Examples of Apostasy in the Christian church

by Matt Slick

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths," (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

Following is a list of examples of churches that claim to be Christian who are adopting unbiblical ideas.  Note:  individual churches do not represent denominations.

  1. Changing the Bible to suit gender-neutral wording.
    1. This has crept into the church periodically in the last 30 years.  Due to pressure from the secular society, some Christian based Bible publishers are offering gender-neutral Bibles.  This is sad.  Is God's word any less true because it is not gender-neutral?  Should Christians change God's word to suit the unbeliever?  No and no.
  2. Metropolitan Community Church which openly approves of homosexuality.
  3. The Evangelical Lutheran Church (on homosexuality)
    1. "The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided Monday to undertake its first major study on whether to endorse the morality of homosexual relationships...The Rev. Ann Tiemeyer of Woodside, N.Y., said she supports greater acceptance of gay church members and clergy. "It is time to send a message that we are a welcoming church, in our clergy as well as our pews," she said," (Associated Press Online, 08/13/2001, Lutherans to Study Homosexuality).
    2. "The church currently allows homosexual clergy if they practice celibacy." (New Bishop for Evangelical Lutherans,  ELCA, Associated Press Online, 10/06/2001.)
      1. Note: if a person acknowledges that homosexuality is a sin and is in a state of repentance but still has those tendencies, then this would not disqualify him from being a minister. However, if he were a homosexual who is not practicing but also believes that it is okay and not a sin, then that would disqualify him from being a minister.
  4. The Evangelical Lutheran Church (on evolution)
    1. The ELCA doesn't have an official position on creation vs. evolution, but we subscribe to the historical-critical method of biblical interpretation, so we believe God created the universe and all that is therein, only not necessarily in six 24-hour days, and that he may actually have used evolution in the process of creation. (http://www.elca.org/co/faq/evolution.html)
  5. The Episcopal Church (woman bishop to oust conservative priest)
    1. "An Episcopal Church committee has backed efforts by Washington's acting Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon to oust a conservative priest. A nine-member panel of clergy and laity said Dixon followed church law when she rejected the decision of the Christ Church vestry to hire the Rev. Samuel Edwards and ordered him to leave by May 25. Edwards refused, and continues to conduct services and occupy the rectory," (Religion News in Brief, Associated Press Online, 09/27/2001),
  6. The Mennonite Church (on homosexuality)
    1. "After nearly two decades of negotiation, the nation's two largest Mennonite denominations overwhelmingly approved a merger Thursday that creates the 125,000-member Mennonite Church USA....Many delegates expressed mixed feelings about the new membership guidelines, under which the church will not recognize same-sex marriages. Individual congregations and regional conferences will decide whether homosexuals will be allowed as members. (Two Mennonite Groups Approve Merger,  NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jul 05, 2001, AP Online via COMTEX).
  7. The Presbyterian Church United States of America (on homosexuality)
    1. "In a closely watched case, the highest court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) refused to rule Tuesday on whether a homosexual man is eligible to serve as a church elder.  The court said the dispute surrounding Wayne Osborne had become moot because the First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, Conn., had installed another group of elders," (Presbyterian Court Sidesteps Ruling; Ky., Dec 04, 2001, AP Online via COMTEX).
  8. The United Church of Christ (on homosexuality)
    1. "The United Church of Christ set up a $500,000 scholarship fund for gay and lesbian seminarians Friday and urged wider acceptance of homosexuals by other denominations." (United Church Makes Gay Scholarship, CLEVELAND, Jun 16, 2000, AP Online via COMTEX).
  9. The United Methodist Church (on homosexuality)
    1. "The supreme court of the United Methodist Church was asked Thursday to reconsider the denomination's ban on gay clergy. (Church court of United Methodists asked to decide on gay clergy ban, NASHVILLE, Tennessee, Oct 25, 2001, AP WorldStream via COMTEX).

In contemporary culture, homosexuality is gaining ground and acceptance.  This should never bleed over into the Christian church.  The fact that homosexuality is even in question in some denominations is a definite sign of apostasy since homosexuality clearly contradicts the plain teaching of scripture that homosexuality is a sin:  "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God," (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

Unfortunately, too many denominations are listening to the false gospel of the world and becoming secularized.  They need to repent and stand on God's word, whether it is popular or not.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.