They are asking the wrong question.

I never cease to marvel at the range of material that resides in the “blogosphere.”  I suspect that there is at least one site dealing with virtually any conceivable subject matter, and with respect to some of the more common topics, literally hundreds and perhaps thousands of sites are available.

I stumbled across one a few weeks ago, and then again today that caught my eye.  Not because I am “needing” its content, but rather because it is interesting to peek in on the mind of its writers.  The site identifies itself as  “resources for skeptical, de-converting, or former Christians.”  I admit I have not read much of its content, but it is clear that many of its contributors are folks that have had bad experiences with Christianity and the Christian church.  Sadly, there are far too many people who have been mistreated, and in some cases literally abused, physically, sexually, emotionally and spiritually, by those espousing to be Christians.  My heart goes out to them.  Surely they did not deserve such treatment.

The site also has, as you might expect, a few visitors who are simply angry atheists and agnostics.  I am sure they enjoy piling-on the conversations that take place there particularly when the thread shifts to “church-hating” and similar topics.  But I commend the authors of the parts of the site I have read.  While I find nothing compelling or convincing there, they seem to take on a civil tone, expressing their de-conversion experiences and I suspect they really are a help to others who find themselved in a similar struggle.

All that said, I was intrigued by the post of July 5, where they pose the question:  Are de-converts open to reconverting?  I will save for another time, if at all, a discussion of whether it is possible to de-convert, or to be a “former” Christian.  My Reformed views suggest the answer is no.  But assuming for the moment there are de-converts, the question itself was intriguing, because my sense is they are asking the wrong question. 

Given the depravity of mankind, NO ONE is open to converting to a system of beliefs that requires that they must die to their own self-interest and self-absorption.  Nor is anyone open to freely worshiping the One True God at the required expense of laying aside whatever other objects of affection they place their faith in.  

Given mankind’s depravity, there is NO openness to conversion apart from a regenerating work of God through grace. 

So, the more accurate question that gets at the heart of the issue is:  Can God create an “openness” to conversion?  And my answer is “YES!”  God not only can, He does.  And every true believer is evidence of that.

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2 Responses to They are asking the wrong question.

  1. roopster says:

    Chuck,

    Thanks for visiting.

    I admit I have not read much of its content, but it is clear that many of its contributors are folks that have had bad experiences with Christianity and the Christian church.

    I believe you’re making an incorrect assumption that de-converts have been “hurt” by the church or Christians. I would say the majority of us have gone through the exercise of separating God/Christianity (when we believed) from church/Christians. Sadly, that’s an exercise that almost all Christians have to go through all too regularly. Check out the archives and read the two posts on “Convenient Categories….” and “Inconvenient Categories….” for a better understanding of why Christians believe we de-converted vs. the real reasons.

    I will save for another time, if at all, a discussion of whether it is possible to de-convert, or to be a “former” Christian. My Reformed views suggest the answer is no.

    Check out this post, http://de-conversion.com/2008/06/01/de-conversion-is-not-possible-since-you-were-never-converted/, for lots of good material if you decided to write this.

    Take care,
    Paul

  2. HeIsSailing says:

    But I commend the authors of the parts of the site I have read. While I find nothing compelling or convincing there, they seem to take on a civil tone, expressing their de-conversion experiences

    Thanks. While I no longer contribute to the De-conversion blog, it was there at the time when I needed it. There are some truly nasty religious sites out there – and de-conversion was one of the few that has a fairly large number of regular Christian commenters and contributors.

    For the record though, I must correct what might be a slight misconception. You did not find anything compelling or convincing because de-conversion.com does not exist to compell or convince anybody away from their beliefs. It exists primarily for those who have left or who are in the process of leaving Christianity, for a whole variety of reasons. Contributors place articles which detail the reasons they are doubting or leaving their faith. Inevitably debate ensues, but that is not the primary function of the site. If you want a serious debate on matters of religion, there are plenty of other blogsites that offer deep discussions.

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