“I DIDN’T CHOOSE THIS LIFE,” ROBBIE DAVIDSON INSISTED over the phone. “God intervened. He chose it. It was as if God was telling me, I have a plan. I have a purpose. You’re coming.”
Davidson is undoubtedly referring to his former life in the Edmonton bar and club scene, a segment he refers to as cruising around. It was the early nineties—October of 1991 to be exact. Davidson was twenty-one years young, and though Canada had only recently survived nine consecutive weeks of Bryan Adams on the top of their charts—(Everything I Do) I Do It for You was practically bleeding through the boom box—hash, marijuana, and mushrooms conducted the transmission of his airwaves.
Cruising—and for whatever reason, his friend Don came along for the ride, “but he never came into the bar,” Davidson recalled. “I didn’t think much of it” at the time. But he was soon to find out why.
One Saturday night after cruising Edmonton Don parked his car in front of Davidson’s house, engine idling, but Davidson did not open his passenger-side door to leave. The average temperature for Edmonton each October is 10 degrees Celsius, and that’s a teeth chattering high. Records will show however that the first half of October in 1991, particularly Saturday the 12th,, ranged from 7 to 21 degrees Celsius—practically a heat wave. Then again, the following Saturday, October the 19th, reached a high of only 6 degrees. In Fahrenheit terms, that’s 42. While temperatures steadily dipped into the coming freeze of another long Canadian winter, Robbie and Don defrosted their fingers over heaters, talking. And then, quite unexpectedly, it occurred to his friend: “Oh my goodness,” undoubtedly speaking in a Canadian accent, “It’s late. I’ve got church in the morning.”
Church…? Robbie Davidson scowled. “Your parents still make you go to church?”
Davidson grew up in the sort of household that went to church, the United Church of Canada, mind you, because it was good for the family. Perhaps he might even revisit it someday—when he had a family. But he was free from that now. “And in Canada the United Church was the first church to introduce homosexuality, I think it was 84. They accepted homosexual ministers and such.”
Don shrugged. “No, I want to go to church.”
One thing led to another and then, “We got into eschatology, and I was really fascinated by stuff like that—end times stuff. He started comparing events that were going on in the world, like Iran and Russia.”
But in the end, “None of this really matters,” Davidson told his friend with a shrug. The man from Edmonton was a good person. “I’m not going to hell because I believe in God.”
His friend stopped him. “Believing in God is not enough.”
Even the demons believe, and shudder.
“And he went on to tell me the difference between believing in a God and truly believing in Jesus. You have to have a personal relationship, and the only way to do that is through Jesus. He went on to explain why Jesus came to die, why He had to die,” and for Robbie Davidson, “everything clicked.” There was indeed a drastic difference between knowing and belief. This he was certain of. The words of Jesus undoubtedly prodded at his soul, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Don never made it to church that Sunday.
Regardless, come Monday (it was two nights later by his reckoning), the man from Edmonton was clubbing again—business as usual. “Even though that was a profound conversation, and I was told the Gospel, a few days later I was out at the bar like nothing happened.” Don was a respectable man. Perhaps he would revisit church again, someday. After all, it was beneficial for the health of the family. But Robbie Davidson was also a good man, and in the meantime he had airwaves to attend to, with hash, marijuana, or mushrooms, whatever he could get his hands on, conducting them.
HE COULD COUNT WITH HIS FINGERS, and on one hand, mind you; Saturday… Sunday… Monday… Tuesday… how many days chugged by before Robbie Davidson crashed in his parent’s basement, high on something. “I’m lying there on the couch,” it was the following Wednesday, “and in the middle of the night I woke up, and there was this presence around me, and all I remember is putting up my hands and saying, I am coming to you. It was robotic almost. It was really strange, I can’t really explain it.”
If my calendar is correct, and I confess it’s a wild guess, then Davidson awoke the following morning to a crisp -7 degrees Celsius, or 19.4 degrees for my American audience. At any rate, he sat up on the couch and looked to the shelf, which his parents had stocked with VHS tapes. “There were probably a hundred of them. I mean, they were one big row.”
But only one of them was glowing.
“It was literally glowing on the shelf.” More precisely, “It was pulsating.” 21 year-old Robbie Davidson rose to his feet to follow the light, “and I couldn’t even read it by that point, because my eyes were foggy.” It is no coincidence, Davidson assures me; the tape which he dutifully removed from its sleeve and popped into the VCR was the VHS tape Jesus—the 79 movie.
Davidson describes the next 115 minutes of his life as a spiritual smacking. “Every word of Jesus came to life. I got on my knees. I was totally in tears. I prayed the sinner’s prayer at that point. From that point on my life instantly changed.” At the closing credits he gave his life to Christ. “I look at it like, I was given the truth, and then I was walking away from it, and Jesus just slapped me over the head.”
“There was no free will on my part—in my doing. It was planned. It was ordained. And He wasn’t going to allow me to just wander off to carry on living my life the way I wanted to. God wasn’t going to let me get away with it. It was almost like God came to me supernaturally and was like, No, no, no, I’m calling you for my service.’ He stopped me in my tracks. He woke me up out of my sleep. If that video hadn’t been glowing—then I don’t know.”
