I posted a couple of timse on this subject recently. I’m a native speaker of English and I was writing in English, and I thought I was rather clear. Unfortunately, judging from the responses I’ve received from certain people, which they’ve repeated over and over and over again no matter what I’ve said, I wasn’t clear enough.
I’m not sure that I can be clear enough. But I’ll try yet again:
Some have claimed that I believe that all apostasy results from sin, or a desire to sin.
It was to respond to these claims that I wrote my two previous blog entries.
I do not believe this.
I believe that some apostasy results from sin, or from a desire to sin.
I’ve seen pretty plain examples of this over the years.
But I do not believe that all apostasy results from sin.
I do not believe that all apostasy is primarily driven by sin.
I do not believe that sin is a causal factor in all instances of apostasy.
I believe that some people apostatize for principally intellectual/doctrinal/historical reasons.
I do not know, and do not claim to know, what the percentages are.
I think that many factors go into every human decision, into every human belief and commitment.
These factors include substantive reasons and logic, but they also include our personalities, our distinctive psychologies, our personal histories, our genders, our tastes, our educations or lack thereof, our family relationships, our information or defects in information, peer pressure, our relationships with friends or our failure to make friends, cultural fashions, and a whole host of other things too varied for me to enumerate or even remember or think of.
We are not logic machines. Faced with precisely the same set of facts, Fritz may draw one conclusion, while Franz may draw quite a different one. Many things go into their decisions, but, in such a case, it’s plainly not just a matter of the facts.
Is there anything unclear about this? It seems rather straightforwardly obvious to me.
In any event, I do not believe that sin is the sole reason for apostasy. I do not believe that sin is always the principal reason for apostasy. I do not believe that sin is a part of every apostasy.
And let me be very clear: In saying that I do not believe that sin is the sole reason for apostasy and that I do not believe that sin is always the principal reason for apostasy and that I do not believe that sin is a part of every apostasy, I’m not using code language in order to really say that sin is the sole reason, or always the principal reason, for apostasy, or that it is a factor in every apostasy.
Is that clear enough?