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Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 05:23 PM
Where did this idea come from that reciting words can save anyone?

I was reading the pastor's blog from the church I just left, and I knew he held to this notion, because I saw it firsthand in the church (the whole "repeat this prayer after me" nonsense). But when I saw it right there on his blog, it really hit home for me.

I don't want to link to the blog, but this is the essence of what it said:


If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus pray this simple prayer:


Followed by some prayer that someone reading the blog is supposed to recite and suddenly be "saved".


Having experienced the power of God in my own salvation, I KNOW that simply reciting some words someone has written means NOTHING! And here people are going to read this, recite the prayer, and THINK THEY ARE SAVED!!!!

Where in the world did this come from? It is nowhere in the Bible that simply parroting some words leads to salvation. NOWHERE!!! Yet....here I see a pastor whom I have known personally pushing people to say it and "be saved"!

My heart just breaks over this. I can't get this verse out of my head:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15

I am not questioning anyone's salvation (speaking of the pastor...only God knows), but I know how many false conversions, how much false assurance, and how many people have been led down the path of destruction by this lie and it grieves me!

VerticalReality
May 17th 2007, 05:36 PM
Where did this idea come from that reciting words can save anyone?

I was reading the pastor's blog from the church I just left, and I knew he held to this notion, because I saw it firsthand in the church (the whole "repeat this prayer after me" nonsense). But when I saw it right there on his blog, it really hit home for me.

I don't want to link to the blog, but this is the essence of what it said:



Followed by some prayer that someone reading the blog is supposed to recite and suddenly be "saved".


Having experienced the power of God in my own salvation, I KNOW that simply reciting some words someone has written means NOTHING! And here people are going to read this, recite the prayer, and THINK THEY ARE SAVED!!!!

Where in the world did this come from? It is nowhere in the Bible that simply parroting some words leads to salvation. NOWHERE!!! Yet....here I see a pastor whom I have known personally pushing people to say it and "be saved"!

My heart just breaks over this. I can't get this verse out of my head:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15

I am not questioning anyone's salvation, but I know how many false conversions, how much false assurance, and how many people have been led down the path of destruction by this lie and it grieves me!

Most people get this notion from Romans 10:9 which says to confess with you mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. However, this is completely taken out of context to mean that a simple one liner can save a person.

Don't get me wrong, I think a person can truly be saved in a blink of an eye, but I don't believe it is the prayer that does it. It's the condition of the heart and a turning away from sin. Jesus said that if we truly love Him we will keep His commandments. If we truly believe we will walk by faith and turn away from the wickedness of the world. A sinner's prayer doesn't bring this.

Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 05:42 PM
Most people get this notion from Romans 10:9 which says to confess with you mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. However, this is completely taken out of context to mean that a simple one liner can save a person.

The prayer even said "I believe"....well, simply parroting the words "I believe" means nothing when one's heart is hard as a rock!

And the prayer said "I know I am a sinner and I confess my sins", but nowhere in the blog did it tell anyone to REPENT AND TURN AWAY FROM YOUR SIN! Nowhere!


Don't get me wrong, I think a person can truly be saved in a blink of an eye

Absolutely!


but I don't believe it is the prayer that does it. It's the condition of the heart and a turning away from sin. Jesus said that if we truly love Him we will keep His commandments. If we truly believe we will walk by faith and turn away from the wickedness of the world. A sinner's prayer doesn't bring this.

I'm wondering when this whole thing started? Any idea? It is just sooooo......WRONG!

pmckelvy
May 17th 2007, 05:50 PM
I couldn't agree more. This message needs to get out into the churches of this nation. Like has been stated, it's not an exageration that thousands of people think that simply saying that prayer and going to a potluck now and again and your in. Many people just believe that because it's the easy way but many are fenuinely decieved. A dangerous, dangerous doctrine in my opinion. And it is far spread and growing.

Pat

Redeemed by Grace
May 17th 2007, 06:03 PM
Where did this idea come from that reciting words can save anyone?

I was reading the pastor's blog from the church I just left, and I knew he held to this notion, because I saw it firsthand in the church (the whole "repeat this prayer after me" nonsense). But when I saw it right there on his blog, it really hit home for me.

I don't want to link to the blog, but this is the essence of what it said:



Followed by some prayer that someone reading the blog is supposed to recite and suddenly be "saved".


Having experienced the power of God in my own salvation, I KNOW that simply reciting some words someone has written means NOTHING! And here people are going to read this, recite the prayer, and THINK THEY ARE SAVED!!!!

Where in the world did this come from? It is nowhere in the Bible that simply parroting some words leads to salvation. NOWHERE!!! Yet....here I see a pastor whom I have known personally pushing people to say it and "be saved"!

My heart just breaks over this. I can't get this verse out of my head:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15

I am not questioning anyone's salvation (speaking of the pastor...only God knows), but I know how many false conversions, how much false assurance, and how many people have been led down the path of destruction by this lie and it grieves me!

Hi WG!


I think you know my thoughts on this topic, but to make this a bit more thought provoking, I'm going to offer this for thought instead... :spin:

In light of the 'sinners prayer', where also did 'wedding vows' come from?

Are not both prewritten man-directed words used to display some inward emotion or commitment that sometimes come lacking to the person's speach -- do to the weight of the moment?

In standing before the preacher/minister/pastor, why does he ask do you and will you... when I don't see those word given to him to say within the Bible?


I think the sinner's prayer can be seen by those who's heart is tender to the gospel call as a 'cheat sheet' of sorts - used maybe to capture the thoughts of what the response to the gospel should mean to the person reciting them, and would agree that if one sees this as security of faith, then they missed salvation by a mile... but if they see this as a beginning way of life and is a life of self-examination to the word of God, then just as repeating a marriage vow and meaning it, I could then see that it was used for the right heart reasons as well...

Counter thoughts? :lol:

Sold Out
May 17th 2007, 06:04 PM
I agree with you. There is no magical prayer. There are a lot of false converts out there that 'said a prayer', not even knowing what the Gospel is. Unfortunately, there are a lot of well-meaning folks who are pushing this method..."1-2-3, repeat after me".

First and foremost, a person has to have a complete understanding of the facts of the Gospel before they can understand why they need Christ. I do believe scripture teaches that we call on Christ to save us (Rom 10:13), but I don't believe it is requirement that we have a person there to lead us in our prayer. Prayer is nothing more than talking to God.

VerticalReality
May 17th 2007, 06:05 PM
The prayer even said "I believe"....well, simply parroting the words "I believe" means nothing when one's heart is hard as a rock!

Agreed. We have a street ministry on Friday nights where we go around the town to the various bars and talk about the gospel with folks. We actually had one kid (he was probably very early twenties) a couple of weeks ago who came up to us and wanted us to pray for him. He was extremely drunk and was sort of goofing off. He kept telling us how he "believed in God and Jesus" and so on, and how he wanted to pray. He stated how he "believed in God" but the entire time he's wanting God to prove Himself to him right there. Anyway, we told the kid what he had to do to be saved, and he basically informed us that he already believed. After we got done speaking with him he went right back in the bar and got in a fight. The very next week we went back to the same bar and there he was wanting us to pray for him again. We talked to him some more about the gospel and about how saying a prayer isn't all that has to happen. Again, he stated that he already believed in God and Jesus Christ. He once again went back into the bar to continue in his drunken stupor, got in another fight and went to jail. Salvation has to be preceded by repentance.

