Can a Calvinist deny Lordship salvation and hold to the sinners prayer?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Can a Calvinist deny Lordship? Believe in the sinners prayer and alter calls? That I wonder but my answer is no and because they all go against Calvinism and what I have been taught on Reformed theology by RC, Mac, Washer, Lawson, Piper, and others. I believe that Calvinistic/Dispensationalist types can hold to these doctrines but not Reformed.
     
  2. Winman

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    Was Paul saved by the sinner's prayer?

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    This is going to be good. :laugh:
     
  3. JonC

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    Good point. Paul wasn't saved by the "sinners prayer," but the idea that the "sinner's prayer" is supposed to save anyone is just a straw-man idiots construct.
     
  4. Winman

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    Well of course, only Jesus can save a person, but this shows a one-time event, calling on Jesus for the forgiveness of one's sins, whereas Lordship Salvation requires a lifetime of obedience.

    In my view, this verse refutes Lordship Salvation.
     
  5. JonC

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    Ahh....I see what you mean. I don't view Lordship Salvation in that manner. Is this the Reformed view of Lordship Salvation?
     
  6. JonC

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    I think that you may need to define what you mean by an “alter call.” My experience has been that it was a time at the end of the service (and lasting as long as needed after the service has concluded and the congregation has left) where members who had some spiritual crisis or people who were drawn by God could speak with a pastor. I’m not sure how this conflicts with Calvinism.
     
  7. Winman

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    I don't know what the Reformed view of Lordship Salvation means, you tell me.

    I don't see how it could mean other than a lifetime of obedience though. How can you be sure you have made Jesus the Lord of your life unless you persevere to the end? If you do not persevere, your sins are not washed away and you perish.

    But with Paul he was told to call on the Lord to wash away his sins. This argues salvation is a one time event, and argues against Lordship Salvation.

    Another example is the publican in Luke 18:

    Luk 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
    10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
    11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
    13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    I don't see the publican promising to obey God all his life here, but simply calling on the Lord to have mercy and forgive his sins. And Jesus said he went down to his house justified, all his sins forgiven.

    It seems to me that scripture supports the sinner's prayer and argues against Lordship Salvation.
     
  8. Tom Butler

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    I've served under both Calvinist and non-Calvinist pastors, and all of them without exception did use an invitation-altar call at the end of the service.

    There were some differences. The Calvinist pastors tended to have shorter invitations, and the exhortations to respond differed in intensity.

    So I never gave much thought to the question of whether Calvinism is compatible with an altar call.

    As a young believer, I was taught to use the Roman Road and the Sinner's Prayer in soul-winning. I still think that the Romans passages are a useful organized way of presenting the claims of Christ. But I have over the years come to the conclusion that one must be very careful in using the Sinner's Prayer. The danger is not in the use, but the mis-use.

    I began to question the wisdom of leading one through the prayer, then asking, "Did you mean what you just prayed?" Of course, the response was always "yes."

    Then we were taught to say, if you meant it, then according to God's word, you're saved and don't let anybody try to tell you differently.

    0ver time, that began to bother me. It was almost as if we were asking, "Okay, did you say those magic words? Were you sincere? Did you really, really, mean them? Good, you're saved."

    This was also brought home to me when a woman asked her grandchildren about their relationship to the Lord. They both answered, "Sure, Granny, we said the prayer."

    See what I mean?

    In addition to all that, I reflected on the day the Lord saved me, a nine-year-old. I don't remember the sermon, but during the invitation, I came under deep conviction and it scared me to death. Now all those sermons about heaven and hell came to memory. Down the aisle to the pastor. He asked me a series of questions. Why are you coming. Do you understand that you are a sinner? Do you understand the penalty for sinners? Are you sorry for your sins? Do you trust Christ and Him alone for your salvation?

    No sinner's prayer. Just questions and answers. And the pastor definitely did not tell me I was saved because I gave good answers.

