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Conversion or Correction?




Matt Dabbs states in a recent post,

There is a huge difference between agreement with Christian truths and actual conversion and disciple making.

His point is that too many times, we simply try to get people to agree with certain Christian positions without seeking to introduce them to the Savior.

There are two things wrong with this frequent approach that tries to correct opinions without conversion to Jesus.

First, every opinion becomes a matter for debate. If I merely convince him that my position (hopefully, the Christian position) on this issue is correct, I have merely won a battle; I have not won him to Jesus. When one is converted to Jesus as Lord, His word on any matter settles the issue. This sets the stage for true unity in Jesus instead of constant internecine fighting and debate among Christians. While Christians may legitimately disagree on what Jesus means by some of the things He says, true Christians are willing to let His word by the final word.

Second, correction of opinions does not change the heart; conversion to Jesus does. I have frequently said, “I believe MY opinions are the very best in the world.” I can say this simply because I, like everyone I know, change my opinion when someone convinces me he has a better one. If he convinces me his opinion is “better” than my old one, I adopt it as my own.

In effect, this makes me, not the Lord, the judge of right and wrong. This is what the Tempter offered Mother Eve in the Garden – the power to know good and evil. That is, the Serpent convinced her God was reserving for Himself a power that should rightfully be hers – the power to set one’s own moral code.

When someone is converted to Jesus, not just convinced that His way is the better way on this particular issue, he gives up the “right” to determine what is right and wrong. This, for him, reverses Eve’s decision to eat the forbidden fruit to claim the right to set his own moral standards.

That is why we need to exalt Jesus, not just argue about this moral or that one. When a person falls in love with Jesus and learns to trust Him, then His word becomes final.

I think Matt’s observation is spot on. What do you think?

4 Responses

  1. I can agree with someone and not submit to them. When you convert to Christianity you are submitting to the Lordship of Christ. That means far more than just aligning your beliefs with his teachings.

  2. Jerry, I am reading a terrific book right now by Mike Breen (who has several really great books on ministry that are all worth the read). He said it like this,

    “Ultimately scripture, creedal statements, and doctrines are statements about what we believe reality is – so let’s live in reality! This isn’t something we can disconnect or disembody from the way we live. If you’re not actively seeking to live in it, you don’t really believe it.” – Mike Breen’s Multiplying Missional Leaders, 23

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