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Backsliding


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Someone's blog reminded me of backsliding. So I googled backsliding to confirm what I was writing about.

 

http://www.dailywordofgodgroup.com/backslider.htm

 

 

When I was a Christian I was told I needed to continue to pray and fellowship with Christians to prevent backsliding. Backsliding, of course is falling away from faith. Whether or not someone brings up the matter of my being a True Christian (Scotsman) to begin with, isn't God supposed to be more POWERFUL than me? If his whole religious package is so awesome then how is backsliding even possible? When one finds that awesomeness called God why would anyone ever use their free will to ignore him? Wouldn't we use our free will to worship him?

 

Backsliding resulted in my natural deconversion. When I was not praying all the time and when I wasn't talking about god with other believers, the bullshit of faith naturally fell away. God is not an entity but a fictional entity. God is stories that people tell. When we aren't bombarded with god baloney, god evaporates because he was never there to begin with.

 

At least that's my feeling about biblegod. I reserve the right to commune with or ignore any other god that doesnt care to dish out fear and guilt. I'll stick with agnosticism.

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I believe there are two main reasons churches encourage attendance on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, prayer breakfasts, revivals, retreats, yada yada yada. One, the more you are away from church gatherings the more likely you are to interact with reality and realize what's going on, and Two, every religious function is another opportunity to take your money.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

When I was a Christian I was told I needed to continue to pray and fellowship with Christians to prevent backsliding.

 

The interesting thing is that things like atheism keep popping up age after age no matter how severely repressed by religious zealots. I'm talking here about deeply conscientious philosophers and citizens who wish only to find and promulgate truth--not sensual hedonists whose goal in life is to "live in sin" from the Christian perspective. Christians might call it backsliding. I call it growing toward the light. To "backslide," one has to slip and fall onto his/her backside, right? And denigrate into a lowlife of immorality. While Christians may think atheism is by definition low and immoral, they by this judgment only show their ignorance. Many lowlifes would be horrified not to be classified as Christians--fallen if not in good standing, but Christians all the same.

 

So what I'm trying to say is that by its very nature of popping up independently in the midst of solid religious environments, age after age, atheism pretty much proves its validity. The very nature of Christianity's need for the prayer and fellowship of fellow believers in order to maintain its existence is surely evidence of its inherent weakness and invalidity.

 

Truth, I was taught, can stand on its own two feet. I am further convinced that truth can withstand any scrutiny that I, a mere human being, can bring to bear upon it. When Christianity's claims disappear under such scrutiny and we deconvert, I do not see that as backsliding. I see it as coming to the light, as calling a spade a spade. For obvious reasons, Christians will want to call it backsliding. It is the only way to make themselves feel good without taking a good hard look at the arguments we deconverts present for our positions.

 

And looking at our arguments is not an option for many of them; it feels like compromising their souls. But that does not make them right. We haven't "backslidden" even if they call it that to save their own faces.

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Backsliding was what I did when I could not live up to my religion. I could not reach the goal. I slid back. As a fundie teen I had a lot of experience with this.

 

I grew out of backsliding. I stuck with the faith even when I felt I was "in sin".

 

I have chosen to walk out of Christianity after having some realizations. This is not "backsliding", it is apostasy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy

 

A fundie friend I work with, often asks why I am a backslidden Christian..........I tell him I am not backslidden, I am apostate. Just today he said he was going to look that big word up. I get a kick out of it.

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Seed that falls by the wayside is the word of God that you get but don't understand. The devil comes immediately causing you to forget. Then you go back to what you're used to doing and you backslide.

 

Seed that falls on stony ground is the word of God that you get and understand but it's not rooted inside you. So when the devil comes with hard times you can't handle it. This offends you, so you get mad and backslide.

 

Seed that falls among thorns is the word of God mixed in with the cares of this world, pursuit of riches, and other lusts. This chokes the word before it can produce and you go back to doing what the world does, give up and backslide.

Backsliding seems important in this parable.

 

Mark 4

13 And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?

14 The sower sows the word.

 

15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown; when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which is sown in them.

 

16 And these in like manner are the ones sown upon rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

 

18 And others are the ones sown among thorns; they are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

 

20 But those that were sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."

Maybe the author of G.Mark is telling it wrong? The parable as explained here doesn't speak to backsliders. It speaks to the initial preaching and, who, from that will actually become a follower and be fruitful likewise spreading the word. The one sower spreads seed and then those seeds bear fruit or they don't. They don't sort of start to bear fruit, go dormant awhile, then later not really bear any fruit but grow into some sort of plant anyhow. That would be removed from an orchard. Only a plant that produces large quantities would be desirable and that is exactly what is described. The sower sows and fruit bearing in large quantities is the desired result.