    So, back to the OP. For those who believe that Calvinism is incompatible with altar calls and the Sinner's Prayer, flesh this out. How not? I think I know what some of the answers will be, but give me yours and let's see.
     
  9. JonC

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    I don't know the Reformed view of Lordship Salvation. Guess we're the blind leading the blind on this question. :smilewinkgrin:

    I believe that one must call on the Lord to be saved which (I believe) is calling on Him as Lord. Not that one must live a life of perfect obedience (we don’t) but that even in our failures and times of disobedience Christ is our Lord. I understand perseverance as being of faith, not works and obedience.

    I also have no problem with the “sinner’s prayer” although we don’t use it. As I have witnessed the prayer, it is a summary of the gospel followed by calling on the Lord to be saved. IMHO, it has the potential of being misused, but so does Scripture which we hold so dear. But I have no problem with Lordship Salvation if I get to define Lordship - which is affirmed by the passage you provided.
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    The Lordship Salvation question is one that I'm still working on, and I appreciate the discussion we're having.

    I've heard people give their testimonies along the lines of "I trusted Jesus as Savior at age 9 (pick an age) but I didn't make him Lord until I was (pick an age)."

    I'm wondering if it's really possible to separate the two. Paul told the Philippian jailer "Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and you'll be saved."

    He also wrote in Romans 10:9 "Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."
    In verse 13 "Confess with you mouth that Jesus is LORD..."

    So, if we're just trusting Jesus as a ticket to stay out of Hell, why all these references to Jesus as LORD as part of salvation?

    I'm eager to learn more.
     
  11. Winman

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    You misquoted Romans 10:9. It doesn't say confess that Jesus is Lord, it says confess the Lord Jesus. HUGE difference.

    To say you must confess that Jesus is Lord is to argue that obedience is required to be saved, and obedience is WORKS.

    To say you must confess the Lord Jesus is very slightly different, here you are simply expressing his title. Very subtle difference, but a difference just the same.

    The scripture DOES NOT say you must confess Jesus as Lord.

    Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    Now, that said, I believe to be saved you must realize that sin has destroyed your life and will lead to eternal death and separation from God, so to repent and come to Jesus is a willful turning away from sin. I believe a person must desire to live a life of obedience to Jesus to be saved.

    But salvation is obtained by trusting Jesus alone to save us, not our obedience to do good works the rest of our life. This is why salvation is a one-time event shown in scripture. And there could never be assurance if we must persevere in good works till the end. You would only be assured until the next time you sin, which is often.
     
    #11 Winman, Apr 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2014
  12. Revmitchell

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    That may be but confessing that Jesus is Lord is about commitment. What some folks want is nothing but fire insurance. That is not salvation.
     
    #12 Revmitchell, Apr 18, 2014
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  13. OldRegular

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    It seems to me that the following Scripture shows that if Jesus Christ is not Lord He is not Savior. That may not be what is called Lordship Salvation but it is certainly Biblical Salvation!

    1 John 1:6-10; 2:1-6
    6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
    7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
    8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    10. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    2:1. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
    2. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    3. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
    6. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    Luk 24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
    Luk 24:46 and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
    Luk 24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed
     
  15. JamesL

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    A couple of years ago, the Southern Baptists debated, and voted for the use of a so-called sinner's prayer. The debate was fueled by David Platt's remarks at a pastor's conference that the sinner's prayer is a superstition which leaving many people with a false hope.

    Though I am not a Calvinist (or any sort of Reformed), I also see that prayer as a superstitious ritual which has run untold millions into spiritual ruin. One can say a prayer, having absolutely no knowledge of Christ or the cross. One can say a prayer, yet deny that Jesus Christ rose bodily. One can say a prayer, yet deny that Christ is God. One can say a prayer, and believe that it is the prayer which saved him.

