He was born so we could be…..

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

The process of conversion is the greatest miracle of our times. A dramatically changed life, as Augustine knew, is the most powerful testimony there is……an external change, something supernatural we can explain in no other way but through God alone. Jesus called it being “born again.”

“But you, O Lord, used the changes lives of other men and women like a mirror to keep turning me around to face myself. You set me in front of my own face so that I might see how deformed, how crooked and sordid and stained and ulcerous I was. Horrified, I turned and tried to run from myself–only to find that you were there, too, thrusting me in front of myself. You wanted me to discover my iniquity and hate it, because it bound me and kept me from going with you.” Augustine, Confessions 8

If you want to read about a powerful conversion, read the Confessions of Augustine; read the Apostle Paul’s from the book of Acts. Both dramatic and full of passion, but no less so than every one of us who has come to that moment when they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they must go through that door, and there is no stopping it. In my own Baptist tradition, we made a public confession of faith through a walk down the aisle in the church, also known as the “altar call”, and then again in Baptism. It is powerful, it is heartrending,  and the nearest to Heaven that we will ever be this side of it. It is the most miraculous and most important moment in one’s life. The Bible says that angels in Heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents, either in front of a church or in their own car going down the road!

I have noticed a curious thing happening in several churches of my own evangelical tradition in recent years. When it comes to that time of decision there is curiously no more walk down the aisle. For me this has always been the most important moment in the church service. You remember your own walk, and you want to encourage others so you stand and clap for them as the praise team or choir gets back up to close the service. And when you see one of your own make that walk…….you can’t even describe it. Goosebumps all the way.

Some churches have changed this to a quiet moment of all heads bowed and a raising of hands for those who wish to “make a decision” to follow Christ. Is this something we are now ashamed of that we need to do without others eyes upon us? When did it become something we need to be embarassed about? Everyone Jesus called was called publicly. Should it still be the same today? Can you imagine Peter asking everyone to bow their head and raise their hands without anyone else looking? Why are certain churches treating this great miracle of conversion, this most joyous and radical thing into something to be done in secret?

Jesus was born, lived and died a terrible death very publicly so that we could be born again into new life. Shouldn’t we be just as open about confessing Him? I don’t want to step on any toes here, and I do want to be sensitive, but I welcome your thoughts.

What are some of your own church traditions/teachings on this?

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32

Counting thanks in my heart today……time is pressing!

holy experience

4 thoughts on “He was born so we could be…..

  1. Hey Lori, my name is Sandra. I read several blogs on religion and prayer and I've i feel like I've ended up here once before. I ran across this prayer exchange website and I haven't had the chance to ask my Church what their stance is on it.

    I'm a bit confused, I think that there are some benefits to a site like this but some Christians might find it questionable.

    The website is http://www.prayermarket.com/.

    If you're looking for a topic to blog about, I would be curious to hear your thoughts and know what your stance is on this type of prayer service.

    I have your blog in my feed reader so i'll check back, God bless
    Sandra J.

  2. I agree! I spent the last year visiting several churches in hope to find a home church. Before the Lord led my family to where we are now, we saw this a lot. It makes me sad. I am labeled as 'traditional' and 'old-fashioned' at times because I believe that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. I believe in publicy serving and obeying the Lord with no apologies. We saw several large churchs with many people being 'saved'… with no acknowledgement. Just a simple 'find us in this room after service for a free Bible'. I think that new believers have to know what is ahead and be able to stand up for the Lord right from the start… or they will be too afraid to do it later. Or maybe just keep their beliefs to themselves. Many today just do not believe that Jesus is the ONLY way… just 'one of the ways'. I think that isn't stressed enough. We can't just believe IN God, we need to BELIEVE God. Ooops… getting off point. Sorry…

    Thanks for sharing! God bless! 😀

  3. Thank you for the thoughtful comment Mary Ann, it is an interesting topic for me and one I will continue to revisit and study from a Biblical perspective….I hope you are enjoying the blessings of the season! Merry Christmas. Lori

  4. Hi Sandra: I did go on the prayer market website and I have to say I had a sense of unease about it, especially the part about making money by earning tokens? I thought about Jesus and the moneychangers in the Temple and (I remember His reaction!) I think there is benefit from some of the prayer websites though, I just need to look into this one a bit more seriously. From my first impression, I would not recommend it due to what I saw, but I will check further into it as see if anymore red flags come up! Thank you for forwarding it and I will let you know if I come up with any more misgivings 🙂 Lori

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