The Ramblings Of John Campea

Life Beyond The Movies

Do we over emphasize “Conversions”?
Ok, before you all think me a heretic, this is an issue that’s been on my mind a lot lately. We seem to equate Christianity today with the “conversion experience”. This mentality has perpetuated a form of Christianity that preaches “Meet Jesus” instead of “Know Jesus”, it talks about “Find Jesus” while ignoring “Follow Jesus”, it drives us to pressure people to “Accept Jesus” instead of “Walk with Jesus”, and ultimately it tells us to “Classify Jesus” instead of “Experience Jesus”. The problem is I’ve never been able to wrap my head around what is supposed to replace this notion of conversion faith? I read an article today that has my head just spinning. Here’s an excerpt (from next-wave.org):

Todd Hunter has a statement that ties all this together. He says “I evangelize everyone.” When I first heard that, it was an epiphany. We all need Christ. I need to know Jesus in such a way that I am just as eager to let him live through me outside the walls of the church as I am inside. I need to drop the goofy way I talk inside church, drop the different goofy way I talk outside the church, and find the authentic message that I can carry to anyone I meet.

If we try to imagine a church without the four spiritual laws, our results-oriented minds recoil in horror. We extrapolate to a world full of people who like to hang out in church but have no commitment to Christ. In doing this we reveal our limited faith in the power of Christ to change hearts, and think somehow we need to help the process along.

“Conversions” will happen, because it is Christ in us who is moving and speaking, but just as we don’t need to remind people to breathe, we won’t need to remind people to “convert”, it will be as natural as breathing once they have seen Christ. An emphasis on the conversion ends up interfering with our understanding and processing the truth that Christ costs our whole lives.

This proposed church, full of people who are attracted by Christ, but who haven’t prayed the “sinners prayer” may end up being a scary and intense place, because instead of accepting a man made ritual as a substitute for death, we would all feel Jesus drawing us to true death and new life in Him.

Wow… I need to read this article again about 50 times… I think I’ll be processing it for the next couple of weeks. I’ll let you know about any thoughts I have along the way. By the way, you really should read the article for yourself.

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November 8, 2002 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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