Website owner:  James Miller

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   Evangelicals, most of them at least, believe that a person will 
   or will not go to heaven according to whether he has or has not 
   performed a certain action.  If he has performed that action he 
   will go to heaven; if he has not, he will not go to heaven.  
   The action alone determines whether he will or will not go to 
   heaven.  It follows then as a direct corollary that after he 
   has performed the required action nothing else in the way of 
   actions, conduct, attitudes, values, beliefs, affections, etc. 
   has any relevance or bearing as to whether he goes to heaven or 
   not.  It is a totally separate issue, an unrelated matter.  He 
   can live an immoral, profligate life, do anything he wants, and 
   still go to heaven.  This conclusion follows immediately and 
   inescapably from their belief.  They may hem and haw when asked 
   about this but it is a direct consequence.  And, of course, 
   this conclusion stands in direct conflict not only with a large 
   body of scripture, but also with common sense.  If it were true 
   God would be a God of sham.  Wicked people would be going to 
   heaven and good people would be going to hell.  Let us now 
   compare their view that a person's eternal destiny is 
   determined by the performance or nonperformance of some action 
   with my view that it is determined by the affections of the 
   heart and mind (i.e. whether a person loves God and is 
   following in his way or not).  Their view is legalistic and 
   mechanical, nonsubstantive; my view is substantive --- it 
   refers to what a person is, what drives him. 

   The evangelicals use various phrases to describe the action to 
   be performed in order to go to heaven:  "accept Christ as your 
   personal Savior", "give your heart to Jesus", etc.  These 
   phrases are somewhat vague and nebulous as to their meaning and 
   their meanings vary --- they are not completely consistent with 
   each other and really represent different criterions for 
   salvation  (some are just rewordings of those scripture that 
   state that if you just believe in Jesus you will be saved).  
   However, in practice, the action generally involves just saying 
   a prayer to God telling him that you want to accept Christ as 
   your Savior, give your heart to him, etc..

   The evangelical question is, "Did you give your heart to 
   Jesus?"; my question is, "Is Jesus the lord of your heart?"  
   They want to know if you have done something; I want to know 
   what you are, who is in control of your heart.  Do I have any 
   objection to someone giving his heart to Jesus?  Of course not.  
   It is the proper place to start.  But one must keep one's mind 
   clear on what makes one a Christian.  I believe you are not a 
   Christian because you have done something; you are a Christian 
   because of what you are, because of who is ruling your heart.  
   And I know that the beliefs and doctrines of evangelicalism 
   lead into deep self-deception. 

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