What happens when a 37 year old lesbian, tenured English professor who specializes in Queer Theory repents and trusts in Jesus for salvation? In her excellent book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, gives us her answer as she offers a glimpse of what coming to Christ meant for her life.
In the pages that follow, I share what happened in my private world through what Christians politely call conversion. This word – conversion – is simply too tame and too refined to capture the train wreck that I experienced in coming face-to-face with the Living God. I know of only one word to describe this time-released encounter: impact. Impact is, I believe, the space between the multiple car crash and the body count. I try, in the pages that follow, to relive the impact of God in my life. (p. xi)
Making a life commitment to Christ was not merely a philosophical shift. It was not a one-step process. It did not involve rearranging the surface prejudices and fickle loyalties of my life. Conversion didn’t “fit” my life. Conversion overhauled my soul and personality. It was arduous and intense. I experienced with great depth the power and authority of God in my life. In it I learned — and am still learning — how to love God with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. When you die to yourself, you have nothing from your past to use as clay out of which to shape your future. (p. 34)
This was my conversion story in a nutshell: I lost everything but the dog. (p. 63)
Coming to Christ changes absolutely everything in every way. This is not only true for the 37 year old lesbian professors who come to Christ, but it is true for everyone who bows to Jesus. Conversion is a “train wreck” for all. There are no survivors of true salvation. Jesus taught us this when he said:
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” Mark 8:34-35
Coming to Christ is having your old self put to death; never to rise again. The old man is executed and left for dead; the new man is brought to life (2 Corinthians 5:17). In this way, coming to Christ is much more significant than a train wreck because, He not only kills, but gives new life. Trains can’t do that, but Jesus does.