From atheism to Buddhism to Christ - Tucker Russell's Story

My name is Tucker.  I am 17 and I just graduated from high school. I was raised by atheists.  As long as I can remember, my family has been full of addictions to drugs and alcohol and various kinds of child abuse.  Needless to say, I have not always been a Christian.  My search for Christ began at about age 8.  About this time, my dad started buying new age philosophy books as well as studying various world religions.  As every 8 year old, I looked up to my dad a great deal and was anxious to be involved in the things he was interested in.  Eventually he and I started to meditate together in a Buddhist fashion each morning.  As I read and was taught more and more I was fascinated by the ideas of some great power outside of myself who was able to grant me supernatural gifts and rescue me from those who wanted to harm me (like I said, there was child abuse in my family).  However, I found that my 'beliefs' were little more than intellectual ideas and that I often would abandon an old one in favor of some more appealing philosophy.

Eventually, my dad's 'spirituality' settled on traditional Native American religions.  I followed suit.  I was about 13 by this time.  This new worldview was Earth-based, pantheistic, and relativistic;  it allowed me to believe in a god that was near to me and ever-present, yet it also allowed me to adhere to this world and its pleasures, with no real accountability.  It seemed like everything you could want, and I followed religiously (and excelled among my contemporaries) for the next three years.  But deep down I was always dissatisfied.  I know now that I did not actually want something that would make me feel good, I wanted what I knew to be actual truth.

In accordance with His promises (seek and you will find), God did reveal Himself to me. My best friend of 2 years became a Christian and began to show the real joy and fulfillment that Christ brings.  Perhaps even more importantly he started talking to me about Jesus and showing me that it was not a fairy tale or a self motivated belief system.  In fact, it was the only thing which really made sense in the Universe.  Unfortunately, I had been conditioned partially by my parents and partially by my own experience to despise Christians as hypocrites and bigots.  I was unwilling to move past this for a long time.  Finally my friends older brother bought me a Bible as a gift.  At the time I did not know why but I was compelled to read it, and to hide this fact from my parents.  As I read more and more I could not deny the truth in the Scriptures.  For awhile, I tried to mesh it in with my old beliefs.  But, before I really knew what had happened I was a full-fledged Christian.  I was baptized in the Holy spirit last September (2000) and by water this May (2001). In the fall I am attending a Bible believing Christian college to study Theology.  I am still the only Christian in my immediate family but I have trust in the Lord our God that the others will come around soon.  Thanks for listening and God bless.

Tucker Russell

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