I have a couple of acquaintances (truthfully, not close to me). One of them is an Evangelical Christian who is dabbling in a neo-pagan religion. The other, also an Evangelical Christian, is already decided to join a classic doomsday-type authoritarian cult.
Christian Missions is, of course, more focused on bringing those outside of the fold to choose to follow Christ. But it is simply reality that there is a backdoor in the church. This is not a theological discussion about eternal security (it’s not really THAT type of blog). From a human perspective… people change religions. It happens.
As Christians, we (hopefully) seek to ensure that those who follow Christ stay faithful in that. The book of Hebrews, for example, is written to Jewish Christians, encouraging them to stay faithful to the path they chose, and not return to their old lives.
Still, it makes me wonder. Are we responsible as a church not only to:
- Bring people into the church and
- Nurture/disciple those in the church and
- Encourage those in the church to stay in the church
BUT, recognizing that we simply do not have control over people’s decisions, are we responsible to ensure that those who leave the church do not go in a direction that is self-destructive.
In the examples at the beginning, both cases ARE problems… but the authoritarian cult is more self-destructive than the neo-pagan group. Additionally the neo-pagan group is easier to leave than the authoritarian cult.
Is the church responsible to help those in church to not only make good choices, but even to make better bad choices?