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    Fundamentalism had become a movement of cultural isolationism by the 1940s, and Gothard’s teachings reflect that.
    But another important influence on Gothard was the 19th century American revivalist Charles G. Finney.  Finney was exalted by many 20th century evangelicals because of his role in the Second Great Awakening, but few have actually examined what he believed.  Finney was essentially a Pelagian — i.e., the adherent of a very ancient Christian heresy.
    Finney’s God was a “He loves me / He loves me not” type God.  If you stepped out line just once — POW! — He’d let you have it.
     He also believed that getting people converted was simply a matter of controlling their environment.  His extreme emphasis on technique and generating intense emotionalism not only had a profound impact on American religion, but it also led to some high-handed manipulation.  Gothard referred favorably to Finney in his thesis.