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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : What place does baptism have in Biblical salvation?

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 Re:

Ron B. said:

I accept your apology, but what is really needed
on your behalf is repentance and forgiveness from God. This is between you and Him..

Stever's response:
My post specifically said:

IF I AM MISTAKEN about my views, then I surely apologize.

I really have nothing to repent for unless I am mistaken. I really do not think that I am mistaken. The apolgy was given to the Moderator, not to you Ron. If my views are indeed wrong in regards to what you and I have been discussing here, then of course I will offer an specific apology to you.Likewise, if your views are mistaken, I would expect the same from you.

God bless,

Stever

P.S. It would also be helpful if you responded to my questions that were and directed specifically to you on this thread. I will always try in good faith to answer whatever questions you or anyone else ask of me.



 2005/6/8 15:19
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
t would also be helpful if you responded to my questions that were and directed specifically to you on this thread. I will always try in good faith to answer whatever questions you or anyone else ask of me.



Was that about giving people opportunity to respond to the preaching? I have conducted hundreds (no exageration) of what you call 'altar calls'. I wouldn't be surprised if many of them were before you were born. I have been preaching the gospel and encouraging people to respond since 1958. I always try to give some kind of opportunity for people to respond to the preaching of the word. This may not be in the mechanistic way which will satisfy your criteria, but I believe it is important that people have that opportunity.

I prefer to encourage response from the body of the meeting by enouraging people to pray in response to what God has said to them, although at times I will encourage people to 'come out' in response. My preference for prayer would actually fit your 'confession with the mouth' much better than walking to the front of a meeting.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/6/8 15:55Profile









 Re:

Stever said: Quote:

What about George Whitefield and the Great Awakening that took place in the America starting in 1734 by Jonathan Edwards, and continued by George Whitefield in 1739?.


Ron B.'s response:

"You know, I hope, that neither of these men ever had 'altar calls'. They were much more apostolic where the 'appeal' always comes from the congregation... what must we do to be saved?"

Stever asked:
"My question for you, Pastor Ron B. is: At the end of each service, do you have an altar call? Do you invite those that would like to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior to come forward?

I would really like to know."




Ron B.'s response (14 posts later):
"....I have conducted hundreds (no exageration) of what you call 'altar calls'. I wouldn't be surprised if many of them were before you were born. I have been preaching the gospel and encouraging people to respond since 1958. I always try to give some kind of opportunity for people to respond to the preaching of the word. This may not be in the mechanistic way which will satisfy your criteria, but I believe it is important that people have that opportunity.

I prefer to encourage response from the body of the meeting by enouraging people to pray in response to what God has said to them, although at times I will encourage people to 'come out' in response. My preference for prayer would actually fit your 'confession with the mouth' much better than walking to the front of a meeting."
-------------------------------------------------------------

The above interaction, over a two day period with over 15 posts, reveals the answer to my question to Pastor Ron B.- the original question, that was never answered directly was:

""My question for you, Pastor Ron B. is: At the end of each service, do you have an altar call? Do you invite those that would like to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior to come forward?

I would really like to know."

Then, when I posted the thread about the Great Awakening and the work of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, I get this response from Pastor Ron B.:
""You know, I hope, that neither of these men ever had 'altar calls'. They were much more apostolic where the 'appeal' always comes from the congregation... what must we do to be saved?"
-----------
Then finally, yesterday on 6/8/05 I get another response from Pastor Ron B.
""....I have conducted hundreds (no exageration) of what you call 'altar calls'. I wouldn't be surprised if many of them were before you were born. I have been preaching the gospel and encouraging people to respond since 1958. I always try to give some kind of opportunity for people to respond to the preaching of the word. This may not be in the mechanistic way which will satisfy your criteria, but I believe it is important that people have that opportunity.

I prefer to encourage response from the body of the meeting by enouraging people to pray in response to what God has said to them, although at times I will encourage people to 'come out' in response. My preference for prayer would actually fit your 'confession with the mouth' much better than walking to the front of a meeting."


Stever's final response to the above: Pastor Ron, you cannot have it both ways. You either believe in the value of an altar call, or you do not. You mention that you have been a Pastor since 1958. That means that from May, 1958 until May 2005 you would have had the opportunity to give approximately 2,444 altar calls. You have told me in this thread that you have given "hundreds" of them. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, and going with 300 Altar calls, that means that of the 2,444 Sundays available over the past 47 years, you have provided altar calls for a total of 6 years maximum. That means that for 41 of the 47 years that you have been a Pastor you have not given altar calls.

Why not just admit the fact that you did not believe in them, and then give a reason like you did in your last post, instead of dancing around both sides of this issue? Your dislike of altar calls is found throughout most Christian Churches today.

Now that we have this issue clarified, maybe we can continue with a constructive dialogue on this specific issue?


