I’m sitting here at my desk, pondering my sermon for this week, and I’m wondering, is the concept of “conversion” a completely Christian concept? What has spawn this thought? I just read an article about a small, rural church that has blossomed into a thriving church. They have started several ministries to reach out to all kinds of people. As a result of these ministries, they say, over 80 people have been “converted”. I can’t help but wonder, converted from what? From another faith, from no-faith at all, or from their own selfish ways.

I guess my problem with the concept of “conversion” as we often understand it is that it seems to go against a process understanding of salvation. It suggests that salvation occurs in this big, one-time conversion experience. But, isn’t being saved more complicated than that. At least for me, there has not been a one time conversion experience, so much as many little conversions along the way. And really, I don’t feel like I’ve left anything behind, so much as God has carried me through some things, using some crappy mistakes to develop me into the person Christ has called me to be. When someone “converts” from being a Muslim to Christian, is this a conversion or simply another step on their faith journey (And I’m not suggesting people should convert from being a Muslim).

I don’t know if I’m making sense. For a while I’ve done my best to avoid the term “converted” because of all the baggage I see it carrying. Is there a better term we can use when someone makes that step of commitment to Christ. Or, is “converted” a fine term and I’m just speaking nonsense?