“Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong;
rather, it is the difference between right and almost right.”
Apostasy, from the Greek word apostasia: A defiance of an established system or authority; a rebellion; an abandonment or breach of faith.
Over the past several months I’ve become increasingly aware of heretical practices, ideology, and doctrine disguised as “Christianity”. What I find most alarming is the rise to prominence by the charismatic, “Emerging Church” movement. While those inside the emerging church present themselves as simply progressive, a progressive church becomes a cultural church, and a cultural church becomes an inclusive church. The deception of inclusion is a wager on the Biblical Christian’s soft heart and conscience. It is an extremely effective tactic.
There is great change on the horizon for the true Church- we are losing ground. New believers and our young people are being misled- fatally deceived- by mysticism, metaphysical spirituality, prosperity gospel, and word of faith teaching.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of measuring each individual church, pastor, text, hymn, praise, prayer, and lesson against the only infallible source we will ever be provided: The Holy Bible.
Even The Holy Bible has been translated into multiple versions where one must exercise discernment. To illustrate my point, I took one well-known passage (Psalms 23:1,2) and applied the following translations (4):
King James Version ~ A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. ~
New International Version ~ A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. ~
English Standard Version ~ A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. ~
God’s Word Translation ~ [A psalm by David.] The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside peaceful waters. ~
Orthodox Jewish Bible ~ (Mizmor of Dovid). Hashem is my Ro’eh (Shepherd); I shall not lack. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the mei menuchot (tranquil waters). ~
If one is a bit unsure and wandering about in your local Christian book store (or chain store), you will also find pseudo-bibles shelved alongside verified, authentic translations. Pseudo-bibles are not at all biblical, and are the most dangerous of all. For example, using the same scripture as above, the 23rd Psalm, verses 1 and 2:
The Message(5) ~ God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. ~
The Passion Translation(6) ~ God is my Fierce Protector and Provider. I always have more than enough. Like a Shepherd he finds a resting place for me, in his luxury-love. ~
Can you see where a new believer might be funneled away from true biblical Christianity? It is clear to me, especially in the current state of our modern churches- which place great emphasis on entertaining their followers, rather than preparing Christ’s followers.
The heretical church appeals to the masses, first hinting, then outright declaring, a “great awakening is coming”. But Christ never tells us that. He, in fact, says the exact opposite.
In Matthew 24:10,11, Jesus Christ warns of “a great falling away” ~ At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. ~
Christ addressed false salvation in Matthew 7:22, 23. ~ Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS. ~
I speak of “false salvation” so my reader will note:
“Although a true Christian cannot fall away, a false Christian can. Fall away from what? From the faith in Christ that he or she has outwardly professed without inward reality. Those few apostates who announce themselves as atheists or convert to Buddhism or Hinduism are not the concern of Christ. He is warning of a turning from the truth within the professing church.” (1)
There is no “great awakening”. There is, right here and now a “great falling away”. As the heretical churches continue to lure more and more people into their lair, keep this in mind: There is only one path to salvation. The road to Glory is quite narrow. The road to hell is quite wide.
~ Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. ~ Matthew 7:13, 14
“The Bible clearly predicts a last-days signs and wonders movement—but it will be of Satan, and thus a delusion that will deceive many.” (2)
“The topic on everyone’s lips and mind today is revival. Christian TV and radio and best-selling books persuasively argue that we are in the midst of the greatest revival of Christianity in the history of the world….It comes as a shock to many to learn that the word “revival” does not appear even once in the entire King James Bible. The hope of revival, which excites so many today, is not even a biblical concept. Ask yourself a few questions: Is Christ not indwelling us? Is He not in our midst each time we meet? Are we not to be filled with the Holy Spirit at all times? Is not the Word of God sufficient? Why, then, run after signs and wonders as though unusual manifestations prove that God is at work while neglecting what God has already given us? In the meantime, undertake a study to see what the Bible says. Check every source against Scripture! Be a Berean.” (3)
~ Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. ~ 1 Timothy 4:16
Examining the rise of heresy led me to writing more than thirty pages of notes (thus far). I could not narrow them down for risk of diluting Christ’s message even further. I have divided my findings into several subtopics which I will post as a series. In this series, I will pinpoint current heretic concerns within the church, how they impact biblical Christians, new believers, and future converts. I will address the charismatic movement, mystics, metaphysical spirituality, prosperity gospel, word of faith teachings. I will name names. False teachers, false prophets, and false doctrine abounds, Friends. Pay attention!!
Be vigilant. Be blessed.
(1), (2), (3): Source: Revival or Apostasy?, The Berean Call, Dave Hunt
(4) Psalm 123:4 comparisons, BibleHub.com and BibleGateway.com
(5) The Message is not a Bible. It is a poor paraphrase, authored by Eugene Peterson. BibleStudyTools.com
(6) The Passion Translation is a New Apostolic Reformation production marketed as a bible. (It is not.) The Passion Translation was authored by NAR apostle Brian Simmons of Stairway Ministries in Wichita, Kansas. Sample verses taken from Simmons website.