Published November 10, 2005
I have been very troubled for some time about the “Judgement House” productions and was disappointed, to say the least, to learn from your recent front-page story the prevalence of this approach to sharing the Gospel.
This story, like so many in the pages of The Christian Index, seems to honor those church activities that result in quantifiable “decisions” as the litmus test for church success. I am yet to see a follow up of those who made “decisions” during emotional driven presentations of God’s word. Nor has consideration been given to those seekers, especially our young people, who have been driven away from the church when confronted with such tactics.
For many years I have wondered, can man do anything to enhance the presence of God? Of course not. But our churches extend great effort and millions of dollars in an attempt to do so.
John Piper, in Future Grace, quotes Charles Hodge, who said that saving faith is “a faith which rests upon the manifestation by the Holy Spirit ... it arises from a spiritual apprehension of the truth, or the testimony of the Spirit.”
Piper said, “When the Gospel of Christ is preached, some may affirm the testimony of the preacher for various reasons – perhaps he is logically compelling, or a charismatic speaker, or an admired leader or parent. That affirming testimony is a necessary part of coming to faith in Christ. But Paul says a special work of God is necessary too.
God must shine in our hearts to give us a spiritual apprehension of the glory of Christ
When this happens we not only affirm Christ as the true object of someone else’s testimony; we also ‘embrace’ him as the spiritually excellent treasure of our souls. This is the essence of saving faith.”
Piper follows with “Is this not one of the reasons why so many professions of faith miscarry? Sometimes we call for decisions for Christ, and bring people to crisis without contemplation.”
Is that not exactly what we are doing with Judgement Houses and the like?
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