Friends, I know a lot of very good people are very sincere when they do altar calls. And people get saved…despite the altar calls, not because of them.

Why don’t I do altar calls or lead people in a sinner’s prayer? Because those things can’t be found in the Scriptures. Also, those things can convince people they’re saved when they’re not. When that happens, people will continue wallowing in sin, thinking they’re saved (I have met many of those), or else they’ll say, “I tried Christianity and it didn’t work” (I have met many of those). They only think they tried Christianity, because they did what the preacher said, and the preacher said they were saved…but they weren’t.

The Lord commanded people to “count the cost” before committing to follow him (Luke 14:25-33). Emotional altar calls (EACs) short-circuit that process. EACs use soft music, closing the eyes, and a well-intended preacher who persuades sinners to “come forward” before some are ready to repent. It’s like delivering a baby at four or five months instead of nine. Some ‘babies’ live, while some do not.

Even worse is when preachers say things like “You’ll be happy” or “Your life will be better” during EACs. Well, God did actually give promises about the Christian life. He said it would be a life of suffering, crucifying self, and opposition from this world’s system (Romans 5:3-5; 1 Peter 5:10; James 1:2-4; John 16:33; 2 Timothy 3:12).

The Lord saved thousands of people in different ways in the book of Acts, and their experience was expressed in different ways, but they all had these things in common: They heard the Gospel, they repented by faith, and they were baptized (immediately!). Oh, there’s one more thing they had in common: None of them were converted while listening to soft music with their heads bowed and their eyes closed.

I know good people will disagree with me on this. I still love you, as I’m sure you love me. 🙂

P.S. Yes, I used the word ‘manipulation,’ but I said repeatedly that they are well-intended.

This is only an effort to persuade. I don’t mean to insult anyone. 🙂

John Allcott