Practices in Christendom that have no basis in scripture.
Segregated denominated name-tagged buildings called Church.
Programmed event driven Sunday-go-meetings called services.
Denominational control by the religious hierarchy.
Denominated seminaries for denominational learning.
Man-appointed denominated preachers.
Close your eyes, no one looking around, alter calls.
Repeat after me the sinners prayer. etc. and the list could go on.
These common practices thought to be the foundation of presenting the gospel are; non-scriptural...works based not grace based...doctrinally unsound and are damaging to the Community of the Redeemed, The Called out Ones...and hinders the purpose of God for the Community of Humanity.
There is no doubt, the scriptures declare that people are sinners...the scriptures declare that God saves sinners. Therefore people are utterly incapable to save themselves. The finished work of Christ is totally a God work for people that requires no input by man to gain or maintain their salvation.
In the typical denominational church the order of service is; Opening song...Opening prayer...Worship time...Offertory hymn...Prayer requests read followed by a prayer for the needs...sermonizing denominated sermon to move people to an emotional response...then the Alter Call, an invitation to come forward to “receive Christ” while the preacher asks the congregation to bow their heads, close their eyes, no looking around for this is a solemn moment. Then he asks anyone who wants to receive Jesus into their heart to raise their hand. Usually, he then asks them come forward to the altar to pray the “sinner’s prayer” to receive Christ as personal Lord and Savior.
While the intentions of the pastor and the congregation may be good, it is not scriptural.
When the invitation to receive Christ is offered, the religious implication for the order of salvation is:
Religious man preaches sermon to put sinner under conviction.
Religious man offers sinner heaven or hell and tells him it is his choice to chose.
Man chooses God.
Religious man leads sinner in a formula prayer (sinner’s prayer).
God saves man.
This is utterly against scripture. Man can’t choose to choose Christ because the scripture declares that man is spiritually dead in trespasses and sin. How can a dead man choose to take up his bed and walk? In John 6:44 Jesus says “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” Men are not drawn to Jesus because of the pleading or fear-mongering of preachers. No matter how eloquent, how emotionally charged, how fiery hell is portrayed or how beautiful heaven is made in the call to repentance, people will not have their blind eyes open to the beauty and worth of Jesus unless the Spirit draws them. The mission and calling of believers in evangelism is to offer an example of Christ life living by the Community of the Redeemed as a witness of the power of God to transform sinners in the Community of Humanity and secondly to present the pure Gospel of Grace that God saves sinners. It is not some preachers offer of salvation pleading and man choosing to be saved. Until the Holy Spirit regenerates the heart of a spiritually dead sinner we cannot even recognize the worth of Christ or the filthiness and the meaning of sin. When we place man’s wisdom as the foundation or first step in the redemptive process we nullify grace. What person would not respond positively to a question like “Do you want to live in eternal bliss in heaven or spent eternal damnation in the fires of hell when you die? All you have to do is repeat the sinners prayer and abracadabra boom-bam-bang your are saved". Really! When sinners respond to religious emotional pleading by going to the altar rather than turning to Christ in repentance as the consequence of the Holy Spirit having broken through their crusty fleshly heart, religion floods the Community of the Humanity with self-righteous unsaved sinners who are deceived into believing they are saved.
Now don’t jump to the conclusion that I believe ALL people who respond to the alter call to get saved are in deception regarding their salvation...because I do not but, neither do I believe that ALL who respond to the alter because of the fear-mongering emotional pleas of preachers or join a denomination as members are in a genuine relationship with God.