Sunday, 7 December 2014

On changing theology after backsliding

People change their theology in large and small ways. This may be due to increased understanding, though it may also be in part relate to where they worship, their Christian friends, and what they read.

There are some who leave the church and then return. Some of these people may blame poor theology as a reason for them to backslide for a time. They leave the church rejecting one belief and return espousing another. Although bad theology is a possible contributor to backsliding I am not inclined to give this claim much weight. We have various people becoming more serious about Christ adhering to opposing theologies: there are Arminians who become Calvinists, and there are there are plenty of "recovering Calvinists"; I read of creationists becoming evolutionists and vice versa; some change denominations.

Granted, not all people significantly changing their theology have had a time of backsliding, and some theological positions are more biblical than others; yet as a reason for turning from Christ I increasingly see theology as a minor issue and rebellion and sin as a much greater issue. The Protestant who leaves God and returns as a Catholic probably was wanting to go his own way when he left the church, and those around him who encouraged him back may have been Catholic. Thus his return has to do with the beliefs of those around him at the time he is repenting. Still better a God-honouring Catholic than a rebellious ex-Protestant. (I say this as a Protestant who believes that Protestantism in general is more theologically accurate than Catholicism).

It is not that I think that truth is unimportant; the truth does set us free. But if your theological struggles coincided with your rebellion perhaps you should consider your former beliefs in greater depth.


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