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May 2009

Why Do People Make “Decisions” for Christ?

Sports teams keep all kinds of statistics.  Goals, assists, home runs, strike outs, touchdowns,

interceptions, etc…  In fact, there are “fantasy” leagues today that give the average fan a chance

to obsess over these things.

Churches keep statistics too.  Now, I havenʼt heard of any church fantasy leagues yet, but every

church that I know has some way of keeping track of its growth and progress.  Personally, I

think thatʼs a good thing.  However, there is one church statistic that has always troubled me a

little bit, and, yesterday, Robert Greene helped me to remember why.  I am speaking about the

number of “Decisions for Christ” that we observe.

Be honest.  How many decisions for Christ have you seen in your lifetime?  And how many of

those decisions for Christ have actually led to a joyful pursuit of Christ and an ever increasing

desire to follow him on his mission to make disciples of all nations?

Regeneration, on the other hand, is a completely different matter.  Itʼs the miraculous heart

transplant that God does which causes us to make a decision for Christ in the first place.

Ezekiel described it well:

Ezekiel 36:26-27

I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the

heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within

you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

When I became a Christian 12 years ago, I wasnʼt the only one who made a decision.  And

thanks to the decision that God made, I am still a Christian today.

imagrs

2 Comments

gary

July 16 2013 Reply

Isn’t it odd that if the Baptists and evangelicals are correct that their “born again experience” is the true and ONLY means of salvation, the term “born again” is only mentioned three times in the King James Bible? If “making a decision for Christ” is the only means of salvation, why doesn’t God mention it more often in his Word? Why only THREE times? Isn’t that REALLY, REALLY odd?

Why is it that the Apostle Paul, the author of much of the New Testament, NEVER uses this term? Why is this term never used in the Book of Acts to describe the many mentioned Christian conversions? Why is this term only used by Jesus in a late night conversation with Nicodemus, and by Peter once in just one letter to Christians in Asia Minor?

If you attend a Baptist/evangelical worship service what will you hear? You will hear this: “You must be born again: you must make a decision for Christ. You must ask Jesus into your heart. You must pray to God and ask him to forgive you of your sins, come into your heart, and be your Lord and Savior (the Sinner’s Prayer). You must be an older child or adult who has the mental capacity to make a decision to believe, to make a decision to repent, and to make a decision to ask Jesus into your heart.”

Why do Baptists and evangelicals use this non-biblical terminology when they talk about salvation? Other than “you must be born again”, none of this terminology is anywhere to be found in the Bible!

Is it therefore possible that…making a “decision” for Christ is NOT how sinners are saved? Is it possible that “accepting Christ into your heart” is NOT what being “born again” really means?

Gary
Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

gary

August 29 2013 Reply

Does the Bible really say that the only way to be saved is by “accepting Jesus into your heart”? Where do Baptists and evangelicals find this concept in the Bible? Is “accepting Jesus” really the means by which God forgives sins and saves sinners? Did you know that this phrase is never used in the Scriptures? So why do these Christian denominations use this terminology? And why do Baptists and evangelicals have so many “problem” Bible passages that if read in their plain, simple rendering, contradict Baptist/evangelical doctrine?

Lutherans do not need to twist and contort themselves into pretzels to explain “problem Bible verses” that do not agree with our doctrine, as do the Baptists and evangelicals. If the Bible says, “He that believes on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved”, we believe it. Believing is all that is necessary for salvation. And when the Bible says, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins” or “Baptism now saves us” we believe those passages literally too. God, in very simple, plain language says the he forgives sins and saves in Holy Baptism, so we believe him.

Baptists and evangelicals claim that infant baptism did not “appear” in the Church until the second or third century. They are wrong. Numerous historical documents demonstrate that infant baptism is of apostolic origin, as several early Church Fathers state in their writings and were willing to die for. If the “heresy” of infant baptism was contrary to apostolic teaching, and developed within the following 100-200 years after the last apostle died, where is evidence of the introduction of this “heresy” and the indignant outrage and uproar among the faithful “baptistic” believers? And… please don’t tell us that the “Catholics” destroyed all such evidence in a wholesale Baptistic-document burning because there is no evidence to support this old wives’ tale either.

Baptist-like believers did not exist during the time of the Apostles, during the Early Church, nor for the next 800-1500 years!

There is no evidence of a massive outcry against baptizing infants in the Early Church because no such “heresy” occurred. Infant baptism was taught by the Apostles. That is why there is ZERO evidence of a major controversy over baptizing the infants of believing parents in Christian or non-Christian historical documents from this time period. The practice of including infants and toddlers in “household conversions” continued uninterrupted from the Old Covenant into the New. This is why there is no explicit mention in the NT regarding infants being baptized…everyone in that era correctly assumed that infants are included in their parents’ conversion.

Baptist/evangelical doctrine is an invention of sixteenth and seventeenth century western Europeans. No Christian in the first 800-1,500 years of Christianity ever heard of such an outrageous false teaching as that of adult-only, symbolic-only baptism. No one!

When confronted with the overwhelming historical evidence that supports the orthodox Christian position on Baptismal Regeneration and Infant Baptism, most Baptists will fall back on their last line of defense: They will say, “For two thousand years, the Catholics have destroyed and covered up all evidence of these early Baptist-like believers who have existed since the Apostles. Catholics have even purposefully misinterpreted the Holy Bible in ALL translations, including the KJV and ESV, to hide the true (Baptist) doctrines that are so easily found in the original Greek Scriptures.”

These are unfounded conspiracy theories dreamed up over the centuries to explain away the nagging problem with Baptist/evangelical theology: Why is there ZERO historical evidence that any early Christians believed in a Symbolic Baptism or that the only means of salvation is by an adult “decision for Christ”?

These unfounded “Catholic” conspiracy theories are sheer ignorance, my friends. Wake up out of the trance that those who taught you these false teachings have placed you under! The Baptist/evangelical doctrine of Symbolic Baptism is NOT Scriptural! It is an assumption based on a false premise that salvation occurs when a sinner chooses to seek righteousness/seek God, referred to in evangelical/Baptist theology as a “decision for Christ”. God says in Romans chapter three that such a “decision” is impossible! Sinners do not choose God. God chooses sinners! That is why Baptists and evangelicals fail to understand how God can save the infants of believers in infant baptism. You demand that the infant make a decision just as you demand that an adult sinner make a decision. THAT is where you go off track! SINNERS CANNOT MAKE A DECISION FOR GOD, REGARDLESS OF THEIR AGE. God makes the decision for salvation, not the sinner.

There is not a single passage of Scripture that states that sinners can “accept/make a decision for Christ” or that Baptism is OUR public profession of faith. None.

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