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?

Car Conversations

My car has become the site of some interesting witnessing conversations over the last year as I give my kids’ friends rides home from the high school and various teen activities. I am so thankful for this opportunity, as I fondly recall that God revealed Himself to me when I was in high school. Here’s a peek into some of the conversations in my car.

‘Susan’ asked me out of the blue what how I became a Christian and wanted to hear my testimony and the gospel. She then asked me heartfelt questions. Now she wants her own Bible to read.

‘Tony’ wanted to know what the difference between “going to church” or “church traditions” and a relationship with Jesus was all about and why.

‘C.J.’ questioned me about my belief in God, in a mocking- scoffing sort of way, as he is a proud atheist, evolutionist, modern intellectual.

Two boys on campus. There was a t-shirt wearing “outreach” event that the kids had at the school. The shirt features the Greek phrase, “He Gives”. So the kids are supposed to wait until someone asks them what the shirt says, and “what that means”, and then they can witness with their answer. (By the way, according to the instructions, they were not to be didactic or preachy, and only positive.) So two fifteen year old boys were wearing the bright orange “He Gives” t-shirts in the student parking lot. I was in my car waiting to meet up with one of my students, and so I gave the boys the opportunity to “practice” on me. I called them over and we chatted at my car window. I asked them what the shirt says, and then, what it means. I played “average inquiring person” for them, trying to get them to think and tell me the Gospel, until they figured out I was a Christian who was teaching them some doctrine. (So much fun!)

They proceeded to repeat the modern cotton candy gospel, which they have heard at church, Christian Club, and youth group. I kept asking them “why” Jesus was given. They were not really sure. They suggested felt needs. They told me part of the good news, but they were not sure why it was good news. My child was delayed in coming out to the car, so I had lots of time to tell these boys the “other parts” of the gospel, and teach them how to witness biblically. It was exciting to observe the lights going on. “Now it makes sense!” And they say you can’t evangelize on the high school campuses…

‘Cora’ was telling me from the back seat, how she is a “student leader” with a local parachurch youth ministry. I asked her some basic questions about her relationship with God and beliefs and she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. She went on about all the fun they have in their group. I hope to chat with her again sometime.

‘Lily’ is a “pastor’s kid” (…her mother is the pastor…)and I’m not sure she’s heard the gospel. I asked her some questions about her view of God, and she admitted that she is not sure she “has a clue” or “gets it”. She started crying due to news that a fellow classmate and friend of hers died in a tragic accident during a music department trip to Canada. I think we made relational contact (and I hope, seeds were planted) as she listened to me relate my testimony of how this exact situation– a classmate dying in a tragic accident when I was in high school–was what God used to ultimately bring me to the place where He revealed Himself to me as the REAL, saving, forgiving, redeeming, healing and powerful God.

Most teenagers in our culture have not been taught or told much of anything real by parents, schools, campus ‘Christian Clubs’, churches, youth groups, and even many “Christian leaders and ministries”. Most ‘churched’ kids have not heard the true gospel. They are being brought into youth groups for fun,”belonging to the group” and socialization. What they really need is the real Hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Related post: Educate Me