"Atlar call"


#1

I was wondering if anyone knows the history and scriptural support for this…I am catholic but attended a Christmas program at a Baptist church and this kinda scared me. Thought I might have some information ready in case my cousins ask me how I liked the service.

TIA, Pax, chris


#2

I am very interested in any responses also. All of my in-laws are Protestants and have never answered this question.


#3

I am in RCIA – rite of acceptance was last Sunday.

Among non-Catholic Christian churches, there can be quite a variety of situations that are described as “alter call”.

In my predominantly Black Baptist Church, “alter call” is every Sunday and it is after collection, after announcing the sick and before the choir singing a selection just before the sermon. “Alter call” is a time of prayer. One of the deacons will take to the pulpit and lead the prayer. Those who came forward (usually about 40% of the congregation) join hands. Often others in the pews will also join hands. Some may sit in the pew. Others may stand. And perhaps somebody may kneel in the pew (not often).

At a non-denominational (somewhat Charismatic or Pentacostal) church that I used to attend in Florida, “alter call” was a time to similarly come forward for prayer and deliverance. Perhaps for healing. Perhaps to express a desire to repent of sin(s). Perhaps to stand in for another person who you want to pray for. Now that I think of it, not that much different from the Baptist Church.

Similarly, both churches would have a time of invitation at the end of the sermon. If anyone wanted to accept Christ. Or if anyone decided that they want to join the Church (transfer membership, get baptized, etc.). I think that this too could be called an “alter call” by some.

Sadly, I regret that it is not as easy for a totally ignorant person to come to Mass for the first time – in comparison with how a totally ignorant person could come to a Baptist Church. I only say this because an ignorant person could easily make the mistake of going forward to receive Holy Communion in a Catholic Church. At least at my Baptist Church, we have a time where “first time visitors” can identify themselves. And similarly other parts of the service are designed to reach out to those who are new.

If you were to come to my Baptist Church for the first time – and they asked “first time visitors” to stand. When it is your turn, you could introduce yourself. Perhaps mention that you are so-and-so’s relative. And then say you are a member of the Such-And-So Roman Catholic Church where Reverend _____ is the pastor. If they have Holy Communion, you would abstain. And you should smile and warmly greet those who greet you after Church. In my Baptist Church, we have a time similar to the “sign of peace” where we do get carried away a bit. It is OK to briefly talk to people at such a time.

And in case you are unaware. If you are White, Hispanic, or any other ethnic category – I think you will find every Black Christian Church that you visit – you will be warmly welcomed.


#4

[quote=jmm08]I am in RCIA – rite of acceptance was last Sunday.

Among non-Catholic Christian churches, there can be quite a variety of situations that are described as “alter call”.

In my predominantly Black Baptist Church, “alter call” is every Sunday and it is after collection, after announcing the sick and before the choir singing a selection just before the sermon. “Alter call” is a time of prayer. One of the deacons will take to the pulpit and lead the prayer. Those who came forward (usually about 40% of the congregation) join hands. Often others in the pews will also join hands. Some may sit in the pew. Others may stand. And perhaps somebody may kneel in the pew (not often).

At a non-denominational (somewhat Charismatic or Pentacostal) church that I used to attend in Florida, “alter call” was a time to similarly come forward for prayer and deliverance. Perhaps for healing. Perhaps to express a desire to repent of sin(s). Perhaps to stand in for another person who you want to pray for. Now that I think of it, not that much different from the Baptist Church.

Similarly, both churches would have a time of invitation at the end of the sermon. If anyone wanted to accept Christ. Or if anyone decided that they want to join the Church (transfer membership, get baptized, etc.). I think that this too could be called an “alter call” by some.

Sadly, I regret that it is not as easy for a totally ignorant person to come to Mass for the first time – in comparison with how a totally ignorant person could come to a Baptist Church. I only say this because an ignorant person could easily make the mistake of going forward to receive Holy Communion in a Catholic Church. At least at my Baptist Church, we have a time where “first time visitors” can identify themselves. And similarly other parts of the service are designed to reach out to those who are new.

