Proper Catholic term for "backsliding"

I hear the term “backsliding” often. Is there a proper and correct theological term for “backsliding”. It sounds so third grade when used in a serious discussion. Thanks.

[quote=chrisg93]I hear the term “backsliding” often. Is there a proper and correct theological term for “backsliding”. It sounds so third grade when used in a serious discussion. Thanks.
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How about “fallen away?”

[quote=chrisg93]I hear the term “backsliding” often. Is there a proper and correct theological term for “backsliding”. It sounds so third grade when used in a serious discussion. Thanks.
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The Protestant term “backsliding” is used to get around the fact that they are supposed to believe in “once saved always saved”. It’s a term that is used to explain how someone who is supposedly saved could leave the church or lead an obviously sinful life (such as drinking, womanizing, etc). Backsliders were really never saved in the first place-- that’s the explanation.

There is no Catholic equivalent because there is no such thing as “back sliding”. Catholics reject the idea of “once saved, always saved”. We hope for salvation, and understand we have free will to accept or reject God until our last breath.

Why then has this people turned away
in perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast to deceit,
they refuse to return.
Jer. 8:5

They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the **backslidings ** in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Ezek. 37:23

What about " in need of reconciliation" ?

It may not be “proper” but I’m incined to say pew potatoes. :slight_smile:

Peace and all good,

Thomas2

What about the term “Fallen from grace”?
or
"Not in a state of grace"?

I think it means the same thing, as in having commited a mortal sin and needing to confess, repent, and get back on track.

I didn’t know the word “backsliding” actually appeared in some translations the Bible. I apologize to that word and to the Bible for calling it “third grade”. My New Jerusalem Bible uses the word “infidelity”.

Thanks for the other suggestions. Do they describe a period of intense and prolonged venial sins, but not mortal sin?

posted by 1ke
The Protestant term “backsliding” is used to get around the fact that they are supposed to believe in “once saved always saved”. It’s a term that is used to explain how someone who is supposedly saved could leave the church or lead an obviously sinful life (such as drinking, womanizing, etc). Backsliders were really never saved in the first place-- that’s the explanation.

Although I can not speak for the once saved always saved crowd, I can tell you that the term was used by those who believed you could lose your salvation. In the Nazarene, AoG, and Evangelical I always understood backslidden to be someone who was walking with God, someone who was geniunely “saved” but is currently choosing to walk away from God. It had nothing to do with once saved always saved in those churches.

[quote=1ke]The Protestant term “backsliding” is used to get around the fact that they are supposed to believe in “once saved always saved”. It’s a term that is used to explain how someone who is supposedly saved could leave the church or lead an obviously sinful life (such as drinking, womanizing, etc). Backsliders were really never saved in the first place-- that’s the explanation.
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Not true. There are MANY Protestants who do not believe in the OSAS doctrine. It is usually associated with the Reformed branches of Protestantism.

~mango~

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posted by **chrisg93 **[/left]
[left]Do they describe a period of intense and prolonged venial sins, but not mortal sin?

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Good question. I started to answer and realized there would be different answers from the different pastors I had.

My Nazarene Pastor would have applied it to those in prolonged venial sins as well as those in mortal sin. Sin is sin is sin. Those in mortal sin would have lost their salvation. Those who are in prolonged venial sin are in danger of losing their salvation. Or I heard him say that people are going to or already have backslidden themselves right into Hell.

My Assembly of God pastor would have definitely applied it to those who were in prolonged venial sins, but I honestly don’t know about the mortal sin.

My evangelical Pastor would have applied it to Mortal sin, but not venial sin.

But, individual pastors at each denomination can vary within their own denomination.

I found truth to be subjective in my walk through Protestant churches. It depended on the denomination and the pastor. And although it can also depend on the priest on how *well *things are taught, at least in the Catholic Church I know what I am *supposed *to be taught.

Depends. I have no clue what you mean by “backsliding,” actually.

Is it like a drunk who is working the 12 steps and has a drink, needing to get back to Square One again?

As a Roman Catholic my whole life, it has never occurred to me that there is anything else than constantly falling out of grace, repenting, going to Confession, Jesus forgiving and the priest absolving, dusting myself off, and starting all over again.

It’s a constant cycle.

Weirds me out, actually, when I hear people talk about KNOWING for sure that they’re “saved.” That’s SO presumptuous (a sin) that I would never even think of saying that I’m 100% sure that I’m going to Heaven based on once having committed myself to a personal relationship with Jesus.

I “fall off the wagon” (sin, that is) all the time… hopefully less frequently as I live and learn… !! :o

Sounds similar to an apostate to me but …I can’t be certain . I Know back biting and detraction are sins so backsliding from the True Church would seem to be a more grievous error.

I believe that the Catholic term would be apostacy.

[quote=Annunciata]How about “fallen away?”
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I prefer the term “growing in faith”, sometimes God allows us to wallow in our self-servitude to make us realize that the less we lean on Him, the more we need Him.

[quote=Apologia100]I prefer the term “growing in faith”, sometimes God allows us to wallow in our self-servitude to make us realize that the less we lean on Him, the more we need Him.
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Good point! What is that clich`e that has been around lately?..“Been there, done that”…
“Fallen Away” was the first thing that came to mind since that is what I was doing when I was on my Faith’s Journey…back a few steps, taking a look around, (sometimes wallowing):smiley: … then running like crazy to get back in His good graces!
In Christ, Annunciata:) God is good!

[quote=chrisg93]I hear the term “backsliding” often. Is there a proper and correct theological term for “backsliding”. It sounds so third grade when used in a serious discussion. Thanks.
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I believe the term “Deprogrammed” would best describe this event.

[quote=Cary Melvin]I believe that the Catholic term would be apostacy.
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Apostasy is the total rejection of the Faith, and it entails the loss of membership in the church (as does excommunication, formal heresy, and formal schism). A backslid Catholic could be a person that is in a state of mortal sin that has not lost his membership in the Church. He or she would still be united the Church in faith and hope, but not charity.

If we are not moving forward in our vocation to Christian perfection, then we are moving backwards. Forwards or backwards, there is no state where we are not advancing in one direction or the other - even though it may seem that we have leveled out when spiritual consolations are not coming our way.

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originally posted by Veronica Anne[/left]
[left]Weirds me out, actually, when I hear people talk about KNOWING for sure that they’re “saved.” That’s SO presumptuous (a sin) that I would never even think of saying that I’m 100% sure that I’m going to Heaven based on once having committed myself to a personal relationship with Jesus.

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Most people who asked are you saved are not referring to a once saved always saved kind of thing. Even the average baptist does not believe this. (This is personal experience folks, yours may be different). Most people mean when they ask you if you are saved would mean if you die right this instant would you die in a state of grace or would you go to Hell. They are not asking you to predict the future. Most people can tell you if they are in a state of mortal sin or not.

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originally posted by Matt16_18[/left]
[left]If we are not moving forward in our vocation to Christian perfection, then we are moving backwards. Forwards or backwards, there is no state where we are not advancing in one direction or the other - even though it may seem that we have leveled out when spiritual consolations are not coming our way.

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[left]Which is the way most people who use the term “backslidden” view their walk with Christ. You are either going forward or backwards, if you are standing still, watch out because you are probably standing on a hill and slipping backwards.[/left]

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