Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Could the Apostasy be Upon Us?

I recently came across an interesting article written by Steve Gallagher in the Spring 2008 issue of Unchained! Magazine. Mr. Gallagher is the founder of Pure Life Ministries and a good writer; I’ve read several of his articles and ordered three of his books as part of my Christmas present to myself, they are now in a stack with five other “to read” books on my shelf.

The article is called, Could the Apostasy be Upon Us?, and was inspired by the movie, Time Changer, starring D. David Morin, Gavin MacLeod and Hal Linden. Here is part of that article:

“The storyline occurs in 1890 and revolves around Bible professor Russell Carlisle, who is unwittingly transported by a time machine into modern-day America. For five days, he finds himself trapped in a wicked world to which you and I have become shamefully accustomed.”

“At one point, he is seen watching television. His horrified expression betrays the fact that he is witnessing the kind of blatant immorality which has become standard fare for many of us. But perhaps the most poignant scene occurs when he is invited by some Christians to attend a movie with them. Suddenly, he is shown running out of the theater screaming at the employees, ‘You have to stop this movie! That actor took the Lord’s name in vain! He blasphemed God!’

“If you or I witnessed a fellow believer acting this way, we would quickly distance ourselves from him. And yet this scenario provokes a few pointed questions Christians should ask themselves. Why aren’t we more outraged when we hear actors take the Lord’s name in vain? How can we look upon scantily-clad girls on television without blushing? Why do we permit TV to indoctrinate our children with the world’s values? The Church is obviously backslidden. The greater question it provokes is: Could we be in the Great Apostasy and not be aware of it?”

“After having spent the last two years studying this subject in Scripture, I was forced to acknowledge that two of my long-held assumptions regarding it have been wrong.

“First, I came to realize that this falling away would not primarily be an obvious, outward renunciation of Christianity; it would be much more an issue of what is occurring in people’s hearts (e.g., Matt. 24:12).

“My second erroneous notion was that the greatest problem in the Church today is that pastors are too busy to effectively disciple their flocks. I thought the sin and carnality running rampant in our midst was the result of harried pastors not holding churchgoers accountable to actually live what they are learning. I now believe that the larger issue is that pastors are burning themselves out trying to lead unconverted people into living the Christian life.

“In the end, I arrived at the devastating conclusion that a large segment of the Post-Modern Church—that which has been the subject of our love and efforts—fits all the criteria predicted by Scripture of the Apostate Church. This issue of Unchained! Magazine will highlight a handful of those characteristics.”

I must say, “Amen to that, brother!” I agree with him wholeheartedly; I’ll even add that I believe that a lot (most?) people who call themselves Christian have no idea what that really means. I know non-Christians are clueless about Christianity, just ask one sometime.

I’ll repeat something here that I’ve said for several years now, America is NOT a Christian country; it started out that way, but went off track years ago. Would a Christian nation murder 1.5 million babies every year? Would a Christian nation openly embrace and accept homosexuals and their lifestyle? Would a Christian nation allow all the R- and X-rated movies and shows, and allow all the porn and smut that we have?

No, this country is not Christian and it has no desire to be. I’ve not studied the Great Apostasy as deeply as Mr. Gallagher so I can’t say we are fulfilling that prophecy right now, but I won’t disagree and say we aren’t. Either way, America is in trouble spiritually and morally, and the church in American is in the same boat.


Tim B said...

I agree that America is not a Christian Nation. I also agree that Pastor's are burning themselves out in the smaller Churches, those of 150 members or less. If the Pastor's of mega-Churches are burning themselves out its more so because of book tours and flying their jets to every country.
But the scripture tells us it won't get better, it gets worse. Honestly I'm not sure how the Church deals with this aside from bearing the fruit of the Spirit. The true believers are only a remnant not the majority anyway. I realize this may not seem encouraging and I'm not throwing my hands up that's just the way it is. Be a light in a dark world.

Frank said...

Hi Tim,

You said, "I also agree that Pastor's are burning themselves out in the smaller Churches, those of 150 members or less." Does that mean that you think that there should be no churches smaller than 150 members? If so, how do we get a church to be bigger?