False Teachers Say…
THE MOURNER'S BENCH/ALTER SYSTEM WILL SAVE
The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)
Out of the doctrine of original sin came the tradition of the mourner’s bench and alter call. The bench is about 20" to 25" high and several feet long. Sometimes it is covered with padding, and it is known to be a place of outbreaks of tears over sin. No one is certain how the first altar call happened, but most historians lay it at the feet of early Methodists. One anecdote from 1798 tells of Pastor John Easter issuing a call for his audience to gather around a bench in the front of the chapel and to pray for salvation.
Charles Finney roped off the first few rows of seats in his meetings and called these the "anxious seats." Sinners were urged to leave their seats in the back, and to move forward as the preacher railed against the evils of the day. As an encore, Finney then finished his sermons by preaching directly to those (and sometimes only those) in the first few rows. Many of those from the Calvinist tradition believed that men were called only to wait on God for their salvation. They are not to press the matter themselves, and certainly not by using high‑profile alter calls and the tradition of the mourner’s bench.
If one wants to be saved, he must be saved according to God's will (Matt. 7:21). The tradition of the mourner's bench must be rejected based on the inspired directions of the Lord. If one is sorry about his sinful condition, he will repent (Acts 17:30; 2 Cor. 7:8-10). If one is sorry about his sinful condition, he will repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, not repent and cry, or repent and pray (Acts 2:38). If one is sorry about his sinful condition, he will obey the Gospel (2 Thess. 1:6-9).
No matter how one comes up with other ways of salvation, there will still only be one way (Acts 4:12; 2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6‑12). No matter how hard one may try to convince himself that he is saved, the Bible will always say, the will of Christ must be obeyed in order to be saved (Heb. 5:8-9). No matter how much faith one might have in traditions of men, the word will always stand to judge all of man in the last day (John 5:28‑29; 12:48; Rom. 2:16; Rev. 20:11‑15). No matter what we think, God will condemn those outside His Gospel (2 Thess. 1:7‑9). Why not obey the Gospel of Christ and become a New Testament Christian only?