Getting Saved Again

Teenager, are you in a jam? Have you been caught red handed shoplifting or listening to the rap music or indulging in some heavy petting in the school gymnasium? Will people in your church be talking about the scandal of your misdeeds for weeks on end? Is your future career as a preacher boy or pastor’s wife in jeopardy?

There is a simple solution that is 100% guaranteed to get you out of the mess you’re in and even turn it into a net gain: Get Saved Again.

That’s right, boys and girls, take a trip down and old fashioned, red-carpeted aisle to the mourners bench and confess that all these years you’ve just been “playing church” and just today when the pastor preached on how the Democrats are ruining America (as found in Judges chapter’s 6, tapes available in the back after church) you felt the conviction of the Spirit and made a choice of your own free will to get saved. Again. For the eight time. But who’s counting? This time it was real!

Now, if you’re going to commit to this, course of action the details are very important. It helps if you grab an available adult by the arm and drag them down to the altar with you to pray with you. And you’ll need to it on the second verse of the invitation hymn so that it doesn’t seem too premeditated but also doesn’t risk that the invitation might conclude before you go. Note that tears are not optional. Neither is snot. If your church doesn’t supply tissues at the front then pack your own. Finally, be careful not to run the aisle on the same night as some other troubled teen is pulling the same stunt — unless it’s someone who was actually involved in your own scandal.

It’s almost impossible to lose in this scenario. The church gets to write off your past wrongs as the indiscretions of a lost person and avoids the embarrassment of admitting that their own young people are prone to evil. They also get another soul saved for the yearly report. And you get a clean slate as long as you don’t do anything too bad for a month or two. Buying a slightly larger Bible than the one you currently carry is also a nice piece of window dressing.

There are two warnings for this particular strategy. First, you can’t do it more times per year than your church has Bible conference. Second, it really only works until you graduate from Bible college. After that, it stops being cute and it really doesn’t impress the members of the jury at all.

89 thoughts on “Getting Saved Again”

  1. So true. Saw this happen one too many times growing up.

    “And youโ€™ll need to it on the second verse of the invitation hymn so that it doesnโ€™t seem too premeditated but also doesnโ€™t risk that the invitation might conclude before you go. “

    1. Nah, the invitation won’t conclude until everyone comes forward. Or until the preacher realizes the local buffet will close without him if he doesn’t get there in 15 minutes.

  2. I was too busy reading… I need to check the comments first!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

  3. Beautiful! My family’s church just had a week long youth revival. My sister was excited and all smiles when I went to visit last weekend when she told me that 11 kids got saved. I asked her how many were recycled and she hung her head a little and said 3. I was like, oh, so really only a net gain of 8! Hay-man?

  4. Lol at one college I attended they wouldn’t mind you running the aisle just so long as they could re-baptize you again to get their “one baptism a week since the church was started” quota! ๐Ÿ™„

    1. Isn’t re-baptism a heresy?

      Are they doing this on the assumption that it didn’t “take” the first time, or what?

      1. Lol they justify it if your previous “salvation” wasn’t “real”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        The church at Tri-State actually would re-baptize if you came from the Southern Baptist Denomination because you weren’t part of “God’s Church”. ๐Ÿ™„

        1. This happened to my husband when we moved to TN. He went to an IFBCA in CA. The SBC church we attended wanted to rebaptize him cause they didn’t ‘know what kind of things that church believes’. We went along with it, for reasons I choose not to remember, but I would fight that sort of thing now.

        2. Wow. I wouldn’t be that surprised if they insisted on another baptism if you had, say, been baptised as an infant in the Catholic church, but when the baptism was by other Baptists?

        3. @Big Gary–the irony in your statement is that the Catholic Church absolutely will not re-baptize anyone. If you are converting to Catholicism and you were baptized with water (in any form–splashed, sprinkled, immersed…as long as it was water) in the name of the father, son and holy spirit–you’re baptized in the eyes or the church.

