Converting Out Of Christianity
- By Sam George
- Published 06/8/2009
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A new faith renouncing ceremony has emerged. It is called ‘de-baptism’ and is a growing phenomena in Britian, a nation that send out Christian missionaries all over the world. See report in TIME and USA Today.
Brits are not converting to any other faith, but are simply unchristianizing themselves or say converting to atheism. This was spearheaded by National Secular Society (read New Aethists) and the campaign was carried over by ads in buses in London. It offered their ‘converts’ a certificate of de-baptism over internet for $4. It is estimated that over 100,000 people have been de-baptized.
Bizzare as it might seem, it is indicative of growing indifference in Western Europe towards Christianity, which was once the nerve center of Christendom. The growing irrelevance of institutionalized church and culturalized christians, at the face of multiculturalism, postmodernity and the invasion of Islam, may have been the cause of much of it.
See BreakPoint commentary by Chuck Colson, where he talked about Original Sin that campaign had targetted at. Christianity have thrived when it took root in a particular culture. Even as center of Christianity has shifted to the global south, the Western & Northern hemisphere Christians are forced to do some soulsearching.
In India, conversion has been a hotly debated political and religious issue and the anti-conversion legislation is enacted in several states. Some of those who have been converted to Christianity has been reconverted back to ‘original’ faith in a communal ceremony called vapsi, which never existed in Hindism before. Even poor animist tribals are forcefully converted to Hinduism as a result of this ritual, who were never Hindus in the first place.
If the Christian Gospel is truly universal (for people of all cultures in all times), Christians should engage afresh cultures of our times with the truth claims of Jesus Christ and make him relevant. When it fails to do and theological vaccum is created, it sure going to suck it whatever cultural fad emerges. Are you ready for this task?