36 thoughts on “Missions”

  1. Oh the power of the magical pray! Repeat these words after me and really, really mean it and you are in the club. Hallelujah and Amen.

  2. Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting, how these people were given false hope and manipulated into saying a prayer. Woe unto these blind guides.

  3. Around the 2:00+ in the video the children in the lower right are fidgety and seem oblivious to what is going on, yet they raise their hands like the rest of them indicating that they ‘prayed the prayer.’ Now they become part of this preacher’s tally. Sad. Just so sad.

  4. Wow…if only it was that easy. I not only feel bad for the children for not being presented the Gospel clearly, I also pity the “preacher” who has no clue what he’s doing, and is blind and oblivious to the fact that a simple prayer like that doesn’t always mean what it means to the people saying it.

    “Made a few mistakes, preaching”
    No surprise there…Sadly.

  5. “This isn’t humorous; it’s heart-breaking.”

    Some realities it’s impossible to make humorous.

  6. Wow. This isn’t humorous; it’s heart-breaking. My first instinct is to be angry that he could so easily mislead so many small children, but then there is a part of me that wonders if that preacher even knows any better? Not that it’s any excuse, but it’s sad just how many Fundamentalist leaders aren’t as deceptive as they are just plain ignorant.

    But then… I suppose that ignorance is a sin, just as much as dishonesty is a sin. I think that the biggest problem with most Fundamental preachers is that they choose to let someone else do their studying for them, and then just blindly accept another man’s word as what “thus saith the Lord.” If these guys spent any time in the Word of God, seeking to understand it and allowing it to transform their thinking, they would realize that the Gospel is so much more than the watered-down Easy-Believism that is extolled from the average Fundamentalist pulpit.

  7. “If you really meant that prayer…if you were really sincere…”

    Having grown up in an independent fundamental Bible church, I tortured myself for years trying to determine whether or not I was really sincere when I “prayed the prayer.”

    Probably needless to say, I am no longer an independent fundamentalist…it was the Lutherans that ultimately saved my sanity…

  8. I was in a Fundy church where they had an “invitation” every week in children’s church. Kids went forward to “get saved” multiple times – some every week. Every time kids went forward, they were taken into a back room to “pray the sinners prayer” and then they were given candy and toys from Oriental Trading.

    Even now it makes my stomach rebel.

  9. This disgusts me, not only because they were pushed to pray a prayer they likely didn’t understand, but the fact that this guy has fallen prey to the idea that God’s salvation can be reduced to a simple formula. That’s putting God in a box. God is not formulaic; he is so much more complex and unpredictable than we can ever hope to imagine.

  10. @ Melody: I totally agree with you. Not that I’m against having a foundational “game plan” for communicating the Gospel (and by “game plan,” I mean having an understanding of what the Gospel is and how to accurately communicate it), but I don’t see anywhere in Scripture where the Paul, or Peter, or any of the NT believers communicated the Gospel in exactly the same manner every time it was presented. Paul, in particular, always began where his listeners were and moved from there into the Gospel. Sometimes the “presentation” was short and sweet, and sometimes it took days and months. It took a great deal of discernment, love, and actually relating to the people. This Romans-Road-and-pray-a-prayer-after-me nonsense is nothing more than lazy evangelism that takes all of the personal work out of sharing Christ with another human being (or even a congregation of human beings).

  11. This “Witnessing Formula” also doesn’t require the person presenting it to even fully understand the Gospel or have any kind of grasp of a systematic soteriology.

  12. Don’t forget you aren’t really “saved” unless you are saved according to their beliefs.

    SFL: Witnessing to Presbyterians

  13. “This “Witnessing Formula” also doesn’t require the person presenting it to even fully understand the Gospel or have any kind of grasp of a systematic soteriology.”

    Having just finished The Unlikely Disciple (great book, by the way), I totally agree!

  14. Man, this ticked me off. Of course these people are going to do whatever the rich white well-dressed American tells them to do! That way he’s more likely to give them something!

    Disclaimer: I’ve not gone overseas to evangelize the locals. But I have been in a number of prison ministries, and that’s the story a lot of times there. They’ll do anything you ask them if it means someone will come weekly and spend time with them, or if it means their wives or girlfriends will take them back, or if it means the guards will be a little nicer now that the inmate has “found Jesus.” The hardest thing in those places is NOT leading them in a prayer.

    Go back in a year and see what difference you made.

  15. How easily kids can be led! Breaks my heart . I witnessed this very thing happening years ago in a small IFB church where my group was performing. They bused in some neighborhood kids –first timers–got them to come down the aisle like sheep following each other. Then they baptized the lot of them after dinner!! I was appalled! It has been 25 years and I still pray for those kids, now adults. Where are they? What do they believe? What are they trusting in?
    Baptizing kids like that? Sheep dip.

