From Confusion to Delusion

Ответ на статью молодого человека который покинул веру в Бога; он – бывший проповедник церкви “Вифания” г. Сакраменто. Я пишу на английском, так как его статья на английском, и большинство славянской молодежи в США понимает этот язык.


Another response to Vadim Kobrya’s blog post about him abandoning Christianity

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” 1John 2:19-22

I started writing this response last week, but due to a busy schedule wasn’t able to finish it until today. Last week, a former preacher (claims to have preached about 100 sermons) at Bethany Slavic Missionary Church, Vadim Kobrya published his official de-conversion story on a blog ( It already made and will make waves in the Slavic community in Sacramento and throughout the USA.

I have titled this article ‘From Confusion to Delusion’ because this is a good way to understand the process that Vadim described as his de-conversion from Christianity to becoming a materialist-agnostic-atheist-apostate. He says that he rejects all labels, because he is now ‘enlightened’ by his unbelief that this is morally wrong (according to his new-found faith). But there is a reason why people name things, to avoid describing and qualifying something every time they want to mention it.

Yuriy Stasyuk, another casualty to unbelief, was obviously a big influence on Vadim’s decision to deny Christ. To this day, he is ever present on Vadim’s side on Facebook comments whenever there is a discussion about these issues. There are many others who support this denial by likes and comments, and how many more are just reading but don’t have the courage to show their agreement with Vadim? I believe we will be seeing this more and more among young Slavic people. The faulty theology and pagan schools will ensure the mass apostasy from the faith of their fathers (many of whom suffered under Soviet persecution for it), because they failed to understand it! How sad is that?! If we don’t change these two major factors – discipleship by heathen and faulty theology (teaching) in our churches.

Let me start with this: I read Vadim’s story with great sadness. He honestly believes that he has finally reached the truth, and disentangled himself from the ‘web of religion’ and learned to walk without a ‘crutch’ that he was used to lean on in times of trouble. Instead of becoming free, he became an ‘antichrist’ –  a denier of the Father and the Son. Vadim spent a great deal of time reading the wrong books, learning from the wrong people and was coached along by his atheist friends, who also left ‘religion’ and wanted to ‘help’ him. He ‘only seeks to be understood’, and I can do that to a degree. He was raised in a Christian family, was active in church from a very young age, and developed in a Christian society of people, just like I did. But by God’s mercy, I was given a more coherent worldview, a more rational theology, and especially in recent 7 years or so, I went through a revolution in my theology – when many of my preconceived notions and beliefs were shattered by the Scripture itself (e.g alcohol is always bad, guns are bad, divorce is never acceptable, jewelry is sinful, the law no longer applies, we choose to be saved or not, and much more). I discovered the faith of the Reformers and Church Fathers. These are the historic doctrines of the Christian Church, the creeds and confessions, formulated by presbyters at Church councils as they tried to respond to heresies that divided the faithful over the centuries. Are they perfect? No. Are they useful? Tremendously! They help us in the fight against the same errors (Satan is not original) under more modern names. For example – the deity of Christ was assaulted from day one – and by the fourth century after Christ the teachings of Arius (Arianism) were widespread in about half the world’s churches! To combat this, the pastors (presbyters) from major cities came together and penned the Nicene Creed (325 AD) which starts like this:

“I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
begotten of his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven…”

And so on. This creed and later ones, put an end to the debate! Christ is not a creature but the Creator, it is a biblical teaching. It is a fascinating read, and extremely educating to read through the major Christian creeds and confessions, and study them and Scripture references given. They are not on par with the Scriptures, but neither inferior to any of the Christian authors of today that we read. They are the product of the Holy Spirit’s leading the people of God through history. To ignore these jewels, is to despise Him and the work of saints who risked (and some gave) their lives for the true faith. In fact, if you were present at this council, you would be shocked. Most of the men present were on crutches, without arms, without ears, noses and eyes, or other mauling they endured. These saints were the survivors from the recent (10th) vicious persecution under Emperor Domitian.

