It's a piece of advice given by a friend, and one that I think is generally sound.
So I was going through the 'blogs I check sometimes' list, culling those that have stopped functioning as blogs, those I stopped clicking to read pretty much. I was in two minds over Hamo's blog, decided to go visit and found his last post - Just not for me - really reflected some of how I feel at the moment. I know this gets Chris down a lot too - the way some just walk away from church, often walking away from active faith eventually. I've seen that in a lot of people, those who used to be leaders as well as those who were just passively filled seats. Some I almost breathe a sigh of relief over, because they are up & down, in and out, trying to walk along the top of the fence and teetering on the brink. Others I want to give a good slapping - they shipwreck their lives and the poo all over the lives of those coupled to them through marriage or birth.
And yes, I feel guilty/failure/miserable over it.
Back to Francis Chan again. Were they real Christians, or just plants that sprouted for a few moments, then got choked or dried up and died? Am I to blame because they died despite me doing my best to provide an environment in which they could thrive, it was not good enough. Or is it a case of them never really being Christians at all, just going through the motions on the outside with un-redeemed hearts on the inside, following the herd?
I can't take the hard-nosed view on this, though it would make life easier to do so. I have to believe that they had a choice, and that I need to do all that I am called to do in order to help them to make the best choices for their futures.
But I have to say too, that if you decide to walk away from God, however incrementally, then that is your fault and responsibility too and not mine.