Is It Wrong To Change Religion? -- By: John Ballentine

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 04:1 (Spring 1961)
Article: Is It Wrong To Change Religion?
Author: John Ballentine

Is It Wrong To Change Religion?

John Ballentine

Tyler, Minnesota

In the course of conversations concerning Christ, one often hears statements like this: “If anyone gets to heaven, it will be my father (or mother) and his religion is good enough for me too”; or “I have been born and raised a ... (Lutheran, Catholic, Jew, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, etc.) and no one will ever change me to another belief”; or, “I made a vow when I was confirmed that I would never leave the Lutheran (or other) church and therefore I intend to stay in it until I die.” These are typical statements from good moral religious people, and they deserve serious Scriptural answers from the Word of God.

Parental Practice

It is certain that many mothers and fathers have lived godly Christian lives before their children and deserve to be honored after their departure from this life; but it is also true that no parent ever lived a life so acceptable to God that it would allow any of their children entrance into heaven. The mother of Jesus, godly as she was said, “I rejoice in God (or Christ) my Saviour” (Luke 1:47). The mother of the world’s Redeemer, instead of being a co-redemtrix, as some religions describe her, acknowledged herself as a sinner, for only a sinner needs a Saviour. Mary was born and raised as a very religious Jewess and she recognized the necessity of accepting Jesus as her own Messiah, which would change her religious convictions from Judaism to what is now known as Fundamental Christianity. Certainly it was not wrong for Mary to “change” religions, to receive her own Son as Lord and Saviour. She undoubtedly knew the truth of the words of Jesus when He said, “Except ye be converted (or turned), and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3). The family relationship was not good enough for Mary, and it is not good enough for you; there must be a conversion, a turning from sin to a Saviour. It would amount almost to the folly of ancestor worship to depend on the religion of either mother or father.

Rites And Ceremonies

To say that I have made a vow at Confirmation is actually saying, “I have confirmed something which never took place to begin with.” It is the plain teaching of the Lutheran Church that baptism (sprinkling) saves. Look to the Book of Concord, p. 468: “The power, work, profit, and fruit, and end of baptism is this, to save.” Luther’s Small Catechism, Part IV, II: “What gifts or benefits does Baptism bestow? Ans, It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting s...

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