When It’s Wrong to Be Right: Conversion

One of the things that some people do not like about conservative Christianity is the focus on converting people who are not Christians.  The attractive thing about liberal Christianity is that it can focus on the moral and ethical teachings of Jesus, encouraging us to better people, without taking the offensive step of conversion.

I can understand why this is difficult.  I remember as a non-Christian working for some Christians who attempted to convert me.  I did not particularly enjoy it.  But at the same time, I do not think spreading the Christian message with a hope of people embracing it is a bad thing.  First of all, as important as the moral and ethical teachings of Jesus are, it is also central to Jesus’ teachings that following him is essential for a good afterlife.  While at times, the eighty or so years on this planet seem like a long time, it is only a drop in the bucket when it comes to human history, not to mention eternity.  The fact is that we will be dead a lot longer than we will be alive.  If we take steps to have the best possible life, why not take the steps to have the best possible afterlife?  According to the New Testament, eternal life is found through faith in Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross.

Now you may disagree with an afterlife or the necessity of atonement.  You may think there is no afterlife or you may think that everyone goes to heaven.  But for a moment, put yourself in the place of an evangelical Christian.  If you truly believed that you had a message that would have a life and death impact on the people you cared about, what would you do?  Would you withhold the information required for eternal life for the sake of tolerance?  I know if someone had the cure for a deadly disease that I would hope they would share that information with me.  I might not believe them, but I would at least want the option to choose.

At the same time, I will admit that Christians have not always been the best at sharing their faith.  Sometimes conservative Christians have forced religion down people’s throats, imposing a “turn or burn” message on people.  I believe that the Christian message must be shared, but it must be shared with love and respect.  Conversions are not for notches on a Bible cover, they should be attempts to share important information with the people we care about.  When it has not been that, the church needs to repent.

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4 thoughts on “When It’s Wrong to Be Right: Conversion”

  1. Dear Readers with the hope that God’s will be done, (Matthew 6:9,10)

    Matthew 6:9,10 says as quoted first from the New World Translation Of The Holy Scripiptures which all quoted scriptures will be from unless otherewise stated:
    http://www.watchtower.org/e/bible/mt/chapter_006.htm
    “9 “YOU must pray, then, this way:

    “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. 10 Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.”

    His will, Jehovah God’s, is stated at 1 Tmothy 2:3,4 is that all men come to an accurate knowledge of the truth:
    http://www.watchtower.org/e/bible/1ti/chapter_002.htm
    “3 This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God, 4 whose will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”

    and just for the sake of a better understnding of the message contained in the Holy Sciptures I will place verse 5,6, and 7 of the same book and chapter of the Bible below:
    “5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all—[this is] what is to be witnessed to at its own particular times. 7 For the purpose of this witness I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—a teacher of nations in the matter of faith and truth.”

    All the while when doing the work that will help “all men come to an accurste knowledge” of the Bible’s message that gives the “hope,” that we are told to rejoice in” at Romans 12:12 a person should keep in mind the scpripte at Phillipians 2:4:
    http://www.watchtower.org/e/bible/php/chapter_002.htm
    “4 keeping an eye, not in personal interest upon just YOUR own matters, but also in personal interest upon those of the others.”
    The entire chapter 2 of Phillipians highlights that a person engaging in sharing the need to keep th same mental attitude as Jesus Christ. You may read Phillipians 2 at the link proveded above and I encourage all to do so as well as to read your Bible daily and seek the more accurate knowledge through better understanding.

    At Acts 5:42; 20:20 it is described how the first century Christian Congregation went about sharing the knowledge that had given them “hope” that impeled them to share it with others:
    http://www.watchtower.org/e/bible/ac/chapter_005.htm
    “42 And every day in the temple and from house to house* they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus. ”
    * – “from house to house.” Gr., katʼ oi′kon.

    Acts 20:20
    “; 20 while I did not hold back from telling YOU any of the things that were profitable nor from teaching YOU publicly and from house to house.*”
    * – “and in private houses.” Lit., “and according to houses.” Gr., kai katʼ oi′kous. Here ka‧ta′ is used with the accusative pl. in the distributive sense. Compare 5:42 ftn, “House.”

    The Crusades noted as such of centuries in the past certainly were not scriptural or with the backing of the scriptures.

    Warme Christian Love,
    Randy

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