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Christians "Falling Away"


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I read recently that another prominent Christian has decided to announce that he has "lost" his faith. I'll call him JS, his initials, and he said he always had doubts and struggled with certain aspects of Christianity, even when he was younger. A PK (preacher's kid), who grew up in a Christian home environment, but still had doubts, he was silent as he struggled - and unraveled his "sweater" of Christian belief -- and finally felt compelled to announce his new "truth".


I find this kind of announcement very self-aggrandizing. JS -- man born of man, created, not Creator - is questioning his Creator's wisdom and more than that, His compassion and love for us. First, how big an ego does one have to have to do so? Second, I wondered why JS would say that until I read these two parts of his statement: "What do you do when the world is pulled out from under your feet? When you find yourself no longer believing the thing at the core of how you yourself and see the world?" . "Stepping away from belief in God has felt like a loss in some ways - but's felt like freedom in others."


A band member in a Christian music band, JS and his wife, who also had doubts her whole life, have announced (renounced?) their "falling away" from Christianity because the final thing for them is the hard question about GOD's sovereignty: "If God is all loving, and all powerful, why is there evil in the world? Can he not do anything about it? Does he choose not to? Is the evil in the world the result of his desire to give us freewill?" He goes on to ask "what about suffering" like the famines, etc., that happen because of nature, not man's evil.


JS further questioned the alleged "differences" between the Old Testament GOD and the New Testament GOD: the "p***ed off" One in the Old Testament, and the "all loving" One in the New. He questions GOD's instructing Israel to kill people to take the promised land, ignoring the fact that these people are the people who were breaking every single law that GOD put in place to help and protect the people, and that they were people who were sacrificing their own children to a false god. GOD promised these people destruction many, many years prior to their actual destruction, giving them time to repent, to turn away from their wickedness, but they refused to do so. These are the people that GOD instructed Israel to have nothing to do with and to not give their sons or daughters in marriage to these people because if they did, then their sons and daughters would be doing the same things, sacrificing children who should have been raised Israelites were instead sacrificed as babies to a false god (abortion, anyone?)!


JS questioned Job's story: not the veracity of it, but the "bet with Satan" aspect of it. So, he believed in the actual events, but disliked the way they came about? I thought he did not believe anymore, so how can he believe in that story? Does he know what GOD was seeing in Job's children, in the whole situation surrounding Job, or just what the Bible tells us? Does he presume to read more into the Bible than GOD chose to tell us? Yes, Job's children, cattle, etc., were taken away from him, and even his health, but that does not diminish the lesson there that GOD ensured we would be able to learn via choosing a faithful man to use to teach us of His love and His constant attention even in our hardest times. Job's story is in the Bible, not to show a "bet" between GOD and Satan, but to teach us that even though we cannot see His hand in our lives during the bad times, He was still there with Job, watching everything that happened, listening to the entire conversation between Job and his "friends" (with friends like these who needs enemies?). GOD's presence in Job's life was constant; the same applies to His presence in our lives during the tough times. He is present with you in your difficult time right now, whether or not you believe that. GOD rewarded Job's faithfulness with twice what was taken away. Note one more thing about this story: Job himself sacrificed daily for his children just in case they sinned (read the story) so he must have known something about his children's character that was missing in the story since he was so concerned about them. Who knew his children better than their fathers: earthly and Heavenly? The former sacrificed for them in case they sinned, the latter chose to take their lives. Was there something not said because the story was about Job's faithfulness even in adversity instead of his children's possible sins? Do you know?


JS questioned GOD's instructing Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but then preventing it before Abraham's knife from striking and providing a sacrificial ram instead. Let me point out that Abraham, himself, actually told Isaac, his son, that "GOD Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering". That sounds to me like Abraham speaking forth the thing that he believed GOD would do, since Abraham already had the promise from GOD that He would "multiply [Abraham] exceedingly" so Abraham already knowing that GOD'S word being true, believed that the Lord would provide a sacrifice. It may have been a hope against hope, but Abraham had a brain in his head. It's impossible to be "the father of many nations" when his only legitimate son, the one GOD said He would use to make him a great nation -- was walking beside Abraham to his sacrificial death! Was Abraham conflicted while walking up the mountain with his son and no sacrificial lamb besides his beloved? Perhaps. However, what JS seems to forget is that GOD is a GOD of typologies and hadows. Isaac's being led to the mount of sacrificial offering is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ's death on the cross; the Son of the Most High GOD actually was sacrificed even though Isaac was spared.


JS also asks "If GOD can do anything, can't he forgive without someone dying?" Excuse me? Really? You grew up in a church (asleep in the back pew I must assume). GOD sets the rules, not JS. That's first. Second, no! Sin must be atoned for with blood and the only way to cover the sins of JS and everyone else, is with blood; the blood of Jesus Christ who willingly and obediently went to the cross so that JS could have an eternity in heaven, instead of burning in hades as we all deserve. Did he learn nothing from reading the Old Testament besides the idea that GOD is "p***ed off"? When a holy GOD, who chose to make heaven and earth and who chose to make a pathway for us to be able to spend eternity with GOD and Jesus in heaven for eternity, GOD also made the rules for those of us who choose to accept them to be able to achieve that goal: accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior. A simple acceptance of the Free Gift, and an acknowledgment of the Lordship is all it takes, but JS thinks it's okay to negate the Blood of Jesus Christ, GOD'S Only Begotten Son, because JS is uncomfortable with the idea of someone having to DIE for HIS SINS? Really?


