I think I need to repost this, too – my most recent recounting of my testimony. It wasn’t easy for me to come to genuine faith. I had to come into the kingdom of our precious Lord kicking and screaming. I went from being a dedicated Catholic to being a real Evangelical Christian; from someone who believed in evolution, because that was what I was taught, to a Young Earth Six-Day Creationist, believing Genesis 1 – and the entire Bible – as it was written as the Word of Yahweh.
Describe your personal faith beliefs and commitments and how they influence your life and work. (Joseph N. Scotto)
My relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is the central reality of my existence. He is the foundation of everything in my life.
It wasn’t always that way. I was brought up in the Philadelphia area as a Roman Catholic. I attended Catholic schools from 3rd Grade all the way through college. But I was just “playing religion” – I really didn’t comprehend the real meaning of the Christian faith. I knew there was a God, and I knew I wanted to please Him, but I didn’t know how.
After I graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Villanova University, I began to search in earnest to know more about Jesus. I read everything I could get my hands on about Him. Some of the most important books I read during this time were: “More Than a Carpenter,” “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” and “More Evidence That Demands a Verdict”, all by Josh McDowell; “The Screwtape Letters”, “Mere Christianity”, “Miracles”, and “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis. I began to listen to Christian radio as well, especially since I had a 45-minute ride each day home from work through the city of Philadelphia. And, of course, I began reading the Scriptures seriously.
One day, in January of 1979, I was leaving work, heading for a harrowing drive home on the Schuylkill Expressway, when I got a deep feeling of dread. I felt very strongly that I would die on the way home. At that moment, I knew that the Lord wanted me to just trust Him; that I didn’t need to fear anything. For the first and only time in my life, I actually hear a voice in my brain that said “Trust me!” The experience was like blinders were taken off my eyes – I finally could see and understand the truth of the gospel! I don’t remember driving home that day, but I certainly remember the joy I experienced. I know I was saved that day because of the profound change in my life.
35 years later, He is still the reason I live. My beliefs are mostly standard evangelical Christian beliefs. My family attends the Immanuel Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Mechanicsburg, where I am a Deacon. The beliefs of the CMA are essentially identical with mine. I also have been a long-time student (from afar) of Dr. John McArthur. Most of my beliefs are based on his teachings. Most of the books I’ve read in the past few years have been by him.
Since I have an M.S. in Biology from Villanova, it is relevant to express my convictions in the area of origins. Although Villanova University stands firmly on the side of evolution, I am a Young Earth Creationist based on my understanding of the Bible. I learned about naturalistic evolution – and have taught its tenets for years from textbooks that favor evolution – but I remain firm in my stand on a recent, literal 6-day Creation. I have had the opportunity to examine both positions from both a scientific analysis and an intense study of Scripture.
My life’s work has been to teach the genuine scientific truths of Biology, because they reveal the truths about my Lord and Savior.