Website owner:  James Miller

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  THE FALLACY IN BAPTIST BELIEF               12/91

   The first and foremost question of the Baptist is:  "Are you 
   saved?"  That is their only question.  If you answer "yes" then 
   you are safe.  You are going to heaven.  You are one of them, 
   one of the "elect", one of the few, one of the "chosen".  You 
   have done everything that is needed, done all that matters.  It 
   is around this idea that their entire doctrine is shaped and 
   molded.  They have an entire vocabulary built around this idea: 
   they talk in terms of words and phrases like "being converted", 
   "being saved", "being born again", "accepting Christ as 
   Savior", "believing in Christ", "confessing Christ", etc. most 
   of which do indeed come from the Bible.  What they mean by the 
   term "getting saved" is, at some time in your life, repenting 
   of sin, turning from sin, turning to God and promising to 
   follow him.  The formula is often stated in this way, at least.  
   Or it may be stated in other ways such as "Ask Jesus to come 
   into your heart", or sometimes as simply as just: "Accept 
   Christ as your personal Savior.  Salvation is a free gift.  All 
   you have to do is accept it. It is that simple."  It is an act 
   which, they stress over and over, is essential for each man to 
   do at some time in his life.  I do believe that it is important 
   for every person, at some point in his life, to repent of his 
   sin, turn away from it, turn to God and follow him.  So what is 
   wrong with their beliefs and ideas, what is wrong with their 
   theology and dogma?  Where is the fallacy in their thinking, 
   where do they deceive and delude themselves?  They deceive 
   themselves in the idea that this act (or any act performed in 
   one's past) can be counted on to guarantee the salvation of 
   your soul --- that the salvation of your soul is guaranteed by 
   some action that you can take.  This idea gives them a 
   smugness, assurance and a kind of arrogance that is not 
   justified.  To me the important question determining whether a 
   person is a true Christian or not is not whether, at some time 
   in the past he turned away from sin and turned to God, but 
   whether he is following in God's way now, is now living a 
   righteous, godly life.  Moreover, I don't see the salvation of 
   the soul as clear cut as the Baptist sees it.  I feel pretty 
   sure that if a person follows God's way and lives a righteous, 
   upright life he will go to heaven.  But I don't know anything 
   for sure, I am not the final judge, God is the final judge.  I 
   only hope and believe this is the case.  I have faith that it 
   is the case.  I believe God is a merciful God and if even a bad 
   man, on his deathbed, repents of his sin and turns to God, God 
   will save him (as Christ promised the thief on the cross). 

   The truth is if one were to look at a list of all the things I 
   believe and don't believe and then looked at how the Baptists 
   believed in regard to the same list one would be struck by how 
   much we have in common, how similar our beliefs and sentiments 
   were.  Yet we are also very far apart. 

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