If you were to come to my Baptist Church for the first time – and they asked “first time visitors” to stand. When it is your turn, you could introduce yourself. Perhaps mention that you are so-and-so’s relative. And then say you are a member of the Such-And-So Roman Catholic Church where Reverend _____ is the pastor. If they have Holy Communion, you would abstain. And you should smile and warmly greet those who greet you after Church. In my Baptist Church, we have a time similar to the “sign of peace” where we do get carried away a bit. It is OK to briefly talk to people at such a time.

And in case you are unaware. If you are White, Hispanic, or any other ethnic category – I think you will find every Black Christian Church that you visit – you will be warmly welcomed.
[/quote]

Thanks for that info! My experience in non-Catholic churches is right in line with what you’ve stated. As for myself, I really want to know why this is customary. I am constantly berated for “unbiblical” pratices, but when I have a serious question regarding what I perceive as unbiblical I do not receive an answer. My in-laws are not very forthcoming in explanations!


#5

[quote=Chris]I was wondering if anyone knows the history and scriptural support for this…I am catholic but attended a Christmas program at a Baptist church and this kinda scared me. Thought I might have some information ready in case my cousins ask me how I liked the service.

TIA, PAC, Chris
[/quote]

There are no apostolic and scriptural support for this.
Christians got baptized not said a magic prayer in order to enter the church.
The history of the altar call is new even to protestants it would have been unknown to the reformers or even the early baptist.
During the American religious movement known as the ND great awakening during the 1800’s Charles G. Finney invented what we now know as the evangelical altar call which name is ironic since protestants don’t have altar’s in the churches.

Here is snippet of what Finney was about
Revival . . . from God or man?
The Second Great Awakening had a tremendous effect on American society by spawning a large number of social reform movements. A great encourager of such reforms was the evangelist Charles G. Finney. Finney was to bring in new methods and a new attitude towards revival. Jonathan Edwards had viewed the 1735 revival in Northampton as “a very extraordinary dispensation of Providence” a “surprising work of God.” Charles Finney, however, believed that “a revival is not a miracle . . . It is a purely philosophic * result of the right use of the constituted means.” In the series of revivals Finney held from 1824-1837 (during what some call the Third Awakening), Finney instituted a number of new measures which later evangelists would continue. These included the inquiry room for counseling seekers, the anxious or mourners’ bench for those responding to the public invitation to Christ, preaching for an immediate decision, emotional prayers which addressed God in a very familiar, informal language, organized choirs and music, advertising and advanced preparation for the revival meeting.

Origin of evangelistic invitation
Finney believed that revival was not something sent down by God, but it could be brought about if the right means were used. Man was free to choose his spiritual destiny. Finney pressed for decisions. He was the first to have an “invitation” calling people to the front to make a public witness of their conversion.

gospelcom.net/chi/GLIMPSEF/Glimpses/glmps040.shtml*


#6

[quote=chris138]I was wondering if anyone knows the history and scriptural support for this…I am catholic but attended a Christmas program at a Baptist church and this kinda scared me. Thought I might have some information ready in case my cousins ask me how I liked the service.

TIA, Pax, chris
[/quote]

As Catholics, we have an “altar call” at every Mass. When we receive the Eucharist, we, too, are saying “Yes” to God in Christ.


#7

[quote=4 marks]As Catholics, we have an “altar call” at every Mass. When we receive the Eucharist, we, too, are saying “Yes” to God in Christ.
[/quote]

Actually you speak the truth we are having the real altar call at mass and not an invention in the 1800’s that was created so one could have a evangelical experience. One altar call is apostolic one is an invention of a man in the 1800’s.


#8

[quote=4 marks]As Catholics, we have an “altar call” at every Mass. When we receive the Eucharist, we, too, are saying “Yes” to God in Christ.
[/quote]

I agree. And it is wonderful – although I have not had “first communion” yet.

The slight similarity is part of why I worry if I just send somebody (or invite somebody) to a Catholic Church who doesn’t know very much. They might not know enough – and therefore go forward and receive Holy Communion.


