An argument I hear time and time again from Christians is “If you are now an ex-Christian then you could never have been a Christian in the first place”. This train of thought violates huge numbers of scriptures in the bible. It also overlooks the fact that the very first ever Ex-Christian was Judas Iscariot.
I would find it very difficult to believe that Jesus would have picked Judas as his disciple if Judas had not been a genuine believer. Unless Jesus had specifically hand picked him to help him fulfill prophecy, which would be a very dubious tactic on Jesus’s part. Judas… as with the other eleven must surely have been a genuine disciple of Jesus and with any disciple of Jesus they will follow the teachings of Jesus and follow his example. Jesus said you must repent and “you must be born again”, so it seems then logical that all of Jesus disciples would have done this to have been allowed to be his disciple. Likewise Jesus set the example of being baptized, so it stands to reason he would expect the same from his disciples. Judas was also given a ministry while he was a disciple. Would Jesus have given him a ministry if he was not worthy? (See Acts 1:25 where a man has been chosen to take over Judas’s ministry). Somewhere along the line things turned sour for Judas Isacariot and he betrayed Christ, thus becoming the first ever ex-Christian.
As I said at the beginning of this discussion, there are many verses that show it is possible to be an ex-Christian. Constantly Paul warned of the dangers of falling from the faith. He even acknowledged it was possible for HIM to fall from the faith, which is really something. (I Corinthians 9:27)
In Heb 6:4-6 it tells us: “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”
This scripture shows us that it is indeed possible to have shared in the holy spirit and then fallen away. They tasted God. Definitely describing an ex-Christian here. This is not a backslider, because we all know that a backslider can return. This is talking about a genuine ex-TRUE-Christian.
Rev 3:5 tells us: “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
The fact that it says “I will not erase” therefore implies that it IS possible for someone to have their name erased, otherwise it would not use the word “erase”. It would say “and your name shall remain in the book of life forever”. It’s like if I say this article will not be taken off this website, then I am indicating that it can be taken off. If there was no way of taking the article off the website I would say so. Ie “It is not possible for this article to be removed from the website”.
An argument I heard recently was that God lives in a realm of timelessness. Therefore he knows whose names will ultimately be in the book of life (funny that God needs a book to remember who is naughty and nice. Santa Claus doesn’t!) So based on that, God would never have need of ever erasing any names because only the ones who will ultimately be saved will ever be recorded in there. There are two major flaws in this argument:
Above are only a few scriptures that show it’s possible to have been a Christian and then left the faith, but to add more would be repetitive and unnecessary. One may ask why make a big deal of this? If you believe that Christians are living in a fantasy world and are simply deluded why argue so hard that you were once a true Christian yourself? I would answer, it’s the principle of the matter. How dare you tell me I was not a true Christian when you know little if anything at all about my Christian walk and the struggles I went through? How dare you just flag away 30 years of genuine belief and service of your God as if it was nothing? What gives you the right to stand in judgement of me in that manner? The audacity! And furthermore how can you possibly claim there is no such thing as an ex-Christian when your holy book blatantly tells you otherwise?