Friday, January 16, 2009

jesus into my heart

Did you ever invite "Jesus into your heart"? Well Todd Friel would argue that is not Scriptural or helpful ... I agree at least with a few of his points. Per Friel:

1. It is not in the Bible. There is not a single verse that even hints we should say a prayer inviting Jesus into our hearts. Some use Rev. 3:20 to tell us that Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts begging to come in. There are two reasons that interpretation is wrong. The context tells us that the door Jesus is knocking on is the door of the church, not the human heart. Jesus is not knocking to enter someone’s heart but to have fellowship with His church. Even if the context didn’t tell us this, we would be forcing a meaning into the text (eisegesis). How do we know it is our heart he is knocking at? Why not our car door? How do we know he isn’t knocking on our foot? To suggest that he is knocking on the door of our heart is superimposing a meaning on the text that simply does not exist.

2. Asking Jesus into your heart is a saying that makes no sense. What does it mean to ask Jesus into your heart? If I say the right incantation will He somehow enter my heart? Is it literal? Does He reside in the upper or lower ventricle? Is this a metaphysical experience? Is it figurative? If it is, what exactly does it mean?

3. In order to be saved, a man must repent (Acts 2:38). Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of repentance.

4. In order to be saved, a man must trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of faith.


K-Fish said...

I am not saying I agree or disagree with Todd Friel, however I do tend to think that saying a prayer asking Jesus into our hearts that is not linked (with faith) with true repentance (turning away from our sins) AND trust in Jesus and His work for our salvation is just empty words.

Everything goes back to the heart of man... In his deepest most secret place of who he is, his essence, what he thinks, what his trust is in, ...the true inner man, that we so well disguise to the world... what is there?

Is there true repentance?

Is there true faith in Jesus Christ and his work on our behalf?

Does he really know Jesus?

More importantly, does Jesus know him?

True Christians should clearly understand what the Bible teaches about the heart of man and its tendency to wickedness. True Christians know they have to be on guard every moment, lest their heart deceive them.

What does Todd Friel say about being "born-again"?

rick said...

hey man ... i thought you were gone from the face of the earth ... welcome back!

Jason said...

The "heart" is a metaphysical reality that has little metaphorical oomph in the post-modern era. Now, we ask questions like, "is it in the upper ventricles?" That is a silly statement if you are being serious about what Jesus and Paul said. Jesus said you must be born again, but we don't get all up in arms because "we can't really do that!" Oh yeah, that's what the guy actually said to Jesus...

Furthermore, Paul's tag line is be "in Christ" and "Christ in you." Dude, I'm sorry, but I believe Jesus is in my heart (kardia) just as I love him with all of it. He's in me, because I am in him.

And, repentance is not defined here either. What is repentance, except turning back to God/Jesus?

This just comes across as an overly rational attempt at a post-modern explanation of soteriology. We might actually do better to go with the metaphysical?

rick said...

Jason - it feels like you are thinking too hard yourself and may have a bit of post-modern defensiveness. How is "asking Jesus into your heart" postmodern? I'm 47 years old and it has been around at least that long. I didn't realize this was an addressed to a post-modernist. If I would have thought it through, I would have guessed otherwise.

That aside, I did not intend to beat on those that use the phrase but like with so many phrases, I perceive it is often used with neither the speaker nor the hearer understanding the intended meaning ... it just sounds nice.

Perhaps I could have put more effort into offering some alternative phrases.

K-Fish said...

Interestingly enough to me, tonight in the book I am currently reading by John Bevere, "Driven By Eternity", in the chapter 'Judgement of Deceived', John states the following:

"The gospel we've preached has been lopsided with emphasis on accepting Jesus by praying a sinner's prayer. We confess Him as "Lord," and once done we are saved eternally. Yet this is not what Jesus teaches. He says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 7:21, NIV)"

He goes on to say that converts gained in this manner...

"...go back to their seats "just as they were." Except now they are deceived. Nothing has been said concerning repentance from disobedient lifestyles, denying their own desires... ...losing their lives for the cause of Christ. They've confessed Jesus as their "Lord," but there's been no heart change."

Hmmmm...... interesting... I want to say I agree with him a 100%.