#9

[quote=paxvobiscum]Thanks for that info! My experience in non-Catholic churches is right in line with what you’ve stated. As for myself, I really want to know why this is customary. I am constantly berated for “unbiblical” pratices, but when I have a serious question regarding what I perceive as unbiblical I do not receive an answer. My in-laws are not very forthcoming in explanations!
[/quote]

How about 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.


Sometimes during the “Our Father” (Liturgy of the Eucharist), people hold hands. It isn’t encouraged and is not part of the liturgy. I think God wants us to be comfortable when we pray. The attitude of our hearts count a lot. In my Baptist Church, when it is prayer time people do what they want to (come forward, sit in the pew, or stand). Many hold hands.

I want to remind Catholics, that many predominantly Black Churches in the southern United States were not started as the result of split from the Catholic Church. During slavery times, Blacks often adopted the religious beliefs of their owners. And relatively few Catholics were slave owners in the US. Black Churches started because of segregation. Blacks were not welcome in White Protestant Churches. The South was segregated, and much of the North had its unwritten ways of accomplishing the same thing. About 30 years ago, I was once asked not to bring somebody to a church social event because they were Black. That got me really upset back then – and they changed their mind (perhaps because they already knew that the Black person had already firmly decided not to go where they weren’t welcome).

So I ask all readers to please pray for Black Churches. That Mary will continue to give grace and that many will realize the truth and come home to the Catholic Church.


#10

[quote=chris138]I was wondering if anyone knows the history and scriptural support for this…I am catholic but attended a Christmas program at a Baptist church and this kinda scared me. Thought I might have some information ready in case my cousins ask me how I liked the service.

TIA, Pax, chris
[/quote]

I posted this on another thread. Here it is again:

From Christianity Today

When and why did the custom of conducting altar calls begin?
Steven Gertz answers your questions
Posted May 2, 2003

Your question is tied to the history of revival and revivalism. George Whitefield, who historians identify as the key preacher of the Great Awakening, refused to speculate on how many of his listeners had been converted. “There are so many stony-ground hearers which receive the word with joy,” Whitefield said, “that I have determined to suspend my judgment till I know the tree by its fruits.” Revivals were the sole work of the Holy Spirit, and the test of time either confirmed or disproved these conversions.
But as the nineteenth century dawned, popular American Methodist preachers wanted a method to help them determine who of their listeners had been converted. Anglican churches featured an altar in front of the communion table, and ministers often encouraged parishioners to come to the altar if they needed prayer or encouragement. Methodist preachers inherited this tradition but changed its purpose, calling rather those “under conviction” to come forward to the altar. In 1801, for example, itinerant Methodist preacher Peter Cartwright told women at a camp meeting that if they promised “to pray to God for religion,” they might take a seat at the altar. Cartwright further accused parents who discouraged their children from “going to the altar” of hindering their salvation.

The altar call gained popularity in the 1830s with the preaching of Charles G. Finney. Finney rejected Calvinistic teaching that human nature was irreparably depraved; he believed only men’s wills, not their natures, needed to be converted. His “new measures,” then, set out to make regeneration as easy as possible. “A revival is not a miracle,” Finney wrote. “It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means.” In other words, preachers might create revival if they used proven methods, chief of these being the “anxious bench” or “seat of decision.” “The object of our measures is to gain attention,” Finney said, and for that “you must have something new.”

Prominent evangelists since Finney’s time, most notably D.L. Moody and Billy Graham, have continued to make use of the altar call. But if Moody used Finney’s method with enthusiasm, he was careful to avoid implying that a minister can “cause” salvation—whatever the methods used. “It is not our strength we want,” he told his volunteer counselors. “It is not our work to make them believe. That is the work of the Spirit … I cannot convert men; I can only proclaim the Gospel.”

Steven Gertz is editorial coordinator of Christian History.

*Posted by Jay Damien *
Ex-Southern Baptist, ex-agnostic, ex-atheist, ecstatic to be Catholic!


#11

The Holy Spirit works in many ways. The wind blows from many directions just like the Holy Spirit does. Its always pouring out a new oil and a new wine for those who answer the call.Dont underestimate what the Holy Spirit can and cannot do. God is in charge not us. God Bless.


