You know it occurs to me that very little is as cut and dried as it first appears. I am military trained and as such I am aware of combat tactics. One such tactic is known as ‘Divide and Conquer’. You may be more familiar with the term, ‘Good Cop Bad Cop’. One face plays the bad guy and the other the good but the reality is both ‘cops’ have the same objective – a result. So with this in mind please allow me to propose the following with regard to the issue of apostasy within the Christian Church.
The term ‘apostasy’ comes from the Greek transliteration of the original Hebrew text recorded in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The verse reads . .
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [The second coming of the Messiah] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition . . (explanation mine)
The ‘1965 Bible in Basic English Version’ translates the verse thusly. .
Give no belief to false words: because there will first be a falling away from the faith, and the revelation of the man of sin, the son of destruction
A ‘falling away from the faith’. Other translations render the same phrase ‘the rebellion’.
The Greek word for ‘falling away’ is, ‘apostasia’. It means a ‘defection from the truth; a forsaking’. Apostasia actually comes from two base words, ‘apo’ meaning, ‘away from’ and ‘stasia’ , meaning ‘foundation’. Apostasy therefore means, ‘away from foundation’.
The foundation of the Christian church is Christ. The Messiah proclaimed to Peter in Matthew 16:18,
‘And I say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock will my church be based, and the doors of hell will not overcome it’.
Tragically, from this single verse the Roman Catholic Church has falsely taught Peter’s headship of the Christian Church and upon such, has built its papal monstrosity. The verse correctly reads . .
‘And I say to you that you are Peter (petros – little pebble), and upon this rock (Petra – mountain - Christ Himself) will my church be based, and the authorities of hell will not overcome it’.
The Christian Church has its foundation in Christ who is identified in Scripture as the ‘Word of God’. (John 1:1-14)
The ‘Falling Away’ outlined in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is the wholesale defection from Him, and by inference His Word. The Apostasy is the manifest departure from the fundamental tenants of the Christian faith and folks . . it has two faces in order to delude the unsuspecting into thinking they must choose between one or the other, when the reality is neither is true. What a satanic coup!
True ‘Christianity’ has always survived throughout history as a remnant; never as a populous movement. The Messiah always referred to His followers as the faithful ‘FEW’ . . . that many were called but ‘FEW’ were chosen . . . He called His own a, ‘little flock’. Since its inception the ‘Church’ has survived in pockets and not in denominations.
I was raised an evangelical since my second birth and as such was taught that the ‘apostates’ were the likes of the Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Uniting Church, Presbyterians and the like because of their embrace of pagan practices such as, baptismal regeneration, the blasphemy of the Mass and Eucharist, transubstantiation, the blessing of the animals and waters, the ordination of homosexual priests and women into the clergy etcetera; and all are rightly reprehensible. However I have come to see that was only one of the two faces of apostasy. While one appeared to thrive in ‘old world’ religious traditions, the other skulked in the woods of New Age Religious Relativism. The ‘other’ lived in my own camp – a wolf in the midst of my own flock and I failed to recognize it because of its universal appeal..
It wears neither miter nor frock; it chants neither Gregorian nor Hymnal and it is neither somber nor reverent.
It is popular with both saint and sinner – and though such an aberration should raise the most vehement alarm it is yet softly heard - if at all. The other face of apostasy is bright, popular and appealing. It is friendly, all embracing; all accommodating, non abrasive, non confronting – unashamedly compromising. It proclaims no absolutes because it is the, ‘church of the open arms.’ It accepts all and therefore BECOMES all.
Because of it’s refusal to be, ‘absolute’ it is by definition a whore – one intimate with many lovers. It despises the fundamental because fundamental is rigid and inflexible. Since it is fluid and in order to validate its own existence it must therefore relegate its detractors to oblivion and it does just that by mocking them, decrying them as, ‘threats to unity and progress’, ‘stumbling blocks to human harmony’. The so called church is now singing in heretical harmony with the world to an eclectic John Lennon liturgy – not surprisingly waaaay off key to the Heavenly harmony to which true believers should aspire.
Listen! The ‘Fundamentalism’, the second face of apostasy is presently mocking is the very same fundamentalism upon which the Church drew its first breath. The second face of apostasy is the latest version of evangelical charismaticism; and the latest pied piper of this unholy hoo-ha are the likes of Rick Warren and all those who endorse his Purpose Driven ‘whatever’. They are all about, ‘Unity whatever it takes’.
Think about it people . . . Unity always comes at a cost – it is always a give and take deal.
Question: When it comes to spiritual absolutes what does that mean? What compromise will be required to unite, say . . . Moslem and Christian? The answer is obvious, the ‘Truth’.
Two faces, and yet one commonality . . . the departure from foundation.
The two faces of apostasy are . . .
1/. Compromised Traditional and
2/. Compromising Progressive . . .
The TRUE church survives in neither of these, but in the fundamentally faithful remnant.