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Why pastors have to ‘frighten’ us in church

Published:Saturday | August 22, 2015 | 8:00 AM

Why pastors have to 'frighten' us in church?

Dear Joan,

I am not yet a Christian and I do believe in time I will make that decision to give my life to the Lord. However, I have a problem with the way some preachers try to 'pressure' you into making a commitment to God.

There are times when the call for prayer is made and I go up to the altar. I did not go there to make a declaration, but rather to get prayer for whatever situation I may be dealing with at the time.

As soon as the prayer is over, they tell you to remain at the altar and then they want to find out if you are already a Christian. At the negative response, they start to go on and on about "this may be your last chance to accept Christ", then they talk about some people turning their backs, leaving the Church and dying without getting the opportunity to repent.

Joan, I resent it. I feel like they are practising emotional blackmail to get you in the church. I think it is always best to allow people to calmly, rationally make up their minds that they have had enough of sin and then make the change.

- J.E.

 

Dear J.E.,

I totally understand the way you feel. I must admit that some people tend to go overboard in their zeal to get persons to accept Christ. There was an instance where one church showed the film The Burning Hell, and following the viewing, there was a dramatic rush of new converts. A few days after the effect of the film wore off, they were all out of the church and back to their old ways.

When someone is genuinely convicted of his sins and realises he needs Christ, then he makes the sober decision to follow Him. that is more long-lasting.

To be fair, though, their intentions are honourable. they are all concerned about getting people to understand the importance of accepting Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Don't be too harsh as they do have a point. Timing is important. You may not want to hear it, but tomorrow is promised to no one, and telling yourself that you will make that decision 'one day' is no guarantee that you will be around to get to do it. The Bible says, "Now is the accepted time, now is the time of salvation." The biggest deception there is when it comes on to salvation is thinking the time will always be there to accept Christ when you are ready."

God bless you, and I do hope you don't wait too long.

- Joan

 

Is he the one for me?

Dear Joan,

I am in my late 20s. I have been a Christian for a while now and have really been enjoying this journey.

Sure, there are times when temptations come my way and days when I have my struggles, but all in all, I have always relied on God's grace to see me through. and He has been doing just that.

When it comes to marriage, I don't give it any thought. to tell the truth, I am nowhere near ready to settle down in a committed relationship. I am really enjoying the single life. I am surrounded by friends, and unlike some single women, I don't know what it is to be lonely.

Hence my reason for my writing to you. a church brother of mine came to me recently and told me that he is the one for me as God revealed it to him in a dream.

He even went to my pastor with the same story, who told me I should seek God's guidance about it. Since then, he seems to make it his mission to get me to commit to him via engagement. I honestly don't want to hurt his feelings, but how else can I get him to back off?

- K.H.

Dear K.H.,

I am reading this and the only thing I can say is that if God wants you to be with this person, why doesn't He tell you, too! I don't mean to question your pastor, but from where I am sitting, you have no need to question God.

God is certainly not lacking in ways to let His will be known. Too many men, when they have an interest in a woman who isn't interested, use 'revelation' as a means of having an edge.

I suggest you tell this young man to ease off until God talks to you Himself.

- Joan

- Do you have an issue in the Church and need guidance? Send questions to familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com.