JS asserts that his parents taught him to forgive others and that no one had to die to earn his forgiveness "in that scenario". Well, when was the last time he considered himself without sin, pure, GOD, Creator, Ruler, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, etc.? If death for forgiveness so offends you, then what do you do with the fact that Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me"? Jesus chose to DIE for JS. Jesus could have called "twelve legions of angels" that would enable Him to NOT die for JS, or anyone, but Jesus CHOSE to die for JS. Jesus spoke and the people who came to arrest him "went backwards and fell to the ground" when He said "I am He". This happened twice and yet Jesus stayed there instead of walking away before they got up! This is not something that Jesus did not choose to do. He chose to die for JS, whether JS likes it or not, and it's still available for JS's acceptance and TRUE belief if JS wants it. Yes. GOD requires sacrifice of blood. Christ's pure, unstained, sinless life and blood to be sacrificed so that JS's sins can be covered. It is necessary to enter into His presence for eternity. It's not as if sin cannot be in heaven (what is Satan doing there in the story of Job, if that be the case, or even what about the rebellion Satan led at the fall of the angels if that be the case?); it is that sin cannot be allowed to stay in heaven through eternity as JS's soul - and the souls of all of us who have accepted the Greatest Gift - will if he accepts the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.


He goes on to say that the Bible is flawed, written by flawed man and is imperfect because it was written by man, even in the Greek, it is flawed and it is NOT GOD'S Word. That's what he now believes. That's sad because GOD is the Author of the Bible, and if JS would study it fully, then even JS would see that there is not just TRUTH, there, but absolute TRUTH there. Science is in the Bible, so what does JS do with science if it's in the Bible; does he no longer believe in it? Sex is in the Bible, does JS no longer believe in it? Food and fire, animal husbandry and recipes, instructions for cleanliness and preventing the spread of disease, building instructions and chemistry; the blueprint for our court system and our laws are in the Bible, does he no longer believe in any of that? Or is it just the idea of GOD and His rules, right and wrong and obedience that JS chooses to turn his back on?


It's my bet that the answer to that is no. He will not turn his back on those things, things that GOD Himself put in place, ordained and taught man, just GOD. It is GOD he wants to get away from.


To answer the questions JS posed that I included in the second paragraph, I don't believe that "the rug" was pulled out from under him. He chose to kick it out, chose to step off of the rug and turn his back on it. The rug went nowhere. He kicked it away to make his life more comfortable. He took his eyes off of the TRUTH and put his eyes on the ease - on what makes life more comfortable for himself. How does he handle these questions without kicking the rug out from under his own feet and saying "I don't have to wonder about these things anymore."? He chooses to turn his back on Christ and GOD; those who love JS more than anyone or anything here on earth and who sacrificed it all for him. There's the rub: it's hard to accept that if you don't want to face hardship.


I have a suggestion for JS. Instead of asking the questions you have asked, why not turn them around and find the TRUTH? Ask yourself not "Why is there evil in the world?" ask instead, "Why is there anything or anyone GOOD?" We start rebelling as soon as we can. Children under two-years-old start touching things after Mom says, "No! Don't touch!" One of their first ten words we all learn is "No." and they learn to use it in rebellion to authority. That tells us that we are born with sin in our hearts; otherwise, children would have to be taught rebelling, disobedience and sin. We would have sweet little, obedient, kind, unselfish, loving children instead of the little three-year-old tyrants they turn into, and the teenage years would be a breeze.


Instead of asking about the "p***ed off" GOD of the Old Testament, study the Bible to see why he was "p***ed off" and find out that the people who were ordered destroyed were doing abominable things: from Sodom and Gomorrah and the things they were doing to the people who were worshipping Moloch and Baal and other false gods, sacrificing their children - whom GOD loves - in the fire to that false god. Instead of seeing it as being "p***sed off" realize that GOD was doing this to protect the children of Israel whom GOD LOVES from the influence of those who would later corrupt them and make Israel's children go through the fires, too. GOD was doing all of this to punish wrongs and to protect those he loved most. Would you not kill to protect your wife, your child, your parents, JS? Would you not do as GOD did? If you answer yes, what kind of hypocrisy do you wish to practice here while you hold GOD to a different standard than you hold yourself?


Also, go back, JS, and read the Old Testament with an eye toward seeing Jesus Christ in it. I highly recommend reading the prophecies of Christ's coming, His life, death and resurrection that is all foretold in the "p***ed off" version of the Testament of GOD. Find them easily via a search engine. You only see the negative because that is what the world tells you to see. You chose to put on blinders and to listen to the world, turning your back on the sweetest, purest, most intense, highest love ever known in all of time and all of the universe. You chose to kick that out from under you so that you could be more comfortable in the world.


What you don't realize is that GOD made the world and the universe "and all things therein" but - are you listening, JS? - He made something before He made the world and the universe. Do you know what that is? Do you know what it tells us about Him and about how much He loves us? Read it from His Word:

"18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."
Do you see it? "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world". That's it. Jesus Christ and GOD, OUR Father, decided before they made the world that they LOVE us so much that they decided that Jesus Christ would be the sacrifice for us before they made anything else. That's what you are turning your back on, what you kicked out from under your own feet. No one pulled it out. You chose. It's easier now for you to get along in this world, but I bet you had a little help with that decision. Which college professor or atheist helped you kick that rug?


You've taken your eyes off of Christ in exchange for acceptance and comfort. GOD forgives you, but think about how many people you're helping fall away with your desire for comfort within the world. That's not just sad, it's selfish, and I include all of the other "Christian leaders" who have done similar things for their own ease and comfort. GOD LOVES YOU STILL and He will forgive you. I hope and pray that those whose "falling away" you are encouraging and facilitating will follow the example you will soon set as you admit you were wrong and that after studying the Word and seeing the Bible as what it is: GOD's history of keeping His Word and of His Love for us since "before the foundation of the world". That's a long time to love someone who chooses to kick Him out.


GOD LOVES YOU. So do I.


Sincerely, and In Him,


L. McKinney



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