Events and American Evangelicalsim
My conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ was a slow process. I did not come to the Lord quickly, making a decision for the Lord but American Evangelicalism is based on quick decisions. The alter call, the Roman road (Rom 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9) and the sinners prayer all came about in order to elicit a quick decision in the mind of an awakened sinner. I had an experience with this type of evangelism in 1994. I was awakened to the fact that I was a sinner fallen short of the glory of God; that I was deserving of death and hell but was led in the sinners prayer without any knowledge of the Lord. I soon departed the church and would not return until the year 2003 when I was drawn to read the Scriptures. I would read the Scriptures for over six years before a question was put to me regarding life and my answer was to follow Jesus Christ. For this reason I believe that conversion is a process by which a person is regenerated from within by the holy Spirit of God and from without by the means of grace given to the church. The means of grace are preaching the word, teaching doctrine and the sacraments. I am a Baptist by convection but I believe that there is much missing in American evangelicalism because I believe that conversion is a process and not an event. Much of American evangelicalism is event based. My profession, the profession that I was called too before becoming a follower of Christ is nursing. The apostle Paul wrote, 1 Corinthians 7:24 (NASB), “Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.” This does not mean with regards to growing in the Lord but with regards to occupation. In March, 2016, I began taking classes, online, through Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, working towards a Master degree in theological studies, not because I desired a change in profession but desired doctrine, something that I felt missing in my Christian upbringing. Why am I talking about this this morning? I do not know but it is on my mind nonetheless.