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Superficial Decisions for Christ

It should be observed that, apart from the power of God, superficial decisions may easily be secured, and apparently great results accomplished; for some minds are so dependent upon the opinions of others that the earnest and dominating appeal of the evangelist, with the obvious value of a religious life, is sufficient to move them to follow almost any plan that is made to appear to be expedient. They may be urged to act on the vision of the way of life which the preacher possesses, when they have received no sufficient vision for themselves. The experience of thousands of churches has proved that such decisions have not met the conditions of grace in “believing with the heart”; for the multitude of advertised converts have often failed, and these churches have had to face the problem of dealing with a class of disinterested people who possess no new dynamic, nor any of the blessings of the truly regenerate life.

A few genuine decisions may occur among the many, and these have always justified the wholesale evangelizing method. There is, however, a very grave harm done to any who are thus superficially affected, and this harm might sometimes outweigh the good that is done. In reply to this it is argued that nothing can outweigh the value of one soul that is saved; yet when the harm of a false decision is analyzed, it will be seen that the after-state of bewilderment and discouragement which results in an attitude that is almost unapproachable and hopeless, has its unmeasured results as well.

L. S. Chafer, True Evangelism, pp. 74-5