When the woman with the issue of blood reached out and touched the garment of Jesus, "power" (KJV: 'virtue') flowed from the Christ to the woman and she was instantly healed. When the blind man needed sight, Jesus put spittle in His eyes and the man saw "men as trees walking." Jesus then put additional spit in his eyes, and the blind man was progressive healing was completed. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead he shouted an imperative and the dead man's name -- "Lazarus come forth." But when Jesus raised the little girl from death He gently took her by the hand and quietly commanded, "Little girl, arise." When Christ fed the five thousand His disciples reached into the baskets and perpetually pulled out the meat and bread. However, when Jesus turned the water into wine, unknown and unnamed servants drew the newly fashioned wine from ceremonial water barrels. When the lame man was lowered through the roof, Jesus forgave the man his sins, and only then healed the man of his lameness to correct the misconceptions of the Pharisees and to prove the lame man's sins were actually forgiven. On the other hand, when the crippled man at the Pool of Siloam found himself laboring under the mistaken belief that angels stirred the waters of the pool and the first person into the pool after the stirring would be miraculously healed, Jesus neither corrected the misconceptions nor used the healing to proclaim His power to forgive sins. When Jesus Christ transformed the lives of sinners during His earthly ministry He sometimes spoke during the healings. At other times Jesus healed silently. Jesus would sometimes bring healing immediately and instantaneously, but at other times He would heal progressively. Jesus sometimes allowed people to publicly rejoice over His power, but at other times Jesus demanded that those He healed remain silent about Him.
The power of Jesus Christ to transform broken lives cannot be boxed and bowed in any religious ritual that looks the same every single time.
There are some independent, fundamental Southern Baptists who have left the gospel. They have, for some reason, concluded that the only way Jesus can transform a life is through 'raising a hand' to express a willingness to be saved, to pray a 'sinner's prayer' as a testimony of that willingness, and then 'walking an aisle' during a worship service to 'publicly declare your private prayer.' The notion that people who struggle with sin in their lives and are in need of a Savior are somehow cured by following this peculiar ritual borders on cultic. There is a 'common language,' a 'common experience,' a 'common ritual,' etc... Check out the definition of the word 'cult' and you will see that it is the root word of 'culture.' Southern Baptists have developed a 'culture' of ritual that is ultimately anti-Scriptural and anti-Christ. It makes no difference that there are good motives in the leaders who continue to enforce the ritual upon unsuspecting men and women. Good intentions don't count. When you replace the Person of Jesus Christ with a process, you have lost the gospel. When you cause a sinner to trust in a ritualistic service and not the Risen Savior, you have made the religious convert twice the citizen of hell.
Massive damage has been done in the Southern Baptist Convention through both children and adults being led to believe that their salvations are tied up in something they do rather than in Person and performance of Jesus Christ on their behalf. It is the righteous life of Christ, the substitutionary death of Christ at Calvary, and the resurrection of Christ from the grave that is to be believed. There is power in the cross. "Asking Jesus into your heart" in a formulatic prayer emphasises a prayer ritual. Believing in what Jesus Christ has done for you as your Savior is transforming faith. Faith in Christ saves, not faith in a ritual. Ritualism in Southern Baptist circles is more damaging than ritualists can ever perceive. Dishonor is given to the name of Christ when our evangelism short cuts the work of the Holy Spirit in conviction, illumination and conversion. Southern Baptist ritualistic evangelism is more damning than an open denial of the gospel. To seek to convince any sinner that a religious ritual magically conveys salvation, instead of patiently and lovingly explaining the message of the good news in Jesus Christ and urging the hearer to simply believe on Christ, is turning the gospel of Christ's kingdom into a carnival sideshow at best or a spiritualized death chamber at worst.
We have more than a few independent, fundamentalists within the Southern Baptist Convention who are attempting to identify problems we have in the SBC in terms of evangelism. Until these highly formulaic evangelists turn from their destructive ritualistic methods, their words are empty and powerless.