With our first installment in this series-of-indeterminate-length (i.e. this could be the last one), you offered your thoughts on the famed/dreaded Altar Call. Then I offered mine.
Now let's take up a related topic: the answer to the question, "What must I do to be saved?"
Like the first, here's one in which Calvinists really puzzled me, even long after I'd become convinced of the doctrines of grace myself. It was the way they dealt with that critical question.
Christians at large would tell a seeker any or all of the following:
- Receive Christ
- Pray to receive Christ
- Believe in Jesus
- Believe in Jesus sincerely
- Let Christ into your heart
- Ask Christ into your heart
- Accept Jesus / accept Jesus as your Savior / accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior
- Believe that Jesus died for your sins
You hear things sneered with much acid, like:
"You don't accept Jesus. He's a King! He doesn't need your acceptance!"So, we're clearly supposed to think that these are horrible answers. I became very clear on that.
"'Believe,' pah! The demons believe. You have faith in your faith. That won't save you. You're lost!"
"The Bible never says to pray to receive Christ!"
"The Bible never says to let Christ into your heart!"
And once again, these Calvinists showed a wonderful facility for criticizing, shredding, tearing down, and explaining why everyone else was wrong. What didn't come across so clearly — in spite of a pretty strong Biblical background and a lot of reading and listening — is this one thing: what are you supposed to do to get saved?
All the energy goes into tearing down virtually every other Christian who draws breath. Not so much in providing a better answer. Far more concern in talking about how wrong everyone else is.
So, here are my questions:
- Are those all really abominable answers?
- Are those all really un-Biblical answers?
- Is it really horribly complicated, requiring a certain education-level?
- Is an unsaved person who does one of these still unsaved? On what authority?
- And crucially, you put it simply and better, so a child or a simple man or woman could understand: what must I do to be saved?
Same rules as before: stay on-topic, and observe a firm 200-word limit. Nobody broke the rules last time; let's keep our good record. I really don't want to have to delete anything.
Also, once again: this is an in-house discussion. You're not a Calvinist, you don't have a dog in this hunt. Do the Scarlett O'Hara thing for today, please.
If you can't answer all the questions, pick some.
Have at it. Then perhaps next time, I'll share my own thoughts.