Thank you for staying with us so far on these entries on the farse of decisionism. I know you must be very confused about the title and about the whole idea in general of talking against this widely-used, seemingly harmless method of evangelism.
In this second part I wish to explain why I titled these series ”The Frankenstein Monster Project.” What does Frankenstein have to do with sinner’s prayer and altar calls? It seems like a rather offensive title, doesn’t it? Also, if you noticed on the first part of these series, I put some phrases and words that the pastor in the narration used in his ”call” in italics and bold. An example of this is, “The rapture can happen any minute now and you will be left behind. Anyone else?” In the upcoming entries I will explain why I did this and I will address some touchy subjects about theology and eschatology.
But before we start, I want to clarify my motives for writing these series. I am aware that to some my intentions seem very belligerent and hostile. Perhaps I have come across as someone who likes to create havoc amidst brethren. I want to clarify that is not the case. Acts 17 struck me as odd when I read it yesterday. What in the world made the Jews so incredibly hostile to Paul to the point that he was driven out from city to city to city?? The answer is very simple: THE TRUTH IN LOVE. Paul’s immeasurable love for Jews and Gentiles alike cannot be denied, and yet wherever he preached he was reviled and people sought to kill him, just like Jesus. This is my motive, my reason for writing this because, as we will see in the upcoming entries, decisionism has created a now worldwide problem and has had catastrophic consequences that must be exposed. Out of love for you who reads this, and out of love for those to whom the gospel is preached, I write this.
So, let’s get to it.
Why the title?
Back in high school, about two years ago, I read ”Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. I don’t know why I always had a sort of fascination towards books like these. It is a fascinating book from cover to cover, and yet it is also terrifying in the sense that it exposes what man, in his unregenerate state, is capable of devising.
Victor Frankenstein, the young promising scientist, has a brilliant and unrelentess mind. His lust for knowledge is expanded during his stay at the university of Ingolstadt. His desire to discover the secret of life drives him to unimaginable and hideous actions. He wishes to be remembered after death as the one who found the key to eternal life, and he devises a plan, a project, a scheme of his now evil mind set upon nothing else but to strip God of His exclusive right to creation.
Thus he spends sleepless and countless days and nights bent toward the construction of a ”monster” to which he will impart life, an artificial life which Shelley does not expound on. His goal is set, and his plan is at work. Shelly does a majestic job at describing every single nuance of Frankenstein’s work and presents it to the reader as a masterpiece of organization and careful planning and construction.
Again, why the title? Simply because I see the sinner’s prayer and altar calls as a very meticulous and very well organized project that seeks an outcome based on an artificially created ambience, which creates an equally artificial (not in all cases) response to the gospel (if the gospel is at all preached when decisionism is employed). The pastor’s sweet and gentle tone, the instrument’s soothing harmony, the singer’s soft voice, the dimmed lights and the silent praying congregation then become a type of Victor Frankenstein operating the lifeless and unregenerate body of the unbeliever. And then, when all is finished and the prayer is repeated, the pastor proclaims in a loud voice just like Victor Frankenstein did, “it’s alive…it’s alive! IT’S ALIVE!!!” But my question is, is it really alive? Is the person who just made ”a decision for Christ” truly born again?
The monster rises, explores his now living and moving body and then sees his creator. In the book, Victor Frankenstein is terrified of the monster and despises him. The majority of the book deals with the monster’s reaction toward an undeserved and unasked for hostility: anger, pride, and revenge. The monster, once having had a baby’s innocence, now seeks to take revenge upon all mankind. After he saw that he did not get what he wanted and that he did not receive what he believed he deserved, he turned his back on what gave him his artificial life.
The new ”Christian,” once he sees that Christianity is a life full of troubles and persecution ”abandons” or ”falls away” from God and becomes just as or even more hardened than he was before he was lead into a prayer.
What I am trying to get at here is, did Jesus and the apostles ever needed to first create a friendly environment before they called people to repent? Why are terms such as repent, plead, beg, pray, turn away from your sin, sin no more, and many more are often used by Jesus and the apostles? Clearly the meaning is very explicit: because there is wrath to come! Keep this thought in mind as in the next entry (”The Statistics”) we will deal with how for decades, the gospel has been watered down and reduced to a simple decision for Christ. The Church has forgotten all about regeneration and has turned to decisionism.
A little sample of Part 3 of these series:
-Why do 9 out of 10 children raised in Christian homes leave the Church?
-Why do many professing Christians show little or no evidence for their faith?
-Why do 80-90% of those making decisions for Christ fall away from the faith?
I plead with you, like Dr. John Barber does in his foreword on Ray Comfort’s book God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life, that, “…before you begin…let me ask you to set aside any preconceived thoughts you have about personal evangelism and judge everything you read according to the Scriptures.”
“Sola Scriptura. Soli Deo Gloria. Post Tenebras Lux”
Truth War Today 2010.