#12

[quote=jmm08]How about 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.


Sometimes during the “Our Father” (Liturgy of the Eucharist), people hold hands. It isn’t encouraged and is not part of the liturgy. I think God wants us to be comfortable when we pray. The attitude of our hearts count a lot. In my Baptist Church, when it is prayer time people do what they want to (come forward, sit in the pew, or stand). Many hold hands.

I want to remind Catholics, that many predominantly Black Churches in the southern United States were not started as the result of split from the Catholic Church. During slavery times, Blacks often adopted the religious beliefs of their owners. And relatively few Catholics were slave owners in the US. Black Churches started because of segregation. Blacks were not welcome in White Protestant Churches. The South was segregated, and much of the North had its unwritten ways of accomplishing the same thing. About 30 years ago, I was once asked not to bring somebody to a church social event because they were Black. That got me really upset back then – and they changed their mind (perhaps because they already knew that the Black person had already firmly decided not to go where they weren’t welcome).

So I ask all readers to please pray for Black Churches. That Mary will continue to give grace and that many will realize the truth and come home to the Catholic Church.
[/quote]

The one exception would be New Orleans it has a vibriant Black Catholic Community.
One reason for segregation among protestants is that slave owners did not want to got to church with their slaves.


#13

[quote=jmm08]At least at my Baptist Church, we have a time where “first time visitors” can identify themselves. And similarly other parts of the service are designed to reach out to those who are new.

If you were to come to my Baptist Church for the first time – and they asked “first time visitors” to stand. When it is your turn, you could introduce yourself. Perhaps mention that you are so-and-so’s relative. And then say you are a member of the Such-And-So Roman Catholic Church where Reverend _____ is the pastor. If they have Holy Communion, you would abstain. And you should smile and warmly greet those who greet you after Church. In my Baptist Church, we have a time similar to the “sign of peace” where we do get carried away a bit. It is OK to briefly talk to people at such a time.

And in case you are unaware. If you are White, Hispanic, or any other ethnic category – I think you will find every Black Christian Church that you visit – you will be warmly welcomed.
[/quote]

“Fellowshipping” is one of the things I gladly left behind in the Baptist church. Sorry if that sounds unfriendly. Baptist (and most Protestant) “worship” is horizontal – the focus is on singing, praying together, “fellowshipping.” In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it is verticle – the attention is (or should be) on God alone. God Himself is present – Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity – on every Catholic altar. If people believed Jesus Christ was in the room, would they be chit-chatting about where they’re from? Saying “hello”? Socializing? Nope – all eyes would be on Jesus. In the Catholic Church, He is there – Truly and Really and Substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle on every Catholic altar. Fellowshipping is done outside of Mass, in the vestibule, on the grass or sidewalk, in the many classes or service groups such as St. Vincent de Paul where tight friendships are formed. Catholic worship is God-centered. Protestant “worship” is a sermon, a song, a prayer, and heavy on the fellowship. This is because they don’t have the Eucharist.

At the Mass, we are literally kneeling at Calvary. It is a Sacrifice, not a social event.

Welcome to the Church – the One Holy and Apostolic Church, the True Church, the True Faith, founded by Christ and instructed by the Holy Apostles. I LOVE THIS CHURCH!!!

I hope all converts make lots of friends and fellowship to their heart’s content – outside of Holy Mass! We’re really welcoming and friendly; but worship is one thing, and fellowshipping another.

God be with you, Jay
Ex-Southern Baptist, ex-agnostic, ex-atheist, ecstatic to be Catholic!

