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Responding to Apostasy

I had realized for a number of years that apostasy was a present and real possibility, but I did not understand just how God deals with it. I knew that individuals step over a line into sin when they do what they know they shouldn’t do, or do not do what they know they should do. I knew this was the same rule that applied to groups of individuals.

I saw this ministry body do what I thought they would never do. I was there when they sinned as a group. They extended fellowship to a brother that they knew was wrong, because they were afraid of the political consequences that would happen if they didn’t. The man was influential, and a trueness to his soul and to God may very well have made a split, so they were untrue to God and true to their church. An older sister was asked by a younger pair of ministers why the older brethren were not taking a stand against wrong and for truth. The older sister replied, “We are all so afraid.” They were afraid that to stand up for the truth would cause a division. So, to keep peace in the movement, they split with God. A brother said, “If we are not sure where we stand, then let’s have a Bible study.” There was no interest in a Bible study. The problem was not knowing where to stand; it was in paying the cost of making the stand. Many things were said and done in that meeting that I would have declared beforehand would not happen. But they did happen, and I was forced to realize that the minister body then was not the minister body that I had been in fellowship with years ago.

I did not know what to do. I did not fellowship the thing or excuse it, but I did not know just what steps to take. Should I leave?

I had always thought that God would preserve a remnant that would march away from compromise with flags waving. And I had consecrated to be one of that number, no matter what the cost. But I found that God requires us to live up to light individually. It is a matter of love for Him and His way. And so is brought to pass the scripture, “I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.”* (Jeremiah 3:14) For God has devised a way of escape that really rids us of the tendency to look to man instead of Him. I found myself consecrating to be true to God if my wife stayed in, with all the consequences of a divided family, including the children, etc. I groaned with the anguish. I gave up ALL. God required of me to be absolutely true to Him and the light He had shown upon my path.

As I look back on that decision of nearly twenty-two years ago, I realize that those same brethren who were so used of God to be a blessing to me in my youth had each come to this same consecration somewhere along their path. This is how God calls His saints to Zion: by death to self, by consecration to God.