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Your Church Have An Alter Call

Does your church have an alter call. Why or why not?

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 ---Alan on 6/30/06
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I would not be there if we did not.
---Robyn on 8/18/10

Yes when The Holy Ghost leads, at any & all times during the service.
---Lawrence on 8/16/10

In order to be saved you must make an alter somewhere. I have heard of people being saved in corn fields or in barns.
An alter is an excellent place to come and humble yourself before God.
---brent8575 on 1/22/08

The Alter is a place that like the baptism pool is set aside for the public affermation of faith. The alter cannot save you or any more the being baptized can. It's where anyone (whosoever) may come seeking answers, it's a place that some feel closer to God. Their are times that a public affirmation of faith inspires others. Arn't we to "so let our light shine that the world see it and glorifys God"?
---Dave on 1/22/08

As long as people get born again it does not matter whether through an altar call or what. Just don't let Jesus come back and catch you out of the will of God. Don't be like five of the ten virgins in the bible. That will be the saddest part. Stay ready to meet our Lord. He will be making His arrival one day soon.
---Robyn on 10/22/07

Mark - yes I have seen the altar call change lives too.

I have had the sinner's prayer change my life in an instant. Churches that are so into controlling the service that they are afraid of emotionalism must not be reading about pentecost. It was passionate and so moving 3000 people went to that "altar".
---Andrea on 10/22/07

Our church doesn't do "alter calls" because there is no Biblical precedent for it. It is an unnecessary modern act which can serve to give false hope to some who think they may be saved because they walked an isle & repeated a few words. That is not the hallmark of saving faith & is most often the result of emotional manipulation (enter the sad music & the preachers emotional voice). I've been a member of a church that did alter calls & it is primarily just emotional theater.
---Terrance on 10/22/07

I do not know about the rest of you but I have seen the altar call alter lives. note spellings.
---MARK on 3/25/07


The Table of the Lord is an altar, see Malachi 1:7-12. And it continues in the NT, 1 Cor 10:21.

The sacrifice is not as simple as you think. The Priest/Presbyter offers up bread and wine as an unbloody sacrifice to God, this mimics what Jesus showed us at the last supper - this we do in remembrance of Him. During the concecration, Jesus becomes the bread and wine. Not the corpse from the cross, but all of him: body, blood, soul and divinity. This is not a sin offering.
---lorra8574 on 3/25/07

Can you please provide BCV for authority for having an altar call? (Note the spelling.)

If you will read the descriptions of Christian worship in the early centuries before Constantine, catechumens (those who had not been baptized yet) left after the sermon. The "altar call" to receive Communion was only for the faithful.
---Jack on 3/25/07

Jack, even the Oxford English Dictionary is aware of the practice when it states of 'altar': "2.a. In those Christian Churches which celebrate the eucharist or communion service as a sacrifice, the raised structure consecrated to this celebration." But I'll defer to those who know more about this aspect of theology for now. Are there any (ex-)priests among us?
---danie9374 on 7/3/06

2 RC's as in laymen or priests?
What is the CCC?
---Bruce5656 on 7/2/06

I just checked with 2 RCs and the CCC,and all say that the idea that Christ is sacrificed over and over again is a heresy.
---Jack on 7/2/06

The truth of the Catholic church is that they sacrafice Christ in every mass, so that He can be present with them. The body and the blood of Christ, if you don't believe me ask Emcee, and he will tell you and so will Ruben. They are very much into that sacrafice. Its not in rememberance of Him but to have Him present, where as Christianity already believes He is present all through the new birth in the New believer through by Spirit.
---Lupe2618 on 7/2/06

>>this eventually led to the idea of 'sacrificing Christ' over and over again in the RCC 'mass'<<

This is not the teaching of the RCC.