Also, in regards to age, I am right behind you Brother. I graduated from High School in 1960, and that makes me 63 years old this August.

God bless,

Stever

 2005/6/9 6:33
Nasher
Member



Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

Stever, I don't understand your post, I asked you "Stever, can you show me where there has been an "alter call" in the bible?", all you have done is say something about the body of Christ not witnessing and then quote reams of scriptures about preaching.

One of these scriptures is where Philip preached to the Ethiopian and it was the Ethiopian that said "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?", again another situation where the response comes from the one who was preached to, not the preacher giving an "alter call"


_________________
Mark Nash

 2005/6/9 7:15Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Stever's final response to the above: Pastor Ron, you cannot have it both ways. You either believe in the value of an altar call, or you do not. You mention that you have been a Pastor since 1958. That means that from May, 1958 until May 2005 you would have had the opportunity to give approximately 2,444 altar calls. You have told me in this thread that you have given "hundreds" of them. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, and going with 300 Altar calls, that means that of the 2,444 Sundays available over the past 47 years, you have provided altar calls for a total of 6 years maximum. That means that for 41 of the 47 years that you have been a Pastor you have not given altar calls.


Wow, you 've obviously got a lot of time on your hands! There are so many assumptions in this statement I would hardly know where to start. I will move straight to the conclusion; every single assumption you have made about me in this thread has been mistaken.

I could defend myself, but life is short... The real reason we are having difficulty communicating is that we have totally different ideas of what pastoring, preaching, evangelising, witnessing, response, and salvation really mean.

Please provide me with a single biblical example of an 'altar call'.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/6/9 10:09Profile









 Re:

Ron, what is obvious from all of your various responses to this thread about "altar calls" is that you do indeed know what I am talking about, and you disagree with my view. Why can't this be simple and transparent. Why do you continue to beat around the bush and now say:
"The real reason we are having difficulty communicating is that we have totally different ideas of what pastoring, preaching, evangelising, witnessing, response, and salvation really mean.

Please provide me with a single biblical example of an 'altar call'."

Yet, just yesterday you said:
"
"You know, I hope, that neither of these men ever had 'altar calls'. They were much more apostolic where the 'appeal' always comes from the congregation... what must we do to be saved?"
------------

I happen to believe in altar calls for many reasons, and the first one is personal. I was raised in the New Age. By the time I was 12 years old I had read all of the work (books) of Alice Bailey. By the time I was 15 I had read the Bible through 5 times. However, once I got to the New Testament I was not allowed to read past the Book of John. I was told the reason for that was that Paul was not an original disciple, and was not there with Christ (which we were all going to be someday ourselves) and everything past John was suspect.

We had a neighbor across the street who always went to Church on Sunday, at a First Brethren Church and School. I went with her on many Sundays but the entire time I went there- off and on for 10 years- I was never told what it took to be a Christian. They never had a call to Christ, an Altar call once, ever.

Fast forward to my age 21. I worked at a Super Market and one of the guys invited me to a "concert" at the Coliseum. It ended up being a Billy Graham Rally. I was one of the first ones to come forward when he gave the altar call at the end of the service. Was I immediately saved, and my sins washed white as snow? You bet. The problem was all of the New Age that I had been indoctrinated in since I was born, that went back 2 generations. was still inside my brain. I still believed in reincarnation, I still believed in Karma, but now I considered myself a saved Christian as well.

It was many, many years until our Son was born in 1981 before I started attending Church on a full time basis. (right after my altar call with Billy Graham I went into the Navy for 4 years). This is when I became the Bible Answer Man. Study, and read, etc. etc. etc. Then, one day I went to David Hocking's Church. David spent lots of time with me, one on one, until I finally realized that reincarnation and karma had nothing to do with Christ & Christianity and everything to do with Satan.

In the mid-eighties I finally understood the necessity of the blood and blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, thanks to J. Vernon McGee. In 1990 my Grandmother passed away. This was the event that brought me to my knees. This is the event that completed the "altar call" that I had received so many years earlier.

If I would have been hit by a freight train, prior to 1990 do you think that I would have gone directly to the Lord- to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord ---IF YOU ARE A BELIEVER IN GOD AND IN JESUS CHRIST, HIS MESSIAH. I would be willing to bet that you would say no, you would go straight to hell because you had not come to a complete understanding of who and what Jesus Christ is and what He did for you.

I would have to disagree with you. When I gave my life to Jesus at that altar call, I was sincere. It took many, many years to eliminate the New Age that was imparted to me by my parents and their parents as well. The Holy Spirit was doing this work within me.

We come to the lord the way that we are, full of sin and error. Once we accept Him, the Holy Spirit is the one that cleans us up, from the inside out. We don't come to Him clean because we are never clean. We have inherited Adam's sin nature. We will not have Christ's nature until the rapture, eventhough He has created a new heart within us and placed His laws within us.

