I have a question, well actually more like several questions. Have you ever been in a church and at the end of the service they have an altar call? First they announce an invitation to all who do not know Jesus and would like Him to come into their lives. Then they ask everyone to bow their heads and to close their eyes while the music plays, giving an opportunity for those to come forward and proclaim their belief in Jesus and confess themselves as being sinners. Then after someone does come forward and they pray with them, they have that person stand up in front of the church announcing what they have just done.
Now my first question is, “Why do people bow their heads and close their eyes”? Is the act of believing in Jesus, confessing you are a sinner, and accepting His gift of eternal life an embarrassment? Is it fear of being noticed that grips at the heart of these people, so in order to bring them out of the crowd, the crowd must not initially know who they are? In the end all know, but in the beginning no one is to know. Are we not suppose to approach the throne of God boldly?
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)
The gift of eternal life is given to us by grace, it is not something we can earn.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8)
Is the act of bowing the head and closing the eyes so that the church becomes blind to those who are sinners and are coming forward to receive Jesus’ gift to them? We all are sinners.
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:9-10)
Doesn’t this encourage people to be ashamed if they have not yet accepted the gift of Jesus, as a result of all heads being bowed and eyes closed? What does this tell the person about followers of Jesus, that they cannot look upon a sinner, that being one who does not know Jesus is disgraceful. Are we not to show love to the rejected, to those who do not know Jesus, to those who society casts aside. Is bowing our heads and closing our eyes showing love. Should not the church show that is it alright to boldly come forth, that no one will judge you, and that we are all sinners.
Is bowing the heads and closing the eyes a tradition taught by Jesus or is this a tradition taught by man? Did not the Pharisees hold to the traditions of man?