    And I am not speaking flippantly about this issue, as I said a so-called sinner's prayer somewhere around 600-800 times from the age of 6 til I was 28. I had no knowledge that Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, or the purpose of His death on a cross, or what it accomplished. But boy, could I say that prayer. Sincerely, too. I would say this prayer, asking God to forgive me of my sins, and then I would ask Jesus to come into my heart. And I would "give my life" to Christ.

    Then it would usually be a week or less, and I was the same old guy (or kid). There was no assurance for me, because I thought this prayer was only one thing on a list of works I had to do in order to make myself righteous enough to enter heaven.

    When I read of Platt and his comments, I was so proud that a Sothern Baptist stood up and proclaimed the danger of this cancerous superstition. Then, in the same fashion that I became proud of him, I shortly became extremely disappointed.

    Platt back peddled from his original statement, which I thought might have been a political move for his status in the convention. I don't know for sure, but he sure disappointed me.

    Then, after reading many who had voted for and against the resolution which was passed, I was utterly flabbergasted that not one single person who was against the sinner's prayer accurately handled Romans 10:9-13.

    Not a single person was able to accurately refute the wild misinterpretation that Romans 10 teaches a sinner's prayer and/or confession related to conversion.

    That is pitifully sickening


    My son attends a Christian school (which is also our church), and his teacher has remarked on Facebook lately about the kids in her class who have "said the prayer"

    During a recent sermon series in the book of John, our pastor has stressed numerous times that no one has ever been saved because they said a prayer, that Jesus saves. He believes that a prayer would be one of thankfulness, not one of request.


    A couple of weeks ago, during bible study, our pastor asked for thoughts regarding what he said about a sinner's prayer.

    I spoke and said that the only thing I was disappointed in was that he did not condemn it as outright heresy - a godless superstition, a cancerous plague, and the most deceitful lie ever whispered from the lips of Satan.

    My son's teacher was in that bible study, and testified that she had "said the prayer" at the age of 14, then came to understand the purpose of Jesus' death, and His blood, and righteousness by faith at a later time around 20 years old. And that at 14, she knew nothing except praying that prayer

    She considers that she was saved early, without any knowledge at all about Christ, and was then "discipled" by others who taught her the truths of Christ 6 years later.

    Amazing, isn't it?

    I have met many hundreds who have "said the prayer", and I can assure everyone here that a vast majority of those I've met have no understanding of the cross - Zero.

    Did Paul preach Christ crucified, or sinner's prayers? I've only read of one in scripture
     
  16. Winman

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    And what do you think you have to do to make yourself righteous enough to enter heaven now?
     
  17. JamesL

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    Impossible task. There is none righteous.

    But I met the Great Physician a while back, and by His stripes I was healed
     
  18. evangelist6589

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    This thread has gone completely OT thanks allot Winman! The discussion was not on Lordship or the sinners prayer, but was on if a Calvinist can deny/affirm them if that is at all possible.
     
    #18 evangelist6589, Apr 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2014
  19. salzer mtn

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    Rock Of Ages

    Could my tears forever flow, Could my zeal no languor know, These for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone: In my hands no price I bring, simply to the cross I cling. Your tears don't save, Your prayers don't save. All those that Christ died and shed his blood for at the cross were right then saved when he said it is finished. He saw his seed and was satisfied. When the Holy Spirit at the day of your salvation revealed his Son in you he became your Lord and master.
     
  20. JonC

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    It depends on how they are defined. I think a Calvinist pastor would encourage those being drawn by God to come… as Spurgeon pleaded - to come and drink…if you will it, God wills it…come. So the altar call is not anti-Calvinism. Like Tom Butler pointed out regarding the “sinner’s prayer” - there is a danger that it can be misused (a danger that is present even with passages of Scripture). But without denying Scripture the only thing that I see as a potential issue is the phrase “invite Jesus into your heart,” which some have reworded…although I don’t see much difference between that and “come and drink freely.”

    Lordship Salvation is what is being discussed now because you have thus far refused to define the term as applies to the OP and have left it up to us to flesh out a definition.
     

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