The author states:
I have come to believe that the phrase “ask Jesus into your heart” can be a dangerous way of calling someone to faith.
Point 1 - This type of figurative language is NOT appropriate for children.
Question: Since when? The Bible uses this same type of language. Are we really at a point where we are going to question the very Words of Jesus?
My thoughts: This is a straw man if ever there was one. David Platt has made the same statement. The real motivation of this statement is to attack the idea that the Gospel/Salvation is available for all/who so ever. If a person is born elect and has no choice, then their will not be a decision nor a asking into the heart moment in their life. There will be a moment of "realization".
Point 2 - Salvation does not come from our asking, but from what Jesus has done.
Question: Do we have to accept it or is it automatic?
My thoughts: I will add to what I stated above in Point 1 this: The Reformed/Calvinist thought actually believes that the Gospel is limited and thus some people are born with NO hope of salvation. People do not need to ask Jesus into their hearts for they were elect from the beginning. They just need to realize it. Those who do NOT realize, were not elect, and thus destined for hell with NO hope ever.
Point 3 - The gospel is NOT primarily about Jesus’ work in our hearts, but about Jesus’ work in history.
Question: Does our heart matter?
My thoughts: I fully grasp the statement if it were to stand alone, absent an agenda. However, this statement is another way of restating Point 2.
Point 4 - The Gospel Appeals to more than emotion.
Question: Who said that emotion is all that the Gospel appeals to?
My thoughts: The attack here is on Revivalism. Simply put, Reformed/Calvinist actually think that people over the years who accepted Christ during revival meetings or during an invitation call made a preacher to accept Christ, really did not have it right. Again, the assumptions made are startling. Yes there were those who used emotion to get people to walk the isles. Yes it was wrong. But the majority did not rely on emotions and to make such an implication is absurd. The author then states in this point that accepting Christ is "finally resting in Christ". Again, accept that it is a reality of the elect and NOT a decision that needs to be made.
Point 5 - Over emphasizing a change of heart can actually discourage a child.
Question: Do you realize that this appears to negate the role of brokenness?
My thoughts: A heart change is what is needed! Brokenness allows one to see this need and leads to confession and repentance. The thought expressed by the author is one derived from the secular counseling side of theological thought. It is bad theology and the fear does not exist. It preys on the parents sensitivity which when applied, would lead parents down a path of NOT calling their own children to repent. This is SAD!
The next post will continue with points 6 - 9.