Jesus said, "go and sin no more" for a reason.


I'm wondering when this whole thing started? Any idea? It is just sooooo......WRONG!

Beats me.

Theophilus
May 17th 2007, 06:07 PM
I'm wondering when this whole thing started? Any idea? It is just sooooo......WRONG!

Google it, chicky...there's lot of stuff out there on it.

I seem to recall the concept goes back to the turn of last century...maybe Charles Finney?...but memory is foggy.

Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 06:18 PM
Hi WG!

Hiya, RbG! :)



I think the sinner's prayer can be seen by those who's heart is tender to the gospel call as a 'cheat sheet' of sorts - used maybe to capture the thoughts of what the response to the gospel should mean to the person reciting them, and would agree that if one sees this as security of faith, then they missed salvation by a mile... but if they see this as a beginning way of life and is a life of self-examination to the word of God, then just as repeating a marriage vow and meaning it, I could then see that it was used for the right heart reasons as well...

Counter thoughts? :lol:

Counter thoughts? I thought you of all people would give me a big Amen. :lol:

I do believe the heart must be right before this type of "cheat sheet" will be of any effect. The problem is....nowhere does it say that in the blog. It just says "if you don't know Jesus, repeat after me" and POOF! You're saved and know Jesus!

Toolman
May 17th 2007, 06:24 PM
The Sinner's prayer, alter calls and things of that nature are believed mostly to have come from the revivalism of the "2nd great awakening".

Some reading about revivalism and the 2nd great awakening will probably shed some light.

You will see other aspects in evangelical Churches from this time like alter calls, extreme emotionalism, etc.

Not that any of these things are neccessarily wrong but it is a worthwhile study in Church history.

Toolman
May 17th 2007, 06:27 PM
I do believe the heart must be right before this type of "cheat sheet" will be of any effect. The problem is....nowhere does it say that in the blog. It just says "if you don't know Jesus, repeat after me" and POOF! You're saved and know Jesus!

This is the problem I have with ALL outward forms (be they strictly biblical, like baptism, or not), we need to be clear that it is a heart that trusts in Christ alone as sufficient for salvation that makes one right with God, not our outward forms.

I think the intent of the original guys coming up with the sinner's prayer was probably good but just like anything else, it can become an empty religious form.

Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 06:28 PM
The Sinner's prayer, alter calls and things of that nature are believed mostly to have come from the revivalism of the "2nd great awakening".

Some reading about revivalism and the 2nd great awakening will probably shed some light.

You will see other aspects in evangelical Churches from this time like alter calls, extreme emotionalism, etc.

Not that any of these things are neccessarily wrong but it is a worthwhile study in Church history.

Are you grouping the sinner's prayer in the "not necessarily wrong" category? And if so, can you share your thoughts?

And extreme emotionalism? Perhaps a topic for another thread. I am curious as to what counts as "extreme"!

And man....what's church without an alter call? ;)

Toolman
May 17th 2007, 06:33 PM
Are you grouping the sinner's prayer in the "not necessarily wrong" category? And if so, can you share your thoughts?

Yes, I am. I don't think the sinner's prayer is "wrong" in and of itself. I have pointed out the problems I have had with it many times (there are a few threads).

Confession of Christ before men is a biblical concept. Believing on Christ in your heart is a biblical concept.

I think this was the intent of the sinner's prayer but I think it has been very much abused as you point out on the web site... say these words and poof.. you are saved.

We need to be much more clear upon what justifies a person before God, what sanctification entails and what glorification promises.

This is where, IMO, revivalism missed it, especially in the 2nd awakening.


And extreme emotionalism? Perhaps a topic for another thread. I am curious as to what counts as "extreme"!

Just one of the characteristics of revivalism that was not the norm of Church service prior to that time.


And man....what's church without an alter call? ;)

Any Church service prior to 1700 A.D. :)

Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 06:36 PM
We need to be much more clear upon what justifies a person before God, what sanctification entails and what glorification promises.

Amen. And this is the heart of the gospel, which is not being shared.


Any Church service prior to 1700 A.D. :)

They didn't know what they were missing. ;)

Redeemed by Grace
May 17th 2007, 06:40 PM
Hiya, RbG! :)




Counter thoughts? I thought you of all people would give me a big Amen. :lol:

I do believe the heart must be right before this type of "cheat sheet" will be of any effect. The problem is....nowhere does it say that in the blog. It just says "if you don't know Jesus, repeat after me" and POOF! You're saved and know Jesus!



As I stated, I agree that the sinner's prayer is man-made and do agree with your post... HOWEVER.... I wanted to point out that there may be some who may be truly saved who have recited a prayer like this... so it's their heart in the matter and not the words that they recite per se. I just wanted to offer a crack in the door of your generalization that reciting this prayer is bad altogether and leave room to say that some of our brothers and sisters in the faith may have recited this prayer in their past.... and have grown past to know that it wasn't the prayer but their heart.

And I'm only commenting to your comments and have not visited this man's blog nor plan to, so I trust your words here that he's using this for self-manipulation and as such.... here's your big AMEN... :)


And to alter calls... the church I belong to doesn't have them, and for the reasoning to what you'd expect of me. :saint:


[Believer's baptism, marriage vows, membership announcements, and baby dedications are some of our church service activities -- but alter calls, and sinner's prayer proclamations are not part of my church's protocol.]

Toolman
May 17th 2007, 06:42 PM
Amen. And this is the heart of the gospel, which is not being shared.

Some Churches share it more clearly than others.

When I came to faith in Christ it was at an alter call type situation. I didn't even realize Christ was God. All I could conceive of was I needed my sins forgiven and God would forgive my sins if I believed on His Son.

The rest came through discipleship. God is patient and he leads us at His appointed times.


They didn't know what they were missing. ;)

Hehe.. I'm sure they would say the same. That we have replaced true worship of God with showmanship of man. In fact, many Churches that are liturgical in nature say that very thing now :)

Ask yourself the same questions about alter calls as the sinners prayer. Where do you biblically see the practice of them? I'm truly interested in what you find there.

Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 06:50 PM
As I stated, I agree that the sinner's prayer is man-made and do agree with your post... HOWEVER.... I wanted to point out that there may be some who may be truly saved who have recited a prayer like this... so it's their heart in the matter and not the words that they recite per se. I just wanted to offer a crack in the door of your generalization that reciting this prayer is bad altogether and leave room to say that some of our brothers and sisters in the faith may have recited this prayer in their past.... and have grown past to know that it wasn't the prayer but their heart.

Ah....I understand now. And you are absolutely right in that regard. Thank you for pointing that out!


