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HolyGround >> Have you ever converted someone?


9/15/11 8:59 PM
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JesusTapped
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Most organized faith groups share at least this common goal: to bring more into their fold, to "spread the Word" as the Evangelical might say.

I give the Witnesses total credit as they might be the most visible example of a group who actively seeks to enlist new adherents.

Have you ever brought someone to faith? How'd you do it? Phone Post
9/16/11 4:14 PM
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Lahi
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How do you think Christians should go about converting people if they are trying to be faithful to Jesus' teachings? I don't see anything in the Bible, or the early church, that tells me I have to get people to say they believe in Jesus, or join my group, so they won't go to Hell. Since you mentined Evangelicals and Witnesses, I take it that's your idea of conversion?
9/16/11 4:29 PM
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JesusTapped
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Actually my idea of conversion is nothing more than Britannica's definition of it. To convert is to change....whether we're talking units of measurement or ones choice of religious faith.

So, to get back to the question in the thread title, have you ever converted someone? If so how? Let's not haggle over what conversion means...we all know what it means. Some faiths prioritize converting others very highly...maybe yours does not. Islam has, historically, sought to spread their faith. Witnesses are actively doing the same, as i mentioned.

Do you try to share your faith with other with the hope of bringing them to your faith? Probably not if you don't know what conversion means... Phone Post
9/16/11 4:39 PM
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JesusTapped
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IMO, it would stand to reason that one with knowledge of the Truth is bound to share that truth if doing so could literally save a person's soul. Phone Post
9/16/11 4:40 PM
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Lahi
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Well I think the problem is that we that we don't know what it means, we accept what populare religion and culture tells us it means. But if I'm trying to follow Jesus, shouldn't I place a higher priority on his understanding of conversion than in what other people think about it?

Changing someone's views...does that mean that I force change on them for their own 'good?' Can I be an agent of change without using coercion, and still be thought of as converting people? I guess if you believe that religion is inherently evil, like Dawkins, you would probably be happy to force your views on others for their own good. Or if you believe someone has to say a formula to avoid eternal punishment, you could justify burning them at the stake to help them in the end.

Do you think that the Bishop in Les Miserables was "converting" Val Jean when he showed him unconditional love? Because the way I see it that is what we're called to do, without have an agenda as to the other person's response to our love.

9/16/11 4:45 PM
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Lahi
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Have you ever converted anyone?
9/16/11 4:55 PM
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JesusTapped
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You presume a lot about my intentions, dear friend. Try to simply read my words, rather than grasping at agendas that may or may not lay between them...

I never mention force or coercion in m posts. The fact that you think I'm implying as much may speak more about you than me.

To the point of the thread: conversion. Jesus converted many, and in many ways. Compassion and love, yes. He role modeled these attributes remarkably. He also converted through his use of miracles - the "shock and awe" approach you might say. All that aside, his goal was simple. To share the message so that he might save as many lives as possible. Jesus cared enough to share his message. He didnt force....but he did convert.

Now can you finally answer the question rather than bait me into a debate over nuance? If you follow Jesus do you not share his obligation? Phone Post
9/16/11 4:57 PM
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JesusTapped
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No I haven't, by the way. But I've suggested to several to seek Truth, that is tangible fact, whenever possible.

This has led some of my friends to throw of the trappings and ceremonies of diety worship. Phone Post
9/16/11 5:31 PM
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Lahi
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Wasn't trying to question your intentions, just that when we talk about what conversion commonly means I think coersion is often a part of it.

I mostly agree with your take on Jesus, it makes a lot more sense than a lot of others I've heard.

I believe one reason Jesus came was to begin establishing the literal Kingdom of God that his fellow Jews had been waiting for. I think that his understanding of salvation meant just as much about what we do with our lives in the here and now as it did about where we go when we die. I don't think salvation for him and the early church could be thought of as one or the other.

