My thoughts today keep wandering to two distinct thoughts – the Great Apostasy, and the absolute horror of people who think they’re Christians, but aren’t – and their eventual end.
I’m speaking of course of the people who say things like, “We need to re-interpret Christianity in light of today” – as if today is somehow different from yesterday! As if today, we are so high and mighty that God needs to (God forbid…) bow to us!
Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt and Brian McClaren are three such examples. But there’s many, many more. In the Bible, the word Apostasty comes from ἡ αποστασία, hē apostası́a, “a standing away from” (more literally, a combining of the words apo “from” and histemi “to stand”. I remember Histemi, it was a test question).
Christianity in my lifetime has stood away from its beliefs. It has moved from ALL of the cardinal doctrines. And since I only knew Christianity since 1992… that means in only 21 years, Christianity has slid into an awful apostasy that many thought possible originally only after the Rapture came.
Belief in the Bible? Most of Christianity has abandoned it. Oh sure, they preach from the Bible, but the fact that two entire denominations in the 19th and 20th century could have changed their stand from “Is the Inerrant, Inspired Word of God” to “contains the inerrant, inspired word of God”… and NOBODY raised a stink… tells me that people were falling asleep a hundred years ago. David Cloud’s Timeline of Apostasy should be taught on in EVERY pulpit in America! Now we have pop stars in pulpits telling us, “well the Bible doesn’t even say that!” “Uh, but Pastor Rob, it says right here…” “No, that’s not really what it means! If you were on a trampoline…”
Christians should be pointing fingers, and loudly decrying “You are a heretic, a false teacher! You are not a Christian!” to these men! We should be holding entire denominations accountable! If all the members of every SBC Congregation were to hold a massive event where we all got together, and made demands for explanations of these men, we might be able to expose them!
(I’ve lived in the South too long… I almost wrote “Might could…”).
Belief in the Virgin Birth? Christianity is abandoning it. I guess belief in miracles is embarrassing the liberals.
Belief in the Godhood of Jesus Christ? Christianity has been tiptoeing away from it. If you don’t believe Jesus Christ is God, you are not a Christian. Bottom line. You’re not saved. You’re doomed to eternity in Hell if you don’t get saved.
Belief in substitutionary atonement? This is Christianity. This is what it’s based upon. Yet Christianity is running from this. Everyone’s in love with the Cross, and Jesus in agony… and everyone loves the “Jesus died for me…” but what Christians are abandoning is that Christ had to suffer and die for you, in order for you to escape hell! We are bought with a price… and we are not our own! we need to understand that.
Belief in Eternal Punishment? Christianity began sprinting from that back in the 1800’s. Nobody likes the idea of Hell. I don’t like it. But it’s a fact. Since I got saved, 179,894,000 people have entered Hell. That’s 179,894,000 people who no longer have any doubts Hell is real. What kind of answer will we give God when He asks us why so many people have gone into Hell? We’re supposed to be spreading the message that “Jesus Saves from Hell” – and 179 million people either never got that message, or they took one look at us, and said, “Why should I join you when you guys can’t even get it together?” We don’t have a good answer for that.
I mean, I’ve got one – “Well, unless you want to burn for all eternity, I’d repent and believe in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior”! But as for why they should join the church? That’s getting harder and harder to answer. Unless you paid attention to Scripture and noticed a barely discussed doctrine – that if a church abandons correct doctrine, they risk Christ “removing their candlestick”. They’re no longer a church.
I don’t have a problem with a lot of Emergent congregations calling themselves names like “The Rock” or “Red Sea” or “Mars Hill” – at least they’re not putting the word “church” in the name!
Belief in the Preservation of Scripture? Wow. Precious few of us believe in that today. We get nicknames like “fundy” or “Bullhorn”, and people make snide comments about “those King James Only whackos”… and then they read their modern translation with entire doctrines deliberately altered or removed, and they wonder why Christianity is “standing away from” the truth. Why is the church so much in error? Why is there so much apostasy and backsliding, and denial of biblical Truths? Look at your modern Bible.
“He was Manifest in the flesh.” (1 Tim. 3:16, RSV).
That misses the mark. I’m manifest in the flesh! The RSV, NASB, NIV, The Message, Living Bible, and others all deny the incarnation of God in the flesh.
And when a Unitarian, Presbyterian or Methodist denies that Jesus is God, you gasp in horror! And yet, he (or she) is just quoting the modern (mis)translations! And when I cite this as an example of a conspiracy to keep people from becoming saved, or keep Christians from being fruitful or learning correct biblical doctrine, people tsk at me and say, “well, according to the oldest and best manuscripts…”
Everyone except a few believes in MVO – Multiple Versions Only. Now, even if I never spoke out against the modern perversions, MVO believers would still lecture me, and look down on me, because I, by conviction, will only use a King James. Ask yourself why. Be that honest, ask yourself why. Is it because I’m a fundamentalist? Brother or sister, the Bible demands that you be a fundamentalist.
Paul commanded Timothy to instruct doctrine to his Church, and present it without spot (1 Tim. 6:14). Read all of 1 Timothy 6 – you’ll see verse 14 is a continuation of thought of Paul’s as he discusses doctrine.
I think about a spot on my suit, from coffee, or food. A spot isn’t a huge stain on my suit. The Bible would say “stain” if it was talking about something big. It says “Spot”. That by definition is a small thing! (special thanks to David Cloud for the illustration)
So, when we begin challenging all the heretics, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the false teachers, and begin demanding all the other denominations get right with God and with right doctrine, we need to continue that until we’ve nobody left to address except Baptists.
And let’s not stop there. Let’s keep going until we’re all fundamentalists.
Better yet, let’s start right in our own pew. And purge our way from there. Let’s get all the Baptists right with God.
Southern Baptists used to mean fundamentalist. Let’s get back to that.