Can you be a Christian and a professional

conversion

What's this?


Conversion in Christianity means the personal beginning with God - the voluntary decision to believe in Jesus Christ as true God and true man and to believe in everything that he has revealed. Conversion leads to baptism or it is the way back to baptism. The converted person is enabled by the grace of God for communion with God and for a life that no longer ends. In YOUCAT 196 it says: “A person who turns to Christianity not only changes his worldview. He walks a path of learning in which he becomes a new person through personal repentance, but above all through the gift of baptism. He is now a living member of the body of Christ. "

What does the scriptures say?


Jesus' central concern is that people turn to God: "Repent and believe in the gospel!" (Mk 1:15). In the Greek language of the New Testament, two words denote this reversal:

  1. epistrepho = turn around again, return - for example, when it is said of John that he will "turn many children of Israel ... to the Lord their God" (Lk 1:16). Or when Peter addresses certain Christians that they have "gone astray like sheep, but now you have turned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls." (1 Pet 2:25) This means Jesus, the Lord.

  2. The word is even more important metanoia = Repentance, repentance, repentance. The word is made up of two parts: no no = think, and meta = um, after. So what is meant is a new way of thinking, a rethinking. Jesus used the word 21 times, for example in Mk 1:15: “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel! ”With this repentance, Jesus wants to remove the fundamental disturbance that separates people from God and heal them in their roots. Without repentance this is not possible: "Amen, I say to you: If you do not repent and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 18: 3)

The YOUCAT little catechesis


And punk goes crazy in heaven ...

To the question “How do I actually become a Christian?” Someone could answer today: “Stupid question, it works automatically!” Nobody would have thought of that in early Christianity. “The standard answer would have been:“ You have to convert! ”There are many references to what that means from the first hundred years. There it is said, for example, that the person concerned must turn away from the “vain way of life inherited from the fathers” (1 Ptr 1:18); he must cast off the “old man of the earlier way of life” (Eph 4,22). One cannot be a Christian if one continues to “fornicate, be greedy, worship idols, blaspheme, drink or rob.” (1 Cor 5:11) To be a Christian means to come into deep communion with the living God - and what prevents us from doing so , that's what we call sin. In YOUCAT 231 it says: "The prerequisite for the forgiveness of sins is the person who is converted."

I think the early Christians were right: being a Christian is not an automatism that somehow slips into something. Being a Christian is a fundamental turning point in life, which has its climax in baptism, but is willed from the depths of the human entrails. If it were a deal, it would be a deal where you give everything to win everything. Being a Christian is not an addition to normal life that is used to spice up everyday life and decorate it with a little bit of incense or meaning. It is the leap into a new reality in which we "have life and have it in abundance" (Jn 10:10)

There are no tricks

The trouble is: you don't even have to convert - and then it's good. It is true that St. Jean-Marie Vianney (Pastor of Ars): “If you really asked him for conversion, it would be given to you.” There has to be this first, fundamental turning point in life. But the theme stays with us so that there will be conversion in conversion in conversion in conversion. That may put off one or the other. But you can also see it differently: The nice thing about the Christian faith is that all Beginners are - better said: the classless society of those with whom God wants to do something. Even the saints are beginners - and not gurus who have it. Incidentally, saints are "pseudo-saints" until to the opposite is officially established upon death. When Teresa of Avila, the Church's greatest mystic, died in Alma de Torres in 1581, she thought she was the greatest sinner of Christianity. Perhaps rightly. She had seen so much light, experienced such a deep union with God. And if you then still "human", it weighs twice as much. So it is anything but a pious phrase when the Pope goes to confession regularly. He humbled himself in front of a little priest - and the poor man had to listen when the first man in the church chatted out of the "sewing box".

For every Christian, every day starts from zero. There are no pros who start at level 7. And those who think they've got the hang of it and are finally on 7 should see that they get back on the field and on zero as soon as possible. There are no tricks. Being a Christian is not a trick.

For me the train has left. Really?

Some people think of themselves, of their own biography, and say to themselves: This train has left for me! They believe they have too much baggage with them, too much lived life, to really jump on this bandwagon. Besides, they have their pride. They do not want, as Heinrich Heine put it, “to crawl to the cross”. You have to say: There are absolutely no preconditions for getting on the train, if not without consequences. You don't have to get a special ticket for which you would have to undergo a talent test or a body check beforehand.

