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Apostasy

“‘The house of Israel and the house of Judah dealt very treacherously with Me,’ says the Lord. They lied to their own Lord, and said, ‘These things are not so. Evil will not come upon us; nor shall we see sword or famine.’” [Jeremiah 5:11-12]…Such assertions are either delusion or impudence…Sadly, we hear such statements uttered by people who enjoy parish camaraderie, the aesthetic beauty of the liturgy, and the grandeur of the Church’s hymnody and music. However, when faced with a crisis – inexorable illness, financial loss, personal betrayal, rejection by a wife or husband, the loss of prestige and influence – these superficially pious parishioners fall into self-pity and utter apostasy: “God doesn’t care,” “He has abandoned me,” “It’s hopeless.” (Dynamis 2/15/2022)


“St. Paul often spoke of how Satan would send persecution in an attempt to overwhelm Christians in hope they would apostasize… How does the Evil One do this? By inundating us with peirasmos. The word usually rendered “temptation” in the Lord’s is peirasmos, often rendered as “trial”. It refers to a crisis which tests us, pushes us to the limit, a crisis in which we may fail the test and fall away from God…“That was how the word is used in Luke 22:31, to describe Satan sifting Peter as thoroughly as wheat is sifted, by overwhelming him by a temptation to despair after his denial of Christ. That is how the word is used Revelation 3:10, to describe an hour of persecution and seduction that was coming upon the whole world.” (Fr. Lawrence Farley)


“In times past the believer’s world was fundamentally a Christian world, with heresy, apostasy and sin as the enemies of genuine Christian spiritual life…Today this is no longer the case. Today there are no such fundamental identifications for many people, particularly the young, and particularly in America. Today there are a multitude of people who identify themselves simply as citizens of the world, free agents in a global society, unfettered consumers in a boundless marketplace of opinions and ideas and styles of life emanating from all corners of the universe. Today, in the West generally and in America in particular, the majority of people are given the possibility of picking and choosing the way of life which most pleases them and is most suited to their individual needs, desires and fancies at any given moment.” (OCA Holy Synod of Bishops)


“Apostasy doesn’t have to be an outright rejection of God and His will. It can be a growing apathy that grips a person’s heart and a nation’s soul. We should look in the mirror and look around and do our best with the time, places, and circumstances we are in to preach and live the Gospel and do our part to fight the good fight against this subtle yet awful evil.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


“Silence is the prerequisite for inner stillness, and only inner stillness enables us truly to listen to God, to hear His voice, and to commune with Him in the depths of our being. Yet silence and stillness are, like prayer itself, gifts that God can and wants to bestow upon us. The greatest truth about us is that God has created us with a profound longing, a burning thirst for communion with Himself. We can easily pervert that longing into an idolatrous quest for something other than God. Yet God remains faithful even in our times of apostasy. Like the father of the Prodigal Son, he always awaits our return. Once we begin that journey homeward, through repentance and an ongoing struggle against our most destructive passions, God reaches out to embrace, to forgive and to heal all that is broken, wounded and wasted. He reaches into the very fabric of our life, to restore within us the sublime image in which we were made.” (Fr. John Breck)


“The word apostle means one who is sent and the word apostate means one who renounces or turns back. It literally means turning away. A state of apostasy is worse than a state of ignorance. When we are ignorant, we don’t know and upon knowing we have a chance to correct our heart. Apostasy is when we do know and still choose to reject.” (Matthew Henry, Sacramental Living Blog)

“The Lord’s accusation against His ancient people when they dealt treacherously with Him should encourage us to examine ourselves humbly, candidly, and attentively. The sin of apostasy overtakes us by stealth. It can consume those who consider themselves honorable servants of the Lord right along with those who disdain the sacred and openly reject the truth.” (Dynamis 2/15//2018)

“…how gradually is the slide from faith to apostasy. One does not go to bed a devout and dedicated disciple of Christ and awaken the next morning to find oneself an apostate with an aversion to church-going. The journey from faith to faithlessness is a long and gradual one—indeed, if the Enemy is doing his job well, so gradual one will hardly notice it. The temptation, Scripture tells us, is less likely to be in surrendering to a sudden volte–face regarding our faith as in a gradual “drifting away” from it (Hebrews 2:1). The truth is we are never standing still; we are either moving continually towards Christ or away from Him. The only way to avoid slipping backwards is to run forward. St. Paul told us this long ago: “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Standing still is not an option, and apostasy will remain a possibility until we ourselves cross over into the other world. Let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.” (Father Lawrence Farley)

“The Bible shows in detail what individual apostates and a nation that apostates bring upon themselves through this terrible choice. It shows how much God loves the person, the persons, and the nations and tries to prevent this. The Bible also predicts the growth of apostasy in the present and the future. Apostasy doesn’t have to be an outright rejection of God and His will. It can be a growing apathy that grips a person’s heart and a nation’s soul. We should look in the mirror and look around and do our best with the time, places, and circumstances we are in to preach and live the Gospel and do our part to fight the good fight against this subtle yet awful evil.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“How easy it is, instead, to put the Lord Jesus out of our mind and pursue the games and pleasures of this life, effectively revolting against our Savior in order “to follow after vain and worthless things”. We need not look far to see this kind of apostasy among secular-minded Christians who worship at the altars of success, indulgence, and self-esteem.” (Dynamis 10/26/2013)


#MatthewHenry #SacramentalLivingMinistries #Dynamis #FatherLawrenceFarley #OCAHolySynodofBishops #FrJohnBreck

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