But what does truth have to do with things, as long as one can bash the Catholics?
---Jack on 7/2/06

Daniel, thank you for your impute. I read it all and it totally true. It was a great explanation not only on the Altar but on the leading of the Holy Spirit. Something many forget about. The Spirit working in the heart of a person to convict him of his status as a sinner against God, and a repented heart due to the conviction of the Spirit. Not by pressure, or because others did it, or by tradition, but because of the Spirit working in his heart
---lupe on 7/2/06

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[8] having set up churches there, in Colosse, Hieraplois and elsewhere, you won't find a single mention (look in Ephesians, Colossians, etc.) of a physical 'altar' in any of them (only historical refs. to the Temple in 1 Cor. 9:13,10:18; Hebrews, and figuratively in Heb. 13:10). Buildings are great for meeting together, but never forget the real 'church' is God's people! It takes some 'twisting of Scripture' to think otherwise.
---danie9374 on 7/2/06

[7] In Acts 19:8 ff., we see Paul witnessing for Christ in a synagogue for 3 months (he was often 'thrown out literally' much sooner; this time he left on his own when he could no longer reason with those Jews who became 'hardened' and spoke "evil of the Way"). But he ended up spending TWO YEARS "reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus" (in Ephesus) with those who believed, and witnessing to others. Acts 20:31, adds another YEAR (after the riot there). In all that time, [cont.]
---danie9374 on 7/2/06

[6] But when some preacher is yelling over and over that you just gotta come right now... play that chorus again Sam,... well, I pray that the Spirit really was working in most of the poor souls lives who have to endure that type of message... that God knew they needed that and will *not* 'fall away' (never were truly saved) as many do.

I want to draw everyone's attention to a particular passage easily overlooked:
---danie9374 on 7/2/06

[5] simply teaching God's Word and allowing the Spirit to truly save someone! I've personally encountered some who simply 'go forward' out of 'peer pressure' or being 'psychologically induced' by the events and conditions (and suspect there are many) instead of the leading of the Holy Spirit. I don't mind one bit (and fully support) there being an announcement immediately after the preaching, if anyone wants to pray or be saved from their sin; whatever, they can see someone [in some room]. [Cont.]
---danie9374 on 7/2/06

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[4] Where is God's 'presence' today? It's in all Believer's bodies (collectively) that the Spirit dwells (1Cor.3:16); not the Temple in Israel; nor any other building. So, let's not call a table that simply holds the communal elements an altar!
OTOH, I understand Jack's comment about many Baptist assemblies seeming to care more about 'chalking up the numbers that "come forward"' (and sadly, falling into the 'entertainment syndrome' trying to keep them attending) rather than... [cont.]
---danie9374 on 7/2/06

[3] 1 Peter 2:5, tell us we are: "living stones, being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God"; not for our sin, but to praise Him for having already forgiven us in Christ! "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God," (Heb.13:15). Calling part of a building an 'altar,' may lead some to think of it as the Jewish Temple; as if it were somehow more holy than somewhere else. [Cont.]
---danie9374 on 7/2/06

[2] [PLEASE BEAR WITH ME, I will get back to the Baptists!] this eventually led to the idea of 'sacrificing Christ' over and over again in the RCC 'mass' (which is completely contrary to the New Testament!): Jesus is our high priest, and He "offered one sacrifice for sins for all time.... For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." (Hebrews 10:12,14) and what should our response be as Believers? [Cont.]
---danie9374 on 7/2/06

[1] No. Because we don't believe in animal sacrifices for sin anymore, so there's no altar to call anyone to. Placing one in your church, even as some 'symbolic picture' of Christ's sacrifice for us, is very unwise and certainly not part of His command to remember what He did for us. When the Romans and other peoples were 'converted' after Rome became a so-called Christian nation, they also converted pagan temples into 'church' buildings (with altars intact);... [cont.]
---danie9374 on 7/2/06

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nvB ... I had not looked back that far!!
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/2/06

Alter call. I like that very much! (2 Cor. 5:17)
---Leon on 7/1/06

Just pulling your chain John.. :-)

Alan if you read John T.'s blog regarding 'alter' and 'altar' you will see that he has only one S in 'misspelling.' Maybe he was testing our spelling skills!
---NV_Barbara on 7/1/06

In my experience as a Baptist, the whole point of the service was to see how many people you could get to walk down the aisle to "Just As I Am" (originally a communion hymn, btw).

