Originally posted by PBE6
I'd just like to mention that I hate evangelical Christians, or "Jesus freaks" as they are lovingly referred to by me. Let me relate a tale:
Last Friday, I was asked to go to coffee with my old co-workers, and I hastily agreed. At the coffee break, the conversation was moving along nicely. Then, the friend who invited me started talking to us about her ...[text shortened]... e the son of God and you're listening, I don't hate you, I hate your fans.
This was well written.
Many people undergo spiritual experiences, "peak" experiences. These are common to all religions, although each tends to believe their's unique.
"Accepting Jesus" can be an experience that is part of a spiritual process natural to emotionally based, devotional types. It needn't be a problem but it becomes problematic (in the ways you well described) because the experience is usually seized on by the person's ego and identifed
with -- meaning, they now have grafted the values of the ego -- "me", "mine", "ours", "this is the only way", etc. -- onto the peak experience. The ego then sets about locking the experience into a memory, which causes the immediacy of the experience to fade over time. The "holding onto an experience" becomes the basis of "this is the only way" thinking, and the condemning of different forms of spirituality.
There is a more insidious conditioning that goes on here as well, where the person claiming to have "accepted Jesus" (or Krishna or Allah, etc.) has in fact had no such experience
but has been swept up in the charisma of a group or of an individual who claims to have had such an experience. This vicarious form of salvation may even form the basis of spiritual experience for the majority of religious followers or those who pay lip service to doctrine and ritual once a week.
"Accepting Jesus" is fine in itself, especially if it brings happiness and wisdom and social responsibility. The only problem is when the ego seizes hold of the experience and begins to see it through egocentric filters, thus making it a possession and a tool to wield against others.
This is also common in Eastern faiths, by the way, where a person will have a legitimate enlightenment experience, but then over time the ego slowly resumes control and appropriates the experience, using it as a means to validate separation from others.