What to say to someone who has "deconverted"

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Spinach, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Spinach

    Spinach
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    984
    Likes Received:
    0
    A few years back I met a woman online on a mothering website. She was so strong (it seemed) in her faith.

    I lost track of that woman because I didn't post on that board for quite a while.

    However, I came across her again the other day and she was saying something about how beautiful Hindu worship is.

    I stopped and questioned if she was the same person who was a strong believer a few years back. She said that yes, she was, but that she "deconverted" in '08. She said that she came to realize that all gods are the same and that every culture has its gods----making God no different than that of any other culture. She compared the silliness of believing in God's existence to that of believing in the norse gods.

    I was shocked speechless, unfortunately. Now I wish I would have said something. Anything.

    What would you say in this situation, if anything at all?
     
  2. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11
    1 John 2:19 comes to mind.

    I would share the Gospel with her, just like I would any other lost person.
     
  3. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    People become disenchanted with the Christian religion all the time. We have no one to blame but ourselves for that. I'm reminded of the story of the prodigal son. We are in the position of the father. If a son wants to depart, we must let him depart, let him know how much we love him regardless. When they return, whenever that is (it could be years, even decades), we welcome them back with open arms and a party.
     
  4. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,166
    Likes Received:
    368
    It's apparent to me that while she walked the walk and talked the talk, she was not a Christian. One in whom Jesus Christ dwells doesn't just decide that other gods are good - it's completely opposed to the new nature.

    I agree - minister to her just as you would any other unsaved person. It's heartbreaking that someone who has once tasted and seen that the Lord is good would turn their back on Him.
     
  5. sag38

    sag38
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    1
    You can disciple an unbeliever to where he or she will know all the right answers and even feign being a Christian. However, when the rubber really meets the road or a new and seemingly better wind blows the truth comes out.
     
  6. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't believe we're equipped to discern this person's salvific state at the time she was walking the walk. Oops, now that I said that, I'm sure this will spark a calvinism/arminianism debate.... sorry.
     
  7. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is true if they were ever really a child of the Father in the first place.

    I guess I am wondering what you meant by:

    BTOP I have seen people depart from going to church who are seemingly and outwardly close to the Lord and then stop coming to church. And they do at times come back.

    But haven't seen many, if any, who depart for Buddhism and ever come back. Praying for you as you try to keep up the contact.
     
  8. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    We simply can't know their hearts. We can't know if a person's heart is really in Buddhism any more than we can know if their person's heart really is in Christianity. At the risk of using a cliche, this could be a huge fad or phrase for this person, being enchanted by something new and different. Only time will tell, and like I said earlier, that could take years, even decades.

    When I said "we have no one to blame but ourselves for that", what I meant was that we often do a reasonable job at getting people in the pews, but don't necessarily do a good job at meeting peoples' spiritual needs. We baptize them, and then they're left asking "now what?". We as a church need to change that.
     
  9. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,301
    Likes Received:
    784

    Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
    Mat 7:16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
    Mat 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
    Mat 7:18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
    Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
    Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
    Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
    Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'
     
  10. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,133
    Likes Received:
    320
    Be silent if necessary, our actions speak louder than our words.

    Be patient, only God sees the heart.


    HankD
     
  11. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, Revmitchell, but those speak to a person who is not walking the walk, or talking the talk. Those peoples' salvation are easy to discern. Discerning the salvific state of a person who was at the time walking the walk and talking the talk is something we're not equipped to do.
     
  12. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,301
    Likes Received:
    784

    who come to you in sheep's clothing
     
  13. Spinach

    Spinach
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    984
    Likes Received:
    0
    She herself is not involved with Buddism---just made an observation to someone else that it was a beautiful practice---which prompted my questioning. Now she considers herself a non-deist.
     
  14. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    That referrs to a person who decieves. There's nothing in the OP that suggest the person was decieving anyone when she was walking the walk of a Christian.
    Should like she's likely in a "prodigal" stage. I've been there myself, admittedly.
     
  15. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,301
    Likes Received:
    784

    Wolves in sheeps clothing.
     
  16. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can't make a person accept the gospel. I would agree that if your church is not giving the gospel then they are falling short. But if your church preaches that all men are sinners and we must trust on Jesus to have our sins forgiven, then that decision is up to them.

    Rom 12:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

    When we stand before God, none of us will be able to blame others.
     
  17. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11
    I agree. If they should become born again, then by all means, we should welcome them back.
     
  18. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11
    That cliche is thrown around quite a bit, but Jesus said that we can know their fruits and that the fruits they produce are an expression of what's in their heart.

    I once heard a man say, "I gave my heart to Jesus when I was eleven years old. I've been living like the devil for the last thirty years but, praise God, I've come to rededicate my life to the Lord". It was among the dumbest things I've ever heard somebody say and, thank God, the preacher pulled him aside and gave him the Gospel.

    We do a great job of getting people in the pews, but we're not doing a very good job of making sure that the people we're getting in the pews are people who belong in pews.

    The first church I joined after I got religion (and I say "got religion" to differentiate from being born again because I was a false convert and not born again) didn't ask me for much of anything to show that I met the Biblical criteria for church membership. I took a new believers' class and got baptised and I got in. But I was just as lost as the day is long.

    There was no examination of my fruits, no expectation of a credible, Biblical salvation testimony, no discipleship or mentoring, no nothing. Just take this course and let us get you wet and your in.

    That's all too common in church today. Everybody's talking about the number of people leaving church, but nobody wants to address the number of people who didn't belong there in the first place.
     
  19. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    You will never hit a homerun trying to refute religion. What do you think of Christ, and Whose Son is He. Until one establishes jesus Christ in the heart and mind, the "convert" will never be ready to run the race.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not disuting that. I was referring to when this person was practicing Christianity. During that time, there was no bad fruit being produced.
    Dont' know about that. Pews are not just for the saved. If the pews are only filled with saved people, then it's not a church, but a country club. Jesus speant a lot more time dining with sinners than he did preaching to them.
    It can go both ways. To be fair, those things come after salvation, not before. It's not reasonable to expect a person to be saved on Monday, and then have all those things in order by Tuesday. That's one of the reasons I tends to think of salvation as a process, not an event.

    And, actually, that affirms what I was saying earlier. A lot of churches are interested in converting people, and that's it, from there, they're on their own. A church shoud continue to nurture the newly saved, disciple and mentor them, help them bear good fruit, etc etc etc.
     

Share This Page

Loading...