Calling out Apostates

This is something I’m terribly uncomfortable with, until the level of apostasy becomes absurd.  I’d much rather let Jesus be the judge… as He most certainly will.   But on the other hand, perhaps we’re doing a disservice to the public by not calling out those who call themselves Christian while having no adherence to the Word whatsoever.

I’d like to have discussion on this.

Is it better to chill out, or call out?  Is this a thing where some folks are gifted with the calling out, and some folks gifted with the chilling out – as parts of the body of Christ?  Is there a line beyond which one cannot cross before every Christian should refuse fellowship and communion until repentance is reached?

Can we differentiate between the folks who are in grave error, and potentially apostate vs. those who are unquestionably out of the family?

(This all came up because one of my non-Christian friends keeps quoting Spong… and I about had an aneurysm … he’s no Christian, how can he be a Christian when he doesn’t believe in a “theistic god”  I don’t care if you, my non-Christian friend, like what he has to say, but DO NOT QUOTE HIM AS A CHRISTIAN.  He blasphemes the name of Christ by claiming it.  Or Osteen – might be a Christian.  *might*.  Needs a hard lesson in martyrs and to be sat down and read the epistles of Peter.  But these dudes are *still alive* so there’s still hope of their coming to repentance.   So since they’re living humans, they’re by definition not my enemy … it’s repentance that’s wanted, come to Christ, there’s none so sinful they cannot come and be saved…)

Anyway, discuss please.

13 thoughts on “Calling out Apostates

  1. hearthie Post author

    A thought for evaluation criteria: If you read the 12 points above, you’ll notice that Spong is less Christian than the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons. I think direct quotations of the potential apostate’s statement of faith would be not-arbitrary, not gossip, and fair.

    1. hearthie Post author

      Okay, so by this standard – Osteen is in grave error, because he *preaches* prosperity gospel … but the statement of faith on his church website is recognizably Christian. (Salvation by faith in Christ, belief in the Trinity, etc. It’s short, mind you).

  2. Pingback: An Errant Brother… Or Something Else? | Donal Graeme

  3. Elspeth

    K, I couldn’t comment when I first saw this but I have had the time to think about it a bit since yesterday.

    Those teachers who publicly preach heresy or even a version of the gospel need to be called out by other teachers, especially if they are influencing large numbers of people. People like Joel Osteen, whom I believe is a Christian) need to have their preaching reviewed and yes, criticized. Perhaps by the Voddie Bauchams of the Church. I think qualified teachers do the body a disservice by remaining silent.

    And then sometimes, we have to talk to those close to us one on one when we see them embracing heresy. My husband recently set up an appointment with a brother whom he fears is veering off the deep end with regard to a particular doctrine. In reality, it would be helpful if we would hold one another accountable. The lack of Christian accountability we find in this era makes these issues especially difficult to navigate.

    1. hearthie Post author


      One of my considerations here is that I talk to non-Christians, and my nc friends hold Osteen et al in contempt… having an answer to their questions is important.

      But I think I answered myself there – look up their statement of faith and a few of their public comments and be able to come back with a proper answer. Maybe not off the hip, but a proper answer.

      ENTIRELY agree that we need more accountability in this age, at every level.

      1. Elspeth

        I’m telling you, Hearth.. I hear the phrase “freedom in Christ” being so misused and abused today that it makes my head spin. People use it to excuse freedom from accountability to everything EXCEPT righteousness and sound doctrine plainly written.

        It’s very American in its way, when you think about it, but it makes for very damaging teaching.

      2. hearthie Post author

        “Just enough Jesus to make you miserable” – that crew? Sigh.

        I dunno, Els. How do we get the joy that comes from an obedient walk of faith across? I’ve got gobs and drifts of joy, I’d dearly *like* to share it. But it didn’t come until I sucked it up and gave my life (including my most precious desires) over to God. It is, very much, a gift of the Holy Spirit. So precious.

        So, when I think, “Freedom in Christ” – well, I think deliverance from all manner of sin, I think being free of phariseeism, I think… a lot of things. -sigh- -sigh- -sigh-

        But I know what you mean – and plenty of examples of “who”. -sigh-

  4. Jenny

    I’m very careful about calling out apostates. If I see someone close to me reading junk, I’ll say something to them. If it’s someone I don’t know very well, I might lend them something better to read but not mention the fallacy of whatever they’re reading. I don’t like to do the apostate thing on the internet, I just don’t. I come across as judgy and not graceful and in a way, that’s exactly what I’m being and it doesn’t work on strangers, it separates us. People on the internet tend to read what they already agree with and avoid what they don’t.

    1. hearthie Post author

      Oh, I didn’t mean individuals – if I’m in a relationship with someone who is in error, I’ll say something. But that’s few and far between. I was talking about public people that get quoted as “Christians”.

      1. Jenny

        yeah, I don’t deal with them. I avoid book reviews on my blog if I don’t agree with the writer. Most of the time, I’ll put the book down after the first few pages and stop reading it anyway.

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