"Conversion" has nice rhetorical relevance to this blog, given the name. It's about change. And while changing sexual orientation has been on my mind quite a bit of late, the evidence is pretty weighted against that. Conversion to greater satisfaction with hetero sex may be more likely. Hell, that's already happened, come to think of it. But I'm not ruling out the possibility of full flung conversion--there's anecdotal evidence it is possible however improbable.
But the conversion I'm pondering tonight is conversion to the gospel. Testimony is having a knowledge of the truth, conversion is putting it into practice. I once asked my seminary teacher, "Why wouldn't someone who knows something put it into practice? Why would they just act differently?" He pointed out that that's the whole point of life. We must learn to act on things we know... and part of that is avoiding doing what we know is wrong. And as we do that, I guess, we get converted.
"Depth" of conversion is another matter. I remember when I was a kid, my Mom was a doomsday 2nd coming buff. She loved to talk about it, and most of the time scared the crap out of me. But one of the interesting things we talked about was how many in the church would fall away before the 2nd coming. I thought this was ridiculous. I mean, if it's actually part of the prophecy that part of the people would fall away, then why wouldn't people guard against it? Why wouldn't they figure out a way to side-step the risks? Why wouldn't they actually see it happening, realize that it was exactly what was predicted, and then pull their butts back to being faithful? What sort of depth of conversion is necessary to survive?
I have no answers even now. As I see friends and relatives leave the church, I'm struck with amazement as I watch the inexplicable fulfillment of those childhood lessons. People seem to leave for a wide variety of reasons, but (as predicted) most of them can be traced back to pride and sin of various kinds. I realize this indictment of mine can be offensive to those choosing to leave the church, but it still seems to fit well as a rule. And I'm amazed.
So, how does one like me get the "depth" of conversion necessary to make it through? How can I be one of those virgins with the spare oil? I appeal to your collective wisdom.