Beware of the Christian deconvertee

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Beware of the Christian deconvertee
and the “enlightened” former Christian who was able to “reason” him/herself out of faith.

Their words have no more meaning and they speak with no more authority than anyone else.

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Categories: Apologetics, Christianity

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

45 replies

  1. LOL! I probably should not be laughing, but the human capacity to “reason and rationalize” ourselves into a good deal of trouble, is somewhat unprecedented. That is why we are told to, “lean not into your understanding.” Conversely however the heart is wicked, who can know it?

    Basically what that means is that alone we are toast and we really need God to help us sort it all out and to help us understand, and sometimes, to protect us from our own foolishness. Or not. He often gives us free rein. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love it. Why should we take their words as any more authoritative than another’s? If they can rationalize irrelevance into being an absolute, why should I listen to their “insanity” any more than my own?

    Liked by 2 people

    • We shouldn’t take their words as being more authoritative at all Anthony, yet they almost always demand we do.

      Really, I think this tactic only has a chance of working on non-believers or those of weak faith. No serious Christian is moved by such empty appeals to authority.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And I feel sorry for them, too. If they were truly born again, then the depth of their pain, anger, and denial must be nearly unfathomable. I mean, I remember when I was so disillusioned and hurt that I literally shook my fist and cursed God, just like a small child or teenager might try to hurt a parent’s feelings with their tantrums. I tried to walk away – from faith and life – but that “still small Voice” kept whispering, wooing, remaining faithful, until the day when I couldn’t run from Him any more. That’s why so many of the deconverted are so snarky, angry, and bitter. The rest are just jerks because they’ve convinced themselves they’re all that and a bag of chips.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hated God for a while and tried to push Him away too but this was before the internet was as big as it is today so I didn’t have endless forums to vent on so I don’t know what I would have done if it were happening today.

          What I see today, more often than not anyway, is not people simply running from God for a good reason (and there are reasons for people to be upset with God and want to run but they can be worked through) but dishonest haters and jerks who just want to cause trouble.

          What these people fail to understand is that those of us who have been doing this a while can pretty easily tell if someone is sincere or not and, most internet trolls are clearly not.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, my running was early 2000’s, so that was before I knew what a troll was. And yes, there are far more jerks out there than there used to be…the Dawkinites who only want to stir up strife with no intent on finding truth.

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          • My running was in 1996 and my faith was not nearly as strong as it is now.

            My brother had just died and, for the life of me, I couldn’t understand the “injustice” in it.

            If something like that happened now, I am much better equipped to cope.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I had a very well-paying job and felt God leading me to Kentucky to a better job (in the same field). I struggled with the move, but then asked the Lord to show me a sign (dangerous move). I asked a gentleman if there were any bi-vocational churches in the area needing a pastor – there were 13 in a county of less than 40,000! I thought this was “surely God’s will.” Unfortunately (or fortunately) no churches wanted me and my job fell through leaving me working up to 4 part-time jobs at once just to feed my family and keep a roof over them. God crushed my pride, and that hurt. I sinned in ways I never thought I would and expected few consequences…but they came. Pride, the sins of presumption…all these things God had to sift out of me and introduce me to grace. It was during that time I blamed God because I didn’t want to blame myself.

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          • God sometimes takes people down incredibly bumpy roads to get them where He wants them to be, your story seems to be no exception.

            I can tell you that God has walked me through the aftermath of some poor choices and mistakes too and, I can confidently say now, that all of it has made me who I am today.

            You know. Sometimes I wish I had an easier road but I know now everything happened for a reason.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Do you think running from and hating God because someone believes they have been hurt by God causes internal turmoil that can manifest itself in childish anger and juvenile acting up?

          It’s a common human inclination to desire to damage or discredit people who have hurt or wronged us. Can this same thing explain a palpable disdain for faith?

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          • An immature faith can lead one to misinterpret the actions of his heavenly Father, just like the snotty teen might threaten his parent with running away – or worse – when the car keys are taken away before date night. Many children battle with ill feelings toward parents they actually love.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I wonder why people with immature faith don’t seek the wise counsel of someone who can help instead of lashing out at small time bloggers?

            That was mostly rhetoric, I know because most do just that. That’s why I believe nearly all the trolls aren’t serious.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. “Their words have no more meaning and they speak with no more authority than anyone else.”

    I agree, they also speak with no less authority than anybody else.

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  4. Perhaps the ‘Christian’ deconvertee was never a genuine Christian in the first place. 1 John 2:19 seems to tell us that, and there is a lot of other scripture that backs up that idea. Concerning ‘authority’ for speaking, the one who quotes scripture speaks with the authority of God, which no non-believer is able to do. That the non-believer somehow can reason more rationally is nonsense. It is God who teaches us to think. Yes, he has taught all of us to think. However he also tells us that the non-believer has a ‘blind mind’ and cannot understand spiritual matters. & 2 Cor 4:4 & 1 Cor 2:14. Therefore the unbeliever is by nature limited in his/her reasoning capabilities.

