armchair cultural observation since 1995

Txt Altar Call

Then evangelist Tony Nolan took the stage to deliver a message and a high-tech take on the invitation for people to commit to the Christian faith. No walking forward to Just As I Am, Without One Plea here. Winter Jam goers were told to text “Tony” to 38714, and they would receive a text with more information about where to go for information. Winter Jam organizers estimated 2,500 people responded to that invitation Saturday night.

Rich Copley

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Categorised in: Elsewhere, Quotations

5 Responses »

  1. At first, I’m laughing out loud. Then, I’m thinking about how preposterous and absurd this is. Then, after some more time, and two or three beers (where I re-live traumatizing childhood/teenage memories), I’m laughing out loud again.

    Now I’m just pissed and I don’t even know what to say. If only “salvation” were as quick and easy as ordering a latte…

  2. Great blog by the way. I’ll be back.

  3. Wow, that’s pretty crazy. On the one hand, I can see the usefullness of cell phones as a connecting point, but using texting as an actual component of the ‘alter’ call and salvation process? That’s a little, a lot odd.

    I’m gonna have to try it out 😉 Just kidding.

    Ben sent me this way. I’ll be peeking around.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Ariah. I’ve been enjoying your blog in my reader for the past couple weeks.

    I see the cell phone altar call as little more than an updated version of the commitment cards.

    And like the commitment cards of my youth, I don’t see much of a benefit in teaching kids that becoming a follower of Christ is this kind of Hocus Pocus poof you are saved sort of thing because after the potion of the charismatic cool guy preacher and the euphora of the cute girl at the other end of the altar wears off signing a card or sending a text message doesn’t really mean as much to the kid as it does to the pastor or the ministry that can tout how many people they “led to the Lord.”

  5. Hocus Pocus poof, I think your right on.

    You’ve heard the stat or thing about how most people come to know Jesus before they are 18? Don’t know how they came to that (maybe counting commitment cards), but I think it’s really skewed how we do church and ‘evangelism’, especially at young people.

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