Trends in Christendom seem to come and go like different style haircuts. It’s like every time you turn around, you see some “new way” of doing Christianity or some “new doctrine” that hasn’t been around that promises to change the way we think about Church.
In the 70’s, a popular trend in Christianity began to emerge (pun intended) known as the Emergent (or Emerging) Church. in recent modern times, it was popularized by false teachers such as Rob Bell, Brian McClaren, and Rick Warren. While some would only adhere to bits and pieces of the movement, the more extreme of them, like Bell and McClaren would deny essential doctrines of the faith and teach such heresies as annihilationism — or even that Hell doesn’t exist at all. For them, the movement was all about “love” and “tolerance” — something they thought Jesus was “all about.”
That fad died out and in came New Calvinism — popularized by progressive outlets such as The Gospel Coalition and the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. With current leaders such as Tim Keller and Russell Moore who have essentially turned the gospel into a quest for social justice, the movement has overtaken a large swath modern mainstream evangelicalism — particularly of the Calvinist persuasion.
While the New Calvinist movement seems to be peaking at an all-time high, another “cool trend” seems to be emerging from behind the dust created by the previous two movements — apostasy. Yes, interestingly, apostasy seems to be all the rage these days.
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Apostasy — which comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία”) which literally means in the context of Scripture, departure — or falling away. In other words, it refers to those who have professed Christ, especially for a long time, and then have renounced their faith.
It started with former megachurch pastor, Dave Gass, who renounced his faith on Twitter and Instagram early this year. “After 40 years of being a devout follower, 20 of those being an evangelical pastor, I am walking away from the faith,” Gass said,“ Even though this has been a massive bomb drop in my life, it has been decades in the making.”
Then, just a few weeks ago, the popular Purity Culture pastor, Joshua Harris followed suit and renounced his faith on social media. Apologizing to the LGBTQ community, Harris announced that he no longer believed — and had no intention of believing — in the God of the Bible any longer. He was later spotted marching in a gay pride parade in Vancouver.
And most recently, one of the most popular Hillsong songwriters, Marty Sampson, also took to social media to announce his apostasy. Citing “science” as his main reason for unbelief, it’s clear that Scripture was never His authority to begin with — therefore he never truly believed.
What’s the takeaway from this? God is obviously purifying his bride. But it should go without saying that showy Christianity — particularly that which seeks to glorify man and enrichen him with temporal blessings — cannot be regarded as true Christianity. We have given these people a platform for far too long and it’s clear that God is saying “enough.”
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.2 Timothy 3:1-5