All eight stanzas would be repeated ad infinitum "just in case..."

If this isn't having the service "man centered", what is?
---Jack on 7/1/06

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Shira: I had been a member of Baptist churches for 30 years, and never heard that our main purpose was to get people saved. Every church I attended had its primary purpose to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was taught the Holy Spirit got them saved.
---Madison1101 on 7/1/06

The proper spelling for the central religious shrine in a worship area is ALTAR, from the Latin ALTA ARA (high place).

It applies in both British and American spellings.

To use ALTER (which means chance) in this sense is a solecism.

The proper useage is something we should not--pardon the expression--alter.
---Jack on 7/1/06

nvB "John T., you misspelled 'misspelled'"
Don't get that!
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/1/06

NV Barbara:
It made the point better! (he hee)
---John_T on 7/1/06

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Just some poor spellers in the US Alan!
John T., you misspelled 'misspelled'! :-)
---NV_Barbara on 7/1/06

We have an altar call at every service as an opportunity for those who are compelled to repentance to come forth and pray for salvation. All the members join in and rejoice as they come to the altar. It is a very sacred, moviing, and beautiful time of the worship service.
---lynet on 6/30/06

One of main objectives of a baptist church is to get people's soul saved. Our church has an altar call every service. We are to bring them in.
---shira on 6/30/06

nvB Thanks ... but I am really surprised to see that the US spelling is ALTAR.
This is the first time I have seen it spelt that way on these blogs. It has always been ALTER, so I had assumed that must be the US spellling!!!
---alan8869_of_UK on 6/30/06

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My understanding of the historical part of the altar call is that is a derivation from the ministry of Charles Finney.

He used an "anxious seat" where those convicted by Holy spirit could come, and have people deal with the expressed need.

Thus, it seems to be something that Evangelical America exported to the church world wide
---John_T on 6/30/06

That was a misspelling Alan, in the US the platform is also spelled 'altar.' Neat analogy Jack. :-)
---NV_Barbara on 6/30/06

Jack ... you are may be right about the ALTAR call ... an invitation to the faithful to come forward and receive communion. But I have never heard it called that. It is ALTAR because that is British English spelling.
I suspect that the ALTER (American English)CALL as referred to here is a call for people who have been challenged by what they have heard to come forward, either to show they have accepted Christ for the first time, or to recommit themselves publicly.
---alan8869_of_UK on 6/30/06

Most every Sunday night we do, we have time to pray with those seeking salvation, those who want to rededicate their lives to God, and some for healing, and the alters are open for those who just want to come up and pray.
---bethie on 6/30/06

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Here is ONE case where a mispelling is TRULY appropriate!

The altar is where animals are sacrificed.

Tailors alter ill-fitting clothing. Thus, I guess if we want to change our ill-pleasing-to-God lives, then it is best that we have "alter" calls.

I am not knocking anyone, just having fun, so have a great 4th week end, y'all!
---John_T on 6/30/06

Historically, the altar call was for BELIEVERS only. It was given just before communion, usually in the form of, "Holy things for the holy," "With fear of God, faith, and love draw near" or similar words.

It was NOT for unbelievers.
---Jack on 6/30/06

We have a call to come forward at every meeting. It is the time of ministry to peoples needs and gives them an opportunity to make decisions. And a wonderful time to pray with people. Not long ago I was in a large church and the message was very anointed and it ended abrubtly with no ministry. Maybe some decisions were made but no one would know.
---john on 6/30/06

Without a distinct decisive altar call a church fails to fulfill the great commission. Twice now I have had the experience of giving of altar call to congregations and having someone other than a member of the congregation answer that altar call. Of course on the street witnessing every person in you speak to must be offered the opportunity of salvation. That offer is the same as an altar call.
---mima on 6/30/06

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At the Freewill baptist church Yes it does. I use to go there, my husband still does occasionally.
---candice on 6/30/06

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