About

This blog is called How To Fall Down. It is a Christian blog that explores why people fall away from the faith.

As someone who abandoned Christianity for almost a decade, I empathize with those who leave the fold. I returned to the faith, but so many from my generation did not.

On this blog, we’ll look at reasons why people abandon the faith, looking at both anecdotal and statistical evidence to give us a picture of why people abndon the faith, why some return, and what we can do to stem the tide.

I read somewhere once that the church is somewhat less than advertised. This is sadly undeniable. Yet I also know that all of the burnt-edged, runny-middled, egg shell-riddled omeletes in the world do not invalidate the recipe for the perfect omelete. rather they show what happens when you don’t follow the recipe and why it’s so important to stick to the cookbook!

I hope my reflections on this subject will help Christians and prodigals alike.

God bless you,
Tony Breeden
aka Preacher

Comments
  1. It is Gerencser, BTW, not Gerenscer. 🙂

    Have fun.

  2. Preacher says:

    Sorry. I’m a bit dyslexic sometimes.

  3. Ken says:

    Just trying to find out what type of Christian you are. Do you follow the whole Bible or just the new testament? Do you believe the Bible should be taken literally? Is it inerrant? Do you believe in moral absolutism our moral relativity?

    • Preacher says:

      Ken,

      I follow the whole Bible, but I believe that Christ fulfilled much of the Old Testment, making parts of Old Testament Law unnecessary by the sufficiency of His atoning work of the cross.

      I believe the Bible is inerrant. It does contain statements that are not true, as when it reports someone telling a lie, but whe it does so it relates these statements accurately. It also contains statements that are true from the observer’s perspective and which are understood as such by the rules of everyday speech, such as statements that the sun rises and sets.

      I believe that the Bible should be taken literally, but not woodenly so. Normal rules of grammar, such as round numbers, figures of speech, etc.

      I believe in moral absolutism. The moral relativist affirms the absolute truth of relative truth, which is contradictory and makes such a concept [and any worldview built upon it] ultimately self-defeating.

      -Preacher

  4. Ken says:

    Ok, for your reply to this you can select one of the topics in the post above… for this one i’ll select “inerrancy”.

    Since you choose to disobey old testament law, i’ll start with errancies in the new testament.

    Luke 1:26-38 Gabriel says that Jesus will be given the throne of David, that he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and that his kingdom will never end. (None of this took place nor can it now be fulfilled.)

    Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27 Jesus proclaims that some of his listeners will not taste death before he comes again in his kingdom. He said this two millenia ago. (Note: This passage and many others indicate that Jesus was to come again in a relatively short period of time and not just “quickly” as present day Biblicists assert. All of his listeners are now dead, yet Jesus has not come again in his kingdom. All of the alleged words of Jesus put forth in the Bible are therefore suspect.)

    Mark 16:17-18 A believer can handle snakes or drink poison and not experience any harm. (Note: Many unfortunate believers have died as a result of handling snakes and drinking poison. This kind of assertion negates the Bible as a useful guidebook for life.)

    Do you want me to show you a few more passages? Can you please show me where i’m wrong here, preacher?

    Ken

    • Preacher says:

      Ken,

      This is not a debate site. You’ll have to go elsewhere if you came to argue.

      I realized you were baiting me when I responded. I simply hoped I was wrong about you. I will not cast my pearls before swine, meaning I will not present my arguments to someone who will simply cast them away and then attempt to attack me personally.

      Having said that, Jesus has been given the throne of David prophetically speaking and His when His literal kingdom is established on Earth at the fulfillment of that prophecy, it will be without end. Meaning that this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled.

      Your assertion that the meaning of Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27 is that Jesus meant that some of his listeners would not taste death before He came again in his kingdom is inaccurate. the passages state that He said some would not see death until the saw the kingdom of God. There is no indication that this meant His Return. In fact, these passages immediately precede the account of the Transfiguration and most commentators believe Jesus was refering to this event where two of His disciples saw him in full glory. Other commentators note that even if Jesus did mean his Second Coming [and the passage does not mandate this], John witnessed this event in a prophetic vision on the Isle of Patmos and recorded what he saw in the book of Revelation.

      We also note that Mark 16:17-18 refer to apostolic signs. Paul was miraculously healed of a venomous snakebite on Mileta [Acts 28:6). The signs and wonders of the apostolic age were an authentication of the NT message, just as Jesus’ miracles and resurrection authenticated His message and fulfilled prophecy authenticates the OT. There was never any indication that these signs would continue forever. In fact, 1 Cor 13 warns that tongues would eventually cease; we can infer a similar limitation on other sign gifts mentioned in this passage. A good understanding of dispensations would have prevented many from injuring themselves with poison and snake handling.

      In other words, there are reasonable answers for all of your objections.

      I will not entertain further debate on subjects not raised in these posts, so good day.

      -Preacher

  5. Ken says:

    Ok, if you want me to debate the individual posts I will… I was debating your “about me” post.

