Friday, March 07, 2008

Conversion Stories without the Gospel, Christ Jesus the Master, and no Baptism to follow

Examples of testimonies that are contrary to Scripture:

" Immediately, this little squirt named Orville looked right in my eyes and said, ‘Do you know Jesus?’ And I said no. And then he said, ‘Bow your head, we’re going to ask Jesus into your heart.’ And I said the sinner’s prayer after him. That happened without anyone explaining the Gospel to me. Everything suddenly clicked. God just grabbed me, reached in and burned in my heart. It was the most incredible power I have ever experienced in my life. It was a tremendous burning sensation of an inner witness. It was something of the awesomeness of God’s love. I can’t even express it.At that moment God delivered me from drugs." --Seve Mays, pastor of Calvary Chapel of Gardena

Another:


"This may seem unbelievable, but the only way I can explain it is that Jesus Himself manifested right there next to me. He had come to meet me on my knees. It wasn't as though I could see Him or touch Him. But, He was there. I was aware of His Holy awesome holy presence next to me. It was incredible. It was wonderful and I felt my heart enveloped and lifted by Him.

I knew He loved me. I basked in His presence. I was with Jesus. Then, while I was kneeling there, utterly absorbed and drifting in the experience of His presence, He moved. He moved toward me and gently entered my heart. Instantly, I physically felt my sin leave me. I felt the sudden and wonderful burst of forgiveness wash over my soul. I was instantly cleansed and born again and with it came the most profound and absolute sense of security of salvation I had ever known. My salvation was in Him. I was forgiven and safe for ever."

"Why did it take two years for me to learn of Christ's physical resurrection? It was because I was not attending a church before or after my salvation. " --Matt Slick of CARM
See also here and here (go to the bottom gray column to see what's up for grabs and still be "saved").

Folks, this is emotionalism, not conversion.

2 Thes. 2: 13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

James 1: 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Even in our baptism we proclaim His resurrection, and look to the future of being like the resurrected Lord:

Rom 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

There is but one way of justification and salvation: by faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Any other way is illegitimate and cannot save (John 10).

What is also astonishing me is what else Steve Mays went on to say at his website:

"Steve Mays got his church, and the board of senior pastors and I were the ones to recommend it. In 1980 he walked onto the premises of his new church. And Steve got more confirmation from the Lord. Suddenly in the sky he saw a Goodyear blimp. At that moment he heard the Lord speak to his heart, It's going to be a good year. Then Steve told the Lord that the entire board of elders would have to resign so he could start from scratch. That is exactly what happened. "

The blimp was God telling him of the future? And then Steve demanded from God to get rid of all the elders?

This is disturbing. Clearly Mays did get his church, but is it God's? Has Mays yet to have a credible testimony of repentance from sin and faith in the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ? Did he ever get baptized?

These are indeed very alarming issues.

5 comments:

NWProdigal said...

I must say, I have a real problem with his testimony. It sounds ,like a man who is regaling us with the lurid stories of when he was a "bad boy". If someone had shot off a double-barreled shotgun next to your ear you would be lucky not to have lost your hearing from a ruptured ear drum. And the elaboration of having half his calf blown off doesn't jibe with the later accounts. Then, the part about being in the gutter, homeless, and taken to some good Christian's home to get cleaned up hardly jibes with his story of flushing $10,000 worth of drugs down the toilet the same day.

A lot of what he says doesn't ring true. I also agree that his conversion story is completely bogus (a fitting word for the man himself).

I have a real issue with these 30 second conversion stories. The sinner's prayer is not biblical, accepting the Lord into your heart isn't either. Believing on the Lord as a result of hearing the gospel is mandatory. Look at the example of Cornelius who had to hear the gospel in order to be saved. (Acts 10:42-43, 11:13-14)

Funny how every single conversion in the Bible was followed by baptism! I don't know how it works, but baptism is part and parcel of salvation; it is the circumcision made without hands and I agree, you're only half-baked without it.

God bless you for your discerning view of this Denise.

Denise said...

Prodiga,

You made some great points! I too, have problems with many people's conversion stories, particularly when the Gospel was never proclaimed. Then again, Billy Graham thinks people can be saved and NOT KNOW IT! What is wrong with these people? Clearly these folks are not reaing Scripture. And frankly I find Scripture much clearer than these men flappin' their jaws about what they don't know and how this could be or that could be, etc etc. They're so confused, its confusing to listen to them. But God is clear on a lot of things.

Thanks for your encouragement and keep fighting the Good Fight!

Frank! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fusion! said...

