To Deconvert or to Not Deconvert

The concept of a ‘de-conversion’ – is it possible? 

I have heard this bantered about on a few blogs – and for some reason there is debate over it. People actually believe one cannot de-convert from their Christian faith. I am here to make a case for – ‘yes’ one can deconvert. Here are my reasons: 

(1) Depends on how you define conversion? If conversion happens at the point of one’s confession (or because of one’s confession) – then one can just as easily change that confession later on. 

(2) If conversion has to do with choice (as I believe it does) then one’s choice to follow the faith can be changed at anytime.

(3) I have heard faith described as a ‘marriage’ – which is some biblical terminology we can find in Jesus and Paul’s teachings. Marriage is a commitment – but it’s a personal choice to remain in the marriage. If someone is not satisfied with the state of the marriage – they do have the ability to leave. 

(4) Conversion may have to do with the Holy Spirit – I concede this. However, who actually knows how the Holy Spirit truly functions? Not me. How can one figure that the Holy Spirit will not let someone leave if they so choose to do so? 

(5) It’s sensible and lines up with reality. Many people change personal choices throughout their life – based on their reasoning of the situation. It makes sense that someone may change their mind about their faith – and in turn see it as a not so wise choice. 

I contend a person can de-convert from their faith to that of no-faith. Which is basically the reverse of one leaving their no-faith to have faith.


7 thoughts on “To Deconvert or to Not Deconvert

  1. i don’t think one can completely deconvert. i think we’ll always have some base assumptions from our old life that lie unexamined. for example:

    pastor gets a call from two nonmembers who want to be married. they don’t know us from a hole in the ground and vice versa. they want to get married in a week! they ask about marriage counceling and if the pastor will marry them. what did the pastor do?

    i was catholic. marriage to me is a sacrament NOT to be entered into lightly or within a weeks time NOR without counceling. that’s the process! however, those are my unchallenged assumptions. the pastor on the other hand had been married twice, both to people with counceling degrees (herself included) and passed every counceling session they attended. if any marriage would have lasted it should have been hers.

    she doesn’t do counceling, she will marry anyone.

    this is hard for me to hear but i realize that my own grandparents and parents (both divorced) passed their counceling sessions with flying colors! this situation brought out dormant assumptions that i didn’t know i was carrying with me. i haven’t been catholic for a decade, haven’t been to a church service in longer. i’m training to be a protestant minister for gosh-sakes!!! but here are some vestiges.

    so can we deconvert or convert? yes! but not entirely. we still have baggage.

  2. From what I recall from my debate with Dagoods on this is that it can’t be said. I believe the de-convert never really believed in his heart. I could point to doubts they had early on, behavior patterns that exposed those doubts years before the “de-conversion”. Is that any kind of proof? No. This is really a God-only-knows question.

  3. “so can we deconvert or convert?” SVS
    This is a question of semantics. Because people will argue what it means to convert?

    I was a “convert” to Christianity and I was a very good Christian. I witnessed, I preached, I fasted, I prayed and I was a pastor of a small church for a year. Yes doubt came in, but not when I was first converted or before. They came in later when I went to bible college. When I realized that some of my doctrines were based on the stupidest scriptural references and those doctrines were to be maintained at the cost even to the point of cutting people off from the community of G-d because they didn’t believe like I did.

    I agree with Luke, I have be de-converted but I have retained some of my baggage, and even some good beliefs. But do not get me wrong, I am working on rooting those bad things out because I honestly have issues with the version of Christianity that was practised around me and taught to me. And from what I can tell, so do a lot of people. I heard of a book called “Why Christianity Must Change or Die” I always thought I should read it.

  4. JJ

    If being a Christian is first done by belief and belief patterns change throughout our lives, then I would imagine its possible to Deconvert.

  5. “Fine, but can you prove it? That was the question.” (Jim)

    I think I have done as much proving as has to be done – in my personal opinion. It’ would be the same as proving conversion – which is in itself a difficult thing to do…we’d have to go by someone’s choices on the matter. I figure, the same must work the other way also.

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