Can a Christian become a Non-Christian?
The biblical answer is no.
Jesus chose his words carefully. When he used the figurative language with Nicodemus, “born again,” to describe, in human terms, one’s sincere profession of faith in him, he knew exactly what he meant: just as it is impossible for a son or daughter to be “un-born” physically regardless of one’s attitude or belief about their parents, it is impossible for one to be “un-born” spiritually.
So, how can people choose to ‘delete’ their faith in Christ?
Again, we go to scripture. The biblical answer is one of two: (1) either they never genuinely professed their faith in Christ, but rather based their decision on something they ‘felt’ deeply rather than believed – the Bible describes this as “tasting” the Christian faith – or, (2) they’re simply on a journey as a genuine Christian where they, at least for a season, have abandoned their faith due to haunting questions and/or doubt. You can find despairing doubt throughout scripture. Even John the Baptist, for a moment, questioned if Jesus was who he claimed to be.
I know all about the second option because I took that option the days after my 19 year old son took his life after losing his battle with crippling depression. I consciously chose to pursue atheism, firmly believing I had dedicated my life and career to a lie.
But,… atheism failed me. And Christ was not only patient, he never scolded me for “leaving him”, and was lovingly waiting for me when I “came back home.”
This “de-conversion” of professed Christians is not uncommon. The Bible mentions it, commonly using the phrase “falling away.”
Significantly, John 6 records that when Jesus told his followers exactly what it cost to genuinely follow him, John, an eye-witness, wrote, “From this time many of his disciples (not the inner twelve) turned back and no longer followed him.” (vs. 66) But, apparently, stories like the article linked here make for news-worthy headlines.
Jon Steingard is a precious man for whom Christ gave his life just as much as he gave his life for Billy Graham.
I don’t know which path Steingard is on. The 36 year old musician said, “I suspect if [God] is there, he is very different than what I was taught.”
Tim Keller, former pastor of Redeemer Church in NYC, once said, “Tell me about the God you don’t believe in. Chances are, I don’t believe in that God either.
Let’s pray Steinhard finds his way home.
For all who, like me, who’ve struggled with doubt at some point, rest in this:
The evidence for God’s existence, the historical reliability of the New Testament, and the claims of Christ are all supported by overwhelming evidence for the Bible being true and for Christ being exactly who he claimed to be.
This is believed not only by people like me, but by Ph.D.’s from institutions such as MIT, Brown, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Oxford, just to name a few. As Yale law grad, Lee Strobel, stated, “We have an intelligent, defensible faith.”
Even the atheist, Albert Camus, once said, “I would rather live my life as though God existed only to find that he doesn’t (after death), than live as though he doesn’t exist only to find that he does.”
And, as Pascal famously wrote, wagering the Bible is not true is most certainly a bet you don’t want to make.
The only reason I post this is not to bring shame or condemnation on Steingard, but rather to bring biblical context and truth to fellow believers.
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Soli Deo Gloria, Nick