By Pastor Pam Sheppard
I believe that it was the traditional congregation’s invitation, of “opening the doors of the church,” that ushered in countless demons into the visible church system. The founding fathers of Methodism instituted a superior practice of placing those who seek to escape the wrath that is to come on a probationary membership status. The founding fathers of Methodism were wise enough to not only create a procedure to ensure a bona fide salvation but also to protect the body from fellowship with unbelievers. However, over time, the full enforcement of this practice became ineffective, as people were brought into permanent church status without having manifested fruits of salvation. I personally believe that when converts can demonstrate that they are truly disciples of the Lord, then we can fellowship with them as brethren, and not before.
Yet another open door to the religious demon is the coined spiritual phrases. A Christian idiom most frequently expressed is “the Lord led me.” In a book called “Unholy Devotion,” the author aptly warns of the danger of spiritualizing:
“At first glance the phrase sounds quite spiritual, but a close examination of Scripture reveals that it is not always biblical. On several occasions the phrase is used by or to describe false prophets or deceptive people. Jacob deceived his father by spiritualizing issues. Esau, Jacob’s brother, had just gone hunting. Too quickly, it seemed, Jacob, claiming to be Esau, brought the killed game to his father. “How did you find game so quickly?” Isaac asked. Having usurped Esau’s place, Jacob lied to his sick, blind father. But notice Jacob’s very ‘spiritual’ response: ‘The Lord your God gave me success.” (Gen27:20) Jacob was playing dangerous games, spiritualizing in order to manipulate someone he knew would believe such words. Jacob wasn’t a false cult leader or prophet; he was God’s own chosen servant”.
“Christians often think that the seeds of heresy are found only in cults and in off-beat sects of Christianity. But John, in his first letter, and Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, reminded us that heretical teachers are often found within the church itself. Jesus notes that the dormant seeds of heresy can be buried in the lawns of the church. In Matthew 13, Jesus tells a parable of the kingdom of heaven: The enemy sowed seeds within this kingdom. In our desire to discover and understand the doctrines of cults, we may forget that potential gardens of heresy lie within our own walls. Remember: Sun Myung Moon was raised a Presbyterian; David Berg, founder of the Children of God, was once an Evangelical pastor; Jim Jones pastored a Christian church; many leaders in the People’s Temple and Jonestown were former members of Nazarene, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist and Assemblies of God Churches.” 1 (HL Bussell, pg.111)
Besides the altar call, the invitation to Christian discipleship, and the various professions of faith, there are other coined religious platitudes and phrases like “Jesus, come into my heart” and “I accepted Jesus into my life” that lead to counterfeit births. I myself have not been able to find any scriptures in the bible that suggest that we should ask Jesus to come into our hearts. I believe that when the Lord says that we must abide in Him, He means that we must stay in Him without wavering, in other words,—- to continue, to dwell, to be present, to remain. This is the essence of the Greek word, that was translated “abide” in John 15. Accordingly, baring fruit in Christ is a manifestation of a believer continuing and remaining in Him.
Yet Satan’s plot against the organized church actually took shape under the ministry of a preacher called Charles Finney.
Finney was quite a wicked looking man, as you can see the devil all up in his face. The man lived a long time when you consider that in his lifetime, the average live span was from the late forties to about 65. Finney lived tobe 83, from 1792-1875. A fiery New York preacher, Finney’s impact on church traditions and practices has been so profound, that his influence is still spreading globally almost two centuries later. Finney’s notoriety is that he is the one who brought the entire church the “make a decision for Christ” through repeating the sinners prayer and the altar call. A practicing freemason for 8 years, Finney eventually disavowed if. Yet what I have learned about freemasonry is that it is witchcraft. And you just don’t walk away from witchcraft without a struggle.
Anyway, in a nutshell, Finney believed that human beings were capable of choosing whether they would be corrupt by nature or redeemed, referring to original sin as an “anti-scriptural and nonsensical dogma” In clear terms, Finney denied the notion that human beings possess a sinful nature. Therefore, if Adam leads us into sin, he does so not by our inheriting his guilt and corruption, but by our following his poor example, this leads logically to the view of Christ as not having died for sins but for some lofty, moralistic reason.
Well, this was the man who started the altar call, invitation to Christian discipleship, “I accept Jesus,” practice that has led to the greatest falling away—the one that Paul himself predicted would transpire. Consequently, due to Charles Finney, souls have probably not been saved within the organized church system for at least 150 years!!!! This doctrine has primarily affected the Protestants much more than the Catholics. Another fallen angel, Mother Mary had a different strategy for THEM. The “make a decision, I accept Jesus gospel has so permeated all Protestant Church tradition, a problem that Baptist preacher Paul Washer is diligently trying to correct, to no avail. Washer is correct on this score but there are errors in his teaching as well, which is yet “another story.” Another practice that Finney started was to use the preacher’s invitation at the end of a sermon to evoke an emotional response, in other words to create a charged up atmosphere to manipulate a false conversion.
Call 1-888-818-1117 if you have any questions or think that you need help, for example with exposing a false conversion.