On January of 2011 the life of a man named mark Hunter was changed forever, the father of 3 who was a militant atheist never thought one day he would give his life to Jesus Christ. Mark who once distinguished himself as an “avowed and fiercely proud atheist” is now spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. He described his journey from atheism to Christianity as “significant, dramatic and complete total life change.” I had the opportunity to interview Mark about his experience and this is what he had to say:
How long were you an atheist for?
I was a definite atheist throughout my entire adulthood from 1994 (aged 19) until early 2010. Before that I was an agnostic I guess because I never really declared my disbelief in God – I was just sitting on the fence – but was definitely leaning the wrong way from an early age.
Were you a Christian before you became an atheist?
No, sadly, I was never was a Christian.
What does being a Christian mean to you?
For me being a Christian means absolute purpose and absolute happiness. No longer am I wandering around this world aimlessly trying to satisfy my materialistic and personal desires. My life now is as a servant of Christ trying not just to share the word but to actually live the word. I’ve always been a good person, and that hasn’t changed since becoming a Christian, but the real difference is now I know where my future lies and I know what I must do.
When you were an atheist, did you ever think you could have been wrong about there not being a God?
No, not once, ever. I was so completely convinced of my “beliefs” as an atheist which were based upon (and confirmed by) a life of misery, pain and suffering. I’d always firmly assured myself that to know God was to literally feel his presence. Because I felt nothing at all therefore there must be no God. Looking back on it now I didn’t realise how right I actually was about feeling his presence but the problem was I was looking with my eyes closed. I was always expecting a neatly packaged, date stamped, undeniable proof of his existence. Atheists, unfortunately, will accept nothing less.
What were the circumstances that led you to leave atheism?
My life as an atheist had been literally founded upon successive layers of perceived failure, misery and depression. After all, if God had existed, why would my life be so awful? Many atheists assume that converts only turn to Christ when life suddenly collapses and the psychology cannot deal with the problem. For me, it was the complete reverse, as I had experienced a troubling and difficult childhood and adulthood. It was in fact, the first good thing to come into my life, that forced me to question everything. I had just exited an awful marriage from a closet lesbian which had been the final straw that broke the back of my disastrous life to that point. I was contemplating suicide and tentatively called out to God, asking him, if there was there to just show me a sign. Anything. A series of very strange and unlikely events began that lead me to meeting my new girlfriend (and future wife to be). This fantastic woman, a successful business woman, was not just logical, smart and rational person but also wonderfully caring and generous. She was positive, supportive and happy and nothing ever seemed to get her down. I was desperate to know her life secret after my own long life of struggle. When she revealed she was a Christian I was quietly stunned but fascinated in equal measure. I began asking questions here and there, which then turned into a floodgate, and the rest is well… you can probably guess the rest.
You are writing a book about your experience, correct? What exactly do you want people to get out of it?
I am writing one as we speak yes. I want to share my personal testimony with Christians and non believers alike. The book is particularly aimed at the non religious with a view, in simple terms, to explain how accepting Christ into their lives can be a positive thing – a force for good. I have outlined a simple series of very small steps to allow someone to make that first leap of faith. I’ve also set out to debunk a lot of atheist misconceptions about faith, organized religions and science. As a former atheist I think I have a unique insight into how they perceive all of these things. For Christians who read it I hope I can really inspire their faith furthermore by showing even someone like me can be saved and that it is worth the effort on their part. Never give up on even the most ardent non believer. Beneath it all they completely suppress the real truth that they seek.
Speaking with atheists, I have noticed something very similar in their attitude, they always sound angry. Why is that?
I wrote a comment on my blog lately discussing this very topic. Atheists, like any belief system (and atheism is essentially a belief), are a varied group. I have met plenty of wonderful, friendly and empathic atheists who would do anything for anyone and I have also met some incredibly ignorant, hostile and brutal fundamentalist atheists. For me, the latter seems to form the majority nowadays, and they are gaining strength all the time it seems. For me, these fundamentalist atheists are the new lions surrounding us Christians in the coliseum, and no matter how vicious they are, or who they take from us, they will not ultimately prevail. Christianity has survived centuries of persecution and this is (and will be) simply the latest in a long line of such failed attacks. They get angry because they perceive our beliefs as illogical, irrational and without scientific merit and as such we are treated like stupid, undisciplined and ignorant children who it would appear following religion like blinded morons. Sadly their perception is completely and terribly wrong. I also think there is an element of self doubt that creeps in from time to time. I never engage to strongly with them because I was never open to it. The time will come when they naturally begin to question such a strong stance.
