AMERICA'S PROBLEM WITH APOSTASY--Part One
by Al Benson Jr.
Apostasy is a falling away, a willful departure from the truth, a revolt against the truth. It is not a new problem in God's Israel, the church. It has been around since the beginning. The Old Testament is full of accounts of Israel turning away from the one true God and chasing after the "gods" of other nations around them, no doubt in a worldly desire to be like those nations.
In Acts 20 Paul talks to the elders in the church at Ephesus and tells them (vs. 29, 30): "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." It would seem from the context that Paul is talking about people who had believed the truth, embraced it, and then consciously walked away from it, embracing some "new gospel" and not only that, they sought to drag other believers along with them, that they, too, might also cleave to the "new" teaching.
Although this revolt from the truth has been prevalent through the ages, we have had major problems with it in this country, and it is the cause of many of our country's problems over the years, including the War of Northern Aggression.
Home-grown apostasy probably started in New England in the 1700s. Some preachers there preached against Unitarianism in the late 1700s. Jedidiah Morse, in Charlestown, Massachusetts spoke out against "the infidel Deist and the rationalizine Unitarian." Others, including Timothy Dwight of Yale did the same thing. But even some of those that resisted apostasy in New England had, to some degree, swallowed some of it themselves without realizing it.