I have spent almost 39 years in a pastor’s family, either by being a PK or being a pastor. Over this time I have seen many who have walked away from the faith.
I cannot remember anyone who walked away from the faith (not leaving just “our church”) due to falling for the arguments of an atheist.
I have seen many walk away because they got busy with stuff and Christianity was merely a burden to bear. Something to discard to make selfish living easier.
Faith is a living thing, as with all living things, it must be kept alive. One of the pitfalls of “once saved always saved” is that people think faith is static–I had it once and now I’m in.
But faith needs to be kept alive. Keeping faith alive happens by the Word, the Spirit and the Church. These are the means by which God ordained to keep our faith alive and active.
People leave the faith slowly. They peter out. Very few flame out, most just fade away. It starts slowly. Church attendance was once weekly, then couple times a month. More gets done without bothering with Church.
Then it’s down to once a month. Then down to going when the pastor calls. Next thing you know, they’re gone. I’ve seen it many, many times. So did C. S. Lewis. If you don’t believe me, then at least believe him.
“if you have once accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time every day. That is why daily prayers and religious readings and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe.
“Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away? “
Don’t fade away. Keep the light burning. I know it’s Memorial Day weekend and you are busying memorializing, but go to church tomorrow. There’ll be plenty of time for barbecuing and doing yard work later.