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Does it only work one way?

I've heard it said several times that if someone leaves the Christian faith for another, or becomes an atheist, they must simply have not been strong in their faith to begin with. The idea is that if they truly knew Christ, they could never leave that behind - so if they have, it means that they were half-hearted as Christians in the first place if they could become confused and/or deceived in that way.

Does this hold true if reversed? If someone is an atheist, or a devout Hindu, or a Wiccan priestess, and they convert to Christianity, does that mean that they weren't serious in their atheism? Not truly devoted to the Hindu religion? That they must have been half-hearted in order to be swayed to Christianity?

I believe that someone can be absolutely one belief system, with their whole heart, but leave it as they grow and change as people, and find that what served them in the past no longer is right for them. Either way.


Asked by Collinsky at 1:15 AM on Jun. 11, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 10 (376 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • I think that as children, people are taught to believe like their parents, but as they grow, and learn and experience life their ideas sometimes change. They may change jobs, they may change spouses, they may change political affiliations, they may change religions, they may even become a citizen of a different country. You know the old saying, "you learn something new every day"? It really is true. When a person learns something he or she decides whether to to believe it's true or not, and whether to incorporate it into their life or not.

    Answer by pagan_mama at 11:30 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • sounds like you answered your own question! As People grow and change in who they are ,what they belive can change as well. people are constantly learning this cahnges their thoughts as well. This is why most people switch religions I believe.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:22 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • I believe more as you do, that people change and grow, or fail to grow. I know lots of people who have become disenfranchised with their faith because they did not grow in it. Largely, I think that is due to a lack of effort and practice on their part, which would lend to the half-hearted bit, but I don't think that's the whole story.

    I know lots of people who have simply become confused, often times sort of OVER studying and talking themselves out of things that they once held so dear.

    Answer by misses_nick at 1:24 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • God loves You! Do Right !

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:27 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • There was a time I did not go to church or have any religion in my life. I finally turned towards God and I have to agree with you. I was never really an atheist, I always knew I just had to accept. I have heard this said by others as well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:27 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • I think that everyone has to decide for themselves. Statistics show that most people change faith young (college age). So it is probably just something they hadn't yet decided on fully. I explored different faiths/beliefs when I was young, before I came to Christ. We are also in youth ministry, so we have a lot of kids that come through our doors and some of them decide to go a different way after they graduate.

    I don't know if it means that they never believed. Or that they were weak or whatever? I can't know what is in their heart and mind. All I know is that they once professed a belief and then turned around and denied it. That is their free will. I think sometimes they just want to do their own thing. I had one good friend (who moved) who once loved God, and now he is more anti-God than Dawkins. I don't know what happened? It did start when his heart got broken and he was mad at God.

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 1:45 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • Gosh I don't feel like I am making any sense? Did I even answer the question? LOL. Maybe I never make sense, ha ha.

    Maybe I should go to bed.

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 1:45 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • Okay, one more thing and it might not make sense either. I think this is a process that is not done until we die. We can change our minds. Some people call it finding your "path" and sometimes you go down the wrong one.

    I personally feel like there is only one path to God and that is Jesus Christ, and the other paths are like the dead ends on the maze. I know it sounds offensive, but that is what I learned on "my path." I don't mean to offend, at all (I respect everyone's right to choose their own beliefs). But as I was in my maze, I went down other belief systems and ended up having to come back to square one and keep trying. Until God showed me the right way to go.

    Jesus said, ""Enter by the narrow gate; for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it." Matthew 7:13

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 1:52 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • People can be totally committed and true to their faith and still leave. The ways of the world creep in slowly, back-sliding happens one small step at a time. Spending lots of leisure time with unbelievers can have a profound affect on one's faith. King Saul was chosen by God and anointed, but God's Spirit left him in the end as he rebelled against God. King Solomon turned to other gods after making marriages with "strange" women. The Bible says that a person can be righteous, but then turn away from that righteousness. (Ezekiel 18:24)

    Answer by Lexylex at 5:41 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • No, it doesn't mean they were half hearted. You can be in something with all you have but if the answers you seek aren't there, then eventually you have to move on.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:46 AM on Jun. 11, 2009