Why I don’t try to convert Christians

There are few things within the body of Christ that irritate me more than watching one Christian trying to convert another. To me, this is a bizarre phenomenon to say the least. I am unabashedly Arminian, but I have no desire to convince someone from the Reformed tradition to come over to my side of the fence. Now, I will certainly stand for the distinctives of my particular faith tradition and I will be happy if a fellow believer decides to move into my camp. But I will not actively seek out opportunities to convert someone from one side of the Christian family over to the other. Furthermore, I do believe it is absolutely necessary to confront clearly false teaching. Still, I am not a fan of trying to convert a Baptist into a Methodist, an Arminian into a Calvinist, etc.

From where I sit, the church’s energies would be better spent on presenting the Christian message to the lost and not cannibalizing ourselves. Swapping sheep from one to congregation to another may look impressive for that particular church, but at the end of the day the total number of sheep is the same. In some ways this reminds me of early missionary efforts in Africa. Missionaries would enter an area and present the gospel to the local population with the result of many people converting. Later, Christian missionaries from a different theological background would come in and try converting the new believers to their particular denomination. The result was confusion for the recently converted, which may have resulted in a slowing down of the spread of Christianity.

There are so many people in this world seeking to lead people out of the faith, attacking it from every angle, it is sad to see Christians going after one another. We have majored in the minors and produced unnecessary litmus tests for fellow believers. Again, I am not opposed to combating heresy, but I am opposed to attacking brothers and sisters in Christ who simply disagree with me over what I consider side issues. Furthermore, I am not opposed to engaging with theological positions that I disagree with, but I am opposed to making the matter personal and insinuating that a person is not a “Bible believing Christian” simply because we disagree over matters of eschatology or free will.

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