Moving In For The Kill, Or You Need To Calm Those Urges Young Laddie!

I’ve likely mentioned her before, but I had a friend in college who I befriended when she was an atheist but 3 years later we got baptized together.

She had a radical encounter with Jesus one night in a dream. However, she didn’t become a Christian for another year. Why you ask? Because of the Christians.

It took her six months to tell a single soul about her meeting with Jesus. Partially because she didn’t want to be viewed as crazy, as partially because she wondered if she was indeed crazy, but mostly because she didn’t want to become a Christian. She certainly wasn’t a Republican, and she certainly didn’t condemn her gay friends, and certainly she didn’t want to be that person on the street corner with a large sign with Bible verses in an old english script.

And when she finally confided in her Christian friends about her experience they fulfilled many of her worst nightmares. They saw an opportunity and went in for the kill. The evangelical conversion kill. They took a slight tug on the fishing line and yanked on it hoping to get a 30 pounder flying into their boat.

So for another six months she wasn’t a Christian.

I recently heard Anne Lamott talking about how she became a Christian and she shared a story of how she walked into a church and they didn’t bother her but just let her “sit there.”

But… there’s a save to be made!

She could die tomorrow!

But instead, they just let her sit there.

Our agenda, of conversion, is often working against the person we want to convert. They don’t need to convert, they need to sit there. And though we’d love to have that ability to stand before God and say “well I did convert Marissa!” maybe we need to give them some time.

My Christian friends from college every week seemed to hope that it’d be the week she’d finally convert. They’d take her to a concert, to the Easter service, even to a big conference with the hopes it would put her over the edge. But she too just needed to sit there, and maybe with someone nearby not trying to get her to do something.

Do you think we push too hard for people to convert? Do you know someone who just needs to sit there for a while?

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17 Responses to Moving In For The Kill, Or You Need To Calm Those Urges Young Laddie!

  1. Yes, we push too hard. It’s life’s most important decision, and yet we ask people to make it with 3 minutes worth of thought and very little information. Just one reason that many people change their minds later.

    • it’s so true – and we use the intensity of the moment as a way to get them to act (i’m thinking of the passionate sermon followed by the moving crescendo-ing worship song)- when it may actually be better for them to sit for a while.

  2. I know I certainly used to. A conversation did not exist for 20 year old me that was not an opportunity to “witness”. I cringe when I think of myself then.

  3. Su says:

    Yes, definitely. I get that it’s well-meant (usually), but geez, we act like used-car salesmen sometimes.

  4. Larry Hughes says:

    Yes we do. .Words are cheap. The actions on the other hand are priceless. It is the strongest conviction that one can see in you witnesing to another.

  5. JamesBrett says:

    i think a lot of the problem is that we see salvation as occurring at a specific point in time. when biblically it’s actually a process. i’d argue that those who “just need to sit” are already in the act of being saved. just as i am in the act of being saved. i suppose a very good argument could be made that we’re at different places on that continuum, but my position is that salvation isn’t about locating points on a line — whether it be a single point at which time salvation took place or a particular point on a continuum.

    christianity seems to me to be about direction.

    • HolyRollerNovocaine says:

      What an awesome point, JamesBrett! AMEN!!!

      • you killed it my good man. Obviously for the person who just needs to sit, God has begun moving and saving long before. Everything you said makes so much sense to me, yet I fear we’ll never (collectively) think of salvation this way – it’s a lot more neat and cut & dry the other way.

  6. David says:

    As long we do the pushing, yes! If God does it (and we were actually in a relationship where we knew what He wanted), not at all. If we viewed people coming into the Kingdom as an act of God, not a sales funnel, it would all be different.

    In my lifetime I have shared the Gospel with few dozen people one-on-one. All but one made a decision for Christ. He was my first mark, and I simply was trying t get the score. The good news on that one, we still talk 30 years later. It still may happen.

    Contrary to your paradigm Charlie, not all Christians are Republican, gay-bashing Bible-thumpers. You really should try a new denomination. πŸ˜‰

  7. The only group of people that Jesus ever really became intense with were the religious ones. And then it was always negative. Jesus did not sell himself, he simply befriended people. He offered them what they needed. He met them where they were. He was the friend of sinners. Not an opponent. Not a used car salesman.

  8. Darius says:

    What we need is to remember that people need to be discipled, not converted. Discipleship implies relationship and time and a sometimes gradual “conversion” of one’s values and beliefs.

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