Blue Card Christian
wasn’t long after I became a Christian when I felt the
call to “ordained” ministry.
To be honest, at first I thought some Tums could
take care of it, but no matter how many I popped, the
desire was still there.
I was about ready to get that “purple little
pill” in hopes that would work.
I could never figure out why God put this burn in
my heart, but He did and so I followed.
When I first started in the process of ordained
ministry I was asked by a group of ministers to “give
my testimony” of “my conversion experiences;” and
to “please give dates” of my conversation, call to
ministry and my call to ordained ministry – boy was I
in a world of hurt, and no “purple” anything would
had no idea what to do.
want what? They
want dates? Heck, I could hardly remember my birth date (thank God for my
drivers license) or my anniversary (thank God for a
loving wife) let alone my “date of conversion.”
I mean, granted I have a Palm (Tungsten E) but
those dates are not in it, I checked, three times.
So, what do I do?
What did I do? I was honest and I admitted that I did not know the
“dates.” It was like being in an old Sprint
commercial, you could have heard a pin drop.
After a few seconds (and what seemed to be years)
of this awkward silence they asked if I would
“share” my testimony and call, centering on my Chistology,
Ecclesiology, Eschatology and Hamartology.
I know I looked like a deer standing in the
middle of the road with glazed eyes looking at the
lights of a semi just before I become road pizza.
I had no idea what to say – none of those words
meant anything to me.
For all it matters, they could have asked,
“Tell us about your smug-waggle-wangy and your
rump-stinger-wonger, with your understanding of how all
that ties together in the fang-stanger-weesly of God”
because both would have come across the same way. This time, not only did they get the “deer look” but my
jaw dropped and I lost my gum.
So, I was thanked for coming and asked to wait
some time the meeting ended and all the “power
brokers” of the church came out and walked right past
me, without even saying anything – in fact ignoring me
the whole time. I
felt like a two-foot high child standing in a hallway
with nine-foot giants.
When it was all over, I was told by the head of
the committee that they had questions concerning my
conversion because I could not come up with an exact
time, place and experience to explain the event; She
said, “Every true Christian can give the exact time,
place and even that shows they are truly saved.” Wow, no one told me. I
had no idea that there was a “special, secreted,
double coded blue card” to this thing we call
Heck, if I had known that I would have asked the
Holy Spirit to punch my card and give details.
She said that they were also concerned with my
“inability to explain my call in relationship to, and
with, Christian terms.”
to say I was very confused.
How could this be? I mean, I have read that Paul had a certain experience, but
he never said that the date was to be remembered.
Even though he had a “conversion” experience,
his faith was a faith in process.
Peter was in process; James was in process; Jude
was in process – so, what is wrong with being in
of the writes of Scripture spoke in “Christian”
terms, they spoke as they did naturally.
What is wrong with not knowing the exact date of
a “conversion” experience?
What are “Christian terms?”
I had no idea that there was a special language
to getting into the club.
This experience caused me to be more confused
about everything – I almost gave up at that point.
I figured that was “just them” and that not
“all” Christians felt that way – well, I was
somewhat wrong; while not all, a great many do think
that way. It
seems that over my time in ministry, the idea of
“dates,” “conversion” and “secret language”
have become more important.
I have been turned down for positions because I
could not (actually would not) give a “date of
conversion” or a “testimony of conversion” or
write my “testimony” in “Christianese.” In the
very beginning of my faith walk it actually got to the
point where I was thinking of making up a story and a
date so that I could “be in the club.”
But then I realized that I did not want to lie,
and if that is what it took to be in the club then I did
not desire to join.
I started to figure, if God gave me this mind,
this experience, and this reality then there needed to
be a reason and I was not going to “change” to make
some people happy.
It seems that many think the idea is wrong, but
they are willing to play the game to make others happy.
But not me, I can’t do that kind of thing.
So, here is what I do now; when asked about my
conversion I try to answer, “Well, It’s all in
think as people of faith we are more concerned with club
entry points, secrete languages and special handshakes
then we are of the process of our faith walk.
I have a friend who is a Mason, and he once made
a very interesting comparison between the church and
He said, “To get into a Lodge, you need a
‘blue card’ and you need to know a special word, and
speak a special code language.” He then added, “In the church you need a “date card”
and you need to know the special secret code words based
on the denomination.”
In fact, he told me that any member of the Lodge
can challenge a visitor to that Lodge to make sure that
the visitor is a real Mason; and how they test?
They take the person in the back and ask certain
questions with “special” words looking for a certain
answer – and that answer needs to be “right” or
they are not allowed in the meeting.
people like dates. I think they like it so they can do silly things like having
“conversion birthday parties” (I actually know a
church that celebrates them).
They question those who come into the church so
that they know that the person they are talking too is
truly part of a “true” community.
They notice dress, body language, and other
things that show to them that those they are speaking
too are “like us.”
But in that, they show that the church centers on
conversion and not kingdom.
does not care if you carry a “date,” speak a certain
language or dress a certain way.
Kingdom people are not concerned if you are ever
that way. They
are concerned with your walk in faith, as God is telling
you to walk. For
those of us who have had a different experience, a
process, then the “conversion” people, we feel like
undocumented aliens in that world.
We fear saying anything because we don’t speak
the language and we feel that if we do the “Christian
Police” will come and tell us to leave.
I have found that “conversion people” see
their church as their “country” – while “kingdom
people” see their community as the world.
AS a community of faith we need to get past the
idea of “conversion” and get into the process of