Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Christian Backsliders

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Yesterday, I received a sad news about a dear friend who might lost her way from the path to a good relationship with Christ. It was so surprising to learn that story as we never imagined that it could happen to her. It got me asking myself, how can be a strong and matured Christian swayed away from his/her belief? What made her do that and what are the factors that might have contributed to drift away. My devotion today is about the probable reasons why some Christians are backsliding and how can we help them and avoid such situation.

I am not an expert in defining backsliding but in my understanding, it is a point where there is a spiritual regress and disobedience. It may also mean perpetual state of willful rebellion. In bible we have references for this. Jeremiah 3:22 (Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding. Yes, we will come to you, for you are the Lord our God) and Jeremiah 31:22 (How long will you wander, unfaithful Daughter Israel? The Lord will create a new thing on earth— the woman will return to the man). In these verses, the important words are faithless and unfaithful which have the same meaning.

There are many reasons that we can itemize and think of. I have been to this situation before but I am glad that I have managed to bounce back and enlighten the fire again. In my experience, I realized some of the aspects that might result to backslide could be:
  1. Refusal to Face Their Own Guilt. Yes, sometimes they will be questioning their mistakes and incorrect actions and try to defend them. They often not think of the danger that will come to them if they do not receive forgiveness for wrongs done. Since they have committed disobedience, they are thinking to harden their hearts and will choose such a way to harden more to avoid the wrath that they might receive.
  2. Fear of Condemnation. Truly, there is no condemnation in Christ. But backsliders are thinking that if their church leaders give them advice and provide other solution, for them, it is condemnation and it will lead to inquest them and question their own cleanliness. They become proud and they will not listen to any words that they will receive and this will also head to rebellion.
  3. Full of Pride. I think this one is the totality of the previous items. Backsliders will think low about gospel and His words. They will try to uphold their reasoning and will put in their mind that there is nothing wrong to enjoy some things as we only live once. The way they will shield their ways of life will become stronger.
  4. The Listen to the World. They will stop living a holy life because they will accept advice from unsaved people whether it could be family or friends. They could also be influenced by what they see in television, movies and even social media. The trouble will start once they also pay attention to the temporal things in this world. 
  5. Poor Examples. We cannot deny that there are some bad examples that surround the Christian life. It could be a church leader or a friend in their own lifegroup. Once these bad samples caught the eye of a believer, they might be questioning their faith and will query on the validity of their status.

Hebrews 6:4-6 (4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[a] away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.)

So how can we help the backsliders? We can pray for them. It actually depends on the situation and the level of disobedience. It is not easy to let them understand and could result to arguments. But if there is a chance, try to be reasonable if there is a possible discussion. As they say, prayer is the most powerful thing that we have. As for the believer, we can avoid to backslide by focusing our eyes to the Lord. Some people can let us down but with Christ, we can always count on Him. We should always examine our faith, 2 Corinthians 13:5 (Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?). Come to Him for forgiveness and seek Him every day. Stay in His words and be surrounded by other believers.

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