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Featured What does the altar call mean to you?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by joe77, May 11, 2019.

  1. joe77

    joe77 New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I’m struggling with the alter call at my church and with my husbands family. Some important information about me is that I grew up in the Church of God which has several differing views from Baptist. And now attend a Baptist Church with my husband. At the Church of God EVERYONE went to the alter call. It was strange when someone didn’t. Not only were people praying for themselves but you prayed for the other people up there. They had a more philosophy that if you weren’t growing in Christ you were moving away from him. Your relationship could always be more or better or closer. I love to go to the alter call. My church now makes it feel like the alter is open to anyone who wants to get saved. I know I’m saved. I have no doubt about that. But I don’t think I’m living my best relationship with Christ. But in all honesty no one is. Even the closest walk with Christ can improve. My husband asks me if I’m ok every time I go up there and I’m certainly the only one who goes every week. I don’t want to find a new church because I love everything else about this church and my husband and kids love it too. So basically my question is what I said above. What does the alter call mean to you?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    The altar call has no.place in a Baptist church
    It was part of Charles Finneys new measures which were.a fleshly innovation.
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    Perhaps you should google Charles Finney to discover its origins. Years ago they did the weekly alter call at a church I belonged to and I did go up there on occasion. Here is the thing, I wasn’t saved and it didn’t save me. Not till the Holy Spirit visited me was I saved. Now if you are saved there is no need to walk the isle is there? Then it’s , how shall I say this.... ah rote / a works thing. So to sum it up, are you in a state of Grace already ...a Devine work of the Holy Spirit or are you looking to do it yourself? The Lord knows your heart sister so relax and enjoy your worship time with Him.
     
  4. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    After 50 plus years in various church ministries in 4 different churches I have seen few permanent results from altar calls.
    By few it would seem that the altar call affected only a few which probably would have happened altar call or no ??
     
  5. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    I'm not a fan.
     
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  6. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    I once attended a church, Baptist, where the pastor would ask anyone who wanted to come to the altar at the beginning of the service and pray when he prayed his morning pastoral prayer. Anyone who wanted could pray aloud, one at a time, or to themselves. After everyone had the opportunity to pray, the pastor would finish with his prayer.

    It set a wonderful, worshipful atmosphere.

    For Baptist, imo, the "altar call" is looked at as a time when repentant sinners are getting right with God, or the unsaved are getting saved, and not as a time of general worship or fellowship with God.

    That is probably why your husband thinks something is "wrong". Your backgrounds are a little different and he is probably confused as to your motivation.

    Peace to you
     
    #6 canadyjd, May 11, 2019
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  7. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    From my childhood, 'Just As I Am' sung over and over and over again....
     
  8. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    There is the altar in heaven where Jesus opened the way for us to approach.

    If there is an earthly "altar call" at best it is but an indication that we have responded to that call in Spirit:
    Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Well-Known Member
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    I don't have a problem with the altar call. During our altar calls people can come and pray for …. well, whatever they want to pray about. And of course, they can do so right at their seat.

    Sometimes, my pastor will ask for whoever wishes to come to the altar and as a collective pray for a certain person or issue. And yes, he says, pray at your seat if you can't bend down on your knees".

    To each his/her own.
     
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  10. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    One pastor I know of wanted "Just As I Am" sung every time!
    Same song, Sunday after Sunday.
    but what can you tell him?
     
  11. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I am not a fan either. Too many times listening to endless refrains of "Just as I am" until someone...anyone...came down the aisle. I think people came down the aisle just to end the worship service!
     
  12. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    "Alter Call" is figure of speech. There are no alters in front of the assembly of believers. The alter is our Christ in the presence of God in Heaven. The giving an invitation to come forward for counciling to receive Christ or prayer is neither wrong nor a required thing a church should do. I do not think it to be bad.
     
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  13. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    No... enough already
     
  14. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    My first visit to a PB church I was shocked, dumfounded, when someone called for 'Just As I Am' during the regular song service. Since they don't give emotional 'altar calls' to 'walk the aisle' the song doesn't carry the stigma as an 'invitation song only'.
     
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  15. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    First, ignore the ridiculous accusations of the alter call belonging to Finney. Also ignore that criticism of decisional salvation.

    The alter is the place, set aside, where you get into a prayer posture and worship God in prayer. It can be used for salvation, weeping or rejoicing. There are plenty of Baptist Churches where the alters are regularly filled in Sunday morning. Why are our churches not wanting to call out to God in our worship services? Contentment has lead to many laodicean churches.
     
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  16. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    That pastor...Charles Spurgeon!

    The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit

    "Recollect that hymn which ought to be sung every Sabbath-day in our assemblies—

    'Just as I am—and waiting not
    To rid my soul of one dark blot,
    To thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
    O Lamb of God, I come.'

    Every verse begins with 'Just as I am,' and so must your prayer, your faith, your hope begin. The whole hymn commences 'Just as I am,' and so must your Christian life be started. The Lord invites you..."

    from his sermon "Conversions Encouraged"

    Hallelujah!
     
  17. LDE

    LDE New Member

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    Hi Joe, At first I figured it was to make a public profession to accept Jesus or to join that church .. Now I figure ''use that alter'' if they call, then go pray or get some prayer, no need to get rusty and you sure ain't there to show off your clothes .. If you need healing then carry your own anointing oil if you have to and ask for the elders to pray , lay hands and quote the scripture/anoint you like James 5:13-15 says to .. Go back next week again if you have to .. It is not the person it is acting in faith in the Word and the Person ..
    Keep going as you feel led .. You may help break the ice for someone else who may be afraid .. God Bless ..
     
  18. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Tradition has a great deal to do with what churches consider worship and prayer.

    For example, there is no place in Scriptures we are told to say the words “in Jesus name” in relation to a prayer to the Father. Yet we feel uneasy acknowledging the authority and power of God (as we should) and then saying “amen.” Tradition obliges and we conform.

    You need to discuss this quietly with your husband. Allow him and Him the privilege to guide you into the truth.

    My wife holds my hand. To her it is a signal of our relationship as partners before God and as she takes my hand she places her trust in Him leading me. She knows I would never prevent her from the altar, and when she goes it is to bring help to another burdened lady.

    My Bride and I spend much time discussing God and what we have learned through His Word. We have both been confronted with issues of the assembly in which we must ascribe as unimportant that we be conformed to Him.

    Christ loved the church, gave his life for the church, but not the traditions of the church, rather the people of the church.
     
  19. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I can only speak from experience, but mine is that the "alter call" (we typically call it an invitation) is a time for those who have been wrestling with God's call to salvation, called to join the church, have specific needs that were not addressed in the service, ect. to make that known.

    I like the practice more than simply dismissing the congregation. I think that it is always good to provide such an opportunity and (as a congregationalist at heart) I believe it is good to come before the congregation.
     
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  20. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, ours is in the beginning of the service.
     
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