In Christianity, apostasy is the rejection of the faith by someone who formerly was a Christian. It is a conscious abandonment of faith in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. B.J. Oropeza, an author and assistant professor of Biblical Studies at Azusa Pacific University, says that there are three dangers that could lead a Christian to commit apostasy: temptations, deceptions, and persecutions. Below we will look at scriptures that support each of these, and scriptures you can use to encourage those at risk of leaving the faith.
These themes are consistent with Oropeza’s theory, but some specific causes include worldliness, moral lapse, forsaking spiritual living, and unbelief. Some examples of biblical characters that committed apostasy include Saul (1 Samuel 15:11), Amaziah (2 Chronicles 25: 14,27) and many disciples (John 6:66).
Two high-profile Christian leaders recently went online to tell followers they are abandoning their Christian faith. The reaction on the internet was viral and has led to a conversation throughout the Church about what it really means to follow Christ.
Joshua Harris author of the best-selling 1997 book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, made headlines when he announced that he is no longer a Christian. Weeks later former Hillsong worship leader and songwriter Marty Sampson shocked the Christian community when he said he’s struggling with his faith or maybe he’s struggling with the SIN virus Homosexuality …..
One must replace their sense of “self-stability” with “God-stability,” “It requires some Bible knowledge and some prayer and deep soul work.”
Read Romans 8:30: “And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.”
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-“The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37). This verse teaches us to be disciplined and apply a hand to our faith.
-“Ask and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7). This verse, though seemingly contradictive to the above, intends to remind us that we can toil ourselves to death in pursuit of something. It helps balance us by making us decide if what we are working so hard towards is truly worth it. It also reminds us to involve God in what we do.
-“Apart from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). A temptation, as we discussed above, is a lure leading us to what else could be, or what else we might become if we just had this other thing or trait. This is a humbling reminder that no matter what we obtain, be it material or intellectual, apart from Christ, it will be useless.
Image Credit: Joshua Harris Youtube screenshot
Joshua Harris, author of the popular evangelical best-seller “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” which he has since denounced, declared Friday he has bid adieu to his Christian faith.
Another theme we see running rampant today is a perverted application of grace and forgiveness. The message that you should “be yourself” has taken an evil twist into the realm of gender or physical identity. The beautiful message of “you are enough” has been perverted to mean you can be or do whatever you want to be, and that is ok. It’s true that there is no sin that God’s love cannot cover and there is no confusion that God’s grace and wisdom cannot reach. But the message that you should be content with abandoning the pursuit of your true identity in God is nothing short of grand deceit. You should “be yourself” but you should be it in Him. “You are enough” and that is because of Him.
This is nothing new. The only thing that has changed is that more people are willing to admit it. We human beings are inherently stubborn, arrogant, and self-obsessed. We do not want anyone telling us what we should and should not do—not even God. We acknowledge God’s existence, but seek to deny Him any influence in our lives. We avoid the “rituals” He commands in the Bible because they might be inconvenient. We do not want to go to church, study the Bible, minister to the poor, or give financially to God-honoring causes. For those with “no religion,” perhaps they say “no” because religion might actually impact how they live their lives. Belief in God and an active spirituality are core aspects of religion. Most people do not truly have “no religion.” Rather, they are opposed to any “religion” that inconveniences them.
“To the LBGTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality,” he continued. “I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry.”
- harrisjosh My heart is full of gratitude. I wish you could see all the messages people sent me after the announcement of my divorce. They are expressions of love though they are saddened or even strongly disapprove of the decision.
I am learning that no group has the market cornered on grace. This week I’ve received grace from Christians, atheists, evangelicals, evangelicals, straight people, LGBTQ people, and everyone in-between. Of course, there have also been strong words of rebuke from religious people. While not always pleasant, I know they are seeking to love me. (There have also been spiteful, hateful comments that angered and hurt me.)
The information that was left out of our announcement is that I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is “deconstruction,” the biblical phrase is “falling away.” By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now.
Martin Luther said that the entire life of believers should be repentance. There’s beauty in that sentiment regardless of your view of God. I have lived in repentance for the past several years—repenting of my self-righteousness, my fear-based approach to life, the teaching of my books, my views of women in the church, and my approach to parenting to name a few. But I specifically want to add to this list now: to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.
