“Often a new convert makes a decision for Christ solely for the benefit of one’s escape from hell. The decision was not presented as a call to repentance and a life of service and redemption under the lordship of Christ”-David E. Fitch “The Great Giveaway” (pg. 35)
I often wonder of the fascination churches and para church organizations have with numbers. We see this all the time. Success is measured in numbers, how many came to know Christ, how many re-committed (whatever the heck that means) to Christ, how many got baptized? We want to know these things, we want to know if we are being successful! Yet i wonder, do any of these figures really measure any kind of success at all?
How did we start thinking this way and how will it affect us? Well for starters I think it has a lot to do with the culture around us and how companies and corporations measure success. However the church is neither of these things so it seems like a foolish comparison. More importantly however thinking in terms of numbers will do great damage to those who were apart of the numbers!
When we start viewing souls as another notch in the belt for the church we leave that soul in grave danger. That person will start right from the get-go on shaky grounds because the person who led them to Christ likely led them with terrible motivations. Being converted to being a number basically throws out the hope for that person living a life for Christ. Instead they will live for Christ until it gets boring or too hard. I wonder if a better number to look at would be the number of people who have fallen from God and the church. There is a number i would be interested in!
I fear that as a result of these conversions we are starting to see things like what these videos portray, due to terrible theology right from the start. (Please don’t feel like you need to watch the full thing…its pretty awful).
Needless to say I am starting to learn more and more the importance of proper theology in how we handle the things we do as Christians. Don’t just assume that everything you hear is correct. Don’t (EVER) assume that anything you read on this blog is correct. Start reading God’s word and talking to believers who have been following God longer than you (at least ten years longer than you) and lets help each other instead of hinder each other.
“When baptism (or confirmation) carries such weight, when it is more than a personal public testimony of one’s own private decision, when it is the full renouncement of a former way of life and a turning to a life of following Christ, it will then make sense to count baptisms (or consecrations of baptism of confirmations) as a sign that what we are doing as a church is being faithful to our call in Christ to make disciples and be his body.”-David E. Fitch “The Great Giveaway” (pg. 37).