Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
— Proverbs 17:27
Words are powerful — whether you use them to proclaim faith or renounce it. Once you say something, you cannot take it back. Once you post something on social media, you cannot delete the post. Only a week after Joshua Harris renounced his faith, Marty Sampson, a songwriter for Hillsongs who wrote many songs that we sing at church, has declared on social media, “I’m genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn’t bother me. Like, what bothers me now is nothing. I am so happy now, so at peace with the world. It’s crazy.” He continues, “[Christianity] is not for me. I am not in any more.” Needless to say, there has been a lot of backlash concerning the latest celebrity Christian fallen from grace. After deleting his post, Sampson clarified that he had not renounced his faith but is on “incredibly shaky ground.” As a believer, there were times in my life when I doubted my faith. Doubt, however, is not the absence of faith — doubt is the questioning of faith. One can only doubt when one believes. Author Os Guinness explains, “Doubt is not the opposite of faith, unbelief is. Doubt does not necessarily or automatically mean the end of faith, for doubt is faith in two minds. What destroys faith is the disobedience that hardens into unbelief.” Doubt is not necessarily bad, it can help us to grow in faith. So, was Sampson doubting or renouncing? Only he and God know the motivation of his heart but his words say it all: “I am not in any more.” Despite his efforts to cleanup his mess, he has clearly renounced his faith. The Well Church, let us be wise with our words. As we follow Christ, let us remember that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! Let us not look at our accomplishments, but let us look at Christ’s accomplishments — his life, death, and resurrection — and believe.
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it (Ephesians 2:9, NLT).