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Say the prayer and go to heaven

In a blog this week, I addressed the question of whether or not the “prayer of salvation” actually saves you. More thoughts along these lines from Phil Cunningham’s blog: When I was in Haiti last week I had this conversation with a man who was part of a team of doctors and nurses at a clin…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
In a blog this week, I addressed the question of whether or not the “prayer of salvation” actually saves you. More thoughts along these lines from Phil Cunningham’s blog:
When I was in Haiti last week I had this conversation with a man who
was part of a team of doctors and nurses at a clinic we were serving at.
My friend and I were asked to pray for the people coming out of the
clinic. So, as I would normally do I sat down with the people coming out
and asked them if they wanted prayer and if they did I asked what they
needed prayer for. Then, I would pray.

I prayed for a few people like this before Big D (not real name) came
up to me and asked how many people I had lead in the sinners prayer. I,
to his surprise told him that no one had prayed the sinners prayer. He
responded by saying that getting them to say the prayer was the main
thing that we needed to get the Haitians to do. Our conversation
continued. “Do they know who they are asking to save them” I asked. “Do
they know who they are confessing their sins to and who they are asking
to come into their lives? Do they even understand what Jesus did for

His response was classic. “They know who Jesus is, we just need to
get them to say the prayer. If they got hit by a car tomorrow and didn’t
say the prayer today they would go to Hell.” Now I agree, salvation
comes to those who believe, but is it up to us to make people believe?
Does saying a prayer that isn’t backed up by faith and lifestyle even

Big D and I continued to talk. “What about discipleship” I asked.
“Discipleship? We are in a third world country” D said, “we don’t have
time for discipleship. Discipleship is the job of the Holy Spirit, not
us.” If you are fuming mad right now then welcome to my life. The
difference was that I had to face this dude and have this conversation
in the 100+ degree heat while people were coming out of the clinic for

During our conversation a lady came out and he sat her down and asked
her if she was a Christian. “No” she said. Big D asked her if she
wanted to become a Christian, to which she responded “yes.”  So, D asked
her to repeat after him. “Jesus, forgive my sins. Come into my life and
save me. Amen.” After this D looked at me and said “that’s how we do
it.” Then I repeatedly round-house kicked him to the face, just kidding.
After the amen the girl went downstairs to get her food and gift bag.

D and I continued debating this. He told me that he believed the most
important thing is to get people to say the prayer. It didn’t really
matter about discipleship or any of that, what mattered was the prayer.
Throughout the day D got many people to say the prayer. I am sure he was
counting how many people had come to the Lord. This is how I was when I
was younger, but somewhere along the line that changed. Now I still
believe with all my heart and being that in order to be saved you need
to come to the knowledge that Jesus Christ is God’s son and the savior
of the world. That He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life on
earth and died and rose again to conquer sin and death. I believe this,
but I also believe that following Jesus is a lifestyle, a relationship,
not just a one time decision that is done through a 12 word prayer.

Comments (28)

  • Ah, yes…this is a really hot button topic for me. I so DO NOT agree with the pray and pill approach, where you don’t get the meds you need or care, or attention, or whatever until you pray the prayer of salvation. I am in the bittersweet process of transitioning my worship home, and I served as Missions and Outreach Director at the Mennonite Church where I came to faith. But we have one individual who is an elder there who really really believes in this approach and always comes home with his belt notch count. I find it so frustrating…what about discipleship? What about the meaning of the commitment they have made? And it seems like blackmail to me…I know others in our church have stopped serving with this ministry and valuable health gifts are now going unused because they were so turned off by this approach. My husband, who is not (yet) a believer and is also a doctor goes annually to serve with an organization in Honduras (the MAMA Project) that is based on sharing the love of Christ but does not demand a prayer in exchange for prayer. He is being ministered to as much as those receiving the care and seeing the love of Christ in action; there is prayer at the start of each clinic and it is available to all, but not mandatory.This approach turns me off. I actually had linked through to this post and read it yesterday, but think it is a valuable discussion point. I am sure there are differing viewpoints. I am totally turned off by it.Just my two cents.

