Those who deconvert are apostates, and they are in danger of Hell and the righteous judgement of God. We don’t need to sugarcoat this. Those who deconvert should feel no comfort or pleasure in their decision. But there is hope. And I hold out this hope for anyone who has deconverted, who knows someone who has deconverted, or is considering leaving the faith. Listen to what God says He will do for backsliding Israel: “I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them” (Hos 14:4). Here is the hope: You can turn from your apostasy, and God will receive you.
The word “deconversion”, defined simply as the loss of faith in one’s religion, seems to have become popular recently. People have become weirdly comfortable, almost boasting, in the fact that they have deconverted from Christianity. I think part of the comfort with deconversion is that the word is new enough to lack the sober connotations its meaning should convey. We often do this: we soften language to appease our consciences. So I want to say it out loud for those who might be dodging the seriousness of what deconverting from Christianity really means: Deconversion is apostasy.
When someone says, “I’ve deconverted” or “I’m an exvangelical” or “I’ve deconstructed”, I’m convinced that they choose this heady, pseudo-intellectual language because it allows the conscience to miss what they’ve actually done. Those who deconvert are leaving Christ. They are those whom the Spirit says, “will depart from the faith” (1 Tim 4:1). They are the ones who have, “an evil, unbelieving heart, leading [them] to fall away from the living God” (Heb 3:12). This is a serious and dangerous decision.
The Seriousness of Deconversion
Deconversion/Apostasy has terrifying consequences. Consider God’s word:
- “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thess 1:8-9).
- “‘And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.’ Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (Rev 14:11-12).
- “It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched’ (Matt 9:47-48).