P.S. The name of the Church is simply Catholic. Roman is only one of the rites of the Church, the largest. There are 23 rites, or churches, that comprize the one Catholic Church. You probably haven’t heard that yet! Want to talk about it? I’ll start a thread if you’re interrested in learning more. :slight_smile:


#14

[quote=Katholikos]“Fellowshipping” is one of the things I gladly left behind in the Baptist church. Sorry if that sounds unfriendly. Baptist (and most Protestant) “worship” is horizontal – the focus is on singing, praying together, “fellowshipping.” In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it is verticle – the attention is (or should be) on God alone. God Himself is present – Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity – on every Catholic altar. If people believed Jesus Christ was in the room, would they be chit-chatting about where they’re from? Saying “hello”? Socializing? Nope – all eyes would be on Jesus. In the Catholic Church, He is there – Truly and Really and Substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle on every Catholic altar. Fellowshipping is done outside of Mass, in the vestibule, on the grass or sidewalk, in the many classes or service groups such as St. Vincent de Paul where tight friendships are formed. Catholic worship is God-centered. Protestant “worship” is a sermon, a song, a prayer, and heavy on the fellowship. This is because they don’t have the Eucharist.
[/quote]

Actually I disagree strongly.

Jesus said… Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Obviously, the two or three gathered in His name can even be outside a church. For example, when Jan Tyranowski met with a young Mr. Karol in occupied Poland when such meetings were illegal. Mr. Karol went on to become a priest and is our current Pope John Paul II. I would hate to make any blanket statement that Christ is not present in other Christian Churches (aside from Catholic). I wouldn’t believe it either.

Properly, our relationships with others can be diagrammed as a cross. The Jewish word shalom means peace and justice in all relationships. The Hawaiian word aloha comes close to that meaning as well.

Our vertical (upward) relationship with Jesus, with God, with Mary. Perhaps also with our Priest confessor or our Priest in the Mass.

Our horizontal relationships with other Christians. We are to love one another. That is how others know that we are Christians and that we have something special.

Our horizontal relationships with others (non-Christians). We are also to love them and be a witness to them. Pray for them.

Our relationships with souls in purgatory (perhaps horizontal). To pray for them. To ask them to remember us and to pray for us when they get to heaven. Is this horizontal or vertical, I don’t know.

Our fellowship with saints in heaven. To learn about them as examples for us. To pray for their assistance. Is this horizontal or vertical, I don’t know.

Our vertical relationship (downward) to assist Mary in trodding on the serpent. To bruise his head. Keep the devil under your feet.

I think even as a Catholic that we are responsible for more than just the vertical relationship with God.

So now that I am thinking Catholic, I find that there are more possible relationships to build. And more to be responsible for. Not less.


#15

[quote=jmm08]Actually I disagree strongly.

Jesus said… Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Obviously, the two or three gathered in His name can even be outside a church. For example, when Jan Tyranowski met with a young Mr. Karol in occupied Poland when such meetings were illegal. Mr. Karol went on to become a priest and is our current Pope John Paul II. I would hate to make any blanket statement that Christ is not present in other Christian Churches (aside from Catholic). I wouldn’t believe it either.

Properly, our relationships with others can be diagrammed as a cross. The Jewish word shalom means peace and justice in all relationships. The Hawaiian word aloha comes close to that meaning as well.

Our vertical (upward) relationship with Jesus, with God, with Mary. Perhaps also with our Priest confessor or our Priest in the Mass.

Our horizontal relationships with other Christians. We are to love one another. That is how others know that we are Christians and that we have something special.

Our horizontal relationships with others (non-Christians). We are also to love them and be a witness to them. Pray for them.

Our relationships with souls in purgatory (perhaps horizontal). To pray for them. To ask them to remember us and to pray for us when they get to heaven. Is this horizontal or vertical, I don’t know.

Our fellowship with saints in heaven. To learn about them as examples for us. To pray for their assistance. Is this horizontal or vertical, I don’t know.

Our vertical relationship (downward) to assist Mary in trodding on the serpent. To bruise his head. Keep the devil under your feet.

I think even as a Catholic that we are responsible for more than just the vertical relationship with God.

So now that I am thinking Catholic, I find that there are more possible relationships to build. And more to be responsible for. Not less.
[/quote]

I didn’t say that Jesus wasn’t present in other Churches. I said: “Catholic worship is God-centered. Protestant ‘worship’ is a sermon, a song, a prayer, and heavy on the fellowship. This is because they don’t have the Eucharist.”

