There are two sides of the same coin. "Frontslinding” is the opposite side of "Backsliding". It is the notorious “pharisaical spirit” than can creep into a believer’s heart. Many in the church are not so guilty of backsliding as they are of “frontsliding”. “Frontsliding” is the steady drift into self-righteous posturing, arrogant “self-rightness” and spiritual pride. It is the subtle domain of those who somehow feel that they are more spiritual, more holy, more zealous, more anointed, more biblical, more correct, more committed and more advanced than the average believer. Frontsliders secretly embrace a paraphrase of the famous quote from “Animal Farm”; they believe that “All Christians are equal – it’s just that some Christians are more equal than others”.
“Frontsliders” are usually found in holiness churches, cutting-edge ministries, prophetic, signs & wonders movements, “deeper truth” junkies, end-time elitists and hyper-spiritual fellowships - although they can be found almost anywhere in the church. No matter how committed we are none of us are completely immune to frontsliding if we fail to guard our hearts. One of the sobering ironies about “frontsliders” is that they can be found all too often within the ranks of the staunchest defenders of the faith, biblical truth and moral correctness. Christian "heresy hunters", social crusaders, political activists and self-appointed moral detectives are also fertile ground for potential frontsliding. In this case, the truth is a two-edged sword that does indeed cut both ways.
The apostle John once rebuked a false teacher of his day who secretly prided himself in his self-imposed poverty, public self-denial and fawned humility when he said to him, “I can see your pride through the holes in your garments.”
So too, God sees through our spiritual posturing and pretense and sees the thoughts and intents of the heart. He sees the self-righteous pride when it is present. I have been guilty at various times and seasons of frontsliding and I sometimes have had to learn the hard way that He is more than capable of humbling the proudest frontslider.