A Facebook meme attributed to Southern Baptist International Missions Board president David Platt is quoted as saying the following: “Accept him? Do we really think Jesus needs our acceptance? Don't we need Him? Jesus is no longer one to be accepted or invited in but one who is infinitely worthy of our immediate and total surrender.”
Is there really a reason to get one's backside up on one's shoulders over a pastor or evangelist that phrases the soteriological appeal in terms of accepting Christ as Lord and Savior?
Granted, as part of the infinite triune Godhead, Jesus can hobble along quite fine without us no matter how much Pastor Platt believes world missions might collapse without his particular brand of religious over-enthusiasm.
What it simply means when someone accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior is that the person assents to the truth and validity of the claims and conditions made in the Gospels.
What is interesting is Rev. Platt's phraseology of immediate and total surrender.
Traditionally, that is what occurs when the sincere individual comes to a saving knowledge of Christ, meaning one makes a concerted effort with the help of the Holy Spirit to resist those more sinful desires.
However, what Platt may mean by that, given the perspective taken in a number of his books such as “Radical” and his sermons available on sites such as Youtube, is a bit different.
To Platt, it is not so much that your life and possessions are Christ's to determine directly how these are to be used to His glory but rather that is to be determined by your betters up the ecclesiastical food chain.
According to sermons from the likes of Rev. Platt, in taking up your cross, it is not sufficient to endure a particular struggle or trial that has come into your life but rather that you are to think of yourself as on the way to execution in terms that you are supposed to be wracked with profound guilt for a standard of living above that of the subsistence level.
However, religious superstars such as David Platt are to enjoy a semi-luxurious lifestyle flying across the country and around the globe having accolades and wads of cash tossed in their direction over how wonderful they are for being outraged that you have what you have.
Christ Himself says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
The text does not say that Jesus will beat down the door.
Customarily, when someone knocks at the door, it is your right to either open the door to invite them into your dwelling or to decline their request along with whatever it is they might be happening to bring you.
But then again, we are in the age where apparently the theological celebrities know more than Christ ever did.
By Frederick Meekins