The Dynamics of Becoming "Born-Again"
Becoming a born-again Christian usually entails the following: (1 )A person is
consciously or sub-consciously concerned with the direction of his life. This may include a recent traumatic happening in his life such as a death, loss of a job, divorce
mortgage foreclosure or any number of events which may cause one to look closely at
the specific causes and effects in his life.
There may be a "spiritual hunger", a strong desire to know "Why am I here?", and "What's the
purpose of my life on this earth?". The realization that one is mortal and that at
some time, death will overtake and this earthly existence will cease often plays a big role in
"seeking God". There are many factors and these are only a few.
(2)The person is in some manner exposed to the born again teaching. This may occur in church, at an evangelistic service,
on television, by reading, or other media.
(3)At some point, the person is told that (a) all humans have sinned (transgression or
the breaking of divine law) and are therefore sinners. (b)That the bible is the word
of God and it states that sinners cannot go to heaven and will suffer some sort of
spiritual death forever and that (c)God has, however, provided a way for the sinner
by placing the guilt of the sinner on his son, Jesus Christ, who came to the earth as
a human and took the sins of all humanity on himself by suffering death by crucifixion.
(4)The individual is strongly encouraged to "accept" this sacrifice by Jesus, and ask God
to forgive his past sins. When the person does this, God grants him forgiveness and
he may now enter into heaven or God's presence when he dies. He is taught that he is
a "new person" or a "new creature" and that the spirit of Jesus Christ is imparted to
him - something he didn't have before. He is now a "spiritual" being as well as a
The procedure I have described may vary according to different churches and
their interpretations of the bible and its requirements for salvation but these are
the basic guidelines for salvation. I say this for my Christian friends who may
dispute the exact requirements.
The "new" Christian is encouraged to become involved with others who have like
beliefs. Once other Christians become aware that the person has become "saved" or "born
again", they encourage him to attend fundamentalist churches. The attendance allows
the new Christian to be exposed to older Christians who begin their indoctrination and conditioning.
The new Christian is encouraged to attend classes and fraternize only with those
who hold the same beliefs. Scripture is used to reinforced these ideas. The new
Christian is then 'trained' in the ways of the Lord according to the beliefs of the
There are many inherent problems with the "prescription for salvation" I have described
The new Christian usually has very little or even no knowledge of the bible and
its origins and the history of the church when he makes his committment.
Yet he has chosen to base his entire life on the contents of a book of which he knows very little or nothing at all. He is now being very subtly trained by
Christians who were once in the same shoes as the new Christian. They teach him
what they have been taught by the Christians who were before them - and so on.
The knowledge handed down from the older Christians is allegedy "bible based" and
"scriptural". In fact, it is what they have been taught and decided to accept
The real truth is that the bible is a compendium of books by different authors
from different time periods. It describes a biblegod who, during the Passover,
killed innocents such as infants and old men and women. It describes him as "repenting"
or changing his previous committments as he pleases. It contains contradictions,
inconsistencies and errors. It sometimes describes God as a singular entity -
sometimes as having more than one personality.
Much of the bible is borrowed from earlier, ancient religions. Many of the names
and incidents are strikingly similar. One needs only observe the present day Christian
holidays to verify this truth. Easter is of Pagan origin. Christmas was celebrated
by older religions before Christ arrived.
Although Jesus never referred to his 'miraculous' birth, Christians claim he was
born of a virgin - a most unusual happening. The 'original' evidence
is supported only in the gospels of Luke and Matthew. It is not supported in any
historical work. There are, however, other "virgin" births in other ancient religions
similar to the one described in the bible. When confronted with scientific evidence
that a virgin birth is difficult if not impossible, the born-again response is usually
"God can do anything". Born-again Christians, on the other hand, will not accept
a response from a non-believer which may be superstitious in nature. Any phenomena
which occurs outside of Bible teachings is usually attributed to Satan, demons or
just plain "evil".
While we know that a human must have oxygen to live and that the digestive juices
in a whale's stomach will deteriorate metal, nevertheless, the bible teaches us that
Jonah lived in a fish's belly for three days and survived.
Again, the Christian response is usually "God can do anything" which is, of course,
an entirely inadequate response.
It is important to realize that Christianity invented sin. Then, Christianity
offers to "fix" it so the sinner can go to heaven. Its sort of like having someone
punch you in the eye and then sell you ice to keep the swelling down.
