Tuesday, August 21, 2007



Conversion comes from the idea of turning around—changing the direction of your life. A synonym of conversion is repentance. Conversion is not a myth; it’s a must for anyone who has a heart to walk with God. The myth is that man can convert another. You don’t have the power to convert anyone, including yourself. Only God can convert a person. In fact, I’m convinced that conversion or repentance is a gift from God. Check out these words written to Timothy: Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will (II Timothy 2:25-26).

NOTE that there is hope that God will grant or give people repentance or conversion. It’s a gift from God, not a man-made project. Yet we seem to be bent on converting all who are not Christian into Christianity.

There are two levels of this “conversion” effort. The FIRST is within the Western Christian culture. This emerges through the channel of what has become known as “Christian” causes.
It’s so much easier to busy ourselves with causes, but these ‘good’ causes get in the way of the ‘best’—God-given conversion and repentance of the hearts of men and women. Bob Briner’s book, SEVEN NOBLE CAUSES THAT KEEP CHRISTIANS FROM CHANGING THE WORLD, is right on target!

NOTE the seven causes he chose:
1. Squabbling over prayer in public schools!
2. Making Jesus a right winger!
3. Thwarting the homosexual agenda!
4. Fighting other Christians over doctrinal purity!
5. Shutting down the abortion clinics!
6. Cleaning up television!
7. Fighting for family values!

None of these noble causes matter as much as people being granted repentance or conversion from God. Yet these noble causes continue to produce a great offence in such a way that Jesus and His transforming power are set aside for something lesser. By focusing on fighting for these causes, you may win a battle or two, but you will lose the war of turning people on to Jesus.

The SECOND level of man-made conversion occurs outside the Western Christian culture. This is normally found in the activity of “Christian missionaries” throughout the world. Christians go throughout the world in an attempt to convert non-Christians everywhere to become Christians. This is not God granting repentance or conversion, but men who are bent on converting the “natives”. Think of it! Well-meaning Christians go out and believe that they can convert people into becoming Christians. Remember, this is only a work that God can grant to a person. How haughty to think that anyone, no matter how faithful, can “convert” someone else!

So many Christian missionaries around the world are doing missionary work the hard way. They are persecuted, churches are destroyed, Christians are thrown into jail and most all are terrorized by the people they are trying to convert.

You see, no missionary or pastor or evangelist will ever bring about conversion. Only God can perform this act on a person’s heart. This is one of the keys to how Jesus became so Christianized. Offering Christianity as the answer and conversion to Christianity the process will forever meet vehement resistance. There will be some converts made by this approach, but the overall result of these conversion tactics are too offensive. I think this is one of the major reasons for non-Christian cultures hating the West so much.

The only answer to the myth of conversion is to present the good news of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. It’s not about making or producing or converting more people to Christianity. This is a debate about a set of beliefs and causes, at best. The only answer is a Person. His name is Jesus.