The topic of apostasy has come up — and there is nothing wrong with discussing this because, as Jesus warned, apostasy is always a real threat to the church.
Apostasy is a legitimate discussion to have.
The topic came up in my research in preparation for a course in Eschatology.
Bible Passages Dealing with Apostasy
I was looking particularly at four passages:
- Matt 24:10-12
- 1 Timothy 4:1-2
- 2 Timothy 3:1-9
- Acts 20:29-30.
Characteristics of Apostasy in the Church
I decided to list the characteristics of apostasy as defined in these passages and here is what I came up with:
- False prophets
- Christians turning on one another
- Love growing cold
- Forbidding marriage
- Forbidding certain foods
- Lack of respect for parents
- Pleasure seeking
I find the Acts passage especially interesting because it pictures the apostate teachers as “fierce wolves … not sparing the flock.” I get the picture these were legalists imposing legalistic rules on the church.
When Fools Point Out Faults in Others
When one person, who might be Bill Belew pointed out that pride in arrogance is often on display in a group we frequent, I countered, “Bill .. I am just as prone to pride and arrogance. In fact, the moment I point it out in others, I am suddenly in the same boat.”
Bill responded – Not sure I can see.your logic here. I seem to have this big log in my eye.
2 Big Question for Restoration Movement Churches
These passages taken together make me ask the question:
Is it possible to have technically correct doctrine and still be an apostate church if there is no love, rampant greed, arrogance, etc. in the congregation?
What do you think are the points of potential apostasy the church faces today?
How’s your church doing?