. . . [M]any go away from the “altar [call],” told that they are now Christians, knowing that they are not changed one bit. As a result, their unbelief may harden into skepticism toward anything Christian.
R. L. Dabney notes:
“They feel that a cruel trick has been played upon their inexperience by the ministers and friends of Christianity in thus thrusting them, in the hour of their confusion, into false positions…. How natural to conclude that those [experiences of conversion] of all others are delusions also? They say: ‘The only difference between myself and these earnest Christians is that they have not yet detected the cheat as I have.’”
The extension of an appeal for public decision may result in a purely psychological response that provides a catharsis for the emotional pressure of the sermon. Such persons falsely assume that their action has made them right with God. In others, it may drive them further into skepticism and doubt about the reality of the conversion of anyone. Such dangers ought to alarm every person sincerely concerned about the salvation of lost souls.