And like dutiful sheep we bow our heads and we close our eyes.. BECAUSE.. the preacher is about to make a salvation appeal. And I don't want to be the one who is looking around - because - maybe that person who is at the moment weighing the eternal destiny of his soul - will see me seeing him and decide to go to hell for all eternity because someone saw him admit he needed forgiveness. So I bow my head. And I close my eyes. But something about that seems wrong to me. Something about telling someone they can be a Secret Christian is not the Gospel I read about.
I get it that we are so desperate for any soul to be changed from Darkness to Light, from Death to Life... that we want them to know that NO ONE IS LOOKING if they should decide to "accept Jesus."
CAN WE BE CHRISTIANS IN SECRET?
CAN I KEEP IT A SECRET THAT I AM A FOLLOWER OF JESUS?
Let me save you some time: it is not in the Bible
AND IN ADDITION... Isn't telling someone, "Look, just get right with God,o.k.? No one will know because they've all got their heads bowed and their eyes closed" putting someone on a non-Scriptural and sure-to-fail pathway from the first step they take toward God? They get up, go home, and live life as a SECRET CHRISTIAN. Never telling a soul. Shhhhhhhh....
If you saw someone drowning in the ocean... and you were in a boat filled with people who had been rescued... would you tell the already-rescued people in the boat
"Everyone bow your heads now and close your eyes.. because we don't want that desperate, dying person to be embarrassed that he finds himself desperate, lonely and dying. He might be embarrassed if we - The Formerly Desperate Lonely And Dying" - discovered that he also cannot save himself and needs the Lifeline Savior we are offering him"???????
That's a ridiculous scenario... being played out in thousands and thousand of churches on this Sunday morning.
Where is the "SHHhhhhhh... No One Has To Know That You Have Come To Realize You Need To Be Reconciled to God Through The Sacrifice of His Only Son, Jesus" Policy in the Bible?
Oh... wait. It isn't in the Bible. It's something we've created.
Just because something is a tradition doesn't mean something is Truth.
Jesus taught just the opposite approach to being His follower. Jesus wanted people who would count the cost before making the decision. The cost? Everything. All the time. For the rest of our lives. Jesus idea of a Follower is someone who would go in to all the world with the main purpose of preaching the Gospel and making disciples of the people who receive it. And then those people would do the same... and many would come to LIFE instead of death.
But.. how can a person preach the Gospel if he was encouraged that no one needs to see or know that he received it?
Jesus never BEGGED someone to be His follower. He let them walk away. He offered a NARROW path to being reconciled to God - "It's going to cost you everything. You will be mocked, hated and despised. You may have to choose to walk away from family, friends and possibly a comfortable life. You will continue to have trouble, but I have overcome it all for you. Yes, count the cost. It will cost your LIFE.....BUT YOU WILL BE RECONCILED TO GOD. YOU WILL HAVE PEACE WITH GOD. YOUR SIN - ALL OF IT - WILL BE FULLY PAID FOR. YOU WILL BE PERFECT IN GOD'S SIGHT... because of Me. You will be filled with My Spirit. You will be ONE with your Father in Heaven. You will be given My peace, and My joy. So... decide."
IF EVERY HEAD NEEDS TO BE BOWED, AND EVERY EYE NEEDS TO BE CLOSED in order for someone to be willing to humbly bow at the feet of the King Of Kings...
maybe we need to reevaluate the message we are preaching to them.... and maybe they need to wait until they are willing to give whatever they have to receive everything He offers.
Just sayin'. Just asking.
"Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."
JESUS - Luke 9:26