I have invited people to be a part of this Kingdom I believe we're supposed to be helping to establish, sure. I struggle to live it sometimes, but I do believe we are all called to love others, and to share this way of life with them.
9/16/11 5:33 PM
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inlikeflynn
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Yes, my brother. He lived with my wife and I after his divorce. I didn't do it with words per se, but rather how I lived my life. He saw that it was something that was real by watching me closely (didn't know at the time that he was watching). Same way I was converted, really, by seeing Jesus in others. I don't put much stock in door to door evangelism, tracts, etc.
9/16/11 5:35 PM
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JesusTapped
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Lahi - Wasn't trying to question your intentions, just that when we talk about what conversion commonly means I think coersion is often a part of it.

I mostly agree with your take on Jesus, it makes a lot more sense than a lot of others I've heard.

I believe one reason Jesus came was to begin establishing the literal Kingdom of God that his fellow Jews had been waiting for. I think that his understanding of salvation meant just as much about what we do with our lives in the here and now as it did about where we go when we die. I don't think salvation for him and the early church could be thought of as one or the other.

I have invited people to be a part of this Kingdom I believe we're supposed to be helping to establish, sure. I struggle to live it sometimes, but I do believe we are all called to love others, and to share this way of life with them.
Keeping talking like that an you'll convert me, sailor....kidding.

I respect your position. I'd say you've done some conversion work if you've shared your message with others. That, in and of itself, could ignite a spark that becomes a catalyst for change... Phone Post
9/16/11 6:24 PM
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gord96
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JesusTapped -  That, in and of itself, could ignite a spark that becomes a catalyst for change... Phone Post


when you here about a lot of people coming to God, it sometimes is based on something that happened in the past. something they saw or heard or witnessed. not so much something that happened in the present. it's like when their hearts were regenerated, they realized what some of those things meant. kinda similar to what you said JT.
9/16/11 6:57 PM
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zealot66
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 If you are referring to leading someone in a sinners prayer, yes, I've done it once. Back in my radical younger days. I feel totally uncomfortable 'leading someone to the Lord'. I dont do that stuf anymore. I prefer to challenge people to examine their faith, especially christians and face up to what they believe and figure out if it makes sense.
9/16/11 7:00 PM
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zealot66
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 Now, Jesus Tapped, in order for all of us ( there are more ) to understand where peoples views come from, what is your background and what brings you here?
9/17/11 5:10 PM
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DyingBreed
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i myself have never converted anyone, but i have led someone to jesus before, and he did the converting.


its awesome to see someone get born again instead of just "making a decision". if all you can get is a decision that eventually develops into someone finding God for real, then ill settle for that...but i prefer the conversion where there is a complete 180. where the spirit of God touches someone in such a way as to change them completely.


ive seen crack addicts set free in one minute and never go back...no withdrawls, no nothing. it is the spirit of God that does all the work, all we have to do is point the way without judging and without being prideful or dogmatic.


there are too many "christians" out there without an ounce of love out to CONVERT. it is the goodness of God that draws people to him. its not about a bunch of rules and ritual either...its about knowing him.


as ive said before, i didnt believe in God until i met him, and once you do, you will remember what you used to know before you were born....that he is, he loves us with perfect love, and he wants us to know him like he knows us.
9/18/11 10:14 AM
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JesusTapped
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I've never heard the phrase "sinner's prayer", zealot. Isn't every prayer a sinners prayer...since we're all sinners, I mean.

As far as my background...raised by two Protestant parents who, like most, couldn't agree about much at all when it came to "God's word". How many non-Catholic Christian churches are there anyway? A hundred?

As far as the guy who saw crack addicts spared the pains of withdrawal by Christ....hmmmm. Let's not attempt to claim that God spares those who come to him for saving. There are whole continents of starving and suffering Christians throughout the world....if God is sparing crack heads from the shakes but not Ethiopian children from the suffering of a slow, tedious starvation, I'd have to assert, at the very least, that he isn't an effective multitasker.

