1. Standard membersumydid
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    17 Mar '13 02:46
    Every forum has a handful or more, so-called "former Christians." People who claim they were faithful believers (usually during childhood while they lived under their parents' roof). The Reformed Christian doctrine (which I adhere to) explicitly denies this possibility.

    As objectively as possible I tried to analyze the claim and see if I could come up with a viable reason why it is said to happen. Generally speaking, the typical self-proclaimed "former Christian" will say they aren't Christian anymore because they grew up, started thinking for themselves, and realized the ridiculousness of it all.

    FMF claims to be former Christian. I have pressed him on the matter, suggesting that he might THOUGHT he was Christian at some point... but being a Christian involves true heartfelt faith, repentence, etc.... not just going to church every Sunday. FMF's response was that yes indeed, he used to be a true, faithful, heartfelt, passionate Christian.

    Ok. Well I have a question for anyone that fits this specific category. For those Atheists who simply used to sleep through church every Sunday, let's admit it, that doesn't qualify as being Christian so you aren't a former Christian.

    Are there any bona fide former Chrisitans out there other than FMF? Once I get a consensus, I have a question for you all. It's a sincere question and this is not a "trap" thread.

    Thank you!
  2. Joined
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    17 Mar '13 03:09
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Every forum has a handful or more, so-called "former Christians." People who claim they were faithful believers (usually during childhood while they lived under their parents' roof). The Reformed Christian doctrine (which I adhere to) explicitly denies this possibility.

    As objectively as possible I tried to analyze the claim and see if I could come up w ...[text shortened]... or you all. It's a sincere question and this is not a "trap" thread.

    Thank you!
    You use the term "bona fide." In bold type. So this is a variation on the "no true Scotsman" argument? If someone ever loses their self-claimed Christian faith, the were never really Christians?

    Is that what you are saying?

    I am not making a counterargument, I just want to understand what you are saying. IOW like you I am not making a "trap" comment. The no true Scotsman argument isn't in itself a fallacy; it just clarifies the definitions. It seems that in your usage, bona fide Christian is a person who, amongst their other Christian attributes, has the attribute of never becoming otherwise.

    Question: Is there such a person as a Christian who is not "bona fide?"
  3. Standard membersumydid
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    17 Mar '13 04:572 edits
    Originally posted by JS357
    You use the term "bona fide." In bold type. So this is a variation on the "no true Scotsman" argument? If someone ever loses their self-claimed Christian faith, the were never really Christians?

    Is that what you are saying?

    I am not making a counterargument, I just want to understand what you are saying. IOW like you I am not making a "trap" comment. The g otherwise.

    Question: Is there such a person as a Christian who is not "bona fide?"
    All very relevant.

    I guess I can clarify, since I've already admitted from the outset that I do not believe anyone who isn't Christian was ever Christian.

    No--and I think this is obvious--there is no such thing as a Christian who isn't a bona fide Christian. As we all are acutely aware, there are a host of people who CLAIM to be Christian but aren't. We see evidence of it everyday. And that is mostly where I'm going with this. My question, once the consensus is reached, I believe will help clarify the issue and provide support for my stance.

    To be honest, I'm not all that familiar with the "no true Scotsman" argument though I've heard it mentioned in passing a lot. I just never bothered to look it up. Perhaps my argument fits the bill and if so, it's purely coincidental.
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    17 Mar '13 06:21
    In February I started a thread titled 'Have you converted/deconverted anybody?' in which I said I lost my faith in my teens. There I listed some of the questions that I could not get good answers to from believers. One of our members sent me a PM saying he is working out the answers to those questions, and asked me to be patient. He promises he will get back to me on this.

    Meanwhile, I remain a skeptic.
  5. Cape Town
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    17 Mar '13 06:41
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Are there any [b]bona fide former Chrisitans out there other than FMF? [/b]
    More importantly, are there any bona fide current Christians out there?
    You believe that a bona fide Christian has certain properties that exceed simply calling themselves Christian, so why don't you list them. If one of those is that they will never be converted to another religion or atheism, then clearly your initial question is faulty, and in addition you can never prove someone is a bona fide Christian until after their death.