  • what you described is simply “easy believism”. Salvation is the sovereign work of God through the Holy Spirit. one cannoy save themselves. it would follow then that being urged to pray a short prayer by someone without so much as understanding who Jesus Christ is; or being compelled by conviction to confess, ask forgiveness that nothing happens. If someone boasts of this “many” souls came to Christ at a retreat, really one has to question just what happened and a year from now, how many of those confessants actually renew their minds every day. This modern day has ushered in this pseudo Billy Graham instant salvation without acknowledging the role of the sovereign God of the universe. Only He can judge the heart and open the eyes of the sinner. He pours out grace, not a camp leader….we must take the emphasis away from the prayer leader, the human, and put it on the Christ of God.

  • I find this particular issue to be very divisive within the body of Christ. Any time we have the opportunity to talk with anyone about Christ, it is a gift. It is never our work, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. We are broken clay vessels. We want to do it perfectly and we will never be able to do it because it isn’t our work. When you think of yourself, your friends or your family and you consider how they came to Christ and their particular journey…does it make any sense at all? I know mine doesn’t. Frankly, I think the devil is having a party on this one. Yes, we can bitterly criticize one another and what does that do? Whether we like it or not, we are still part of the same body.

  • St. Mark of the Cross

    Maybe we can rethink evangelism… Like instead of some easy steps & poof you’re a Christ. How about let me introduce you to Jesus, he saves you from original curse, then he begins to undo all the things in your life that were not like him – for the rest of your life. I love this talk, however, we are to be wise not to become drawn to the universalism doctrine. I know this doctrine very well and have lost some beloved brethren to it. In the book of Acts, those who repented, immediately started to glorify God…no where does it show a “process.” The effect was immediate! They were one way, then next a new way–born again. Jesus is alpha & omega..there is a start and end in our salvation. No I don’t like traditional salvation messages, but he has saved many, and most of us with this prayer. It was the start of our salvation, we are now…seeing the whole process of what started, was is, & being made in us, and knowing there is a reward of seeing Jesus face to face in the end. Yes, just like diploma mills, there are salvation mills…but that doesn’t take away from true college diplomas & true salvation prayer experiences.

    My beloved…it is good to question where we are…? It is healthy spiritually to do so; however, let our desire for truth take us to just that the truth. Jesus is the savior of all mankind…especially to those who believe. I don’t have time/space on this to share, but more than willing to dialogue with anyone on this matter. Thanks & bless all of you for thinking…salvation is not complicated, and I don’t want to make it that way, however, I have experienced many “Christ-less rebirths along the years…because we were the Holy Spirit. When a man/woman is ready to be saved, the Father draws them by Holy Spirit, not our persuasive speech..maybe the real culprit?

  • Judith, Andrea, et al,

    I appreciate your desire for unity. I really do.

    However, you are speaking from a 100% American context and this particular “approach” is actually causing more harm than good around the world … and that is what is from the enemy, not any perceived “division”.

    The issue of discipleship does matter. It matters a lot. Especially in areas of the world where the Gospel has not been proclaimed; the least-reached and the under-reached. I live and work in Outer Mongolia. We’ve had this kind “pray a prayer” gospel preached in Mongolia and I’m here to tell you, it does way more harm than good. I personally know of Mongolian people who have been essentially vaccinated from the Gospel with this kind of “pray a prayer” approach. The Prayer doesn’t save. Jesus saves. It’s a bigger deal than “unity”.

    This is not about a “different approach”. This is about a different Gospel. That’s a big difference. Big D is deceiving people, in spite of what is probably really good motive. People are “praying a prayer” and assuming that they are going to end up in heaven or are now Christian or something. But most who do that are not.