  16. This just makes me go. . “ugh”. . .

    Here is why (since this also happens in the US) so many children go forward to be saved ten million times before they’re 18. . .And then, as an adult, it’s all so confusing.

  17. Yeah, then the IFBers really screw with your head by saying if you can’t remember a specific time that your prayed the sinners prayer, you probably aren’t saved. Go figure!!

  18. 14, 800, 78, 47. This is scorecard evangelism. It seams like this is just another “Look at me, I’m holy. See what God and I did together” video. It’s all about me. It’s all about the video. The Nigerians are just unpaid extras. The authors may have good intentions, but something is missing. Love maybe?

  19. @Charlene

    I heard that the new pastor of the IFB I formerly attended said that nonsense about “if you can remember a date and time when you prayed…” I wish that I could have been there to ask him for a chapter and verse to back up that bovine excrement.

  20. Many years ago, the white man wiped out entire villages with sicknesses that they brought with them from white civilization. Yes, their intentions may have been sincere to help the less “unfortunate”. However, many people became sick from TB, small pox, fever, and other diseases and died. Now we still have many “moochinaries” home and abroad bringing the disease of “easy-believism” with them. “One-two-three, pray with me”. The cults love this. They have been “Jesus inoculated” so any cult that comes along and just mentions Jesus, well they must be believers too. Next, all kinds of false doctrine appears. Making true disciples, takes years not minutes. Pronouncing people saved after they make a “decision” has no Biblical basis whatsoever and is a heresy. Yes, I have a problem with fundies “encompassing sea and land” to make many people “a twofold more child of hell” through “easy-prayerism”. In this aspect, they are no different than any cult.

  21. K, I get that it’s one of a fundie’s duties to bring more people into the flock, but what I don’t get is why the majority of run of the mill mission trips, as opposed to some of the really nutty ones that tend to end up making headlines in the bad way, go to places that are already majority Xian. When I was in high school and college I had all sorts of friends that took mission trips to Latin America, perhaps the most rabidly Xianized regions of the world.

    No one seemed to take mission trips to places that weren’t already predominantly Xian, like East Asia or India.

  22. @Thomas, that’s because most fundies don’t see Latin America as a Xianized place. To them, unless you believe EXACTLY the same way they do on every single issue, then you’re not Xian (see the Witnessing to Presbys post from a while back).

  23. We have had IFB missionaries at our church who, if their stories were true, would have converted the entire population of Mexico AND the Phillipenes. Such people will recieve their just reward.

  24. Sure they think that places without IFB churches have “never heard the Gospel”. That’s so arrogant it is mindboggling. That only they have the “true Gospel” and all those other Christian churches are hell-bound to damnation.

    SFL: Steven L. Anderson, “Faithful Word Baptist Church”
    “Our church spends several hours a week out soul-winning in the greater Phoenix area. We are in the process of eventually knocking every door in our county. However, many small towns, or “villages” as the Bible calls them, scattered across Arizona and across America have never had a soul-winning Baptist church in their town. How will these people hear the Gospel? Many people live and die in small towns with no Gospel-preaching church. How shall they hear without a preacher?”

  25. “I was in a Fundy church where they had an “invitation” every week in children’s church. Kids went forward to “get saved” multiple times – some every week. Every time kids went forward, they were taken into a back room to “pray the sinners prayer” and then they were given candy and toys from Oriental Trading.

    Even now it makes my stomach rebel.”

    Wow, you just brought back memories for me! I forgot that my church used to use candy and toys as “rewards” as well. I had completely forgotten about that, but as I read it, the pictures came flooding back of kids in the small room off to the side, praying the “sinner’s prayer” and picking out some candy afterwards as they “cried” with the adults. And…yeah, there were kids that went multiple weeks…

    As for the video, It reminds me of many missionary presentations I saw over the years. Not quite as…blatant, but similar. It does seem to be all about numbers, without too much follow-up; especially with the kids.

  26. The recitation of the children reminded me of similar PBS-typs programs where all the little kids just recite stuff…they are trained to do this. How sad, beyond sad.

  27. Wow — thanks for the flashbacks, dudes! The state fair, a wordless book, a three-point prayer, and a wordless pencil and they are good to go!

    ::shudder:: God, please forgive me.

  28. @Morgan

    You hear that quite often when missionaries come to present their field. They say they are being called to such-and-such city “which has no gospel witness.” This really means that currently there’s no American missionary there from their alma mater.

  29. most fundy “dinstinctives” are just silly, but their notion of salvation is truly disturbing.

  30. I am an IFB missionary but this is sickening. Please know, we aren’t all like this. I would never lead a group of kids in a prayer or adults for that matter.

Comments are closed.