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Question Regarding Apostasy

From: Mark
To: Ed Babinski
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 1:15 PM
Subject: Question regarding Apostasy


Although I have not read your book Leaving the Fold, I am familiar with several of the testimonies as well as many other similar ones. However, I am wondering if you have ever heard of a case where a true 'saved' Christian left the Christian faith temporarily (during which they rejected the faith or viewed themselves as an unbeliever) but eventually returned to a full/orthodox Christian faith. I am doing some research and am trying to address the claim that "it is impossible to renew them unto repentance" (impossible to return to the faith) once one has "fallen away". If you are unable to answer this that is fine. Thank you.


From: Edward T. Babinski
To: Mark
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 7:28 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Question regarding Apostasy


ED: I am sure that there are cases of people raised Christian who leave the fold temporarily and consider themselves apostates, and then return.


Lots of people are raised Xn, then reject that upbringing, only to return later, like many in the Baby Boomer generation did, according to polls I read in some news magazine a while back, either Time, Newsweek or U.S. News. The Baby Boomers had kids and then many of the Boomers went back to church to give their kids the same nominal Christian upbringing they had had, -- and perhaps because they recalled the way they "raised hell" in their own youths, and hoped that by bringing their kids to church, they would not grow as out of control as they once were. *smile*


One person in my book whose testimony was listed in the agnostic section did return to the fold. He was an Assembly of God minister, but saw the fall of Jim and Tammy Baker up close, knew them, and also saw how the Pentecostal leadership in the Assembly of God spread nasty rumors about him being an adulterer when he wasn't. They ruined his life and ministry. He left and for a while rallied to get taxes levied on churches, and exposed some televangelist tricks. Later he returned to the fold, during the laughter revivals of the 1980s was it? He didn't rejoin the Assemblies of God, but FORMED HIS OWN DENOMINATION, and it was more open than the faith he had previously left. So, in a sense, he didn't return to exactly where he was before, and I spoke with him after he returned and he told me it was O.K. that his testimony was in the AGNOSTIC section of my book, even though he felt more Christian. Truth to tell, in his own book, he said he was giving church and religion a "break," at the end of his autobiography, he didn't say he had definitely left it behind.


As for myself, I don't deny that I have a religious side, a side that really wants to pray and speak with a higher power instead of simply talking to myself when I'm alone. But my studies have not brought me nearer to believing once again in the inspiration of any particular holy book, so I remain outside the fold.


Let's see, there was Lambert Dolphin, who went through a period of doubt, and returned to the fold. I cited his testimony in my reply to chapter 12 of Josh McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict. It's online in the "library" section of www.infidels.org, titled, "The uniqueness of the Christian experience," you can google it by name I'm sure, and then do a word search in the manuscript for Dolphin, or Lambert.


There are also two atheists ASA Jones and someone else named, Jordan, friends of Bob Holding of Tekton Apologetics, who claim that they were once "atheists" and then became fully orthodox Christians. I think they may have been at least nominal Christian prior to becoming atheists. So that could be looked at as a sort of return.


Personally, I think the way you phrased your question raises too many questions, such as what is a "truly saved Christian" and how would you know one if you met one? Everyone who has ever written me, tells me that THEY are "truly saved Christians."


Best, Ed

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