Another Christian Who Doesn’t Get It

saved or lost

Deon Nel43, a devout, I-know-I am-right, filled with the Holy Ghost Christian, left a comment meant to show the deluded readers of this blog the error of their way. What follows is Deon Nel43’s comment and my response. My words are emboldened and italicized.

Email begins here

It is sad to notice that when people on this site describe their past conversion, it ends up to be something like:

  1. Being a member of a church.
  2. Doing what the church and the pastor expected i.e. reading my bible, praying, outreach etc..
  3. Having lots of zeal and being sincere or even on fire for the Lord.

I don’t know of anyone who describes their conversion this way. The things listed by Deon Nel43 are what we would have called the fruit of faith, the evidence that we had been converted.

Is Deon Nel43 suggesting that Christians aren’t members of a church, don’t have to submit to those who the rule over them, or don’t need to pray  and read the Bible? Is Deon Nel43 suggesting that Christians shouldn’t be zealous unto good works? I would be glad to provide proof texts for each one of these. Let the Bible proof text duel begin.

Bruce’s testimony of his past Christian experience sounds much the same and is also a bit confusing.

See above.

In one post he says that his past experiences was ‘REAL’ yet he turned his back on it??? Figure that one out. Maybe he should say that he was sincere.

My experiences were real because I physically, emotionally, mentally, and intellectually experienced them. These experiences are what we call life. I lived it and I know what I experienced. Is Deon Nel43 suggesting I had some sort of out-of-body experience?

And I was sincere too. Deon Nel43 wants to paint me as someone who was sincere but lost; someone who intellectually knew the “facts” but didn’t spiritually possess them. The only problem with this argument is that it is not true. This is just Deon Nel43’s way of dismissing a story (mine) that he can’t explain within the context of his version of Christianity.

That I can understand but how can something be real and then discarded like a dirty rag? Contradiction of words used. Unfortunately, the conversions described on this blog are not the conversions spoken of in scripture.

Who discarded Christianity like a dirty rag? I didn’t. It took several years before I was willing to say I was no longer a Christian. I agonized over this, and it was, by far, the hardest decision I ever made in my life.

It took a lot more soul-searching to get unsaved than it ever took to get saved. People like Deon Nel43 have never walked the path of deconversion so they have no idea how difficult it is to come to a place where you are willing to walk away from all that you considered precious and true.

conversion has always been:

  1. A personal conviction of one’s fallen state and sinfulness
  2. A personal revelation of my inability to do what God requires consistently.
  3. A personal  revelation of His justice and goodness and that those who do such things will not go unpunished.
  4. A personal revelation of God’s love towards one in Jesus Christ.
  5. A personal revelation of Jesus, the need for His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension.
  6. Jesus personally coming to live in the person through the infilling of His Spirit.

Memo to Deon Nel43: When I was a Christian I wholeheartedly, without reservation believed every one of your six points of conversion. Not only did I believe them, I preached them to others.

Of course, I know how Deon Nel43 will respond to this…I didn’t REALLY believe these things, because if I had I would still be a Christian.

And around and around we go…

Bible conversion therefore takes place when one had the above mentioned revelation, then turns from serving himself and gives himself fully to the Lord never to turn back (true repentance). God will then fill him with His Spirit as He promised. When His Spirit enters that person, a change takes place. This change is describe in the bible as ‘being born from ABOVE’ and ‘conversion’. Conversion is the same as transformation and metamorphosis e.g. a worm that transforms into a butterfly.

How can one be transformed and not know it? How can one have a revelation of one’s sinfulness, of God’s love and righteousness, of Jesus Himself and having His Spirit abiding inside one and still be totally unaware of it? How can one turn from darkness to light and see no difference?

I agree with Deon Nel43. I knew I was a blood-bought child of the living God. I knew the Holy Spirit lived inside me.  And many of the people who read this blog would say the same.  We were there when Jesus saved us. We were there when Jesus transformed our lives. Our attitudes and desires were for the things of God. We were, as the Bible says,  reborn from above.

The bottom line is this: we were every bit as much a Christian as Deon Nel43 is now.  It doesn’t matter whether Deon Nel43 can square this with his particular brand of theology or personal experience. The fact remains, I once was a Christian and now I am not; I once was saved and now I am not. To suggest people like me “never were saved” is to deny reality.