    Let me correct you as well, this IS a debate site. I know who you are. If this were not a debate site then Bruce would have every right to sue you for slander. Much the same way if you had a similar site about britney spears errancies.

    You’re not quoting fact. You’re quoting opinion, which you are entitled to do, but censoring facts about a real person is slander. What if i put up a site stating your true identity saying “******* is gay, he is hiding behind the church so that he doesn’t need to admit it”, and then anyone who wanted to question me or my motives would be censored? Not very nice is it?

    • Ken,

      Let me clarify: we’re not here to debate Christianity.

      Feel free to debate my conclusions regarding his arguments. Still, I should mention that it was Bruce Gerncser himself who challenged me to read his My Journey posts and come to my own conclusions.

      Neither am I censoring facts. Rather I’m exploring the opinions, observations and conclusions made in his My Journey series. For that matter, this site is not simply about Bruce’s journey, but why people fall away from the faith, why they return [if at all] and what we can do to prevent this trend. Bruce Gerencser’s anecdotal journey may provide us with some clues and insights, but it is not the end-all and be-all of this site’s existence. He’s merely what inspired me to explore the subject.

      Regards,
      Tony Breeden

  6. John Arthur says:

    Hi Preacher,

    You claim that you are exploring why Christians leave the faith. What puzzles me is why you are concentrating on Bruce. Would not a sociological and psychological analysis based on random sampling techniques and proper hypothesis testing of the results show you the likely factors? Why is it necessary for you to deconstruct Bruce’s story in order to learn why people leave the faith?

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

    • John,

      It’s not necessary. It’s merely interesting.

      I really do think that Bruce’s anecdotal experience might shed more light on the problem than raw statistics. Folks tend to reveal more about themselves on their own blog than they do an interviewer.

      I further suppose that since much of his story resonates with a significant part of mine, that reflection upon his journey might shed insights into why folks leave the faith and how we might prevent this in the future.

      Regards,
      Rev Tony Breeden

  7. John Arthur says:

    Hi Tony,

    You say that Bruce’s story is similar to your own. You fell away from the faith for about 10 years but, unlike Bruce, you have returned and that you are analysing Bruce’s story to see what can be learnt from it.

    What puzzles me is why you do not use your own story if it is so similar to Bruce’s? Why deconstruct his story? Why not give us your story? Any story, when written, has both a written and unwritten context. When one does not know the unwritten context of a story that is written, it is easy to misinterpret another’s story. So why not leave Bruce alone and tell us why you left the faith?

    Shalom,

    John Arthur

    • John Arthur,

      The benefit of examining someone else’s journey is that you can compare it and contrast it to your own [and everyone else’s] to see if your journey is representative in some way or anamolous.

      Point in fact: Bruce made the following comment to me when I commented on his site:

      “You have made no attempt to read anything I have written. I checked the IP log…I know what pages you looked at. Read the My Journey section and then we’ll talk. Until then you are an uninformed, judgmental Christian.”

      He promptly banned me from being able to comment. This was my second comment to his blog. If his FAQ is accurate, I’m only the 4th person in 3 years to be thus banned. I’m at a loss to explain why he banned me for so little provocation, unless he simply doesn’t like to admit he’s wrong!

      The truth of the matter was that I had read a good portion of his My Journey series… from a different IP. I empathized with his journey. Parts of his experience resonated with my own. Nevertheless, me made many emotionally outraged but ignorant misrepresentations of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum in his post… and I am a creationist. Furthermore, he contradicted himself several times. So I had posted to correct his many, many mistakes in that post: http://fallenfromgrace.net/2012/02/16/a-few-thoughts-on-the-creation-museum/

      Nevertheless, I decided that perhaps his objection had merit. Maybe I did need to more carefully read his account of his journey in order to understand him. In the meantime, since discovering that I am the author of this blog, he’s blocked my IP address from even being able to look at his site. But I’ve taken up Bruce’s challenge nonetheless.

      Regards,
      Rev Tony Breeden

  8. John Arthur says:

    Anecdotal evidence of why people fall away from the Christian faith can be very misleading. If you want to know the important factors, then a social scientific analysis is necessary. The Barna group is a research group that looks at the intersection of faith and culture. See http://www.barna.org/.

    I am glad you are reading Bruce’s blog carefully but I suspect that you are deconstructing his life, not to learn lessons, but in reaction to his deleting some of your comments. I hope I am wrong in my suspicion. Telling your own story, rather than commenting on Bruce’s , would show me that you are not being disingenuous but I think you are.

    You are at a loss as to why he barred you from his site. Judging from the comments that I did read on the post that is there, you seemed to be coming across angrily and attacking Bruce. This may not have been your intention. It is one thing to correct what you perceive to be misinformation (by presenting factual evidence in a non emotive manner) and quite another to appear to come across dogmatically and if you had been more gracious in your response, you might have got a different response from Bruce.

    I wish you well on your journey.

    Shalom,

    John Arthur

    .

    Shalom

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