How I detest the question, “Have you prayed the prayer?” No, not the prayer of Jabez (is it not interesting how that “discovery” faded into oblivion?…and thank God it did!)…but when someone is inquiring as to whether or not someone else is a Christian. “Have you prayed the prayer?”
Ignore the fact “the prayer” is not found in the Word, and is an invention of only a century-plus history…but as David Platt points out in “Radical,” “We already have a fairly high view of our morality, so when we add a superstitious prayer, a subsequent dose of church attendance, and obedience to some of the Bible, we feel pretty sure that we will be all right in the end.”
Can anyone seriously argue his point…perhaps excluding those who think repentance is not part of the gospel?
If what you just read makes you uncomfortable or even mad, the following will probably require a trip to the ER:
“The danger of spiritual deception is real. As a pastor, I shudder at the thought and lie awake at night when I consider the possibility that scores of people who sit before me on a Sunday morning might think they are saved when they are not.
“Scores of people who have positioned their lives on a religious road that makes grandiose promises at minimal cost. We have been told all that is required is a one-time decision, maybe even mere intellectual assent to Jesus, but after that we need not worry about His commands, His standards, or His glory. We have a ticket to heaven, and we can live however we want on earth. Our sin will be tolerated along the way. Much of modern evangelism today is built on leadin gpeople down this road, and crowds flock to it, but in the ened it is a road built on sinking sand, and it risks disillusioning millions of souls.”
This is another great book; and for the second time in less than a week I give it the Hager Money-Back Guarantee. If you purchase it off the link below, read it, and don’t think it was worth your money e-mail me and I’ll send you a “refund” check. It is a significant book that I more-than-heartily recommend, especially if you tire of the typical “evangelistic” party line. The only other book that has the money-back guarantee is “MARKS OF THE MESSENGER”
>Thanks to ABRAHAM PIPER for this – – – incredibly and accurately hilarious!
>Can’t find Chris Rice’s original, but here is a great cover of “Big Enough”…I needed the reminder; perhaps you do also?
>Eugene Peterson describes the nature of pastoral work: