ApologetiX Singer/Lyricist Shares His Story
Wed., Feb. 16. 2011 7:44pm EST
We asked ApologetiX lead singer and lyricist J. Jackson to talk about how he became a born-again Christian. Here's what he said:
I was raised in a God-fearing family and attended 12 years of religious school. To those around me, I seemed to be an extremely moral person -- I was even a choirboy -- but I was also acutely aware that I was a sinner. I've always had a pretty sensitive conscience, and when I became an adolescent there were all kinds of temptations to deal with, and I sinned just like everybody else did.
By the time I got to college, I felt I was just as bad a sinner as everybody else, but by their standards, I still wasn't. I didn't drink, take drugs, engage in the same level of promiscuity, or even swear. But by the time I got out of college, I'd become quite a hedonist -- looking for a good time all the time. That eventually led me to agnosticism, because if you're not sure there's a God, you're not sure what you're doing is a sin. Ignorance is bliss, so they say.
Agnosticism eventually led to my spending a year as an atheist, pretending like there was no God. But the more I ran from God, the more He pursued me. I looked for answers in science, philosophy, and the pursuit of pleasure, but this nagging voice still was telling me there was a God and there were consequences for my actions.
Finally, on Super Bowl Sunday, I slipped away from a party at my girlfriend's apartment and walked into an empty church and poured my heart out to God. I acknowledged that I didn't have anything to offer Him of my own as far as good works, and that I needed Him in my life. I thought the church was empty that day, but it wasn't. God was there. I was empty before I came in, but when I left, God was there. And there's been no turning back since.
This is a very simplified version of the story. God did many things along the way in grade school, high school, and college, that eventually led me to Him. But I don't want to overwhelm you with details. Suffice it to say that once I put all my faith in Christ and started reading the Bible, I never wanted to stop. I read the Bible cover to cover and then over and over and never stopped.
That first year was very exciting. I saw God answer many prayers, and He put me around many other young people who were just as hungry for Him. It was amazing when we compared notes and saw how He had led each of us to Him. I've seen God do many incredible things in the many years since then.
In ApologetiX, we want to reach the lost and to teach the rest. Two years before I came to Christ, I was a reporter for the college newspaper and was assigned to cover the Christian apologist Josh McDowell as his spoke on the evidence for Christ's resurrection. Although it didn't convert me at the time, it profoundly impacted me, because I'd never known that there was such a large amount of proof for the Christian faith.
That same year I dated a girl who was studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses, a group that rejects many of the foundational teachings of Christianity. She told me once, "I don't want them to be right; prove to me they're wrong." I wanted to, but I couldn't at the time, because I didn't know the Bible. That challenge stuck with me and eventually got me interested in apologetics and being able to defend the faith. A few years later, I was able to help lead her to Christ, but I had much learning to do first.
And I'm still learning. I don't think I've missed a day of reading the Bible since I started, and it gets better every time I read it. And God teaches us a lot just through the things we experience as life goes on. You can actually hear different parts of my testimony in our parodies, especially "Choirboy" and "Look Yourself." As I tell people at concerts, we really believe what we're singing about.