        4. I was baptized twice. In the SAME IFB church. Within a year of the first baptism. Because I thought I wasn’t saved the first time. It was nuts.

        5. I really appreciate that about the Catholic Church, amyrose. It’s so sad that the IFB group does not give the Catholic church the same consideration the Catholic church gives them. It really points up who is acting Christ-like (and of course it’s not the IFBers). If all goes well, I will be attending mass for the first time tomorrow morning. Thank you, Lord! ๐Ÿ™‚

        6. Keeping in mind that the Catholic church doesn’t consider people Christians or “saved” unless they belong to the only true church, I don’t think I’d give them that much credit.

          I remember having a fight with my Catholic friend as a kid because her catechism book defined Christian as, “A baptized follower of Christ.” My (protestant) sister & I hadn’t been baptized yet so she insisted we weren’t Christians. Took some tricky wrangling by our moms to smooth that one over. ๐Ÿ™‚

        7. @Jess–You contradict yourself. First you say the Church says that anyone not Catholic is not saved, then you say the Church says you must be baptized. There is a translation problem, first of all. I’ve found that to be the key issue between Protestants and Catholics…totally different use of language. The Catholic Church does not use the “saved” language. So saying that Protestants are Christians–which the church teaches is the equivalent of an Evangelical saying a group is saved. The Catechism indeed says that all who are baptized and follow Christ are Christians, and has not taught exclusive salvation since before Vatican II. The relevant passage:

          “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”272

        8. Jess, I don’t know what your experience is. Mine is that I have been welcomed to the Catholic Church as a “sister in Christ.” My point is that the cult I am leaving (IFB) considers Catholics pagans. The Catholics consider me as already saved. I will not need to be rebaptized. Every conversion story I have heard (I’ve listened to a couple of hundred) and read scores recount exactly the same consideration from the Catholic Church. What is the source of your information?

    2. Yes, Amyrose, I knew that the Catholic Church does not re-baptise people (nor do most mainstream Protestant churches), but many Baptist Churches do.

  5. LOL.
    Although, in my case, the “recycled” decisions were primarily out of real guilt and doubt.

    1. this was me too… I kept doubting my salvation since my first “salvation prayer” was pretty much my parents’ idea without me really understanding anything… it was more like a ritual.

    2. Me too! It seemed like they were continually playing mind games to get you to doubt your Salvation. I doubted my salvation so many times because of these manipulating sermons. For the longest time I was so afraid I “didn’t mean it enough” so I wasn’t saved. Then one day I realized salvation wasn’t about what I’d it is about what God is doing.

  6. So true. The caption captured my attention. My ex-ManOGawd’s wife got saved again just before we left. The questions I had was this:
    How could a ManOGawd who claims such a thorough understanding of salvation, being filled with wisdom from God, being able to judge other’s spiritual state not know that his bride was not saved?

    1. A deacon’s wife (she was also a PPC grad)”got saved again” at my former IFBx church.

  7. Best example of this I’ve seen is a guest pastor speaking at my former church. He told the “Wheat and Tares” story (and skewed it, I truly believe) and basically told us that we don’t know if anyone is saved just because they say they are. So, if you’re doubting, come down to the altar right now and get it settled. Don’t be a tare!

    1. I apologize to all for this awful pun, but I couldn’t help myself when I saw the above:

      “Come now! Don’t tare-y”

  8. Boy, is this ever a description of youth camp “revival.” The same teens going down to the altar in hordes, hugging and crying with each other, every year. I was always one of the last few loners left standing, so one time (and one time only) I caved and followed everyone else. ๐Ÿ™„ It was terribly awkward.

    1. I always felt awkward going to the altar. IF I wanted to pray, I would rather do it alone in my seat than up front with dozens of other people praying in my ear. But in my church, the alter was almost “magical” and praying without going to the altar meant that you were ashamed of Jesus, or something.

      1. The church we attended in TN built a new building which had a balcony. I always sat in the balcony, which makes really difficult to get to the altar. :mrgreen: The nursery is another great place to hide out, I mean, serve.