And to alter calls... the church I belong to doesn't have them, and for the reasoning to what you'd expect of me. :saint:

[Believer's baptism, marriage vows, membership announcements, and baby dedications are some of our church service activities -- but alter calls, and sinner's prayer proclamations are not part of my church's protocol.]

My church doesn't do the "come up and be saved" type of alter calls. Perhaps I misunderstood what TM was saying.

We ALL go to the alter after service and spend time alone in prayer. Perhaps it's not an "alter call" so much as "alter time". :dunno:

Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 06:53 PM
Hehe.. I'm sure they would say the same. That we have replaced true worship of God with showmanship of man.

TM....I guess I'm on a different "alter call" wavelength than you are. There is nothing showy at all at my church. In fact, we're all kneeling in prayer with our eyes closed....there's nothing to see!

Toolman
May 17th 2007, 06:55 PM
TM....I guess I'm on a different "alter call" wavelength than you are. There is nothing showy at all at my church. In fact, we're all kneeling in prayer with our eyes closed....there's nothing to see!

I hear ya... like anything else (like sinner's prayer) it can be abused or genuine. It all goes back, like RBG pointed out, to the heart.

Alter calls of any fashion did not exist in Church history though before 1700 (at least everything I have read). But Church service and the history of it is a whole thread in and of itself.

Redeemed by Grace
May 17th 2007, 06:57 PM
Ah....I understand now. And you are absolutely right in that regard. Thank you for pointing that out!

That's cool...




My church doesn't do the "come up and be saved" type of alter calls. Perhaps I misunderstood what TM was saying.

We ALL go to the alter after service and spend time alone in prayer. Perhaps it's not an "alter call" so much as "alter time". :dunno:

WG,

Think about corporate worship for a moment.... do you think there should be a natural progression in how a service should flow?

Before you answer, think for a moment how your church's service starts and finishes and then think about if it seems natural or artifical?

Love to hear how your Sunday service flows....

Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 06:57 PM
But Church service and the history of it is a whole thread in and of itself.

Bet it would be an interesting one!

Thanks for your thoughts, TM. :)

Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 06:59 PM
WG,

Think about corporate worship for a moment.... do you think there should be a natural progression in how a service should flow?

Before you answer, think for a moment how your church's service starts and finishes and then think about if it seems natural or artifical?

Love to hear how your Sunday service flows....

Hmmmm.....it seems very natural to me.

Are you asking for an itinerary? :lol:

Redeemed by Grace
May 17th 2007, 07:02 PM
Hmmmm.....it seems very natural to me.

Are you asking for an itinerary? :lol:

Well yes... if you don't mind... For I'm under the impression that most church services are more man centered than God... [even my own church]

Here, I'll get you started


Church begins in 10 minutes... describe the current activity....

Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 07:15 PM
Church begins in 10 minutes... describe the current activity....

Most people are mingling, greeting one another, and I am usually sitting in my seat reading my Bible :blush:.

When the service starts, we share prayer needs and pray over them (sometimes we go to the front and kneel, sometimes not).

Then people stand up and testify about their love for the Lord and what He has been doing in their lives (I really like this....it's a first for me for people to do this in church).

Then we sing and praise and all that good stuff.

The we all stand up for the Bible reading.

Then we sit down and listen to the sermon. Lots of "Amens" and such.

Then when he's done preaching, we all go to the front and get on our knees and spend time with the Lord. If someone's struggling, others will pray with them. This varies in time....lasts until the last person gets up.

Then we have more testimonies if someone feels led to share.

Then the pastor speaks a little more and we go home.


The services can get long.....when the pastor is fired up, he can get long-winded. :lol: But I love it. He has a fire and passion I haven't seen in any of the pastors where I have attended church.

HisLeast
May 17th 2007, 07:15 PM
While the sinner's prayer isn't the "ticket in", I think its a good thing for those who really DO change their heart. It draws a clear line in the sand where before the person was lost and after they have acknowledged their need for Christ.

Souled Out
May 17th 2007, 07:47 PM
Just to give a little background on the sinner’s prayer. The alter call and sinner's prayer began in the early 1700's by an unknown preacher named of Eleazar Wheelock. He devised this as a way of getting converts and he called it the Mourner's Seat.

People didn’t take to it so the practice ended almost as soon as it began. Then a century later Charles Finney transformed the Mourner’s Seat by developing his own theological system around it and renaming it the Anxious Seat. Finney wanted the Anxious Seat to replace baptism.

Even then people thought the Anxious Seat was manipulative and caused people to make premature or false professions of faith. Some denounced Finney, but not the practice and it continued and was renamed the Sinner’s Prayer. It became the mainstay in Christianity in the 20th century when the three Bills --- Billy Sunday, Billy Graham and Bill Bright popularized it.

I used to poo poo the practice but if one knows that it is only the beginning and not an end unto itself, it is not a bad thing. Discipleship is key.

The sinner's prayer can serve as the handshake to the introduction while discipleship is the relationship.

Redeemed by Grace
May 17th 2007, 09:30 PM
Most people are mingling, greeting one another, and I am usually sitting in my seat reading my Bible :blush:.

When the service starts, we share prayer needs and pray over them (sometimes we go to the front and kneel, sometimes not).

Then people stand up and testify about their love for the Lord and what He has been doing in their lives (I really like this....it's a first for me for people to do this in church).

Then we sing and praise and all that good stuff.

The we all stand up for the Bible reading.

Then we sit down and listen to the sermon. Lots of "Amens" and such.

Then when he's done preaching, we all go to the front and get on our knees and spend time with the Lord. If someone's struggling, others will pray with them. This varies in time....lasts until the last person gets up.

Then we have more testimonies if someone feels led to share.

Then the pastor speaks a little more and we go home.


The services can get long.....when the pastor is fired up, he can get long-winded. :lol: But I love it. He has a fire and passion I haven't seen in any of the pastors where I have attended church.


Thanks for sharing WG...

Whispering Grace
May 17th 2007, 10:04 PM
Thanks for sharing WG...

I thought I was going to get some constructive criticism. :cool:

Redeemed by Grace
May 18th 2007, 01:53 AM
I thought I was going to get some constructive criticism. :cool:

I started to, but had to jump into a work project, and then had bible study this evening with the cell group... well the rough draft was really well --- rough, so I have it sitting in my draft folder waiting for more time to polish it...

Sorry...:saint:

But netting it out --- what I was going to say... your service flow is like many others... do you see something missing from it?

Yours by the way seems a lot better in one respect than even my own church practices, but one thing I desire to see that most church services seem to assume or ignore is....

Whispering Grace
May 18th 2007, 02:03 AM
But netting it out --- what I was going to say... your service flow is like many others... do you see something missing from it?

Something missing. Hmmmmm......

Help me out. :cool:

Redeemed by Grace
May 18th 2007, 02:16 AM
Something missing. Hmmmmm......

Help me out. :cool:


What I see is not as obvious as you describe for it may be there but just wasn't clearly defined.... By an analogy, think about being called to go to court, maybe the big court.... say next Sunday... what would you do within the next three days and then what would you do once you get there...?