The bible teaches that women are worth less than men. In the Old Testament
when women were sold, they were always sold for less money than men.
the practice of selling human beings and also condoned slavery.)
The Bible commands that women should not be allowed
to preach in church. It also commands that women must
always be subservient to men.
The new "Promise Keepers" movement promises to enforce and keep alive the ancient
The thrust of my comments is to show that the bible is not a book to be trusted to
guide one's life. Nor are seasoned born-again Christians accurate or knowledgable
with their teachings about salvation, born-againism, etc. They parrot what they've
been taught. And what they've been taught is incorrect, inaccurate
and unproven. And they in turn teach their falsehoods to others.
Is the Bible Really the Inerrant Word of God?
It is my sincere hope that no one reading this will ever refuse to explore new areas
of information and knowledge because of unfounded fears that new ideas may re-shape
and beliefs. We are all "captains of our own ship" and therefore free to accept
or reject any or all new information and concepts.
Born again Christians argue that the bible is the infallible, inerrant, inspired
word of God. Let's take a close look.
When a born again fundamentalist Christian speaks of salvation or matters
regarding his spiritual beliefs, he usually backs up his statements by quoting
the bible to prove his authority. He quotes biblical verses taken from various
areas of the bible in a certain sequence. The quotes and the sequence serve as
the authority to prove that the statements are true.
Nearly any religious doctrine can be "proven" by quoting scriptures
in the alleged proper sequence, claiming they are all in context with each other.
Christians use scripture
to prove they are correct. Interestingly, there are hundreds of differing Christian
factions - all using scripture to prove that only they have the truth.
Using Scripture to prove Scripture is factual and true is called
"begging the question". Proof must come from extra-biblical, non
biased, proven documentation.
Lets go right to the core of belief that the bible is the word of God. How valid is the
claim that the bible is inerrant (without error) and that it contains no
It is a fact that not a single original manuscript of any book of the
bible exists today. We cannot, therefore, say that, in the present tense, "they
are inerrant". Furthermore, by the time the latest book of the bible was written,
all of the original manuscripts had long since been worn out and replaced by
copies. There were no firsthand copies. They were copies of copies of
copies....and on and on. This means that nobody ever saw the entire
bible as it was originally written.
Even if the original manuscripts were inerrant - and there is no evidence
that they were - there is presently no way to determine which parts of the
bible were originally "true" and which parts are now "false" or errant.
So if the claim is made the scriptures were inerrant in their original
manuscripts, it is an empty, meaningless claim today since there is no way to compare
the copies of copies of copies to the original manuscripts to verify their accuracy.
There never was an "inerrant" bible and there never will be. Fundamentalist
Christians will certainly dispute what I have written. Some will say they don't
care what I say and that the bible is> the inspired word of God and they
choose to believe it - not me. That's because the bible says it is the word of
god. That's really a "Catch 22". A favorite quote by born-again Christians is,
"The bible says it, I believe it, that settles it!". No reason, logic, thinking or
knowledge is required.
If the bible says it, its true. The bible
is a self-perpetuating book. It makes claims and then warns and threatens us not
to dispute those claims under pain of being cast into a "lake of fire". If you
choose to believe the entire bible literally, you are left absolutely no room
or right to questions its validity or authority.
An interesting note - the entire content of the Bible was chosen by men. The writings
which were excluded were excluded by men. Be assured these men all had an agenda which
was to propagate and preserve what THEY believed. Some scholars chose to include
books contained in the "Apocrypha" and these books appear in the Douay-Rheims version
of the Bible. Other men chose to omit the Apocrypha, so it is not included
in the King James version.
The concept of the Trinity of the Godhead was a political issue and was voted upon by
religious factions in the early days of Christianity. Whether you accept the Trinity
as a part of your beliefs or not, the Trinity is generally incorporated into Chrisitan
doctrine because men voted upon the concept and the pro-Trinity faction won.
Divine inspiration of what to include and preclude in the Bible then, often depended
upon the whims and agenda of a man or a few men who made the decision.
Having Second Thoughts About Born Again
If you're involved in born again, fundamentalist Christianity
and you're have second thoughts and doubts about it, join the email discussion
group BELOW where you can discuss them with others who feel the
same way you do.
The email list below (sometimes called a newsgroup) consists of ex-fundamentalists and those who are interested
in walking away from born again fundamentalism or who aren't sure
and have questions about whether to leave.
This is a support group
and is not intended to take you away from spiritual beliefs in which
you are comfortable and in which you wish to stay.