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Elizabeth Prata Says That There is No Such Thing as an Ex-Christian


Elizabeth Prata, an Evangelical Calvinist and the author of The End Time blog, becomes the latest person to attempt to delegitimize and explain away the storylines of Evangelicals-turned-atheists. No matter what we say about how we lived our lives as devoted followers of Jesus and why we later walked (or ran) away from Christianity, Prata knows better. Rather than accept narratives of loss of faith at face value, Prata concocts a strawman of the Evangelical-turned-atheist in her mind so she can make her peculiar theology “fit” our deconversion stories. In her mind, there’s no such thing as an ex-Christian. Anyone who deconverts was never a Christian to start with.

Here’s what Prata had to say:

Those who fell away were never really one of Jesus’ elect to begin with.


And before the person started falling away, in came sneaky heresies they began listening to. They enjoyed these false teachings and heresies because their darkened heart had never experienced the light.


So the progression is: profess Christ by mouth… but since there was no visible fruit to show the state of grace they were claiming on the inside, they were never really saved & regeneration never occurred; fail to walk closely with Jesus by procrastinating in discipleship, Bible study, prayer, and/or worship, furthering the distance between themselves and Jesus; (OR, faithfully attending church and Bible study but due to hard heart always were learning but never able to come to knowledge of the truth); listen to or promote destructive heresies that either they knowingly or unknowingly begin to believe, start doubting Christ’s sufficiency; doubt more, and then slide into apostasy’s full blown renunciation and end up in a state of atheism.


The end result of a Christian in name only – that is, one who claimed Jesus but never really believed – and is one who is at risk of being tempted by destructive heresies, and ultimately of apostasy. What comes next is atheism.

Atheism is a natural cul-de-sac in the road away from the cross.


Which, I suspect, could be one of the reasons Peter said it makes a person worse off from what they were before. After apostasy settles in and atheism rears its head, a person is well and truly now in the dangerous pits of despair, misplacing their burgeoning faith in Something for a faith in Nothing that will last forever.

According to Prata, here’s the progression:

  • We professed faith in Jesus with our mouths but not our heart
  • We had no visible fruit in our lives
  • We failed to walk closely with Jesus by procrastinating in discipleship, Bible study, prayer, and/or worship, furthering the distance between ourselves and Jesus
  • Or we faithfully attended church and Bible study but due to hardened hearts we always were learning but never able to come to knowledge of the truth
  • We listened to and promoted dangerous heresies which we began to believe more and more
  • And then, one day we slid right down the proverbial slippery slope into apostasy and atheism

Does this progression remotely describe your journey from Evangelical Christianity to atheism/agnosticism or even liberal Christianity or a different religion altogether? I know it doesn’t mine, not even close. and I suspect it doesn’t describe your journey either. You see, for Prata’s denunciation of us to work, she must paint us as shallow, nominal Christians, not people who were committed, devoted followers of Jesus. She also must paint us as ignorant, poorly taught believers; anything but accepting that we were just as much in love with Jesus as she is; that we were knowledgeable of the teachings of the Bible, just as she is; that we lived our lives in holiness, just as she does.

Regardless of her motivations, Prata is being dishonest with her portrayal of Evangelicals-turned-atheists. If she wants atheists to embrace her peculiar version of Christianity, the first thing she must do is be honest. As long as she deliberately portrays former believers in a dishonest light, it is fair for us to question her moral character. When Prata says she is a Christian, I believe her. I always initially take people at face value. If you say you worship Jesus, I believe you. Who am I to question how people self-identify? I just wish the Elizabeth Pratas of the world would do the same for us non-believers. I am sure she will argue that the Bible says _________! As if that somehow absolves her of how she falsely portrays people different from her. If the goal is honest discourse, then the least any of us can do is listen to those we disagree with and allow them to control their own storyline. If an ancient religious text stands in the way of you being a decent human being, then perhaps it is time to chuck the Bible.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar

    IMO, everyone who plays the “no such thing as an ex-Christian” card is betraying how weak their own faith is.
    At some level it’s registering that it can happen to them, too.

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      Astreja, you’ve hit the nail on the head. They are all afraid of leaving the church and God, and have to put down all of those who have.

