Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"Converted to what?"

Michael Ramsey in The Christian Priest Today:
...both the evangelist and the converts can be in blinkers about parts of the intimate environment in which their Christian commitment must be lived out. My own experience covers many different places in the world. I recall congregations of white Christians who would be antagonized by the presence of black Christians worshipping with them. I recall congregations who are unaware that any questions of Christian conscience are posed by their enjoyment of a very high standard of comfort not far from places of desperate poverty and squalor.... both these illustrations may imply a priest who is blithely unaware that anything is amiss so long as souls are 'converted and 'saved.' 'You see the gospel must always come first.' Is it surprising that in some quarters there grows a seething disconent with both Christianity and the Church? Men ask 'Converted to what?', 'Saved for what?'
...the first priority is to preach the gospel to men and women so that they may be converted to our Lord. But if a person is to be truly converted the conversion must embrace all [the convert's] personal and social relationships.... Be it your wisdom to preach the gospel of conversion, making it clear that it is the whole man with all his relationships who is converted to Jesus as the Lord of all he is and does.