Sunday, September 14

The Cure for Apostasy

There is a major problem in the Church today. Whether we are talking about the Roman Catholic, United Methodist, or Independent Baptist, Free Presbyterian, or the various Brethren churches, there is a problem that is costing the Kingdom countless lives every day; and the greater the problem grows the smaller it gets in the eyes of the leadership. Sadly, this is not even a contradiction.

Looking at a website a few minutes ago, there was a mention of praying for American bishops who had yet to come to faith in Jesus Christ. The sad news is that there likely are some. The sadder news is that they are probably quite few. Why is this sad? It's an old truism that a convert to Liberal Christianity is a rare bird to find. Liberalism just does not have a lot to offer that the average sinner does not already have. Freedom to sin? Why even call it sin? A broad range of opinions? Go to any pub, flower club, or lodge! Tight camaraderie? Stop by your local Kiwanis, Rotary, or motorcycle club and get all you can handle! So why would an unbeliever want to convert from agnostic to skeptic? Liberal Christians, especially the clergy, are seldom "made," but far more often unmade. Talk with, say, an Episcopal priest about how he or she came to enter the clergy, and you will hear the same kind of "calling" story you would hear from, say, a Congregational Methodist. Later in the conversation, though, the Episcopalian might go on to reveal just how open he or she is to "truths" from any tradition except historic Christianity.

How did this happen? Once upon a time a young person heard the Lord speaking about ordained ministry, went to university, and then to seminary, and then was ordained. Along the way, however, that kid learned from respected professors things that did not come from God. Opinions were taught as fact, doubt as faith, and soon despair replaced the hope that had been his or her great motivation. Does God really speak to people? Has He ever? How could God disobey the laws of nature? All kinds of questions, crafted not to encourage honest answers or serious study, but framed to ridicule honest faith. Are there answers to such questions? Yes. Those, and the rest as well, and the answer is not "have faith." It seems, though, that the devil has his eyes closely on these schools, and on their students' "development." After all, he does know the Scriptures, and how to use what he knows. Often the one thing between an unconverted sinner and the saving grace of Christ is a Christian taking the time to bring him along. In Hebrews 6, though, we read that to bring a Christian who has turned away from the truth back to faith is a different story. So now we have churches and, in some instances, whole denominations being led and controlled by post- Christian leaders, who have had a taste of the Faith, probably with not a lot more depth than the denominational quarterlies of their childhood years, and learned to prefer the "scholarly" fairy tales of the academic and religious elite.

What's to do? Abandon the schools? God forbid! There are still some faithful schools- Wesley Biblical in Jackson, Mississippi; Wycliffe College in Toronto; Wycliffe House at Oxford; and faithful professors like Thomas Oden at Drew University in New Jersey. And, yes, there are other schools a wise person would not trust with even a stray dog. We need scholarship, now more than ever, and we need more than ever to learn to study and to pray, and pray the Lord will raise us up a new generation of faithful Christian scholars who will be equipped to defend the Faith against these mis-educated leaders and wags, and to train the Lord's Church to really be the "pillar and ground of the truth."


  1. There exists among many culturally Christian churches, sentimental theology, and by that I mean theology that is primarily driven by feelings, that is speculative and lacks a significant use of reason that can be supported by historically based Scriptural revelation. I am not stating that all theological speculation is lacking the significant use of reason.

    There are many spiritual dangers associated with sentimental theology which include false hopes, and false theology. The ultimate danger is being wrong about God, and not receiving his everlasting grace and mercy.

    Sentimental theology is a negative aspect of much extreme liberal theology.

  2. Yeah, I'd say you said a mouthful there! Me-ology of any brand, whether it's the folks who try to pretend that Jesus never existed or the ones who claim that the Cross was all about their self-esteem and credit cards, the churches have to pick up the slack left by the many seminaries' defection and teach the people not only how to evangelise but how to understand and obey that Gospel we are charged with proclaiming! Actually, I'd tend to take up that part of your response and say we need to re-learn how to speculate!

  3. A word from the East! :)

    There need to be a passion for the ministry and the zeal to be righteous which is sadly fading away in Christian Churches. As rightly said, Christians over emphasize feelings than reality which is God's word. Let grace and mercy follow them!

  4. Along the way, however, that kid learned things for respected professors that did not come from God.


    ... that kid learned things FROM respected professors...

    P.S. I'd like to be proven wrong, but I doubt there's going to be a divine cure for TEc's apostasy.

  5. tu&d! Good to hear from ya! Thanks for the typo heads-up.

    Re- TEC, This is something that plagues me daily. I returned to the States to attend seminary only to find my church had gone up in history like Python's Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. Noise, smoke, and ridiculous rabbit parts everywhere. I only know that the ministry must continue "on the ground" no matter the postures of the folks in the high offices. Until the Church rediscovers the complete package of what the Bible calls "salvation," power and corruption will continue being best bed partners.

    In the end everybody is either dead to sin or dead in it. Will Mrs Schori end her story better than Mrs Ahab? We can only pray, and along the way, "What is that to thee? Follow thou Me!"

  6. New blog link Christian tossed

    Hi Robert, thanks for the help on my blog, as always, even when we disagree. Above is a new blog link and something we will likely agree on. Cheers, my friend.



So what's your take?