preachthecross.org Blog

February 26, 2009

You Can’t Lose What You Don’t Have—A response to William Lobdell’s book “Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting On Religion In America”

Filed under: Observations & Perspectives — Administrator @ 2:24 pm

You Can’t Lose What You Don’t Have—A response to William Lobdell’s book “Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting On Religion In America”

Articles like the one on journalist William Lobdell, as well as his book, come at a very prophetic time in human history (Orange County Register; “He’s Un-Born Again”, Front Page, Feb. 24, 2009). His book (which he acknowledges the publisher paid him a “generous” advance to write) tells of his struggle with religion (Episcopalian/Catholic), “born-again faith” (Mariner’s Church), returning to the Catholic Church (which his non-believing wife chose), and the ensuing doubts which ultimately led to his renouncing his “faith” and God.
One of the primary “proofs” of the infallibility of the Bible, God’s Word, is that it foretells history, and has NEVER been wrong (which there is ample secular evidence to support, if anyone cares to do the research, as I have).
In this case, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 foretells that the “last days”—which we are very much in—will be characterized by a great “falling away”. While there will be varying manifestations, it primarily refers to a departure from any sincere reverence or “accurate” faith in God. I say “accurate” in terms of how God defines, and grants, the gift of faith. That’s right; true, Biblical faith is a gift from God which he grants according to the both the sincerity and the commitment of one’s heart.
A key aspect of the “falling away” is the shift from a reliance and focus on God (through Jesus Christ) to reliance and focus on self. Accordingly, “faith” for many people today is something they vainly imagine they have to create, sustain and manage; as evidenced by Mr. Lobdell’s characterization of his having “clung” to his faith as long as he could. This is self-effort and really self-worship. This is NOT Biblical. But it is certainly very religious. And it is precisely what the institutionalized religions he claims to disdain feed on to make them popular, powerful, and materially wealthy.
That said, and with all heartfelt regard to Mr. Lobdell’s predicament, he cannot lose what he never had. He also cannot criticize what he falsely labels. I wholeheartedly share Mr. Lobdell’s criticisms of religion, and religious institutions, along with the error and sacrilege they naturally foster (also forewarned and foretold in the Bible). However, it is wholly disingenuous for Mr. Lobdell, and all others, to pursue a false religion, label it “Christianity” (born-again or otherwise), disobey the Bible they claim to “believe”, and then arrogantly renounce “Christianity” when it “doesn’t work for them”.
Mr. Lobdell’s vanity is evident in his cavalier statement that he “gave Christianity his best shot”. Self focused individuals “give it their best shot”. True believers empty themselves into Christ, trusting completely on His ability and His work; at the Cross, and in the life of each believer.
By simple definition (and simple logic), God is perfect, and CANNOT fail. God never fails anyone. People fail God. More to the point, they fail, or “oppose”, themselves, as Mr. Lobdell has clearly done; something I prayerfully hope he gives the more earnest heed to.
Mark

25 Comments »

  1. Superb, right on, and long overdue message for all Christians to hear and, frankly, churches to preach.

    If more people who called themselves Christians learned what it really means to be born again (i.e. a Christian) — accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, with evidence of a changed life through repentance and good works — there would be fewer hypocrites in the church and a lot less tolerance of sinful behavior. So simple, yet so profound.

    Nice work, Mark. The Lord is smiling on you.

    Comment by WTL — March 8, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

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