In the following transcript that begins at minute 36 of the video below, Greg Laurie of Harvest Ministries denies the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the salvation of every believer. By his statements, he is promoting a second-tier Christianity, a form of Christianity without repentance, and a form of Christianity without sanctification as he makes a distinction between a believer and a disciple. In the camera view alone, the majority of the audience stands up to repeat a prayer led by Laurie (shall we call this the “Disciples’ Prayer”?). It saddens me to think all of those people considered themselves Christians but not disciples, then made a decision to “become a disciple” by repeating a superstitious prayer akin to the unbiblical “Sinners’ Prayer”, thus taking the so-called next step in the Christian walk. This is not a judgment on their hearts, but more so a judgment on what they are hearing from behind the pulpit and their diligence in studying God’s Word to know better.
To understand exactly why this is such a dangerous teaching and practice, please see the series on Lordship Salvation.
Here is the transcript followed by video and is broken into sections I created to better see the issues at hand:
Seeming exhortation to live out the implications of a Gospel-changed heart
Christians are to be living epistles written by God and read by men. Listen. You are the only Bible some people will ever read. They won’t read this Bible. But they will read you. And they will watch your life. And your life speaks volumes. You are saying something. The question is what are you saying? Be salt. Be a representative of Jesus Christ out in this culture. Of course later Jesus tells us that we are to be light. Salt and light. That pretty much sums it up. Someone who is being salt would be an individual who is living it. Stimulating in others a thirst. Someone who is being a light would be someone who is proclaiming it. Let’s be both.
This is where it turns for the worst.
Sometimes you have people that talk about it but don’t live it. And to those people I would say do us all a favor and shut up. No seriously. If you are not going to really seek to live as a Christian (you don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to be flawless because no one is) but if you are not going to really try to live as a Christian do us all a favor and don’t tell others about Jesus because you actually do more harm that good. But then on the other hand I would say to the person who is living it please talk about it. You know some people will say, “Well you know I just know that others will observe the way that I live and I am honest and I love my family and I work hard or whatever and they will see this and come to Jesus.” No. You know they will see it but you need to step it up and tell them about what you believe. As the Bible says, “How will they hear unless someone tells them?” So there is a point for living it and there is a point for telling it.
The call for Christians to become disciples instead of calling lukewarm professing christians to examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith
Wanted: Disciples. The world needs it. We don’t need to see any more bad examples. We don’t need to see anymore watered-down commitments. And we don’t need to see any more bland Christians who are trying to live in two worlds. What we need are living, breathing disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. So now, as we come to a close I ask you are you a disciple? And if not, do you want to become one? I mean maybe as you have heard this message you have thought, “You know I am not so sure that I am a disciple.” Or, You know point one or point two I felt maybe I had working in my life but I don’t know about that third point.” Or, “The third thing, yes, but maybe not the second thing.”
Instead of using the words of Jesus calling for sinners to follow Him through the narrow gate to salvation, Laurie uses Jesus’ words to politely ask Christians to volunteer to become disciples
Hey why don’t you say, “Lord, I don’t want to be a fair-weather follower. I don’t want to be a baby for the rest of my life. I am ready to grow up. I am ready to step it up. I am ready to be a disciple. I volunteer. I am not doing this impulsively. I am thinking this through and I am ready to say, “Lord, I want to be Your disciple. I want to love You more than anyone or anything else. I want to lose my life and thus find it. I want to take up the cross and follow Jesus Christ, and I want to be salt and light in this world. I volunteer.“
Invitation to say the “Disciples Prayer” and teaching that not every Christian is a disciple
We are going to close our service today in a different way. I am going to give an invitation to Christians to become disciples. Normally I invite people who do not yet know the Lord to put their faith in Christ. But today I am going to ask Christians to become disciples. Because every disciple is a Christian but not every Christian is necessarily a disciple. Are you one? If not, would you be open to making a commitment to become one right now? I am going to give you an opportunity to do just that.
Laurie takes nearly three minutes to explain the instructions of the “Disciples’ Prayer” while he leaves professing Christians not willing to commit to be disciples comfortable in their sin and unbelief
Now here is how it is going to work. I am going to invite you as we pray in a moment to stand. And then I am going to lead you in a prayer. I am not going to have you come forward. This is a prayer in which you are saying to the Lord. “I want to be a disciple.” If you don’t stand, I am going to assume one of two things. You are either already a committed disciple or you don’t want to become one. You don’t want to respond to this invitation. I don’t want you to do this because you feel pressured. Because if I said, “How many want to be disciples of Jesus” we would all jump to our feet. I don’t want to do that. I want you to make a thoughtful commitment. And if you don’t mean it I don’t want you to make it. But if you mean it by all means I want you to make it. So I will ask you to stand and pray this prayer with me. Again if you are already a disciple just stay seated and pray for the others around you. Or if you would say, “I don’t want to make this commitment today” then don’t make it. I think you are wrong of course but you need to make your own decision. As I said earlier, it costs to follow Jesus. I won’t deny that. But listen. It costs more not to. So if you want to find life, you lose it. And you love God more than anyone or anything else. And you take up the cross daily and you follow Jesus Christ. And you will be salt and light in this world.
Let’s pray. “Father I pray now that You will find in our ranks in this multitude here today true disciples. Those that would step up to the plate and say, “Here I am Lord. Send me. And I pray that You would use us for Your glory.”
Now while our heads are bowed and eyes are closed if you want to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, if you don’t believe that you really are one now, but you want to become one, I am going to ask you to stand to your feet and I am going to lead you in a prayer. If you are out in the Courtyard stand up. If you’re out in the Amphitheater, stand up. Wherever you are. Anywhere on the grounds here, stand up. And I am going to lead you in a prayer. And I want you to pray it out loud after me. Anybody else? I am not pressuring you. I am just asking. Anybody else in this final moment? Stand up now. You want to volunteer to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t do it if you don’t mean it. Anybody else? Alright. Now you that are standing I want you to pray this prayer out loud after me. This is where you are making this commitment to Christ to be His disciple. So again as I pray, pray this out loud right now where you stand. Alright. Let’s pray.
Laurie finally gets to the “Disciples’ Prayer”
“Lord Jesus, I have heard Your voice today. I want to be Your disciple. I understand what that means. I want to love You more than anyone. I want to love You more than anything. I am willing to lose my life to find it. I want to take up the cross daily and follow You. I want to be salt and light in my world. So I commit myself to You as Your disciple. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Final thought: if a Christian prays the “Disciples’ Prayer” to become a disciple, what is the state of the “Christian” between becoming a “believer” and becoming a disciple? Well, God’s Word surely doesn’t speak of such a person. Such teaching and practice is completely foreign to Scripture and reality. It’s a myth. Please check out the Lordship Salvation series and be sure to listen to Steven Lawson’s message titled It Will Cost You Everything, especially if you question your salvation. I’d love to hear from you too.