      2. I know Perry, I always felt the same at my old Church, like you couldn’t respond if you didn’t jump up all-singing, all-dancing. Which is ridiculous because Jesus never made a big thing about coming up to the front of meetings etc., he encouraged people to ponder and turn things over in their hearts.

    2. This was a weekly event at the Christian school I taught at. Another teacher and I referred to the end of chapel as “rounding up the usual suspects”. Some kids got saved every week. Or if the YP of the week was Pentecostal, as they often were, they were “re-dedicating” their lives or some such thing.

    1. Yes, โ€œrededicating your life to the lordโ€ was just another way to get re-saved without confusing that you werenโ€™t sincere when you first said the sinnerโ€™s prayer at the age of three.

    2. keswick revivalist crap! Every stinking camp does it because it pads their decision stats

      There is no second work of grace people!

      1. Welllll, there may be for those whose god is so weak he has to have his followers draw up the living water from his well in their own buckets using their own ropes,amen? ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ™„

  9. Oh this always drove me nuts. The meanest girl in our church did this on a regular basis. I guess she figured this was some magic incantation that would actually change her vicious behavior, but of course she was the same person again the next week because she never took responsibility for her actions.

    Or else she secretly thought we were Catholics and this was the equivalent of the confessional and saying your penance.

    1. This reminds me that our pastor’s son did this regularly. He was undoubtedly the meanest boy in the youth group. Every week he regaled the youth with stories of what he did bad and how he was going to do better. Maybe it was all a ploy to hear himself talk and to be the center of attention, I don’t know. But they all did feel sorry for him. And he never moved beyond just trying. Now I hear he’s trying to be a pastor somewhere. But then, who wouldn’t want a family business like daddy has? Just maddening.

  10. Martin Luther, in his Small Catechism, said that baptism should stand as a reminder to us that as believers we “drown DAILY in repentance.”

    ‘Nuff said.

  11. I’m glad I saw this. Always wondered what motivated those three teens that consistently did this; at least I’ll have an explanation when it occurs.

    1. I will say that some people are motivated by fear, doubt, and any number of other things. People are complex and there’s rarely just one thing at play.

      But what I have described above is definitely one of the motivations in the constant scurry to get re-saved.

  12. Haha! Speaking of tears: I felt like I was the only committed fundy female who never cried at church. Ok, yes, I cried if I’d had a bad day at work or if I was mad at someone. But I was never moved to tears by a message or a testimony. I attributed that to being cold-hearted and robotic.

    Yes, the getting saved over and over plays out a lot with the kids. You hear all these reports of x # of kids getting saved in VBS. Guess what? They get saved EVERY DAY OF VBS. Or at least every year.

    Also, I’m rereading “Dating Jesus” by Susan Campbell, which is a memoir of her experiences in the Church of Christ in the south, arguably a fundamentalist sect. One thing that strikes me about this book/sect is that they don’t have the assurance of salvation. In fact, it’s perfectly accepted (and even encouraged) for people to get saved and baptized over and over. Which made me think that the Church of Christ is not at all like Baptists… but you know what? The end result is similar: lots of fundies doubting their salvation and faith and working really hard to prove otherwise.

  13. This always irritated me, because those of us who were consistent, reliable leaders in the youth group were never asked to give testimonies etc. about how God was working in our lives because the teen who got saved again last week was a bigger emotional pull. It was always the same thing every week: “I realized that God wasn’t really working in my life the way He is in other’s and I figured out I wasn’t really saved. Now, since then I’ve been so excited to be in church” etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. We all knew he’d be speaking again next year around the same time…

    I was so tired to hear fake testimonies every Wednesday, that I stopped going. And ceased being a “consistent, reliable leader” in the youth group. But I don’t think anyone noticed.

