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I came across the name Derek Webb and googled and found this post (had never heard of this blog, so had no idea if it was conservative or progressive or what - turns out not so progressive!). The author  acknowledges that there are people who genuinely believed Christianity was true and built their lives around it but says that their faith was not of God but built on circumstances and education, as opposed to “true” saving belief that comes from God. My question is how can any Christian then know the difference?! Interested in your thoughts if you can stand to read it.

 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/theologyalongtheway.org/2018/04/10/derek-webb-wrestling-with-the-category-of-ex-christian-and-the-nature-of-true-saving-faith/amp/

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As many times as this comes up, is as many times that it will remain a "No True Scotsman Fallacy." 

 

 

image.jpeg

 

 

These were never, "true christians." 

 

<snipped from article>

 

Quote

How can we understand what is going on in their lives? There are only three options before us:

 


1) They were once genuine Christians but have fallen away; 2) At least some of them are still genuine Christians in a deep state of spiritual confusion and error but will eventually return by God’s grace; 3) They were never genuine Christians to begin with.

 

Option number one is untenable with biblical truth. I sincerely pray that option 2 is the case for Derek and for all who are in his current camp. But, sadly, we know that this is not true for all of them; some of them have genuinely rejected the gospel and will not return. That leaves option 3 as the only possibility: they were never genuine Christians.

 

 

This is one of the many problems with cult mentality. They can not fathom any other options. Setting up false dichotomies is the go to. Let's also look at option 1) about "biblical truth." What is "biblical truth?" 

 

I am currently pressing two of our christian members to justify the claim that the bible is true to begin with. Currently, the one who runs www.christforums.com completely folded and quit trying to prove the bible true as of Genesis 1. He can't do it, we are left to assume. The second member is a youtuber and he's trying to do what he can to demonstrate "the truth" of the bible, but as of yet hasn't been able able to demonstrate that it is true. It boils down to believing something is true which can't be demonstrated as true: 

 

https://www.ex-christian.net/topic/82275-luthamf-verses-joshpantera-informal/

 

So what is this fallacious "true christian" anyways? 

 

Someone who believes the bible and jesus are true, when all evidence points to the contrary, and which will never change their mind no matter what and no matter how much they mature, grow, investigate and think for themselves? What else could it be? 

 

It sounds more to me like "true credulousness." 

 

And besides, fuck'em. Who cares if cult-like church members think that people who left the church were never "true" members of the church in the first place?

 

 

 

This 
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Fair points! I think it touches a nerve because I grew up believing in the truth of Christianity completely but never had experiences of my own, even when I was prayed over etc., which always left me with this insecurity about whether I was truly saved - so it’s triggering to find that some Christians actually think that people can believe it and ask Jesus into their heart but not experience true saving belief from God. It plays on all my insecurities.

 

But then with this way of thinking, how does this person know they won’t turn out never to have been a true Christian in 10/20/30/40 years’ time? How could you ever have eternal security, like Calvinists like the author supposedly do?

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Ironically, I would have agreed with that blog post when I was a Christian. I made essentially the same arguments. Yet, here I am now, evidence that it's poppycock.

 

The real problem with that line of "reasoning" is that they refuse to even remotely consider the possibility that they could be the ones who are wrong, that maybe, just maybe, Christianity really isn't true after all. They want everyone of every other belief system to consider the possibility that they're wrong, but they refuse to do it themselves. Been there, done that, and I've since then grown to realize that that attitude is the biggest stumbling-block there is to finding truth.

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By the way, Caedmon's Call had some pretty good music (at least the early stuff I'm familiar with), definitely much better than most Christian music. I'll have to check out Derek's latest release and see what it's like.

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3 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Setting up false dichotomies is the go to.

Yep, that's how it works.

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If that blog post is to be believed, no Christian can be sure that they are truly Christians, truly saved: you can commit your life to Christ, study the Bible, live the best life you can, bring others to Jesus - and none of it may matter anyway.  What happened to the assurance and peace that Christian faith is supposed to bring?  This doesn’t seem like a good way to win people over to Christianity.  In fact I’d say it’s the most dramatic own-goal I’ve seen on the part of a Christian apologist.  

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@TABA exactly - how could you ever have security about your eternal fate? And this author is a Calvinist I’m assuming per the Edwards quote, so I’m even more confused!!

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22 hours ago, Kat34 said:

Fair points! I think it touches a nerve because I grew up believing in the truth of Christianity completely but never had experiences of my own, even when I was prayed over etc., which always left me with this insecurity about whether I was truly saved - so it’s triggering to find that some Christians actually think that people can believe it and ask Jesus into their heart but not experience true saving belief from God. It plays on all my insecurities.

