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Deconversion ? #36971
Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:25 AM
Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:25 AM
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straw Offline OP
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Over the years I have heard the word 'deconverted' used in discussions between Protestants and Catholics. It is a strange word, sort of make me think of being born again, again. Or being rebaptised, or resaved.

Often in a discussion that is going along nicely, a bold Roman Catholic might say something like; "I used to be a born again Christian and was baptised in water and the Holy Spirit, but after many long discussions with a Priest I realized that I was not truly a Christian and so I decoverted"

First, what exactly is deconversion ?

Secondly, if such a person was overpowered by the arguments of a group of very convincing Roman Catholic Clergy, would that not mean that there are those in the Roman Catholic church who are/were brothers and sisters in Christ and they have been made captives ?

Galatians 5:1

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Would this mean that a deconverted person has indeed fallen from grace ?

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Last edited by straw; Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:36 AM.

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Re: Deconversion ? [Re: straw] #36972
Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:22 AM
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I personally believe that be you Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox and you believe in the primary tenants of Christianity (God in 3 persons, Jesus died for your sins etc.) you go to heaven and are all brothers and sisters in Christ- period. We still have our sibling rivalries and arguments, but we're still a family. As for deconversion...I honestly haven't heard of that one in the context you describe and I'm Catholic =/


Gloria Patri et Filii et Spiritu Sancti, Amen!

"For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience. "
Re: Deconversion ? [Re: straw] #36973
Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:49 PM
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straw said:
Would this mean that a deconverted person has indeed fallen from grace ?

No, one cannot "fall from grace"! Grace isn't something one "owns/possesses" nor has any control over. If that were the case, then grace wouldn't be grace, i.e., the unmerited favor of God; an action done by God which always produces the results intended. In this context, salvation, which cannot be lost. (Jh 6:37, 39, 40; 10:27-30; Rom 5:1; 8:1, 11, 29-30; Col 3:3, 4; 1Pet 1:5; Jude 1:1)


1 John 2:19 (ASV) "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us."


In His grace,


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Re: Deconversion ? [Re: Young Catholic] #36974
Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:38 AM
Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:38 AM
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Young Catholic said:
I personally believe that be you Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox and you believe in the primary tenants of Christianity (God in 3 persons, Jesus died for your sins etc.) you go to heaven and are all brothers and sisters in Christ- period. We still have our sibling rivalries and arguments, but we're still a family. As for deconversion...I honestly haven't heard of that one in the context you describe and I'm Catholic =/


Believing in the primary tennets of Christianity is no gaurantee of anything; for there are many fine religious people who believe everything written in their particular catechism or creed but they have not 'saving faith.' Saving faith is different from believing in the primary tennets of Christianity and is the only kind of faith that saves.

As to the matter of deconverstion out of Evangelicalism and being reconverted to Catholicism, though most people deconvert out of Christianity into some form of Atheism/Agnosticism, there are those rare cases where people change back from having left Roman Catholicism and joined another religion; to decovert and reconvert back to Roman Catholicism. Before you comment further, please consider the story of 'Francis Beckwith' - My return to the Catholic Church

Quote

From: My return to the Catholic Church:-

During the last week of March 2007, after much prayer, counsel and consideration, my wife and I decided to seek full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. My wife, a baptized Presbyterian, is going through the process of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). This will culminate with her receiving the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation. For me, because I had received the sacraments of Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation all before the age of 14, I need only go to confession, request forgiveness for my sins, ask to be received back into the Church, and receive absolution.



Sincerely,

Last edited by straw; Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:46 AM.

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Re: Deconversion ? [Re: straw] #36975
Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:11 AM
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THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM

Question 21. What is true faith?
Answer. True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, but also an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost works by the gospel, in my heart; that not only the others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation, are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ's merits.

Question 22. What is then necessary for a christian to believe?
Answer. All things promised us in the gospel, which the articles of our catholic undoubted christian faith briefly teach us.

