Posted tagged ‘decisional regeneration’

Paul Washer, Decisional Regeneration, and First Baptist Woodstock

November 21, 2008

Paul Washer doesn’t play around in preaching, nor does he live in shades of gray.

What is fascinating about Washer’s preaching is that it continually dominates the charts on SermonAudio and attracts thousands through YouTube videos (his “shocking” sermon has nearly 900,000 visitors) while at the same time is never asked to come back and preach at many of the churches he was previously invited.  But what really caught my attention is that Washer was invited to speak at Deeper Conference which was being held at First Baptist Church Woodstock where Johnny Hunt, president of the SBC, is senior pastor.  The Deeper Conference was put on by The Way of the Master guys who had done conferences at Woodstock in years past; nevertheless, the fact Paul Washer was going to preach in the pulpit of the church where the John 3:16 Conference was held–a pulpit that has been grasped by just about every anti-Calvinist in the SBC–is no small thing.

So what was Washer going to say?  Was he going to water down the message, go gray, play politics, etc.? Nope.  In fact, he took on the invitation system and the doctrine of decisional regeneration behind it, showing the folly and unbiblical nature of them.  I can remember sitting through Bailey Smith “Real Evangelism” Conferences in years past shrinking in the pew when preacher after preacher would scoff and ridicule the doctrines of grace and often manipulate people into praying the sinner’s prayer. I cannot help but think that all the stagecraft of years past was exposed on the very platform on which it has been practiced.

To download Washer’s sermon from the Deeper Conference click here (you will need to submit your email address to download it).  Below is the sermon at Woodstock in its entirety (1hr 7min).

Related Articles:

The Sound of HeartCry Missionary Society
Reducing the Need for Church Discipline by Paul Washer (Part 1)
Reducing the Need for Church Discipline by Paul Washer (Part 2)
Missions and the Miracle of Conversion by Paul Washer
Evidences of the Miracle of Conversion by Paul Washer (Part 1)
Evidences of the Miracle of Conversion by Paul Washer (Part 2)

Decisional Regeneration and Southern Baptist Eisegesis

October 4, 2007

Offline this week, I am writing a paper examining how Jonathan Edwards and Charles Finney each understood conversion and revival. Finney’s legacy is widely known for his “new methods,” many which where welcomed into Southern Baptist life in the twentieth century. Some of the remnants of decisional regeneration can be found in prominent Southern Baptist evangelist who tell their audiences, “If you are 99% saved, you are 100% lost!” or “I’d rather be saved twice than lost once!” Other times Revelation 3:20 is employed to state that God is knocking on the door of the sinners heart. The preacher then says that the door has only one handle, and it is on your side. If you are going to be saved, it is up to you to open the door yourself and “accept Jesus into your heart.” God can only beg and plead for you to respond to his appeals, having only made salvation possible but not effectual. It is like this illustration that was used in Moody’s day:

Decisional regeneration has had free reign for decades, and anyone who would challenge the techniques or methods that produced decisions, whether it was walking down an aisle, raising a hand, or praying a prayer, would be considered to be doing the work of the devil (what I call the “Momma Boucher” complex for all you Adam Sandler fans). Indeed, decisional regeneration has become a control belief and justifying motif for various practices that accompany the man-centered, attractional philosophy of ministry. But just how far has it gone? Could it be so controlling that it is leading Southern Baptists to misunderstand and even re-write Scripture? Surely not.