Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Conversion

I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker last night. He’s an Anglican and he knows that, while I am a Pentecostal now, I was originally an Anglican too. I had once described becoming a Pentecostal as converting and he wanted to know why I used that word when I was just switching churches. It could have been because of the radical differences between Anglicanism and Pentecostalism, when it comes to beliefs and practices. Mind you, I know many others who came into Pentecost from very different churches, yet who wouldn’t describe the change as a conversion. Rather, to them it was simply another step in the walk the Lord had for them. Like I said, that could have been it, but it wasn’t. In spite of those differences, the real reason I consider Pentecost to be the start of my life as a Christian is that my life as an Anglican stopped when I was in elementary school. Like a lot of people, Sunday School was as far as I ever took it.

My youngest daughter, in spite of my attempts to encourage her, has never converted. If you ask her she will tell you she is not a Christian, she doesn’t believe in that stuff. Mind you, she refers to the church I go to as her church and her opinions on what constitutes being a Christian and Christian doctrine is heavily informed by the upbringing she says she doesn’t want a part of. I guess why this topic interests me is because my daughter just turned 18 and will be out of the house before long. When I turned 18 I had no interest in Christ, but within six months I had been born of the water and the Spirit. I guess a part of me is hoping for an encore.

1 comment:

Palladin said...

Even though I come from a different part of the Christian community, there are basics that I have seen over the years. A child brought to church and that participates in any way is soaking up the information and religious experience. Everyone has a different road to travel to their personal relationship with God. For some they are immediately accepting and before they graduate college are saved and have gone through the various practices of publicly announcing this change. (yes, I know that is very technical, but theological explainations can be that way sometimes, especially since Baptist immersion is different in some ways from other Protestant forms of publically showing this change.) Others seem to travel a more difficult and sometimes painful path. Those that had the seeds of God's love planted, tend to realize eventually that God is there for them whether they believe or not. The best case is that then they come back to those settings where the simple message of Christ was nutured in Childhood.

The hardest part is watching those people struggle. The best thing is to be there and constantly live your faith. God is taking care of the rest. I believe that God places people in our lives for a reason. The person in this situation that would help make Christ real, might not have entered the picture yet.