Why am I bringing this up? To show how important it is, and how little we know about our own history, about the Church Fathers and pioneers of those first centuries that had to face the whole of Roman Empire’s military power and the pervasive Greek philosophy and false religions. The Church not only survived, but it also thrived. Slowly but surely the Gospel pushed back paganism into the closet. The Stone struck the statute in the feet, broke it to pieces and began to grow into a big mountain, which is filling the earth (Daniel 2). Most Slavic Christians have a consciousness of history only to the time when Baptists and Evangelicals came into the Russian Empire through German immigrants in mid 1800s. This is to have roots only as deep as grass. Christianity has much deeper roots and is much older than that. We have a systematic theology that is not at war with itself on any major points. It is internally consistent. Does each generation have to reinvent the wheel? Is the concordance (simfonia) the only other tool we have beside the Word of God?

It is perfectly possible to just read the Bible and be converted. But it’s also very possible to read it all of life, and stagnate in growth, because our weak theology (worldview glasses) doesn’t allow us to see many things the Scripture do teach. We must always try to reform our way of thinking after the Word of God, and not ignore what other men of God, other members of the body have to offer.

Here is the crux of the matter. If you have a slightly off balance core doctrine, you will have major problems with its out workings in practice of life. What is the reason why God created the universe and man? Modern Arminian evangelical would say: “So that He has someone to love and to have fellowship with.” This is not true. God does not need anyone, or anything. He is self sufficient, and not lonely. He did it to glorify His Name. The shorter catechism of Westminster (meant for Puritan children to memorize) starts the whole thing with this question and answer:

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

By ‘chief end’ here is meant ‘main purpose’. The focus is God, not man. A Russian song we sing sometimes in our churches goes like this: “Он для тебя (человека) творил и солнце и луну…” (He created for you (man) the sun and the moon…) – and that He gave His Son for and because of us. It makes us feel important, but it is a lie. He did it all for His Name, to be glorified. Therefore, the atheist asks, if salvation of man is the main point of history – why does God not do it? Why doesn’t He save everybody? Is He not able? Here the Arminian evangelical answers: “He wants to save all, but lets man decide to accept or reject Him.” This makes man’s will sovereign above God’s will! If the main purpose is to save – then He is unable to do it, therefore is impotent, and not truly Sovereign. But the truth is, that He is able to save everybody, but that is not the purpose – His glory is the main point, not man’s salvation. This slight shift in theology, has great consequences down the road!


There are at least two major things responsible for his downfall (and of many other children of Christian parents)  – downright false theology along with very weak theology and attacks on the faith from school, college and atheist friends. Let us examine the various false ideas that Vadim believed, upon which he built his faith and worldview, that later brought the collapse of his ‘faith’.

  1. In his post, Vadim tells us a story of his spiritual journey starting from 10 years old when he began speaking in tongues. This was seen as a seal of his becoming a child of God, and baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  2. No one questioned his salvation after that, but he only needed to repent or ‘re-commit’ if he relapsed. When he got ‘burnt out on religion’ he had to ‘take a break’.
  3. He says that he prayed for many hours, because that was where the real power was, and ‘presence of God was undeniable’.
  4. He claims to have been taught “Don’t think, just obey”
  5. He totally misses the point of Christian life – in his mind, Christians can just sin (murder, steal and cheat) and simply ask for forgiveness afterwards, just make sure it’s before death…
  6. And last, but not least – Logic vs Faith attitude.

Besides the legitimate issue that he raises, of false prophets and pretenders, there is a big problem with the six points above. Why was he allowed to preach ‘100 sermons’ with this shallow and faulty theology (knowledge of God)? False assurance of salvation prevents and discourages a person to seek the Truth. How many false converts are there among our young people? This issue must become important at our churches’ monthly and annual meetings, and take priority over financial reports.

