IS THERE ANY SCRIPTURAL
"WALKING THE AISLES"? [08/01--2005]
In a message
dated 8/1/2005 3:33:51 PM Central Daylight Time, Brother James writes:
DEAR BRO ROSS ARE THERE ANY BOOK, CHAPTER AND
VERSES FOR WALKING THE AISLE?? THIS HAS NEVER BEEN AN ISSUE IN COC
[Church of Christ] BUT SHOULD BE IF THEY TRULY JUST GO BY THE BIBLE. --
Dear Brother James:
It is always good to
hear from one who is so knowledgeable of the COC from the "inside." When will
you be down this way to visit us again? We always enjoy your visits.
it does seem that the Church of Christ ought to give "book, chapter, and verse"
in view of their PATTERNISM doctrine, shouldn't they? I suppose they use
their hermeneutic called "necessary inference" to justify
The fact is, whenever a person wants to make a public confesssion
of his faith in Christ, or he wants to be baptized, or wants to join to the
church, or wants to make a renewed public committal of his life to the Lord,
there must of necessity to be some way of making that known. Some of the
brethren who are outright against all forms of using an invitation nevertheless
have alternative methods for the very same ends which are served
by the invitation system in most Baptist churches of my acquaintance.
cited in the past the fact that in London, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones used
what I called the "office system" where persons would come after the
service to line up outside his office to be interviewed in regard to their need.
Someone also emailed me to say that George Whitefield, in his day, had
slips of paper passed out and people could write their requests (or
whatever) on those pieces of paper.
C. H. Spurgeon and D. L.
Moody were known to use inquiry rooms and after-meetings where
Christian workers and ministers would talk to people. Both Spurgeon and Moody
encouraged "personal work" by Christians. For example, in the matter of dealing
with potential converts after a sermon, Spurgeon had Christian
workers who called themselves his "dogs,." who like bird-dogs went after the
wounded game. Spurgeon said:
"There is a wonderful work to be done in
those lobbies, and in those pews, after a service. There are some dear
brethren and sisters who are always doing it; they call themselves my
'dogs;' for they go and pick up the birds that I have wounded. I wish
that they might be able to pick up many tonight" (Metropolitan Tabernacle
Pulpit, Volume 38, Sermon #2282, page 549).
Whatever the form or
method, the same basic ends are in view as in the invitation, that people
may confess their faith in Christ, or make their other needs and interests
known. But since there is no one "authorized" method specified in Scripture, we
would be going beyond what is written to oppose any method which is a
convenient way of accommodating people who want to make am obedient response to
the Word of God on confession of faith, baptism, church membership, or some
As for the abuse of a method, this of course could
happen in any given situation or method. There is simply no fool-proof method of
racking up a perfect score when it comes to the validity of professions of
faith. There have always been false professions, even in New Testament accounts
of some professors. -- Bob L. Ross
granted to copy and use this article.
By request, names are
added to my Email List, or removed
Publishers of C. H. Spurgeon's
Sermons & Other Works
Send your snail-mail address for a printed Price
Pilgrim Publications, Box 66, Pasadena, TX 77501
477-4261. Fax: (713) 477-7561