[And I'm using questions to make sure I'm communicating the concepts by building a picture of similarities and contrasts and that this missing part becomes obvious. It may work, or it may fail... we'll see how it goes... :D ]

Whispering Grace
May 18th 2007, 02:19 AM
What I see is not as obvious as you describe for it may be there but just wasn't clearly defined.... By an analogy, think about being called to go to court, maybe the big court.... say next Sunday... what would you do within the next three days and then what would you do once you get there...?

[And I'm using questions to make sure I'm communicating the concepts by building a picture of similarities and contrasts and that this missing part become obvious. It may work, or it may fail... we'll see how it goes... :D ]

If I were going to court, I'd call up Judge Judy and get her advice. :lol:

Seriously....I'm a little confused. If I were going to court, I guess I'd spend time preparing for my case. Then when I got to court, after I made it through all the red tape, I'd stand before the judge and plead my case. :dunno:

I know you're going somewhere with this....I'm just not sure I'm going to same place. :blush:

Redeemed by Grace
May 18th 2007, 02:20 AM
If I were going to court, I'd call up Judge Judy and get her advice. :lol:

Seriously....I'm a little confused. If I were going to court, I guess I'd spend time preparing for my case. Then when I got to court, after I made it through all the red tape, I'd stand before the judge and plead my case. :dunno:

I know you're going somewhere with this....I'm just not sure I'm going to same place. :blush:

BINGO !

Whispering Grace
May 18th 2007, 02:23 AM
BINGO !

Now translate it for me. :lol:

Redeemed by Grace
May 18th 2007, 02:31 AM
What I see missing even in my church is --- Worship focus....

Defining that term to me includes preparation.... self-examination.... submission....

Going to court brings a sense of awe and authority to the forefront...and it's designed to enstill a sense of fear and authority... This should be the same with a church gathering.... worship focus...then praise and petition and instruction.

Gathering together at church seems to miss the knowledge that 'we' come together to humbly, fearfully, and reverently worship the One True and Holy God....


One needs to come through those doors a broken vessel in submission to God's authority and will... This is what I see as a low priority or even lacking within most churches today, even my own. The 'purpose' seems to focus on self needs, and petitions and prayers and also seems to focus around self and not on pure worship...

Once I reread my comments that are sitting within my draft folder, I may elaborate a bit more tomorrow... but will be traveling again during the mid morning/afternoon time.

Lord willing.... :) maybe then?

Whispering Grace
May 18th 2007, 02:42 AM
What I see missing even in my church is --- Worship focus....

Defining that term to me includes preparation.... self-examination.... submission....

Going to court brings a sense of awe and authority to the forefront...and it's designed to enstill a sense of fear and authority... This should be the same with a church gathering.... worship focus...then praise and petition and instruction.

Gathering together at church seems to miss the knowledge that 'we' come together to humbly, fearfully, and reverently worship the One True and Holy God....


One needs to come through those doors a broken vessel in submission to God's authority and will... This is what I see as a low priority or even lacking within most churches today, even my own. The 'purpose' seems to focus on self needs, and petitions and prayers and also seems to focus around self and not on pure worship...

Once I reread my comments that are sitting within my draft folder, I may elaborate a bit more tomorrow... but will be traveling again during the mid morning/afternoon time.

Lord willing.... :) maybe then?

I know what you are saying, and I really think my church hits the mark on that much more than others I have been to.

My old church was "self help central". It was all about what God can do for us.

But this new church, there is a true awe and reverence there. And the focus is on Jesus Christ....He is truly exalted and glorified. It's one of the many reasons I stuck around.

Is it perfect? No. There are some things I don't agree with, but not things that are "deal breakers" at all (for example they only use the KJV....not a big deal to me, I just take my KJV Bible).

But it is a church that shuns the ways of this world in favor of the ways of God. And they refuse to sell out and try to "fill seats". And they truly love the Lord. The joy in there just fills the place. :)

watchinginawe
May 18th 2007, 03:05 AM
Are you grouping the sinner's prayer in the "not necessarily wrong" category? And if so, can you share your thoughts? Put me in that camp. I see absolutely nothing wrong with a sinner's prayer per se said in faith by one sincerely seeking. What would we call this?

Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

I would suspect that for every one that is led astray by "reciting" a prayer without repentance and belief (faith) we also have one who is led astray with "good works" or what I like to refer to as the "New Year's Resolution" Christian: The one who decides that this year they are going to go to Church and try to "do better".

Paul regarded himself as the "Chief of sinners" for the gravity of the sin he prosecuted against the early Church. When he was blinded by the light and Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus, he was probably confused about just what the next step ought to be. However, we learn this from the Bible (bolded for emphasis):

Acts 9:10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

We see in verse 11 how God regards the prayer of the sinner. The verse indicates that for (because of) Saul's prayer that God sends Ananias to Saul.

As for reciting prayers perhaps being mechanical, I believe one of the most moving prayers is the "Lord's Prayer". Even as a child I understood the need to be forgiven of my trespasses. The prayer didn't save me but it helped me to know who could forgive my trespasses when I became fully convicted of them.

God Bless!

Whispering Grace
May 18th 2007, 03:12 AM
As for reciting prayers perhaps being mechanical, I believe one of the most moving prayers is the "Lord's Prayer". Even as a child I understood the need to be forgiven of my trespasses. The prayer didn't save me but it helped me to know who could forgive my trespasses when I became fully convicted of them.

Unfortunately, the Lord's Prayer has just become a bunch of words for many people as well. I can recite the prayer fully from my brief stint in a Methodist church over 20 years ago. But it meant nothing to me until I was saved.

I think that is why Jesus warned against vainly repeating prayers. It just becomes words with no substance for many people. ANY prayer should come from the heart.

watchinginawe
May 18th 2007, 03:19 AM
Unfortunately, the Lord's Prayer has just become a bunch of words for many people as well. I can recite the prayer fully from my brief stint in a Methodist church over 20 years ago. But it meant nothing to me until I was saved.

I think that is why Jesus warned against vainly repeating prayers. It just becomes words with no substance for many people. ANY prayer should come from the heart.The point is that you recite it now, right? It means something to you now, right? Did the prayer change?

God Bless!

Whispering Grace
May 18th 2007, 03:22 AM
The point is that you recite it now, right? It means something to you now, right? Did the prayer change?

God Bless!

Actually, I don't recite it now. But yes, I do understand the meaning now.

But had someone told me to recite it and POOF I'd be saved over 20 years ago (like the sinner's prayer), it wouldn't have done a thing. My heart was hardened.

watchinginawe
May 18th 2007, 03:27 AM
Actually, I don't recite it now. But yes, I do understand the meaning now.

But had someone told me to recite it and POOF I'd be saved over 20 years ago (like the sinner's prayer), it wouldn't have done a thing. My heart was hardened.You never find occasion to recite the Lord's Prayer now? I'll take you at your word. As for me, I have recited it. I have recited it when lost for any other prayer in a public venue (actually, I would say led by the Spirit). What once was only recital became heart felt and understood.

