy. I remember thinking that I no longer had to be afraid of a supernatural devil because there wasn’t one! From then on, I wanted to hear what else the Christadelphians had to say about their beliefs. 

In the spring of 2010, I enrolled in the Beginning Bible seminars at Reseda, and ten months later, I was baptized in Feb 2011.

Pivotal Life Events

The first is when Melissa’s old high school friend shared the Truth during dinner. The second is when Issy, my firstborn, asked me why I didn’t attend church with her, her sister, and her mom. The third event would be Melissa telling me that the Christadelphians didn’t believe in a supernatural devil that causes people to sin. 

All three events played a huge part in my pursuit of the Truth.  

I’d like to close by saying that you just never know what words, what topic, and what doctrine may cause a change in someone’s heart. All that matters is that we continue to share the good news about God’s Truth wherever and whenever possible. 

We may turn a sinner from the error of their ways, save a soul from death, and cover a multitude of sins. 

Phil Wong,
Reseda Ecclesia, CA

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