Altar Calls

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by menageriekeeper, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    Why do we have them?

    Who came up with the idea? How long ago was that?

    Are there better methods for discovering who the Holy Spirit is working on?

    Given that I see very few people walking the aisle for salvation, but rather see mostly those who have already been saved presenting themselves for membership (usually with prior notice to the pastor), what methods are your churches using that glean more people for Christ?
     
  2. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    hmm, not supposed to have posted here
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    Why not? You're Baptist.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    The Lord saved me during an invitation. I'm not against their use, I'm against their abuse.

    Any invitation which seeks to manipulate some response from the congregation bothers me. Such manipulative methods assume that the Holy Spirit needs help.
     
  5. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    They are not in the Bible and came about in popularity in the 1800's. Therefore, this is a recent invention. While am for calling people to Christ, I am not for an invitation system because it is an addition to a worship service that is unnecessary.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Wasn't it Charles Finney who perfected the altar call and the mourner's bench?

    And wasn't it Finney, at the end of his life, who said he wasn't sure anybody was ever saved as a result of his preaching and evangelistic "methods?"
     
  7. Zenas

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    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, Ruiz, but I'm curious about two things.

    How do you end your church service without an invitation?

    How do you receive new members?
     
  8. jbh28

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    Alter calls are biblical. Don't ask me where. Required are 18 verses of Just as I Am. Between each verse must be paused to put a guilt trip on those that are not coming forward.
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    Zenas,
    The word of the cross being preached is the invitation. believers baptism is the proper confession.
     
  10. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    MK-
    From Calvinism /Arminianism
     
  11. Alive in Christ

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    (Pastor speaking)....

    Well, we have had a wonderfull time of worship, prayer, fellowship and teaching. Go in the peace and the love of Jesus Christ. If anyone wants to speak with me, or any of our ministers, feel free to aproach us. We will be here for a while. God bless you.



    They express a desire to someone that they would like to speak with someone on staff, and off they go.
     
  12. Zenas

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    Yeah, yeah, I know, but between your sentences, what do you expect them to do before you lead them into the baptismal waters and when do they do it?
     
  13. Zenas

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    And you really do that? I'm pretty active in my own church so I don't visit around too much, but I have probably been in 40-50 different Baptist churches in my life and I have never seen a service closed without an invitation. Not saying it's wrong, I've just never seen it done.
     
  14. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    Yes, that is how we do it. Our pastor feels that "alter calls" are manipulative.

    (and, no..he is not a calvinist)
     
  15. dcorbett

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    My Pastor always has an invitation when there are visitors present. Sometimes on Sunday evenings, he will dispense with an invitation because everybody there is a church member. No, I am not saying that
    we know for sure that everybody there is saved, but this is when
    he sometimes decides not to have an altar call.

    I am fine with either. I pray during the altar calls.
     
  16. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    When a person desires to become a member, we will ask them to join a class where we teach them our beliefs and explain more about our church. They will then meet with the Elders to get to know the candidates better and to hear their testimony of salvation. Finally, they are then presented to the church at the end of a normal worship service.

    The churches I have been a part of have ended a couple of different ways. Sometimes we will sing a song then a benediction is declared. Others allowed for a time of silent meditation after the sermon and the congregation would then be dismissed. Currently, we sing a song, a benediction is declared, and we sing a benediction song.
     
  17. menageriekeeper

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    Now see I find the info in those quotes fascinating. Especially what I've highlighted in blue. My father used to always say "If they would only put off their trashy ways and do...and get saved" And I always wondered why he thought the doing would ever happen before the saving. That isn't how I read the scriptures. Sure, repentence must happen before salvation, but that's not what he was talking about. The implication was that folk needed to clean up on the outside before God would clean them up on the inside.

    He got away from that in later years as he began to experience that the clean up was the result of salvation, not the precursor. But I always wondered where he got that idea.

    What I highlighted in red, well, I've never been a real fan of Finney but now I know why. Who was he to denounce the ministries of other men called by God to serve? That sort of "I am the authority and everyone should follow me or you aren't really serving God" attitude just irritates the life out of me. I wonder why such was allowed even and even more, why did we adopt the practices of a man who held such an attitude?

    Oh, do you have a link or title/author for the quotes?
     
  18. JesusFan

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    The practice of it goes back to the day of pentacost, where peter made his 'alter call", and over 3000.00 came forward to receive Christ that day for their salvation, saved by the Grace of God!

    problem is that many i think are basing'hoping" that they are saved, based upon that experience, by saying a few words sincerely...

    people can be saved by God at the alter, but people can also delude themselves that being sorry and have an emotional experience/encounter with God equals salvation!
     
  19. JesusFan

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    Our baptist church does something similiar to that, as we have a 6 week class for people seeking membership, than elder follows up to interview the applicant, than is formally introduced before the congregation at a new members meeting!
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    Peter did not conclude his sermon in Acts 2 with an invitation. Actually, his sermon was interrupted by people who came under conviction from his preaching. Their question was "What shall we do?" They asked it not only of Peter, but also the other apostles.

    Peter's response was "Repent."

    V 40 says he continued to "testify and exhort."

    One may argue that this was, in fact, an invitation. If it was, it was nothing like what churches do today.
     

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