God Bless!

Whispering Grace
May 18th 2007, 03:31 AM
You've never found occasion to recite the Lord's Prayer since you were saved? I'll take you at your word. As for me, I have recited it. I have recited it when lost for any other prayer in a public venue (actually, I would say led by the Spirit).
God Bless!

I've read through it in the Bible many times. But no, my prayers are "free style" so to speak. ;)


What once was only recital became heart felt and understood.

True. But the problem with the "sinner's prayer" is that many people believe themselves saved by the mere recital. Even if they eventually DO come to know the truth and the meaning behind the prayer, it still stands to reason that there will be a period of false conversion there.

BlessedMan
May 18th 2007, 03:48 AM
[quote=Whispering Grace;1263288]Where did this idea come from that reciting words can save anyone?

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15
]
I wouldn t lose any sleep over this passage. Remember Jesus said earlier
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Let's assume Jesus was mad at the establishment and cut him some slack, personnally I'm glad nobody is around to quote every stupid thing I say.

watchinginawe
May 18th 2007, 03:49 AM
True. But the problem with the "sinner's prayer" is that many people believe themselves saved by the mere recital. Even if they eventually DO come to know the truth and the meaning behind the prayer, it still stands to reason that there will be a period of false conversion there.They would be mistaken (deceived) if they believed that. However, the power of a prayer with a repentant heart to God will be heard IMO.

It seems we have a different kind of "mode" with every generation but only the convicted repentant heart connects with God. Regarding altar services and the prayer of sinners, how many times do we hear that back in the days of old people would leave the altar and there would be packs of cigarettes, snuff cans, tobacco pouches, lipsticks, makup, jewelry, etc. Did these folks find God? Where is the Bible for that? (I believe these folks probably did put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Saviour, but as I said in my other post in the thread, I also believe there are some who probably just left some possesions at the altar.)

God Bless!

watchinginawe
May 18th 2007, 11:32 AM
Where did this idea come from that reciting words can save anyone?

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15

I wouldn t lose any sleep over this passage. Remember Jesus said earlier
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Let's assume Jesus was mad at the establishment and cut him some slack, personnally I'm glad nobody is around to quote every stupid thing I say.:hmm: BlessedMan, are you suggesting that Jesus was caught in a "gaffe" of sorts here? I don't believe we need to cut Jesus some slack do we?

God Bless!

Toolman
May 18th 2007, 02:19 PM
What I see missing even in my church is --- Worship focus....

Defining that term to me includes preparation.... self-examination.... submission....

Going to court brings a sense of awe and authority to the forefront...and it's designed to enstill a sense of fear and authority... This should be the same with a church gathering.... worship focus...then praise and petition and instruction.

Gathering together at church seems to miss the knowledge that 'we' come together to humbly, fearfully, and reverently worship the One True and Holy God....


One needs to come through those doors a broken vessel in submission to God's authority and will... This is what I see as a low priority or even lacking within most churches today, even my own. The 'purpose' seems to focus on self needs, and petitions and prayers and also seems to focus around self and not on pure worship...

Once I reread my comments that are sitting within my draft folder, I may elaborate a bit more tomorrow... but will be traveling again during the mid morning/afternoon time.

Lord willing.... :) maybe then?

RBG,

I have heard the liturgical Churches defend the liturgy for the very reason you state above.

The liturgical service (both Lutheran and Reformed) is geared towards first a presentation of the Law, God's holiness and our lostness then a presentation of God's Gospel which rescues us from the penalty of the Law.

I've heard the Modern Reformation/White Horse Inn guys, especially Michael Horton, defend the liturgy several times. He makes some great points as always. Modern Reformation has recently removed alot of the older articles from their archives :( but I did find one of the particular articles on another (asian) website:
http://www.thywords.com.tw/article.php?pkid=&pkid=233

What are your thoughts there?

Redeemed by Grace
May 18th 2007, 06:39 PM
RBG,

I have heard the liturgical Churches defend the liturgy for the very reason you state above.

The liturgical service (both Lutheran and Reformed) is geared towards first a presentation of the Law, God's holiness and our lostness then a presentation of God's Gospel which rescues us from the penalty of the Law.

I've heard the Modern Reformation/White Horse Inn guys, especially Michael Horton, defend the liturgy several times. He makes some great points as always. Modern Reformation has recently removed alot of the older articles from their archives :( but I did find one of the particular articles on another (asian) website:
http://www.thywords.com.tw/article.php?pkid=&pkid=233

What are your thoughts there?


Hi TM,

To be honest, I’m not as learned about the various liturgical church services that are out there as much as I probably should be, but see scripture pointing to a worship pattern as I tried to describe to WG….

Exodus 34:8 Moses made haste to bow low toward the earth and worship.

Exodus 34:14 --for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God—

Deuteronomy 6:13 "You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.

Nehemiah 8:6 Then Ezra blessed the LORD the great God. And all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Nehemiah 9:3 While they stood in their place, they read from the book of the law of the LORD their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God.

Psalm 95:6 Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

Psalm 99:5 Exalt the LORD our God
And worship at His footstool;
Holy is He.

Psalm 99:9 Exalt the LORD our God
And worship at His holy hill,
For holy is the LORD our God.

Luke 24:45-53
45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
46 and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,
47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 "You are witnesses of these things.
49 "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.
51 While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.
52 And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
53 and were continually in the temple praising God.

John 4:23,24
23 "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

John 9:38 And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped Him.

Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Philippians 3:3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,

Revelation 14:7 and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters."

These are but a few of the many verses that point how important worship is, so my comments are that today’s churches - in general, miss the mark as measured by scripture in promoting/fostering/initiating/ leading biblical worship of God… I’m not advocating it be a liturgical service as what I remember them to be, but I am advocating that each participant take ‘church’ as an important time to self-examine and ‘get right’ with God before worship/praise/instruction/fellowship takes place. The singular focus is not to ‘feel’ good, but to seek to find more ‘cracks in the clay’ and draw closer through repentance and dependence.

My thoughts, though not perfect, but where my heart lies…

Whispering Grace
May 19th 2007, 02:46 PM
Good verses, RbG.

I'm curious....in how many churches today do we see people bowing their faces to the ground in worship?

This is obviously a biblical precedent. So why, then, do most church services just consist of going and singing some songs and then sitting for 30 minutes or so and listening to a sermon? Why are we so hesitant to truly humble ourselves before the Lord in worship?

Actually, I just listened to an excellent sermon by Paul Washer on this very thing (how much of what "church" consists of today has no biblical precedent). I think you might enjoy it RbG (you too TM!).

Whispering Grace
May 19th 2007, 06:37 PM
If anyone is interested in the Paul Washer sermon (or any others by him), just PM me and I will send you the link.

I, personally, thank him for showing me so many ways my faith and how I live my faith is man-centered and not God-centered. A lot of it has been a wake up call to me and has caused me to start intensely seeking God again. I had lost my purpose and my focus in many ways.

Redeemed by Grace
May 19th 2007, 06:51 PM
Good verses, RbG.

