Steve, one of the street preachers I speak with fairly regularly, likes to use his own conversion experience as proof that he’s been saved, and that those who disagree with his version of Christianity haven’t been. You see, he was apparently once a drug dealer on the streets of Toronto, involved in all manner of immorality, as he’d put it, and what’s worse, he even had long hair (he likes to show a picture of himself with longer hair from back then as a comparison to how he looks today with short hair, which he seems to think demonstrates to those who see it how much of a sinner he must have been at the time and how much better he is now), but at some point he remembered some of what he’d been taught about the Bible and started reading the Bible for himself and “got saved.”
I wasn’t there at the time, of course, so I obviously don’t know all the details, but it sounds to me like he’d come to realize that some of the aspects of his life were destructive and he knew he had to change, and he probably would have changed regardless (as many people have done throughout history without becoming Christians). However, because he ended up having what’s known as a “conversion experience” at the same time, he ended up attributing that change to God and to ”getting saved” instead of that realization. And yes, God was indeed behind the change (at least from an absolute perspective), because God is behind absolutely everything that happens (all is of God, as Paul told us), but his changed lifestyle had nothing to do with getting saved in the scriptural sense of the term, because based on what Scripture says about salvation, it doesn’t appear that he’s actually been saved yet (from a relative perspective, of course). And so, what he doesn’t realize is that, while the life he left behind might have been harmful, the new life he swapped it for is far more dangerous, because he’s now a member of the Christian religion.
How is the Christian religion more dangerous than drug dealing? Well, a drug dealer who hasn’t misunderstood Scripture yet can learn the Gospel and what it means and get saved, but it’s almost impossible for a Christian to do so, because they’ve deceived themselves into believing they’ve actually already been saved (relatively speaking), which means the vast majority of Christians are going to miss out on going to heaven at the Rapture, and will likely not get to experience salvation until the end of the ages, with many of them risking ending up in the lake of fire for a time instead (although, with God, all things are possible, and there are Christians who have gotten saved and left their religion, thankfully, even though it’s rare). You see, a drug dealer who hasn’t been corrupted by Christianity can hear Paul’s Gospel, which is the Good News that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, and realize this means that Christ has already dealt with sin once and for all, and that we no longer have to worry about sin at all because Christ took care of it for everyone (and so they can understand that this Good News means everyone will eventually experience salvation at some point, even if each in their own order). A drug dealer who hasn’t been been indoctrinated into believing the pillars of Rome by religious leaders can understand what it means that “He was buried,” because they haven’t been taught the doctrine that just His body was buried while He Himself went somewhere else altogether instead, as most Christians teach, and still understands what death actually is, and so they can actually believe all the elements of Paul’s Gospel and be saved. But perhaps most importantly of all, a drug dealer who hasn’t come to believe that he has to choose to believe something specific in order to get saved can still understand that he can’t save himself, as nearly all Christians believe and teach one must do (all the while not realizing they’re doing so, which might make this the most deceptive doctrine of Christianity there is, and please read that article I just linked to if you’re a Christian who thinks you don’t actually believe that, because unless you’re a Calvinist or a member of the actual body of Christ, you definitely do). And so, a drug dealer hasn’t yet been fooled into thinking they’ve been saved because they believed the false “gospel” of Christianity.
Unfortunately for him (at least from a relative perspective, although God was ultimately behind it from an absolute perspective, so it will all work out for the best in the end), the devil made sure he misinterpreted the Bible, and so he joined the Christian religion instead of the body of Christ. Sadly, he also brought his family along with him for the ride, and most, if not all, of them have also joined this destructive religion of self-righteousness and self-worship, and they now regularly visit one of the most spiritually risky places a person can ever go: a church building. As many of us in the body of Christ have come to learn, it’s far safer, both physically and spiritually, to spend time in a strip club than in a church building, because at least in a strip club nobody is deceiving you about God and Scripture when they try to take a percentage of your money (nobody is teaching the false “gospel” of the Christian religion in a strip club, nor are they promoting unscriptural erotophobia, or teaching us that we should walk after the flesh rather than after the Spirit, the way the leaders of the Christian religion do).
The problem is, while nearly everything Christians think is sinful actually isn’t, almost all of the actions and attitudes that they live by are extremely wrong (and often quite evil, all the while calling their actions and teachings righteous and good). As nearly everyone who looks in at it from the outside can see, greed, fear, paranoia, hunger for power, peer pressure, envy, hypocrisy, arrogance, prejudice, intolerance, anti-intellectualism, malice, spite, and all manner of other actual sins are the hallmarks of the Christian religion, but most Christians within the religion somehow just can’t see what is plainly evident to the rest of us. That said, where sin abounds, grace much more abounds, so even Christians can technically experience God’s grace (and eventually all of them will). But as far as those who don’t embrace His grace go, I really wouldn’t want to be a religious leader or Christian ”evangelist” at the final judgement, and those who willingly follow these leaders are in for a world of sorrow at that time as well (yes, it’s likely that most Christians will actually end up at the Great White Throne Judgement due to their believing a false gospel). If the citizens of the cities that rejected Jesus’ disciples are going to be judged more harshly than those of Sodom because they had the light revealed to them, how much more severely are those in Christendom who have the completed Scriptures going to be judged for ignoring, and even rejecting, the truths found therein, following the myths of their religious leaders instead because they prefer to have their self-righteous ears scratched?
Now please don’t get me wrong. I like this guy and enjoy chatting with him, as well as with his sons, and he (and they) have never been anything but pleasant with me (unlike one of their fellow ”evangelists” who doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise between his “you’re walking in darkness” and “the Lord rebuke you” interruptions, seeming to be inspired by a demonic attempt to keep the truth from being spoken). In fact, it’s for this reason that I wish they would all see the light and join the body of Christ, because I feel badly for them. Sadly, the god of this world has blinded their minds, and so unless God opens their eyes, they won’t be able to believe the truth prior to the Great White Throne Judgement. But I’m not actually writing this for them (although I still pray they’ll read this, and that God will open their eyes) so much as for those of you who have actually been saved (relatively speaking), in order to remind those of you who might hear about a Christian’s “conversion experience” and may be tempted to think it means you’re actually wrong and should join (or return to) the Christian religion instead to remember that many people have changed their lives for the better without becoming Christians, and so joining this religion isn’t proof of anything (other than proof of their eventual “everlasting” destruction if they continue down the road they’re on, although, thankfully, ”everlasting” doesn’t mean ”without end”). And if fruit is evidence of having believed the truth, just remember the fruit of all those Christians you’ve met throughout your life (and even those who might be living better lives now in some ways than they were before they converted all have “secret sins” they hide from the rest of us, so remember that you’re only seeing the “fruit” they’ve made public). As nearly everybody who hasn’t been blinded by the “light” of the leaders of the Christian religion knows, the fruit of Christianity is anything but good, so don’t be tempted to return to it if you’ve already been saved from it, or to give it a try if you’ve been blessed enough to never have been imprisoned by it.