One example of altering the Gospel message can be found in this video. In this clip the preacher is finishing up his sermon and begins a prayer. He prays about giving everything to God, and believing that He is in control. He continues to ask the congregation if they were to die if are they certain that they would go to heaven? He then goes on to say all you have to do is accept the gift of salvation, come to God as a little child and He will help you clean up your life and to become everything He has created you to be. He gives them an opportunity to show God they're “not ashamed of Him”. He asks people to be bold, not to put it off, and when people start to stand up, he presumes to say there ought to be others, and to not go home without peace. “I feel like there ought to be a few more,” he says; all while the congregation is vigorously clapping. After the clapping has died down he says, “I’m proud of you.” Then, the people standing repeat a prayer that goes like this, “Lord Jesus I repent of my sins, come into my heart, wash me in your blood. I make you my Lord and Savior.” To the people who repeated the prayer he comments, “The moment you stood up God washed away all your sins, all your mistakes, all your failures.” He then finishes off the clip by encouraging people to come back to church.
I honestly don’t know if I was more disappointed or more angry when this clip ended. There are so many problems with this short clip, starting with the fact that he did not present the gospel fully. When he had the people repeat the prayer, “Lord Jesus I repent of my sins, come into my heart, wash me in your blood. I make you my Lord and Savior,” he leaves out the aspect of God creating us, the fact that He sent His Son to earth to die for our sins, that we would go to Hell if it weren’t for Jesus shedding his blood, and the major part of us having to really believe that he came and died for us to have salvation. He just candy coated the prayer to make it a feel good so when people leave they feel like they went to church and did something great that day. This was only a clip of his prayer after his sermon, so maybe he went over all these points and the whole gospel message during his sermon, but he still should have included those aspects when having people repeat the sinner’s prayer. The way he did it did not focus on the Gospel and our need for a Savior, or the sacrifice Jesus made for us because of our filthy sin. The fact that he didn’t present the gospel when leading the people in prayer means that those people went home thinking they were saved because they repeated after him. When, in reality, they were still as lost as ever. Another part of the clip that was teeming with false doctrine was when the pastor said that the people were saved the moment they stood up! How many people went home that day thinking that they were saved simply because they felt bad about their sin so they stood and repeated words after the preacher? This is ludicrous! Salvation comes when you believe on the Lord and what He has done for you, and admit you are a sinner in need of the Savior, not when you simply stand up from your seat during an invitation. The preacher should have been directing his flock, but instead he just led them even deeper into the darkness.