Most evangelical churches in the United States teach the way to “get saved” is to recite the sinner’s prayer.
If you Google the words “sinners prayer,” the first website that shows up puts it like this:
“The Sinners Prayer”
I come to you in prayer asking for the forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my mouth and believe with my heart that Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead and I ask you right now to come in to my life and be my personal Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and will Worship you all the day’s of my Life! Because your word is truth, I confess with my mouth that I am Born Again and Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus Name, Amen.
If you read the Sinners Prayer and truly believe the words you read, then Praise the Lord as you have been saved and your name will appear in the “Lambs Book of Life!”
According to this website, if you want to “get saved” you have but to read this prayer and believe it. That is a fairly typical teaching and by no means is this a bad prayer. I hope you do read it, recite it, and truly believe it … BUT … I’m not sure reading this and believing it saves a person from their sin through Jesus.
The reason I have my doubts: this “path” to salvation isn’t in the Bible and praying this prayer to be saved was not a practice of the early Christians. Because of this, I refuse to teach it … but most church leaders in America today do and tend to get a bit sideways if you question its biblical validity.
That being said, I was shocked when I ran across the clip I’m going to share with you today.
Francis Chan is the author of Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God (among several others) and one of the most popular evangelical leaders in the country today.
I purchased Crazy Love along with the accompanying DVD several months ago, read the book fairly quickly, but didn’t get around to going through the DVD until yesterday afternoon. What I ran across in chapter 5 of the DVD so startled me that I just had to share it with you … check it out:
“Just read the Bible – don’t accept everything you’ve been fed outside of it.”
Seems simple enough … doesn’t it?