This has nothing to do with the movie starring Ringo Starr, Peter Sellers, and Raquel Welch. Instead, it is about Roman Catholicism versus Reformed Christianity.
It has been pretty clear for millenia that Christianity renounces "salvation by works." But sinners often cry out, "What must I do to be saved?" If I *DO* something, how do I know if it's one of those works that won't save me? There is something of human nature that demands we tie specific actions to acquiring salvation or growing closer to God pursuant to salvation. That second part afflicts many of my Baptist brethren. Sure, you're saved by faith alone, but if you aren't in the church twice on sunday and wednesday night and if you don't forgoe drinking, smoking, chewing and loud rock music, you're a second-class Christian who has some growing to do.
The Reformed Christian is somewhat more Zenlike. You relax, and passively rely upon mercy and the grace that God alone can deliver. Use that thing outside yourself from God's hand to impute Christ's life to you forensically and to inhere Christ's life in you daily thereafter. Augustine expressed this when he prayed, "Grant what thou commandest and then command what thou wilt."
This prayer caused a British monk named Pelagius to offer the opposite sentiment. He was ultimately declared a heretic, because he openly taught salvation by works. The Roman Christian rejects Pelagius and his reliance on works for salvation, but Rome insists that you can lose your salvation if you do something to make shipwreck of your faith. Having committed such a mortal sin, Roman Christianity provides a mechanism for reconciliation. Roman Christianity has declared "semi-pelagianism" heretical, but it still mixes something called sacraments that are performed by the believer to unlock, or dispense God's grace.
My Baptist brethren have their own sacrament-like activities that they demand in order to dispense God's grace. I think "The Sinner's Prayer" or walking an aisle at a Revival Meeting or an Evangelistic Crusade. There are people who make money going around from church to church demanding such things of believers. Finneyism is a drug that loses potency with overexposure as the objects of such abuse develop a tolerance to psychological manipulation. This is much worse than Roman Christianity's sacraments, because at least the Catholic sacraments have more biblical warrant than "going to the prayer room."
Is walking the aisle at a Billy Graham crusade a work, or is it an act of faith? Rome claims that its sacraments and penances are not works, but the believer's response of faith. That line of reasoning applies to my brothers who recite "The Sinner's Prayer" to get saved and I can accept that.
The underlying concept is that God lets himself get entangled with some kind of religious machinery he's set up so that if you drop the right coin in the slot and push the right buttons thereon, God is obligated to dispense a dollop of grace in response.
This machinery is a form of "incantational magic," the stuff that Harry Potter does. And I don't believe in magic.