The Aisle Walkers

I've always liked starting religious exhortations with some mention of 1st century Christianity as if that it the purest form. Why change now?

I was raised in a Baptist church and I wouldn't doubt that the clinic I was born in wasn't a weekend location for Baptist services. When I became a "born-again" "spirit-filled" Christian one of the things that bothered me about Baptist services was the invitational hymn and the aisle-walkers.

For those of you who don't know much about Baptist tradition in order to be saved in a Baptist you have to walk the aisle down to the front of the church in order to be saved.

The problem with aisle walking is not the act itself but the many things that are ignored about it. Walking down the aisle doesn't insure that whoever it is has truly repented and made a decision about following Jesus. Based on observations of the lives of many of them it's hardly the case. The gentle intimidation mild conviction and public discomfort has a tendency to make you feel "religious" and thus saved.

The preacher will often point out that if you deny Christ before the world He will deny you as if your presence in the front of the church is a proclamation to the world. In reality your willingness to stand up for the faith has to be tested in front of a world outside of the church.

Then there are the Baptist revivals. They are not all like that but I remember living in rural Mississippi where the annual hell-fire revival helped to save all of the 6-8 year olds in the congregation.

Yes I AM a Christian and No I'm not mocking Christianity. But there is still a lot of dross in the church and its traditions and I believe bringing it to light will help the world see what the church is or should be all about. We need to see what being a Christian is all about. It's not the guilt the conviction the fear of hell or walking down an aisle because God was speaking to your heart (pulling at your heart strings).

Jesus advised us to count the cost to seriously evaluate the situation and make a thoughtful decision to trust Him. It's much more than believing that he exists and saying so. Jesus said follow ME.

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