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  5. “Perhaps the ‘Christian’ deconvertee was never a genuine Christian in the first place”

    Is that a genuine suggestion?

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  6. Well, one reason why it might not be the case is that people, using their minds, could realise that the Christian god they believe in is no longer real and so stop believing. You know, like how kids who believe in santa and the tooth fairy stop believing when they realise they don’t exist, or do you think Dan will suggest that those were never real beliefs either?

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  7. Have you ever heard a former believer say that they didn’t actually believe during that time when they previously said they did believe?

    If they admit that they didn’t actually believe, then yes, you have a point. It may well be possible that some former ‘believers’ didn’t really believe.

    If they say that they really did believe, earnestly and honestly, then surely they must have really believed.

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    • I know people who thought they were very sincere believers then realized they were not, then accepted Christ.

      I talk to people all the time and I have to take them at their word that they are/were believers if they say they are/were, no one can possibly know for sure except them and God.

      What I can tell you is that it is entirely possible to not really be a believer even though someone is adamant they are.

      I think Dan was just throwing this option out there as a possibility that has scriptural support.

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      • How likely is it that someone would adamantly say they believed, but didn’t really? I suggest that someone who is going to so strongly assert their former belief really did hold that belief and struggled with the deconversion process.

        It’s very possible that someone nominally believed and then gave up because they couldn’t be bothered. I’d accept it if you suggested they didn’t really believe.

        Those I’m interested in are those who say they really did believe, these are people who spent years believing and years deconverting though much pain and anguish. Such a firmly held belief does not go away quickly. My first suggestion when faced with someone who says they did believe is to ask them how long it took to change that, if the answer is months and years then it’s a pretty safe bet that they really did believe.

        Dan might be ‘just throwing it out there’ but to suggest that to someone who agonised over their change in belief it’s an insult to dismiss what they went through in such an off hand manner.

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        • I have interacted with Dan quite a bit and won’t argue that he can’t come across as dismissive, even uncaring. This is not however, to say he is insincere, uncaring, or that he doesn’t speak the truth. The truth is often an uncomfortable thing for people to hear.

          It has been my experience that people can live a life of faith yet still struggle with belief and doubt and struggle significantly.

          I am going to look for a comment I put on a different post a few days ago and put it here as I think it will help explain some more.

          Meantime, do you think you were once saved? By that I mean completely made a new creation in Christ?

          This is a good conversation by the way.

          James

          Liked by 1 person

        • Here is part of the comment I was talking about. If someone is saved forever once they give their lives to Christ, how is it possible to walk away? Curious, have you ever thought that you might just be wandering and that you will come back? Not trying to sound dismissive but that does happen.

          Only God knows if someone has truly and sincerely repented of their sins and given their life to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but if they have, they now belong to Him forever, and their salvation is secure. The Bible says that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

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  8. So if someone were to chance their mind and stop believing, their salvation world be revoked?

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    • That’s change not chance.

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    • I don’t think a mind change is possible unless someone were not really saved.

      For a believer to lose his salvation would demand an undoing of the preceding works of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The key issue in the discussion of a believer’s security concerns the issue of who does the saving. If man is responsible for securing his salvation he can be lost; if God secures the person’s salvation, he is forever secure.

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      • Thanks for the honesty.

        The fact remains, there are many former Christians who say they were firm and genuine believers. Somehow you need to square that with your theology.

        If you’ll forgive me being blunt, it’s not respectful to them to dismiss their former belief by saying that it wasn’t real. Some of these former Christians believed for many years and took positions of responsibility. My wife still believes and she doesn’t doubt i once believed. She saw first hand how strong my belief was and she’d tell you are wrong to suggest my belief wasn’t real. You didn’t know me through those years. My challenge to you is this, what needs to change in order to convince you that someone can change their mind on Christianity?

        Finally, if we have free will, doesn’t that mean we can freely walk away from belief if we stop being convinced of the existence of God? To deny that option denies us free will doesn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

        • limey,

          Believe me, I’m not trying to sound dismissive or lacking in empathy here, this is a tough theological issue many people struggle with, some deeply.

          Louis Berkhof in his book, Systematic Theology writes of “temporary faith” as being distinguished from “true saving faith.” According to Berkhof, temporary faith is most likely “grounded in the emotional life and seeks personal enjoyment rather than the glory of God.” That’s why it is not difficult to understand why this kind of false faith is quickly lost when God or the church ceases to be fun, when it loses its appeal. Unlike saving faith, temporary faith, Berkhof writes, “is not rooted in a regenerate heart.” He locates temporary faith in God’s Word in Matthew 13:18-23.

          Again, not trying to seem dismissive but I think the theology speaks for itself here, sorry if that seems harsh.

          For the record, I once firmly believed I could walk away too, I even wandered for two years. Long story short there is that I do, despite what you may think, get what you are saying.

          I will be short on tine for the rest of the day so, forgive me in advance if I don’t respond to your next comment as quick as you would like.

          James

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  9. The thing is though. My faith was not quickly lost. Read the stories of other people like me. The loss of faith is long and painful. This is the sign of a strong belief, not a false faith.

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