The Lord's Invitation
Daniel H. King
"Let's keep our heads bowed and our eyes closed. In a group this size its almost inevitable that there be people who have never actually named the name of Jesus, personally. Oh, most of us I guess go to church from time to time, maybe regularly. But there are still a lot of churches that don't give individuals a chance to reach out and claim the promises of Jesus personally-and to come to him. And so we go on being church members, church attenders, maybe even active in church affairs, but we never have come to a moment when we said, 'Lord, Jesus, be my savior. Forgive my sins. Write my name in your book. Make me part of your family.' Can you remember a time when you did that? You know, if you can't remember a time, if you can't think back to that moment, then the chances are that there has never been such a moment. We don't want to go any further here without giving you the opportunity to just reach out and touch Jesus and make him your Lord. Our whole purpose is to come together as God's people, humble ourselves, seek his face, turn from our own wicked ways, so that he can heal us, forgive us, and heal our land. But he wants to deal with us as individuals. While our heads are bowed, our eyes are closed, so that we can have some privacy, if you've never had such a moment and if you're not sure that your name is written in that book, would you just stand very quietly where you are? And, by that motion, by that act of standing claim Jesus personally. Other people in the auditorium won't see you, but Jesus is here. We've come together in his name and he will. Make your salvation and your election sure by claiming him personally. We're going to wait just a moment. We'd like to ask you just to stand where you are, while our heads are still bowed, our eyes are closed, and in that act of standing-Jesus said, 'If you'll confess me before men, I will confess you before my Father who is in heaven.' And, so many of us in this place believe Jesus is coming soon-and that moment, when you'll want so desperately, more than anything else in all of life, for him to confess you and call your name-is approaching. There are people standing now. Let's keep our heads bowed. I'll just tell you that, it seems to me that there are several heads of families standing, men who know that they want to give their wives and their children the best husband and father that they and the Lord are capable of providing. 'There are now some young people, teens, pre-teens. We'll wait a moment longer.
"Those of you who are standing, just know of a certainty that the Lord Jesus is right beside you welcoming you -into the family of God. James says if a man or a woman or a child will draw near unto God, God will draw near unto him. Believe that! Receive that! Young women I see standing. Yes, there are others. If you can't think back to a moment when you said 'yes' to Jesus, and you know that he added your name to his book of Life, then make that moment now. There are others standing. In every part of this gymnasium now there are people standing, claiming the promises of Jesus, becoming members of God's family. We're going to wait just a moment more, and then we're going to pray together and seal this for all eternity. Yes, others standing. Just a few more seconds. There must be thirty or forty people standing. If you should be part of that number, don't let the time pass. Don't let your opportunity pass. Lord we thank you for these. Just, those of you, don't look up really, but sort of open your eyes enough to see if there is somebody right around you standing, and if so just reach your hand out toward that person. If you're close enough to just put your hand on his or her shoulder or to take his or her hand, do that, because Jesus says, 'Where two or three agree concerning anything ye ask, my heavenly Father will do it.' We want to make a prayer, we want to speak a prayer of agreement before the Lord with these who have stood. And all of you who can reach your hand out toward them, then do that. And those of you who are standing know that there are people on every side of you extending their hands and agreeing with you in prayer. And now, let's all pray this prayer out loud together. Let me frame the words, just a prayer of surrender and commitment to the Lord. We all need to make this kind of prayer. So, let's all speak it out together with these who've stood, all right? Heavenly Father, I love you. Thank you for loving me. Jesus, thank you for dying for me. Save me Jesus, Write my name in your book. Make me a part of your family. Be my Lord. Forgive my sins. Apply your blood to me. Make me your own. Help me to know and to do your will. Help me to read and understand your word. Fill me with your Spirit. Help me to obey every command. Help me to be a profitable servant. Help me to be a good neighbor. Help me to be a child of God. Walk with me from here on. You are my Father. Jesus, you are my Savior. Holy Spirit, you are my guide. And I thank you in Jesus' name, Amen . . .
"There will be some more instruction for you just a little while later. There will be some more instructions for you, counseling and the next step or two if you need to take some other steps, and probably you do."
