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Revered Artist Was an Atheist Who Rejected God. But a Sudden Realization Changed Everything.

"I didn't think he existed, but if he did, I didn't like him."

CBN News

Revered artist Charlie Mackesy recently revealed the details of his journey from atheism to Christianity, telling the CBN News about how a key moment 25 years ago led him to embrace God and truly discover his artistic abilities.

While standing in a London park 25 years ago, Mackesy said that he suddenly had a feeling that "there must be more to this than meets the eye" — an idea that truly set him on his professional and theological paths.

"Jesus quietly introduced me to a journey into finding people really beautiful, which is how my art really began," he told the outlet. "Because I felt inside me he was going, 'Look. How beautiful is that guy sitting on that bench?' And I would have never noticed him before."

Now, Mackesy regularly speaks about his faith, drawing in non-believers with his message and persona.

Vicar Nicky Gumbel of HTB Church in England described the artist in a recent interview as "the finest evangelist in the U.K. at the moment, saying, "People outside the church, I would rather take them to hear Charlie than anybody else in the U.K."

Perhaps it's the idea that Mackesy is a famed artist who is revered in the field that makes his theological views so pertinent, though one could also point back to his former atheistic worldview and the radical change that he experienced.

After all, he told CBN News that he "hated" religious elements that he encountered when he was in school during his younger years.

"We sang about God, but I didn't like God," he said. "I didn't think he existed, but if he did, I didn't like him."

In a recent talk, Mackesy encouraged a congregation to remember that they are loved by God just the way they are.

"I thought Christianity was: be clean, come to church, be nice, don't use the 'F' word, and you'll be accepted and liked, because that's the thing; it's a meritocracy," he told them. "And if you want to belong, be a certain way."

But Mackesy continued, "'You're loved. You're loved as you are. Covered in whatever it is, on the inside or out."

The artist also summarizes his theological views on his website, explaining how essential Jesus is in his life.

"I guess when you dig eventually you find something,and however awkward it may sound (with all the difficult sub-cultural religious stuff that comes with it) I discovered that for me the doorway to this sunrise of wonder was Christ," he wrote.

Read more about his story here.

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