Most Christians have heard the phrase Easy Believism and are aware of its negative connotation. When questioned about their stand they will almost always deny any participation in it, even when they rely solely on this for their Evangelism. They may even agree that “there is NO magic prayer” (while they consistently use it as such). I would like to believe though, that it is not a desire to deceive which prompts their denial, but simply an ignorance of what is truly meant by Easy Believism.
This “lack of understanding” often prompts people to defensively reject what they perceive to be the “wrong” in “Anti-Easy Believism” arguments. Some try to suggest that any who reject Easy Believism are condemning soul-winning and the responsibility to lead others to the Lord. (This is completely false. It is actually the desire to see souls TRULY saved that prompts the demand for BIBLICAL methods of salvation.)
Others suggest that by questioning the validity of their methods, we are condemning their converts to Hell. Obviously, it is NOT pointing out the error of Easy Believism that sends them to Hell. These type of “straw man” arguments are then systematically dismantled, while the heart of Easy Believism remains unaddressed. Clearly, there must be some confusion.
In fairness, the name Easy Believism itself can be misleading. I have even heard some say, “Well… isn’t salvation easy? It isn’t work, so it must be easy.” True, salvation is NOT by works, but only by repentance toward God and Faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. The problem is that repentance is generally, either omitted entirely or its importance is greatly minimized in the Easy Believism gospel message.
It has been suggested that Easy Believism would be better described as Easy Prayersim, because of its over-emphasis on prayer where getting people to pray a sinner’s prayer is the primary aim. While praying is not wrong, and even using a sinner’s prayer is not in itself wrong either; the tendency to view this prayer as a guarantee of salvation certainly is wrong. David Cloud has written an excellent article detailing this issue titled: EASY PRAYERISM OR BIBLE EVANGELISM.
“Don’t get me wrong. I believe that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13). I believe that those that pray to God in repentance and faith and ask to be saved WILL be saved. I am not against prayers for salvation, but the prayer must come from a repentant, believing heart, or it is vain.
What I am against is making the praying of a prayer the focus of our evangelistic activity. Repeating a prayer is not necessarily salvation and we must not confuse it with such. Just because 50 people pray a prayer or raise their hands in a gospel meeting is no evidence whatsoever that those people have been saved. It is one thing to show some interest in salvation; it is quite another thing to be saved.
Some might argue, “Well, I know that just praying a prayer is not salvation.” Why then, I might ask, do so many say that a certain number of people “got saved today” or “got saved last year” when all they did was pray a prayer? Especially is this true in a context in which the majority of these people don’t even want to come to church. Is that not an unhealthy focus on a prayer? I call this “easy prayerism.”- David Cloud For the entire article go to:
I have heard some even try to explain away their responsibility in false conversions by suggesting that if someone tells them they are saved, then all they can do is believe it since they cannot see their heart. That is true except that with Easy Believism/Prayerism, it is generally NOT the new convert proclaiming salvation, but the overly zealous soul-winner. You cannot lead someone to believe that making a decision or praying a prayer saves them, put the words in their mouths, write their names in the back of your bibles, congratulate them on getting saved, and then deny any responsibility for their false conversion.
What’s even worse is that most soul-winners do not stop at simply “implying” that salvation has been secured by a profession or a prayer. Most will go as far as giving the new convert an “assurance” that they are indeed saved and saved eternally, instructing them to hold fast to their profession in times of doubt.
This is the heart of the easy Believism/Prayerism error!
Why would we ever tell anyone that they are saved- especially based only on a profession? And then also tell them never to question it? It amazes me that we are so reluctant to tell anyone that they MAY NOT be saved because “We can’t see their Hearts-Only God can”, and yet we would dare tell them (again, not being able to see their hearts) that they ARE saved simply because we coerced them into praying a prayer. Did it ever occur to us that telling people who are NOT saved that they ARE may be sending them to HELL? (While telling someone who IS saved that they may not be, can do them no spiritual harm at all?)
Why would we assure someone that they can trust their souls to a mere profession when the bible does not say that? The bible actually warns over and over of those who are deceived and admonishes believers to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Many will “profess” to believe in Christ, but in the end Christ will “profess” that He does NOT know them. For those people, their professions are worthless.
Trusting in these false promises of salvation so carelessly given, these false converts are left farther from salvation than they were before. They stumble on, still blind and in the dark, but now with a false assurance of forgiveness, they continue confidently in their sin. Having had their conviction and fear of condemnation soothed by a well-meaning Christian, they give no further thought to repentance or faith.
What a horrible thought that we as Christians could unintentionally be the reason someone is turned away from the Lord.
Matthew 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
It is never our job to tell someone else that they are saved. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. (1John 4:13)”. (See also: 1 John 3:24, Romans 8:16, Romans 8:9, John 3:5, Only by the presence of the regenerating Holy Spirit of God within us can anyone be sure.
It is not even our job to “seal the deal”. That too is the job of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (See also Romans 15:28, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13)
Our job is to preach the gospel, and trust the Lord for the results.
i invite your sincere questions and comments, and will do my best to answer according to God's word. While i do not claim to be without error; I will try to be as true to His word as I know.
is a Fundamental, Bible Believing Christian with a passion for His word and a desire to earnestly contend for the faith.