    Just to throw a spanner in the works. If someone is a bona fide Christian and suffers brain damage then takes on a near total new personality, would they still be incapable of loosing their faith? If they could loose their faith, then how is the changes to brain and personality due to ageing different?
  6. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
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    17 Mar '13 07:15
    Originally posted by Paul Dirac II

    In February I started a thread titled 'Have you converted/deconverted anybody?' in which I said I lost my faith in my teens. There I listed some of the questions that I could not get good answers to from believers. One of our members sent me a PM saying he is working out the answers to those questions, and asked me to be patient. He promises he will get back to me on this.

    Meanwhile, I remain a skeptic.
    ... almost.
  7. Cape Town
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    17 Mar '13 07:38
    Another thing to consider is: have you ever fallen out of love? If so, were you never truly in love in the first place? (as true love lasts forever).
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    17 Mar '13 08:41
    Originally posted by sumydid
    All very relevant.

    I guess I can clarify, since I've already admitted from the outset that I do not believe anyone who isn't Christian was ever Christian.

    No--and I think this is obvious--there is no such thing as a Christian who isn't a bona fide Christian. As we all are acutely aware, there are a host of people who CLAIM to be Christian but aren't. ...[text shortened]... to look it up. Perhaps my argument fits the bill and if so, it's purely coincidental.
    OK thanks for that response. Another question is, are there signs that we humans can see, by which Christians can tell who is, and who is not, a Christian?

    Actually, a question prior to this is, is it at all important, that Christians be able to tell them apart?

    Finally, do you really know you are a Christian? If so, how?
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    17 Mar '13 09:13
    How many people in the Waco cult were convinced that David Koresh was the ultimate Christian, I wonder.
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    17 Mar '13 09:472 edits
    Originally posted by sumydid
    I guess I can clarify, since I've already admitted from the outset that I do not believe anyone who isn't Christian was ever Christian.
    Doesn't this mean that we do not know for sure that you are a "bona fide" Christian because we don't know if you're going stop being one at some point in the future?

    edit: oops, I see that twhitehead has already raised this issue a few posts up the page.

    edit (again): oops, I see that JS357 has, more or less, raised the same issue too, a couple of posts above this one.
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    17 Mar '13 11:521 edit
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Every forum has a handful or more, so-called "former Christians." People who claim they were faithful believers (usually during childhood while they lived under their parents' roof). The Reformed Christian doctrine (which I adhere to) explicitly denies this possibility.

    As objectively as possible I tried to analyze the claim and see if I could come up w or you all. It's a sincere question and this is not a "trap" thread.

    Thank you!
    Your well meant OP is really another angle on once saved always saved. The idea that it is possible to lose something eternal is not congruent with Biblical exploration of the nature of salvation.

    Would you have a child and subsequently decide to not have them anymore because they had done something wrong? Once born into a family you cannot be unborn from it.

    It is a matter between God and the individual concerned, Christ pays the fee. The problem with turning your back on God is not about what you think you believe now, it is a matter of what you thought you believed previously I.e. in a state of apostasy you just don't know whether you are in or out.

    Peace only comes through a close walk. I'm not there.
  12. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    17 Mar '13 12:10
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Every forum has a handful or more, so-called "former Christians." People who claim they were faithful believers (usually during childhood while they lived under their parents' roof). The Reformed Christian doctrine (which I adhere to) explicitly denies this possibility.

    As objectively as possible I tried to analyze the claim and see if I could come up w ...[text shortened]... or you all. It's a sincere question and this is not a "trap" thread.

    Thank you!
    It's just you and the other 144,000 "bona fide" Christians out there.
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    17 Mar '13 12:43
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Every forum has a handful or more, so-called "former Christians." People who claim they were faithful believers (usually during childhood while they lived under their parents' roof). The Reformed Christian doctrine (which I adhere to) explicitly denies this possibility.

    As objectively as possible I tried to analyze the claim and see if I could come up w ...[text shortened]... or you all. It's a sincere question and this is not a "trap" thread.

    Thank you!
    All I will say is, when you switch the ligh on for the first time its rather hard living life in the dark again. 😛
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    17 Mar '13 12:56
    I’m a born again heathen. Shortly after birth, we are indoctrinated in the faith of our fathers. With a bit of introspection, we see the light and, at the very least, declare ourselves agnostic.
  15. SubscriberSuzianne
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    17 Mar '13 14:22
    I'm not contributing to this discussion at all.

    Just like a few in here already who also happen to think that they ARE contributing.

    I do admire sumydid for bringing it up.

    I'm just going to sit back and watch the wheels turn, if that's alright.
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