The fall of Christian Denominations
There is no question that countless Christian denominations have fallen to liberalism. The Methodist, Episcopalians, Lutherans, all as denominations, pursue a liberal interpretation of the bible. They have embraced homosexuality and feminism to even allow gay lesbian pastors to rule over the churches.
It seemed that only one stalwart remained – The Southern Baptist Convention (“SBC”). At their convention in 1985 liberalism was again on the agenda. Fortunately, the fight of the conservatives, led by the rousing speech of W. A. Criswell turned the tables, and once again, the bible won. See an analysis of this by Tim Challies here.
But, it was not to last long.
The pervasive efforts of liberalism were relentless.
Recently, SBC’s President J. D. Greear, penned a letter to support Black Lives Matter with the caveat that “Let’s not respond by saying ‘all lives matter…’” Unfortunately a number of related church organizations, including Southern Baptist Texas Convention, co-signed this letter. This was truly an effort to bring the bible down to the culture.
As the crack widened, SBC voted that the world’s viewpoints – including intersectionality, etc., were even to be used to interpret the bible.
As recently as October 2019, Grace Life Church at the Shoals pastor, Jeff Noblit preceded his Sunday sermon with a declaration to leave the SBC. You can listen to what he says here starting at about the 9:39 mark.
To this end, the last great denomination, the Southern Baptist, is falling.
Marks of Apostasy
But what is it that marks the apostasy or falling away? Certainly, not paying heed to the inerrancy of the scriptures – but, where, specifically?
It should come as no surprise that the main areas are leadership in the church and the gospel message itself.
The bible clearly proscribes a plurality of elders as the leadership format in the church. Elders are scripturally defined as blameless, and able to teach. In other words, with the knowledge and wisdom to correctly interpret and teach the bible. Time and time again, churches are without elder boards or with leadership groups of deacons and non-biblical leaders such as Trustees. Even worse, some are pastor led without any accountability.
The bible also clearly proscribes that women are not to lead men (1 Cor 14:34) and yet the likes of Beth Moore, Joyce Brothers, and Paula White are often invited to preach. Furthermore, their books and videos are commonly available and often used in women’s ministries.
Finally, the bible clearly states that salvation is totally a work of God. Churches, through the ages, have fought against this with what is known as “free will” salvation. The core basis of salvation is that God, in His infinite wisdom, chooses who will be saved and this principle, if misunderstood or denied, is the slippery slope that leads quickly to all kinds of apostasy. You can read more about that here and here.
Denying these three foundations leads to what Galatians 1:6 terms “ … a different gospel…”
As stated before, we tend to see what is around us by watching the chaos on the news – riots, arsons, murder, and Marxist revolutions. The great apostasy has been growing for years, almost unnoticed. It is important to remember 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.“
Now, more than ever, it is important to be obedient to the word.