    1. not to mention that those of us who got saved at age 4 (and understood it – at least in terms a 4 year old could understand – not pressured because this was during just a regular prayer in children’s church and nothing had been said about getting saved that I can remember – certainly no altar call, etc) have a pretty boring testimony to begin with…

  14. “Can a person be born again and again and again, like some kind of evangelical Gabor sister?” Dennis Miller.

  15. When I was young, I was not assured of my salvation, so one day each year I would say the prayer again, just to be on the safe side. Then in 5th grade I got into a major fight with a boy at my Christian school, a fight that involved fists, pounding each other’s heads on the ground, that kind of thing (and I’m a girl!). I knew I was in big trouble, but I really did want to be sure of my salvation. So when I was in the principal’s office I told him I wanted to get saved, and he was thrilled. I got in less trouble (still some), and he explained how saying the prayer was not what saved me, and that salvation was really a permanent thing. I truly date my salvation from that day, but my motives could have been better!

  16. I often heard people telling me stories about being saved as a kid, falling away, then saved, falling away, again… etc. But then with a strait face they would tell me that they are saved now and forever. Really? or until you need to get saved for the 6th time.

    I used to be a lifeguard at a city pool, I didn’t consider a person “saved” if they slipped away and drowned halfway to the edge of the pool. When I saved them they stayed saved. I guess I’m just a better lifeguard than God (Disclaimer: I do not really think I am a better lifeguard than God)

  17. I remember this kid. (there might have been more than one) He was masterful, every year he got saved instead of getting kicked out of school. The Principle was pretty much a clueless dude, pretty nice guy and definitely not a fundy blowhard, but wow was that guy easy to snow. Pray the prayer after the Spring “last straw” paddling and all was forgiven.

  18. Well, I do think that all churches have some unsaved members. Some of the more extreme IFB types may have a great percentage of unsaved members, especially the HAC-founded type of church, with their push to have great numbers, and calling anyone saved who they managed to manipulate into saying a prayer.

    Some of these people come to church and begin to learn to “act fundamental” – the church reassures them that they are saved, because look at their good works… look at the money they give; the hours they spend “soul-winning”; and the hours they donate to the church. Yet they are not saved; the sinner’s prayer is not a magic spell that will make one a child of heaven.
    We cannot manipulate someone into heaven; the Holy Spirit must convict of sin, and the sinner must repent and trust Christ.

    So, some are certainly lost, but others may be saved, but have a problem believing God.

  19. I heard this so many times I started calling it the BJU testimony: “got saved” at like age 2 but was only “saying the words”, “gets saved” again at the Wilds as a teen but was only responding to guilt, “gets saved” yet again either shortly before attending BJU or at the evangelistic services and this time it actually “took.”

  20. This is my younger brother – spot-on! And I don’t think it was ever a real conversion. He now claims he’s an agnostic. ๐Ÿ˜•

  21. That’s what I like about Wesleyan theology. Everyday is a recommitment to following Christ. We also believe that you only need to be baptize once, as it Is God who works through the sacrament – not what we do. Re-baptizing makes it cheap.

  22. We had a couple boys who did this when I was growing up. One of them was the pastor’s son.

  23. Darrell,
    I am laughing so hard at the picture. Pastor Backlow was using some of the Greek he’s been learning from the LOGOS software he found at a yard sale. He says that “unction” really means “oil”!!!!

    That makes it so hilarious! I forget what the application was to the Holy Spirit, but I’m sure it’s somewhere in my notebook. He used a bottle of olive oil and showed how it got all over everything once you accessed it. I think it was a picture of something spiritual. All I could think about was how the Cleaning Volunteers were going to get that mess off the pulpit, the floor by the podium and how Mrs. Backlow was going to get that out of his suit. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  24. One of my friends when I was a teenager came back from summer camp to find that his mom had found his porn stash while he was gone. His response, “Mom, I was going to confess that to you. God convicted me of that while at camp and I got saved while at camp.” No punishment given.

