Monday, June 25, 2007

The Danger of Decision

My post, "I Have a Peace About It" describes the error of using feelings over Scripture in debates, arguments, and life decisions. There is another serious error that needs to be addressed. I cannot take credit for most of the ideas here and thank Paul Washer for much of this material, as I heard him bring this up in numerous sermons.

The error is that of "decisionism"... relying upon a single "decision" made at some point in our past for our salvation. When, in a moment of serious reflection, we question our salvation, rather than look to First John for ways to "examine ourselves," we look back to a decision and consider that it is all spite of how we may be living! This is very dangerous...but oh so common today because of the methods used for evangelism that are not rooted in the Bible.

Let's pretend you are a pagan and a Christian engages you in an evangelistic conversation. First he asks you, "You know we're all sinners, right?" If you even slightly nod your head, he moves on to question number 2... "Would you like to go to heaven?" Now, who in their right mind would ever answer "no" to that question?! When you say, "yes," the Christian offers to lead you in a prayer that you can repeat. He then asks if you were serious about what you just repeated. Upon your affirmative answer, he pronounces you "saved" and "born again." (Yes, I know this is a bit simplified, but it is rooted in the truth of how most evangelism is done these days!) Even worse is that this is how it's done with children in Sundays Schools and Vacation Bible Schools all over this country. What little child could not be convinced to repeat a prayer after an adult? And then that same adult pronounces that little child a "Christian".... The thought of that both angers and horrifies me. Now... look at the first two questions. They are nothing but marketing. The pagan isn't the least bit concerned about having offended a holy and righteous God. He doesn't begin to understand the depths of his own depravity or his offense against God. And of course, he wants to go to heaven. Lastly, praying a "sinner's prayer" is akin to saying a magic incantation of some sort. No where in the Bible is a person asked to pray this sort of prayer to be saved.

And we then wonder why so few "saved" people are actually in a church on Sunday! And we then wonder why our country full of "Christians" is racing toward every form of immorality. And we then wonder why our country is heading toward its own demise.

My dear readers, if you are basing your salvation upon a "decision," I beg you to read and reread First John in order to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. I would then ask that you ensure that your salvation is built upon the rock of repentance (turning from your sin) and belief (trust) in the saving sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. When these words are used, they do not represent a one-time action, but rather a continual repenting and a continual believing. You can't make a one-time decision and then live like the devil and expect to be saved.

I strongly suspect a time is soon coming where "cultural Christianity" is going to be shown for what it is: false. Pressures are already beginning to mount in the Western world that one day will require actual risk and persecution for professing Christ. At that time, those who have only engaged in the cultural Christianity will fall away, and the true church will finally be shown.

May each who reads these words be part of the true church. Amen.

1 comment:

Darya said...

Hi Charley. This was very good. We have been saying these things for a long time, you just put it more eloquently.

blessings to you