Leonard is of the opinion that once one is saved, one cannot lose their salvation. Therefore it is impossible for someone to lose the Spirit, or be condemned to hell, after becoming a born again Christian.
I turned to Hebrews 10:26-29 to demonstrate the New Testament does in fact teach that we can be saved and then lose our salvation. Here is the relevant text:
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,Notice in verse 26 the author of Hebrews says "after we have received the knowledge of the truth", there is no more sacrifice.
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
I asked Leonard what sacrifice is that in reference to. He said "you know", and I said "Christ?", and he said "of course". I asked if there was any sacrifices after Christ's atoning sacrifice. He said I was missing the "authorial intent". He said there was no additional sacrifices, but that the verse is about unsaved people, not saved people.
Here is why this is important. If it is about unsaved people, the false doctrine of eternal salvation being assured by a single act of a sinner accepting Christ is not threatened. But I pointed out the author of Hebrews uses the word "we". Not thee or you. He includes himself.
If the author of Hebrews includes himself as someone who could "willfully sin" to the point of troddening the sacrifice of Christ under foot, then manifestly someone filled with the Spirit (since scripture is "god breathed")and "saved" by any standard, could lose their salvation. Thus this passage demolishes the concept of eternal security as taught by Evangelicals.
Back to the story.
Leonard said "How many times does it say "we" and mean the unsaved? You don't understand the authorial intent." I had my computer with me, so I said, "Let's check". I then did the search, and it turns out in Hebrews 10, the word "we" is used 5 times spread across four verses. I told him "5 times". He said he meant in the whole Bible.
What? In the whole Bible? Doesn't that violate even the most basic of Biblical interpretation principles? I said the context mattered, let's read how the author of Hebrews uses the word.
Leonard said I wouldn't understand the authorial intent, and he walked off saying "this is such an old conversation", to which I said "Come on, you're losing the argument so you are leaving." He walked off, and I read the four verses with the folks sitting by me, and they agreed.
"We" means "us" in Hebrews chapter 10, according to the context, and not "them".
Which is why Leonard walked away with his two kids. His explanation is manifestly false if one actually reads the text of the Bible.
Authorial Intent is the equivalent of arguing that one's personal theories are more important than the text of the Bible itself, and it is what allows a person to ignore changing their beliefs when confronted by passages which contradict personal theories.
For Leonard, "Authorial Intent" is only to be applied if the Truth conflicts with his personal hobby. In this case, the "Author" is Leonard.