I recently read on a WordPress.com featured blog where a blogger described in detail the reasons why he left Christianity. This blogger was quite surprised at the number of responses he received: nearly 1,000 comments as of the writing of this post. What was very sad to me (but not surprising) was the number of people who congratulated this person for leaving Christianity. I was quite amused and always want to know what’s behind these people who claim to experience the joy and salvation given to them by believing in Christ, only to turn their backs and not believe in Him at all.
But what I’m finding out is that perhaps there was never the joy and peace from the very beginning. It’s quite possible that this person and those like him were never truly a Christian to begin with! This was made evident by the writer’s own words:
Last fall, I finally moved past guilt and admitted to myself that I no longer believe in Jesus or the god of the Bible. Surprisingly it was a relief. Not because I wanted to run wild and sin freely, but because I no longer felt the weight a Christian carries. The weight of guilt, unworthiness and fear of god’s judgement.“ the BEattitude: Losing my religion. Why I recently walked away from Christianity.
The last part of his very last sentence I highlighted because it carries the crux of his entire problem – the fear of God’s judgement. Should Christians ever carry the weight of guilt and fear of God’s judgement? What is actually happening to this person’s relationship with God? This person is indicating by his own words that he was working his way to earning God’s acceptance. The burden of knowing that he was always falling short of God’s approval – no wonder he had no true peace or joy as a “Christian!”
This atheist also said in his previous paragraph:
“The change was a culmination of things that I could no longer ignore. Faith is belief in the unseen and unprovable, but still requires a foundation for that faith. With the countless religions of the world, I began to question why the god of the Bible is more believable than all other gods worshiped on earth. With the mountain of evidence staring me in the face, my faith began to die.”
What an amazing statement for a person to make who called himself a Christian. His faith died because of a mountain of evidence staring at him? He lists some of those things on his site such as the following (numbers 4-7 on his list):
- Bloody animal and human sacrifices are illogical demands by a divine god as payment for petty wrong doings. These actions are no different than the rituals of archaic pagan religions. Not to mention the bizarre ritual of symbolically drinking human blood and eating human flesh.
- If God loves us and wants us to know and believe in him, why be so completely invisible? What is the purpose of being so illusive to those who believe and worship him?
- God never manifests himself or performs miracles as he regularly did for the Israelites in Old Testament stories.
- Prayers are never answered. Certainly not in the way Jesus described. Prayer has absolutely no affect on the world around us.
Sadly, he either ignored the supporting evidence for biblical truth or he asked the questions and received the wrong answers. Those reasons he lists for rejecting Christianity could have easily been dealt with – if he had an opened heart and mind!
There’s so much more evidence that gives credibility to Jesus Christ’s existence and Lordship over us all that I won’t begin to cover in this post. Any Christian apologetics website will give tons of information for the existence and reasons why Jesus Christ in Christianity is far superior to any religion.
It was apparent to me that this person never knew Christ or even understood what he believed by calling himself a Christian. For this person perhaps there is still hope. But if this person and others like him truly did taste of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, then to turn their backs on Him, these following verses gives a very dire warning:
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6
Wow! We should never want any person to fall into the category of being an apostate – a complete falling away from the faith to never go back! No repentance is possible here. True Christians can never lose their salvation so the person that these verses are speaking about are still the unsaved. Does this atheist fit the description of these verses? That I truly cannot answer. That judgement is left to God.
Well, that’s my take on this whole Christian turned atheism/agnostic thing. Apostate or not? My hope and prayers is that this person and others like him are not apostates but people with hope for a true redemption!
Verses for assurance of Salvation
According to God’s word, NO MAN can ever earn God’s acceptance on his own!
“8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that “no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
And why’s that?
Our righteousness is like filthy rags to God!
“But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6
We are dirty before the Lord so much so that even our righteousness is considered filthy! How then do we become acceptable before God if none of our own works can gain eternal acceptance.
Christ became sin so that we can then become righteous before God.
“21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
It took the perfect lamb of God – Jesus Christ – to atone for our sins! By believing in Him we THEN become the righteousness of God! And once we believe this, we are saved! Not saved with doubts but saved and given the assurance that we belong to God once and forever more!
The assurance of eternal security:
“11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal lifeand that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:11-13
As a Christian, with all the questions that may be present, the one thing I do not doubt is Jesus Christ, His death, burial and resurrection. Knowing that He suffered and died AND rose again, gives me the peace and joy I now possess in knowing that He will one day come back for me! The peace and joy knowing that I belong to God and will never taste of His eternal judgement to Hell. God does want us to bring our doubts and fears to Him, but we must believe that He exists for Him to speak to us!