No True Scotsman

The following is a post on christianforums.com that is a perfect example of how Once Saved Always Saved adherents view people who have left the religion of Christianity:

You use the phrase “was a Christian”.
Christianity is not something you can “put on today and take off tomorrow.” It is not a fad that you get over. Some churches will teach a person can be saved by the grace of God, and become so full of sin afterwards that they lose that salvation, and others will teach that once you are saved by Christ nothing can snatch you from the hands of Christ, but all of them will tell you that Christianity is not something that a person just “decides to be today” and “decides not to be tomorrow.”

They will all confirm that once you have met the living Christ, you can NEVER deny that Christ is Christ.

So to many Christians, you would not be a “former Christian”. You would be a person who went through the motions of Christianity without having ever really known the Savior.

There are a lot of people like that in churches. They grew up in churches, they learned the lingo, but they never really committed their lives and hearts totally to Christ so they were never really Christians.

They may never realize just how offensive this truly is.

I see this as a very clear explanation of how Once Saved, Always Saved adherents view ‘former Christians’.

This could quickly become a “No True Scotsman” discussion, which is often the case when the topic of OSAS comes up (which is what the above view illustrates).

Saying no “real Christian” would leave Christ, deny him, or leave Christianity is, in my view, a logical fallacy (see link above). In order to explain the salvation conundrum of those who leave the religion of Christianity, one has to assume they are either still saved and just don’t recognize it, or they were never saved in the first place (or “they never met Jesus”, or “they just went through the motions”).

Those are the only ways I know of to explain someone leaving Christianity from the OSAS perspective.

Many people leave Christianity because of a reasonable decision (not because they are full of sin, as stated in the above post). The judgment that these people must never have known Jesus personally or that they just went through the motions is insulting and presumptuous. No one knows what their lives were like. No one has the insight on whether they “truly met Jesus” or not. To say such a thing (as is often said when the OSAS argument is vocalized) is offensive and judgmental.

Clearly I disagree with the OSAS theology in general, and always have, but this is one reason why. It requires these sorts of No True Scotsman fallacies from those who believe it.

Owning my sexuality

Virginity, I think, is more highly valued than it should be in some cases. Purity and integrity are more important than the physical state of one’s hymen.
Originally Posted by JulySheMustFly
I hate these kinds of topics. They always make someone feel “less than” for the experiences they’ve had in their life and how they’ve coped with their experiences.

Who cares what is technically a virgin or not a virgin. I think that focus misses the point. Purity is about heart. And the whole concept that a man who might claim to love a woman could or even should put her away as a result of any virginal or non-virginal status is absolutely saddening.

Of course, ditto. I think this is a leftover mentality from the darkest recesses of a patriarchal society that valued the man’s seed more than the wellbeing of women, the family tree more than the nurturing of the family unit, and so on. We see this in all kinds of areas, like white wedding dresses, women being beaten for being in the company of a man not in her own family, etc.

What bothers me is the double standard throughout history. Who checks to see if a man is a virgin when he’s married? Nobody. Not even in Scripture is this made important. Its all about the women, the vehicles for childbearing, staying virginal until marriage. A guy who has a lot of sex is a “stud”, a woman is a “skank”. It’s biased and unfair.

I don’t think there is a “moral virginity” or “spiritual virginity”, but I know where people are coming from when they use this term. There doesn’t need to be a moral or spiritual version. It’s physical. Period. And it doesn’t change your value as a person or indicate anything about your character or morals.

I think it’s wrong to see a violated woman who had her virginity stolen from her as anything “less” or “dirty”. No woman should have to hide her reality from a man or feel guilty for a traumatic experience (or even having her hymen broken while riding a horse). It makes no sense to carry such a cultural shame.

Oh, and another thing (because this topic just hits so many nerves), virginity does not make you holier, more godly, or better than anyone else. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not more spiritual if she was a virgin. Nuns, priests and monks are not closer to God because they never marry. I don’t think God blesses virgins more than non-virgins. The idea that “God still loves you despite your broken hymen (which makes you less righteous somehow)” grates on my nerves.

Religion vs. Relationship(s)

If you enjoy long religious rants with a hefty dose of confusion, come on down! I’m full of them today.

One of the popular Christian aphorisms I’ve used in my past life—and keep hearing over and over again—goes something like this:

It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship.

This is commonly understood as meaning: being a Christian is not about traditions and habits and doctrines and rules and so forth. It is about having a personal relationship with Jesus (including God here as well), like a friend, lover, or father. In fact, I bet if you go out and ask your typical North American Protestant Christian what they say on the topic, they will probably verbalize it almost exactly that way. It is incredibly common, and I haven’t heard many negative reactions to the statement.

I’d like to suggest a different take on the subject.

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