Reformed Altar Calls?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by preacher4truth, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    For our reformed brothers and sisters.

    We all know the issue about "choosing" Christ for salvation, and that this is frowned upon in the camp in a sense.

    So, how do you accept those who have come to knowledge of Christ as Savior among those in your church?

    Do you ask them if they have chosen Christ?

    How do you "validate" their experience, what is your methodology?

    I for one am not "for" putting them through a class, and then presenting them for baptism so much, as I see this can lend itself toward making mental assent to truth. There have been several who have gone through a "new members" class who have seemingly been led down a road to a desired end, and that is to present them for baptism. This cannot ensure true conversion by any means. I can't say that any less have slipped trhough the cracks with this methodology.

    What do you do to help ensure these are "true" conversions?

    What do you do if one says they want to choose Christ, or, that they have decided to trust Christ as Savior?

    In my understanding, we explain that their conviction and drawing is Christ choosing them, and confirm their faith in Christ alone among other things.

    How do you handle this?

    Do some come forward and "choose" Christ and you just accept this, and make certain you don't let any "non-cal" know this?

    :)
     
  2. convicted1

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    This should be a really good thread; I really mean this.

    I will set in the "peanut gallery" and read only, seeing that I am not of the reformed camp. I'll keep an eye out Brother P4T. :tonofbricks::laugh::tonofbricks::laugh:
     
  3. Amy.G

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    I think I need pie for this one

    [​IMG]
     
  4. convicted1

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    well, so much for the reformed responding only, Brother P4T. :laugh:
     
  5. preacher4truth

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    I think it can be/should be enlightening and every one needs to be forthcoming, and not formulate something that they come up with, or what sounds good theologically, but rather what they practice!

    I love to confront things we do and for the sake of genuinely facing ourselves.

    Bro, you didn't leave me room for an emoticon, so I deleted one of yours, the one that had only one eye! :laugh:
     
  6. preacher4truth

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    Maybe I should've included the deformed as well? :laugh: :tonofbricks:

    Forgive until 70 X 7!
     
  7. preacher4truth

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    Pie, 'possum and popcorn is NOT good for your figure!!! :laugh:
     
  8. DaChaser1

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    Wouldn't that be the same though for either reformed/non, cal/arm?

    The person would validate that jesus was their saviour, that they believed unto him, was saved by his grace and mercy, and that they would show a change of some type from what they were either acting/thinking before this?

    My church dies do 'alter calls", but we also look for 'signs", wether changed life or changed mindsets, to validate the truth of the conversion!

    We accept that the Lord can and does move upon people in order to save them, but take a 'wait and see" approach, as either the pastor or one of the elders will speak with person, and will try to get them set on sound practices such as prayer, bible reading!
     
  9. Ruiz

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    Baptism is the public display of believe in Christ. This is how we acknowledge those who have come to Christ.

    I ask two questions. First, what is the Gospel? Secondly, describe how you came to beleive in the Gospel.

    I am not sure I like the word "validate", but we do ask many questions and get into details on the Gospel and their understanding. We also want to see a changed life.

    While there can be issues with people making a mental assent with just head knowledge, so is there with those making an emotional assent while being ignorant. We want to avoid both. Our New members class is for Christians who have been Baptized and are joining us from another church. We want them to know us better and we want to know them better. Our membership class is designed to meet those two needs.

    Our Baptism discussions include the membership issues but we also focus on the salvation of the individual.

    They should have an accurate understanding of the Gospel, have a credible profession of faith, and are demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit.

    We take them through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We encourage them to repent and believe in Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.

    We believe in faith, faith is the evidence of God's predestination.

    You do not have to believe in the Calvinism in order to be saved, but you have to believe in the Gospel.
     
  10. preacher4truth

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    For the record nothing I stated herein implied I believe the above statement, nor is this the intent of the OP.

    The intent of the OP is clear; I am wanting input on others methodologies within its context.


    Thanks.
     
  11. gb93433

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    I really do not care what someone calls it. I care what the Bible calls it as in John 1:12.
     
  12. preacher4truth

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    This isn't about what one calls it, it's about others methods in their churches.
     
  13. matt wade

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    I always figured Calvinists just waited until the hand of God bodily picked them up and carried them down the aisle.
     
  14. gb93433

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    When one is born again you do not have to persuade him that he is. Scripture says, "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God," I do not have to tell a baby that he is born. The baby knows what to do.
     
  15. gb93433

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    I have seen some who prepare them by persuasion leading to a spiritual desert and as a result they stop sharing their faith in Jesus.
     
  16. preacher4truth

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    No, you're right, I've never had to persuade them, they knew God chose them.

    However, I've had some in the past that made "a decision" or "chose" that needed some serious counsel and assurance prior to my understanding of Sovereign Grace.

    In addition, we assure our folks by the NT and the NT epistles, while making them aware God has chosen them, which is why they were drawn, and show them how they are elected in God. These folks are grounded in the truth. As a matter of fact, we've had none who are grounded this way who needed extra assurance. By the way, they love to share their faith, sorry about your desert situation and the halt in sharing their faith among you.
     
    #16 preacher4truth, Jan 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2012
  17. annsni

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    My husband and I have spoken about this a lot and we don't believe alter calls are good - especially how they have been practiced as we've seen. What we've seen is the emotional plea, the "Just As I Am" or other similar hymn played over and over again in the background, the "God is calling you!! You feel Him. Just stand up and walk forward to be saved!" sort of thing. All the heads bowed...but everyone peeking - the whole set-up. We don't like it. Instead, at the end of the message, my husband will usually say something along the lines of "If you have heard something in today's message that makes you want to ask more or if you feel God calling you today and just don't know how to respond to Him, come to me after the service and we'll talk. I'll be here for as long as you need." No need for emotional manipulation. God takes care of the encouragement. We just catch the fish. :)
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    I don't think you'll find complete unanimity among Reformed folks about altar calls. Nor will you find consistence among Non-Reformed, either.

    I've had pastors both Cal and Non-Cal. All the non-Cals pastors gave invitations. Both the Cal pastors gave invitations, but not in every service.

    The difference was in the method. The Cals rarely made appeals. It was more like, "if the Holy Spirit is dealing with you, or if you desire to join our fellowship, we give you an opportunity to respond publicly."

    There might be one verse of a hymn, and if there was no response, that was it.

    The non-Cals methodology was pretty much typical of most Baptist churches I'm familiar with. Some were gentle appeals, but some were pretty hard sell.

    And, unfortunately there were a few I'll-do-anything-say-anything-try-any-trick-to-get-somebody-in-the-service-to-move.

    Interestingly enough, I learned during a mission trip to Romania, that Romanian Baptists, though non-Calvinist, never did invitations.

    The pastor explained to me, "we have come to believe that it's not necessary to create an atmosphere in which the Holy Spirit can work. When the Spirit is working, we do not have to beg. They will come to us."
     
  19. preacher4truth

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    Do you ever do an altar call?
     
  20. annsni

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    This is exactly what hubby and I have come to feel - and we've seen it in real life as well!
     

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