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November 2, 2005

Call to Conversion

Robert on July 18, 2010 01:01 PM EST writes:
LOVE, Hope & faith

Imagine a distant world far different than our own. A world where all creatures truly love each other more than a human child loves her own mother. A world where you never have to look over your shoulder if fear because everyone truly loves you more than they love themselves. No survival of the fittest. No predator or prey. No crime of fear. No pain or tears. That world of love & peace is so contrary to human nature that the full glory of it has never entered a human mind. This is the all-powerful love of God! A love so great that the rich do not oppress the poor & the strong do not dominate the weak. A love so true that people cannot find satisfaction in being better, stronger, faster, smarter, or richer than others. Hope to the end for this world & one day ou shall be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, all who ask shall be changed, & this planet will be a distant memory. This is the simplicity of Christ. If anyone preach another Jesus let him be cursed. 2Cor 11:4,13-15
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Ann on January 26, 2010 02:56 PM EST writes:
Not politically correct?

Perhaps the problem with evangelists today is that they're worried about not being politically correct and offending someone. Or, perhaps they're afraid that they'll be seen as aligning to closely with a political party. Pastors cannot endorse candidates without fear of having their tax-exempt status taken away. They have a muzzle over their mouths and try to balance what they want to say with what they can actually say and remain viable.
As you state, "The destructive behavior of economic and political structures is not generally a subject of evangelistic sermons."
What has to change in order for evangelists to feel free to speak the truth?
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Brian E. Curdy on November 29, 2009 04:18 PM EST writes:
My Conversion

Salaam, dear Christian Brethren.
What a thoughtful article that covers a reflection that still disturbs me. I grew up in the Cold War in the Christian tradition. As a child I was already confused by the contrast between the teachings of Jesus and the credos of various Christian churches where I sought refuge.
For over 10 years I have been a believing and practicing Muslim. The Koranic teachings defend the Holiness of the Christian Gospel and maintain that the words of the Prophets and Messengers of the Lord (PBUT) may not be "interpreted" by oulemas (i.e. scholars-for we have no word for "theologians.") Thus our "Jihad" is our struggle to conform to the will of the Lord. No person who willingly assails the innocent is a Muslim. The Koran and the Hadiths are formal. Islamic tradition also has a history of idols and tyranny-but the practice is condemned as the work of Satan. At the age of 58 I feel that Muslims are followers of the Lord's Prophet Jesus-while capitalism
is idolatry.
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Matt Heaney on October 10, 2009 12:38 AM EST writes:
Brilliant

A call to a holistic faith that is truly normative Christianity. Brilliant!
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Albert G darmo on September 16, 2009 12:50 AM EST writes:
american christians converting moslems

HOW CAN AMERICANS CONVERT MOSLEMS, WHEN AMERICAS HISTORY IS COVERED IN BLOOD, STARTING BY KILLING OR DISPLACING THE NATIVE POPULATION, THEN USING BLACK SLAVES, THEN SUBJUGATING SOUTH, AND CENTRAL AMERICA, THEN INVADING AND BOMBING VIET NAM. IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, HAITI,AND MANY MORE.aMERICANS WORSHIP MONEY NOT GOD.
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Simon on May 28, 2008 10:28 PM EST writes:
Teaching Goats

Hi, I enjoyed the article.
Paul Washer gave a sermon from a similar point of view back in 2002. He tended to point more to the fact that if the Holy Spirit has not done the work of conversion (through genuine repentance) then there will be no on going evidence of salvation. Hence the conversion is not a conversionýjust a decision. He recommends that we all test ourselves as the bible instructs us to, to see if we are in the faith. So it is not the fact that these sheep wont obey Christs commands, the point is they are really goats! Not all who say Lord, Lord will enterý He explains that protestant evangelicals have turned the sinners prayer into a flu shot, equivalent to the Catholic view of infant baptismýI did (fill in the blank) so I am saved.
May God be glorified through all that we do!
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CeeCee on July 26, 2007 02:33 PM EST writes:
Thank you

Thank you so much for this excerpt, I have ordered Call to Conversion (sadly, but not shockingly, for $.98 on Amazon.com). I read Borg's Meeting Jesus again for the first time a few years ago after having become agnostic in response to my Southern baptist upbringing, and I've been trying to find a place in a Christian community, but I keep coming to this same place... I want to follow Jesus, but none of the churches that I've attended seem to be following the same Jesus I've read about in the Bible.

