The Gideons

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by John Gilmore, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
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    Here is a quote from The Gideons Website Invitation Page. See link ( http://www.gideons.org/ ).

    P.S. There is a place to inform The Gideons of your decision.

    I have two questions for the Calvinists on this board:

    1. Is this evangelical approach acceptable to Calvinists?
    2. Do you support the ministry of The Gideons?
     
  2. Kiffin

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    1. Is this evangelical approach acceptable to Calvinists?

    Yes, overall I find it acceptable. As a Calvinist I have no problems at all with Confessing to God that I am a sinner, and believing that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins on the cross and was raised for my justification, I now receive and confess Him as my personal Saviour. I have minor problems with the term Decision but not enough to withdraw support. They however at least do not have the repeat after me "Sinner's Prayer" which can give a mechanical feel to evangelism. Overall it's pretty good.

    2. Do you support the ministry of The Gideons?

    Yes, and will continue to do so. [​IMG]
     
  3. Sherrie

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    Why would this even be a question? These people reach so many lost people in the world!

    They are not selling anything....just giving the Word of God.

    Sherrie
     
  4. John Gilmore

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    1. Is this evangelical approach acceptable to Calvinists?

    I am not Calvinist but I will attempt to answer from a Lutheran perspective.

    The Gideons approach is contrary to scripture. Unregenerate man is incapable of making any decision for Christ because he is in bondage to sin and can not free himself. Moreover, the Gideons deny the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Men are led to trust in their own merits (i.e., decision) rather than the merits of Christ alone.

    2. Do you support the ministry of The Gideons?

    I can no longer support The Gideons. They are false teachers.
     
  5. Sherrie

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    WoW! I will have to check this out.

    Sherrie
     
  6. ScottEmerson

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    The prayer shows this to be false: "...believing that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins on the cross and was raised for my justification..." The justification comes from Christ's death and resurrection.
     
  7. gb93433

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    The majority of Christians do not understand what justification means. So where does that put the new believer?
     
  8. Kiffin

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    Actually what they are saying is not necessarily contrary to Reformed theology though I agree the term "descision" is not a good term and I don't like it. Paul and Silas however told the jailor "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved". That is practicaly the same what the Gideon statement says. Martin Luther himself said "To be converted to God means to believe in Christ to believe that He is our mediator and that we have eternal life through Him." ( Is not that basically what the Gideon statement says?

    For most people to believe implies a "decision" while Calvinists understand that the reason people believe is because of the Holy Spirit's conviction, illumination, regenerating power. If Confessing to God that I am a sinner, and believing that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins on the cross and was raised for my justification, I now receive and confess Him as my personal Saviour. is unBiblical then we are all in trouble. Despite some minor flaws in their approach, they do not deny the doctrine of justification by faith alone or get people to trust in their decision but in Christ by faith.

    I know of Calvinists involved in the Gideons and would disagree they are denying justification by faith. I think most tracts do not do a great job and this one could be improved but it does not deny Justification by Faith. Let's don't be too nitpicky by calling Gideons false teachers.
     
  9. John Gilmore

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    What is the source of justifying faith: My Decision to Receive Christ As My Saviour or the Holy Spirit creating faith through the Word?

     
  10. ScottEmerson

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    What is the source of justifying faith: My Decision to Receive Christ As My Saviour or the Holy Spirit creating faith through the Word?

    </font>[/QUOTE]Not to speak for Calvinists, since I am not one, but I would imagine that they would say that after a man is regenerated by the Holy Spirit, he willingly makes his decision to receive Christ as His Saviour.
     
  11. Yelsew

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    Though not a Gideon, I believe that what they do is absolutely consistant with Christian evangelism.

    They are sending forth the words right out of God's mouth as stated in
    I shall continue to support the Gideon effort as I have through the years.
     
  12. Kiffin

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    Scott, I would agree with that. In the former area I lived in the leader of the Gideon camp was a 5 point Calvinist. The Gideons are not denying Justification by faith.
     
  13. Sherrie

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    http://www.gideons.org/

    I honestly do not see how or where they are wrong.

    They are a ministry to provides the world with the Bible. The Gospel! The Word of God! Just like some ministries provide music, some provide missionaries, and some tracts, and food.


    Their mission is to:

    They go to Jails and Prisons, Hospitals, Military, Colleges and Universities, those in the feild of Medical....and so on....


    Sherrie
     
  14. John Gilmore

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    Sherrie,

    God has ordained that His Word only, without the admixture of human doctrine, be taught and believed in the Christian Church. Decision theology always leads to doubt. Was my decision sincere? Am I really a Christian? However, true faith never looks to man's work but trusts in God's Word completely.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    While the first is true, the second is most assuredly not. Many Calvinists have had times of doubt about their salvation. A decision to believe on Christ is absolutely necessary as the Bible describes and as calvinism teaches. If you deny that man must make a decision to follow Christ, then you are denying the biblical doctrine of salvation.
     
  16. John Gilmore

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    I thought Calvinism taught that unregenerate man was spiritually dead, blind, in total bondage to sin, incapable of making a decision to follow Christ.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    Not only does Calvinism teach that, so does Scripture. But that is off topic for this thread. Start another if you have questions about it.
     
  18. John Gilmore

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    Now that Pastor Larry has enlightened me on the teachings of Calvinism in the thread "Making A Decision," I understand why Calvinists have only a mild objection to the message of The Gideons. Calvinists do not object to the decision itself but to an ambigious presentation that does not make it clear that the call must precede the decision.

    I, on the other hand, see decision theology as a denial of the gospel itself. Man must choose to accept God's salvation; man has become, in effect, his own saviour.
     
  19. EPH 1:4

    EPH 1:4
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    You have made some good points John. Both Calvinists and Arminians believe a lost sinner has to do something to have eternal life. :confused:
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    Scripture declares that man must believe to be saved. If you deny that, then you deny the gospel. If you affirm that, then you affirm what Calvinists believe and what Scripture teaches. There is no salvation apart from belief on the part of man. The evidence for this is overwhelming in Scripture.
     

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