Vadim wasn’t saved (judging by his fruits now, becoming an anti-Christ 1Jn.2:22 – how scary is that?!), but he went all out in his quest for a religious experience. He wanted to be ‘where the real power was’ because he was assured of his salvation, even when he got ‘burnt out on religion and take a break’ (the very wording of it shows that his faith was not real). After some fleshly and emotional tries, he began to question the whole thing, because of the attack on Christianity by all the educational institutions which he went through as a student.

Prayer for many hours, into the night, obviously alters one’s mental abilities, and when emotions were running high, Vadim calls it ‘presence of God’ which was to him ‘undeniable’. This is an extremely dangerous view to have, because anyone (including nonbelievers) can experience an emotional high, and take it for conversion or ‘presence of God’ – if they are taught that by their preachers. Empty emotionalism is no basis for a Christian life.

If ‘don’t think, just obey’ is really the attitude expected from young people in Bethany, then they are the most to be pitied! It is much harder to encourage thinking, and studying, because then you have to be prepared to answer critics and skeptics. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” 1Peter 3:15.


“…reckon (count) ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Rom.6:11-13

“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Gal.2:19-20

The essence of the Christian faith is that all things become new, and the old passed away! Christ changes a person from the inside, and he/she becomes dead to the law and its condemnation, and to sin – and alive for Christ through faith! Many real and sincere Christians are changed but they don’t understand this, and don’t use this powerful truth in the war against sin! We don’t own ourselves, but we are doubly His – He created us and also redeemed (bought back with a price) us on the cross. A real Christian will never commit a crime/sin in hopes that later he/she will be forgiven! Does that mean a true Christian never sins? No, he does, but there is a difference. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” Prov.24:16 And the only way to rise up again – is humility and repentance – “He that covereth (conceals) his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Prov. 28:13


To illustrate this problem, it is useful to read one of Vadim’s Facebook posts during his journey into unbelief (Dec.31 2014): “I think I’m spiritually bipolar. On some days, I am convinced there is a God. On others, I’m convinced there isn’t. Today is one of those “there is a God” days.”

I couldn’t ignore it, and spent many hours asking questions and debating on this post, but was getting nowhere. Vadim had always something to say that contradicted the Scripture. He was already committed to the atheist side, but sometimes emotions got the best of him, and he rejected the emptiness of atheism. His whole faith was really emotion-based from the start. He always put faith together with emotions, and against reason and logic. This is a very simplistic lie repeated by the atheists often and loudly. To debunk that will be sufficient only to quote some very logical people, out of thousands:

“Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble”

— Albert Einstein (mathematician)

“The Holy Scripture is to me, and always will be, the constant guide of my assent; and I will always hearken to it, as containing the infallible truth relating to things of highest concernment…. Where I want the evidence of things, there yet is ground enough for me to believe, because God has said it; and I will presently condemn and quit any opinion of mine, as soon as I am shown that it is contrary to any revelation of the Holy Scripture.”

— John Locke (philosopher)

“In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence… I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.”

—Sir Isaac Newton (sometimes called the ‘father of modern science’)

You will be surprised to find out that all three of Greek Philosophy giants had some faith in God – Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Ironically, even Charles Darwin wasn’t a total materialist, and you will find quotes in his writings that will surprise you. But, ever since the French Revolution, there is a strong movement against faith and religion in general. Especially this is so in the established academic circles of America. Many Christians have accepted this assertion as true, including Vadim’s former teachers: “Logic and reasoning can only deny all spiritual realities, [and] call [the] supernatural “placebo” or magic but have no scientific explanation for undeniable “phenomen[a]”.” This is an honest attempt to answer Vadim, for which I am grateful (here). Human logic and reasoning ALONE cannot understand spiritual realities, but it is a tool given to man by God, by which we should glorify Him! Reason, enlightened by the Spirit of God in true believers is a good thing to have! Christianity is never opposed to logic, because the only pure and inventor of logic is the Logos of God, The Truth – Jesus Christ.


