Can a true Christian lose faith?

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Can a true Christian lose faith?

Poll ended at Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:54 pm

Yes
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No
4
33%
Maybe (explain)
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Total votes : 12

Can a true Christian lose faith?

Postby spongebob » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:54 pm

I'm curious to hear what you think about Christians who turn from their faith and become agnostic or atheistic. Many Christians I know do not believe this is truly possible and that atheists like myself (former Christians) must have never really been saved in the first place (it was all in our head). So, did we see the light or were we just going through the motions?
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Postby mikedsjr » Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:40 pm

I said No. No true Christian does. It is impossible to lose what God predestined to have. Frankly, I think the only difference between those who go through the motions of thinking they are Christians are worse off than the ones who decide to become atheist. At least the atheists have a clue what they believe.
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Postby stickmangrit » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:06 pm

i wholeheartedly believe this. i've heard stories of all faiths being interchanged, going so far as a former long-time Baptist minister finding the inconcistencies in the NT so overwhelming in his studies that he converted to Judaism, and has since renounced the "false messiah Jesus." not that i approve of that route, but it still gives one something to think about.

of course, mike would argue that no True Christian(TM) is capable of converting, and i would agree, as most of those guys are so utterrly addicted to their sunday morning worship that the thought of making descisions without the aid of the "good" book or the pastor sends them into three day long panic attacks.
I see as much misery outta them movin' to justify theirselves as them that set out to do harm.
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Postby spongebob » Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:44 am

mikedsjr wrote:I said No. No true Christian does. It is impossible to lose what God predestined to have. Frankly, I think the only difference between those who go through the motions of thinking they are Christians are worse off than the ones who decide to become atheist. At least the atheists have a clue what they believe.


But what about those who really believe for a period of years and pattern their life after Jesus's teachings? I don't consider what I was doing "going through the motions" because I actually believed in what I was doing. I went of my own accord and followed the rules as best I could.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Postby whoosanightowl » Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:25 am

I know from personal experience that it is possible because it happened to me. I was very sincere in my Christian beliefs, never understanding how anyone couldn't see the truth of it. I don't know exactly when or why but I started having questions and doubts about the bible, especially the NT at first. So I asked a few people from church who know more about the bible than I do, but they couldn't give me any real answers, everything seemed to rely on faith. I also read books and looked on line, but still found nothing convincing. I was slowly losing faith in the bible, in Christianity and in the very idea of faith itself since I figured, that's what all religions use to validate their belief system, which means it isn't an acceptable basis for Christianity any more than it is for all the others.
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Postby mikedsjr » Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:40 am

spongebob wrote:
mikedsjr wrote:I said No. No true Christian does. It is impossible to lose what God predestined to have. Frankly, I think the only difference between those who go through the motions of thinking they are Christians are worse off than the ones who decide to become atheist. At least the atheists have a clue what they believe.


But what about those who really believe for a period of years and pattern their life after Jesus's teachings? I don't consider what I was doing "going through the motions" because I actually believed in what I was doing. I went of my own accord and followed the rules as best I could.


I'm sure those people did. But we decieve ourselves all the time. We don't see people on the Dr. Laura or Dr. Phil show because they knew they were wrong in the first place. How much more do people fool themselves about their actions towards God.

Romans 8:30 (NAS) "and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."

If they are glorified, they can't be unglorified. So either one is or one isn't.
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Postby whoosanightowl » Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:50 am

Romans 8:30 (NAS) "and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."

Well, if that's the case, then it really isn't my fault that I couldn't continue believing something that I wasn't predestined to.
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Postby koin4life » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:02 am

I tend to think that the idea of predestination is inaccurately portrayed. Instead of thinking that only certain people are predestined to go to heaven, and thus nobody else can get in completely contradicts what Jesus taught about anybody who believes will have life.

I tend to think that the predestination idea applies to Christians. If someone is a christian, then they are predestined to go to Heaven, not as an individual, but because all Christians are predestined to go to Heaven.
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Postby narsil » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:15 am

I prefer to wear my boxers inside my pants not outside them :D

Getting off on the whole predestination thing here would just be silly. And it wasn't his point anyway.

If they are glorified, they can't be unglorified. So either one is or one isn't.


That was his point.

and whoosanightowl, you're bad :twisted:
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Postby mikedsjr » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:35 am

whoosanightowl wrote:
Romans 8:30 (NAS) "and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."

Well, if that's the case, then it really isn't my fault that I couldn't continue believing something that I wasn't predestined to.


Not its your fault for not accepting God and putting your faith and trust in Him to your death and thus proving your predestination.
Last edited by mikedsjr on Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mikedsjr » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:36 am

koin4life wrote:I tend to think that the idea of predestination is inaccurately portrayed. Instead of thinking that only certain people are predestined to go to heaven, and thus nobody else can get in completely contradicts what Jesus taught about anybody who believes will have life.