The answer is plain.The conversion experienced does not come from above but is earthly, sensual and demonic and should be repented of, rejected, and cast away…

However there are a true conversion that leads to an abundant life here and in the hereafter…

Here is what is plain for all to see. Neon Del43 thinks his interpretation of the Bible is truth and that his experience is normative. Anyone who does not believe as he believes is not a Christian. Simply put, Neon Del43 is the template for all those who want to be Christian and go to God’s Motel 6 when they die.

The real issue here is that Deon Nel43 doesn’t know what to do with the former Christians on this site. His theology tells him a true follower of Jesus can’t fall from grace, yet here we are.  Rather than recognizing his theology might be wrong, he insists that people such as myself “never were saved,” He ignores the fact that a persuasive case can be made for the Bible teaching that Christians can, in fact, lose their salvation.

Deon Nel43 is just another example of a Christian who doesn’t get it. Many have come before him and I am sure many more will follow.

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15 Comments

  1. Geoff

    The root of all this, can I suggest, is delusion and how some people come to recognise it, whilst some never do.

    When you, Bruce, believed passionately and preached accordingly, you thought you were in direct contact with God, with Jesus, and the beneficiary of personal revelation. To you, I assume, it was absolutely true. Your period of de-conversion was the realisation, then coming to terms with, that your beliefs and revelations had been nothing more than delusion.

    This Deon person is a victim of the same delusion, but is not yet, if ever, prepared or able to accept he is subject to delusions. This I think provides the underlying confusion afflicting fundamdamentalists regarding your de-conversion, but is something they can never acknowledge.

    I haven’t ever been a believer of any kind, so I’m a bit of an outsider, trying to make intelligent guesses. Perhaps I’m totally wrong.

    Reply
    1. Eva

      Yes, Deon is a victim of the same delusion, as was I for 50 years. I wholeheartedly believed it. I’m not deluded about that. However, just because I wholeheartedly believed something, doesn’t make it true. And let me tell you, it hurts like hell to find out that everything you believed to be true is nothing but a lie. Deon has to tell himself that I was really kidding myself back when I said I believed – it is the only way he can hang on. I know, I’ve been there.

      Reply
    2. Peter

      Geoff I think you are exactly correct.

      Reply
  2. Karen the rock whisperer

    I think Geoff is on to something. When I read deconversion stories, most involve coming, painfully, to grips with one’s own delusions (and that includes my own story). Those of us who had wholehearted belief really did have wholehearted belief! But it is the nature of the delusion to insist that if we don’t fit into the theology, WE are the ones that must be deluded about ever having believed in the first place. There’s no winning this game.

    Reply
    1. Angiep

      It’s funny that most of us who went through such angst in deconverting found it difficult BECAUSE we were so committed. I observed so many other Christians who were lukewarm and just went through the motions. It’s easy for them to continue with the delusion because it never really affected them, i.e., caused them to live a life that is any different than the one I live now as an atheist, aside from the church attendance part.

      Reply
  3. Ami

    It makes people like that guy feel better when they can categorize and classify others. There’s some pathological need to make order in his universe. If you don’t fit the mold, why obviously there’s a problem with you. The mold is just fine.

    I kinda feel sorry for him. Being so clueless is probably a liability in many areas of his life.

    Reply
  4. Clay

    This is a topic I feel very strongly about too. I wrote a response to a pastor named Samuel Kee from suburban Chicago who indicated we former believers are liars. Post here: http://lifeafter40.net/2015/08/09/samuel-kee-hope-stands-former-believers-are-liars

    It’s one of the most offensive things a Christian can say to a former believer (that we never truly believed).

    Reply
    1. Peter

      Clay, it is offensive but also understandable. As if they admit that we once believed just as much as they do then there are only three options open to them:
      1) Their Calvinistic theology of one not being able to lose salvation is incorrect;
      2) We really are still a Christian, just a backslidden one and ‘God’ will call us back:
      3) That there are in fact no real Christians as it is all false.

      A person who once claimed to be a committed Christian who left the faith is a far bigger challenge than a person who never believed.

      Reply
  5. Michael Mock

    Oh, hey! It’s #43 again! “You were never a true Christian…”

    Yeah. You know what? For the sake of argument, let’s assume that’s so. Let’s assume that it’s possible for Bruce to have been so completely mistaken about his beliefs and his experiences, and so hopelessly deluded about being Saved that he was able to fool entire churches for decades.

