Redefining Christian conversion and discipleship: towards a Charigma- Didache-Discipleship model for grounding new converts in a Seventh – day Adventist church of central Kenya conference
In this study the researcher has combined an empirical and a theological documentary methodology to: investigate whether there are significant levels of aberrant faith expression; and also re-examined the doctrine of conversion and discipleship, in the Central Kenya Conference. The major concern has been there may be flawed spiritual formation processes of the newly converted members in this particular church of CKC. The investigations focused on the correlation of the aberrant faith expressions and rebaptism cycles involving older members seeking to be re-baptized ever spiritual revival even is over. The compelling empirical evidence suggests that the religious praxis of the church in CKC is significantly aberrant. The evidence shows that levels of up 65% of the respondents mix their traditional beliefs with Christian doctrines. Thus, the researcher argued that the Christian convert and the doctrine of conversion and experiencing it engender particular ways of talking and thinking about and practicing belief in the church. Change that is presupposed by it must be made a steady progression through the model developed so as to bring about a progression in cognitive restructuring or transformation rather than an instant event. However, the theological documentary inquiry gleaned evidences that suggest that aberrance in religious praxis is a natural consequence of doing theology in Africa especially engineered by the African consortia as a scion of the new African Liberation theology. African scholars have strongly defended it as Nthamburi, Mbiti, Idowu, among others. This view is persuasive as an excuse for aberrant faith but then others like Gosnell Yorke depart diametrically to defend the aberrant faith expression as proof of syncretism that is unavoidable and a natural result of conversion thus giving the debate an important twist. It is thus recommended that a Charigma-Didache Discipling model be adopted in addressing this aberrant faith situation. It advances the argument that change is being a new creation as opposed to being a new creature.
Key words:Christian Conversion; Discipleship; Aberrant faith; Charigma- Didache-Discipleship; Seventh - day Adventist