Do You Know Of...

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by preacher4truth, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    ...any person saved during an altar call at a church service, or other place where the Word was preached, and an invitation was given?

    Are any of those you know of who were saved during this service still serving the Lord?

    Does this make their faith void, because they came to Christ via what some call an unscriptural altar call invitation?

    Were you one who had gone forward during an altar call, and were saved at that time?

    If you were saved during an invitation, do you feel like you were being manipulated by the preacher?
     
    #1 preacher4truth, Dec 6, 2011
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  2. InTheLight

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    I personally know of at least 5 people and have known them for a lifetime.

    Serving the Lord? You mean reading their Bible, praying, and witnessing? Yes, they are.

    "Does this make their faith void?" I'll let God be the judge of that, but if their faith is void it's kind of curious that they've been following Jesus and practicing their faith for over 40 years, wouldn't you say?

    "What some would call unscriptural"... I would refer them to Romans 10:9-10.

    I did go forward at an altar call after months of listening to the gospel being preached and of being convicted of sin and realizing the need for a saviour.

    No, I felt that I was having my sin laid bare by the Holy Spirit.
     
  3. preacher4truth

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    I know of many persons saved during an invitation. Myself included. Many of these are still serving the Lord. I don't believe any of them felt manipulated. :)
     
  4. Winman

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    Yes, me. That is exactly how I trusted Christ about 46 years ago. And I have seen many, many others saved this same way.
    Not as good as I should, but I still go to church and I still tell folks about Jesus. And I know of many folks who got saved at an altar call who are still serving the Lord many years later.
    I could care less what folks think, when the preacher invited anyone who wanted to know from scripture how their sins could be forgiven and they could be saved I went down. Best decision I've ever made.
    Yes I was, when I was around 10-11 years old.
    No, I wanted to go down. I practically ran down to find out how I could be saved. I wanted it settled right then and there.
     
    #4 Winman, Dec 6, 2011
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  5. JesusFan

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    My church had 22 converts to Christ do such 2009/11 in 2010 not sure this year yet....

    Just curious as to how many people had an 'alter call" before their TV set while watching Billy Graham crusade!
     
  6. Winman

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    I had a friend (since deceased) who told me he accepted Jesus as his Saviour watching Billy Graham on TV. I remember the very day, he was full of joy.
     
  7. David Lamb

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    My answer to the question I have highlighted is: of course it doesn't. It's not the preacher that saves people - Christ does! It's not the invitation (or lack of it :) ) that saves people - Christ does!

    A sinner might be given the idea that they must have been converted because they got up out of their seat and walked to the front, and in that case, it may be that they are not truly saved. Do they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Then they are saved. Do they walk to the front in response to an invitation? Then unless they believe on Jesus Christ, they are not saved.
     
  8. preacher4truth

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    I've not seen the intent of an invitation for any other reason than for those who are coming forward to acknowledge they are trusting Christ alone for salvation.

    I have seen preachers ask folks to pray a prayer from their seat, and "slip up your hand so only you and I can see it, no one looking around, if you just prayed that prayer. Yes, yes, I see your hand!" I have an issue with this being done.
     
  9. JesusFan

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    that is why my church makes a big deal of folowing up with those professing Christ at the "alter call", as we line them up to speak with either pastors/Elders, one form the pastoral staff prayer team, just to confirm they realise what just happened!
     
  10. preacher4truth

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    I find it interesting that people say when a preacher gives an invitation or altar call he is then not trusting the Holy Spirit. What an opinionated and judgmental statement. I mean, do we dislike things that everyone does, and we are big judges sitting back condemning others, like we know what is really going on with their motives as some sort of spiritual experts? It seems to me that here on the BB almost "everything" is condemned that others do, and only we have it down Scripturally, "everyone" else is in error.

    Perhaps the preacher is trusting the Holy Spirit, and gives an invitation to trust Christ/show ones self as being saved? Don't do the judgmental thing and paint all preachers with some broad brush as if all who give an invitation are being manipulative and what not. It's ridiculous.

    I guarantee you those saved on Pentecost came forward somehow to be recognized and to be baptized, and we also see Peter pleading with them to be saved. Oh the thought of it, how dare him! :rolleyes:

    When Paul preached, those who were saved must have made some sort of acknowledgment. They had to. They were baptized. I don't thing they just magically appeared in the pew via some pneumatic tube.

    We have preachers that say "If you would like to talk to the preacher, elder about the service, come and see us and..." This is an invitation also! There is no difference if it is stated during the end of the service to do it "publicly" or to do it after the service. Please all spare me with the manipulative preachers and your examples of such. I am talking of doing it the way I've described in not being manipulative. And it makes no difference if you throw in the word "altar" they're still both invitations. And please share with me in Scriptures where a preacher invited others to see them, or elders after the service, or where a "membership class" is held in Scriptures.

    Let's not over complicate the salvation of souls and be so quick to condemn someone because we don't see an exact order of services laid out in the Scriptures. I can see application of invitation in Acts. I can't however see holding a membership class for several weeks which all know leads to baptism at the end. None of our methods produce regenerate persons due to the methods we employ, and just because you THINK yors is more Scriptural doesn't mean it is. Preaching the Gospel does its work and God acts through this, and although some may not like it, many persons have been saved at an invitation, or altar call. Peters admonition to be saved could be called an "invitation" in way of admonition and exhortation.

