Tuesday, 23 November 2010

I was just thinking!

Now there's a dangerous thing to be doing but I have to say I was just thinking about a post over on Methodist Preacher's blog about Cyrille Regis a local footballer and his testimony.

Methodist Preacher is in a sense bemoaning the fact that the language of Damascus style conversion is not often heard in our Methodist churches and I do have some sympathy for what he says. I did comment on his blog but have given a little more thought to the matter since and started to wonder whether one of the reasons we don't hear much of this type of testimony is that the sort of experience we talk about was either that far back that some of our folk have forgotten it or because it has never really been tapped into people feel a little reluctant to talk about it.

One of the other things that struck me was the number of people I know who would not be able to say they had a conversion experience as many of them have grown up in Christian homes and seen themselves as Christians for the whole of their life.

If I wanted to be a little controversial I might even suggest that some may never have actually had a conversion experience and may not know the saving power of the risen Lord - but hey I don't do controversy.

My other thought I suppose is that while Cyrille's story might be very interesting it may only have reasonably local appeal especially given it has been a few years since he was playing top line football.

1 comment:

PamBG said...

I'll comment here because it's easier to do without sounding defensive. Also, I'm not entirely certain what the substantive point was - whether it was about testimonies, a particular old-fashioned style of evangelical church-going or believing that Jesus is Lord.

Testimonies of conversion are great when they are somewhat "fresh" but I think there has also been a tradition of rehashing conversion testimonies until most of your fellow church members have heard them many dozens of times. This also seems to go hand in hand with a church style that seems to assume that there is little more to being a Christian than "accepting Jesus as Lord" and once we are there we have it made.

I've seen good, God-loving people stuck in this mode actually wanting desperately to grow in faith but not having a clue how to do it. Personally speaking, I think that the way to do it is to start trusting God's love and God's "bigness" (for want of a better term) that we don't have to hold so tightly to the original formulas that we have learned. In other words, people have to become the very thing that they fear: the "wishy washy" Christian who doesn't have all the answers in their pocket. One thing that Chaplaincy has rapidly taught me is that the kind of faith you need to face death is the "Jump off a cliff into God's arms" sort of faith. Not the kind of faith that clings desperately to the certainty of the side of the mountain.

As to trusting that Jesus is Lord, what can one say that doesn't sound defensive? I most certainly do trust that Jesus is Lord. I also trust that Jesus is my brother who suffered as a human, I trust that he is my example I even - shock, horror - trust that he is my friend and advocate.