The Tragedy of Apostasy

from The Cripplegate by Eric Davis

apostasyAnyone who has been in local church ministry for any amount of time is well-acquainted with disappointment. Things like criticism, gossip, and less-than-ideal fruit are normal. And, in some sense, you get used to that.

But there is one thing that seems to never get easier: when an individual who has professed Christ, immersed in the local church, and served in ministries, departs from the faith. AKA, “apostasy.” John Owen defined apostasy as “continued persistent rebellion and disobedience to God and his word,” or “total and final and public renunciation of all the chief principles and doctrines of Christianity.”

As our leadership team has had to grapple with this recently, we wanted to share a few things we’ve learned from the tragedy of apostasy:

  1. We’ve learned to weep over apostates.

The wound is deep and multi-directional. There is the weeping over the shock of it all. There is weeping over the callousness apostates show to the ministry they’ve received. Often, they will shun your care and past ministry to them with a cutting indifference. They do not know your pain as you pour out your heart for them in secret prayer. Often, those in apostasy will not believe you when you tell them that you love them. Nor do they care.

Even more, there is weeping over the disloyalty to Jesus Christ. Weeping over the betrayal of the body of Christ, the betrayal of other loved ones involved, their hard-heartedness, their blown witness, the unbelievers they will lead further astray, and over the believers they lead astray. And weeping over the eternal punishment they will face if they do not repent.

If you weep over apostates, it’s a good thing. By God’s grace, you still care and have fought the constant creep of callousness.

The rest is at: http://thecripplegate.com/the-tragedy-of-apostasy/

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