November 08, 2007

This Would Be Funny

If you couldn't honestly say that somehow it may be true.

The invitation. A funny and peculiar thing. Why do we do it? Where did it come from?

Response to God is an important part of faith and repentance. Peter exhorted those listening to his sermon to repent and be baptized.

Billy Graham made the invitation a cornerstone of the American church. Thousands upon thousands of churches followed suit. I've heard sermons on why not doing the invitation is sentencing people to hell. (BTW, the pastor who gave that sermon pastors a large Baptist church in a town that shares a name with a hippie gathering in the 60's)

Does it all depend on your theology? Is it emotional manipulation?

Can it be effective today in a culture conditioned to be skeptical of religious manufacturing?

Don't you get disgusted with the pastor who utters the words "just one more verse" because he doesn't want to be embarrassed by the fact that no one responded to his sermon and therefore he wants to try and force someone to come to the front so it can look like he had an impact?

If it's so effective, why did Billy Graham have to "engineer" movement by encouraging his counselors to begin moving forward first?

What if you don't give people a chance to respond publicly? What then? Should there be public response other than baptism? Does the public nature add undue pressure?

All things I ponder while waiting for another episode of Survivor and The Office.

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