Are Altar Calls Biblical?
Are altar calls biblical? If they aren’t, then why are so many evangelical churches doing them? The altar is mentioned often in the Scriptures, but there’s no mention of an altar call. Then again, we’re not told that the 3,000 who were saved on the day of Pentecost came forward to some sort of ‘altar’ or place of prayer. The problem I have with modern-day altar calls isn’t so much the call to come forward as with all the trimmings that come with it – music to stir the emotions, counselors coming forward to encourage a response (and to stop the preacher from looking stupid if there’s no response). Add to that the fact that many altar calls aren’t calling people to repentance, but to a happier life-style, and it’s easy to see the damage that is being done to the cause of the gospel.
Preach sin and Christ to sinners not altar calls. As Spurgeon says,
No sinner looks to the Saviour with a dry eye or a hard heart. Aim, therefore, at heart-breaking, at bringing home condemnation to the conscience and weaning the mind from sin. Be not content till the whole mind is deeply and vitally changed in reference to sin. (The Soul Winner)
For more on this subject, see the Trust’s booklet The Invitation System by Iain Murray.
Hope of the Church October 15, 2021
To help us in the dealings of our lives we should have such a conception of God as not to limit him in our thoughts. When we are in extremity we must not tie him to this thing or to that thing. He can make matter out of nothing. Why should we limit the unlimited […]
The Prayer Meeting September 3, 2021
Why bother coming to the prayer meeting? In the pecking order of many congregations, it is somewhere below the much-lamented evening service. In the priorities of too many Christians, it seems to have little value. It’s the one we can afford to miss. It’s the one to which we don’t, or maybe wouldn’t, take our […]