Thursday, November 20, 2008

A quote

“I didn’t become a Christian because somebody with a Bible badgered me till I was worn down. I wasn’t persuaded by the logic of Christian theology or its creeds. I met Christ. This was, at the time, a big surprise, and pretty disconcerting.” At the Corner of East and Now by Frederica Mathewes-Green, p. 3


Pam H. said...

Yes, but how do people not raised in a faith meet Christ? (Not by being "badgered", I grant.) And there are some who are converted by logical discourse - it leads them to look for Him, when they wouldn't have, by emotional appeals. All are truly converted by finding Him, but they do need to be induced to look in the right places. (He seldom "jumps out" at anyone a la St. Paul....) Ultimately, we can do nothing to bring about others' conversions, but just because the farmer cannot make the seed to grow, doesn't mean he shouldn't plant the seed. It's difficult, not knowing the complexity of each soul, to discover what it needs. "Be ready always to give a reason, in gentleness and charity, for the hope you bear". I paraphrase - St. Paul, I believe.

No criticism intended - just clarifying upon the point.

MaureenE said...

I do see your point. And I know Khouria Frederica is definitely in favor of a more missionary Orthodoxy. And in this instance she was speaking about her personal conversion experience. I presented the quote because I thought that it provided a good alternative to the badgering and the logical discourse. Of course, all minds work differently, and if logical discourse leads someone to Christ, Glory to God! But the danger with that approach is that faith will remain logical when in order to become a living thing it must descend into the heart.

It's difficult, not knowing the complexity of each soul, to discover what it needs.

It is difficult, which is why the classic Orthodox missionary phrase is "Come and see." We believe that the Church holds the fullness of the truth and as such holds what is needful for every soul.

I think this has been a little rambley, but basically, I agree that we can't just sit back and wait for everyone to magically be converted. Everyone has a different path to Christ. I personally was simply baptized at eight months. I've never needed that St. Paul moment. What I d have to do is deepen my faith moment by moment, day by day, and in this I'm constantly failing.

Mimi said...

I love her writing. Good quote.

-C said...

Followed a link from Deb D's blog:

I completely agree with the badgering thing. More people are scared away from Christ by the badgering of Christians, I think, than come to Christ because of it.

Christ himself did not badger, as far as I can tell.

And at least for me, while logical and theological discourse was certainly a part of my journey, it only affected my head, and not my heart at all. It's a long way, for me, from one to the other.

Thanks for the post.

MaureenE said...

C, I agree entirely.