why the disdain?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nodak, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. nodak

    nodak
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    I like to read a wide variety of magazines,websites, blogs, forums, etc that purport to be Christian.

    Many of them claim to be Baptist, or have those claiming to be Baptist commenting on them.

    More and more I find some making statements that are downright disdainful of anyone who can state emphatically that they know when they were born again.

    Now, I get it that some have used the altar call and sinner's prayer in a manipulative way and that may have resulted in false conversions. Not what those I'm posting about are discussing AT ALL.

    Rather, there seems to be a disdainful attitude that basically says "I'm the better Christian because I ____ and you are a judgemental jerk if you claim to know when you were saved."

    Now, I might expect that from folks in some faith families.

    But I just don't get it from those claiming to be evangelicals and especially those claiming to be Baptists.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to what is causing this trend?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    I was always taught,and have always believed, that a believer could go back to a specific time when the Lord saved him. As a general rule, I still believe that.

    But....
    My late brother-in-law always maintained that he did not know the exact time when the Lord saved him.

    He said, that one day, he was reading his Bible and realized that for the first time, he really enjoyed getting into the word of God. He now looked forward to his prayer time, which before was sort of a chore to mark off his to-do list. He was outwardly religious, but now began to enjoy being with God's people; looked forward to hearing his pastor preach; and could not wait to tell someone the reason for the hope within him. His testimony was simple. God had changed him.

    I have to tell you that I stewed over that testimony because it did not fit the mold. But this man was one of the godliest men I ever knew. His wife and children had known him before, of course, and they could see the difference.

    Some might say he was not truly saved because he didn't follow the formula.

    I say, by their fruits you shall know them.
     
  3. Yeshua1

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    I have no "red letter day" circled on the calendar, but know that i was a sinner, and when the Lord saved me, became a saint!
     
  4. annsni

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    I've never seen that myself. I'd say that if you DON'T know when you were saved, you may not be. Not that you have to know the exact moment like some do but jeepers!! If you had nothing change when you were saved, are you?
     
  5. nodak

    nodak
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    What I'm seeing is a strong objection to "praying the sinner's prayer."

    I must have missed something, as I don't know that particular one.

    But I see nothing wrong with being able to say I know that I have repented of my sins and sought salvation and God graciously saved me.

    I also know some wonderful people that behave like Christians and claim to be Christians but will adamantly tell you they were born that way and need no repentance. I respectfully disagree.

    I admit I am on the side that you will know that you have been saved--not hope, or point to a behavior change, but know the great transaction took place whether you can name the day and hour or not.

    My personal suspicion--and it is only that!--is that the folks that flat out sneer with a "just because I never prayed THE sinner's prayer doesn't mean I'm not a Christian" are folks we attracted with our affinity model of worship, got involved in good deeds, and never actually led them to repentance and faith.

    Maybe we need a bit more Way of the Master or Spurgeon or John Wesley in our preaching/teaching/witnessing and a bit less blanket inclusion?

    Just musing.
     
  6. annsni

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    Ahhh!! Gotcha! Yeah, the "sinner's prayer" can be misleading to so many and that's why I think we are moving away from it. But I don't think we should toss the baby with the bathwater and toss out the "moment" as well. :)
     
  7. HeirofSalvation

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    As reasonably as I can, I think there has been a failure on the part of many Baptists (and similar groups) for about 30 years....This is twofold...Many have been told that if they merely "A.B.C." then their "fire insurance" is purchased for free. That is not true...that is false. Too many have been told to come forward, at an invitation time, and accept....pray a prayer (which becomes a liturgy). These same people were never told that they must Repent. They were never told to "count the cost". They were never told to ".....sell all thy goods to feed the poor". We have been lying to them quite frankly. The gospel is not now, and never was, "cheap grace" vis-a-vis Boenhoeffer. The call of the Gospel was always the call to come and die, not to come and score the free fire insurance.

    The answer, IMO is NOT however, to arrogantly ditch the notion of the altar call, or to do away with "coming forward" per se, that is (IMO) to err...."neither to the right hand, nor to the left"... those who encourage such tend to throw out the baby with the bathwater (IMO), it is rather to invite those who will come, to come to the call of the more faithfully preached gospel...the invitation to become a disciple...the invitation to repent, to come and die.

