From Sinai to Calvary- My Story of Conversion

imprrh@gmail.com —  January 31, 2013

I grew up in church. We went to church at least 3 times a week, sometimes more. Since my dad was also an evangelist, we had months were I spent most nights setting up the three carrousels of projector slides, along with a “dissolver” (Google it!). I also set up the movie projector with two reels, to watch a movie about the dangers of smoking called “I’m Sorry Baby” and another one about the life of Jesus that was pretty cool. I got a lot of church, but not enough Christ.

I liked going to church. The only thing that I struggled with was all the rules and regulations that did not make sense to a teenage boy. They say that rules without relationship leads to rebellion, and that is exactly what happened to me. I was shown the what without the why. I received knowledge without power. That has three negative consequences:

A. Knowledge without power is frustrating.
You never feel secure, because you never know when you have done enough. Should you pray one or two hours? Maybe an all-nighter would be even better. You work towards victory instead of from victory. There is never a finish line. It’s the race where the dog can never reach the rabbit right in front of him. It’s like the song says “Forever running, but losing the race…” One of the most vivid memories of growing up is having a constant feeling of guilt. I knew what was right, yet I couldn’t do it. That was very frustrating. It happens to plenty of Christians every day. Think about it for a moment.

· Millions know about the dangers of smoking, yet plenty choose to do it.

· Millions know about the benefits of going to school, yet many drop out.

· Millions know about the consequences of premarital sex. Yet teenage pregnancy is rampant.

· We know what to do. But we don’t. Why? Because information is good, but not good enough.

b. Knowledge without power is dangerous.
It can make you feel superior, and act superior. It can make you think that all you need to convert someone is to share information with them. I had no problem reciting the eschatological timeline. I could produce all the texts that proved why we were the correct church and Catholics were not. This is dangerous, not because prophetic information is not good, it is, but because when conversion has not happened, knowledge can be used as a billy club, even if in your own private life you are struggling with secret sin. This Ellen White quote summarizes what happens in an unconverted heart:

“There need to be far more lessons in the ministry of the Word of true conversion than of the arguments of the doctrines. For it is far easier and more natural for the heart that is not under the control of the Spirit of Christ to choose doctrinal subjects rather than the practical. There are many Christ-less discourses given no more acceptable to God than was the offering of Cain. They are not in harmony with God.”{VSS – The Voice in Speech and Song pg 342.3}

c. Knowledge without power makes secondary issues, primary. 
The greatest battles in the church I went to growing up were secondary issues. Hair length for guys. Movie theater attendance. Whether jeans were appropriate for church. Long battles. Lively discussions. Always followed by more rules and less freedom. When we make everything a sin, eventually nothing becomes a sin. It seemed to me that the greatest questions of life, were left unattended, especially the most important one, how to develop a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. It wasn’t until I was a junior in college that I understood that concept, and the knowledge of a loving Savior traveled the hardest 18 inches in the world, from my head to my heart.
My hope today is that you may have the knowledge and the power. God bless you!

PS- I identify with this story, check it out for yourself!
https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/El-Regreso-Movie/346816988711675

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One response to From Sinai to Calvary- My Story of Conversion

  1. El gran problema de tener la información correcta sin la conversión a Cristo es que vives siempre a la sombra del miedo cuando debemos vivir a la sombra del Altísimo. Hay bendición cuando un joven, adolescente o niño va a la iglesia porque realmente ama a Cristo. Es verdad, ¡Pasamos demasiado tiempo en el Sinaí como Egipcios sin convertir, caminando con Moisés sin entender, en el desierto sin saber que hacíamos allí, viendo la tierra prometida de cerca sin poderla disfrutar! Cuando encontré a Jesús mi vida cambió. Quizás no fue un hecho extraordinario para la gente, pero en mí sentía esa nueva vida. No obstante he comprendido que hay que mantenerse en el primer amor poniendo a Dios en el primer lugar. Gracias por el mensaje. Nos sentimos orgullosos (orgullo santo) de como Dios te usa poderosamente. Insiste y sigue adelante!!!