I’ve not been fond of the term “conversion”. I seems like an overly formal and outdated form of something that can be said more easily.
However, I had some thoughts the other evening that make the term seem more useful.
“Conversion” implies change from one state to another. That idea has some application to becoming a Christian. It’s not so much about changing from being a “non-Christian” to being a “Christian”; it’s deeper than that.
It’s more like this:
- I used to be a ________, but now I am following Jesus.
- I used to consider myself primarily an American, and now I am primarily a Christian. Though I am still American, that is not the set of ideals and beliefs that guides my life any longer.
- I used to be a religious nut, but now I am a Christian instead.
- I used to be a self-centered narcissist, but now I’ve decided to follow Christ instead.
- I used to only care about having fun and getting more stuff, but now I am a Christian.
You get the idea. It’s deep than simply deciding to be a Christian. In fact, the whole decision be a Christian involves a lot more than a momentary decision. It is commitment to a new life because it is allegiance to a new master.