I tend to think that the predestination idea applies to Christians. If someone is a christian, then they are predestined to go to Heaven, not as an individual, but because all Christians are predestined to go to Heaven.


ditto.
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Postby spongebob » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:40 am

Ok, mike, narsil and koin. We've all read the posted scripture and interpreted it in different ways. If one interprets it loosely and determines that it means "all Christians are predestined" simply because they are believers, then it still begs a difficult question. If I become a Christian at age 10 and dedicate my entire life to the persuit of and promotion of Christianity, but experience something profound and renounce my faith at age 75, then get hit by a car and die the next day, what then? Was I just pretending, going through the motions? Was I a real Christian all that time? Am I to be punished for all eternity for this sudden lapse of faith?

The real question is this, can one get the true meaning of Christianity, but later on, after becoming better informed and more wise to the world, make a conscious decision that this religion is not what you thought it was and leave it behind? Or are you positing that I missed something in my years as a follower? That I only thought I was believing, but I really wasn't believing. Do you see the confusion this raises?
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Postby koin4life » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:53 am

If a runner is winning a race halfway through, does that mean they win completely at the end?

The same goes with Christianity, you may be a Christian part of your life, but if you choose to go another direction and you die. Then you die as having not been a Christian. The difficult part is we do not know when we are going to die, therefore it is important to believe in Christianity the whole time, instead of waiting until you are 80 and on your deathbed.
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Postby mikedsjr » Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:04 pm

spongebob wrote:If I become a Christian at age 10 and dedicate my entire life to the persuit of and promotion of Christianity, but experience something profound and renounce my faith at age 75, then get hit by a car and die the next day, what then? Was I just pretending, going through the motions? Was I a real Christian all that time? Am I to be punished for all eternity for this sudden lapse of faith?


Based on the premise that the "renouncement of faith" is a 100% genuine rejection of God:
1) You renounced. There is no "Hey, God what about those other 75 year?". It would be no different the oppostie way around as I have created a scenario in another thread with that.
2) Yes.
3) No.
4) Yes.

The only difference is any Christian around that peson probably will be putting their hope in that the person was just slighty wayward and God forgave the person. Even Christians lie to themselves.


spongebob wrote:The real question is this, can one get the true meaning of Christianity, but later on, after becoming better informed and more wise to the world, make a conscious decision that this religion is not what you thought it was and leave it behind? Or are you positing that I missed something in my years as a follower? That I only thought I was believing, but I really wasn't believing. Do you see the confusion this raises?


1) No.
2) Yes.
3) To you, yes I understand why you are confused. You want to believe you were something but weren't. A lot of people do that all the time. People put masks on all the time. That's why I have to force myself to brush off comments in here where an atheist will talk about Christians groups and then will name a group like the KKK. I can't help that they do things in the name of the KKK. I can say they aren't Christians till I am blue in the face but no one in here may not care who is an atheist and continue calling them Christian.

I have a really good friend in that same position. I pray for him all the time. I sometime cry over him while praying. It grieves me so much. He even went to seminary. But I still love him like a brother and I keep in contact with him even though we don't live close to each other.
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Postby spongebob » Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:03 am

mike, koin, you guys are very hard taskmasters. I'm going to have to say that this is a very large part of why Christians get a bad rap. I'd love to hear Norton's take on my questions (Norton, are you out there?).

Here's my problem. You have no evidence or scripture to back up those opinions. Yes, there is scripture that addresses salvation, but it is not without controversy and is not crystal clear. In fact, several of the major Christian sects are in disagreement on this very subject.

My second problem is this, you consider my 75 years of service to Christianity with all my heart and soul to have been nothing more than a great job of make believe. I have an extremely hard time comprehending how you can make that determination. You can't know what's in a persons mind and can't know how deeply someone believes in some philosophy, so it's a very weak position to take to say that I was was pretending the whole time, or that I just didn't get something in the gospel. My endpoint to this is that you could find yourself in my position someday, a place I never expected to be 20 years ago, never even dreamed I would be. What would you say then?

Also, this idea of renoucing god after years of service getting no "time served" consideration is vastly unjust. If this is indeed the way it works, I'd have no part of it. No one deserves such a horrible fate and any god that has this policy cannot be considered loving and kind, only jealous.

Lastly, there's at least one problem here that you simply can't get around. If I don't believe in god yet I do everything I can think to to try and beieve (go to church, get baptized, become a minister, do charity...yada, yada) yet I continue to not believe because I just can't get around all the inconsistencies and problems in the religion, what then? Should I have myself hypnotized into believing just to save my soul? Do you get the point that one cannot believe something they don't believe?

---Oh, and the race analogy is not very good, mainly because I don't see a person's theological philosophy as winning or losing. Let me think about another analogy.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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