Many evangelicals believe that a person becomes a Christian by making a “decision for Christ,” an act of the will, usually involving saying some version of “the sinner’s prayer,” in which the person “accepts Christ.” We Lutherans certainly believe in conversion, though not construing that as an act of the will, as such, but rather as the Holy Spirit’s creation of faith by means of Baptism and the Word of God. But some evangelicals treat the “decision for Christ” like Catholics treat Baptism, as being effective ex opere operato, apart from actual faith.
Anyway, lots of conservative Christians of every stripe have problems with Donald Trump. But James Dobson, who once opposed Trump but now serves on his evangelical advisory board, said that he was told that Trump was “led to Christ” by the controversial prosperity gospel TV preacher Paula White. That means that the presumptive Republican presidential candidate is a “baby Christian,” who doesn’t understand the language and practices of mature Christians, but who is a Christian nonetheless. The implication is that Evangelicals should cut him some slack while still being able to vote for him in good conscience.
Read about this after the jump. What do you think about it? [Read more…]