Question 23. What are these articles?
Answer.
1 I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
2 And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
3 Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
4 Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried: *He descended into hell:
5 The third day he rose again from the dead:
6 He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
7 From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
8 I believe in the Holy Ghost:
9 I believe an holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
10 The forgiveness of sins:
11 The resurrection of the body:
12 And the life everlasting. AMEN.

* Question 44. Why is there added, "he descended into hell"?
Answer. That in my greatest temptations, I may be assured, and wholly comfort myself in this, that my Lord Jesus Christ, by his inexpressible anguish, pains, terrors, and hellish agonies, in which he was plunged during all his sufferings, but especially on the cross, hath delivered me from the anguish and torments of hell.



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Re: Deconversion ? [Re: William] #36976
Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:31 AM
Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:31 AM
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William,

It is good that you included this simple definition of true/saving faith. Pure mental ascent to certain propositions is not enough, there needs to be 'an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost works by the gospel, in my heart; that not only the others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation, are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ's merits.'

May I add; saving/true faith cannot precipitate the conviction of the Holy Spirit which results in godly sorrow, which cannot preciptite God giving repentance, which cannot precipitate the grace of GOD, for it is the Father alone who opens the heart of the elect to believe; what it will not of itself, the will being enslaved to sin, the world and the devil.

Sincerely,

Last edited by straw; Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:54 AM.

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Re: Deconversion ? [Re: Pilgrim] #36977
Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 AM
Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 AM
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Pilgrim said:
Quote
straw said:
Would this mean that a deconverted person has indeed fallen from grace ?

No, one cannot "fall from grace"! Grace isn't something one "owns/possesses" nor has any control over. If that were the case, then grace wouldn't be grace, i.e., the unmerited favor of God; an action done by God which always produces the results intended. In this context, salvation, which cannot be lost. (Jh 6:37, 39, 40; 10:27-30; Rom 5:1; 8:1, 11, 29-30; Col 3:3, 4; 1Pet 1:5; Jude 1:1)

<blockquote>
1 John 2:19 (ASV) "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us."<br>
</blockquote>
In His grace,


Dear Pilgrim,

You make good sense, but there are certain very trickey passages in Hebrews that lend themselves to the view that one might indeed fall from grace.

Allow me:

Hebrews 6

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

According to J.C. Steen ::>

Quote

'In verse 4-6 we have a much debated and disputed portion. Calvin, in order to maintain the eternal security of the true believer, argues that those mentioned here, are professors, and not possessors, while those who believe in the "falling away" doctrine use the passage to support their peculiar tenets. I would here say that all this confusion and difficulty is not in the passage at all, but is read into it. God does not say it is impossible to renew any one again unto repentance. What the passage does say is this, "It is impossible to renew them again unto repentance while they crucify afresh the Son of God and put Him to an open shame." (see - margin of Revised.) The emphasis is on the verb, translated seeing, which is in the present participle, and must be read, "while they are." It is a case of "Cease to do evil, and learn to do well." "The falling away" of verse 5 has no reference whatever to moral evil. The delinquent here is not a moral backslider, but is an "Apostate". The evil is spiritual. It is a renunciation of the full, clear and final revelation of God in His Son, and a going back to the beggerly elements of Judaism. It was a state into which the early Hebrew believers were liable and very prone to fall. The whole letter is written to save them from this.'


and, further along he adds...

