Apostasy

Disheartening Defections

It happened again recently, twice actually. Two prominent Christians renounced their faith publicly. Whenever this occurs, and it seems to be happening with greater frequency, many Christians are affected adversely. Reactions range from simple discouragement and sorrow, to self-questioning, and doubts. “If such well-known Christian leaders no longer believe the gospel, how can I be certain it’s true?”

First it was Joshua Harris, author of the best seller, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” and more recently, lead pastor from 2004 to 2015 of Covenant Life Church, the megachurch founded by C. J. MaHaney in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In July, 2019, Josh announced that he and his wife, Shannon, were separating due to “significant changes that have taken place in both of us,” and shortly afterward, he publicly announced that he no longer considered himself a Christian. Since then, Harris has marched in several Gay Pride parades. It is all very sad, but unfortunately, true.

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Hillsong worship leader clarifies he hasn't renounced faith, but it's on 'incredibly shaky ground'

"Marty Sampson, the worship music writer who recently revealed he is 'genuinely losing' his faith, clarified that while he hasn’t 'renounced' his Christianity, it’s nevertheless on 'incredibly shaky ground.'" - Christian Post

566 reads

Hillsong’s Marty Sampson Says He’s Losing His Faith and He’s Not Bothered

"One of Hillsong United’s original band members, Marty Sampson, has announced he is no longer a Christian....  he mentions preachers falling, the dearth of miracles we see happen, the Bible being full of contradictions, and the seeming dissonance between an unconditionally loving God who sends people to eternal damnation." - Church Leaders

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A Warning for True Believers Who Lack Faith (Part 8)

(From Maranatha Baptist Seminary Journal; used by permission. Read the entire series.)

Nature of Judgment

There are two basic views of the nature of the judgment mentioned in Hebrews 6:6–8. Some suggest that the judgment is that of eternal damnation.1 McKnight collates all the information concerning judgment from the entire books of Hebrews and concludes the following: “In light of the final sense of several of these expressions (cf. especially the harsh realities of 10:30–31, 39) and the use of imagery in Hebrews that elsewhere is used predominantly of eternal damnation, it becomes quite clear that the author has in mind an eternal sense of destruction.”2 The second possible interpretation of the judgment in Hebrews 6:6–8 is that it entails loss of God’s blessing and the onset of cursing (up to and including physical death).3 Gleason summarizes, “In light of the Old Testament blessing-curse motif, the judgment in view in Hebrews 6:7–8 is best understood as the forfeiture of blessing and the experience of temporal discipline rather than eternal destruction.”4

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A Warning for True Believers Who Lack Faith (Part 7)

(From Maranatha Baptist Seminary Journal; used by permission. Read the series so far.)

Nature of Falling Away

There are three words or phrases in Hebrews 6:6 that describe what it means to “fall away.” Each of these is discussed individually.

Fall away. The first word used to describe falling away is “fall away” (παραπεσόντας).1 There are two broad categories of understanding concerning the nature of falling away. Some suggest that falling away is absolute apostasy, a total rejection of Christ and his gospel, an alignment with those who crucified Christ.2 Others suggest that falling away is a serious sin that a believer can commit which is usually identified as a decisive refusal to trust Christ’s high priestly ministry for help in daily living.3 The word “fall away” itself does not help in choosing which view is correct, because it does not have an object in Hebrews 6:6.4 It is uncertain from what one falls away. Neither does its use in the LXX aid one’s decision.5 Gleason concludes,

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