    1. Why do things that fundies frown upon get “the” put in front of them, such as the rock and roll, the Dungeons and Dragons, the [demon] alcohol, or the marijuana? It’s an odd verbal quirk that I don’t ever recall hearing anyone use if they weren’t a hardcore fundy.

      1. Alright what fundy is inviting the wrath of my 3/wiz 3/clr 8/mystic theurge? Seriously what’s with the D&D Hating? I thought that was resolved in the 80’s.

        1. Nope. Role-playing in general and D&D in particular are still looked upon with great suspicion if not worse, even in non-super-fundy Christian places, even if not mentioned explicitly in the rules. There’s a lot of disinformation involved. If you’ve ever read the Chick tract on role-playing, you’ve got a good idea of the general image.

  25. I believe I hold the world record for “asking Jesus into my heart”. However, one day he became my all in all, and now I know I belong to Him. Why does he love me? I really don’t know.

    1. Hi Bill! It’s good to read that you accepted Jesus in to your heart. I did too back in June of last year but I made a big mistake by letting him go because he was right there reaching out his hand and I didn’t grab a hold of it like I should have. Do me a big favor and please remember me in pray. ๐Ÿ™

  26. I used to hear so many stories of children, preacher’s kids in Bible college, and youth pastors’ wives getting saved that it made me start to doubt my own salvation. I’m glad that I was alone when I got saved. Nobody forced me to pray a generic prayer or anything. It made it a lot easier for me to “be sure”.

    I have a friend who said his mother forced him to get saved when he was little because all the other kids were doing it and she didn’t want to look bad. It makes me sick to think about.

  27. Can’t count how many times I saw this used at the dean’s office…. Fundy U almost encourages this due to the fact you’ll never be accepted into your family, church, or any fundy society UNLESS you get saved again…. Once or twice I actually had this as a back-up plan in my multiple trips up to the dean’s office at WCBC, uh, I mean Fundy U ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  28. I became jaded about the whole “salvation” numbers thing when I was the ripe old age of 11. I was forced to attend a camp owned by Tennessee Temple, while my parents took a group to BRR. It was the most miserable camp I’d ever seen. There was morning chapel, mid-day personal “devotions,” cabin devotions, and night chapel. So every night chapel ended with a seemingly eternal altar call that wouldn’t end until they got enough little heathens forward. One night, since I hadn’t gone forward (didn’t feel the need), a couple others in my cabin said “Hey, let’s go get saved. We’ll get the attention!” I didn’t go (again, no need). At the end of the week, this camp held a baptism service without notifying any kid’s parents. The kids were baptized as members of the TTU campus church, and if their parents wanted to transfer the child’s membership, they would have to request a letter. At no time were the parents asked for permission, or notified.

    1. Wow. That is a special kind of crazy. And why does baptism equate to membership? Seems like two completely different things to me.

      1. Even as as kid, that whole exercise struck me as odd. I kind of felt like the parents should be involved somewhere in the process.

        1. I agree. As a parent, I would be very upset that I was unable to witness my child’s baptism because they were emotionally manipulated into “getting saved” while they were away at camp. I mean, what’s the rush? Sure, help them “get saved” by accepting Jesus, but the only reason to send them to get dunked at the end of the week is for meeting a number of baptisms that would stroke their own egos. I can’t imagine how upset some of those parents must have been because they missed this event.

          Oh well, I guess there’s always the next time they get saved and re-baptized. ๐Ÿ˜†

    2. I’m still stuck on the part where you went to a TTU camp while your parents took a group to Bill Rice Ranch. You should have gone to BRR, you get all the same pressure, guilt and hours of sermons plus a cowboy town. Yee Haw!

  29. I was saved at 5 yrs old. I was baptized, saved again, saved again, and baptized again all at the same church. All this at Shelton Smiths old church which is Norris Belchers current church.

  30. I “got saved” when I was in elementary school, then got baptized at my first Fundy church, then got saved again when I was in junior high, then got baptized again while I was in college. In between I got saved a few gazillion times, just in case.