 

But then with this way of thinking, how does this person know they won’t turn out never to have been a true Christian in 10/20/30/40 years’ time? How could you ever have eternal security, like Calvinists like the author supposedly do?

 

This one of those issues that pushes the claim making christian back into an uncomfortable corner when the questions start coming back. 

 

What if the blog poster in a year or two sees the light and stops believing the bible is true? 

 

Then they may have to finally reflect on whether or not they were ever a true christian. They likely were, in terms of believing whatever interpretation of christianity they believed in. And then perhaps the person could draft a new blog detailing how mistaken they were while under the mental direction of "cult-think." 

 

 

 

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     None of us actually believed anything.  We were just cultural christians.  Like all fake believers in the fake religions.  We just believed because everyone else believed.  We didn't believe because god chose us out to believe.  Or because the spirit was in us which gave us faith.  We were just impostors.

 

     Not like real believers who really have the spirit.  And can prove it because they, um, they...hmmm...they, well they just do because they know they do.

 

     Anyhow, the most important thing is to get the numbers down to 144,000 in total.  That's all the room in that's available in that mighty heavenly mansion.  God has always been sort-sighted with his grand schemes.

 

          mwc

 

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On 6/16/2019 at 7:32 AM, Citsonga said:

By the way, Caedmon's Call had some pretty good music (at least the early stuff I'm familiar with), definitely much better than most Christian music. I'll have to check out Derek's latest release and see what it's like.

 

Totally!  I loved CC back in the day.  Not that I think all ex-Cs were never true believers, but even as a true believer myself back then, i always wondered about Derek!!  The rest of CC sang more "Christian" stuff and his was more secular...  In fact, I remember him having a solo album sold at my local Christian bookstore with a "explicit lyrics" label!!  ("I am a whore, I do confess...")

 

Anyway, I digressed!

 

As i wrote to my brother in law when I shared my deconversion with him:  I think perhaps the saddest aspect of the post Christian experience is that believers only have negative categories to put us in - deluded, self-deluded, deceived, confused, lost, bent-on-sin, knowingly rejecting, etc.

 

They do not have a category for "believed with all his heart, lived out his faith as fully as he could, found his belief system to be faulty, fought with all his might to hold onto his faith, finally, out of honesty and humility and for the sake of integrity, walked away in tears, but remained a good man who lived a noble life, did much good, and added much love and kindness to the world he left behind."

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21 minutes ago, Insightful said:

Totally!  I loved CC back in the day.  Not that I think all ex-Cs were never true believers, but even as a true believer myself back then, i always wondered about Derek!!  The rest of CC sang more "Christian" stuff and his was more secular...  In fact, I remember him having a solo album sold at my local Christian bookstore with a "explicit lyrics" label!!  ("I am a whore, I do confess...")

 

 

At this point I don't really recall who wrote what in Caedmon's Call, as I've been away from Christian music for quite a while. I did recently come across my old CC CDs in a box in the basement, so I could listen to them again.

 

As far as the use of "whore" warranting an explicit label, why doesn't the KJV Bible get the explicit label?

 

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28 minutes ago, Insightful said:

They do not have a category for "believed with all his heart, lived out his faith as fully as he could, found his belief system to be faulty, fought with all his might to hold onto his faith, finally, out of honesty and humility and for the sake of integrity, walked away in tears, but remained a good man who lived a noble life, did much good, and added much love and kindness to the world he left behind."

 

That wouldn't serve their agenda.

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You can listen to an interview with Webb on the Life After podcast if you’re interested. Someone in a Facebook group made me aware of this podcast.

 

https://www.thelifeafter.org/podcast

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2 hours ago, Kat34 said:

You can listen to an interview with Webb on the Life After podcast if you’re interested. Someone in a Facebook group made me aware of this podcast.

 

https://www.thelifeafter.org/podcast

 

Yeah I listened to the podcast from the link in that guy’s blog post.  It was worth listening to. 

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5 hours ago, TABA said:

 

Yeah I listened to the podcast from the link in that guy’s blog post.  It was worth listening to. 

 

Ah I didn’t spot that the theology guy had linked to it! Interesting that he didn’t then address any of Webb’s points, just said God had never actually saved him.

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I’m so frig'n pissed. I wasted 47 years of my life, and a pile of money, pretending to be a Christian. And I’m so frig'n stupid I didn’t even know I was just pretending. That really sucks. :49: 

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