Your thoughts on converting others to Christianity?

United States
January 4, 2009 9:57pm CST
I am a Christian, but I do not regularly attend church, nor am I sure of what particular sect of Christianity I consider myself a part of. However, my natural father is a devout fundamental Baptist, and he came to visit recently. We don't see each other much, and his church is very important to him, so I consented to attend a service with him. It was New Year's Eve, so the church was having a special night where 6 men (and they stressed that it was men in a way that made it clear that it wasn't even an option for women) got up and gave very short sermons on whatever subject they liked. Of the 6, 5 of them did sermons about converting others, or what they called "soul-winning", a phrase I hadn't heard which I will admit creeped me out - it just sounds...I don't know...like Davy Jones making deals to get souls! I know from things they said that every Saturday morning, members of the congregation go door to door to "spread the word". Now, I know the Bible says to spread the word of God, but I never took that to mean going door to door, waking people up, and going on an active bent of "soul-winning" (sounds like a contest, like you have to make a quota). I always thought spreading the word would be more effective through actions, deeds, doing something nice for others, or possibly by letting such a conversation occur naturally (which it does more than you'd think)...not by waking people up at 8 on a Saturday morning by knocking on their door and asking them if they've heard about God. So I was curious what others think about the subject of spreading the word of God, and, if any of you happen to be "soul-winners", how you feel about it, and if you can explain it to me better than the impression I'm given whenever the subject comes up. Me, I'm all for spreading the word, but not by forcing it on people.
3 responses
@resasour (378)
• United States
5 Jan 09
It's really sad to read what you have written. First of all, if you study the Bible, some of the BEST teachers of God's word were women, and that is documented throughout both the old and new testaments.. Not to mention that God says in the last days both sons and daughters will teach... so that tells me alot already about what is NOT being taught at your Dad's church... As for winning souls.....well... I do not believe you should impose God on people... but as a Christian, if Jesus abides in you, you will set an example for others, and you will cause some to be curious, and some to scoff you... If you listen to the "holy spirit" within you, you will know what to say and how to bring up the conversation about Jesus Christ ...and again, some will be interested, and some not... Those that are not...walk away from, or refrain from teaching the word of God to them... they aren't ready to hear it... Those that are interested.... share the story... God wants us to share him with others, but not to force him on others... he wants us all to make a conscious choice to know him, love him and follow him... We only have to plant the seed, my friend.... God is the gardener....
• United States
5 Jan 09
Thank you for that. It is well said, and I agree with you on both points.
• New Zealand
6 Jan 09
I like your comment. It shows your knowledge and understanding of the word of God and of the Holy Spirit. It is so lovely to hear from someone who doesn't sound patronising...I can hear God speak through your subtle references from the bible. Perhaps people could pray for Gods revelation of truth and direction over the leadership of her dads church, as well as a supportive strength for her. I'll pray for what I've just written now and I also pray for her heart to be made sensitive to hearing what God has for her. As you say, If Jesus abides in you, you will set an example... because you now belong to Him! Our Wonderful Lovely Saviour! May God Bless and Strengthen You and Everyone You Touch in His Name.
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
7 Jan 09
Jesus also said, "My Father's house is a mansion of many rooms", and by that He meant that ALL peoples are welcome in His house. So I really don't think it matters what your religion is or how you 'come to God', as long as you make the journey........and that journey is living our lives with open and loving and accepting hearts despite our differences of race, creed, or color.
• Regina, Saskatchewan
7 Jan 09
Always listen to your instincts ys. So far they seem to be right on target! I was raised Catholic. Very Catholic. So I believe in Christ - I just don't believe in the Church anymore. In my twenties I began a spiritual journey to learn as much as I could about all religions, in order to find 'the one' that seemed to make the most sense. None of them did. And one day it dawned on me why..............religion is an 'invention' of man. Faith and spirituality are gifts of God. So in the end, it became very simple for me. I believe in God, I believe in Christ, and as long as I try always to follow the example of Christ, in that I "love my neighbour as myself", or as Hippocrates put it "First do no harm", then I consider my faith strong, acceptable to God and a great comfort. I don't need to go door to door..........'spreading the word' by the EXAMPLE of my life has 'converted' more people than pleadings on stranger's door steps.
@resasour (378)
• United States
7 Jan 09
I feel that "religion" is mostly based on the "traditions of men" and less based on the Bible. Whereas Christianity is not a "religion" but a reality.(to true Christians) Faith and Spirituality are blessings given from our heavenly father to us in return for our love for him. In living our life, and constantly struggling to follow the example of Christ, we are becoming "over comers" as our father wants us to be. This in turn increases our faith in him and causes us to become more "spiritually" mature which is what God wants from his children. Our Lord is neither a beggar, nor is he a respector of persons. There will be many that thought they lived a good life and did the "right thing" and yet will be turned away from eternal life because of their ignorance. God is specific about this in the Bible. It does not say anywhere to go door to door to spread the word. But he is clear, that we should share him openly with others. Because many have already been deceived, and many more will be when the anti-christ comes.
@dawon007 (184)
• India
7 Jan 09
Hai former catholic. Your logic on brotherly love is correct. But how can you ever call yourself a catholic if you support abortion. For that you need the catholic churh to explain.
• Regina, Saskatchewan
7 Jan 09
Resasour, I'm not sure what you meant when you said 'the Lord is not ...... respector of persons'. At face value that tells me that the Lord doesn't respect people, and I don't believe that for a moment. To be Christian is to believe in Christ and follow His teachings, but to also say it is not a religion is also something I can't agree with. Men have made many religions based on the belief in Christ, including Catholicism. I know what you mean about God being clear about who and who won't 'go to Heaven', and as an ordinary person who couldn't possibly begin to know everything in God's mind, that alone would be enough to make me give up faith altogether, if it weren't for one very important fact: Only God has the right to judge what's in another person's heart. He makes that very clear in the Bible too. And I trust Him to know my heart better than I do even, and therefore, no matter how 'short' I may fall in what others believe is the right way to God, I firmly believe that HE will know and understand me enough to allow me a happy afterlife. Dawn007, Nowhere did I say I believe in abortion, so don't bring that into this discussion please. And any true believer in the Catholic religion doesn't believe in it either. So I don't quite understand your comments............?
@oyenkai (4396)
• Philippines
7 Jan 09
I think it is our duty to evangelize. But I don't think that evangelization is primarily about converting someone from institution to institution. I honestly believe that although someone might not be baptized as a Christian - if his life was dedicated to love and even though he may not have known it but he was actually serving the Lord by serving men and by becoming himself "good news to others" then he's all good :) Thanks for the response on my discussion!
• United States
7 Jan 09
I agree completely with what you said about those who may not be baptized as a Christian - I've felt that way for a long time. I can't see God condemning an essentially good person to hell simply for "ignorance", for lack of a better term.