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For the most part those shows and events are put on by “altar call” Evangelical Protestants. They draw people in with a show, be it skateboarding or carnival acts like the Power Team (a bunch of weightlifters and strongmen who would break bats or bend frying pans or hammer nails with their fists), and right near the end take a few minutes to mention Jesus and call people up to the altar. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, once-saved always-saved, thank you, good night.

I went up to three or four altar calls without having any clue what was going on. There is no depth or intimacy to an altar call; you need further (or prior) instruction to even understand what an altar call is, what it means, and what it supposedly accomplished. Generally, that further instruction comes in the form of a home visit where you get a quick rundown of Evangelical, OSAS soteriology, a free bible, and the address to their church.

I have a very low opinion of this form of evangelization (if you can even call it that). Many who convert through the altar call and follow-up meeting are truly seeking the meaning in their life. But when the high emotions fade, so too does their faith. Anti-Catholicism is sometimes used in these groups to keep that fire burning. It was not in mine.