I love everything about Christianity EXCEPT all the diety worship. God said this, a virgin had a baby, the baby walked on water, died and returned. An eternal paradise that exists only for those who buy in...so we never even have to really die!

I'll take the love thy neighbor, honor thy parents, don't kill, live and let live stuff all day - concepts that predate the Bible and have been exemplified by good people (they, too, existed before the Bible) for thousands of years.

No hocus pocus for me, thanks. Phone Post
9/18/11 10:21 AM
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JesusTapped
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"as ive said before, i didnt believe in God until i met him, and once you do, you will remember what you used to know before you were born....that he is, he loves us with perfect love, and he wants us to know him like he knows us."

^^^
If your telling me you KNOW what you used to know before you were born, I'm telling you I KNOW that that you're legitimately crazy.

The truth is we both THINK we know we're right....

In all reality, my delusional forum friend, you didn't exist before you were born. Individual human lives are not nearly as significant as you'd like them to be... Phone Post
9/19/11 9:24 PM
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DyingBreed
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Just because there are starving kids in Africa doesn't mean god isn't allowed to help a crack addict. Actually, WE need to be helping those kids instead of blaming god.


As for me being crazy, so be it. You would be crazy too I guess if you had experienced it as well. It's something I just can't deny, having met him Phone Post
9/20/11 12:27 AM
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Benedictus
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Well, I am recently challenged to share my faith more in a more intentional way. However, I realize, if I talk anyone into "choosing" Christ, the devil can talk them out of it. So, as far as converting anyone to true faith in Jesus Christ, it is not a matter of intellectual accent and convincing as it is to the power of God working in and through the messenger bringing about true repentance anf faith in Christ.
9/20/11 12:28 AM
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Benedictus
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The bible says the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God. So it is not a matter of man choosing or willing anything to convert, but the power of God.
9/21/11 12:41 AM
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ironmongoose
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Lahi - How do you think Christians should go about converting people if they are trying to be faithful to Jesus' teachings? I don't see anything in the Bible, or the early church, that tells me I have to get people to say they believe in Jesus, or join my group, so they won't go to Hell. Since you mentined Evangelicals and Witnesses, I take it that's your idea of conversion?

You cannot be serious.

No one said anything about going to hell, but...

um... Matthew 28:16-20, the Great Commission?
9/21/11 5:28 PM
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reverend john
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the great commission tells us to make disciples that obey Jesus commands, Lahi was pointing out that this does not mean assent to an intellectual list of thoughts, and join a group.

As to your question, I have converted many people, both in the old school style of altar call in my past, and in influencing people to embrace the way of the kingdom of heaven here on earth. I could say it was not by my efforts, but sometimes it was, sometimes it was emotional manipulation, sometimes it was brain washing. That was the culture I was brought into, it took many years to wash that out. I hope I am much different now.

I believe God's Spirit, draws people towards truth, and I hope to live out that truth. Love is truth.

rev
9/21/11 6:00 PM
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gord96
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good posts Benedictus.
9/27/11 4:29 PM
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ironmongoose
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reverend john - the great commission tells us to make disciples that obey Jesus commands, Lahi was pointing out that this does not mean assent to an intellectual list of thoughts, and join a group.

Biblical notion of "belief" does not = intellectual assent.

The word "believe" is used plenty in Scripture when referring to entering into a relationship with Jesus.
9/28/11 9:16 PM
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reverend john
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and it means more than intelectual assent to doctrine. The truth is that the enemy understands the correct doctrine, true biblical belief means following the commands of Jesus.

There once was a man who walked a tight rope across niagra falls. Everyone cheered. He then walked a wheelbarrow across. Then filled it and walked it across to the cheers of the crowds. Then he announced he would walk across pushing someone in the wheelbarrow. Everyone shouted their approval. He asked if they all believed he could do it, and they all shouted their affirmation. Then he asked for a volunteer and it appears belief did not mean what they thought it meant. Nobody got in the bucket.

rev

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