Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Religious Conversion Code of Conduct – Part 2

Dahlia of the day: Rae-Miester.

The August 7th edition of Presbyweb carried a link called, “Progress Seen Towards a Christian Code of Conduct on Religious Conversion.” Yesterday I talked about “sheep stealing.” Today I am going to look at the “obsession of converting others.”

Here is a quote from the Presbyterian News Service about the conference:

“Kicked off in May last year at a meeting near Rome that affirmed freedom of religion as a “non-negotiable” human right valid for everyone everywhere, the group at the same time stressed that the ‘obsession of converting others’ needs to be cured.”

Here are some quotes from the Bible on the subject:

John 3:16-- "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 6:22-23 – “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 14:6 -- Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

Romans 3:21-24 – “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 28:19-20 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

God is obsessed with our following him and being reconciled to him. Jesus is obsessed with our present situation and our eternal situation. Without Jesus we are facing a “crisis in eternity” (Bill Hybels). Scripture is clear and consistent in calling us to be in the disciple-making business. One of the steps in the making of a disciple is conversion!

Many denominations have moved away from having an “obsession of converting others.” The former “Mainline” denominations are excellent examples of this move. Most (if not all) of the denomination that have made this shift have experienced catastrophic membership declines in the past forty years.

The PCUSA needs to regain an “obsession for converting others.”

Tomorrow we will look at ways of doing this with love and dignity.


At 7:13 AM , Blogger Benjamin P. Glaser said...

It saddens me to no end that someone who calls themselves a "Christian" would be against converting sinners. The more and more I hear and read this stuff the more I agree with Machen that Liberalism and Christianity are two seperate Religions.


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