I often have atheists telling me that they used to be a Christian. These atheists use their “claimed” Christian background as a rallying point of authority for their arguments against the Holy Bible, Christ Jesus and those who follow Christ Jesus.
Many of these atheist claims include that they were raised a fundamentalist Christian, some with many years of private education in Christian schools and colleges and even some state that they were/are actually pastors. I am sure that the majority of these atheists are telling me the truth that they were in fact raised in a Christian household, they did have many years of Christian education, were/are actually pastors in a Christian church and did “say” that they were a Christian at one point in his or her life.
What I have not heard from these atheists who “say” that they were a Christian is that they truly had a loving personal relationship with Christ Jesus while they were “saying” that they were a Christian. Nor have I heard that they had honestly committed their life to be devoted to following Christ Jesus forsaking their own will to follow the will of God in their life when they “said” they were Christian. Also during the timeframe these people “said” that they were a Christian, I have not heard any of them say that their following God’s will and having a loving personal relationship with God positively changed their life as it has my and millions of other people’s lives all around the world.
These atheists who “say” that they were a Christian may realize that if they admit that they actually had a personal relationship with Christ Jesus that they would be openly admitting that God exists thus they can’t honestly call themselves an atheist. My thoughts about most of these atheists who “say” that they were a Christian is that they did not ever fairly study the Holy bible nor were they honestly committed and devoted to actually following Christ Jesus and as such never allowed Christ Jesus into their lives to truly have a personal relationship with Him. My thoughts on the rest of the atheists who “say” that they were a Christian is that they are not being honest and are merely “saying” that they were a Christian for the leverage they think it gives to them in their arguments against Christ Jesus.
There are people who go through the motions of “things” (for my lack of a better word) without ever devoting the time and effort needed to study and understand the details of what it means to be involved in it nor actually wanting to grow in understanding of it so to become fully aware of it to become proficient at it and fully committed to it. This apathy towards whatever it is that the person is going through the motions of is a choice the person made to not become fully involved in it. The reasoning used by the person which apathy is the outcome is always a selfish one and varies from person to person.
Take for example a college baseball or football player who has a great deal of skill at his (or her) position yet lacks the dedication to excel in the position. This player is just doing the minimum to get by to stay on the team but because he has some inherent athletic abilities he may out perform some of the new players next season or maybe all of the new players in the coming seasons but the likelihood that he will become a professional player is very slim because he does not have the drive to excel in his position as may some of the other lesser players who play the same position he does.
The same apathy as in the example above in playing a game happens in all religions including people “saying” that they are a “Christian.” Many people today “say” that they are a Christian when in fact they are not dedicated to actually following Jesus Christ. For a number of years I went through this apathy for myself and you can read about it in my article, “A Testimony of a Sinner.”
Being a true Christian is more than just believing in Jesus Christ because even the demons believe in Jesus Christ. (James 2:19). A true Christian actually goes beyond mere “belief” and places absolute trust into Jesus Christ. This absolute trust in Jesus Christ is what makes a person a “true” Christian having “faith” in the promises that Jesus came to this world from a virgin birth, living a sinless life by fully doing His Father’s will, suffering and dying on a cross for our sins so to redeem us of them, and coming back to life to give us a narrow path to which we can freely choose to follow to have eternal life with God instead of eternal life without God ( Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:24). Jesus himself said that if you are not dedicated to following Him that you are not a Christian: “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:16)
Many people “say” that they “used to be” or “are” a fundamentalist Christian however for all the ones I’ve met and have talked with, many of them have never really had or have placed their faith in Christ Jesus and truly had or let Him lead their life’s direction thus they never had or have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We know from Jesus’ telling us that if we are merely lukewarm that He will not accept us as following Him and therefore Jesus Himself is saying that those who only go through the motions of following Him and are not truly dedicated to following Him, are not following Him. If a person is not following Christ Jesus, the person is not really a Christian because by definition a Christian is a follower of Christ Jesus. To follow Jesus Christ, one must take up his/her cross and follow after Christ Jesus. Jesus said: “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:38)
The people “saying” that they used to be a Christian did not let go of their own selfish desires to do what they wanted to do thus they fell into the temptations which came their way and find that it is what they want to do because it is easier to just go with the flow than to follow the narrow path (Matthew 7:14). It is a personal choice that each one of us makes either to honestly follow Christ Jesus or not. The people who merely “say” that they are Christian who do not honestly place their faith into Christ Jesus do so because they choose to not do so for whatever reason it is that they want to use to not place their faith into Jesus Christ as their savior.
If these people “saying” that they used to be a Christian had truly gone the extra step and had honestly and actually placed their faith into Christ Jesus and had truly accepted Him as their savior taking the time to seriously study the Holy Bible, they would have experienced the purest loving relationship they had ever experienced and their outlook on life would be full of a hopeful future as I and millions of other people have today (Proverbs 8:17; Jeremiah 29:13; Revelation 3:20). Having a loving personal relationship with Christ Jesus once experienced is something only a truly fully and purely insane person would give up.
I too once merely “said” that I was a Christian but it was not until I honestly took the step of faith, placed my will aside to follow the will of Christ Jesus and accepted Jesus Christ as my savor that I encountered the most drastic life changing experience I have ever encountered. The trust a person places into Jesus Christ as their savior brings about a wonderful and loving personal relationship between Christ Jesus and the person which is felt deep within the person in such a way is indescribable.
What selfish reasons do you have that influences your choice to not place your faith in Christ Jesus as your savior today? Why not place them aside and open your heart to the love which awaits you in Christ Jesus? It is a choice only you can make for yourself and not making it is saying no to God’s gracious gift of His love for you.