"After my spiritual rebirth at the wobbly age of 14--amid the cultural wasteland of the 1970s--I clung to such distinctions as if my life depended on it. The Jesus Movement was in high gear and I relished using the lingo that identified me as a participant. When we approved of something, we'd say, "What a blessing!" or "Praise God." When we told each other goodbye, we'd invoke, "God bless."
I even enjoyed that word backslider--taken from Proverbs 14:14: "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways." We had other words for those ex-Christians: they were "strays," and "exes," and "prodigals," and "blotmarks." That last epithet is taken from Revelations 3:5, in which the apostle John describes a vision of Jesus, who says, "He that overcometh, the same will be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life."
The message was clear: to "walk with the Lord" and then slide back from salvation was to embrace a fate even more fiery than the one awaiting those who'd never been saved in the first place."
Update: Be sure to catch JS Bangs comments on this article at Hapax Legomena.
Friday, February 04, 2005
Pastor Paul McCain: Confessions of a back-slider
This story is guaranteed to give you goosebumps!