Apostasy Is The Hot Topic Now, But Should It Be?


Last week it was Josh Harris. This week it’s Marty Sampson. Next week it could be another high profile Christian, or it could be someone you know personally. But someone somewhere will turn away from the faith, openly declaring that he or she no longer believes Christian teaching.

A number of solid believers have used blogs and podcasts to comment on these two most recent cases of apostasy, and they’ve all made some valuable points. Indeed, Scripture addresses the topic quite forcefully, particularly in the book of Hebrews. The author of that book wrote it as a response to professing Christians who reverted back to Judaism, warning them against neglecting their salvation. So the Word of God definitely sets a precedent for talking about apostasy. Therefore I appreciate the willingness of people to use current events to discuss the matter.

I worry, though, about this issue becoming too dominate in our thinking. In a perverse sort of way, it seems to be the popular topic in evangelical circles. And I can’t help wondering whether or not Satan is using it to distract us from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look again at this familiar passage from Philippians:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~~Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

This verse isn’t a poetic exhortation to Positive Thinking. Paul wrote it from a Roman prison as he waited for a possible death sentence. He certainly didn’t write it to discourage Christians from facing harsh realities! In this very letter  he lays out details of his suffering, squarely stating that part of  following Christ entails sharing in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10). And in other letters, he anguished over the apostasy of even his trusted companions (most notably 2 Timothy 4:10).

Philippians 4:8 doesn’t mean living in a state of denial about the hardships of life. When people we love and respect announce that they’ve rejected the Lord they’d once claimed to love, of course our hearts shatter. But even in that devastating grief, we must train our eyes back to what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable.

We must fix our eyes on Jesus.

It’s easier to pay attention to the latest Twitter controversy than to keep our minds on the Lord, admittedly. And apostasy is so deliciously scandalous, don’t you know. But if we focus too much energy on analyzing Josh Harris and Marty Sampson, could we possibly be ignoring the Lord Himself? Might we be guilty of a more subtle form of apostasy?

Ladies, let’s remember why apostasy is such a dreadful state. Anything that draws our minds away from our wonderful Savior — including hot topics on the Internet — must be a distant second to loving and adoring Him.

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7 thoughts on “Apostasy Is The Hot Topic Now, But Should It Be?

  1. Apostasy? No, no true regenerate is capable of that. Sin, yes. Rebellion, absolutely. But the ultimate falling away is reserved for those who don’t know Him. We are seeing the Great Apostasy. Which really just helps the sheep when wolves reveal who they truly are. Sad? Absolutely, especially because most will not return, having “tasted” as Judas did. And that is beyond tragic. Look to see their response. “Peaceful”? Not if they are His.


      • You asked the question “Might we be guilty of a more subtle form of apostasy” – thus my answer and a fuller explanation of why. I think it germane, yes?


      • Only if we assume that all my readers are genuine Christians. And what of all the exhortations in Scripture to examine ourselves and confirm our calling and election? Scripture teaches assurance, but it also commands self-examination.


      • I thought my original post addressed both groups as well as sin in the believer. I think we’re talking around each other. My apologies if something was unclear.


  2. Philippians 4:8 has become a sort of go-to filter when I hear a “hamster wheel” drama starting in my head (the kind of skipping record, stuttering thoughts usually centered on some sort of worry, offense, or disappointment). Philippians 4:8 doesn’t argue about the validity of the _____________ (insert dilemma here), instead it helps us to climb out/over the stumbling block we tend to make of it.


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