Sunday, November 15, 2009

Presumptuous Synergism: Save A Soul For $48

By Jim Bublitz

It's that modern synergistic mindset again, but maybe a little more bold.

Here's a ministry that's so confident in their crusades and evangelism campaigns that they are convinced of their ability to predict how many souls will be saved through their efforts. What's more, they've also done the math to determine how many donation-dollars will be required for each soul saved.

On their website, the leader of the ministry states: "I was [visiting a church] and made the statement that for every $48.00 given to [our ministry] someone will get saved. A couple after the service said to me, 'Why don't you start a Soul-A-Month club. We would like to send you $48.00 a month.' Ministry born!"
More on their website:

Their flawed thinking is the logical out-flowing of a belief called "synergism" that's wide-spread in modern times. It means that God and man cooperate together to cause salvation to occur. And since synergists usually believe that God is trying his hardest to save everyone, then the only thing that's really needed is for man to decide to "choose Christ". The ministry (above) goes so far as to claim they've determined a ratio of "dollars to decisions".

If we go back a couple of hundred years in Christian history, we find a completely different mindset called "monergism". The Reformers and Puritans were monergists (as opposed to synergists), believing that God causes man to be born again, without any assistance from man. One of the passages in scripture where this is taught is John chapter 3 where Jesus tells Nicodemus that "the Spirit blows where it wishes". It means that God decides the who, what, when, and where of being Born Again. A great scripture-packed website dealing with this old truth is:

Some noteworthy monergists include:
John MacArthur, RC Sproul, John Piper, D. James Kennedy, Charles Spurgeon, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Martin Luther.

Noteworthy synergists include:
Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, Tim Lahaye, Charles Stanley, Jerry Falwell, John Wesley, Charles Finney, Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, and the Catholic church.

In fact, here's a demonstration of synergism in action. This is a quote from Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life:

"Wherever you are listening to this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity. "Jesus, I believe in You and I receive You." Go ahead. Just say "Jesus, I believe in You and I receive You." If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!"

Warren's emphasis is placed here on something that man does, and when man does it, he's the determining factor in the salvation of his own soul. Again, very different thinking than in centuries-past.

Originally posted at on August 20, 2005

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