    Now, are some preachers perhaps manipulative or what not? Yes, I know, the music goes on and on and on and on, and I've heard all of the guit trip accusations too, yes, if this happens it is not good.
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    Yes, lots. One of my ministry mentors, a great man of God, was saved at an altar call during a Billy Graham crusade.

    See above, and yes...absolutely.

    I don't understand the question. Altar calls are an a-biblical topic. Though not exampled in Scripture they are not prohibited either. Frankly you can do whatever you want at the end of a service or presentation and the decision people make counts. Altar calls are one, for many a very good, option.

    I received Christ during a conversation with my home church pastor while I was growing up. I went forward that Sunday to publicly confess that decision.

    No. But I do understand the concern. While at Liberty U during my undergraduate days we had these passionate evangelists come through that would prate on emotionalism at the end of their messages to compell a response. I saw manipulation in a lot of those moments.

    Most people recognize manipulation when they see it. Yet who are we to say that someone is being "unduly" influenced by emotionalism in an altar call. We have no ability to rationally make that determination. Just because some people use overwraught emotionalism doesn't disqualify altar calls.
     
  12. glfredrick

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    What you are doing is "begging the question" and you have an underlying assumption that the altar call is off limits because it is not found in precisely the same manner as often used in the Scriptures.

    While I tend to agree that the altar call is not particularly scriptural, neither are many of the other things we do in today's church. That doesn't make them wrong, just something not discussed. The argument is an argument from silence. The Bible cannot be against something it does not mention, but it does mention the calling for repentance and salvation, so in general some particular means of doing so would likely fall under that heading and be legitimate as a practice.

    Second, I would admit that a good many pastors, especially those who tend toward an un-Calvinistic view of soteriology, do indeed use whatever human means possible to get people to make a decision for Christ. That will automatically get some folks here on the board up in arms, but hear me out first. Paul dealt with some men who were preaching the gospel out of motives that were not Christocentrically pure. His take on the issue? As long as the gospel is preached...

    That does not make the practice right, but at the end of the day, salvation is of God and no matter what human agencies we employ, it is still of God. There are no "invalid salvations" unless there is no salvation at all. A conversion to mere religious zealousness with no true "born again from above" experience is an invalid salvation and one that is no salvation at all, but any salvation where Christ makes one a new creation through justification, regeneration, adoption, etc., is a true salvation no matter the means used to get to that point.

    Third, you ask if any who accepted Christ during some form of altar call are still serving the Lord. I would suggest that all those who were truly saved are indeed likely still serving the Lord and with that, that a preponderance of persons filling churches that require a regenerate membership stemmed from some form of altar call.

    That, in and of itself, still does not make the practice right, but rather simply serves to exemplify the fact that God saves when His Word is preached, even if preached by those who hold wrong doctrine, wrong motives, or who, perhaps, are not even saved themselves (and yes, I have seen that).
     
  13. preacher4truth

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    Thanks for your answer preachinjesus. To the point about does this make their faith void, it is a play on others who vehemenently call this unscriptural to the point it seemingly calls into question the validity of salvation of those who go forward.

    Good last point and I agree. I don't think we are qualified to state that those who do this are not trusting the Holy Spirit. This is an unfounded, judgmental and unnecessary accusation.
     
  14. preacher4truth

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    Brother,

    Have you actually taken time to see my stand on altar calls displayed within this thread? Your assumptions are incorrect here, and actually it looks as if what you believe is akin to what I believe.

    My stand is NOT that they are off limits. I apologize, but somehow you've read this into my OP.

    Peace brother. :thumbsup:
     
  15. Amy.G

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


    I am so sick of all the judging that goes in the body of Christ. It is sickening.
     
  16. Amy.G

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    I don't like the word "altar" because I see nothing in the NT church regarding altars. Altars were for OT sacrifices. However, that's just my own personal hangup.

    Invitation on the other hand is very important IMO. A person who comes into church under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and has never had experience in church settings will benefit from an invitation. If they are saved as they sit in the pew they have no idea what to do next. Invitations are simply a way to make a profession of faith public, which we are to do right? They also get a new convert in touch with the pastor to find out what's next, like baptism, church membership, bible study. At my church prospective members have to attend a new member's class for a few weeks, which I think is a wonderful thing.
    In my last church, membership was accepted regardless of what your doctrine was. In fact, it was never questioned. No wonder that church is messed up.
     
  17. Jerome

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    News flash.

    Those who favor altar calls/general invitations are "bound by ignorance":

    The so-called Founders site counsels aspiring Baptist church "Reformers" that they may have to just plug their nose and "accomodate" the benighted, nonCalvinist practice:

     
  18. Jerome

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  19. preacher4truth

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    Looking past your pejorative above, address the questions in the OP.
     
  20. preacher4truth

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    It is old.

    There are many persons within the body of Christ who were saved at a service that used an "altar call" or "invitation."

    I believe Peter used an "invitation" to those who heard him preach. I wouldn't call him "bound in ignorance." :)
     

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