  • It started with the problem of morality.

Vadim disliked, or had an antagonism towards God’s Law as revealed in the Old Testament – just as many modern Christians have. This is one of those self-contradictory beliefs many Slavic churches teach. The 10 Commandments are great, but the rest of the Law is done away with. This is strange, because the Decalogue is a summary of all the other laws. Jesus did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill (Mt. 5:17), and He further summarized the Decalogue into two main commandments: Love of God and love of man (Mt.22:38)! When Christians are ashamed of any portion of God’s Word, this is the beginning of their defeat. This tension, or alleged contradiction – divides the house against itself, and it (system of theology) cannot stand, but eventually will crumble under the assaults of the world that constantly screams that the Bible allegedly has contradictions. We must learn to discern the reasons behind each law, to understand what offends God more, what is most repulsive and abhorrent to Him, and accept His moral standard. Instead most Christians try to dismiss the whole issue by saying “that’s the Old Testament, brother, we’re not under the law anymore”. This view does not hold water at close examination. Can we do the opposite of the 10 Commandments now? Obviously not. We’re no longer under the condemnation of the Law, and the new birth enables us to keep it (Rom. 6, 7, 8). If God is Holy, then His commandments must be taken seriously. Vadim pronounced God’s righteous judgment as immoral (command to stone those desecrating the Sabbath) – this is evidence that he never submitted to God’s Sovereign authority to give commands to His creatures.

Regarding Joseph and Mary – this is totally unique in the history of mankind, to have a virgin with child. Joseph trusted Mary said the truth, but he was reluctant to take this upon himself (relatives and friends would wonder about timing), but when charged by God, he understood everything and obeyed Him. There is nothing complicated in this whole story, if you believe. But if you don’t believe that a virgin conceived the Son of God, this is a major stumbling block.

  • The problem of miracles

There is a big problem with miracles. Only the problem is with those naïve people who lightly claim to see them at every turn, which would make them not miracles, if that was true. The undue fascination with the supernatural, a desire to see miracles, to be one of the miracle workers – is very dangerous. Satan can fake miracles all day long. Vadim’s search revealed that many false prophets and false miracle workers are among the Pentecostal churches. My dad grew up in a Pentecostal church, and testified that this issue is what defeated many – God does not heal somebody after the church prayed fervently for it. The defeat came not because God doesn’t do miracles, but because Christians expected God to do it whenever they asked. You can’t twist God’s arm.

Why the unbelievers deny miracles altogether? Because they testify to the existence of the Omnipotent and all-knowing God, and that is unnerving. This tendency is not modern, but there were skeptics in ancient Greece and throughout the ages. Doubting Thomas was doubting, and many disciples even doubted when the risen Savior was in their midst! (Mt.28:17) With all our technical advancement and discoveries about the world, there are still naïve and gullible people (as there always were) who believe in get-rich-quick schemes, diet fads, lotteries and palm readers. This explains the multitude of false miracle claims.

But the skeptics’ only reason for denying that miracles exist is basically this: “Miracles don’t exist, because they cannot happen.” They think that, and just by rephrasing their denial, and covering it in scientifically-sounding words – merely restate their bias. Logically, it begs the question: How do you know miracles don’t happen? To answer that, one would have to know an awful lot. The best a skeptic can honestly say is that in their experience, miracles don’t happen. You see how futile this is?

  • God’s justice and mercy

The objection to eternal torment in the lake of fire, being inconsistent with a merciful God comes from a severe ignorance of God’s character, and the nature of sin. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8 Apostle Paul, after spending a lot of time explaining theology, exclaimed: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33 We have some revelation about things that we cannot fully understand in this life, but it is necessary (God so decreed) that we know these facts. We must accept them as truth, and with fear and reverence seek the way of salvation, so as to not get there. One thing is clear – those who are in hell, do not question the justice of it (the parable of the rich man). Their own conscience will condemn them.