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    It makes Prata feel better to think that ex-Christians were not True Christians, but my personal experience is that is simply untrue. Personally, I tried hard to be a good Christian. I begged for help and guidance from the Triune God, but it was to no avail. Maybe Prata should actually listen to some of us tell our stories.

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    unsurprisingly, Elizabeth is just one more christian liar. She also has the problem that she, TrueChristian(tm), can’t do what her imaginary friend has promised in the bible.

    The fact that atheists merely exist terrifies these cultists.

    • Avatar
      Yulya Sevelova

      One must actually have been a believer at one point,in order to go ‘ apostate.’. That’s how all the different churches taught that kind of condition. And believers are continually warned not to drift from God, or this could happen. What I will NEVER understand is just why would God allow Europe and America to so bugger the Gospel, and let it be polluted with colonialism, slavery and genocide that hardly anyone could be interested enough “to take the plunge,”so to speak ?? They ruined it for so many all over this planet ! American Christianity is already so hated as it is,that it’s amazing that people still follow Jesus at all.

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        Genocide, slavery, etc are orignally in the bible and this jesus has no problem with them. It was nothing that American or Europe did at all. Your Chrsitianity is a quite ignorant and disgusting religion.

        it’s curious that you seem to be either ignorant of what your bible says or are intentionally trying to lie about it.

        I’ll give you some verses to show support my point:

        “25 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26 ‘You and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the ancestral houses of the congregation make an inventory of the booty captured, both human and animal. 27 Divide the booty into two parts, between the warriors who went out to battle and all the congregation. 28 From the share of the warriors who went out to battle, set aside as tribute for the Lord one item out of every five hundred, whether persons, oxen, donkeys, sheep, or goats. 29 Take it from their half and give it to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the Lord. 30 But from the Israelites’ half you shall take one out of every fifty, whether persons, oxen, donkeys, sheep, or goats—all the animals—and give them to the Levites who have charge of the tabernacle of the Lord.’” Numbers 31, this is right after Moses murders all of the people except the young virgin girls that he wants for sex slaves, aka genocide.

        The current definition of Genocide is set out in Article II of the Genocide
        Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in
        whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
        (a) Killing members of the group;
        (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
        (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated
        to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
        (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
        (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”

        “39 If any who are dependent on you become so impoverished that they sell themselves to you, you shall not make them serve as slaves. 40 They shall remain with you as hired or bound labourers. They shall serve with you until the year of the jubilee. 41 Then they and their children with them shall be free from your authority; they shall go back to their own family and return to their ancestral property. 42 For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves are sold. 43 You shall not rule over them with harshness, but shall fear your God. 44 As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that you may acquire male and female slaves. 45 You may also acquire them from among the aliens residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. 46 You may keep them as a possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property. These you may treat as slaves, but as for your fellow Israelites, no one shall rule over the other with harshness.” Levicitus 25. The first part is about Israelite indentured servants, the last part is about chattel slaves.

        “18 Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. 19 For it is to your credit if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20 If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, where is the credit in that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval.” 1 Peter 2

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    Calvinism admits, though its theology, that no one has the agency to come to Christ. It’s God ‘electing’ the chosen few since before the beginning of the universe. Yet, the Calvinist makes it the human’s fault for not being elect. According the Calvinist’s own doctrine, God sovereignly decreed all the things Ms. Prata blames the so-called false christian for. How this makes sense to her is beyond my comprehension…and why I rejected Calvinism as a Christian (whoops, I mean self-deluded faker).

    I am also curious – how can one be apostate if one was never a christian to begin with? By Ms. Prata’s (and most other evangelical reasoning) doesn’t this make ‘apostate/apostacy” a made-up nonsense word?

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    MJ Lisbeth

    Saying that someone was “never a Christian “ is nothing but a thinly-veiled ad hominem attack. It’s something used by haters and people who realize their knowledge or dialectical or rhetorical skills aren’t up to the argument.

    The “never a Christian “ accusation is therefore like the one that LGBTQ people are “groomers” and other kinds of sexual predators. People who are uncomfortable with us but know, deep down, there is no rational basis for their fear (of us, and their own desires that can’t be described in polite society) have to make false accusations of us, just as folks like Prata have to make about atheists and ex-Christians.

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Bruce Gerencser