To my Christians friends, I am grateful for your prayers. Don’t take it personally if I don’t immediately return calls. I can’t join in your mourning. I don’t view this moment negatively. I feel very much alive and awake, and surprisingly hopeful. I believe with my sister Julian that, “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”4w
- juliaduvanova Мне очень хочется, чтобы вы были в мире с Богом 🌸 Он любит вас🌸🙏🙏🙏1dReply
- juliaduvanova Будьте благословенны🙏🌸🌸1dReply
- lilygomez Praying for you friend..remember our Heavenly Father will take you back with open arms. Prodigals always come to come!🙏💙1d1 likeReply
- View replies (1)
- digdoug1986This is just another reminder to me that the church is in desperate need of a revival. Not a tent revival, mind you, and not some left-wing “God accepts sin” revival either. No, a return to the original church during the time of Acts when believers met to fellowship and worship amongst each other. Where the Spirit was allowed to be spontaneous and a set program with someone talking at you from on high was nonexistent. Josh, I have been “unchurched” for about 10 years now because I tired of the “stage show”, and while I am not as close to God as I used to be, I have never lost my faith or felt that God has abandoned me. I have fought a battle every day with a mental illness that has had me consider suicide an innumerable amount of times and yet I persevere because of Him. He is everything and the only thing when it comes down to it. I truly find that I love people no matter what they believe or how they live their life. I know this is possible for me because of Christ. I associate with many who are part of the lgbtq+ community and I don’t hate a single one of them, but I don’t affirm sin either. I don’t know where this journey in this life has taken you, but I hope you find your way to Christ. You may be on a high right now, but I’ve never known or heard of a single person who has lived a truly fulfilling life with unexplainable hope who did not know Him. Maybe you truly didn’t know Him before or maybe you did and you’ve turned away. Either way, all that matters is that you find Him and I truly do hope you will.1d4 likes reply
- rutyesikaa🙁 i hope there will be a miracle for you about the truth Mr.Harris…i still pray for you and for your faith:) I Jesus U1dReply
- ria_harevaI’m sad😢😢😢… JESUS love you, brother,🙏😇22hReply
- jesstplHate that this happened to you. Had no idea. I know it’s a difficult process but just hang in there. Keep looking, and you’ll find it.14hReply
- alyasuterGood on you @harrisjosh! Tears in my eyes! So good to see so many beautiful people waking up to the inner truth and wisdom! Love & Light to you! 🙌🏻11hReply
The first example of temptations leading to apostasy is found in the story of Adam and Eve. In Genesis 3:3-4, we read of the serpent tempting Eve with what might be: “…but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent replies with, “You will not certainly die. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Temptation always finds us adding to our current state. What could be? What more can I become? This particular temptation is an example of apostasy as we fall away from our dependent nature on God and believe we can do life without him. We know what happens next as Eve passed this temptation onto Adam, leading to the fall of man.
The second example in relation to deception, or false teaching, can be found in Jeremiah 23:13: “I saw that the prophets of Samaria were terribly evil, for they prophesied in the name of Baal and led my people of Israel into sin. But now I see that the prophets of Jerusalem are even worse! They commit adultery and love dishonesty. They encourage those who are doing evil so that no one turns away from their sins. These prophets are as wicked as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah once were.” These scriptures show us the power of deception, as some teachers disguise the truth for their own greed or gain, be it more friendships, power, or influence of any kind with no regard to the influence Christ had on people.
Another example of apostasy in relation to persecution is the story of Judas. Luke 22:47 says, “…a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, ‘Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?’ ” Judas was afraid of the persecution that he was seeing develop around Jesus and his followers. That fear led him to betray Jesus, demonstrating his allegiance to avoid persecution. His guilt was so deep afterward that he ended his own life, despite the wealth he received for his revelation of Jesus’ location.
God’s people are constantly tempted to conform to the ways of the evil society around them. We must firmly resist the desire to copy the ways and customs of the wicked. Since we belong to God, He calls us to live holy lives! Separated from the heathen and sinful ways of this generation.
Radical Christians understand Paul’s desire to “know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10). A radical Christian is one who has “died to the flesh” (Romans 8:13). The apostles were radical Christians—they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, ESV)—but they did so through self-sacrifice and love (John 13:35). Paul learned to “boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10). Because following Jesus is in direct conflict with the “norm,” then “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21) could be considered a radical way of life.
Essentially, to claim to believe in God but have “no religion” is to advocate “fast food religion.” Just as we are used to customizing our food orders exactly the way we want them, we are doing the same thing in our relationship with God. What “no religion” claimants are truly saying is that they want salvation without commitment, spirituality without truth, and relationship without accountability. Essentially, they are ordering a burger with no bun, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard, or mayo. Yep, just an empty box.
The people spreading concrete information on the dangers of globalism are accomplishing far more than those sitting around buying bitcoin or passing around Q-cult nonsense.
Let Me Make This Abundantly Clear. (I Am Apolitical) While I Have a General Distaste for Politicians No Matter the Party They Belong To, I Am Unashamedly Politically a Bible Believing Conservative Christian. I Have a Severe Distrust of Government. I Believe It Is the Most Inefficient and Ineffective Way to Accomplish Most Things. While I Strongly Disagree with Liberals/Progressives and Conservative on Most Political Issues, and While I Believe Liberals/Progressives and Most Politicians Are Terribly Misguided and Naive About What Big Government Will Eventually Result In, I Strive to Not Question Their Motives. at the Same Time, While I Find Myself in Agreement with Conservative Politicians on Some Issues, I Do Not Believe Electing Republicans Is the Answer to Everything. for Me, Very Sadly, the Main Difference Between Republicans and Democrats Is How Quickly They Want to Drive the Car Towards the Cliff. Simply put, I do not believe the government is the solution for everything. I do not place any faith, trust, or hope in any politicians to fix what is wrong with the world. “Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
Education is useless without the bible (Daniel Webster)
Usually, the Lord doth no great thing for or against his people, without giving warning of it before it comes.
John Wesley who said that what we tolerate in our generation, will be embraced by the next. Wesley is 100% correct! We are living in sick times.
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