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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ML-J, Altar Calls & Salvation

I'm reproducing the reasons from Preaching & Preachers that Martin Lloyd-Jones used to explain why he did not regularly practice altar calls. As I've stated earlier, some misunderstand a lack of altar calls as an apathy for soul winning. It's important to understand reasons why ML-J resisted this newer (relatively) practice. Reasons 1 & 2, Reason 3, Reasons 4 & 5 and Reason 6 have already been addressed: (ML-J's thoughts in black, mine in blue).

7. By doing this you are encouraging people to think that their act of going forward somehow saves them.
As a youth pastor, nothing broke my heart like talking to a teen who had no conviction for sin or understanding of the gospel who was confident of his/her salvation because they signed a card, came forward, raised their hand, or spoke to a counselor. Nothing seemed as tragic...until as a Teaching Pastor I started running into adults under the same delusion.

I can think of nothing more tragic than a person destined for hell, convinced he is headed to heaven.


  • At 12:42 PM, Blogger Joy said…

    Wow, Danny, I can identify with this big time. In the (archery) ministry we have, we have encountered the same thing time & time again as we have opportunities to share with adults. Countless people we talk with did one of those things usually as a child or a teen, and believe themselves to be "saved" yet there is zero evidence of Christ in their life. Many even see to it that their kids go to SS or VBS or youth group so they can have the same experience. It breaks my heart. One of the first couples Lee & I had the privilege of sharing with had exactly that scenario. It was very obvious that the Holy Spirit was dealing with them. The wife even asked me "did my salvation not 'take' because I wasn't baptised?" The other stumbling block we encountered with this couple & with others is the hypocrisy of "christians". But that is another post. Suffice it to say I have to wonder how many of these "hypocrite christians" they dealt with were just like them, thinking they were "saved" but not really knowing what it means to walk with Christ, every day, all day. God has used these experiences in our life to completely change our view (methodology?)of evangelism.

  • At 9:54 PM, Blogger Chris said…

    Danny, Amen to all your comments. I rarely use an altar call, because I am tired of false professions. Even in personal evangelism, when I press people for a decision I am far more cautious than I used to be. God does not need me to save anyone, He simply wants me to tell people the good news that salvation is available in Christ. I need to be persuasive, but not coercive.


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