Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Entering into a relationship with Jesus - Part 1

While reading articles on ministry and practice in our current day, my Children's Pastor walked into my office and referred me to an article that dealt specifically with the subject of what NOT to do when sharing the Gospel with a child.  The article is written by a Family Pastor at a church that is quite large in attendance.  I was curious to see what his take was on just how a person "gets saved", or accepts Christ, or...?  The article had my blood boiling quickly.  The article highlighted the confusion being created by those of the Reformed ideas of Soteriology and the deep depths of their intentions to take this poor theological system to the world. 

In the beginning, The Editors of the site that published the article had the following disclaimer/embrace:

Sharing the gospel with our children is an extremely critical task and the language we us to communicate the good news to them is also vitally important. This article offers an alternative view to a very traditional method of evangelism.

From this beginning, it is clear that the information to be shared is against what the author and editors know to be "traditional" in relation to how one accepts Christ or becomes a Christian.  I admit that this statement alone had me boiling.  But the reality that someone has now figured out that we have been doing the command of disciple making wrong and that millions who have accepted Christ over the years have also done it wrong leaves one with no other alternative than to boil - a lot!  The arrogance of the mere thought is typical in the modern day Reformed movement known as New Calvinist.  It is this arrogance that is leading to charges of arrogance, and rightly so.

The author seems to somewhat flip/flop on the subject in his opening by stating:

Your child lies in her snugly, warm bed and says, “Yes, Daddy.  I want to ask Jesus into my heart.”  You lead her in “the prayer” and hope that it sticks.  You spend the next ten years questioning if she really, really meant it.  Puberty hits, and you only have more questions.  She turns away from faith.  You spend the next ten years praying that she will come to her senses.  What went wrong?

 And then the author says the following:

Of course, there is no way to guarantee that an early acceptance of the gospel will stick, and parents should not feel defeated when their adolescents question or even rebel against what they have been taught from a young age.  

Is the author saying that the child accepted Christ, became a child of God, and then lost Jesus or left Him?  True there is NO way as a human being to know for certain that anyone other than self has entered into a relationship with Jesus.  I do not question this at all.  What I do raise as a point of theological fact is that the Gospel is NOT a thing that sticks or does not.  Either a person accepts Christ and becomes a Christian, secured by Jesus for all eternity, or they do not, and remain lost needing to accept Christ.

As a parent of two teenage boys, I never once questioned my sons salvation.  I heard from them of their decision to accept Christ and witnessed the brokenness over sin and the effects of it, in their lives.  Maybe some parents do question this, but to present an article on a subject that is as important as salvation, presuming to know something that is NOT general in terms by any means, presents more of the arrogance of this movement and highlights a great problem - what is the Gospel and how does one enter into a relationship with Jesus and know that it is sealed for all eternity?

My next post will deal with the specifics of this article.  At the end of the review, I will share the article and author information.

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

We believe that Christ accepts us into His heart.

We preach the gospel to children. We tell them that Jesus loves them. That He forgives them. We remind children what Jesus has done for them in their baptisms. (yes - in their baptisms He has adopted them and made them His own)

We teach this love of Jesus for them, over and over and over. The Lord will do with that Word (into their lives) as He will.

We do NOT turn the gospel into just another law by putting a condition on it 'You must accept Jesus' (He's ALREADY accepted them).

The gospel is the power of God. The words 'accept Jesus', or 'make a decision for Jesus', do not appear anywhere in the New Testament.

We just hand Him over, freely. And He does the rest. Then there is no false security, or false faith based on something that the person 'has said, or done' that may have been subtly cohereced or done from a sense of wanting to please the adult. or even out of a sense of fear (of hell, or otherwise).