Website owner:  James Miller

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   Q. The evangelical doctrine that you become a born-again 
   Christian though the unbelievably simple formula of "accepting 
   Christ as Savior", through a simple one-time act, through a cut 
   and dried recipe, makes the question of whether a person is a 
   Christian or not a very clear-cut thing.  What is the effect of 
   this doctrine psychologically? 

   A. It causes people to feel they belong to a special group, an 
   elitist group, that they are substantially different from other 
   people.  Regarding themselves as the only ones who will be 
   saved, they see their group as privy to special knowledge, to 
   "The Great Spiritual Secret", to final, ultimate Truth.  It 
   creates an illusion in their minds, a delusion.  And it creates 
   within them a certain presumptuousness and arrogance.  In 
   addition, it acts to isolate them psychologically from the rest 
   of humanity.  They come to think they are so different from 
   everyone else and lose sight of how little different they 
   really are. 

   When one reads the great works of ancient times, many of 
   which are written by pagans, one realizes how much alike we all 
   are and how men of many religions, cultures and ages have 
   penetrated to deep spiritual truths. 

   It is interesting to note that when you take as your criterion 
   for "being a Christian" that of "faith" or "righteousness 
   before God" the question of who is a Christian and who is not 
   becomes much less clear-cut.  The criterion is much more 
   nebulous and indistinct, more a matter of judgment best left 
   for God to decide.  When this is your belief the big delusion 
   of being so different doesn't take place. 

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