Davidson paused to consider the alternative.
“I probably would have walked up the stairs out of the basement and on with my life.”
IN 1991 ROBBIE DAVIDSON HUNKERED DOWN IN a 24-hour diner in order to drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and, in one sitting, read the entire New Testament from beginning to end. He ate a little, undoubtedly used the bathroom when needed, but never left his table until Revelation parted from the back binding. “I was so glued—so transfixed;” the entire unfolding drama “was just popping out of the page.”
Keegan’s diner was a leftover habit from his cruising days when he and his friends could crash in a bench seat after the bars had closed. “As soon as I became a Christian, I quit drinking. I quit drugs. I quit sex. Those habits were gone.” Other friends struggled, but “that was completely taken away from me.” The smoking however, and the need to camp out in Keegan’s, remained. “That was right after I got saved. I sat there and I read the New Testament, and I did not leave until it was done.”
Soon staff and customers alike began to wander over, curious as to what occupied Davidson; and Davidson would talk to anyone who approached him. Conversations ensued, unlike any he’d ever had before in his cruising days—seeking out the next high. “It was like I was on fire.”
Reading the entire New Testament from beginning to end took Davidson just over 30 hours. “It became a joke. It was like—this guy isn’t leaving until he’s done with the Bible. I never had the joys of reading my entire life, and then suddenly it wasn’t just the joy of reading, God was speaking to me through all these words. The words are jumping off the page. They’re hitting me. They’re smacking me. When I got through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, when I got to Romans, how could anyone leave? How could anyone stop reading? It was like the whole world opened up.”
“I went through staff changes,” he said.
When some of those workers began trickling back in to their next day’s shift, Robbie Davidson was still there.
The fire that was ignited within Davidson from Keegan’s off the 109 in Edmonton continued on, well beyond his initial reading of the New Testament. Keegan’s, apparently, was only a trial run. “I wanted to know everything about the Bible. I was so on fire. I was so hungry. I just devoured it. In school, before I was a Christian, I hated reading. I can tell you the only books I’d read my entire life were probably the books that I had to for school. I could not read a book to save my life.” But afterwards, “I devoured books. I devoured books like there’s no tomorrow. I read maybe 500 books in the first few years, easily.”
The fire would lead him to Trinity Western University in British Columbia, which he attend with Don, to Christian radio, to Christian newspaper, to Christian web companies. “I enjoyed it. I looked on all of this as an opportunity. I wouldn’t be doing any of this if it wasn’t for the Gospel.” He studied all the world’s religions—all the world’s cults. How does one go about fulfilling the great commission? Soon the Jehovah’s Witnesses would be arriving at his door—and maybe even the Mormons. He needed to answer them. He needed to tell them about the Jesus written about and testified to in his Bible.
“The one thing that didn’t change,” Davidson stopped to correct himself. “I shouldn’t say didn’t change. The one thing I struggled with in the first year was doubt. Even though I believed in it all one-hundred percent, there was this nagging whisper in my ear.” How do you know for sure? “I had all these crazy ideas, and believe me; I was attacked with the craziest ideas about Jesus—about the Bible. And one by one every single one of those questions was answered.”
Though it is true that the desires directly correlating with his cruising days, such as drugs and alcohol, were as far behind him as the lifestyle associated with such habits, soon other temptations began to trickle in. Davidson found himself in the throes of sick and twisted thoughts. And naturally, “my mind can’t even think that.”
You went too far this time, Davidson would tell Satan.
For Davidson, such trials of doctrine and dark, twisted thinking was essentially God telling him, I want you to fight through this.
Seemingly from day one, Davidson found himself under the persuasion of young earth creationism. “Kent Hovind was a huge part of that. I was blown away. Getting into creation science was massive—massive. I would devour that because I wanted to be equipped to give an answer. For me it was about educating myself so that no matter what came up in a conversation, I would have the answer and I would get the person thinking. I was blown away with how much there was for young earth creationism, or getting into six day literal creationism. I don’t think there was ever a time when I wasn’t a literal six day creationist in my entire journey.”
Here Davidson paused. “Unfortunately I didn’t take the Bible literally when it came to other verses in creation, and again, most likely because I just didn’t understand it.”
“Very few of us did,” I told Davidson. “We didn’t have context for any of it.”
Regardless of context, Robbie Davidson prepared himself tirelessly for that day of its unveiling. And yet, despite the flat earth revelation still to come, there has never been another moment in time, Davidson assured me, like that thirty-hour day in Keegan’s off the 109. The spark within derived from “a revelation even bigger than flat earth—way bigger than flat earth,” which is why, I suppose, Davidson’s lust for truth has changed little today since sitting at that table in Edmonton, speaking with everyone he met. He sat in Keegan’s drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, getting delightfully acquainted with the joy behind the unexpected cosmology.
“Every soul is worth is to me,” he said.
This article was a segment from THE UNEXPECTED COSMOLOGY: Rise of the 21st-Century Flat Earth Awakening, and is now on sale on Amazon and eBay.
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