When you look back at how you used to insult God, what goes through your mind?
To be brutally honest I felt complete shame and disgust at myself. It took me weeks and weeks of fervent apologizing to God when i first converted before I felt sufficiently forgiven. Even now I still feel the tinge of remorse but its just a fleeting reminder which serves to fuel my faith ever more. I know he forgave me instantly but still I apologized overand over again.
What advice do you have to give to a Christian that is thinking about becoming an atheist? Is there anything you can tell them to stop them from making the same mistake you did?
Well, the biggest thing I think, is to trust in God. Make the leap of faith that you are probably already contemplating in doing and let him catch you. Seek forgiveness from God and accept Jesus as your personal saviour. Do this with absolute and total humility and honesty. Pray every day and literally throw yourself into the Bible – read it from start to finish – absorb yourself in it as if life itself depended on it. Life your life with purpose and fullness and submit to his will and his plan for you. My book is going to cover all of this in greater detail but this is it in a nutshell. God bless you all!
I would like to thank Mark for doing this interview!
Please support Mark by visiting his blog www.atheist-convert.co.uk and by picking up his book when it comes out.
You can also follow him on twitter: @Atheist_Convert
Mark is not the first and will not be the last atheist to walk away from atheism, I believe that by the power of God many others will leave atheism once they find out that it’s built upon lies and deception. I asked ( @borofergie ) who happens to be an atheist, how can he be so sure there is no God. This is what he had to say:
No one can be 100% sure that there is no God, especially since there isn’t a single agreed definition of God. The term atheist does not refer to someone who is 100% certain that there are no gods, it simply describes someone that has reached the conclusion that the existence of such a “God” is highly unlikely.
He clearly states that atheists aren’t 100 percent sure there is no God and that atheism is simply the belief that the existence of God is unlikely. Ladies and gentlemen, need I say more? It’s clear that atheists do not know where they stand on their beliefs, atheism is built upon lies and it’s only a matter of time before all their lies are exposed. Atheists know that there is a God but they simply refuse to obey, which is why I stated on part one of my report that atheism is simply rebellion against God.
Thank you very much for reading my report, keep Mark in your prayers and ask God to give him strength as he embarks into his new journey with Jesus Christ. It won’t be an easy one but blessed are those who will endure till the end. God bless you all.
- Miss Raissa
please don't take this the wrong way! Being an atheist doesnt necessary mean one is an atheist for rational reasons. In my 2 years since declaring open atheist I have noticed a small minority of atheists that are nonbelievers for emotional reasons. These atheists are far more likely to become believers than rational atheists. This man may very well have been an atheist but as he himself clearly expressed he was not one because of a rational logical review of the problems with the god theory but rather he decided "his life sucks" therefore he wanted to be atheist. This is not a rational atheist position but an emotional one! From his own words he obviously had not declared atheist because of the correct reason: an examination of religious faith and a rejection of it based on logical fallacies, improbabilities, AND immoralities caused by belief. His atheism was based on unhappiness... which is irrelevant.
His comments in the interview are irrelevant. But more importantly! He grossly misrepresents atheism and should be ashamed of himself!!
An entry from Mark's blog:
The devil made a move for me tonight. He sees my faith growing and growing and he absolutely hates it. I know he hated the article I had published recently and I know he hates the things I say here and elsewhere. Atheism is his greatest creation ever. He set about laying a trap for me. He poured his essence into me to drive into violent rage when I was confronted with a terrible situation at home. He wanted me to do harm, to create a problem, to drive me down. He failed badly. I could feel the blood boiling in my body and the rage building up but I did not yield to his power because my power comes from Jesus alone and from no other. Very sorely tested tonight, battle scared and hurting, but I’m still fighting even when the odds are stacked against me. I even forgave the one who harmed me so badly. I said those words, “I forgive you“. Now THAT is power and faith at hand. The devil then left as soon as soon as those words parted my lips. Everything is okay now. I am so thankful to Jesus for being there when i need him the most. Every, single, time.
o_O Just.... ah, never mind: no comment.
Some people just need a terrifying fear of evil to steer their life.
Some people without surveillance just rip each other apart. Sometimes I think it's good for this maniacs to believe that there is a vengeful god watching their every move.
Wow.... this guy is completely insane...
he thinks demons and devils are tempting him at every turn?
