The dangers of renouncing your faith

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The dangers of renouncing your faith

Postby Sstavix » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:53 pm

I just read an article about John L. Cooper, lead singer of the Christian rock band Skillet, and his reaction to a couple of Christian pastors who have recently renounced their faith. You can read the article here, if you'd like.

A couple of quotes really stood out to me.
We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word. ... It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the Word. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion. And what we are seeing now is the result of the church raising up influencers who did not supremely value truth who have led a generation who also do not believe in the supremacy of truth.
Thoughts? Please share!

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Re: The dangers of renouncing your faith

Postby Jarvis » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:12 pm

I have read the post that you linked and I have read the different articles about the two people that said that they are no longer Christians. This is definitely a difficult topic in my opinion, I mean what do we do or say when we hear someone renouncing their faith? I feel sadden when someone falls away, but I also wonder, what caused the change? Were they really ever Christian? What if the teachings I believe were things that they believe and what if I am wrong? (This isn't me doubting my faith, but I am sure I am not the only one that has thought that at some point). Also, I apologize if I go off the topic of what you wanted to discuss. And this is my own personal opinion.

That being said, I agree with John Cooper, I feel a lot of churches have a tendency to go with "what works". So the church uses "influencers" and worship leaders to try to get us to turn to Jesus and the word. We don't want to offend, so we leave out the parts of Christianity that we think will offend people. So we say that God is love, but then we have no way to justify why God ordered so much death and judgement on so many people in the old testament. Or culture is currently extremely big on music and musicians, so we use music as a way to give the gospel. While I don't think that it is inherently bad to use music to bring people closer to Jesus, I don't think that it can be a substitute for studying His word. It is a way of praising God, and a tool to get people interested in Christianity but it can't be the main focus for our faith. As for "influencers", that is such an American term, we find it works well for celebrates, so lets get someone to make Christianity cool. But Christianity isn't that, Christianity sets lines, tells us how we should live. While we should influence people by the way we are living, the influence should be more of an example where people see Christ through us, it shouldn't be something were we try to get them to change their lifestyles before they change their hearts.

Now I am going to dig in a bit to the posts linked from that original posts about the two that were mentioned in the article.

As a quote from Josh Harris said is his article about losing his faith "I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry". Due to our current culture we are afraid to hurt people's feelings because they label us as mean, or bigots. Unfortunately throughout history there have been many "christians" that acted totally unchristian and I think that has a lot to do with why we are viewed as being exclusionist (probably not a real word) and bigots. We say homosexuality is a wrong/sin, no one likes to hear that they are wrong/sinners, so they call us homophobic. And it saddens me that people see us this way, because that isn't the way Christians are suppose to be. Christians should be loving of others, no matter what their sexual orientation is. That doesn't mean we should agree that we agree with what they believe, but that doesn't mean we should stop loving them because they disagree with what they say/do. Here is where I think that a lot of the confusion comes from, people think that today if you disagree that means you hate.

In another article about Marty Sampson abandoning Christianity, he is quoted as saying, "How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send 4 billion people to a place, all coz they don't believe? No one talks about it." To address his questions, I will go in order.
How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it.
While said to hear, I agree with this one, no one likes to hear that their spiritual leaders are human, so we try to cover it up. It is an unfortunate thing because we are afraid of it hurting the Christian image which in turns hurts the Christian image when it is found out.
How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it.
This one I disagree with, I think that miracles happen more than we realize. Just because we don't see big miracles like parting of the red sea, or having God lead us through the wilderness or even people being raised from the dead, doesn't mean that they don't happen. There are plenty of stories where people are miraculously healed from injuries that should have killed them or at least made them brain dead. I heard a person on Moody recently speaking about a story about how he almost died from some sort of heart issue while he was at an airport. I don't remember all the details of the story, but there were so many things that stood out as a miracle there. There was an ex-military paramedic that showed up 4 hours early for a flight, and if it weren't for that he would have died at the airport. The ex-paramedic even admitted that showing up early at all was totally out of character for him. (There is more to the story, but unfortunately I can't remember it all, it was on Karl and Crew mornings).
Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it
I can somewhat understand this, but I think this is more of people just reading portions of the Bible and no the entire thing. If you pick and choose verses, technically you can almost make the Bible fit whatever you believe. Unfortunately I am not the greatest when it comes to reading the Bible, I am working on it, but I have issues.

So that is my two cents, or with inflation $2.50. I know I didn't use that many verses to back up anything, but the best one I could find was this.
John 15:19
If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

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Re: The dangers of renouncing your faith

Postby J.K. Riki » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:09 pm

I read the post by Marty Sampson of Hillsong and just had to shake my head. "No one talks about it?" I'm sorry, but if you think no one talks about it that's a direct result of your own bubble. I am around people who talk about all those things constantly. Our church regularly preaches and teaches on all those things he listed. His view of the world is clearly small, and just because the people in his circles don't talk about it does not mean no one does. Maybe not ENOUGH people talk about all those subjects, that I can agree with, but that is hardly the failing of Christianity. That is the failing of us.

Anyway, if anybody is ever feeling like he is/was and thinking "no one talks about these hard things" I really recommend trying out some other churches, because it's clear the one you're currently attending is not preaching the fullness of the Word, and if they are avoiding the hard subjects that doesn't help your spiritual growth.

Churches and Christians exist who dive fully and freely into the hard things, so seek them out. If you don't, yeah, your faith is probably going to flop at some point because it's made of glass on sandy ground. (And even that can be a lesson, it's what I had to go through myself before I could return and do better.)

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Re: The dangers of renouncing your faith

Postby Beastbot » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:25 am

Yeah, the more you dive into the Bible, the more it makes sense on sooooo many different levels. All this talk about "contradictions" and the like just means you aren't looking into it enough, really, and I say that as someone who believed that 10+ years ago. I think this is sad but unfortunately expected in our fairly shallow, "feelings-first" culture.

Also, people need to accept that you're not going to agree with God on everything, ultimately. You are not God, God is God and he is the embodiment of goodness, ergo if you disagree with him you are wrong, even if you "feel" right about issue X. If you find you just happen to agree with God on everything, quite frankly you're making yourself God by twisting the Scriptures to fit your preconceived notions or wishes.

To take a personal example, for a long time I felt that the "demons" in the Bible-- particularly when mentioned as possessing people in the Bible-- were just God's way of explaining illness (physical or mental) to a culture that didn't understand disease and germs and brain dysfunctions. Why? Because I wanted that to be the case. I didn't want to believe demon possession was real, that God would allow it. But after looking into it, I have to admit that yes, it is real. So God must allow it for some reason. "All things work together for the glory of God" and all that, even if we don't know how it all fits.

P.S.: Skillet was already my favorite band, but man, now I love 'em even more.
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