Altar Call

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Barnabas H., Apr 24, 2001.

  1. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H.
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    Could somebody comment on the modern phenomena called, "altar call." What do understand by it, and when did it start? I am interested about the contemporary practice of it, and not to be confused of the Old Testament altar. Pros and cons?! [​IMG]
     
  2. tlange

    tlange
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    Some people credit Charles Finney with what is known as the "invitation system." Some people use it, others stay away from it.

    I know that some pastors stay away from using it in an agressive fashion because it can be used in a manipulative fashion.

    I know that Peter Masters in one of the past issues of the Sword & Trowel deals with the invitation.

    I know that is not an exhaustive post, and I know that others will post more lengthy replies.

    This is the short version....
     
  3. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H.
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    Thanks for the input "tlange!" Do you have a longer version (perhaps with a link)? I would be interested to learn more about the (somewhat controversial) subject. ;)

    I liked your link to Baptist Missions to Forgotten Peoples, Inc. We know one of their missionaries, Jimmy Westbrook & wife. His father-in-law, Bro. Larry A. Holand, is our pastor. [​IMG]
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Part of admonishing one another (saved in the local baptist church) is confrontation with the truth of the Word of God.Paul said, <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>So I think some of the application of the "public invitation system" can work in our church. But most decisions are made privately in the heart or home, not at the "altar".

    As for 26 stanzas of "Just As I Am" to manipulate emotionally (or just thru fatigue) a response is unconcionable.

    Most churches with with I am familiar (traditional ifb'ers) have an invitational hymn and some sort of generic invitation out of habit. Going through the motions.

    Too bad they don't see it as a "modern innovation" (which it is) and move on in the evolution of a church service BACK toward the Book of Acts.
     
  5. dfd2

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    Ian Murray has written a pamphlet called the Invitation System it gives a history of the use and talks about pros and cons. you can get it from CBD for a small fee i think it was like $7. Charles Finney was the first one to use the invitation system or at least popularized its use. Ian Murray points out that even John Wesley and the early Methodists who beleived in Free-Will didnt use the altar call for they were afraid it would manipulate the will.
     
  6. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H.
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    Thank you for the info "dfd2," and welcome to the BB! Hope to read some more valuable postings from you hereafter. God bless.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    In the Roman Catholic tradition, think of the importance of the "altar".

    Place where the sacraments are kept. You "come forward" to receive Jesus in the wafer.

    Place of true repentance and introspection. You kneel before the altar and genuflect to show your loyalty and humility.

    Place where young men entering the priesthood and young women entering the convent lay out prostrate before the giant crucifix (always present), yielding themselves in the sacrament of "marriage" to Jesus.

    Place where the light of the Holy Spirit is always present.

    Place where the incense of prayer is offered.

    One of the great joys of the Reformation was to TEAR DOWN THE PAGAN ALTARS! They are not needed. Christ was crucified only once, and to have an ALTAR IS WRONG <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    My question is WHY have we Baptists reverted back to the pagan altar in our invitation system?
     
  8. Joy

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    Here's a small anecdote that really happened in our family- it'll make you think about altar calls-

    My Aunt is a foster parent, and had a small boy-Robbie- who is now her own adopted son- from the time he was 2. At age 4, during an invitation, he looked around and quietly watched as everyone held there heads low and the music played. He observed the same few people that went forward every Sunday, and then tugged at Mom's skirt and whispered in her ear, " Mom, why is everyone bowing down to Pastor Benson?" :D :eek:
     
  9. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H.
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    Ladies & Gentlemen; Thank you for all your valuable comments. It is greatly appreciated. Dr. Griffin, your Biblical discernment (as usual) is impeccable. Thank you!

    Incidentally, I looked into Christianbook.com and found the book mentione above by Ian H. Murray, the "Invitation System," and was able to secure it for $2.99 plus S&H (I ordered 10). Thanks for the info! [​IMG]
     
  10. tlange

    tlange
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bjh:
    Thanks for the input "tlange!" Do you have a longer version (perhaps with a link)? I would be interested to learn more about the (somewhat controversial) subject. ;)

    I liked your link to Baptist Missions to Forgotten Peoples, Inc. We know one of their missionaries, Jimmy Westbrook & wife. His father-in-law, Bro. Larry A. Holand, is our pastor. [​IMG]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks BJH.. I am still looking for my issue of the Sword and Trowel that has a whole article on it. I have some articles in my files on it. If I can remember the URL's, I will pass them along.
     
  11. TomVols

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    For you pastors out there, check out "The Effective Invitation" by Alan Street (Kregel). I think this is a balanced book on this touchy subject. Murray's work prefaced earlier is also excellent.
     
  12. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H.
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    Thanks for your valuable input Bro. TomVols! I have already checked the book out with CBD. [​IMG]
     

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