Easy Believism

In my class today, I went over several evangelical misrepresentations of God. One of them had to do with leaving repentance out of the gospel presentation. After class, I thought it would be good to give a few examples from recent history.

Luis Palau’s invitation addressed the need for change. He made statements about salvation such as, “If you let him insto your heart, the change will take place. If you want to be, say to God, ‘Make me pure and help me not to do these bad things any more.’ Then … get right with God.”

Hundreds of people had come forward for the invitation. As my seat was next to an aisle, I could see many men standing near me who had responded to the invitation. The speaker told the audience to pray a prayer out loud with him. It was to be said by those who wanted to know Christ and by those who already knew him. He then spoke a group prayer which the crowd repeated with him before turning the microphone over to the emcee.

Reggie Dabbs was very happy about the many people who had responded to the invitation. After acknowledging that the men had come forward to talk with someone about salvation, he made a very dangerouos comment. He emphatically stated, “You are born again. You are changed.” The audience applauded at what had happened.

Storm the Gates: a Review of Promise keepers 2002 in Cleveland by Andy Rupert

Another example was given by Pastor Chris Anderson at My Two Cents.

During the discussion with several skate board evangelists, I made a comparison to “The Power Team,” the definitive evange-tainment group of my generation. (Yes, I’ve been to an event, seen them rip phone books in half, break bricks with their heads, etc.) And if you think this kind of Gospel presentation is limited to evangelical circles, you need to get out more.

What struck me more than the tactics was a statement the Power-Preacher makes during the last 5 seconds of their website’s video presentation. (BTW, you’ve got to love their “Closer to God One Brick at a Time” slogan. That’s rich.) After showing amazing feats, statistics of attendance and decision records, some sort of preaching, and people rushing to the stage during an invitation, the video ends with this astounding statement:

“You know what, everybody that’s up here, your name is now written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!”

How dare any human make such a broad promise to hundreds of people…or even one? What a presumptuous thing to say. It’s the kind of blanket promise that damns people.

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