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| Author: 47

Peer Pressure

Bwalya P Musonda

Brought up in a Christian home, I took it for granted I was a believer. What, with a seventh day Pastor for a father!

Church life was all I knew for a long time. I knew the world had sinners but I did not count myself as one, except in the catholic sense of the original sin. I learnt this from Religious Education at school - the first year of primary education.

Then came secondary school. My protective and usually secluded home did not prepare me for peer pressure and the usual dirty jokes of teenagers, as my parents usually lived outside the village on some kind of small estate.

This meant growing up with only the 'right' company. Thus I was protected form obvious sins.

Primary school did not offer many trials at all. All the children knew I was a Christian. They made fun of me, but it did not bother me. By the fifth year of my primary education my father was no longer a Pastor.

Nor was he a Seven Day Adventist member any more. He was a Jehovah's witness. My mother remained a Seventh Day Adventist member.

Being an only child and having developed a habit of going to church, I joined dad as a Jehovah's witness. I remember witnessing to my primary school head teacher.

Secondary school (high school) however had different challenges. Yes I was the same enthusiastic witness, but I was also entering a new stage in life for which none of my parents had prepared me - adolescence.

This stage nearly knocked me off guard. For the first time I could sit and listen to the dirty stories of the bigger boys of the class, with time I began to enjoy them. These boys seemed to know many things I did not know. Things my parents could not tell me about.

I knew all the time that they were wrong but I still listened. By the grace of God, there are certain things which I could not bring my self to do because of my up bringing. This helped me overcome many things. It is not that I feared God. I always thought my parents would know.

Joining a club was compulsory for every junior secondary school pupil. So I joined Scripture Union because to me it resembled the theocracy classes of the church I was going to then.

Soon I discovered that I did not have a personal relationship with God. I discovered that we are saved by the grace of God and not by how many hours we spend witnessing, albeit that is important.

I discovered that I could not earn salvation at all. Before long I had questions on the witness teachings. I received Jesus as my Lord and Saviour in April 1982.

I left the Jehovah witness, infuriating my father who believed that what I had embraced was heresy - my mother had already passed away by then.

For the next three years I continued fellowship with the Scripture Union. When I left Secondary school in 1985, I had a bit of trouble in finding a Bible church.

I tried a couple of churches before I finally decided to align myself with the Baptist Church. I have no problem going to a Pentecostal church if I do not find a charismatic Baptist Church.

I have never regretted being a Christian in any circumstance because the Lord my God is always with me.

I have, since I was saved, served in various position in the body of Christ the last being the Interim Chairman of the executive council of Mungwi Baptist Church in Kasama - my home town and first place of work.

I thank God for my parents. They had their own short comings but they raised me in a way that made it easier for me to establish a relationship with Christ.