 

Let's try again:

He's a little kinder. But it's the same basic story. The word is sown and the chance to bring forth fruit is given. It either happens or it doesn't. The first don't get beyond being seeds so that's not being "backslidden." Sounds like a never-was. Words falling on deaf ears pretty much. The second do hear, and apparently believe, but die away. No roots. And that's just how it is. No transplants to better soil. If you're on the rocks you're on the rocks. Same with the thorns. No fruit. This doesn't make the cut in an orchard. So it's just the good soil that gets the job done. Try as they might the other "soils" will never make the grade. They aren't "backsliding" they're just not good enough.

 

mwc

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mwc, as I said, from the Christian perspective, deconversion is backsliding. But that doesn't make it so. It's pretty hard to slide back to something you never were. For example, if one never was an atheist, one can't slide back to atheism.

 

QUESTION: What versions of the Bible are you quoting, esp. for your first quote that includes the word "backslide"? I can't find the word in any version on my computer.

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mwc, as I said, from the Christian perspective, deconversion is backsliding. But that doesn't make it so. It's pretty hard to slide back to something you never were. For example, if one never was an atheist, one can't slide back to atheism.

 

QUESTION: What versions of the Bible are you quoting, esp. for your first quote that includes the word "backslide"? I can't find the word in any version on my computer.

 

try these : http://bible.cc/proverbs/14-14.htm

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mwc, as I said, from the Christian perspective, deconversion is backsliding. But that doesn't make it so. It's pretty hard to slide back to something you never were. For example, if one never was an atheist, one can't slide back to atheism.

I was taught that backsliding wasn't so much deconversion but was similar to it in many respects. Because if you deconvert you no longer believe but a backslider still believes but simply does not practice the religion anymore. So the backslider may do everything a non-believer may do with the only difference being the backslider, deep down, still believes. So you just need to get "right" and you're back up and running. A non-believer can't do that (nor an atheist or apostate...whatever the flavor here). This is sort of like a "lukewarm" believer as well. Believing but just going through the motions if bothering to do much of anything at all (maybe easter/xmas). You would just need to "heat up" again.

 

I guess if you hold to the idea of "once saved always saved" then to deconvert would basically be backsliding since you could never truly deconvert. I can see how that could be as well.

 

QUESTION: What versions of the Bible are you quoting, esp. for your first quote that includes the word "backslide"? I can't find the word in any version on my computer.

All the stuff from the first quote was from the article. I'm pretty sure they were that persons imagined version of that parable. That's why I went ahead and looked at the actual parable instead of this strange version this person just sort of makes up.

 

The KJV version does use the word "backslide" in Proverbs (as midniterider points out) but not anywhere else (I believe the word is translated as "turn back" or something similar everywhere else). You won't find that parable as I quote from the article anywhere except the article.

 

mwc

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mwc, as I said, from the Christian perspective, deconversion is backsliding. But that doesn't make it so. It's pretty hard to slide back to something you never were. For example, if one never was an atheist, one can't slide back to atheism.

I was taught that backsliding wasn't so much deconversion but was similar to it in many respects. Because if you deconvert you no longer believe but a backslider still believes but simply does not practice the religion anymore. So the backslider may do everything a non-believer may do with the only difference being the backslider, deep down, still believes. So you just need to get "right" and you're back up and running. A non-believer can't do that (nor an atheist or apostate...whatever the flavor here). This is sort of like a "lukewarm" believer as well. Believing but just going through the motions if bothering to do much of anything at all (maybe easter/xmas). You would just need to "heat up" again.

 

I guess if you hold to the idea of "once saved always saved" then to deconvert would basically be backsliding since you could never truly deconvert. I can see how that could be as well.

 

QUESTION: What versions of the Bible are you quoting, esp. for your first quote that includes the word "backslide"? I can't find the word in any version on my computer.

All the stuff from the first quote was from the article. I'm pretty sure they were that persons imagined version of that parable. That's why I went ahead and looked at the actual parable instead of this strange version this person just sort of makes up.

 

The KJV version does use the word "backslide" in Proverbs (as midniterider points out) but not anywhere else (I believe the word is translated as "turn back" or something similar everywhere else). You won't find that parable as I quote from the article anywhere except the article.

 

mwc

 

Thanks mwc for bringing up the 'lukewarm' term also. I hated when people talked about lukewarm xians probably because I could identify as being one. lol. I wasn't that much concerned where the term backsliding came from but that it was used by the xians I attended church with. And, like 'lukewarm' was supposed to make you feel bad so you would attend church more. Wow, my xian belief and practice went from lukewarm to absolute zero degrees Kelvin. haha.

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