    When you are working in a cross cultural context people are amazingly receptive … to anything. Syncretism is a very real danger. I know of people in my context who have “prayed a prayer” to Jesus, while still holding on to Buddhism and Shamanistic beliefs. Encouraging people to “pray a prayer” and calling them “Christian” after succeeding at that is not evangelism. It’s more deception.

    The “pray a prayer” approach is very American. Calling a “spade” is not criticism. This is not an issue of “motive” (which is the issue that Paul is addressing in the Philippians passage quoted above). This is an issue of truth and presentation of the Gospel. I can not tell you how much culturally American garbage gets exported to the mission field. We need to evaluate what we are exporting in the light of the culture, the context and Scripture.

  • I get where Andrea & Judith are coming from but sometimes anger is justified. We are a part of the same church, but should we just sit there and take it? Should we just let this Big D person go on “saving souls” and then abandoning them. Big D’s approach to missions is THE biggest reasons the evangelical missions movement of the past 20+ years has not been nearly as successful as it could have been. This is the main issue in Africa now. Evangelicals (and I am one myself) have gone in, gotten people to pray this prayer (which is nowhere in the Bible I might add), convinced them they are saved, and send them on their way to figure it out. Now they practice both Christianity and the beliefs of their ancestors (which often involves witch doctors)b/c they don’t understand. They think they should appease both gods. Yes, the Holy Spirit fills in the gaps. But tell that to someone who doesn’t have a Bible in their own language. Tell that to someone who doesn’t have a church to go to or who doesn’t know another Christian. Discipleship is crucial and we as Christians are to play a major role in that.

    I’d also like to bring up that saying the sinner’s prayer doesn’t necessarily make one a Christian either. Anyone could say it in a heated moment and not believe. They must understand what they are saying. Most of the world knows enough about Jesus to send them to hell. They need other Christians to help fill in the blanks through the Word and the Holy Spirit. If you want to say, “leave it up to the Holy Spirit” then why even bother having them pray the sinners pray. I mean couldn’t the Holy Spirit just work that out for them too? Yeah, that sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it. No, God does not need us in anyway to have His Will done & He does all the saving. However, we are also called to be willing to be a part of that will. Rushing people through the sinners prayer to be able to add another notch to your belt is disgusting and just offers a cheap gospel.

  • Judith-

    You are right in the sense that I have no way of knowing Big D or anyone’s motives. However based on what Phil quoted him saying it seems fairly obvious. “We don’t have time for discipleship” ?!?! Are you kidding me? “They know who Jesus is, we just need to get them to say the prayer. If they got hit by a car tomorrow and didn’t say the prayer today they would go to Hell.” Yeah it does sound like he was rushing them through the prayer. That’s not my judging or assigning negative motives that is my reading what Big D was quoted saying. Maybe Big D is modest but his saying, “see now that’s how it’s done” doesn’t sound like something a humble person would say. So no one should judge anyone for anything b/c that is not our place, but when someone is doing more harm than good – something needs to be said. I agree that Satan can use issues like this to divide the church, but I also think he can just as easily use this prayer to evil and not good. Regardless of Big D’s motives or intentions he did harm that day. Period. Even if the lady (who merely mimicked his words) really did mean what she was saying, he left her alone in the midst of non-Christian culture. Yes, she may know the Lord now and that is what is most important, but if she is not taught how to be a disciple of Christ then her life will be no different. What should Big D have done differently? At the very least have a local church there to help plug in these new believers. His method can no longer be our focus as evangelical missionaries (which we all are no matter where we live). The “can’t we all just get along” mentality doesn’t always work. Yes we should seek unity but truth first like you said.

  • Ok this is last I’m going to say on this as I have to go to work soon.

