Is the Altar Call Scriptural

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saturneptune, Jan 20, 2009.

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  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    I got this quote from a poster in another altar call thread.

    The op is not about whether or not you like an alter call. It is about how the gospel is presented in it.

    He has a good point, so here is a new thread. We have Scriptural basis for sermons, singing, praise, worship, prayer, the Lord's Supper, Scripture reading, and Baptism. Where in the Bible is the basis for the altar call or invitation? If there is none, why is it in our worship services?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    I can find none which resembles the modern altar call.

    I do find exhortations. I do find calls to repent. I do find calls to believe. But not as an appendage to a message or an afterthought to the worship service. Or something tacked on to the end of a telecast.

    I find is that the exhortations were part of the message. My favorite sermon is Paul's sermon on Mars Hill in Acts 17. He gave no invitation. His exhortation was a command from God. "God commandeth all men everywhere to repent." One more sentence after that and Paul simply stopped.

    When we exhort people to repent and believe, we are not inviting them. We are relaying God's command.

    John the Baptist's message was "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Not the end of the message, but the message itself. It was not a gentle urging.

    Jesus' message was "Except you repent, you will all likewise perish." That sounds like, "Repent or die" to me. Nothing gentle about that.
     
  3. Jerome

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    "...we must return to invitation, and set before the awakened mind the rich provisions of infinite grace which are freely presented to the sons of men. In our Master's name we must give the invitation, crying, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Do not be deterred from this, my brethren, by those ultra-Calvinistic theologians who say, ''You may instruct and warn the ungodly, but you must not invite or entreat them." ---Charles Spurgeon
     
  4. Jerome

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    "Do not close a single sermon without addressing the ungodly, but at the same time set yourself seasons for a determined and continuous assault upon them, and proceed with all your soul to the conflict. On such occasions aim distinctly at immediate conversions; labor to remove prejudices, to resolve doubts, to conquer objections, and to drive the sinner out of his hiding-places at once. Summon the church-members to special prayer, beseech them to speak personally both with the concerned and the unconcerned, and be yourself doubly upon the watch to address individuals. We have found that our February meetings at the Tabernacle have yielded remarkable results: the whole month being dedicated to special effort." ---Charles Spurgeon
     
  5. Jon-Marc

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    Even if we're not commanded in scripture to have an invitation at the end of the service, what is wrong with giving the unsaved an opportunity to accept Christ before turning them back out into the world? The only way many people will ever be reached is by someone inviting them to church. That was how I was saved--by an invitation from a friend. Otherwise, I never would have thought about God or church.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    The alter call shouldn't just be about the lost but about further opportunity to worship by way of being joyful over the word, making personal, private, and corporate commitments, Repentance, etc. It is not limited to the lost.
     
  7. Spinach

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    I find altar calls to be man's way of putting God on his own timetable.

    I've personally gone to the altar in the middle of a congregational song or inthe middle of the sermon.

    I've also not gone to the altar but fallen on my face right there in the pew---or once in the back of the church where I was shushing one of my noisy babies.

    The Holy Spirit is not bound by man's invitation to an altar call. The altar should always be open!
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    "Let all things be done decent and in order"



    Having order to the service is appropriate. Paul made that clear in 1 Cor 14.
     
  9. Spinach

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    When the Holy Spirit is in control, nothing is out of order.
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    And to many people want to use the HG to justify their rebellion against an ordered service.
     
  11. Spinach

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    While I suppose that is possible, I have never seen that happen in a church that allows the Holy Spirit to control.
     
  12. preachinjesus

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    It's not Scriptural but that doesn't make it appropriate in some cases.

    The modern atlar call was an invention of the past two centuries. It doesn't make it wrong. I don't know if the question: "is it biblical"? is always necessary either.

    I don't care for altar calls. They seem to provide a steep incline for those who have made and are going to make decisions. As well I've seen far too many that prey on emotionalism and push a decision.

    That said I know many who have seen lives truly changed.
     
  13. Jerome

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    "I fear that some of our orthodox brethren have been prejudiced against the free invitations of the gospel by hearing the raw, undigested harangues of revivalist speakers whose heads are loosely put together." ---Charles Spurgeon
     
  14. Jerome

    Jerome
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    "Do not let the Christians around you wonder when souls are saved, but urge them to believe in the undiminished power of the glad tidings, and teach them to marvel if no saving result follows the delivery of the testimony of Jesus." ---Charles Spurgeon
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    Which has an ordered service as prescribed by scripture.
     
  16. Spinach

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    Expound a bit.
     
  17. Salamander

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    The altar call is from the Lord to establish one,rebuild them, and most definitely attend them regularly.

    In an altar call, I am His spokesman.

    We open all our services with an altar call. :1_grouphug: Others opne with a prayer and many,many announcements.

    My experiences are that the spiritual atmosphere is greatly enhanced by an altar call in opening verses prayer and announcements.:thumbsup:

    We also end our service with an invitation to comes to the same altar we opened up in the beginning of the service.

    Our altars are always open, but it really helps to motivate prayer, you know, that thingy we're supposed to be doing as the means of making our requests made known unto God?

    Why anyone would object to an altar call is beyond comprehension, except they are critiquing it and failing to see the benefits to all who come with the right heart and mindset.:flower:
     
  18. Salamander

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    Just who "ordered" this service you refer to; man or the Holy Ghost?:smilewinkgrin:
     
  19. Jarthur001

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    God has not appointed salvation by enquiry-rooms. . . . For the most part, a wounded conscience, like a wounded stag, delights to be alone that it may bleed in secret.
    Charles Spurgeon
     
  20. Jarthur001

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    "I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, 'You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself.' My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will."---Charles Spurgeon
     
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