I'm curious....in how many churches today do we see people bowing their faces to the ground in worship?

This is obviously a biblical precedent. So why, then, do most church services just consist of going and singing some songs and then sitting for 30 minutes or so and listening to a sermon? Why are we so hesitant to truly humble ourselves before the Lord in worship?

Actually, I just listened to an excellent sermon by Paul Washer on this very thing (how much of what "church" consists of today has no biblical precedent). I think you might enjoy it RbG (you too TM!).

In my opinion is because today's teachings do not include what sin is... in other words -- very few times do you hear preaching that includes the identification as to sin and repentance of sin...


When I found Isaiah 6 many years ago, it burned into my heart many things.... The Glory of God, the sin of self and people, the need to confess and repent of sin, the dependence on God Himself to declare one Holy... and many more points that one could list... which I would also say that Isaiah saw Christ on the throne... but that's another thread, I'm sure.

IMO, if each believer who entered the door of church tomorrow and left their baggage of sin outside the door, and humbled themselves though repentance of sin and dependence on Christ, then again IMO, service starts with the focus of worship, builds to praise and instruction, and finishes with the great commission to live and share the Gospel to a lost and dying world...

This is my hope and prayer for my church, and not to do this as vain repetition, but from a sincere heart and passion for Christ and the people's salvation and walk... is individually leading to corporately -- the one heart of worship --- as some of the scriptures I shared before.

For God's Glory...

Redeemed by Grace
May 19th 2007, 06:52 PM
Good verses, RbG.

I'm curious....in how many churches today do we see people bowing their faces to the ground in worship?

This is obviously a biblical precedent. So why, then, do most church services just consist of going and singing some songs and then sitting for 30 minutes or so and listening to a sermon? Why are we so hesitant to truly humble ourselves before the Lord in worship?

Actually, I just listened to an excellent sermon by Paul Washer on this very thing (how much of what "church" consists of today has no biblical precedent). I think you might enjoy it RbG (you too TM!).

THE Paul Washer????? er the one that PP and I had a few words about? :saint:

Whispering Grace
May 19th 2007, 10:20 PM
THE Paul Washer????? er the one that PP and I had a few words about? :saint:

Yes, THE Paul Washer. :)

I hope you won't dismiss him based on one sermon you took issue with. His sermons have had a profound impact on me. If I had judged based on one sermon, I would have missed out on some real treasures.


ETA....I'll respond to your other post in a bit. I need to go fix dinner for my family (that's what they are telling me anyway!)

Redeemed by Grace
May 20th 2007, 12:24 AM
Yes, THE Paul Washer. :)

I hope you won't dismiss him based on one sermon you took issue with. His sermons have had a profound impact on me. If I had judged based on one sermon, I would have missed out on some real treasures.


ETA....I'll respond to your other post in a bit. I need to go fix dinner for my family (that's what they are telling me anyway!)

OK... if you elaborated a bit on how and what he stated that you found biblical and instructional, and with a pastor's heart, maybe I could be persuaded to take a second look....:)

Whispering Grace
May 20th 2007, 12:35 AM
OK... if you elaborated a bit on how and what he stated that you found biblical and instructional, and with a pastor's heart, maybe I could be persuaded to take a second look....:)

You're going to have to trust me, RbG. The sermon was long and I'm tired. :lol:

Redeemed by Grace
May 20th 2007, 12:57 AM
You're going to have to trust me, RbG. The sermon was long and I'm tired. :lol:

I can wait until another day...:lol:

minnesotaice
May 20th 2007, 02:57 PM
Agreed. We have a street ministry on Friday nights where we go around the town to the various bars and talk about the gospel with folks. We actually had one kid (he was probably very early twenties) a couple of weeks ago who came up to us and wanted us to pray for him. He was extremely drunk and was sort of goofing off. He kept telling us how he "believed in God and Jesus" and so on, and how he wanted to pray. He stated how he "believed in God" but the entire time he's wanting God to prove Himself to him right there. Anyway, we told the kid what he had to do to be saved, and he basically informed us that he already believed. After we got done speaking with him he went right back in the bar and got in a fight. The very next week we went back to the same bar and there he was wanting us to pray for him again. We talked to him some more about the gospel and about how saying a prayer isn't all that has to happen. Again, he stated that he already believed in God and Jesus Christ. He once again went back into the bar to continue in his drunken stupor, got in another fight and went to jail. Salvation has to be preceded by repentance.

Jesus said, "go and sin no more" for a reason.



Beats me.


Personally, I think it comes from the notions that some churches hold that we have to "SAVE EVERY SOUL or their blood will be on our hands". We cannot save people, only God can and The bible says "Nobody can come to the father unless they are drawn by the holy spirit". We can't even have faith in God aside from the holy spirit.

I attended a church once in my life where people witnessed on the street (there is nothing wrong with doing that), however there was a big section in the church bulletin every sunday saying "900 sinners saved" or whatever it said. How do THEY KNOW that those people really know God???

I said the prayer to start my journey but it was the first 10 seconds of a journey. Since then, I have had tremendous trials which have tested my faith over and over and have caused me to draw even closer to God. I have eliminated doing things my way and try to do them his way. The Christian life is difficult!!! Many people want to say an easy prayer and go about their merry way. Faith without works is dead!

Teke
May 20th 2007, 04:43 PM
Where did this idea come from that reciting words can save anyone?

I was reading the pastor's blog from the church I just left, and I knew he held to this notion, because I saw it firsthand in the church (the whole "repeat this prayer after me" nonsense). But when I saw it right there on his blog, it really hit home for me.

I don't want to link to the blog, but this is the essence of what it said:



Followed by some prayer that someone reading the blog is supposed to recite and suddenly be "saved".


Having experienced the power of God in my own salvation, I KNOW that simply reciting some words someone has written means NOTHING! And here people are going to read this, recite the prayer, and THINK THEY ARE SAVED!!!!

Where in the world did this come from? It is nowhere in the Bible that simply parroting some words leads to salvation. NOWHERE!!! Yet....here I see a pastor whom I have known personally pushing people to say it and "be saved"!

My heart just breaks over this. I can't get this verse out of my head:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15

I am not questioning anyone's salvation (speaking of the pastor...only God knows), but I know how many false conversions, how much false assurance, and how many people have been led down the path of destruction by this lie and it grieves me!

Who can know if reciting words (prayer) can save us? Tho that is not the way I look at it. If we pray and ask God to have mercy on us, will he not have mercy on us? Thus providing our every need.

Personally I have never prayed that prayer, but I have prayed many others. And I still pray the one I prayed the day He revealed His Son to me. "Lord Jesus Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner", without ceasing. :)

I believe it is more important for us to pray without ceasing than to come up with a formula prayer to pray one time like casting a spell.

Teke
May 20th 2007, 04:57 PM
RBG,

I have heard the liturgical Churches defend the liturgy for the very reason you state above.

The liturgical service (both Lutheran and Reformed) is geared towards first a presentation of the Law, God's holiness and our lostness then a presentation of God's Gospel which rescues us from the penalty of the Law.