Quote

'How many of God's people have we met and known, who have judged systems of religion around to be unscriptural and contrary to the mind of God and therefore have come out, yet afterward, for reasons best known to themselves, have been allured into them again and are found building again the things they once destroyed, and thus constituting themselves transgressors. (Galatians 2 v 18)

The apostate here is a supposed case, and not an actual one, for please note verse 9, "But beloved we are persuaded better things of you and things that accompany salvation though we thus speak." The "crucifying to themselves afresh the Son of God," and "putting Him to an open shame," (verse 6) ; is a condition peculiar to this apostacy. It is going back to the Jewish altars and sacrifices. Indeed, to be so guilty demands an altar and a sacrifice.'


he continues further along, to say:

Quote

The apostacy of this Hebrew letter was of most appalling character. It was the renunciation of Jesus as true Messiah. It was an agreement with His mock trail and ignominious death. It was a revival of the cry, "Away with Him ! Away with Him !" etc. It was truly a crucifixion of the Son of God and the putting of Him to an open shame.'


How precise are these thoughts to those who hanker back to the Mass. Who have not understood that, 'by one offering' he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.' (Hebrews 10:14) and, 'by the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ 'once' for all.' (Hebrews 10:10) and, 'For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but 'now once' in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.' (Hebrews 9:26)

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Last edited by straw; Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:46 AM.
Re: Deconversion ? [Re: William] #36978
Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:09 AM
Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:09 AM
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Are the articles (Apostle's Creed) complete? I know those who will affirm the creed, but not grace alone nor sola Scriptura along with some others?


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Re: Deconversion ? [Re: straw] #36979
Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:09 AM
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Believing in the primary tennets of Christianity is no gaurantee of anything; for there are many fine religious people who believe everything written in their particular catechism or creed but they have not 'saving faith.' Saving faith is different from believing in the primary tennets of Christianity and is the only kind of faith that saves.


If you believe such things- then you have faith, it logically follows. Faith is believeing and trusting- no matter what.


Gloria Patri et Filii et Spiritu Sancti, Amen!

"For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience. "
Re: Deconversion ? [Re: straw] #36980
Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:22 PM
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Several individuals misunderstand Hebrews 6 and 10 and a host of other scriptures regarding eternal security. However, what most fail to realize is the church – the visible church to whom the writer of Hebrews was addressing his letter – contains both the elect and non-elect, both lost and saved, just like Israel did in the OT. The non-elect can be partakers of the Holy Spirit – but just not in the same way as the elect do. One of the tell tell signs that this is whom the writer of Hebrews is exhorting is the use of the term “babe” (nepios) in Hebrews 5:13. There are different types of babes – those that have been born (saved) and those that are lost (compare, Job 3:16, still-born, though one may in a way say they came closer to salvation then those that have never experience the Gospel, as their lives were in some way effected by the Holy Spirit, i.e. covenant children, et. al.).

Many people think that Hebrews 6:4-6 teaches that a person can lose his salvation, and then that he can never regain it. In reality, even though this passage talks about partaking of the Holy Spirit and tasting of the heavenly gift, it is not talking about people who are saved. As Hebrews 6:9 says, "Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case—things that accompany salvation" (not sure how your quoted scholars missed that verse?) That is, even though the author speaks in this threatening way, he means his words to apply to those in the church who are not saved and who despise Christ, not to those who are saved. Of those who are saved, he expects "better things ... things that accompany salvation."

Note:

• Christians are predestined not just to initial salvation but to eternal salvation (Acts 13:47-48; Rom. 8:28-30; 9:18-24; Eph. 1:3-14; 1 Thess. 5:9-10).
• Christ's death secured salvation for those for whom he died (Heb. 9:11-15).
• Justification (being declared righteous and forgiven by God) cannot be lost or revoked (Rom. 5:8-10,15-19; 8:1-4,9-11,29-30; Heb. 9:11-12).
• The saved/elect are given to Christ as a permanent possession (John 6:35-40; 10:25-29).
• The saved/elect are kept secure in Christ by God (John 6:35-40; 10:25-29; Rom. 8:28-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-9; 2 Cor. 4:13-14; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; Phil. 1:6; 3:20-21; Col. 3:3-4; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; 1 John 2:19; 5:4; Jude 1,24-25).
• Eternal life begins at conversion, and by definition may never end (John 3:14-16,36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:35-40,44-58; 10:25-29; 17:1-3; 20:31; Rom. 6:22-23; 1 Tim. 6:12; Heb. 9:15; 1 John 5:11-13,20).
• God is sovereign in salvation, his will must be accomplished, and he wills the perseverance of the saints (Job 42:1-2; Isa. 14:24,27; 46:8-11; Matt. 18:12-14; John 6:35-40).