Response to VG- That is the good news... our culture is a false idol, and connecting with Christ must happen by connecting with his message, not the cultural one, actual change is a confession of sin, and only then will we know the grace of god and joy of living within his kingdom. Jesus message was not just words, that's the good news.
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MSM on October 24, 2006 09:49 PM EST writes:
as the carpenter

As the carpenter, this hit the nail on the head. I would ask rhetorically; Is the Kingdom of this world? No. Are we instructed to live in, yet not of this world? Yes. Separate, not separated. So can we bring the Kingdom to this world? Not really. What is our commision then? First, work out our own salvations. Then be a shining light on a hill, not under a bushel. WE are to rejoice as we may both abound or abase. Nothing wrong with it if you happen to abound. Has God promised us that we would live more abundantly? He has.
To reiterate, this hit the nail on the head for the most part.
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Peli on October 24, 2006 06:45 PM EST writes:
Hanging out with sinners

If I understand properly...that Jesus hung out and dined with "sinners" while most of the time finding himself in complete conflict with the religious leaders. I do not think it has changed much! Hypocrites and power mongers...no wonder why Conservative christians and conservative politicians get along so well! May God have mercy on all of us.
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Angela Adams on October 24, 2006 06:28 PM EST writes:
Anon, Catholic & Christianity

Dear Anon, Don't let the hypocrisy of others keep you from embracing the truth yourself! Don't distance yourself from religion per se, but "true religion" as scripture defines it.
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Angela Adams on October 24, 2006 06:24 PM EST writes:
capitalism & Benji

While capitalism may lead to grievous sin, I am not convinced it is either inherently good, nor inherently evil.

Benji,
I can't see how you can read the entire scripture and not interpret some form of eternal torment.
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jparkejr on October 24, 2006 04:48 PM EST writes:
Modern Prophet

These are the words of a modern prophet - and they tear at our souls. We have a place in our minds that we hide away thoughts that we can't reconcile and don't want to confront. For example, for me this is where I hide fears about flying so I can keep getting on airplanes. If I don't hid these away I'm not sure I would be able to function. Unfortunately, Jim's words make it clear that I'm also hidding from the conflict between how Jesus has called me to live and how the environment I chosen to live in calls to me. I see the gap but it is larger than I can leap and the little steps seem inconsequential but I will keep taking them - with God's help.
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Lt on October 24, 2006 11:40 AM EST writes:
Thank you for your insightful words. I could'nt agree more and have experienced the lack of life that stems from "American" style christianity. These will have to be ground breaking days ahead for those of us in agreement. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we have been called for a purpose. We need to also be able to examine our own lives and hold ourselves accountable. It is very hard to change a nation without first changing ourselves. We need to be conscious to the choices we make daily in our business and community lives and truly ask ourselves "WWJD" without extreme legalism but a change which is sincere and motivated by a response to the Holy Spirit in our lives.
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Benji on April 15, 2006 05:39 PM EST writes:
Truer words were never spoken. The Institutional Church (copyright 6th Century A.D.) is all butter and no potato, a circus maximus of commodification and confusion. Denominationalism and division over often trivial differences of scriptural understanding are what most non-Christians see, which is why the world avoids the faith like sour milk. Plus, the vile hypocrisy inherent in the "eternal torment" doctrine scares away anyone who would want to give even a glance to the Christian faith---most "Fundagelicals" do not live as if they need to warn others about this fictional neverending torture, and thus do not really believe in such an unscriptural monstrosity. This understandably makes them laughingstocks among those who are not Christians.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits"---this verse shall be the measuring stick by which His followers will be judged by outsiders. As the old hymn rings out, "They will know we are Christians by our LOVE". Indeed.....indeed.
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Dodie Dugan on February 9, 2006 09:17 PM EST writes:
Call to Conversion

