I also “peeked” and hardly ever saw a raised hand even though there were half a dozen comments of “I see that hand.” Talk about dishonesty from the pulpit! Oh, guess I’m not supposed to say that.
There is an art to most modern evangelical altar calls today. While this is no means a detailed vivisection of the entire process, it does highlight one key element that seems to be crucial to sustaining the entire process and practice. Hopefully the sheer familiarity and shared experience of such encounters will serve to prove the point.
In most Churches today, after the sermon is over, after the lights are sufficiently dimmed and after the pastor nods to the piano player to start playing gentle music, the ritual of the altar begins. It almost invariably starts with “With every head bowed, every eye closed, nobody looking around….no one watching you…eyes closed…..head bowed….no one looking” [repeat as much as necessary-wait as long as necessary]. The pastor consistently uses those terms- spoken in warm, soothing tones, and when he feels there is appropriate anonymity, and when the dizzying crescendo of…
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