According to Hovind, then, “to say I used to be a Christian assumes that God does exist”!
All of this is of course part of a strategy Hovind uses to make his opponent's case appear weaker. For if his opponent never was a Christian, then he can't claim to have an insider's understanding of Christianity. But it doesn't take much to realize just how ridiculous Hovind's argument is.
To begin with, when an atheist says “I used to be a Christian” – or when anyone not professing to be a Christian uses the term “Christian,” for that matter – what he means is not “someone who has a personal relationship with Christ,” but at most “someone who believes that they have a personal relationship with Christ.” Obviously, one cannot consistently mean the former and at the same time deny that Christ is real. So anyone who doesn't accept Christianity isn't going to accept Hovind's definition of it – not if they want to continue using the term meaningfully.
Suppose, though, that one does go along with Hovind's definition. Well, in that case, then, there are no Christians – not unless the people who call themselves Christian are actually right. All the atheist needs to say in this case is, “Okay, if you go by that definition, I was never a Christian – but only because there never has been a Christian, including you!”
There is another problem with Hovind's argument, though. Hovind claims that “if you say I thought I did [have a relationship with Christ], but I didn't, then… you never were a Christian.” But that doesn't follow. If you go by his definition and the Christians are right, then the atheist who says “I used to be a Christian” could be correct. For if Christ does exist and people have relationships with him, then it could be that the atheist was one such person. The fact that he now no longer believes that the relationship was real does not prove it wasn't.
Hovind, then, is once again wrong about everything.