"I could feel the blood boiling in my body and the rage building up..."
He is seriously unbalanced. Let's just hope he doesn't one day believe "God" is telling him to kill his family and wrap them in bedsheets and bury them in the woods to save them from this "Devil".
Nearly every time I read about a serial killer being discovered and arrested, it turns out that he was from a devout religious family and was raised a Christian. Funny, I have yet to see a report that says, "He was raised an atheist." When I read about all the children who have been sexually molested in the Catholic Church, it never turns out to be an atheist who did it. The perpetrators of the Crusades, The Inquisition, the extermination of the native peoples of the western hemisphere, and so forth, were all committed by fanatical religious people, not atheists. Atheists did not fly planes into the Twin Towers on 9/11/01. I do not need a god to tell me that it's good to be moral, ethical, honest, and kind. Evidently, you do, though.
You want to talk lies? How about the lie Christians (and Fox News) repeat endlessly about Adolf Hitler being an atheist. He was born Catholic. He was raised Catholic. His writings are filled with his Christian beliefs (Try reading "Mein Kampf"). His speeches frequently invoked the Christian God to support his policies and lead his armies. And finally, how do you explain that, in March of 1933, Hitler declared a law BANNING all freethought and atheist organizations in Germany? You can't explain it, because it's easier for you to LIE.
In your essay, you never presented one example of actual evidence, by which I mean empirical, testable, verifiable, scientifically logical evidence. It appears that you consider any as yet unexplained phenomenon of nature as proof God did it. What god? I don't see, hear, smell, taste, or feel him. Neither does anything about the concept of a magic man, sitting in space, capriciously choosing whether or not to answer the prayers of 7 billion people make the slightest bit of sense to me. After thousands of years of trying, you and your kind have failed miserably to come up with even a scintilla of reliable evidence. What it all boils down to is that your evidence for God is that you believe in Him. You have faith. But, sir, faith is NOT evidence.
There are three reasons I do not believe in any kind of God: 1) it makes no sense whatsoever; 2) There is not the slightest evidence; and 3) I don't need to, because, unlike you, I do not fear death, since it is simply a transfer of my atoms to some other use - maybe similar to the function they were serving before I was born. You believe in God for one reason and one reason only: a terrifying apprehension of death - a refusal to accept the painfully obvious fact that, once your physiological functions cease operating, microbes (created by your god, one assumes) will devour you and reduce you to mush. Okay, I get it: you believe your SOUL will live on. How about some evidence for that? When I am dead I will be DEAD. I will not be in Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, a Mormon plateau, or any other place. If you wish to believe otherwise, it is your privilege; but there is a good reason that Christianity is fast disappearing, worldwide: because science and reason are slowly winning out over blind obedience to an invisible and intangible entity called DOG; uh, I mean GOD.
The real reason Mark walked away from his atheism, such as it was, is that he started to reach an age where he was forced to contemplate, seriously, his impending death. It scared him so badly that he grabbed, as all religious folk do, the only helping hand he could find - his imaginary friend in the sky.
A marketing ploy, anyone?
What I hate the most about people who believe in god is that they feel so superior and brave about their 'leap of faith', and when they claim that atheism is a belief. How many more time it needs to be said that we are all atheist by birth and that atheism is not a belief but a lack of one. How many more times...
And also he should read that bible passage Hebrews 6:4-8.
Uhhhh, ok, Wow! That was as pointless as Lee Strobel claiming to be Atheist before writing "The Case For..." Series. But hey, since I'm here to play along and you want to put it out there, I have a few questions:
"No, sadly, I was never was a Christian." - Then how were you indoctrinated in to calling on God? Why not Buddha, or The Great Spirit or Muhammad (A billion Muslims can't be wrong).
"My life as an atheist had been literally founded upon successive layers of perceived failure, misery and depression." Do you realize that your life now revolves around a book written about people in the Bronze Age who believed in talking snakes and donkeys, zombies, genocide, rape and incest, murder of disobedient children, slavery and a host of other thing? I don't get the feeling that you upped your standard of living.
"I had just exited an awful marriage from a closet lesbian which had been the final straw." What does your bible say about divorce? (just wondering). Also YOU DIVORCED A LESBIAN???? You lose man-points for that one.
"...lead me to meeting my new girlfriend (and future wife to be)." By future wife to be, I'm assuming that means you have had sex. What does your bible say about that?
I could go on but, you get the point.
Also YOU DIVORCED A LESBIAN???? You lose man-points for that one.