Saturday, March 2, 2013

"If You Leave Christianity, You Were Never a True Christian in the First Place"

It's an frustrating and senseless argument I've heard many times before. It's rather insulting to those of us that are former fundamentalists, many of whom built their entire lives around the faith, and had many days of inner struggle in making the decision to leave the faith.

Lately, two well known Christians have been making this argument publicly, fundamentalist Ray Comfort, and liberal Christian blogger John Shore.

For those of you who may not know who he is, Ray Comfort, along with his good friend Kirk Cameron, are two of the most notable promoters of Creationism out there. (Perhaps besides Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and Creation Museum infamy).

Yes, if the name is starting to sound familiar now, Ray Comfort and 80's actor Kirk Cameron are the guys responsible for the Banana argument for Creationism, and the Crocoduck argument:

(Ugly looking creature, isn't it?)

A former fundamentalist left a comment for him on his facebook page talking about her dedication to her former faith, and her longing then to hear something, anything from god, and never getting an answer Notice his response:

"You had a false conversion. You never knew Him. Try again, and this time properly."

That is what Ray (and many fundamentalists) think of us former Christian fundamentalists. If you leave Christianity, you were never truly one of us in the first place. You were fooling yourself, you were insincere.

This idea is more common in fundamentalism, but apparently a few liberal Christians believe it too. Here's what liberal Christian blogger John Shore (a blogger I normally enjoy reading), has to say:

"As for Christians who renounced Christ, who are no longer Christian? Two things: 1. If they don’t care (and they can’t, since they no longer believe that Christ is any more real than the tooth fairy), then the question of what their new relationship is to Christ is the ultimate moot point; and: 2. As much ire as I know this will bring me, my vote is that such a person was never really a Christian in the first place—that their Christianity was always immature. And that’s certainly no crime."
I love Libby Anne's response to his post, read it here. Like her, I expected much better from John Shore, a guy who is a very liberal/pro-gay rights Christian. His statement, though more phrased more politely than Ray Comfort's statement, isn't really any better.

It's a slap in the face to people who had dedicated their entire lives to the faith that these two men share, unless you have been a Christian before, (and especially a fundamentalist), you can not truly understand how deep and how consuming the dedication to the faith is. Myself personally, what makes me feel like I know I was the real deal was the sense of mourning when I knew I had to give up believing. 

There was a sense of grief, like my identity, who I was before had died. I felt lost, drifting in the wind. Why would I have had such an emotional attachment to the faith if I was well, quite frankly a fraud, an impostor like Ray Comfort and John Shore seem to believe? 

Why do Christians like these two keep saying this? I think there's two reasons.


Many of the people claiming this, especially the fundamentalists who are saying this are insecure in their faith. Former fundamentalists/Christians like me scare them. They don't want to confront the reality that it is possible that someone who was a dedicated Christian like them could leave the faith. Why? Because then, that would be admitting the possibility that there is a chance that it could happen to them.

They are too afraid to even entertain this thought, so they go into denial mode. "Well then you couldn't have been a true Christian TM if you left the faith"


It can also be arrogance, either at a personal level, or pride in one's religion. At a personal level, it's a feeling of superiority in their own dedication to Christianity. "I'm the real deal, it could never happen to me, because I'm a true Christian , I'm more dedicated to the faith than that. That guy that left the faith was weak in his faith, or just fooling himself (scoffs)"

Or it's an arrogance in their religion. They may believe that Christianity is so incredible, that someone would be a fool to leave, and therefore, couldn't have been the real deal in the first place.

No matter what the basis for the argument is, it's frustrating, and just plain wrong, as well as insulting. For people who say think they they believe in a loving god, they sure aren't showing that kind of love when they say this.


  1. I'm going with the insecurity hypothesis. Someone like me, who never was a fundamentalist anything, is not as scary. I was lost to begin with. Now to go look up the crocoduck--thanks!

  2. I'm going with insecurity as well. But I'd add that even if Christians don't claim that you were never a real Christian anyway (a moderately common position in itself), they have other ways of discrediting anyone deconverting. Either you're too comfortable or you're blaming God for bad things that happened in your life. Whether you're happy or sad, rich or poor, that will be used as the basis for an argument based on Bulverism.

    Basically, whatever you say, it "proves" that your opinion isn't reliable, and that your deconversion doesn't need to worry anyone. I call this Satan's Fork.

  3. No true Scotsman... as has been said a million times before.

    If someone immerses themselves in Christianity and then leaves it, a crack opens in the facade that must be sealed off immediately. Christianity is perfection and everything else under the sun is an abomination, therefore it's an impossibility that you should find Christianity is a flawed institution and leave. The only explanation could be YOU WERE DOING IT WRONG THIS WHOLE TIME. Heads I win, tails you lose, that's the name of the Christian game.

    1. Agreed. Christianity is perfection to these people.

    2. the banana crazy guy!!!!!! lol I was searching for an answer about something else and this fool pops up.. too funny. lol I remember seeing this guys banana argument video.. Memories!!! I needed a good laugh. Can't believe this fool is still around. Thank you for the laugh. hugs to you all :)

  4. I'll add another vote for the insecurity hypothesis. If a fellow believer found their religion flawed enough to leave, it suggests to the Christian that their belief system isn't perfect. And that's scary to them.

    Oh, and I want a pond full of crocoducks in my backyard.

    1. Do you want the crocoducks to be guard animals? I'm sure not many people would come near your house with those things wandering around on your property. ;)

    2. Ahab, you are correct. Its also too scary to say someone "lost their salvation" (which I do think that's a bunch of bogus, but I"m going with their lingo), and so its easier to say they just never had it.

  5. I guess that I wasn't really in love with that girl I spent five years of my life with either, because we eventually broke up.

    1. ^Except for the fact that if God is not real, then you did actually have a relationship with nobody.

  6. I love it when people try to dismiss the former faith of those, like myself, who were devoted, committed followers of Jesus for decades. Their theology gets in the way of them exercising common sense.

    John Shore really missed the mark with his post. I hope he rethinks his view.

    1. I hope so too. He's normally a great guy (despite my disagreements with him on spiritual matters).


No spam, proselytizing, or personal attacks, such comments will never see the light of day around here.

Disagreeing with me is fine (I encourage it), but have some decency when writing your comment