It’s recently been the focus of David Platt and Ray Comfort et. al., that we use the phrase, “Invite Jesus into your heart.”, and they suggest that the phrase and concept isn’t scriptural. It’s a great metaphor that helps understanding of the relationship we begin when we repent with contrition and acknowledge Christ as Lord and savior and accept the gift of salvation.
Legalism? Or something to contemplate when we choose our words when explaining the gospel? What biblical language would fill the role if it were to be retired?
Part of this concern is in response to a change in how we explain/spread the gospel in the “Evangelical” Christian Church that’s occurred over the last half-century or so that Ray and others believe has actually resulted in a great many false-converts who, instead of becoming Christians with contrite repentance and sincere giving of Lordship to Jesus Christ, are instead becoming inoculated against ever making such a conversion/repentance/confession of faith. I see direct links to this giving rise to Prosperity Gospel, Word of Faith teaching, and the Emergent Church movement where folks like Rob Bell of Mars Hill write books explaining that there really is no such thing as Hell.
“I’m not talking about Hellfire Preaching. Hellfire Preaching will produce Fear-Filled converts. Using God’s law will produce Tear-Filled converts.” — Ray Comfort “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” @43:47
Are our words really so very important? I was unconvinced at first, but over the last month, I’ve really begun to ponder that question and become convinced that in trying to reach people and make Christianity palatable and ‘hip’, we’ve watered down the gospel to something perhaps less strong than the proverbial church punch/lemon-aid.
This definitely qualifies as ponderings and wonderings as I don’t know where I stand entirely, let alone what to do about it once I do.