“In the fifties, my family moved to Riverside, California, and we attended a Baptist church. We were taught that if you die as an infant, your soul automatically goes to heaven. They sure lucked out, I thought. Twelve is the age of reason and, after that, you go to hell unless you are saved. I had reached that dangerous age. I was on thin ice.
“About that time, my family went to a huge tent revival by Oral Roberts. The sermon was dramatic. The evangelist told about Judas betraying Jesus, and I can still picture him making a noose out of the microphone chord as he tearfully pleaded with Judas not to hang himself—“don’t do it, Judas, don’t do it”—and slowly placed the noose around his own neck and enacted the whole scene before our very eyes. I felt an urge to go forward and did so with the blessing of my parents.
“Afterwards, those of us who had come forward were directed to a side tent. A nice woman knelt and prayed with me. I felt nothing but the chill in the air. Nevertheless, like Pascal, I thought I had better cover my bets and was baptized.”
Yes, those (experiences) were not epiphanic, but the opposite.
An epiphany is a moment of insight or revelation. My experience had subtracted insight.
They moved you farther away.