For everything there is a season

Yo tambien! At summer camp and revival events I have seen crowds of people respond at each occasion and I always wondered if they people responding sought out a church, Bible study group or an individual to disciple them afterward or if they were responding emotionally and would soon fall away.  Jesus specifically spoke about this phenomenon in his parable about the seeds falling on rocky soil, on shallow soil or on rich deep soil.

 

Becoming a Christian is a life long journey.  The initial response is just the beginning.  Much instruction is needed.  The first step is to examine oneself.  If  family or friends are pressuring one to respond to an altar call, there could be much confusion in that person’s mind. The question is are they doing this to please those people important to them or are they doing this in response to God.

 

At a prayer breakfast or any official military formation it is clear that the influence from outsiders is so overwhelming the individual who may be earnestly seeking spiritual understanding and commitment would be unduly influenced by those who have power over him.  How would he know his own mind in that circumstance?

 

I have seen several young people respond to the alter call at camp because the kids thought I was a “cool” chaperon and the elders knew I drive a Suburban.  I spent much prayer time asking for guidance for those young people and talking to them afterward.  One camper asked me after a particularly lively praise time with great contemporary praise music, “When are they going to stop entertaining us and start training us to share the gospel?”

 

An alter call at an event where people will attend in military uniform long with their superior officers is inappropriate by the standards and expectations of discipleship set out by our Lord and by the US Constitution.  Thank you, MRFF for standing up for these military members who understand this and ask for your help, for those who do not understand, and especially for those who are struggling with the question posed by Joshua  “choose this day whom you will serve”.   There is a time and place for everything – including altar calls.

(name withheld)

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