I thank you for not candy-coating this message. It is time that Christians put up or shut up! I will certainly pass this message along to my church.
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Graeme B on November 24, 2005 02:46 AM EST writes:
Bravo!!

Well said!
From here in Australia we look at those so-called 'christians' in the US and wonder just how they can even consider themselves to be followers of Christ.
A classic example is those who would kill abortionists for 'committing murder' yet see no wrong in THEIR taking a human life (NOT something I recall Jesus doing a whole lot!)
In my opinion, most so-called 'christians' in the US are hypocrites, with no idea of the values and teachings of Christ.
And just where in the Bible, may I ask, does it say that we must give all our money to televangelists?...I seem to recall an incident where money changers were sent packing from the temples...it seems that in the US at least, the moneychangers have been welcomed back with open arms, and now RUN the temples...with help (and tax breaks) from the Federal Government, whose agenda seems to have been merged with the message from the pulpit by unscrupulous persons concerned more with gaining worldly power and money than with teaching Peace.
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Harry Peterson on November 18, 2005 12:27 PM EST writes:
review

Well said. We need pray for God's grace to touch our preachers and pastors that we will once again be Theologians and not motivational speakers.
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Perry J Greenbaum on November 16, 2005 07:01 PM EST writes:
Betraying Jesus

I agree with the views that Mr. Jim Wallis expresses so forecfully. Unless we take the gospel seriously, not as some means of self-actualization or self-fulfillment, but as a way to approach a holy God, we will fail as Christians. Of course, God still is the power behind the throne. And His mercy and love extends to us even when we don't truly understand the simplest of messages.
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Rev. David del Valle on November 15, 2005 01:29 PM EST writes:
I appreciate Jim's comments and insights. It is my belief that many of our churches and denominations today either do not possess or embrace a theology of suffering. The crucified God is out of the picture. The gospel of prosperity (an anti-gospel I suppose!)has drawns countless numbers to itself like Aaron's golden calf. In the end people will eat their personal baals as the dust of reality hits home.
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Stan Avery on November 13, 2005 01:40 AM EST writes:
heart of the matter

Good, provocative, but too verbose and complex for we unwashed. The real issue is the Law of Charity, God's only law. It is a terrifying death sentence to worldly believers. If we simply obey it, we abandon the covetousness celebrated by most evangelicals. Charity is inherently sacrificial, and connected to God. Religion is not.
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Dinah on November 11, 2005 04:53 PM EST writes:
Very nice. If you have not done so already, look into the sermons of Max Comfort. I think you will find that, while he takes a different angle, his preaching is theologically in line with yours. I wish more like you and Mr. Comfort would stress transformation over accomidation.
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thomas on November 10, 2005 07:44 PM EST writes:
hear, hear.
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Anon on November 10, 2005 07:41 PM EST writes:
Very Insightful

I was raised catholic, and have since distanced myself from religion for the very reason stated in this great piece of writing. The disparity of word and action in the christians and catholics i've met throughout my life is disheartening. I'm encouraged to see that there is a group of christians that look at the world in terms of right and wrong instead of looking at it in terms of christian and un-christian. (and for all the people that will predictably say that it's the same thing, think first and look at the church's historic role in reinforcing social and cultural injustices)
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VG on November 4, 2005 06:02 PM EST writes:
I was waiting for the good news.... the gospel. Even Jonathan Edwards, in his great sermon "Sinners in the hands of an angry God", gave us the good news before he quit.

"If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:9

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