The Sinner’s Prayer

Here is a fine article by my friend Larry DuBois, summarizing the issue of unbiblical evangelism practices common in the Evangelical Church. I myself was trained in these practices back in college through Campus Crusade for Christ. I disregarded them later when I got out of college because they troubled me. It was not until years later, on the other side of the world, while working on an outreach with friends who work for CCC, that I was deeply convicted that these practices and traditions are just wrong. Now we can connect the dots of modern Evangelical History when we realize these ideas were pumped out of the seminaries (mainly FULLER) resulting in Church and Para-Church Movements galore containing unbiblical doctrines and practices.

We want to be faithful to the Lord, and pleasing to Him in our service, rather than “successful” and popular, according to the definitions set by man.

Here is The Sinner’s Prayer, by Lawrence DuBois

Some quotes from the article:

As Scripture presents it, men should repent, believe, and be baptized. There is no mention of “altar calls” or “sinner’s prayers” or requesting for Christ to enter one’s heart.

We do not know a person’s heart, therefore we can not deemed them saved based solely on a repeat after me sinner’s prayer.

I give invitations to come to Christ, but it is just that, “come to Jesus Christ” not come to me, or come to a church, or come forward to the altar. Bye the way, there is no altar on the sidewalk or a park where my evangelism takes place.

My question is; who and what are these people accepting by coming forward and praying a prayer? They may very well be accepting a Jesus they have contrived in their mind, but not Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.

The question is; has the modern day evangelical world become like the Pharisees of old, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men?

If I Went to Jail Would You be Ashamed of Me

I admit sometimes I lack patience with a certain group of people and rather than press the “ignore” button and keep walking, I do sometimes choose to take on the situation. Some would say this is a major fault of mine, even sin, and others would say this is the desire to Defend the Faith and Contend for Truth (which again, many would say is wrong to do because it causes division and is ‘unloving’). The particular group I’m referring to here is professing Christians who do not believe the Bible is sufficient, but must be mixed with Humanism and Psychology, who think that pleasing and blending with the world is more important than faithfulness & obedience to Christ, who play footsie with New Age Spirituality, and who dislike the authority of scripture, the exclusivity of the Gospel, and evangelism. I’m talking about the apostacy.

Of course the DMV was closed today.

I bumped into a man who is on staff at a Ne0-E megachurch. He was telling me that he is in seminary so I thought he might be preparing to be a pastor. But he is taking advanced Counseling and Psychology courses. I asked him if he did “Christian Counseling” which utilizes Psychology primarily, or “Biblical Counseling” which utilizes the scripture. He was telling me that now these two camps are now blended together. He kept dropping the word “Spirituality“–and I gave him the benefit of the doubt –at first, although that buzzword set off my alarm bells. Then he started sounding more like a New Ager. He said, “Things are different now” (referring to the many beliefs of the clients, and the new methodology); “if someone comes in saying they do crystals or moon rocks (or such), then we work with that.”

I asked him to affirm what I was hearing: that what he was telling me was that he must operate as a functional Universalist in his counseling sessions. He did not deny. I challenged him, asking why he cannot just operate as a Christian, and he said, “It would not work” (because they want to help people). Then I asked him if he was telling me that Pragmatism was more important than faithfulness to Christ? That did not go over well.

The old city jail bars, in use for 40 years, are now a museum display.

Since he was sounding very New Age, I asked him about sharing the Gospel with the clients and he told me he always leaves them (the unbelievers) with “the Golden Rule”- encouraging them to “do unto others”. When I said that is not the Gospel, he told me he would only talk about that “when the door is open”. He had an expression and tone that indicated, “That is not appropriate”. I asked him if Jesus’ words in Mark 16:15 and Mat. 28:18-20 were not the open door? . He got agitated and challenged me: “Well why don’t YOU go down to the DMV and preach! And when they throw you in jail, well, how about that!” (He made it sound like it would be the most contemptible and dreaded thing that could happen.) But raising my arms up in an attitude of victory,

I told him joyfully, “Wonderful! That would raise up more and more bold courageous evangelists who would be glad to go to jail for the Gospel!”

