Humpty Dumpty Revisited
“When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.” --Through the Looking-Glass
Humpty-Dumptification of language is so commonplace as to elicit an "Oh come ON...that's just the way people talk.". It is the less-than-literate cousin to Orwell's doublespeak. On an assembly line job years ago, I used the word "invaluable" (yeah, I know...). There was some misunderstanding, so we got out the dictionary, as they did not believe that I was the most reliable one at hand, and found it to mean "valuable beyond estimation". The dissenters said that where they came from, "invaluable" meant "worthless". These same people burn down trailers when they throw a liquid marked "inflammable" on a kitchen grease fire to put it out.
"Idolatry" is a fun one. Writers of Popular Christian Books pen multiplied volumes on how "putting ANYTHING before God is idolatry."
No. Worshiping an inanimate object AS God is idolatry. "Well...what about people who are all addicted to American IDOL and don't go to church when it's on...?!?"
They're just stupid.
The upshot is, there is a level of authority to correct language. A major frustration I continue to have is the people who pull Things Religious from their nethers and foist them upon the Masses as Truth. Some months back, I issued a challenge for anyone to PROVE Scripturally that one must "Pray the Sinners Prayer and ask Jesus into your heart" in order to become a Christian. I offered a cash prize.
There have been NO takers.
Now, this could appear to be an "angels on the head of a pin" issue to some, but let me ask this: If I were to say to you : "I have a gift of a million dollars for you, because I love you and want you to be happy. I need for you to come to my house and pick it up.", would you get the moolah if you stayed home watching American Gladiator ?
Would the money be any less a gracious gift because I require you to come get it?
The Author of our faith instructed Peter, and when he was asked how to be rescued by the panicky Jews on Pentecost, Peter said "Repent. Be baptised to have your sins remitted. You will receive the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)
No prayer. Just an acknowledgment that Jesus is Lord (Repentance demonstrates this), and then obedience to that Lord (be baptised for the remission of sins).God then resuscitates you with the Holy Spirit.
Faith in Jesus as Lord: Puts to death the Old Man of Sin, nailing him to the cross.
Baptism: Buries the Old Man (see Romans 6) and you are raised from that death into new life.
Receiving the Holy Spirit: Divine CPR.
It is simple. It is sensible. It is what the Bible teaches. Every popular radio preacher and Huckstervangelist teaches something else. Let me encourage you to challenge EVERYONE who teaches the "Sinners Prayer / ask JEEEEE-zusss into your heart" to prove to you Biblically (and contextually) that it is true.
You preachers and teachers: Be careful, guys. Remember what happened to Mr. Dumpty.
And once again: I offer $200.00 (Two hundred dollars) to the first person to prove the doctrine to be Biblically authorized.