  • Who is Bart Ehrman?

He is one of the leading skeptics that has written books for colleges (incl. ARC) that are taught to American youth. I took a New Testament and the Old Testament class at ARC and was shocked at how it was taught. It was intended to destroy the faith of any student taking this class! Professor Atwater (OT class at ARC) is quoted as saying something similar to this: “You must put your beliefs in a drawer, just for this class, and what you learn here in another drawer. Then, after the semester is over, you decide which drawer to keep.” He then attacks the Christian faith, every chance he gets, during the rest of the class. I could not finish the class, because I was raising my hand and objecting every 10 minutes or so. Other teachers are meaner and say – ‘This is not a seminary, but public college. If you don’t like it, just leave now’ – at the very first lesson. Ehrman’s books are a hit with colleges.

The student is lured to take this class by this thinking: ‘I will take a class about the Bible, about which I already know a whole lot, so it will be an easy course. If I don’t know, it is good to learn more, plus it satisfies a requirement for my degree’. The unexperienced youth go in there and get their faith shaken or destroyed. I can name names but will not, of the many young people I know personally whose consciences were molested by these God-hater teachers/snakes. They are sent by the parents to learn something, right? O Lord! Have mercy!


Since Vadim Chepurniy has taken the time to answer (here) Vadim Kobrya (in detail), I will only add a few thoughts and an objection about the remaining points.

  • The big problem with near death experiences is they confuse people. They do not match up among themselves, it is based on one witness, as opposed to two (for major issues, as taught in the Law of God) and they (however so slightly) add to the written Word of God! Any time there is minor details about Jesus Christ, or God in the dreams and visions – they are a big matter – it is forbidden to add or take away from the Holy Scriptures. The punishments are very severe. We don’t need these ‘experiences’ to ‘confirm’ the Bible, because it is sufficient for us.
  • Regarding the alleged historical errors I will only add this: There have been numerous attacks on the historicity of the Scriptures by skeptics – in all ages. Augustine defends the Biblical account of the Flood and deals with the same issues brought up today (4th century after Christ). All of these attackers later get ashamed, when there are more archaeological discoveries made. They always confirm the veracity of the Bible. A classic case is the theory that the Hittites never existed, because there has been no trace of them found, only the Bible speaks of them. Recently, there have been unearthed thousands of clay tablets written by Hittites. God has done this again and again in archaeology, just to shame the skeptics.
  • Bad logic surrounding Christ’s sacrifice

All Christians with an Arminian view of God and man – this objection should make you think. If Christ died for all people, then all people should not be going to Hell but to Heaven. This doctrine is very hard to swallow by sinful and proud human heart. Arminianism is one of the first small steps away from the Truth, with big implications down the road. We must study what the historical doctrines of the Church are. Catholics and the Greek Orthodox are much opposed to Calvinism but are closer to Arminius’ views, understandably so: they magnify man’s choosing abilities and diminish God’s Sovereignty over all things, including Salvation. Calvinism gives too much credit to God.

  • Vadim Kobrya says:

“… there are several claims in the Bible which are falsifiable. For example, Jesus states that the events leading up to his second coming, and including his second coming, will happen during the lifetime of some of those listening to him. Obviously, that turned out to be false. All those alive during Jesus’ lifetime are long dead and Jesus still has not returned. This alone falsifies the claim that Jesus was god. But, of course, Christians have come up with other interpretations for that passage to explain away the embarrassing, false prediction by Jesus.”

My first question to him would be this: If you claim that the Bible was written and rewritten by fallen men to make it agree with itself, how is it that this ‘embarrassing’ prediction was not edited or erased?