    1)Yes, based on Phil quoted not said but quoted I am drawing those conclusions. I’m going to trust that Phil isn’t completely making all of this up & even he got some of the wording wrong, I’m going to assume the basic gist is the same.
    2) Big D, Schmig D. Maybe Big D is a saint. Maybe he’s awesome. Maybe Phil got it all wrong and is a big jerk. The point is for years this has been the mentality of evangelicals for years. It has caused the world to hate us and not for the right reasons(because I know the world is supposed to hate us). Save ’em and leave ’em. So my points aren’t directed at Big D necessarily but at this issue as a whole.
    3)I am passionate about Jesus and people. It breaks my heart to hear stories like this (true or not) because I know this has and still does happen. I’ve personally seen the effects of it. I appreciate Phil bringing this to light b/c this methodology must change.

  • Hello all, Phil here. I am the guy who posted the original post. I appreciate you Seth for re posting it, and for all that you have done in Haiti. I have forwarded this conversation over to Nate, my friend and pastor who was with me on the trip and with big D.

    Here are my thoughts. I in no way want to nor intend to play Holy Spirit. I grew up in the church and am so thankful for it. I remember when I said the prayer, I was 10. I also remember that I knew who Jesus was when I prayed it. some of that knowledge was from my mom and dad telling me, but a lot was the Holy Spirit working in my young life.

    My wife Amy and I have two little girls. I have thought a lot about weather or not I should get my girls to pray the prayer. I want them to sometime so that I feel that they have covered everything to make sure they get into heaven. They have not prayed the prayer, but they have a strong relationship with Jesus. They believe in their hearts that He is God and confess with their mouths their love and faith in Him. Emma is 8 and Abby is 4.

    So, going back to Big D. I was going through all this in my head when I met him. I want people to accept Jesus as Lord. The reason I went to Haiti was to share with people the love of Jesus, through words and actions. I know that Big D was wanting the same thing. He was a great guy, funny, caring and super nice. The thing that bothered me is that all he was asking was that people say the prayer, then he sent them downstairs for their food rations and went on to the next one. At one point after leading someone in the prayer he turned to me and said “thats the way we do it.”

    I wasn’t making any of the conversation up, nor was I exaggerating. I was just trying to paint a picture of how we do evangelism, not a picture of how much of a putz Big D was. It just broke my heart.

    The world needs discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20, it doesn’t just need words. It is up to the Holy Spirit to save people, and I pray that on that day many people were saved. There was just this pride there in D, pride that He was leading people to heaven, and I just don’t agree anymore with that theology. In saying that though, I ask Jesus to burden me with his kids who don’t know Him. What am I doing? I pray that I would put actions to my words and convictions, not just talk about what I feel that what others are doing is not effective.

  • St. Mark of the Cross

    Okay… I have heard all these discussions. Now I have a question? How do we evangelize and see people get saved/born again? I think reading all your posts, and talking to other people about this subject – it is very serious a matter. Souls eternity heaven or hell is at stake. If we are changing the rules, or altering them…it is screaming at me! My God! Please hear my heart, I am not condemning or saying anything wrong with anyone & their talk. I am however, saying that we are questioning in different manner the very idea of being born-again. This is no small chat-talk issue… I love how everyone is sharing their hearts, and really what I am hearing is a dissatisfaction with the way we ALL are doing things, wanting to see more dedication to Christ. I don’t want to measure a rebirth by a struggle of a brother/sister in Christ because we would all lose. Especially when we focus on the obvious sins of the senses-what we see & hear. Also, I have been fooled by brethren who did not seem as dedication to Jesus because they didn’t do “things” my way of seeing what Christian is. For those of us with mission Christian orientation – we above all should see that Jesus takes on many expressions. Maybe the key issue is discipleship and let us focus more on that rather than who is really saved or or not. I evangelize all the time…and I basically do this: I seek the Holy Spirit and try to speak only has he gives me words, I do give a basic “package” or words (If you know your life is miserable, lost, or in want, Jesus is the answer. He can begin to make your life new, & can help work on the things in your life which are damaging-hurt, rejection, sin, hate, guilt, shame, etc…, you must acknowledge God is God, Jesus is his son, God sent him to die for your sins, raised him from the dead, there is heaven/hell, resurrection judgment, you must believe Jesus came in the flesh, REPENT of the way you have lived and have a desire to live/walk differently, ask forgiveness, ask Jesus to come into your heart be Lord/Savior, and want to live life as Christian) I say in your own words like that if you believe you need those things, just ask and begin your life of being one of Jesus’. That is it..then I trust God to do the rest…only he can draw them anyway. Then I pray for discipleship and tell them that they need to be his disciples….MY FAILURE…too many to disciple and TOO LESS to do it. I hope you all can hear my heart….EVANGELISM is serious as is discipleship. I got saved in Mannheim Germany with words, which has led to me to live as a disciple, maybe the weakest, and chief needy of all…but it was my born-gain experience. I truly thank God that you all are questioning what we do & why we do it – FOR JESUS.

