How apostates take over.

How the apostates take over

The evangelical church is under constant threat to compromise its reliance on biblical truth. The human desire to be accepted, to not be seen as “outside the mainstream,” can be overwhelming. But that desire is our weakness, our downfall. It does not always immediately destroy the dam we build to protect the waters of truth, but instead it leads to tiny fissures that grow until destruction is inevitable.
Twenty years ago, I experienced the painful demise of the Episcopal Church, which once was a bastion of biblical truth. It was not a pretty picture. It was a picture painted in the primary colors of relentlessness and deception.
The combination of those elements inevitably led some sincere folks to weariness, and willingness to compromise, and yes, ultimately to surrender. For those who sought peace at any price, conformity over conviction, and popularity over principle, capitulation seemed the easier way out.
The initial compromise, which caused the first cracks in the dike, seemed innocent enough at the time: the ordination of women.
But to truly understand how that initial compromise caused a wave of liberalism to overcome biblical boundaries within the Episcopal Church (and soon by the rest of the mainline denominations), we have to understand the different groups involved.
Sincere followers of Christ made up the first group. They believed in Jesus and the scriptures. To them, the effort to ordain women seemed genuine. But they ultimately bought into the secular argument that the ordination of women was merely an issue of equality, sharing power, responding to new realities, and gaining relevancy with modern culture. Those believers were most troublesome of all. Although they adhered to the secular perspective, no one could accuse them of having “departed the faith once delivered.”
The second group, which pushed the breached even further, was comprised of people who were religious but biblically illiterate. They followed a simple faith not rooted in history. They were more willing to follow than to think.
The third group was made up of committed liberals, or as I prefer to call them, apostates. That group often worked behind the scenes. They hid in the shadows, preferring to steer the second group forward while putting pressure on the first group. They fueled the secular media with proclamations that the church was “hopelessly out of touch with the real world” or that the “male-dominated church is unwilling to share power with women.”
The media — which loves to denigrate the church and its leadership for refusing to adhere to a godless culture — used its powerful megaphone to condemn the church. Of course, the media never understood that ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ is not about power. A pastor models himself after Jesus, who “did not come to be served, but to serve.”

When apostate Christians and agnostics were allowed to set the agenda and define the arguments, the faint of heart self-consciously sought to surrender. Quickly abandoned were Martin Luther’s words: “Here I stand. I can do no other.”
” I explained how apostates used the cause of equality to gain a destructive foothold within the church.
Some of my readers have missed the point of this two-part column altogether, thinking it is about women’s ordination. People will see what they want to see. The deeper point is that those who deny the core of the Gospel used an innocent issue, such the role of women in the church, to flood the church with non Bible-believing men, women, and homosexuals.
This is how it happened:
Initially, whole denominations acquiesced and allowed women to be ordained, but most churches still did not call women to be pastors. But with an influx of women into the system, something had to be done. So while the men worked by pastoring to parishes and parishioners, many women aimed at taking over denominational committees. Time and persistence had a way of succeeding.
By the early 90s, women made up only 20 percent of the clergy in some denominations, but they controlled every single committee.
With control of the ministerial candidate selection committees, for example, they focused on expanding the number of women clergy, not expanding the Kingdom of God. Time after time, I saw good young men turned down for ordination while spiritually unqualified women were given the green light.
I once asked why so many good men were being rejected. I was told that it was necessary to “make up for past injustices.”
But once the dam had been cracked, the people who flooded in were no longer those who argued for justice and equality. They were people whose hidden agenda was nothing short of apostasy and control.
From that point, committee leaders began to push for extreme feminism, abortion rights, homosexual advocacy, and other issues that were repugnant to biblical obedience.
All of that inevitably sapped the energy of the faithful. They no longer had the time or strength to preach the Word of God and witness to others. Although they still called themselves “the church,” they had strayed from the fold.
Today, the flood waters continue to rise and are even encroaching into some evangelical churches. But thank God for those who still stand strong, for they represent the last great hope for biblical submission. We need the evangelical church to refuse to put on the garment of compromise, to not bow to the gods of social acceptability and popular culture. We need it to never surrender to the secular armies and their weapons of manipulation and false accusation.
Back in 1980, I met with the retired Episcopal bishop of Atlanta, who had been bishop during those tumultuous times. It was soon before his death, and he told me, “If I had known all this would happen, I would not have been quick to give in.” He went to his grave in regret.
The apostates are like the ancient Greeks who destroyed the city of Troy by offering them an apparently innocent gift — the Trojan horse. The people of Troy willingly took the deceptive symbol of peace and moved it within their walls. Later, under cover of night, Greek soldiers crept out of the giant horse, opened the city gates, and ushered in the enemy army.
As with Troy, apostates today take over the church through means that seem innocent at first. For that reason, Bible-believing Christians must stand at the watchtower and be prepared to defend biblical truth, even when the threat seems harmless. If not, many more Christian leaders will go to their graves with deep, deep regret.

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