He shook his head, as if I did not get his point. He explained, “No! No! We would….” ( he indicated in word and facial expression that the rest of the Christians would be disgusted and look with disdain and embarrassment upon me.)

One of the new beefed up high security city jail cells.

If choosing Truth and faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ lands me in jail someday, the Compromising Christians will be ashamed of me. But those who believe the Word and trust and follow Jesus regardless of the consequences, will not be ashamed. I trust that by the Spirit, God will have you either visit me in jail, or else he will move you out on the street, preaching and telling the Gospel, to your joy, and His glory.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.. 2Tim1:8

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed..2Tim1:12

Listen! Sermon Jam: John Piper UNASHAMED!!

Do Our “Testimonies” Give Glory to Jesus Christ?

Here is something to ponder: “Testimonies” as witnessing. Is this even Biblical? Perhaps testimonies are meant to encourage the saints, rather than witness to the lost. Someone help me out here? Right off, I can only think of this example from the Bible: the woman at the well who went and told everyone in her town what happened when she met the Lord. After a quick review of the words “testify” and “testimony” in the New Testament, it looks like the context is almost always exalting Christ and telling the content of the Gospel! The Samaritan woman was being an evangelist; a true witness of the Lord, telling the Gospel to everyone she knew.

Last week my daughter and I attended a midweek worship service at a huge mega church. A woman told her testimony. She described what sounded like her “false conversion” : church kid, “accepted Christ” at 8, then lived backslidden for the next 20 years. She only praised and gave glory to these things: 1. a relative, 2. the doctors, 3. the psychologists and, 4. the psych drugs they put her on. Now this subject she was speaking on is another topic altogether. But regardless, it was only about her. Jesus was not even mentioned; only a phrase in Psalms that she repeated to herself mantra style that helped her cope. She preached the gospel of “hope in psychologists and drugs”- only.

This is not the first time I have heard this exact testimony from a woman in a mega church. This is the fourth time. Once I also heard a man give his testimony in which he went on about how, being down and out on skid row, some men invited him to church and now he has friends, community and a place to belong (and support to get sober, etc).

We can only give “testimony” if we are actually born again. And if we are, let us not only tell what the Lord has done in our lives to help us, but let us exalt Jesus Christ, (the true encouragement for believers) and represent Him to the lost by testifying of faith in Him and the content of the gospel (the only true witnessing and hope for the lost).

He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. John 1:7

And this is the testimony (witness!), that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 1 John 5:11.

We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14

who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ.. Rev.1:2


The Atonement

My dream of graduating from college came to a sad end when I dropped out in my Junior year; I could not stomach the deeply occultic required reading for my major at SFSU. I was really at the wrong school. For years I wished I could have gone to Bible school or Christian college or something. But it was not to be. God was in loving control; He had another plan. He had something far better than college for me.

Years later, I was going to take a special class at church, but it was eliminated (due to lack of interest) right when I applied for it. After spending years starving to learn some systematic biblical doctrine and theology, God taught me Himself out of His Word. Later (three years ago) He led me to sermonaudio.com where I could feast on hearing these truths expounded. And now we’re in a church that preaches like this every Sunday. God is so good to provide for us in these last days, amen?

Anyways, I was thinking of someday getting Grudem’s Systematic Theology and reading it as a devotional, but now I don’t have to because I just listened to shai linne’s The Atonement.

The music is gritty, funky, rugged and “underground”. This album is good for evangelism as well as personal worship. The atonement is the center of the gospel, and the center of our redemption and our relationship with God in Christ. There is one song in which one man asks for definitions of theological terms, and the other man defines the terms, teaching basic bible theology. (Very thoroughly!) There’s also some really good sermon tracks mixed in. Check it out.

As I was implying, yes, there is more theology in this album than some saints will hear in a lifetime at many Neo-E churches. Learning, knowing and understanding theological Truth just makes us love and worship Jesus more. We love learning it. It is eternally attractive to us who are reconciled and redeemed, and whose sins are paid for by the blood of the Lamb.