  • To St. Mark-

    I think I can sum up my feelings on people becoming Christ followers: you must believe, admit/confess, commit. I don’t care how it’s done. I don’t think it has to be done in a prayer or said a certain way. I also think a person can say all those things and not really believe what they are saying. The bottom line is there must be a true belief. Of course evangelism is just as important as discipleship. I’m not saying that if you are a part of someone coming to know Jesus that you are solely responsible for their discipleship, but you should at least direct the new believer in the right direction & let them know where to plug in or give them a Bible. I think the core issue with this Big D person is that he was having people repeat after him the sinners prayer without these people knowing what they were saying. It was too transactional and he was proud of what he had done. That is the issue.

  • Phil’s frustrating experience in Haiti reminds me of a couple of different resources that might be a blessing to someone struggling with this issue.

    First, it reminds me of book “Finally Alive” (on the miracle of the new birth) by John Piper (http://www.desiringgod.org/Store/Books/815) They let you download the whole book for FREE in pdf format!

    Second, it reminds me of this message by Ray Comfort about “True & False Conversion: http://www.wayofthemaster.com/audiolessons.shtml

    I think both of these resources can help to shed light and truth on this important issue!

    Thanks for sharing this, Seth! I pray that we can all grow from it…


  • I am glad we are still having these conversations as followers of Jesus and not just assuming that we have it all figured out. We are in community to learn, grow and engage with each other.

    I have been challenged through your posts and thoughts. I pray that I can continue to make Christ known to those I come in contact with. To think more about their need for Jesus than my need to not embarrass myself. I also hope and pray that I would be obedient to what and how Jesus is asking me to evangelize, regardless of how it makes me look.

    Thinking more about this over at my blog.


  • St. Mark of the Cross

    Probably a “dead” post..but yes, repeat after me is crazy, and I have seen many “salvation” like this, only to see that person fall away, or were they ever really in the way? Big D…not my style. I think my posts were more focused on all of our posts…and what I see in the Body of Christ across the USA…dissatisfaction with the gospel–in particular in our own lives. Hear my heart here. We are all realizing that the gospel is more than we are all living right now. I praise God that we are seeking this way. The church in America, Europe, & South America all are stagnant with religion. I actually have Christians admonishing me openly during evangelism times – yes, walking right up to me while I am witnessing to someone and they say “…don’t you ever stop, give it up…?” Some have told me “you don’t belong here in America, go somewhere where people want to hear it…” that came from a baptist lady? I see believers, true-Christians who are finding their life in materialism, sex, music, sports, and the like… This was told me…a big non-denominational church near us…had a guest speaker coming to speak on a Sunday morning. Well, he did come, but dressed as a homeless person out side the front door of the church. Almost every believer walked right past this “homeless” person. He waited until everyone was inside & worship was started. The congregation was perplexed because the speaker was not in yet? All of a sudden the homeless person walked to the pulpit took the microphone and started to deliver his message. On “…one of those..” Evangelism, discipleship so necessary. So I am glad we are seeking this truth, but please SEE that it is for AMERICA.

