Conversion from unbelief?
While I was sitting in church last week, listening to a young missionary share his story. He recounted a tale of a man who claimed to be agnostic when they met. This man began attending the church services in the home church that the missionary was leading, and eventually became a believer. I have heard stories like this countless times.
I began to wonder about the people who convert to Christianity (or really, any religion), not having been brought up in it. I have a very hard time understanding this. The only reason I struggled for so many years over belief/unbelief was because I was brought up from the very beginning of my life being taught the Christian religion. Even those people in my life who weren’t full-blown “born agains” were still church goers. I can’t fathom having spent my life not believing, and then meeting a believer, listening to his teachings, and within a few weeks coming to believe these things.
Now, there is possibly more to the man’s story than we heard. This missionary was in Brazil, which is very overwhelmingly Catholic, so it is likely that the man was raised in a Catholic home. It is at least assured that he had plenty of exposure to the Christian beliefs. I can understand, a bit more, a conversion to a religion having been raised in another (especially when that other religion shares some aspects or history with the one converted to). Perhaps I have just answered my own question.
I wonder how many stories there are of people being converted to religion after having been raised in a mostly nonreligious environment (and I wonder how many of the stories that Christians may relate of such things happening are overly embellished).