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#29856 Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:09 PM
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How far does one need to expose himself in what he teaches and does to be declared an apostate? Jude 12-16 states;

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These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness hath been reserved forever. And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their lusts (and their mouth speaketh great swelling words), showing respect of persons for the sake of advantage.
Here, we see some description of these apostates and their end, but how do we judge this in the Church or para-church situations? Doctrinal apostates seem fairly simple to identify or are they (1 John 4:6)? John deemed the docetists as being false teachers (1 John 2:19). Where do we stop testing the spirit (1 John 4:1) and take action such as Paul (1 Tim 1:19-20; Tit 1:15-16) or John (2 John 1:9-1; 3 John 1:9-11). Where do we draw or begin to draw the lines?

Let us discuss this and not post complete articles.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
J_Edwards #29857 Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:08 AM
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J_Edwards said:

How far does one need to expose himself in what he teaches and does to be declared an apostate?

First of all I think it's important to recognize the difference between heresy and apostasy. When I think of heresy I think about a person or a teaching that is in error and needs to be corrected. But with apostasy I think in terms of a person who is living in enmity against God and has rejected his religious beliefs. This is quite different than being in error or having private internal doubts. The disciple Judas is probably the best biblical example of an apostate.

Hebrews 6 describes apostasy as a public rejection of a faith once confessed. According to Hebrews 6:4-8 and 10:26 this kind of falling away is irreversible. We can see the results of this in Hebrews 12:15.

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heresy

from a Greek word signifying (1) a choice, (2) the opinion chosen, and (3) the sect holding the opinion. In the Acts of the Apostles (5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5) it denotes a sect, without reference to its character. Elsewhere, however, in the New Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks "heresies" with crimes and seditions (Gal. 5:20). This word also denotes divisions or schisms in the church (1 Cor. 11:19). In Titus 3:10 "heretical person" is one who follows his own self-willed "questions," and who is to be avoided. Heresies thus came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God (2 Pet. 2:1).

apostasy

n 1: the state of having rejected your religious beliefs or your political party or a cause (often in favor of opposing beliefs or causes) [syn: renunciation, defection] 2: the act of abandoning a party or cause [syn: tergiversation]


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Wes #29858 Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 PM
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I agree. It has been said that a Christian can embrace some types of heresy and still be a true Christian, however an apostate, though they may embrace some parts of Christianity as true, cannot be Christian.

Where do we draw the lines ? How do we identify a true apostate?


Reformed and Always Reforming,
J_Edwards #29859 Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:17 PM
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J_Edwards said:
I agree. It has been said that a Christian can embrace some types of heresy and still be a true Christian, however an apostate, though they may embrace some parts of Christianity as true, cannot be Christian.

Where do we draw the lines ? How do we identify a true apostate?

Maybe when they can be shown that their views have been rejected by the Church for many years and they decide that this does not matter and still hold on to their views.

J_Edwards #29860 Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:10 PM
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Is it where a person rejects that Jesus is Divine and salvation is only through Him alone?

OTOH, it includes those who rejects that Jesus is man as well.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
John_C #29861 Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:37 PM
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Jer 2:11-13
"Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. "

Jeremiah tells us what apostasy is in the above. He tells us that apostasy is replacing the message of God’s Grace ("living waters") with a message of human works ("broken cisterns" that they have "hewed out themselves"). In the case of many churches, it is transfering the focus from Christ to man.


Grace is not common.
#29862 Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:26 PM
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Johnnie_Burgess said:
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J_Edwards said:
I agree. It has been said that a Christian can embrace some types of heresy and still be a true Christian, however an apostate, though they may embrace some parts of Christianity as true, cannot be Christian.

Where do we draw the lines ? How do we identify a true apostate?

Maybe when they can be shown that their views have been rejected by the Church for many years and they decide that this does not matter and still hold on to their views.


Then Luther, Wycliffe, Huss, Calvin are all apostates!!!!

This cannot be the barometer. Tradition is to be a guide, not an infallible decree.

When you say "Church" that carries so much baggage.

One must determine what the core beliefs are to be considered a true believer. THis gets so subjective though.


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
Joe k #29863 Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:33 PM
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Joe k said:
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Johnnie_Burgess said:
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J_Edwards said:
I agree. It has been said that a Christian can embrace some types of heresy and still be a true Christian, however an apostate, though they may embrace some parts of Christianity as true, cannot be Christian.

Where do we draw the lines ? How do we identify a true apostate?

Maybe when they can be shown that their views have been rejected by the Church for many years and they decide that this does not matter and still hold on to their views.


Then Luther, Wycliffe, Huss, Calvin are all apostates!!!!

This cannot be the barometer. Tradition is to be a guide, not an infallible decree.

When you say "Church" that carries so much baggage.

One must determine what the core beliefs are to be considered a true believer. THis gets so subjective though.

If the Church can show from the Bible where someone is holding and teaching something the Bible does not teach, they can be considered apostate. One problem I see is that a lot of people will decide they dont like what their church teaches and instead of leaving it, they will undermine the church and try to change the church's views over time.

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Agreed. So much of this is about being man-centered, not God centered. We want to be greater than God, greater than His church. We view ourselves as the omnipotent interpreter of His Word.
I'm not advocating the Roman Catholic view of total Church authority - but the point is a valid one, that we join a church yet do not submit. Whether this be a denomination, etc. we pick and choose our believes in our own little omnipotent manner.


