Church camps and false professions

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by StefanM, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. StefanM

    StefanM
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    Ok, I'm not a Calvinist, but I must say that my Calvinistic brethren do not usually get into the trouble of forced (read: false) professions of faith.

    Now, I have something that has been bothering me. Church camps every year boast hordes of conversions, and I have known people who have been "saved" nearly every year at church camp.

    I find these problems at church camp:

    1. Convincing (even unintentionally) the saved that they are not saved, then promptly shoving them down the aisle

    2. Having such an emphasis on "walking down the aisle" that masses of children/youth make false professions

    I just see a problem when the same kids seem to go to camp every year, but we still have extremely high "conversion" numbers.

    Am I alone in this thinking?
     
  2. Timtoolman

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  3. whatever

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    Not alone at all. Many have problems with this kind of thing, Arminians as well as Calvinists.
     
  4. Dr.Tim

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    Wellllll.......
    There is an annual summer thing in a town kind of far from me. Numbers they have had run 2000+ for several years.. this year was 800.... Why do I find myself thinking 800 is better than 2000????
     
  5. Terry_Herrington

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    Maybe you think it would be better to have no camps and let them all go to hell. That way we wouldn't have to worry about "false professions."

    Although I fear that many young people make more than one profession of faith, at least it causes them to take into account their everlasting soul. I would imagine that many of these children are actually saved the first time; however, because they get no support from their homes, they continue to languish until they become more mature. As for me, I will take these professions over none at all. At least they are hearing the Gospel.
     
  6. StefanM

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    I'm not saying throw out the camp!

    I'm just worried that the campers might be coerced into decisions. Let the Gospel be proclaimed, for certain, but I'd rather not see the children shoved into the aisles.

    I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
     
  7. gb93433

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    The braggards love to boast of their ability to get people down the aisle. I actually had a visiting pasor/evangelist come at the recommendation of another pastor and that evangelists criticized me by elling me that very few came down the aisle. The fact was that I had seen more saved, baptized and discipled than they had ever seen in the history of that church. The people were used to hearing scripture preached and the gospel presented. The problem with him was they didn't fall for his manipulation.

    In the SBC in the Dallas Association a study was done some years ago and they found that some people had been baptized up to ten times.
     
  8. Humblesmith

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    Consider this: "walking down the aisle" is a relatively new concept in church history. It's only been around for less than 200 years. It was unknown prior to the early 1800's. Same with "alter calls" in general. Yet today we have churches that feel obligated to have alter calls at every function.

    Don't get me wrong.....I'm not necessarily bashing alter calls. But the emphasis on "coming forward" can be overblown, IMO.
     
  9. whatever

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    The problem comes when people put their faith in having made a profession. Many are taught to "remember the time" that they walked the aisle or were baptized or whatever. In this case it is not the Gospel that is being heard. Better to "remember the time" that Christ died for our sins, and let that be the ground of our faith, rather than trusting in something that I did in response to an altar call.
     
  10. Jeffrey H

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    Stefan,

    You're not alone in your thinking. Many kids go forward because of peer pressure from their friends. They figure, "Well, I have been kinda' bad the past year and I'm probably really not saved, so I'll go and pray again and make it right for sure this time."

    We often measure the success of camps on the number of "decisions" made. This includes the sacramental "re-dedication" which is often confused with being "born again" again.

    It's always good for kids (and adults) to be challenged to grow in their faith and to present the Gospel to those that don't know the Lord. Walking the aisle or coming forward should NEVER be confused with coming to the Lord for salvation. I suggest we stop the "coming forward" procedure and simply encourage those that want to put their faith in Christ to talk with an evangelist or counselor when the meeting is over.
     
  11. J. Jump

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    False professions of faith are a problem in any setting that they might occur. However, I would agree they tend to happen more at camp/revival type setting.

    And I think there are two problems that need to be addressed. One these false professors really don't understand what salvation is all about. So instead of just taking them at their word that they understand it we need to counsel them and make sure they know what's going on.

    Secondly we need to disciple them. And our churches are doing a very poor job of discipling any of their members, much less their newbies. Oh we pay lip service to discipleship, but for the most part its not going on in the US. But that's probably for another thread [​IMG]
     
  12. patrick

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    Thais where someone needs to take these kids of to the side and talk to them. Help them understand what is going on.

    I never give a public invite when , I speak. I tell them that if they want to know more talk to me afterwards. I set down with them and share the gospel. It works. I do publicaly share the plan of salvation but I counsel each person who wants to take the next step. I never use a public prayer. i have led may students to Christ. The Holy Spririt will convict.
     
  13. OCC

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    I don't think anyone is "coerced" into being saved. We have to persuade and compel people. However, I do recognize that can go too far. The only problem I see in all this is making SAVED kids go down the aisle. That is where I'd draw the line.
     
  14. StefanM

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    I'm not worried about preaching the Gospel to tell them to call on the name of the Lord and be saved. I'm worried about people who try to coerce people to walk down the aisle--there is a difference.
     
  15. 4His_glory

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    Camp, just like meetings with evangelists can be a problem. There is a lot of pressure that is used to solicit a resopnse. This is completly man centered. I doubt that the number of people saved is as high as many claim.

    We are to give the Gospel, invite people to respond and leave the rest with God. No man comes unless the Father draws him.
     
  16. OCC

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    Stefan...sorry for my mistake. Who was I to think I had something to contribute to the discussion. KingJames says "carry on"...
     
  17. StefanM

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    I apologize if I offended you. It was not my intention. I was clarifying what I meant, not attacking what you were saying.
     
  18. OCC

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    No problems Stefan. I misunderstood you.
     
  19. John Ellwood Taylor

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    The problem comes when people put their faith in having made a profession. Many are taught to "remember the time" that they walked the aisle or were baptized or whatever. In this case it is not the Gospel that is being heard. Better to "remember the time" that Christ died for our sins, and let that be the ground of our faith, rather than trusting in something that I did in response to an altar call. </font>[/QUOTE]good reading regarding sharing the gospel with children:
    http://ccwonline.org/cconv.html

    good article on altar calls/invitation system:
    http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/SC03-1050.htm
     
  20. TexasSky

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    Just asking for "methods" here.

    In a large group, where you can estimate you will not see 75% of them again, how do you identify them to disciple them if you don't offer some manner of alter call?

    I know there are false confessions, but most churches that use alter calls do individual counseling one on one to try to confirm the individual understands and in sincere. They also use the identification information to keep in contact with the person and teach them.

    So, how do you do that if you don't do an alter call?
     

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