Sinner's Prayer and the PC Movement

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Tom Butler, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    I frankly don't know how I feel about this question, so I'm throwing it out there for chewing on.

    Can the Sinner's Prayer be equated in any way with the Positive Confession Movement? The PCs hold that words have great power. It's called Name It and Claim It, Blab It and Grab It, or in kinder terms, You Shall Have What You Say.

    The PC Movement holds that "faith-filled words" actually obligate God to honor those words.

    So, that being the case, what is the difference when we tell someone to pray the Sinner's Prayer in order to receive salvation? We have encouraged them to say "faith-filled words," have we not. And we assure them that if they prayed in faith and "really, really meant" those words, God has saved them.

    Release the hounds!
     
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,361
    Likes Received:
    790
    No........
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    So, how are they different?
     
  4. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Good point...never made a connection like that before, but it makes sense. I never liked the sinners prayer to begin with, but this helps give some more reason why.
     
  5. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,361
    Likes Received:
    790

    I have always lead someone in prayer at the moment of conversion. I have never heard anyone, not those who taught me directly, nor men like Hudson, Hyles, etc ever suggest that the prayer is what saves you. It just has never been taught by sound and grounded Christians.

    The prayer is used to solidify in the minds of the new convert the seriousness and the reality. The use of the prayer misrepresented and mischaracterized. No one believes the prayer or the words in the prayer make it happen. And such a misrepresentation appears to come from the reformed camp as an disengenuous criticism because of the disagreement with the role one plays on salvation.

    The word of faith folks have a comepletely different agenda that is unrelated.
     
  6. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    Most of the pastors I've know would say no, actually saying the prayer is not what saves (even though they would insist on the prayer beig said anyway). But I did have one pastor that insisted that the person MUST actually SAY the prayer to be saved. Maybe in that case it would be a similar philosophy.
     
  7. canadyjd

    canadyjd
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't see the connection. The "word of faith" movement is much more material/worldly based. The goal is to gain "things" in this life....wealth, health, better jobs, etc.

    The "sinners prayer" (which I am not a fan of) is a sincere attempt by "believers" to get "unbelievers" to believe and confess "right" doctrine in such a way that both can have assurance that the unbeliever has been genuinely saved.

    I don't see a connnection.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  8. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most of you have reacted to the OP question exactly as I expected. Neither you nor any Baptist preacher I have ever known would link the Sinner's Prayer to the Positive Confession movement. And they would vehemently reject such an idea.

    However, I am aware of people whose sole testimony of salvation is "I said the prayer." They have linked their salvation not to the person and work of Jesus, but to the prayer.

    And despite the protestations, we all know of preachers who have couched their call to salvation like this: "All right, if you want to be saved, just pray this prayer--Dear Lord Jesus, etc......"

    Or, "Pray in words similar to this..."

    Or, "Repeat after me....."

    Aren"t these variations on "Say these words..."?

    And don't we reinforce the prayer by comments such as, "If you really, really meant those words, welcome to the family of God." We actually declare them saved after they prayed, repeated, or said the words. We declare that the words have achieved a result--their salvation.

    I'm raising this issue because that's how I was trained to win souls. And God in his mercy saved some people who believed the gospel I tried to give witness to.

    In my continuing re-thinking about the ways we as Baptists present the gospel, the question of a possible connection outlined in the OP came to mind. That's why I wanted to lay this out for your comments.

    I appreciate your thoughts. Keep 'em coming.
     
  9. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    It shouldn't be empty words, but rather a sincere and contrite attitude and recognition of Christ that brings a person to God. Otherwise, it may as well be, "Abbracadabra, you are now saved!"
     
  10. lbaker

    lbaker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's the same kind of deal as the idea that baptism, rather than faith in Christ, saves. We simply traded one physical act for another.
     
  11. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    0
    I beg to differ. I know of many who say that they know they will be in heaven because they 'prayed' or they 'asked Jesus into their heart' or they asked Jesus to save them.'

    I almost got thrown out of a place because I said that people don't have to pray when they get saved. Who in the Bible prayed to get saved?

    Believe it or not, there are preachers who believe that you cannot be saved unless you pray a 'sinner's prayer' (which, incidentally, is not in the Bible anywhere...).
     
  12. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Full disclosure here: I am a Calvinist. But I was a Calvinist for 30 years before I began to re-examine how we present the gospel. And that re-examination was triggered by a non-Calvinist Romanian pastor during a mission trip. This was ten years ago.

    Romanian Baptists do not give invitations in their churches. When I asked why, he replied "we do not believe it is required that we create an atmosphere in which the Holy Spirit can do His work. When He is at work, they will come."

    That, and some other things he said got me to thinking, and triggered this re-thinking. I came to the conclusion that everything---everything--we do to present the gospel, even the language we use, should be measured against Scripture. Not measured against Reformed theology. Against the Scirptures.
     
  13. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,361
    Likes Received:
    790
    Yea I hear such but have never met any.
     
  14. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,361
    Likes Received:
    790
    Hey neither should we go ye into all the world. The Holy Ghost will bring them in when He wants them.
     
  15. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Look HERE; and a majority of places that use the old tract 'the Romans' Road to Heaven' will use the same wording...

    They start with 'good works can't save you', and end with 'do this...'
     
  16. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,361
    Likes Received:
    790
    I am not going to be a part of derailing this thread on what consititutes works. I suspect that very argument is the basis for the characterizations of the sinners prayer.
     
  17. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't try to avoid anything, good Rev. No derailing necessary: work=physical activity. I have good friends and ex-freinds who live in doubt day by day because they were told to pray to get saved, while this is nowhere in the Bible.

    The fact is that many hold to the fact that they prayed as proof that they will be in heaven. They are told to pray 'faith-filled' words.

    Now, I am not opposed to praying at the point of conversion. I am opposed to leading somone to pray as a final step. There is no precedent for this in scripture and little (if any) in history. This is saying 'do something, then you will be saved.'

    I also believe that not all will mis-understand it; ie, some will trust the gospel while praying. But many trust the fact that they prayed.
     
  18. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Neither Christ nor any other 'soul-winner' in scripture ever led anyone to say anything at salvation. The focus always was and always should be what Jesus did on the cross and what that means for the subject's condemned condition.
     
  19. Whowillgo

    Whowillgo
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    0
    I feel that the concept of a sinner's prayer has become a substitution for heartfelt confession and repentence. Our church has had the joy of watching several children accept the Lord over the past 3 years. I started asking the child to simply tell God what they were feeling and it has been amazing to the extent that is what I ask the adults to do now. Two examples stand out. 1. A 9 year old girl at Vacation Bible School came to me and said she wanted to know Jesus, I asked her why. Her reply was "I don't want to be lonely anymore". When she prayed the innocence of her prayer to our Lord was incredible. 2. A 12 year old boy came to me and stated that "He wanted to have Jesus in his heart" when he prayed he asked the Lord to come into his life and take over, then he said "I need some help down here Father". I truly believe adult or child when experiencing the conviction needed for salvation has the words God wants to hear. I too have seen to many adults look to the magic of some prayer instead of the sarifice of our Lord.
     
  20. nunatak

    nunatak
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    0
    God justifies the wicked when they place their faith in Christ alone. Not pray a prayer, any prayer for that matter, imo. Who among us can tell when someone puts their faith in Christ?
     

Share This Page

Loading...