Grace is not common.
#29865 Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:40 PM
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Ok, so we have apostasy identified (and more are welcome) by:

Wes as;

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Hebrews 6 describes apostasy as a public rejection of a faith once confessed. According to Hebrews 6:4-8 and 10:26 this kind of falling away is irreversible
John_C, in the form of a question, as;

Quote
it where a person rejects that Jesus is Divine and salvation is only through Him alone? (it includes those who rejects that Jesus is man as well).
li0scc0 quoting Jeremiah as;

Quote
He tells us that apostasy is replacing the message of God’s Grace ("living waters") with a message of human works ("broken cisterns" that they have "hewed out themselves"). In the case of many churches, it is transfering the focus from Christ to man.


and finally (but not least) by, Johnnie_Burgess as;

Quote
Maybe when they can be shown that their views have been rejected by the Church for many years and they decide that this does not matter and still hold on to their views..

with Joe K responding, “This cannot be the barometer. Tradition is to be a guide, not an infallible decree.”
Now taking what we know about apostates, heresy, (and let’s add blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to this) describe this person’s assorted logic, beliefs, and actions. Put another way can we come up with a list of things to identify this person or are we just hopeless in ever being able to identify them? What line(s) does a person cross to be declared (1) a heretic, (2) an apostate, (3) blaspheming the Holy Spirit?


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Joe,

To add to the list--and I have hesitated because the term "damnable/destructive heresies" rather than "apostasies" is used in the passage, but the passage seems to be referring to something much stronger than an individual wrong opinion--2 Peter 2 came to mind, which gets more particular than Jude about the false teacher's marks:

v.1 secret introduction of destructive heresies -- ie not approved by the church (contrast Paul going to Jerusalem)

v.1 denying the sovereign Lord who bought them -- at the root of all apostasy is a trust in self-righteousness rather than the righteousness of Christ

v.2 followed by many -- they find it easy to draw crowds, sell many books, etc.

v2. bring way of truth into disrepute -- their behavior brings reproach on true believers

v.3 greedy -- selfishly motivated

v.3 stories they have made up -- they always bring a "new teaching" revealed first to them

v.10 despise authority -- they resist admonition and correction by the church

v12 blaspheme in matters they do not understand -- imagining thermselves to have authority to speak in God's name though they know him not

v.13-14 carouse, reveling in pleasure, eyes full of adultery -- they are self-indulgent, imagining themselves above the moral law

v.18-19 with boastful words they promise freedom -- having denied the Lord, they proffer a false gospel of their own making, which gratifies the flesh rather than putting it to death


In Christ,
Paul S
J_Edwards #29867 Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:49 PM
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Joe stated:
....however an apostate, though they may embrace some parts of Christianity as true, cannot be Christian.

I agree. I’ve alway thought of “apostasy” on the corporate level. For instance, I grew up in the 40’s and 50’s in the United Presbyterian Church. This organization was merged with what is now the Presbyterian USA. The UP Church in the 40’s and 50’s is a far cry from what the Presbyterian USA is today. Now, whether the USA Church has apostacized..I’ll leave for another topic. If they may be on their way to becoming an apostate church, could there be elect in their midst? Yes, of course. It may come to the point where the elect may have to “apostacize” (divorce—Gr. apostasion) from the “apostate”.

Dave

Joe k #29868 Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:31 PM
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When you say "Church" that carries so much baggage.
One must determine what the core beliefs are to be considered a true believer. This gets so subjective though.

Joe K
I know you meant the visible church but wouldn’t you say the church universal or the true believers can tell who an apostate is no matter what the definition. I mean doesn’t belief in the true (all things pertaining) gospel and a living faith determine a believer from an apostate or is this to simple and I’m missing something? I’ll take my answer over the air, thank you.


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Your excellent list is akin to Thomas Brooks in THE DISTINGUISHING MARKS OF FALSE TEACHERS.

I guess it is finally time for some links: The Unregenerate, Apostates and Unbelievers


Reformed and Always Reforming,
William #29870 Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:53 PM
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William said:
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When you say "Church" that carries so much baggage.
One must determine what the core beliefs are to be considered a true believer. This gets so subjective though.

Joe K
I know you meant the visible church but wouldn’t you say the church universal or the true believers can tell who an apostate is no matter what the definition. I mean doesn’t belief in the true (all things pertaining) gospel and a living faith determine a believer from an apostate or is this to simple and I’m missing something? I’ll take my answer over the air, thank you.


Kindly, William <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />

This perhaps could be under the classification of Justification before men. The hard part is exactly like Christ spoke about in the wheat/tares. Both look alike. Act alike. Of course it is easy to determine blatant apostacy vs heresey. I am just not wired to spend time being a heretic hunter. There is a time and place for that, but when it becomes ones main focus in their faith, then there is a serious problem.

What is primary and What is secondary? The list is so subjective. Is Eschatology a Gospel issue? My personal list is very small.

Apostles creed sums it up well.

I do not consider independant churches Apostate.

So to answer your quesation, if you equate apostacy as blatant heretical beliefs, then yes, it is easy to tell, but to spot a tare? THat could be impossible


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.

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