I remember clearly the day at Sunday school where we were each asked our conversion story. We had an open air session, sitting under the luxurious foliage of a large mango tree. I was anything but relaxed. As one by one each told their story I hoped it will never get to my turn. What was I going to say? I was not wallowing in sin and then had a moral or personal crises worthy of appearing on Turning Point. Becoming a Christian was far less dramatic, rather unexciting actually.
I was born and raised in a devout Christian home. I’ve been going to church as long as I can remember. It’s simply all I have known. Being raised in a devout home does not necessarily mean you will stay or act that way but by and large I have remained that way. There are countless people who share a similar story. Some may even be third or fourth generation preachers. People like us seem to have had it easy. It’s as if there was nothing really at stake. We were never really converted, just born in to it. Ask anyone raised in a Christian home that it does have it’s challenges. However, the real question we need to ask is, does it really matter how a person becomes a Christian?
Ever since Paul had his fantastic encounter on the road to Damascus I suppose Christians have placed more premium on striking conversions. I have even heard people in giving their testimony say they were the worst sinners, which unless in your former life you threatened the existence of the entire church is highly unlikely. I understand this penchant for the dramatic. Humans are story telling creatures and the best stories have moments spectacular or profound of conflict or crises. Jesus does rescue people in amazing exciting ways. We share these accounts as a testament to the amazing extent of God’s saving power, to reach the most extreme examples of the fallen human condition. He also rescues people in also slow and not so obvious ways. However he chooses to do it, phenomenal or boring, the unchanging truth is that Jesus saves and we need to recognize this. We should be able to celebrate the fact that not only individuals but families and generations are changed through the power of Christ. The Abrahamic call to be a blessing to the families of the world fulfilled in Christ is being demonstrated among us. Parental evangelism is just as important as any other kind of evangelism. It is a wonderful thing that some of us are believers because our parents raised us with his saving knowledge. The conversion of a family line is in my book even more profound than the spectacular conversion of the lone individual. I too have a great testimony of how Jesus changed my life and it happened even before I was born.
The specifics of how a person becomes a member of God’s family is not nearly as important as them actually becoming members of the Faith. After all, isn’t that the point of conversion, being out of the world and being in Christ? The truth is something really extraordinary did happen to each one of us on Calvary two millennia ago. The Gospel message is the news of this world changing event. Becoming a child of God is no mean thing.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ– by grace you have been save – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:1-7 ESV