"I read pretty much every political/philosophical thinker from Plato to Chairman Mao. But they didn't have the answer."
By Robert Stent, 04 May 2017
I think it was when – in the mid-1960s and newly commissioned out of Sandhurst – I was leading a patrol of the East German border that my search for the Truth really began. It was a search that was to take 10 years.
As I surveyed the watchtowers, it was clear I was on the ‘right side’ – the barbed wire was there to keep people ‘in’ not keep people ‘out’ – but there had to be more to life than different political systems.
At university, I thought I would find out. I read pretty much every political/philosophical thinker from Plato to Chairman Mao. But they didn’t have the answer.
Having left the Army I went into banking, working almost next door to St Helen’s Church, Bishopsgate. One day I saw a crowd going into the church, so I decided to follow them. The moment the then Rector, Dick Lucas, began his Bible talk, I knew I was hearing the Truth.
The source of mankind's problems lay within mankind (including me!), not in political/social systems. It was sin - disobeying the command of God, the Creator of the universe: to love Him and others. Sin was an offence to and rejection of God (an analysis so different from all that I had read and been taught).
Because of sin I – along with everyone else – faced His judgement. I faced separation from Him; the breaking of a relationship which He gives and which is all that we need (in a word: life). Only someone without sin could restore it, reconciling us to God by bearing His judgment on our behalf.
So God Himself did it in Christ on the cross - a restoration gained through faith in Him and which produces that very love for God and others which changes everything.
Some six months later I believed in Christ as “the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
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