1. to convert or attempt to convert as a proselyte; recruit.
If you read this you are willingly subjecting yourself to proselytization. I will try not to ever mention this again in my writing, but it all has to be said once.
I grew up as a missionary kid. My parents work with the Assemblies of God church, and shipped our family off to Poland to share the Gospel when I was 7 years old. There is nothing about my childhood or my faith that I regret except for the fact that the Christian Institution pretty much cons people into faith.
For me, Christ is good news. Personally, I’m a depraved, broken, selfish asshole of a person who would murder (mentally, emotionally, physically, intellectually; every way possible) to get what I want. Jesus Christ died on a cross so I don’t have to be that person – or at least so that God doesn’t have to judge me as that person. Because I hate that person so much, Jesus gives me hope that there’s more to this pitiful existence than trying to go against my human nature and failing.
Jesus also shows me that God is omniscient, omnipotent, perfectly just and perfectly good. If you logically look at the world, a good God is impossible, because what good God would allow so much hurt and evil into His world? But I’d rather believe that the goodness of my God surpasses my finite understanding of goodness than assume God doesn’t exist. I’ve also had too many personal encounters with Him to just pretend that my realistic, fact-based perception of the world is infallibly correct.
I realize that all of that makes me delusional. Seriously, believing in God shows that I am 1. having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions 2. maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts. If you look at the world realistically, strictly based on observable facts… a God is far-fetched from that perspective.
Anyways, I’m happy being delusional, and my God delusion hasn’t kept me from being able to participate meaningfully with the rest of the world. Plus, I can’t throw away my personal experiences or discount them as nothing. In my experience, God exists, loves me, created me as His masterpiece, and gives me purpose. Not only that, but He loves, creates, and gives purpose to every single human in the world, if they choose Him.
If any of that resonates with you, I suggest learning more about Jesus Christ. If you are 100% happy and content in your own delusion, please continue along with that – 100% happiness and contentment is quite rare, and I don’t want to reduce its presence in our world. As a Christian, I don’t want to sell you Jesus, because that’s disrespectful to His mission, life, and death, but I do want to encourage you to explore His person, teachings, and power.
I do want to address the idea that the Christian Institution cons people into the faith. First off, let’s define what I mean:
Christian Institution: any group of Christians that are highly organized ie. churches, bands, charities etc.
cons: scamming or tricking, often through emotional manipulation
Growing up as a missionary kid, I had a front row seat to a whole production of corruption. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe that Jesus saves, gives hope, and totally, radically changes lives.
But I’ve been in an awful lot of services where pastors present the Gospel in a way that is genuinely emotionally manipulative, and causes people to pray the sinner’s prayer because they’re afraid of Hell rather than because they see Jesus as the redemptive finale to God’s plan. I’ve also been to a lot of outreaches where, in order for people to get the help they need (food, water, clothes, etc.) they had to sit down and listen to a 30 minute program about how they need Jesus. I’ve been to far too many concerts where Christian rock stars use the fact that the audience is stuck at the concert venue to spend 20+ minutes manipulating people to seek Jesus.
All of those methods are used to con people into praying the “sinner’s prayer” and win souls for heaven. Do people need to hear about Jesus? Yes! Is an emotionally manipulative speech to an imprisoned group of people the place to do it? Not at all!
In my experience, the “sinner’s prayer” is a method of a commercialized Christianity that has nothing to do with changing lives. Just so you know: neither Peter, nor Paul, nor Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, nor any of the church fathers prayed a “sinner’s prayer” as you hear it today. Instead, they proclaimed that Jesus was in charge of their lives and turned their beings toward knowing Him. They did this by reading His word (the Bible) and by listening to the Holy Spirit that He sent to them.
I guess I’m trying to apologize for the senseless, useless Christianity that many modern evangelists are trying to sell. Christ isn’t a product that you use to make yourself less hateful to God, He’s a person you can get to know. He’s also the son of God Almighty, among many other things.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. You can always send thoughts, suggestions, and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org as well 🙂 Thanks for reading!