Can we depart the faith?

By Elizabeth Prata

depart

Hillsong writer reveals he’s no longer a Christian: ‘I’m genuinely losing my faith’

Marty Sampson, a prolific worship music writer known for his work with Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United, Delirious and Young & Free, revealed he is losing his faith and believes Christianity is “just another religion.”

So, this tells us that Marty Sampson was never saved in the first place. Jesus said that no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand. Once you’re saved, you’re always saved. The Holy Spirit is sealed in us as a guarantee of this. (2 Corinthians 1:22). No man can UNseal what God has sealed.

1 John 2:19 also makes this promise of security of salvation. When someone leaves it’s the evidence they were not ever saved to begin with:

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 it might become plain that they all are not of us.

Thus, you can’t lose your faith.

So how does this happen? How is it that someone who is vigorous for the faith, working inside a church for the church, departs?

It’s a visible demonstration of this verse,

Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. (Matthew 13:5-6)

The pagan who is trying to keep up appearances finds that it’s all very tiring. Look how hard the Pharisees had to work to keep up the pretence of care for their flock and submission to God- fussing with lengthening tassels, praying long prayers in public, vying for best seats, outdoing each other in fasting, giving, and memorizing…it’s hard work to pretend.

Eventually the unrelenting spiritual anguish, resulting depression, religious confusion, and physical exhaustion gets to be too much. It’s easier to leave. And that is what Sampson and Joshua Harris and so many others did. Like Demas did, whom Paul said was in love with this present world, left the faith. Judas spent three years with Christ day in and day out, and still was revelaed to be an apostate when he sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and left him behind in Gethsemane.

Imagine how hard it was to pretend to care for an unseen world that in your heart of hearts you’re never sure exists, or that you even want to be a part of in the first place.

Here is a sound podcast about the issue of apostatizing.

How to Deal with Joshua Harris with Justin Peters and Jim Osman

Pastor Jim Osman and Justin Peters join Andrew Rappaport to discuss Joshua Harris’s claim that he left the faith and how we should respond to it.

And here is a good essay on how very normal and expected apostatizing is:

The Tragedy of Apostasy – Refresher

But there is one thing that never gets easier: when an individual who has professed Christ, immersed in the local church, and served in ministries, departs from the faith. AKA, “apostasy.” John Owen defined apostasy as “continued persistent rebellion and disobedience to God and his word,” or “total and final and public renunciation of all the chief principles and doctrines of Christianity.”

David Murray’s Practical Christianity essay on Apostasy is very helpful. I liked his re-statement of Owens’ principles in layman’s language.

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