Most Pastors today are teachers, not evangelists, and according to your posts on this thread, real proud of it. How can you just teach the Word and expect it to get through to the lost in your audience- like I was so many years ago when I was in my teens, going to that Brethren Church. The Pastor never told me what I had to do to accept Jesus Christ as My Lord and Savior, ever. The Pastor never invited me forward, never invited me into his study to talk with about things that were on my heart. Why? Because he never had an altar call, and I was just another face in the audience. If he would have had "altar calls" I would have started earlier in my quest for Christ. I already thought I had a more perfect understanding about Christ than he did.

Reason #2: I attend Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Ca. Pastored by Chuch Smith. Calvary Chapel is a Bible Believing Church- we go through the entire Bible, one Book after another, Book by Book, week by week. I have been a attending since 1999 and have seen thousands come to Christ at the end of the services, when Chuck gives the Altar Call. Calvary Chapel is one of the fastest growing Churches in America, with Churches throughout the States. They even have one or two in England, and others throughout Europe as well.

I have seen change in these peoples lives who answer the call. Some have tatoos over their entire bodies, but answer the call and are changed. As you look at them over several years, eventhough they still have the tatoos, their spirits are regenerated.

If I would have found this Church (Calvary Chapel) in 1981 I would not have had such a long journey.

Everything happens for a purpose. Maybe my struggle can offer hope to others. Maybe others, like you Pastor Ron, will actually make the call. The Holy Spirit is the one doing all of the work, preparing the hearts of those that want to come forward. Don't worry, you will get no credit from God for doing it, other than perhaps an extra crown or two.

God bless,

Stever

 2005/6/9 15:04
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
If I would have been hit by a freight train, prior to 1990 do you think that I would have gone directly to the Lord- to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord ---IF YOU ARE A BELIEVER IN GOD AND IN JESUS CHRIST, HIS MESSIAH. I would be willing to bet that you would say no, you would go straight to hell because you had not come to a complete understanding of who and what Jesus Christ is and what He did for you.

I would have to disagree with you. When I gave my life to Jesus at that altar call, I was sincere. It took many, many years to eliminate the New Age that was imparted to me by my parents and their parents as well. The Holy Spirit was doing this work within me.


You now seem to be able to conduct this argument without me being part of it. I am a dangerous man to bet on, you would have lost your money!

ps. Please provide me with a single biblical example of an 'altar call'."


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/6/9 15:24Profile
ReceivedText
Member



Joined: 2005/4/22
Posts: 257
Seattle, Washington, USA

 Re: Altar calls?

I must add my hearty "Amen" to the affirmation that "altar calls" don't exist in the Bible. They are a modern invention from the mourner's bench until today. It is interesting to note the the front of the RCC is called the altar because they believe that Jesus is perpetually sacrificed there. Yuk. :-?

But this is a GREAT place to bring this all around to the subject of this thread: baptism in water.

I can almost see the apostles preaching by the river. At the close of their message I can imagine them back up into the water and call for men to confess and put their faith in Christ and be united with Him in the waters of baptism having repented of their sins.

It is absolutely amazing that carnal man has figured out on his own that there must be SOME way of responding to Christ. A great many don't call for men to believe and be baptized at their events. Thus we have replaced the Biblical response and means of "obeying" the gospel with the "altar call." Pity.

RT

 2005/6/9 19:53Profile









 Re:


Pastor Ron B. said:
"ps. Please provide me with a single biblical example of an 'altar call'."

Stever's response:
Please provide me with one Biblical example prohiting an Altar call.

A call to repentance is much the same thing as an altar call. Those aren't made anymore either.

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit works through the saved to win the lost. The Holy Spirit will testify about Jesus, as the disciples must also testify (John 15:26-27).

When Jesus Christ preached the Gospel, He then called for repentance. " 17. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."


The altar call is nothing more than that call of repentance, given in the same order- preach first, then call for repentance.----what the Church has to offer is total forgiveness for all sin, past, present and future. The Holy Spirit is the one, working through the body of Christ through their prayers,as well as the Pastor (his words and his silent prayers), as well as the Spirit Himself working through the heart of the un-believer sitting in your Church. Who are you/me to decide if the person that comes forward is "really saved" or not. That is God's job. It is our job to be about God's business.

It seems like most of the semiaries (cemetaries) have done their job well by convincing the soon to be Pastors that an altar call is really nothing but the work of the flesh. That is clear to me by the response from you, Pastor Ron B., as well as others that have responded.

Like I said before- show me where altar calls are prohibited, and then we have something to talk about.

Otherwise, it's your opinion against mine. You know what mine is, and I know yours.

God bless,

Stever

 2005/6/9 21:29









 Re:

Dear RT:

See my post to Pastor Ron B.

God bless,

Stever

p.s.

Show me where altar calls are prohibited, and then we have something to talk about.


 2005/6/9 21:34





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