If you think Christ’s Eucharistic Presence is equivalent in any way to the “fellowship” Baptists have, you don’t understand the Eucharist.

Catholic worship is verticle (the Holy Mass is a sacrifice, offered to God), Protestant worship is horizontal (people-centered). I was Baptist for many years. It is a social gathering where we celebrated each other’s presence, fellowshipped, read our proof’ texts from the Bible, sang a couple of songs, prayed a little, and listened to a looooooong sermon. There was no “adoration” or “worship” to it. The focus in Protestant worship is on thee and me. The focus in Catholic worship is on Him.

Perhaps you’ll understand it better bye and bye. Have you ever attended a Latin Tridentine Mass?

JMJ Jay


#16

jmm08:

What do the words of Jesus, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” really mean?

This statement occurs in the immediate context of Jesus giving his Apostles binding, decision-making authority.

“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (in Matthew 18:17-20)

It was a part of Jewish law that in order to deliver a judgement against someone who had committed a crime, 2 or 3 witnesses were necessary to bring about the conviction and deliver the sentence against the criminal.

On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses he that is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness” (Dt. 17:6).

***In effect, Jesus’ statement pertains to his presence in the midst of the Church’s legislative authority, confirming the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses:


But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” (Mt 20:16)

If one is going to treat another Christian “as a Gentile or a tax-collector,” that’s excommunication. And, excommunication isn’t really valid unless Christ confirms it as the invisible authority empowering the visible authority – the Church.

So the words are really about the authority Christ vested in His Church.

[font=Verdana]They have a much deeper meaning than one we give them.

JMJ Jay [/font]


#17

[quote=Katholikos]I didn’t say that Jesus wasn’t present in other Churches. I said: “Catholic worship is God-centered. Protestant ‘worship’ is a sermon, a song, a prayer, and heavy on the fellowship. This is because they don’t have the Eucharist.”

If you think Christ’s Eucharistic Presence is equivalent in any way to the “fellowship” Baptists have, you don’t understand the Eucharist.

Catholic worship is verticle (the Holy Mass is a sacrifice, offered to God), Protestant worship is horizontal (people-centered). I was Baptist for many years. It is a social gathering where we celebrated each other’s presence, fellowshipped, read our proof’ texts from the Bible, sang a couple of songs, prayed a little, and listened to a looooooong sermon. There was no “adoration” or “worship” to it. The focus in Protestant worship is on thee and me. The focus in Catholic worship is on Him.

Perhaps you’ll understand it better bye and bye. Have you ever attended a Latin Tridentine Mass?

JMJ Jay
[/quote]

I agree a bit with what you say here. In Baptist Churches there is often only a hint of an alter. And there is no sacrifice on that alter.
Fellowshipping is not worship anywhere – not even in Baptist Churches. I think the fellowship of Christians is not to be disregarded as unimportant by any denomination.

In many Protestant Churches, there is a similarity to the “Liturgy of the Word”. Bible readings. Often some hymns or songs. Responsive readings. Some Protestant Churches may do better than others. The “Liturgy of the Word” is a spiritual feast, just as the “Liturgy of the Eucharist”. Of course, I suppose receiving the Eucharist is much more personal (but I have not yet had “first communion” in the Catholic Church).

Perhaps because I have not had “first communion”, I am more sensitive to how much sacramentals and the “Liturgy of the Word” mean to me. Perhaps it is similar to seeing the stars at night. The stars are still there in the daytime, but the sun is so bright that you cannot see them.

However, the Catholic “Liturgy of the Eucharist” is largely absent from Protestant Churches. Most churches I attended only have communion once a month. And even then there is no worship such as in the Catholic Church. There is no recognition of the Body of Christ. Which is primarily why I’m in RCIA.

As you subsequently say, two or more gathered in Jesus Name includes certain specific situations. However, I think Jesus is not restricted to those specific situations, and that His Presence is where-ever two or more true believers gather in His Name.

