Monday, July 2, 2012

Lowering the Bar: Why Many "Converts" Aren't Christians

Let me ask you a question. If someone was to say that he became a Christian, I imagine you, as a Christian, would be pretty excited about that, right? What if the person then told you that he only became a Christian because the church he went to doesn't preach a God of wrath or against particular lifestyles being sins? Would you still be excited? I wouldn't, and the reason why I wouldn't be excited anymore is because I don't think the person ever became a Christian.

Let me explain it this way. If becoming a Christian is an event where the individual throws off his own authority in order to place himself under the authority of the Lord, then trimming down what the Lord commanded/taught to what a person will accept until they actually accept it, is removing the very expression of Christ's Lordship to which one needs to submit.

To put it another way, the person has come into agreement with God as long as God is in full agreement with him. Hence, these churches that trim what God has said, and who God is, to a more palatable product to swallow for the unbeliever aren't converting anyone at all. Well, actually, they are converting someone, it's just God that is being altered, not the individual human who needs to have a change of heart, mind, and soul.

This is the problem with churches claiming to have such an impact for Christ evidenced by the number of "conversions" they have. I bet I can pump out a lot more doctors and lawyers than any university on earth if I can just lower the bar on the criteria and make the tests about what everyone already knows. I can call them doctors, because I've redefined the criteria of it means to be a doctor. In fact, I don't even need to give a test. I can just call anyone on the planet a doctor, as long as I'm allowed to redefine the requirements that need to be met in order to be one. Likewise, I bet I can convert the world to Christianity, as long as I can trim what defines Christianity, trim God, trim God's Word just enough so that it fits whatever person I'm attempting to convert. But it's not God who needs to be converted, but the person.

Hence, I don't take it seriously when some compromised church claims that they're making an impact for Christ because they're gaining this many converts or this many church members per year. Who cares? Conversion is a work of the Holy Spirit through His Word, and a true conversion is known by its submission/humility toward God and His Word to tell the individual who has been converted who God is, what He has commanded, what is true, what is right and wrong, etc.

Until then, people who are "Christians" going to "Christian" churches, but cannot agree with God on a number of issues, or cannot agree with the Bible on a number of issues (there is no difference between agreeing with God and agreeing with the Bible in Christianity), are simply unbelievers, as their allegiances were never switched from Self to God as Lord.

So the argument that we make converts by trimming what we think of God or His Word, and therefore, are doing more for Christ is nonsensical. If a "convert" is one who has truly been changed in his thinking to agree with God rather than one who has been convinced that God agrees with what he already believes and does, then none of these people can actually be converts, and therefore, none of them are Christians.

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