Monday, September 8, 2014

Are "altar calls" and "the sinner's prayer" Biblical?

Are "altar calls" and "the sinner's prayer" Biblical?

August 31, 2009 at 10:06pm
So, in my last week's Bible Study we had a nice heated discussion on the question above. Most of us Christians here in the states or West, have been brought up under these Christian culture traditions of altar calls (raising your hand, signing a card, standing up...) and sinner''s prayers and simply have never questioned them or more importantly checked them out Biblically. These are traditions of men that have only been around no more than 150 years yet are accepted among many Christians as normal as communion.

My main concern with these practices is misleading non-Christians into believing that walking forward or saying the prayer makes him or her a Christian. The act is equated with salvation. I used to be part of an organization that Billy Graham first started off with, Youth For Christ, where we would practice such methodologies. I also worked Greg Laurie's Harvest Crusades where I would walk forward when Greg would prompted people to come forward to give their lives to Jesus and have their sins taken away. The trainer actually told us, counselors, that this would encourage non-believers not to be afraid to come forward. So, essentially when you see people coming forward at these evangelistic crusades, a lot of them are Christian follow-up counselors who are easing the non-believer out of their seats along with Crystal Lewis singing "Come just as you are." These approaches have more to do with marketing and mass manipulation.

The Scriptures say nothing about having to walk forward or say a sinner's prayer to become a Christian. These practices are totally adding to and distorting The Gospel. What you will see in the Bible is repent and believe over and over.

Here are some good articles on this topic:

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