    I like the "Altar Call" because it is public, because, those who respond, do so "before men"...because those who do so satisfy the condition of "If ye will confess me before men...." This is why one who refuses to be Baptized casts doubt upon his Salvation and conversion, as far as I can tell. Too many have been preached a false gospel.

    Why do some simply "not know" though??? It is fascinating to read about the conversions of men like John Newton and others of eras gone by....they rarely tell us about the "day they came forward"...but that does not serve to disannul the idea. They lived in an era wherein they were innundated with the Scriptural World-View. They were, from birth, immersed in a society which was holistically Christian...They were probably "baptized" as infants. They already KNEW the "drill"...what they did, on the day they actually became a child of God, was REPENT...it was to TURN from sin and self...they already "believed" so-to-speak...(intellectually), what they required was the call of God to repent, to come, to die, to become a disciple...That is a day they can point to... Sorry for the long post. Hope it helps :thumbsup:

    I guess mine is the gaseously long version of saying....I agree with Annsni
     
  8. Alive in Christ

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    I certainly remember...dramatically...the event of my new birth.

    I'll never forget it.
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    Like what CS lewis said about his own conversion experience!
    said on his daily walk into work at Oxford, came in a sinner, on the way home, left a saint!

    Somewhere in between was his salvation time!
     
  10. AresMan

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    2 Tim 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
    2 Tim 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
    2 Tim 1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.


    Don't let anyone tell you that you have to know the date and time of your conversion for you to be saved. Scripture never teaches that. It does not matter that you remember the exact moment you passed from death to life; what matters is what you believe NOW. It is not about what YOU did at some point (everyone's conversion is different), but what Christ has done FOR you.

    I know I was saved when I was six years old, but I cannot remember the exact date or even the particular circumstance. There were several times during my youth where I "got saved" during moments of doubt. Instead of relying on feelings and recollections, I eventually realized that I can simply rest in the Christ Who will not cast out all who come to Him.

    It is
    1Cor 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
    NOT
    1Perv 16:22 If any man know not the date wherein he was converted, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
     
  11. AresMan

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    Nothing wrong with that. That is wonderful.

    To what I object is casting doubt on people who truly believe the gospel NOW and turning their assurance over from resting in Christ to resting in confessional regeneration. I have been in the presence of preachers dogmatically stating that "If you don't know the date and time you were saved, you're not really saved."
     
  12. Jon-Marc

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    Those who are disdainful toward those who can remember exactly when they were saved are just jealous because they can't remember when or if they were ever saved.

    For me it was May 18, 1963. I am VERY good with numbers, and remembering something THAT important just seems natural to me. I even know the very minute it happened since I looked at the clock immediately afterward; it was 12:28 AM on a Saturday morning.

    There has been NO time in my entire life when anything was as exciting or so easily remembered as the moment I called on the Lord to forgive and save me. I might forget a lot of other things, but how can I forget the moment I became a child of the King, placed in the family of God, sealed by the Holy Spirit, and given eternal life?
     
  13. mandym

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    I have never seen it anywhere but it would most likely be a cal thing.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    I can't say specifically when I was "born again" or regenerated by the Holy Spirit; but I can sure say when I professed my faith in Jesus Christ and asked for membership in a Baptist Church.
     
  15. nodak

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    The issue isn't castigating those that cannot remember when they were saved.

    It is being very snide towards those who can--almost a repudiating of the idea that anyone CAN know. Or the suggestion that some may know exactly when they were saved BUT since they don't do xyz about social justice or subscribe to the "right" systematic theology, etc, they are not AS GOOD a Christian as folks that have never "been converted" but show up at the food bank to serve and come have an emotional moment on Sunday mornings.

    I'm beginning to wonder if we Baptists still insist on a regenerate membership?

    My story? I could remember quite vividly when the Lord saved me. I'd been wanting salvation a couple of years, seeking it, and had been told by at least one preacher I was saved because I had "joined the church and been baptized."

    Watched a Billy Graham crusade one evening as a teen. No thought that day of seeking salvation. He gave the invitation and I went to my room under conviction, laid out all sins I could think of before the Lord, and asked forgiveness. And low and behold He saved me right then and there.

    I didn't write down the day or time--dumb kid!

    But a few years ago with the help of the BGEA and Wheaton college I was able to track down the date and knew the approximate time of day.

    So now I know my spiritual birthday.
     

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