Wednesday, August 22, 2012
What is Biblical About Altar Calls? Nothing
I did not get saved going up to a front of a church. It was alone in prayer and in my bedroom. I am sure there SOME who legitimately DO. So do not get me wrong here, do I think everyone who answers an altar call is false? No, I do not, but I question what is a basic CROWD PSYCHOLOGY METHOD. I danced around this issue, on this older article: The Grahams: Easy Believism: Millions of Deceived.
Why do they call them ALTAR calls anyway? Remember what I wrote about ALTARS here. I have to admit, I don't like any methods that operate from CROWD MANIPULATION, that even impacts my opinion of all those single fingers pointed in the air. These preachers and others know how to work crowds, and know what works. Did the apostles and others preach to large crowds, sure they did, but there is a difference between preaching the truth and using crowd psychology to get a desired response.
Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
There is also the problem of instead of focusing on THE FAITH and BELIEVING, it has people focus on DOING SOMETHING. With the easy believism article, I pointed out how millions believed they were saved just by saying a "sinner's prayer", well unless the true inward believing and faith is there, that is just a rote action, same for GOING UP THE AISLE and sadly how many believe as a result of doing an altar call, that they are truly born again? There are no altar calls in the Bible. I believe there is definitely a link here to false professions and false confessions.
I only could find articles by Calvinists or Calvinist leading Baptists protesting altar calls, so didn't want to use any of those articles, but from reading their research, they all agreed Charles Finney, a Presbyterian pastor was the first to use it and that supposedly he was a pragmatic who focused on the numbers. We see that today, don't we? The focus on the numbers coming up. Preachers judging their own "success" by how many get up out of their seats and go up towards the front. My IFB used altar calls, usually towards the end of the service, people would go to the front to pray and kneel at the front of the church, this wasn't the big crowd production usually we had only very few new visitors because of the size of the church, but one can see that many of these huge conferences and popular preachers, like at Harvest Fest and Billy Graham used an altar call, kind of as the zenith to the whole program. How many times do we hear about the high numbers? How many of these pastors speak of the high numbers coming forward? I have read in various places and even today had a commenter talk about how often people at these "crusades" were often instructed to go up to the front, to help the program forward. Something is wrong with that.
Greg Laurie doing an altar call:
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.