I've heard the Modern Reformation/White Horse Inn guys, especially Michael Horton, defend the liturgy several times. He makes some great points as always. Modern Reformation has recently removed alot of the older articles from their archives :( but I did find one of the particular articles on another (asian) website:
http://www.thywords.com.tw/article.php?pkid=&pkid=233

What are your thoughts there?

Interesting article. :)

Couple thoughts.

from above link by Toolman

Reformers were not innovators. On the contrary, they thought the medieval church had added too many new services and ceremonies that obscured the Law and the Gospel and the centrality of Christ.

I wonder if he thought this one thru before he wrote it.:P


They must never be allowed to fall back on themselves for assurance nor live again for themselves, so the service must concentrate on Guilt and Grace, with gratitude as the only appropriate creaturely response.

This I disagree with. As the church's worship is heaven centered, and what does guilt have to do with heaven.

IOW when one enters the Church, they have entered the heavenly. Should they be bringing guilt with them. I don't believe so. And why would they if they have repented and confessed in preparation.

There were some other things in the article, I'm just pointing out a couple that seemed contradictory to me.

Whispering Grace
May 21st 2007, 03:10 PM
In my opinion is because today's teachings do not include what sin is... in other words -- very few times do you hear preaching that includes the identification as to sin and repentance of sin...


When I found Isaiah 6 many years ago, it burned into my heart many things.... The Glory of God, the sin of self and people, the need to confess and repent of sin, the dependence on God Himself to declare one Holy... and many more points that one could list... which I would also say that Isaiah saw Christ on the throne... but that's another thread, I'm sure.

IMO, if each believer who entered the door of church tomorrow and left their baggage of sin outside the door, and humbled themselves though repentance of sin and dependence on Christ, then again IMO, service starts with the focus of worship, builds to praise and instruction, and finishes with the great commission to live and share the Gospel to a lost and dying world...

This is my hope and prayer for my church, and not to do this as vain repetition, but from a sincere heart and passion for Christ and the people's salvation and walk... is individually leading to corporately -- the one heart of worship --- as some of the scriptures I shared before.

For God's Glory...

I'm curious, RbG.....or anyone for that matter.....if a man came into your church, broken and humbled, and fell on his face right there in church, a sobbing heap, crying out to God and worshiping Him, would he be accepted in your church?

From what I recall at the Bible church I attended for a few years, if I so much as let a tear trickle down my cheek, people looked at me like I was nutso.

Do you really think this Biblical model of worship would be accepted in most modern American Christian churches?

I guess that's one reason I love my church so much. If someone fell on his face before God, weeping and worshiping, no one would have a problem with it.

Toolman
May 21st 2007, 03:23 PM
I'm curious, RbG.....or anyone for that matter.....if a man came into your church, broken and humbled, and fell on his face right there in church, a sobbing heap, crying out to God and worshiping Him, would he be accepted in your church?

From what I recall at the Bible church I attended for a few years, if I so much as let a tear trickle down my cheek, people looked at me like I was nutso.

Do you really think this Biblical model of worship would be accepted in most modern American Christian churches?

I guess that's one reason I love my church so much. If someone fell on his face before God, weeping and worshiping, no one would have a problem with it.

WG,

I'll just tell my experience from being in a charismatic/pentecostal church for 10 years, it was often expected to have an emotional experience and if one was not having such experiences they were often looked at as "nutso" (or at least carnal).

So, I think that can go either way depending on the culture of the Church and the issues each congregation struggles with. I think in most charsimatic/pentecostal Churches it is very acceptable to fall on knees, etc. but not very acceptable to be still and reverant (of course, these are generalizations so take it as such).

I think having a time of bowing can be good and I know many Churches that incorporate this (Methodist and Catholic both I know for sure have specific times of bowing/kneeling before God in corporate worship. I'm sure others do also).

And we do, unfortunately, live in a climate of some religious "nutsos", especially here in Texas, with women drowning their children, cutting off their arms or beating them to death with rocks, so I think it somewhat just cautiousness on our part, because of some of what we have seen, to be "on guard" with those who may appear unstable. I'm not saying its right I'm just being realistic.

Those are my very random thoughts :) about your statement.

Revelation
May 21st 2007, 03:45 PM
The evil one comes to cause division. Paul warns believers over and over to be of ONE Mind United in ONE Purpose. Be careful not to go off on these rants and forgetting why Jesus came. He came to SEEK and SAVE that which is lost" That is what we as believers need to be about and everything else is chasing after the wind. I know some who claim to walk close to the creator but his walk is far from it. When I tried to admonish him then I am verbally attacked. Brothers and sisters we are living in dangerous times and we need to be about the FATHERS business. The Word tells us if we see a brother or sister about to stumble we are to admonish them. Here I would just say be careful not to allow division to over shadow the message of the Christ. Take my word for it when I say satan is out there to cause division among the very elect. I know because I have experienced it first hand. It is very ugly. Bretherin, love one another just as Christ loved the church and gave His life for it. !!

Whispering Grace
May 21st 2007, 03:48 PM
WG,

I'll just tell my experience from being in a charismatic/pentecostal church for 10 years, it was often expected to have an emotional experience and if one was not having such experiences they were often looked at as "nutso" (or at least carnal).

So, I think that can go either way depending on the culture of the Church and the issues each congregation struggles with. I think in most charsimatic/pentecostal Churches it is very acceptable to fall on knees, etc. but not very acceptable to be still and reverant (of course, these are generalizations so take it as such).

I think having a time of bowing can be good and I know many Churches that incorporate this (Methodist and Catholic both I know for sure have specific times of bowing/kneeling before God in corporate worship. I'm sure others do also).

And we do, unfortunately, live in a climate of some religious "nutsos", especially here in Texas, with women drowning their children, cutting of their arms or beating them to death with rocks, so I think it somewhat just cautiousness on our part, because of some of what we have seen, to be "on guard" with those who may appear unstable. I'm not saying its right I'm just being realistic.

Those are my very random thoughts :) about your statement.


Oh, I know some charismatic churches go overboard in the other direction.

But I have sat in enough non-charismatic churches to know that not much is tolerated in the way of worship outside of standing up, facing forward, and sitting back down when the songs are over.

And that, to me, doesn't seem like biblical worship.

Granted, as you (or someone else) said, we all probably have some aspects of non-biblical worship in our churches, but this just strikes me as being way off the mark.

I always picture the earliest churches being loud and lively....overflowing with praises to the Lord and people lost in worship.......not a bunch of ducks in a row in pew after pew, only getting out of their seats long enough to sing a few songs. :hmm:

Toolman
May 21st 2007, 04:05 PM
Oh, I know some charismatic churches go overboard in the other direction.

Balance is what we swing through on our way to the other extreme :)


But I have sat in enough non-charismatic churches to know that not much is tolerated in the way of worship outside of standing up, facing forward, and sitting back down when the songs are over.

And that, to me, doesn't seem like biblical worship.

Granted, as you (or someone else) said, we all probably have some aspects of non-biblical worship in our churches, but this just strikes me as being way off the mark.