  • So glad my conversion experience wasn’t reciting words with everyone else and no one looking around. An evangelist gave an alter call and I was a 14 year old boy who walked all the way from the back pew and the minute my elbows hit the alter I sobbed. I wasn’t churched so this was new to me. Revelation of how the Holy Spirit was drawing me throughout the years and asking Christ to forgive me for closing the door. I wasn’t a bad kid but I had a 180 experience. Just in time for my Freshman year. My highschool years would have been way different, if not for that encounter.

  • It is an interesting question. What is the outcome of that simple prayer?

    I know that for me, in my life, I believe that simple prayer made a difference. When I said that prayer, I didn’t really understand what I was asking or even who Jesus was; but I did know that I needed something bigger than myself and it seemed like He was the answer.

    My life did not change much at that point to be honest, but I do believe that because of that simple prayer I was kept from wandering too far. When I look back over the years between that prayer and when I finally met the Lord and committed my life to Him, there were many pitfalls that I came very close to but did not fall into. I believe that because of that prayer, I was saved from a lot of trouble I did not even realize I was being saved from.

    However, I did say that prayer of my own volition and out of an awareness of need for a saviour. I didn’t really understand it, but I knew I needed it. I think that is significantly different than asking somebody to repeat a few words, when it would seem that their immediate wellbeing may depend on reciting them. I do believe that there has to be some awareness of the need for a saviour and of whom they are asking for it.

    I share this mostly because although I agree with introducing Christ and ongoing discipleship, I also don’t want to underestimate the impact of a simple prayer. I said it in response to a guy on TV that I never spoke to or saw face to face, and I don’t even remember who it was. I can’t say there was any ongoing involvement in my life. It was an in-the-moment plea for help to a God I barely knew. But it was real, and God honored it and took me the rest of the way, in time.

  • Thanks Kim, it is funny how God can use pretty much anything to reveal Himself to us, including TV, I love that about Him. In my original post, I am not doubting God and his power and authority in bringing people to Him, I am just asking questions mostly about us, and our theology and methods of evangelism.

    I work with YWAM, which is almost as cool as AIM (haha) and have seen God use the craziest, most bizzar ways and methods to bring people to Him. I alway’s want to be careful not to box Him in, yet I also want to make sure that I am being obedient to Him and what he is asking me what to do as opposed to just doing what I feel is best and most comfortable to me in the area of evangelism.

    In short, I am learning and growing and appreciate and need conversations like this.

  • “I find this particular issue to be very divisive within the body of Christ. Any time we have the opportunity to talk with anyone about Christ, it is a gift. It is never our work, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. We are broken clay vessels. We want to do it perfectly and we will never be able to do it because it isn’t our work. When you think of yourself, your friends or your family and you consider how they came to Christ and their particular journey…does it make any sense at all? I know mine doesn’t. Frankly, I think the devil is having a party on this one. Yes, we can bitterly criticize one another and what does that do? Whether we like it or not, we are still part of the same body.” Andrea

    I agree 100%, Andrea…so much so that I copied and pasted your whole comment rather than just refer to it.

    I do not know anything about the man who wrote and posted this blog but I do not believe it will serve the purposes he intends.

    Criticism, borne out of frustration, delivered with a touch of sarcasm, will not accomplish God’s purposes.

    Some of this writer’s points may be valid. But we must be very careful not to put down another man’s efforts to evangelize for Christ, no matter how “off” we think his approach.

    I immediately think of Paul’s admonition to the Philippians:
    “Some to be sure, preach Christ out of envy and strife, others out of good will…what does it matter? Just that in every way, whether out of false motive or true, Christ is proclaimed. And in this I rejoice.”

    As Andrea said, this isn’t our work. It’s His work.
    We can and will botch it up big-time…it doesn’t matter!!!
    He fills in all the gaps!
    We plant the seeds, we water, we fertilize and we usually do a “pea-poor” job at all of it, folks!
    Because we’re human.

    Not to mention, that God is a God of infinite variety and He works in an infinite variety of ways!!! Different strokes for different folks…and different scenarios…and different places! Hello, we’re talking the Holy Spirit here: This Guy (HS) thinks in myriad colors, every color in the spectrum. He NEVER uses just one approach. That defines the enemy, not God!

