Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Altar Call


Perhaps the most popular "whipping boy" of the Reformed Hybrid Calvinist camp of theology is the "altar call" or the "public invitation."

The "Pryomaniacs" website has opened up for its readership to suggest a "better idea," and that despite the fact that it might safely be presumed that 9 of every 10 who comment on that blog were probably converted in relation to an altar call or public invitation.

Even the wealthy gentleman who bank-rolled the Banner of Truth Trust, which is one of the primary critics of public invitations, is said to have "received an assurance of his salvation in Jesus Christ" at an altar prayer at St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem in December of 1955 (Banner of Truth Magazine, No. 93, page 2, June 1973).

I have often read items critical of public invitations and in most cases they were written by persons whose own conversions were related to public invitations. Some, after their "indoctrination" into the Hybrid Calvinism of the Reformed camp, later say they were saved "despite" the invitation.

Oh, well, it is no marvel that it has been observed that a number of the anti-invitation churches fail to evangelize by any method and thus fail to make converts, their memberships dwindled, and some of them have even closed their doors. They didn't seem to have a "better idea" on how to invite lost men and women to come to Christ and confess Him as Lord and Saviour.

Some have utilized other methodology in soliciting professions of faith, such as the "Invitation to the Pastor's Office," which was the practice of the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel in London.

I have written several articles in which I think I have just about replied to every conceivable objection to public invitations, and you can find a number of these articles at this link:

Select Writings of Bob L. Ross

Among my writings are some articles in reply to Pedobaptist Ian Murray, who has written against the use of public invitations, and is responsible for much of the anti-invitation palabber of the current age.
Others basically simply repeat Murray's objections.

I also wrote a reply to Flounders' Founder Ernest Reisinger's criticisms. Ernest himself is said to have prayed "The Sinner's Prayer" and afterwards professed faith during an invitation in an "Arminian" Salvation Army meeting. His experience is somewhat typical of how many, if not most, of the anti-invitationists were converted. It seems that most of our current crop of alleged "Calvinists," like Reisinger, were brought to Christ under alleged "Arminian ministries" which used "Arminian methods," and afterwards they adopted the "Reformed" theology which made it necessary for them to somehow "explain" why those methods were wrong and they "got saved in spite" of the "Arminian methods."

If it weren't for the alleged "Arminians" bringing in the "elect," we wonder how they would be brought into the fold. It has been my observation for over 50 years that most of the "Calvinists" I have known testify that they were evangelized and brought to profess faith by those whom they were later pleased to identify as "Arminian."

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At Thursday, August 13, 2009 12:37:00 AM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


The following was submitted by Ian D. Elsasser:

Have you noticed the inconsistency of those who allege altar calls are not found in Scripture and then proceed to suggest alternatives which are likewise not found in Scripture? I also find humorous that they always portray altar calls in the worst possible light in order to discredit it. While abuses certainly do take place, many are the proper uses of this tool as a means to encourage those under conviction to step up for counsel concerning salvation in Christ through repentance and faith. Their prejudice against altar calls or similar tools in evangelism blinds them to their own contravention of their own principle that only what is found in Scripture is permitted. Honesty should require them to recognize that Scripture does not always describe in minutae every practice of the early church and that some practices not mentioned are not necessarily to be shunned unless the Scriptures clearly speak against them. I would encourage them to evaluate everything done in their churches and everything found in their churches for biblical warrant. I suspect they will discover many things are not found in the Scriptures and yet they still do and have them.

At Friday, February 04, 2011 4:18:00 PM, Blogger Stegokitty said...

Altar calls are not only unbiblical, they are the invention of a wicked man, Charles G. Finney. The Church is called to make disciples, not converts. There is no language in the Bible that someone "got saved". Salvation is threefold - we are saved (justification), we are being saved (sanctification), we shall be saved (glorification). You can't have one without the other. I challenge you to find any practice done in my church that is not found in the Scriptures. I thank God we do NOT practice altar calls. What! You're going to say that your church doesn't dim the lights, or play the organ low, and use emotional manipulation in order to get a cattle call count at the end of the service? I doubt this will be published.


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