Altar Calls: Why you should refuse to “walk the aisle” (Part 2 of 3)

Grant Swart

The practice of alter calls (calling people forward to make a public “decision for Christ”, usually at the end of a sermon) has gained in prominence and popularity, more commonly in Pentecostal – type churches. Ever since Charles Finney produced his “new measures” early in the nineteenth century by conjuring up the “anxious bench”, altar calling has been regularly practiced in some adventurous denominations and so-called non-denominational churches.

While altar calls are not prescribed or described in the Bible, advocates of this ritual cite certain biblical examples in support. Often it is said that Jesus demanded outward identification with Himself on the part of those who would be His disciples by telling them “follow Me” and expecting immediate response from them. This argument fails, however, when the problem of Judas is considered. Judas also responded publicly by immediately following Jesus, but the call he responded to did not bring about his salvation.

The question remains as to whether an altar call-induced “decision” is sincere repentance and faith, or whether it is simply an emotional response to a particularly convincing speaker or a charged-up atmosphere.       Continue reading

Altar Calls: Why you should refuse to “walk the aisle” (Part 1 of 3)

Grant Swart

In all likelihood, Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875) can be attributed with being the “father” of the altar call. Years before our Lord effectually called me to repentance and salvation, I was once also duped into responding to an altar call which promised elaborate, but false, assurances of salvation. Wonderfully though, the Lord placed severe doubts in my mind at the time, regarding the possible validity of the ritual. What I regarded, back then as being my reliance on simple common sense, led me to distrust the embarrassing proceedings of the altar call I had responded to.

Needless to say, not much changed in my life as a result, in the days, weeks and months subsequent to that day. Great was and is the Grace of our Lord and true Saviour. I also now know that it was not only common sense which led me to doubt the honesty and biblical integrity of the altar call. I never responded to a single one again, praise be to the Lord. Continue reading

Rejecting Synergism and Returning to Monergism


by Bob DeWaay

Recovering Reformation Theology

”For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

A key idea in the contemporary evangelical movement is that revival can be engineered. The Purpose Driven Web site says, “Peter Drucker called him [Warren] ‘the inventor of perpetual revival’ and Forbes magazine has written, ‘If Warren’s church was a business it would be compared with Dell, Google or Starbucks.’”1 The Purpose Driven movement can cite this business management guru approvingly only because they have a faulty theology of human ability. For example, Rick Warren says, “It is my deep conviction that anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart. . . . It may take some time to identify it. But the most likely place to start is with the person’s felt needs.”2 If this were true one could use modern marketing principles to sell people on their need for Christian religion and convince them to convert in order to find satisfaction of their felt needs. But it is not true.

Furthermore, it might surprise many people that this idea is not new. Charles Finney first proposed it one hundred fifty years ago. Finney wrote, “A revival is not a miracle according to another definition of the term ‘miracle’ — something above the powers of nature. There is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature. It consists entirely in the right exercise of the powers of nature. It is just that, and nothing else.”3 Finney wrote more: “A revival is not a miracle, nor dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means — as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means.”4 Finney’s position that there is some innate power in man that can be motivated by some discoverable process makes an engineered revival plausible.

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How Charles Finney’s Theology Ravaged the Evangelical Movement

Sharing my thoughts in short.

I stumbled on this article and more, and found it important to share with those interested and who is following the teachings of Finney. I truly hope and pray this may bring some insight to those who find the Doctrines of Grace difficult. Men like Finney and others have long ago introduced heretical teachings.

Ephesians 2:8 (Amplified Bible)

For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

The result thus has been that some believers, believe that they must work for their salvation. This has also been the cause of many heart aching arguments that was unnecessary.

Here is prove and more that those who follow and believe Finney’s teachings are in danger of following a heretical false teacher. It is not my intent to have any discussion on this article, it is purely for information to the reader hereof. Therefore I will close the comments section on this article. We may however be emailed see our Email us page.

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The Pelagian Captivity of the Church

By Vernelle Imaging

by R.C. Sproul

Shortly after the Reformation began, in the first few years after Martin Luther posted the Ninety-Five Theses on the church door at Wittenberg, he issued some short booklets on a variety of subjects. One of the most provocative was titled The Babylonian Captivity of the Church. In this book Luther was looking back to that period of Old Testament history when Jerusalem was destroyed by the invading armies of Babylon and the elite of the people were carried off into captivity. Luther in the sixteenth century took the image of the historic Babylonian captivity and reapplied it to his era and talked about the new Babylonian captivity of the Church. He was speaking of Rome as the modern Babylon that held the Gospel hostage with its rejection of the biblical understanding of justification. You can understand how fierce the controversy was, how polemical this title would be in that period by saying that the Church had not simply erred or strayed, but had fallen — that it’s actually now Babylonian; it is now in pagan captivity.

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