Denise,
I understand we have to be on the watch. However, I truly believe you have misquoted Matt Slick's testimony. I know he has a damascus road experiense of sorts. However, you neglected to put in your article that he later went to Westminster Seminary, started a church and searched and eventually found a church when he moved to Ohio. I hope you double check your facts. We have a responsability to give our bretheren the benefit of the doubt. Now if you don't think such experiences are possible, then what can I say? Either God can do such things today or he can't. However you should have quoted him in his entirety. He does say he wasn't discipled at any church (because he was'nt raised christian) and that even the calvary chapel he went todidn't really disciple him. That doesn't mean he never went to church. He writes:

My conversion experience was real as well as extremely personal. But, unfortunately, I was not discipled in the church I got saved in, or any church, and over the next two years, as surprising as it may sound, I slowly backslid. During that time the Lord convicted me constantly and gently. He called me again and again to repentance. But, I was confused and had begun to rebel against the conviction. It was so terribly uncomfortable in my sins, yet I wanted them, and I warred with my own desires. It was so difficult to love Him and run from Him at the same time. This went on for too long. But, again, His love won out.
One night, I was angry with God for the conviction He was sustaining upon my heart. It was difficult to endure and even though I had gotten into the habit of running from Him in order to make it go away, I still wanted Him. It was a strange mix. Anyway, on this one particular night, I looked up into the night sky and yelled out loud at God, "Leave me alone!" I still remember my defiant anger that was strangely mixed with fear and longing.. I still remember the blanket of stars behind my fist in the night sky. I'll never forget it.
The funny thing is, I don't remember anything about the month that followed my defiance. You'd think that God would have done something to me to "teach me a lesson." All I know, is that one month later I was inexplicably on fire for God. Out of nowhere had come repentance and an insatiable appetite for His Word and prayer. I began to devour the Bible, reading it four to six hours every day. I would listen to Christian radio constantly and I would attend church six nights a week. I would read Bible commentaries and devotionals at work, or at home in the bath, in bed, even while walking. I absolutely could not get enough. This went on for two years. It was great being back in fellowship with God and He had blessed me.

He later goes on to write about going to Lutheran College and a Persbyterian seminary and being ordained as an assistant pastor.

And as for what he says about universalism:
"Christian Universalism" really isn't Christian and it is meshed with many other unorthodox and erroneous teachings. This belief system should be avoided.

and

Is it possible for Christian to be a universalist? Some will say no, others will say yes. My position (Matt Slick) is that it is possible for a Christian to be a universalist -- note, I said "possible". But, to be clear upfront, I believe universalism to be a heresy and I would never say, "Universalists are Christians."
Nevertheless, let's say that there is a man who was not a Christian who believes that everyone will be saved. This man is on his death bed in a hospital and is visited by the hospital Chaplin. The Chaplin gives him the gospel about Jesus being God in flesh, dying for our sins, rising from the dead, the need for repentance from sin, trusting in Christ, etc. The man honestly receives Christ and then dies shortly thereafter yet he never repented of the error of universalism. Is he saved or should we say, "Sorry, even though you trusted Jesus as your savior, believed he is God in flesh, died for your sins, and rose from the dead, but because you also believe everyone will be saved, you are going to hell."? Would anyone condemn a person to eternal fire for simply believing that everyone will be saved? I cannot see that as being the case.


I say this not to be mean, but again, because we have a responsibility to make sure we understand where our brothers and sisters are coming from. And so as not to misrepresent them. I might also add, that his ministry has been a blessing to me and countless people who have come out of cults because of him.

NWProdigal said...

Well, it may sound harsh, but I still have problems with this conversion story. Did Paul shake his fist at Jesus when He revealed Himself on the road to Damascus? No! And more importantly was Paul converted on the road? No, for the Bible tells us clearly that he had to be approached by Ananias who would tell him what he needed to do - Acts 9:6:"but rise, and enter into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do." Only when he followed Ananias instructions: "...The God of our fathers hath appointed thee to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth. For thou shalt be a witness for him unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name. - (Acts 22:13-16 ASV) Apparently Paul needed to hear the whole gospel in order to be converted, just like the eunuch in Acts 8.

Paul needed instruction and while he was fasting and praying, he had not yet received the Holy Spirit or forgiveness of sins.

I am not this man's judge, but I don't see much beyond a desire to know God and the truth. That is how we begin to know who God is and what we need to do in turn. I have a real problem when people think the beginning of the turn to God is the end of it.

Secondly, for anyone to think that a Universalist can be saved is to deny the validity of Christ's death! If a person believes that everyone will eventually be saved, he does not believe that Jesus HAD to die, or that Jesus is the ONLY way to God!! That means he cannot be saved. There is no room for anything less than full faith in Christ's substitutionary death FOR us.