Vadim Chepurny’s response is great on all points except this one, based on wrong eschatology of most modern churches. His reply is this: “Jesus says “this generation will not pass away.” As if He is referring to His contemporaries. But obviously that did not turn out to be the case. So did Jesus turn out to be a liar after all? Did He contradict Himself within only a few paragraphs? This would be the case only to someone who refuses to deal with His testimony as a whole.” But is that really what one comes away with in reading the plain text? The early Christians understood Matthew 24 to be referring to the tribulation that came upon all Judea in 70 AD. Most of the book of Revelation was fulfilled in times of Nero, during one of the worst persecutions, just before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. If you just read Josephus about that time, you will see how terrible that time of tribulation was. It was the end of the old world and that system. A new era has begun.
There are different views about this passage and eschatology requires much study. But it shows that no part of our theology can afford to have holes in our armour! The skeptics will aim their arrows exactly where it is the weakest. As a starter, you can watch Gary DeMar presenting the Post-millennial view here.


The fact that there are so many atheists springing up (on Facebook, at least) among the children of the Slavic Evangelicals at this time – means that the chicken are coming home, or what was planted long ago now shows the fruit. This is a wakeup call and a call to repentance. Repentance from double standards, messed up priorities, apathy and idols in our lives. We must become diligent in teaching our own children the Gospel Truth. Forget about youth ‘missions’, late night ‘prayer meetings’ and even Sunday ‘school’. Every father must sit down with his children every day and read the Scripture and try to apply it to the issues of today. Even if kids will be bored to death at first, consistent, constant and genuine efforts will be rewarded. Start with 10-15 minutes a day. Is that too much to ask? (Deut.6:4-9)

Look into home education. If you are sending your child to the heathen and atheists to teach him about life, don’t be surprised if they do the job well. It is ‘free education’ if you don’t value your children’s souls.

Don’t allow your children to fake conversion, much less, become preachers, when their life does not show real fruit! This alone will destroy any chance of them coming to Christ! Challenge them to always examine themselves, encourage them to be totally honest always, but especially in the matter of their salvation. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” Gal.6:7.

Do not let them have access to the internet if you cannot monitor what they actually see there. Destroy with your own hands and throw away all the video games – or they will destroy your boys. Don’t just watch news or movies passively – always carefully select films you watch with your family and critique them biblically together. They are really the world’s sermons, in exciting and attractive packaging.

Read books together with your family. Build your home library. Get educated by reading good Christian classic works. Avoid shallow and compromised authors who write Christian baby formula level theology. Study apologetics (Presuppositional approach is most powerful, but evidences are good also) and systematic theology (start with the classic – Calvin’s Institutes). Study the creeds and confessions. Ignorance is not a Christian virtue, as some claim (logic vs faith – false dilemma).

If you really want them to become strong Christians and mighty men and women of God, then you must be passionate about the Great Commission (Mt.28:18-20) yourself, and put your money (or time, energy) where your mouth is. Children learn best by imitation.

The bottom line is this: We must repent before the Sovereign God and drastically change our lifestyles of comfort if our children are to be discipled in the Christian Faith. We must begin to study the true old and forgotten doctrines of Christianity, and constantly reform our lives to the Word of God. Semper Reformanda!

This spectacular exit of one ‘preacher’ from the ‘Church’ is nothing new. There have been many famous apostates in history. They dragged many people that respected them right after themselves. The same will happen here. But real Christians don’t need to panic. God is cleansing His Church. But as for Vadim – there is hope for a man until he has breath. I sure hope and pray that God opens his eyes…

Some helpful links:

Simple ideas and basics in defending the Christian faith:

Really good book to start with – More Than A Carpenter, by Josh McDowell

The Evidence Bible produced by Living Waters

Anything produced by creationists Ken Ham and Kent Hovind

More advanced concepts in correct reasoning and apologetics:

Always Ready – a book by Greg Bahnsen

How to answer the Fool – a documentary film. Great example of Presuppositional Apologetics –

Tools of Apologetics by Dr. Greg Bahnsen –

Bahnsen debating and atheist (and winning) –