ApX Fan Overcoming Alcoholism Through Christ
Fri., Apr. 21. 2023 12:45pm EDT
We received a wonderful email this week from a Michigan ApX fan named Jon Elgas, who has been overcoming alcoholism through Jesus Christ. He gave us permission to share it with you. Believe it or not, a pivotal moment in his testimony involves an ApologetiX video featuring an unexpected parody. Here's what he said:
During a recent men's prayer/discussion group that I am in, they tossed around the idea of the men giving their story of why each of us are involved in the group. I volunteered to give mine, and while I am unsure that it will happen, let alone when, I started working on it, and in doing so I believed I was led to share it with you, and by the time you finish you will understand why.We praise the Lord for all He has done and is still doing for Jon, and we are honored that God would use one of our parodies as part of his testimony!
So here is the story that I will be sharing with the group when called upon:
My background is that of a cradle Catholic, who became an alter server. I was bullied from grade 5 though the end of high school. As a result, two things happened. First, I allowed others to determine that I wasn't good enough, which led me to not accept who I was. Second, the result of that was me becoming a liar, who would need a strong push to do anything, because I was embarrassed and believed that regardless of what I did, everyone around me would not approve of my actions.
Thus the first time I had a beer was the first time I felt like I was accepted by society, and when I drank, I cared less what others thought, so when I drank alcohol, I drank a lot.
In 2000, I went off to college, and when I got there I surrounded myself with people who drank, which allowed me to continue that path that I was on. One day, a roommate and I had a discussion about Jesus, and he showed me that the only way to obtain eternal life is to place my faith in the Jewish Messiah, and allow the Holy Spirt to change and guide my life. I believed I did that; however, I continued to drink too much (but not as often), and I continued to lie, even about the smallest things (like saying I had cash in my wallet when I didn't). My ability to make friends seemed to go from a crawl to reverse.
In 2014, the only person I regularly hung out with died, and how I chose to deal with that loss was not healthy for me or those around me. Instead of drinking three beers once a week, at a restaurant, I started to drink hard liquor mixed with pop when I didn't have to work the next day, and secluded in my room where my parents could not witness this. At one point, I was drinking from dinner until I would pass out — three nights a week. When I started this, I would watch music videos from the '80s and '90s, and at some point, the music wasn't doing anything.
My last month of drinking, I started to watch music videos from Christian artists. This did help bring peace to me, however not to the level I needed. It was then I started to mix the secular music with that from Christian artists. Somehow this broke the YouTube algorithm. Why do I say this? At the end, I will present a video that YHWH used to get my attention.
It was after watching this video that He used, what I like to call His holy two-by-four. There are two things that I remembered when I woke up the next morning: watching that video and the very simple prayer that I had, "God, please force me into AA," as I entered into a relationship with Jesus.
The morning of March 26, 2016, I woke up, cleaned up my bathroom, started my laundry, and hid the evidence of my drinking in the trash bins, which was my routine after drinking. As I am doing my laundry, my dad asked me if I drank the night before, and without even thinking about it I said "No" (chance #1 to change my ways that day). Within a few minutes, I saw him again with the empty bottle of alcohol from the night before, and he said, "family meeting" (meaning me, him, and my mom).
At this moment, I understood that my prayer was being answered. I went to where my dad was waiting, and before he said anything, I stated that I needed to go to AA (During this 20-month period, it was suggested to me by both of them separately at some different points in time, but I had not been ready to change).
My first day at AA, I was told that to be successful I needed to do three things. One was to get to know my higher power better. AA doesn't care which higher power, but I went with Jesus (since that was the one I knew best). The second was change my thinking (both AA and developing a relationship with Christ both help), and the third was to develop a network of people who want to help me stay sober (well, AA has helped with that).
After going to AA for a year, my mom approached me, asking if I would be interested in going to a four-year compressive Bible Study. I jumped at the chance, knowing that it would help me get to know the Creator of the universe and would help change my thinking (if I'd been asked before I quit drinking, I would have said no). Completing the Bible study, I knew that I had to show the love of Jesus to the world, and to become bolder in declaring His Word.
So my continual prayer is to become as bold as Peter and Paul were, in declaring His Word and love. I have seen this prayer slowly bear fruits, and I have been taking more opportunities in declaring His message to those around me.
Now for the video that I promised. As the song is playing, I would encourage you to place your name in it, it was when I did that I got hit by that "holy two-by-four."
The timing of Jon's email was amazing, because our next single (due out next weekend, Lord willing) has a song on it (which has been in the works since January 2021) about overcoming addiction. Although we've previously released the songs "Addicted to Christ" and "Cöstly Trüth," we'd already been thinking that this next one is the closest we've ever come to an "AA-type anthem."
Of course, like Jon, we know that the higher power we're singing about is the only true higher power.