    I’m trying to see some way that this could be possible without God being a massive, epic a-hole, and honestly? I’m coming up short. I mean, not only has the all-knowing Jackass allowed Bruce to think his soul was safe (when it actually wasn’t, and in fact was in Eternal Danger) for twenty-five years (a dick move if I’ve ever seen one), but he actually allowed people to be instructed and even converted based on the false teachings of someone who was mistaken about his salvation. What kind of God would allow that? A dick.

    But it’s actually worse than that. See, Bruce was absolutely convinced of his salvation; he was convicted, converted, and utterly resolved to love and serve the Lord. He was — not to put too fine a point on this — every bit as certain of his salvation as Deon Nel43 is now. If Deon Nel43 has any sense, and even the faintest awareness of the limits of his knowledge as a flawed and fallible human being, he ought to find this terrifying. I realize that Deon Nel43 doesn’t think it could happen to him, but that’s exactly my point: neither did Bruce. Neither did most of the ex-Christians I know. They were every bit as certain as Deon Nel43 is now, and for exactly the same reasons.

    Reply
  6. Brian

    How ghastly it is to realize how gullible I am. I have told myself it was because I was a baby when it started and because I was among others who were into it for more than a generation, for many generations in my family history. My father was a preacher and my mom the daughter of a preacher. We were all Baptists and we had extra to send to Africa and elsewhere to spread the news. It all fell through for me and I spent a good deal of time thinking it must be me, that God could not fail. I made some horrible mistake. I said fuck too many times in my head to be forgiven. I had not understood that being saved was forever and had to go be resaved, recommitted to Christ. I did that too. It took me half a life to realize I must not woo-woo and go along. I was never the real servant that Bruce was, never a preacher and on the job. I never preached in the street. I would be a better candidate for numb-brained dilly wog dumbo Christian experts to attack: You were rebellious and had various stages of questioning God! You never surrendered fully or you would not have questioned! But I did believe and was a card-carrying church-boy. I had the glory and mystery in Christ and need to convert those near me and the conviction that Jesus would lead me to a flavor of religion that was meant for me in Christ. I had the bullshit up to my mouth and finally let it go. Deon Nel43, you are profanity. I would rather be told honestly to fuck right off than listen to your liquid shit-spray.

    Reply
  7. Peter

    i had a detailed interchange with a committed Calvinist on this matter a while back. He eventually had to admit that based on his theology if I did not believe it was essentially ‘God’s’ decision not to offer me the gift of salvation. That there was nothing I could do about it.

    Calvinistic theology falls apart with even a small bit of critical thinking. If Christianity is true (a big if) then Arminian theology makes a lot more sense. But as we have observed numerous times, this whole confusion arise because the Biblical teaching is contradictory.

    Reply
  8. Melody

    “It took a lot more soul-searching to get unsaved than it ever took to get saved. People like Deon Nel43 have never walked the path of deconversion so they have no idea how difficult it is to come to a place where you are willing to walk away from all that you considered precious and true.”

    This ^^^ so much. I have given so much for my faith and to have that discarded by people who really don’t get it. Yes, it stings. They really can’t imagine what it is like… Our faith was real, including all the joy, heart-ache, agony, conviction of sin, belief in devil, demons, hell and the struggle to save other people from such a horrible fate. It is often the devout doing their research, delving right into the heart of their faith to understand it even better and get even closer to God, who ultimately walk away, precisely because of that research. They either don’t see it, or more likely, don’t want to see it….

    Reply
  9. Tara

    “The answer is plain.The conversion experienced does not come from above but is earthly, sensual and demonic and should be repented of, rejected, and cast away…”
    ^ Sensual? Such odd context.

    Reply
  10. Kenneth

    If I wasn’t “saved” when I was Christian, then there is no true way to be “saved” for anyone. Therefore, God never truly “saved” me because He never existed to begin with. The problem with deconversion is you would have to admit Christianity is false to accept it, but believers never can, so it remains “you were never truly saved”. This begs the question, “how can you then truly be saved?” if it is deceptive to think you are saved. It goes in a circle no matter how you argue it. Simple solution = God is not real.

    Reply
    1. Peter

      Exactly

      Reply

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