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Deconversion ? [Re: Young Catholic] #36981
Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:42 PM
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Quote
Young Catholic said:
Quote
Believing in the primary tennets of Christianity is no gaurantee of anything; for there are many fine religious people who believe everything written in their particular catechism or creed but they have not 'saving faith.' Saving faith is different from believing in the primary tennets of Christianity and is the only kind of faith that saves.


If you believe such things- then you have faith, it logically follows. Faith is believeing and trusting- no matter what.


Oh I wish it was so easy. Saving faith, is the type of faith one has when the Spirit of Christ is in you. If you do not have the Spirit of Christ you are none of His. Pure mental ascent to Creeds, Confessions and Cathechisms with the intent of developing faith is sweet but it is as foolish as a scholar's parrot attempting to speak Greek. It looks great on the outside but there has been no change on the inside of the person. "What good would it do to change my way of living, if everything inside me stayed the same." (Barry McGuire)


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Re: Deconversion ? [Re: straw] #36982
Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:49 PM
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Quote
straw said:
Quote
Young Catholic said:
Quote
Believing in the primary tennets of Christianity is no gaurantee of anything; for there are many fine religious people who believe everything written in their particular catechism or creed but they have not 'saving faith.' Saving faith is different from believing in the primary tennets of Christianity and is the only kind of faith that saves.


If you believe such things- then you have faith, it logically follows. Faith is believing and trusting- no matter what.


Oh I wish it was so easy. Saving faith, is the type of faith one has when the Spirit of Christ is in you. If you do not have the Spirit of Christ you are none of His. Pure mental ascent to Creeds, Confessions and Catechisms with the intent of developing faith is sweet but it is as foolish as a scholar's parrot attempting to speak Greek. It looks great on the outside but there has been no change on the inside of the person. "What good would it do to change my way of living, if everything inside me stayed the same."
(Barry McGuire)


I strongly disagree- if you turely accept Him, you are Justified and if you are Justified- you are one of His lambs and will not suffer eternal damnation.

As to, what I believe is an allusion to the fact that one should not have a purely "text-book" relationship with God, I offer the excellent analogy by CS Lewis (one of my favorite Theologians).


Analogy of the Man in the Desert.

Just in case you aren't familiar with it. CS Lewis was talking once about theology and an old R.A.F officer stood up and said "`I’ve no use for all that stuff. But, mind you, I’m a religious man too. I know there’s a God. I’ve felt Him out alone in the desert at night: the tremendous mystery. And that’s just why I don’t believe all your neat little dogmas and formulas about Him. To anyone who’s met the real thing they all seem so petty and pedantic and unreal!’

Lewis responded and included this in "Mere Christianity" (I think it was MC). He said this- Personal experiences of faith and Doctrines are both important- if one looks at faith too much through a "textbook" point of view- you will be missing something from your religion. Yet, on the other hand- if you rely solely on remembering when the Spirit spoke to you and have your faith based on experiences- you will be missing something as well.

Last edited by Young Catholic; Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:01 PM.

Gloria Patri et Filii et Spiritu Sancti, Amen!

"For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience. "
Re: Deconversion ? [Re: John_C] #36983
Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:11 PM
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John_C said:
Are the articles (Apostle's Creed) complete? I know those who will affirm the creed, but not grace alone nor sola Scriptura along with some others?


John
Actually I should not use just one article or question from “The three forms of Unity” they are meant to be used as a whole.
So the articles of the “Apostle's Creed” are not a complete confession of faith.



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