Anyone can get on board, even if they are dirty or just feel dirty, have a lot of debt, cannot cope with their emotional world, live in unsettled relationships or have more questions than answers. You can be divorced for the third, fourth, or fifth time, you can be addicted to alcohol, drugs and the internet (or all at the same time), you can have been a believer before and have lost your faith in the crowd. It does not matter. Becoming a Christian does not require a correct life - according to the motto: First I get my life in order, then I can show myself to love God.

One would never become a Christian there. Which life is correct? It is the now - this moment, whatever may have been before. Erik Peterson once pointed out that there were people around Jesus with sicknesses and deficiencies, as if he had been drawn to them by magic. Having weaknesses is, so to speak, the permanent green card for access to Jesus. He can't do anything with people who have no weaknesses. Those who have no darkness do not long for light either. And longing is what counts. In YOUCAT 408 is it [called: “God loves us in every moment, in every unexplained state, even in every state of sin. God helps us to seek the whole truth of love and to find ways to live it more clearly and decisively. " The Gospel of Luke says that there is "more joy in heaven ... over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent" (Lk 15: 7). You are taking a tiny step towards God here - and heaven is punk! ...

What you get out of it

Believe it or not. In order to convince skeptics before they died, years ago I put together all earthly, tangible advantages - just as I experienced them. I still read the list with inner approval. Here she is:

  • You come into a deep inner joy.

  • You start the day differently and exit it differently.

  • You can look back without bitterness.

  • You're needed.

  • You feel safe in God.

  • You have a clear view of things and you get inner support.

  • You can reconcile with your past.

  • You get grateful.

  • You can look to the future without fear.

  • There is festivity coming into your life.

  • You find peace in your soul.

  • You have something to work on and something to fight for.

  • You become immune to despair.

  • You become a stop for your immediate surroundings.

  • You can look up and know someone above you who loves you.

  • You see through “chance” and feel guided by God.

  • You discover your dignity and are freed from self-contempt.

  • You make a lot of reliable friends.

  • You know where to start when you are exposed to addictions and addictions.

  • You can think better.

  • You will find ancient rituals that are good for your soul.

  • You feel freer.

  • You see the world with new eyes and enjoy creation.

  • You experience blessings and protection.

  • You become more loving and kind.

  • Your fear of life and future will decrease.

  • You get strength for very long distances and difficult tasks.

  • You can process emotional wounds well and deal better with suffering.

  • You will become part of a worldwide network - wherever you go you will be welcomed as “one of us”.

  • You experience togetherness and hospitality across language and national borders.

  • You can lose more calmly.

  • You can let go.

  • You have an idea how it will be with dying.

  • You find the courage to have an incredible expectation of life ...

What is the catch?

The effects sound great. But where is the catch on the product? What price do you pay for it? Do you have to give up your mind at the cloakroom and walk around the world with blinkers? Don't you have to bend to the limit? Don't you have to say “yes” and “amen” to everything? Isn't one slipping into an unfounded irrationalism? Don't you have to believe the blue of the sky for that? Do you end up in a no-fun area, in a unique jungle of prohibitions? Don't you get everything that is fun deleted? Don't you find the wrong people with the wrong music? Isn't it all going to be terribly exhausting?

I mean no. There's no real catch unless you're expecting a paradise with no problems and perfect people. Or you mean, you only have to change a small adjustment screw in your head - and you would see the world in pink. Millions of people were in front of the screen in April 2005 when the new Pope Benedict XVI. was introduced to his office. The old, 78-year-old man expressly turned to the young people at the time. Pointing to his long life and experience, he said, “Do not be afraid of Christ! He doesn't take anything and he gives everything. Whoever gives himself to him receives everything back a hundred times over ”.

He takes nothing and gives everything

Benedict invited people to the Christian faith; and he found strong arguments for it: “We are not the random and pointless product of evolution. Each of us is the fruit of a thought of God. Everyone is wanted, everyone is loved, everyone is needed. There is nothing more beautiful than to be found by the gospel, by Christ. There is nothing better than to know him and to give him friendship to others ”. That grabs me.

Nevertheless, I would like to say: If you believe and want to put your life on new foundations - don't do it to get any product advantages or because of the positive side effects. Do it Not because of your emotional balance, not because you will then cope better with your fear or because you will gain greater emotional stability. Especially don't do it because you're doing your mom, boyfriend, or girlfriend a favor.

Do it, because there is God.

That is the only reason to take the "new path". And to completely change the direction of travel for it. ∎