Meta-Evangelism: Psychoanalyzing Conversion

What happens when someone changes their beliefs…converts to a new religion? It is so easy to focus on what they gain when someone becomes a Christian (community, forgiveness, salvation, etc) but what can we learn about evangelism through understanding the psychological processes of grief and loss.

Kubler-Ross gave us the Five Stages of Grief and it just so happens these don’t only work with grief of the death of a loved one but on any kind of significant loss.

What does someone lose when they convert to Christianity? A variety of things are possible: their worldview/way of making sense of the world, family, friends, their former “rightness”, etc.

Here is the issue with evangelism that gets us all messed up – we have to learn the process to respect the process and identify it as it is happening to better help the person we are discipling. We want them to go from step 1 (denial) to step 5 (acceptance) in 1 step. Sorry. It takes 5 steps, not 1! Once you understand that, you are that much closer to really helping someone by walking alongside them through the grieving process.

The steps include: denial (Christianity can’t be right), anger (how could I have been so fooled), depression (I don’t know how to move forward), bargaining (looking for a way back to what you believed or a way forward into new belief), and finally acceptance.

If you want more explanation you can find it here.


20 Articles and Videos on Racial History and Reconciliation in Churches of Christ

I asked Wes Crawford to write a series of posts on the history of race relations in Churches of Christ. He covers Alexander Campbell’s view on race, Marshall Keeble, and what we can do today. Very eye opening. I hope you will take 15 minutes to read these and familiarize yourself with where we haveContinue Reading

Are Churches of Christ Denominational?

You cannot set up a system of rules for everyone else and not go by them yourself. This is what we have done in Churches of Christ. A denomination has come up with rules not in the Bible. So do we. A denomination has liturgy. So do we. A denomination does things not in theContinue Reading

Chronic Anxiety in the Life of the Christian

If prayer automatically took away anxiety, we wouldn’t have any anxious people. If good advice could do it, same. So many Christians feel guilty about their anxiety. We have bought a line that says fear and faith are opposites or that worry/anxiety and faith are opposites. That just isn’t true. You can be perfectly afraidContinue Reading

Post Modernism

We were told there is no truth. That self is the ultimate. That what is true for you is true for you and what is true for me is true for me and who are we to make judgements on such things? This places us firmly in a narrative where self is the center. AsContinue Reading

What is the Core of The Gospel? The Answer Isn’t Surprising At All

What is the core of the gospel? Forgiveness of sins? Dying and going to heaven? Social justice? Doing kind things? The restoration of Israel? What is the core of the gospel? However we answer that question may say more about us than it says about the Bible. Martin Luther would have answered that a bitContinue Reading

Race in the New Testament: The Holy Spirit’s Role in Unity

In the Bible you will find a few racially diverse groups: JewsGentilesSamaritans Not all Jews were Jewish by race but most were. Some were Gentiles who converted but by and large the Jewish people were pretty homogeneous, racially speaking. The Gentiles are those who were not Jewish – everyone else. The nations. Among the GentilesContinue Reading

We Never Restored New Testament Christianity

The early restoration leaders had a dream. It was a dream to bring about unity among all the divisions in Christianity (which have only grown exponentially more numerous) through the restoration of first century Christianity. Some believe we arrived. No. Many believe we arrived. We restored New Testament Christianity, they say, because we look likeContinue Reading

Time to Listen

“11 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognizeContinue Reading

The More I Explore My Faith The More I Realize I Am Not Aligned With My Own Beliefs

I believe in the inspiration of scripture. And. There are times I violate the very things I know it says. I believe in eternal judgment and hell. And. I am not as evangelistic as I should be. I don’t go out of my way to befriend non-believers. I also believe in a loving and graciousContinue Reading

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