pentecostal sacramentalism

Ben Myers gives kudos to (an obviously Pentecostal or charismatic) church’s worst liturgical invention ever! My wife and I were discussing the hidden sacrament of the Altar Call in our revivalist upbringing. We still both value this very much. Its just that calling such a thing a sacrament would deeply offend most folk in this tradition!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “pentecostal sacramentalism

  1. I am far from sure the alter call I is something I would say I value. This is mainly because over-use has let to a trivialisation and also (I think) can promote the individualism that is often prevalent in such circles. That said, there is the stand up and be counted angle.

  2. My wife valued it because it was open for any length of time. She said that after every service she could just go up and be with the Lord and people would leave her alone to pray. She wishes she knew of churches where that was still that case. I look at the frequency of the plea and the urgency. Also the expectancy of God’s action. Every problem could be fixed at the Altar. “Who need’s counselling?” was one preacher’s statement. While the absurdity of that expectation is apparent, the confidence in God’s action and the expectation are legitimate.
    Where this “sacrament” is spoiled is in how often it has been manipulated and misused. The expectation of God’s work became an expectation for people to move, an expectation for doubts to cease, an expectation for solutions, and the need for faith and God’s action is rubbed out.

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