History of Born Again:
The Born Again Movement traces its origin early in the 19th century. In reaction to Protestant Liberalism a group of Protestant theologians from various denominations (Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Evangelicals etc.) wrote a 12 volume book entitled The Fundamentals. The book contains a compilation of essays of Protestant doctrines, and the Born Again Movement adapted their doctrines from this 12 volume book that is why some of their doctrines are similar to those of mainline Protestants. In the strictest sense Born Again Christians is an offshoot of mainline Protestantism, no wonder they claimed to be a non-denominational Church. Born Again Movement arrived at our shores in the late 1930’s and gained its popularity in the 70’s and 80’s which is considered the golden era of Born Again Movement in the Philippines.
During these years membership in various Born Again Churches increased because they where able to infiltrate mainline Protestant Churches and had lured nominal Catholics into their fold. However their steady growth ceases starting the year 1990 and their membership declined in the succeeding years. In the year 2000 Born Again Churches from the United States sent their missionaries in the Philippines to re-established the Born Again Movement and this time their primary mission is no longer to infiltrate Protestant and Catholic Churches but targeted the youth in schools particularly college students.
In Davao City there are various Born Again Churches, the following are the most common Born Again Churches that is actively recruiting students to join their rank, House hold of Faith, Victory Chapel, G12, PSALM and Maranatha Family Church. Born Again evangelist does not want to discuss the history of the Christian church, in their Bible studies with their prospects, they intentionally limit the discussion to the Bible alone. They conceal the history of the Christian religion because it will show that their movement did not originate from the apostles. It is necessary for them to negate history because St. Paul warned us not to accept teachings that did not originate from the apostles Gal.1:8 and Born Again Movement evidently cannot trace the history of their church into the time of the apostles.
Method of Evangelization:
Born Again evangelists employ the basic principles of human psychology in order to lure people into their fold. Their method is both manipulation and deception, let me explain why. There are two principles that worked behind their method, emotion and common ground (music). Born Again evangelist realized that music is a common ground among youths, so they utilized music to attract young adults into their churches.
If you attend the service of one of these Born Again Churches you can see that their music ministry is like a rock and roll band, they intentionally composed alternative type gospel songs in order to add attraction to their service. In this way those people whom they invited will experience a pleasurable feeling and will come back for more.
Aside from music they add into their arsenal the appeal to the emotions of the people. The sermons of their pastors are directed to stir up the emotions of the listeners and sometimes they would even come to the point of crying in the pulpit, that is the reason why their pastors must be a good public speaker. Born Again evangelist knew that once they where able to touch the person’s emotion it will be very easy to manipulate him.
Through music they grant pleasure and through emotional manipulation they control the people, this is a classical example of psychological conditioning (this is also used to train dogs). Clearly Born Again evangelization has deception as its chief foundation and they even used selected passages from the Bible to deceive people. They usually start evangelizing by asking ambiguous questions such as “Are you saved?” or “Are you born again?”, if the person answers “no or I don’t know” they will tell you that you must accept Christ as a Lord and Personal Savior in order to be born again otherwise you will be damned to hell. And if the person will answer “yes” they will invite you to their church and worship with them. And if the person is a Catholic that would mean that you have to leave the Catholic Church and do away your Catholic beliefs about Mary, the Saints, confession etc. Let us be vigilant not to fall to the snares of the Born Again movement.