    The class I taught at the Fundy Christian School had a record for the lowest number of salvation experiences because I refused to convince kids to be re-saved if they could give me a clear salvation testimony and were just feeling guilty because of a screaming preacher.

  31. LOL love this post.
    It doesn’t work on adults that have been divorced. That is the unforgiveable sin and you are still ineligible for untold church ministries if there is a divorce in your past.

  32. I got saved when I was 5. I always struggled with whether I had done it right or not. A few years ago I heard a pastor speaking on the subject. He said a lot of Baptists treat salvation like it’s an Easter Egg hunt. Like it’s something that is hard to do. He made the point that an omniscient God sent His Son to die for us. If we have the desire, and the faith, He’s aware of that. It’s not something God hides from us. He didn’t send his Son to die, and then make it a giant puzzle. If we intend to accept the gift, He gives it to us. He’s not playing a poker game with His children.

  33. I actually did this once. My sixth grade Christian School teacher overheard me call my mother “dumb.” Knowing who my mother was, he expressed great consternation that I would say that. He told me to see him after school. The whole time before the meeting I sweated it out trying to figure out why I had said that. I just gave up and decided it would be easier to just “get saved” again. Now, my dad didn’t have a problem with getting saved again, but he absolutely drew the line at getting baptized again. That kind of put an end to my future salvation experiences since I knew there could be no more baptisms.

  34. When I was young IFBer I had a contest with another friend of mine to see who could be saved the most number of times. We had no idea what we were doing, but sure loved the attention. I remember my Father doubting me once, but my Sunday School teacher assured him that this time I was serious. By the way, I lost the contest…

  35. Ugh, this was me too. Although I did it out of guilt. I felt that something must be wrong with me if I didn’t feel the Holy Spirit working in my life. The thing is, yeah, we are sinners…how is it that somehow that invalidates our salvation? It’s odd how they twist it into something that doesn’t “stick” because we might sin one day, and we need to “get saved” again.

    I hated the pressure tactics especially. I remember inviting a neighbor kid to a revival, and I got so emotional about wanting him to get saved that I cried. Now, it wasn’t so much about truly feeling for his soul…it was more like, I thought that’s what I should be doing. He walked the aisle, but then never went back to church with me again. I guess he counted in the record book though…

  36. I have been saved several times (at least 4 or 5), but the funny thing is I never felt any different afterwards, and seem to just continue the way I have always done. Perpetual backsliding, amen? Everytime I have doubted my salvation to the point where I had to just forget the whole thing or it would drive me crazy. Obsess over it.

  37. I just recently backslid and my mom, I guess you would say thinks it’s okay for her to backslide, but when ever I backslid she went crazy on me. She said I went against everything my church stood for. Is this right? ๐Ÿ˜ฅ โ“

    1. It’s impossible to answer your question without knowing what you did to “backslide,” but I’ll just say that going against everything SOME churches stand for is a very good thing. (Name your own examples here.)

  38. I was saved as a young child. I was saved reading a Chick tract (about 6 times). Looking back, I realize that the first time I knew in my heart and head “Thanks, Jesus–you took care of that for me” that was GOOD ENOUGH.
    I had to explain my “testimony” to the pastor and others to formally join my former church. Apparently, it was good enough that I had “rededicated my life to the Lord.” I had many in the church including the pastor keep on about “obedience to Christ in Baptism” and the more I thought about it I was brought into God’s family once. I did not want to diminish the significance of that event as a baby when I was welcomed into the family of God.
    The constant questioning of my own salvation was one of many things that led me to realize that this brand of Christianity was not living well, but living under a constant pile of guilt.

  39. i was saved the 1st time. i backslided for a few years. then in 2011 in feburary i got saved again, though when i got up my conscience was botherin me. i tihnk i may have been saved then but i did mess up alot and then with all the confusion and stuff i was messing up like crazy. janurary 1st 2012 i got saved again. but when i got up i was nervous. so idk how your suppose to feel when u get saved again. the 1st time was a great feeling

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