Sunday, March 10, 2013

Constant Conversion

       A true convert never stops converting. All of his life, is a journey of numerous conversions. His hunger is to be what God wants him to be, but this never happens because most become what their denominations want them to be. So powerful are these denominational systems that they take genuine converts and freeze them into a bigoted insularity. All truth only exists within their own closed-circuit, lopsided, systems. And everyone outside this system is equal to an infidel. In the invectives of Jesus, this is the story of the blind leading the blind (Matthew 23: 16 - 33). The first conversion is from nominal to denominational. The second is from the denominational to the abominational. Real growth takes place only when we move beyond the first and the second to the umpteenth.
       A true convert, sooner or later, sheds his denominational or para-church skin and turns around to a greater intimacy with God and man. A true convert keeps on converting all his life. And this has been true for ages. Way back in Israel's exilic time, Daniel recieves a pre-messianic visitation and this is what was told him - "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them (Dan 10: 12). Observe in the text how setting the mind to gain understanding is connected to humbling yourself. You can never gain understanding if you cannot humble yourself by throwing away your pet doctrines. And the reward for so deep-core a cost is the response of God's own presence. For this promise of God's presence, any amount of converting is worth it. The proof of this presence is seen in the volume of love for God and in the discipline of peace with men. There is no complaint in their heart towards anyone.
       And so the true convert keeps on converting. Its a life-long journey. The journey never stops. Every crossroad is landmarked with God's presence, even though it may be pockmarked with disappointments and failures. The journey only stops when, this poor, wandering, hungering and thirsty soul finally finds his rest in God's own sacred bosom. Then the journey stops. Death does not take the old, it takes the ripe. He has arrived in the City of Light. But until then... he keeps on converting... and the hunger for heaven perennially gnaws.
       So if you have to grow, you have to go.

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