By his own admission Steve Tillman was not a top-level — Stephen Hawking — type of atheist.
He was more mid level. He started a couple of now defunct websites including Think Free Nation and Think Free Indiana promoting his atheist views. He also helped found Atheist Analysis.
Most of his work was relegated to social media such as Facebook and YouTube where on his atheist internet shows he repeatedly bashed Christians and other religions.
Though Steve downplays his significance in the atheist community, nevertheless a group he founded, Atheists of Northern Indiana, warranted a mention in an Indy Star article on anti-Christian bigotry in Indiana.
The article centered on a release by the American Family Association (AFA) that pointed out a few groups with strong anti-Christian sentiments in Indiana, particularly those that opposed the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that offered Christians protection from the growing anti-Christian bias in America.
However, when AFA’s Walker Wildmon read the article he noticed a strange thing.
The Indy Star pointed out that the one of groups cited, Atheists of Northern Indiana, no longer existed because its founder Steve Tillman was now a Christian.
He closed down his organization after he reconverted back to Christ.
In a video on YouTube (see above), Tillman explained his journey. He grew up in a semi-religious home, but at age 15 he came in contact with a Christian group. He started attending church and was even heading for the ministry.
However, when stuff started happening between his parents, Steve became angry at God. How could an all-powerful, all loving God allow this to happen.
“There’s no way. No way, you know, a God can exist that allows this kind of stuff to happen. If He does He is obviously not as powerful and everyone says He is… I rebelled against God. Hard core rebellion against God.”
Disillusioned he left the Church, tried some other religions including voodoo, but eventually chose atheism. At that point, he began to organize and work fervently to convince people there is no God.
Looking back, Steve says he now realizes he was just livid at God. Though he was promoting his atheistic views through several avenues, inside he was struggling. God was not done with him yet.
One day in frustration, he prayed and asked God for a sign and he received an “eye-opening” vision or dream.
In the interview with the Indy Star, Steve said:
“I woke up with just this really weird feeling of love and forgiveness, talked to my wife about it and prayed and things just kind of came into perspective.”
The experience led him to repent of his sins and ask God for forgiveness. Steve said, “I became a born-again Christian, again.” He says through his Atheism he still inside believed, but was overwhelmed with his anger and rebellion.
He realized that God still loved him and that “I gave up on Someone Who never gave up on me.”
After reading the article, AFA spokesman Walker Wildmon tracked down Steve and after a series of texts confirmed that Tillman had genuinely converted.
Steve told Wildmon that there has been a complete turnaround. Once he promoted atheism, but today Steve says:
“The strangest part is this calling I feel to spread the Word of God, like the pulpit has a huge magnet pulling me in.”
- An Atheist’s journey to Salvation: American Family Association
- Group puts Angie’s list on ‘Bigotry Map’ over RFRA: Indy Star
- Lead image: Oakland Church Sign Flickr/Thomas Hawk