I always picture the earliest churches being loud and lively....overflowing with praises to the Lord and people lost in worship.......not a bunch of ducks in a row in pew after pew, only getting out of their seats long enough to sing a few songs. :hmm:

Well, honestly I think that the charismatic version of each individual deciding when to bow/kneel/fall out, etc. is not biblical worship either but is influenced by American individualism more than biblical worship.

It seems to me, that the worship we see in scripture is much more corporate in nature, probably closer to what we see in the Muslim example of bowing than our American alter services which are usually very individualistic.

Now, I personally think there is room for both individual and corporate worship (with emphasis on corporate IMO) but really all this comes back to the heart.

2 people can be "doing" the same exact thing. Both kneeling, weeping, laying prostrate, etc. and one can be truly worshipping God, from the heart in faith in Christ alone and the other can be an unbeliever.

Or 2 people can be doing exactly opposite things, one being still and reverent, the other being very demonstrative and the reverent one being worshipping from the heart while the other is not.

My Father in Law is a good example here. He is NOT a person whose personality (and all that influences it) is comfortable with emotional, demonstrative displays in public. His conviction, for him, is that it would be irreverent to do so. He experienced the charismatic renewal of the 70's but was always very uncomfortable, for himself, to demonstrative worship on an individual basis. He did not see it as biblical to do so in corporate worship.

So, while I do think the position of our bodies can be of some benefit to worship, it really does come back to the heart. What is your heart fixed upon. I think the various forms can be deceiving and we need to always remember it is the heart from which true worship must flow.

Again, my thoughts :)

Teke
May 21st 2007, 05:38 PM
I always picture the earliest churches being loud and lively....overflowing with praises to the Lord and people lost in worship.......not a bunch of ducks in a row in pew after pew, only getting out of their seats long enough to sing a few songs. :hmm:

We all have such differing views.:P I couldn't imagine "loud and lively" early churches. Knowing how solemn the Jews were, and knowing how some Christians met in graveyards and caves to worship. Loud and lively wouldn't be my description. Reverent, quiet and focused on Christ would be my picture of the early Christians. Not to mention that I couldn't be lively and loud while my fellow Christians were dying for the faith.

My thoughts. :)

JesusIsLord4Ever
May 21st 2007, 06:04 PM
Where did this idea come from that reciting words can save anyone?

I was reading the pastor's blog from the church I just left, and I knew he held to this notion, because I saw it firsthand in the church (the whole "repeat this prayer after me" nonsense). But when I saw it right there on his blog, it really hit home for me.

I don't want to link to the blog, but this is the essence of what it said:



Followed by some prayer that someone reading the blog is supposed to recite and suddenly be "saved".


Having experienced the power of God in my own salvation, I KNOW that simply reciting some words someone has written means NOTHING! And here people are going to read this, recite the prayer, and THINK THEY ARE SAVED!!!!

Where in the world did this come from? It is nowhere in the Bible that simply parroting some words leads to salvation. NOWHERE!!! Yet....here I see a pastor whom I have known personally pushing people to say it and "be saved"!

My heart just breaks over this. I can't get this verse out of my head:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15

I am not questioning anyone's salvation (speaking of the pastor...only God knows), but I know how many false conversions, how much false assurance, and how many people have been led down the path of destruction by this lie and it grieves me!

I agree so much with you! :hug: And I will not judge anyone who did "say the sinners prayer" either.

But I had a terrible experience with this lady I know. I had told her about Jesus and my new life in Him, but she rarely wanted to talk about it. Anyway, one day she called me to tell me she had "gotten God". I thought that was her way of saying she was born again. I was so happy, I was in tears. But listening to her, I wasn't so sure what she was talking about. We didn't seem to be on the same page so to speak.

Then she calls me some days later and asks me what was the prayer she prayed, where is it in the Bible. I told her I had no idea what she prayed, and there wasn't an official prayer in the Bible.

That scared her, and it bothered me. She said she didn't know what she prayed, she couldn't remember, and wasn't sure what it was about, but wondered if she was going to Heaven. For the first time at least, she was willing to talk about knowing Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

I shared with her what it means to be born again, and told her that there was no "magical words" to say, no formula, no ritual. Just talk to God like we're talking now.

To make this short, I explained to her what it meant to be born again, and she said she'd talk to God about it. That was last year, and she did talk to God about it.

When I read this that you wrote, WhisperingGrace, it reminded me of this situation that I thought I would share it.

I remember when I became born again in Jesus, it was not through a ritualistic prayer. This may sound unbelievable, but it's true and that is that God spoke to my heart and let me know how to have salvation, to be born again, set free and Heaven bound.

I came out from the darkness literally, and I know the blood of Jesus has set me free. It was all from God's heart to my heart, letting me know what I needed to say, think, believe, ect. Now I am His forever and He is mine! :pp

Teke
May 21st 2007, 06:16 PM
I'm curious, RbG.....or anyone for that matter.....if a man came into your church, broken and humbled, and fell on his face right there in church, a sobbing heap, crying out to God and worshiping Him, would he be accepted in your church?

From what I recall at the Bible church I attended for a few years, if I so much as let a tear trickle down my cheek, people looked at me like I was nutso.

Do you really think this Biblical model of worship would be accepted in most modern American Christian churches?

I guess that's one reason I love my church so much. If someone fell on his face before God, weeping and worshiping, no one would have a problem with it.

There are such churches in America.

Here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=Jkz6q-sUNvo) is a You Tube video of an interview done by The Faith program. They interview different clergy about different topics. This one is on Why Attend Church. In it is a Romanian priest who gives a wonderful explanation.:)

Christian Holzman
May 21st 2007, 09:12 PM
Where did this idea come from that reciting words can save anyone?

I was reading the pastor's blog from the church I just left, and I knew he held to this notion, because I saw it firsthand in the church (the whole "repeat this prayer after me" nonsense). But when I saw it right there on his blog, it really hit home for me.

I don't want to link to the blog, but this is the essence of what it said:



Followed by some prayer that someone reading the blog is supposed to recite and suddenly be "saved".


Having experienced the power of God in my own salvation, I KNOW that simply reciting some words someone has written means NOTHING! And here people are going to read this, recite the prayer, and THINK THEY ARE SAVED!!!!

Where in the world did this come from? It is nowhere in the Bible that simply parroting some words leads to salvation. NOWHERE!!! Yet....here I see a pastor whom I have known personally pushing people to say it and "be saved"!

My heart just breaks over this. I can't get this verse out of my head:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15

I am not questioning anyone's salvation (speaking of the pastor...only God knows), but I know how many false conversions, how much false assurance, and how many people have been led down the path of destruction by this lie and it grieves me!

words or prayer does not bring about salvation. It is Jesus that saves

Lisadawn
May 22nd 2007, 10:53 PM
Where did this idea come from that reciting words can save anyone?



Just reciting the words will not save anyone, but here is the sinner's prayer:

Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: “God be merciful to me a sinner

Isn't that really about the gist of it?

Lisa