The above quotation no doubt sounds like something that would have issued from the pulpit of Oral Roberts, Rex Humbard, or some other comparable figure. But, not so. These are the words of our dearly departed (from the faith, that is) Brother Pat Boone, delivered on May 24th, 1976 at the Vanderbilt Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee. Pat shared the podium with Dean Jones in the "musical experience in worship and intercession" by Jimmy and Carol Owens, called "If My People . . . " Many of us who have kept up with Pat Boone have long known that he had departed from the faith through his experience with and promotion of ecstatic tongues and. "spiritual gifts." His unwillingness to deny the "experiences" of others (fearful that they will also deny his, I suppose) has led him into fellowship with fake healers and false teachers of every stripe. His doctrine and practice has become more and more perverse as time has passed. This quotation which I transcribed from a tape of the proceedings is but another evidence of just how far one will go once he has "gone beyond the doctrine of Christ" (2 Jn. 9). We may certainly observe that once the bounds have been crossed, only the sky is the limit. There is now no discernible difference between Pat Boone and the birds that he has long been flocking with. Up to this point most of us have thought, though, that Pat still taught the necessity of baptism for remission of sins. At least, he often hinted at it when he spoke of the baptisms which he performed in his swimming pools at his home. This quotation would remove any doubts on the part of anyone, that is, if there really were any.
If you read it only with passing attention, you were made aware that Pat Boone's invitation is most assuredly not the Lord's invitation. His plan of salvation goes something like this: 1) Stand up; 2) Hold someone's hand; 3) Pray a prayer of surrender and commitment. You may reread it carefully to see that I have not misrepresented his instructions to the unsaved. Now, look at the instruction given by Jesus: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:16). There is not even the slightest resemblance between the two, is there? Pat tells the unsaved, "Stand very quietly where you are . . and by that motion, by that act of standing claim Jesus personally . . . Jesus said, 'If you'll confess me before men, I will confess you before my Father who is in heaven' . . . Those of you who are standing, just know of a certainty that the Lord Jesus is right beside you welcoming you into the family of God." Of all the vulgar and reprehensible deceptions that
I ever have been indisposed to hear-this one will surely take a back seat to none! In the first place, he misapplied the instructions regarding public confession, for he said earlier, "While our heads are bowed, our eyes closed, so that we can have some privacy . . . " Is this not private confession? How could it be "before men" if it is private. But, more importantly Pat instructs the unsaved that "in that act of standing" one may be assured that Jesus "is right beside you welcoming you into the family of God." For years we have scoffed at these unbiblical schemes of redemption as they fell from the lips of the "Billy Sunday" type of revivalists, but now they have begun to cascade from the mouth of one of "our own"! Walk to the front of the auditorium and be saved!" "Sign a commitment card and be saved!" "Stand up and be saved!" "Raise your hand and be saved!" "Put your hand on the radio and be saved" "Accept Jesus into your heart as your personal savior!" Ad infinitum! But, now listen, to the simplicity of the command of Ananius by the Spirit of God to the unsaved Saul, "Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). Yet Pat Boone is now one with the denominational world in that he deceives the unsaved into thinking they are saved prior to immersion in water-that, in spite of the fact that inspired men say otherwise! And, perhaps there might be some possibility of excusing some of the others-but not Pat Boone. He has known and even publicaly taught the scriptural demands. He knows the Bible teaches a "new birth" for all under the new covenant, and that by "water and the Spirit (Jn. 3:3, 5). Instead, he places much stress on the Spirit and leaves out the water in God's plan for the redemption of lost humanity. Pat knows that the Bible teaches that it is baptism that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:27), and into the family of God. He is aware of the fact that "baptism doth also now save us" (1 Pet. 3:21). There may be some excuse for others-but most certainly not for him!
There is another matter of great importance that we would be most negligent were we to fail to mention. This comes in the form of an observation. In Pat Boone we may abundantly see the end-product of the charismatic movement. Through Pat's "experience" he has been forced to embrace those whom he formerly recognized as false teachers and even "parrot" their methods and teaching. This is simply the charismatic experience "gone to seed." And, it is not surprising. It was as inevitable as that night will follow day.
In addition, Pat is looked upon (more or less) as "outside the ranks" by most of the brethren. However, Don Finto, minister of the avant-garde Belmont Church of Christ in Nashville, also took a leading part in this program. It can only be assumed that he endorsed all of the proceedings by his participation in and praise of its content.
Brethren, we must beware of this charismatic error and speak out against it in every public and private means at our disposal, lest we also be infested by it. Paul said, "Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:2).
Truth Magazine XX: 34, pp. 535-537