I suppose that worship alone can be a good thing. Otherwise, hermits should not have seperated themselves from others. But I suppose also that the normal Christian experience should include fellowship, reading about the Saints, telling others about Christ, prayer to Saints, prayer for souls in purgatory, prayer for our enemies, prayer for our friends in Christ, reading the Bible, resisting the devil, disregarding worldly trinkets, abiding in Christ the true vine and fleeing occasions of the flesh. In many of these things I am still learning.


#18

Hating to always be the cynic, I believe that there are some serious motives behind “Altar Call” that are worth considering.

RCIA requires a serious investment and committment on the part of the Faithful. This does two things - that you may know that to which you are professing, and that you are truly committed.

An “altar call” is a cheap and easy way to fill the seats, and by extension, the collection plate. If you make people attend classes, the lukewarm fall away. With “altar call” you have the lukewarm for a couple of weeks until they are truly cold, and fall away.

There were times in this country (before TV preachers, which now do the samething via television) when “revivalists” toured around, pitched a tent, whipped people up into a frenzy, passed the plate, and did the altar call. They then packed up with their loot, and moved on to the next town. TV and radio of course killed this off, because now the masses could be reached with an appeal to “send in what you can to support this Godly ministry”.

A famous individual by the name of Oral Roberts comes to mind. It is rumored that the 60 story “City of Faith” complex (which was subsequently sold for the profit of the ministry) was built on the backs of fixed-income pensioners sending in parts of their social security checks. I am also aware of a $1 million dollar gift in the late 70’s to endow a law school, which was promptly shut down (and presumably the funds werer diverted) at the death of the donor and his wife. Fine examples of furthering the ministry of God.

And you wonder why I have a problem with “altar call”?


#19

[quote=jmm08]IFellowshipping is not worship anywhere – not even in Baptist Churches. I think the fellowship of Christians is not to be disregarded as unimportant by any denomination.
[/quote]

Please – just don’t fellowship during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Study it. Learn what is happening. It’s like a dance, a ballet. Every gesture, every movement has meaning. And you’ll lose your urge to “fellowship” while you’re at Calvary. You can fellowship outside the Church to your heart’s content, but not in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, please.

Be like the author of Revelation: “When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead” (1:17). Don’t look away from Jesus – keep your eyes on Him. The proper homage to God is reverent silence except when the Liturgy requires otherwise.

The Church directs us to begin our recollection in silence while we are still in our homes so that we will be prepared to enter into His Presence at Church in silence.

Bad liturgies now make this difficult.

Go to a Latin Mass sometime if possible.

JMJ Jay


#20

[quote=Katholikos]Please – just don’t fellowship during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Study it. Learn what is happening. It’s like a dance, a ballet. Every gesture, every movement has meaning. And you’ll lose your urge to “fellowship” while you’re at Calvary. You can fellowship outside the Church to your heart’s content, but not in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, please.

Be like the author of Revelation: “When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead” (1:17). Don’t look away from Jesus – keep your eyes on Him. The proper homage to God is reverent silence except when the Liturgy requires otherwise.

The Church directs us to begin our recollection in silence while we are still in our homes so that we will be prepared to enter into His Presence at Church in silence.

Bad liturgies now make this difficult.

Go to a Latin Mass sometime if possible.

JMJ Jay
[/quote]

I do not try to fellowship at Mass. I am certain that I will learn more about the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

I keep silent during Mass except when the liturgy requires otherwise. I know it is a sin to talk in church. Some Protestant Churches would benefit if they also regarded talking in church as a sin.

I live in northern Virginia and we have great priests. I have not yet been to a mass with a bad liturgy. I once went to a early morning Mass where I think they completely skipped the homily – but that isn’t my local church. But maybe somebody said some short homily and I missed it. It looked to me like that early Mass was for morning commuters (who might have been in a hurry). And I sometimes go to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It is so good to pray the rosary, go to Mass, or attend Eucharistic Adoration at the Basilica.

I have a 2-CD album of Pope John Paul praying the rosary in latin (1994). The mysteries are in English. I love to listen to it and sometimes I pray along in English. If we ever have a latin mass at my church, I’ll go. But I am not anxious about it. The English Mass works.

jmm08


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