    I shall now settle down and conclude. ;o]
    We can challenge each other, hone each other, clarify each other in this body-work of evangelism. But, we should be very careful about accusing another’s evangelistic efforts as bogus!

    Love to all…

  • I completely agree with discipleship being key, Bernie.
    I stand by my discernment of the spirit of this man’s post, which was of concern.
    I respect your spirit and approach, as expressed here.
    I am never one to seek unity above truth…never have been…never will be.
    Truth is paramount, not unity.
    As far as Big D deceiving people, I again refer to the St. Paul passage.
    We can criticize methods and evaluate approaches.
    i only caution that we must not judge another’s heart and motives in any area, even in evangelism.
    And, that God is way bigger than our individual approaches to evangelism.
    I just used the “sinner’s prayer” a few nights ago to lead a young, Chinese atheist living in my house to the Lord. (You may read much of the interchange between us in the previous post by Seth on this subject). I now will continue to be there for her in discipling ways as we walk side by side in the days ahead, especially while she is still in my circle of influence.
    We can and should have discussions about this and all issues of theology…iron sharpening iron.
    But, the spirit in which we approach these discussions is key.
    Lastly, I completely 100% agree we need to evaluate what we are exporting to the mission field!

  • I also apologize that I am not on my game today…because of physical reasons…after a long night of intense intercession…I feel punk.
    Therefore, I am sure that my discourse has plenty of holes in it.
    Please forgive…
    And, know that I agree with much of what you say, Bernie.
    But, I remain confident in this statement: We can not judge another’s heart, mind, or even their fruit when it comes to evangelism. It is way beyond us to know these things. We can certainly judge visible results and should. And, we should learn from them.
    But, we can not put God in a box.
    Big D can’t.
    And, neither can Phil C.

  • I hear you, Casey.
    But, I take umbrance with your last sentence.
    Because, we have no way of knowing if Big D was rushing people through the sinners prayer “to be able to add another notch to his belt.”
    That was Phil’s interpretation of Big D’s heart and motives, which we are not allowed to do. “I’m sure he was counting how many people came to the Lord.”
    Phil didn’t know that…he was assuming and assigning and judging.
    And, I do not ever stand by when a believer assigns negative motives to others, especially fellow believers.
    Not gonna happen.
    I have too strong a sense of justice in me.

  • “Based on what Phil said”…key words.
    This is all coming from Phil’s reportage.
    The spirit in which he delivered it causes me, in my discernment, not to trust his reporting.
    I can not say that Big D did harm that day…no way I can judge that.
    Beyond me…way too big to ascertain.
    But, absolutely, the ideal is to plug these people into something long-term and discipling.
    I never have displayed the “can’t we just all get along” mentality, Casey.
    Think Scarlett O’Hara in a pint-sized blonde’s body.
    Truth is paramount to me.
    I have cut people loose because of truth, when everything in me wanted to compromise the truth to keep them around. ;o]
    Not cut them loose from my heart…just let them go their way and remain true to my own way.
    Great to meet you, Casey…btw.

  • This will be my last post, as well.
    I just feel checked to offer my apology if in any way my comments on this post seemed contentious, which was not at all the spirit in which they were intended.
    I am less than par today and probably should have heeded that.
    I appreciate everyone’s viewpoints on this, including the original post by Phil.
    Please forgive if I have, in any way, riled or frustrated anyone.
    Thank you and I will bow out…

  • Whee-hoo, Kim…thanks for this sharing!
    It lifted my already joyful day a bit higher.
    God is amazing!
    I will say it once again, “God fills in all the gaps!”
    Praise His Name!

  • You rock, Phil…and your attitude rocks!
    I applaud your openness to learning, growing, and needing others to push back sometimes.
    I’m 65 years down the road and I still need that daily!
    Praise God!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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