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Grand Rapids, MI

Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things



Those who have known me in the last couple of years know that I’m enjoying creating some new words.  They’re fun.  I’ll have to share some of them with you.  Today’s new word is “deconversion.”  I think many Christians need to be deconverted.  To think about this, we have to think a little bit about the word “conversion.”  Conversion usually refers to a change of character, a change of form, or change of function (cf.  It refers to a total change of attitude, outlook on life, belief system, etc.  As a Christian, I think conversion matters.  I think it matters a lot.  I want people who do not believe in Jesus Christ to turn their lives towards him, to change their character to be like his, to change the way they function in the world, to change their attitude, their outlook on the world to align with the one who created and reigns over this world.  So, I’m sold out to conversion. So why bring up the word de-conversion?  Well, if you’re Reformed, you might accuse me of not believing in the Perseverence of the Saints, or wonder if I think that you can lose your salvation?  Well, that’s not what I’m talking about.  What I mean is that when many of us were converted to Jesus Christ, we were also converted to a culture of Christianity.  The originally followers of Jesus - known first as “followers of the Way” - were eventually dubbed “Christians.”  Certainly, in this most basic manner of speaking, being a Christian is not something we want to be deconverted from.  However, being a Christian today has a lot of things attached to it that were not a part of the original package intended by Jesus.  We’ve attached a lot of cultural mandates, or “insider” baggage for people to belong to the club that we have designed called Christianity.  Even worse than that, each of our individual churches has its set of provisions that you have to “fit” in order to “fit.”  Contrary to popular belief, I think God desires to deconvert many Christians from modern-day Christianity and reconvert them to Christ.  There have been a lot of books lately that talk about rediscovering the heart of the church, the way of Jesus, and the core of discipleship.  Sometimes I wonder if our churches (and I work at one, and lead in one, and am talking about evangelical Christianity as a whole… not any church in particular) are doing people a dis-service by continuing to prop-up a pale, decaffeinated, fools-good version of the real thing.  Sometimes I feel like we’re selling people a touched up black & white photo of the mountains rather than bringing them into the heart of the Rockies.

What do you think?  I’d love to hear.  If you’re interested in some books that ask these questions, give me a holler.

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