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Responding To The Charge Of Apostasy

Last week a religious activist went on a syndicated Christian radio talk-show and accused me of several acts against the church and God. Their response was a negative bias-driven summation of three posts: here, here, and here. The talk-show host agreed with him, and did not stop him when he charged me from afar to “repent of apostasy” and apologize for selling out and confusing the Body of Christ.

Neither of these folks contacted me about their charges before gossiping on a national radio program about my motivations for supporting civil gay marriage equality. As a result, I feel no need to break down the show and respond to every accusation. I obviously do not agree with their judgments or conclusions.

However, since the word apostasy is being used against me, and against several of my close friends as well, it got me thinking about the word itself. It’s a powerful little word in religious circles and is definitely used as a way to stigmatize other believers who may or may not actually be “apostate.” Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of apostasy:

Definition of APOSTASY

1: renunciation of a religious faith

2: abandonment of a previous loyalty : defection

It is the issue of embracing God’s finished work of atonement, His truly amazing grace, that has opened my eyes to how much bigger and truly loving He is. Believing that He alone is enough, and He alone is the judge of a man’s heart, has led me to make the various decisions I have made over the past few years. Including the conclusion that the religious addiction to public policy has skewed our perspectives and priorities.

I feel closer to the Lord, our Heavenly Father, than I have in a very long time …and it wasn’t bad before! I’ve felt like the joy of having fallen in love with Him for the first time is restored.

I see this happening in my friends who have also come to a liberating understanding of grace. So to hear someone accuse me, us, of apostasy is a complete disconnect. I may be wrong but it seems hateful, maybe even fearful, and unnecessary.

That said, while my faith in Christ is stronger than ever, I have renounced the doctrines of religious activists who prey upon public policy battles in the name of “ministry.” I have defected from the army of religious right activists. While I still hold my responsibilities/rights as a citizen of the United States in high esteem, my statements will no longer be memorized from action items generated in secret religious activist meetings. I will still vote my conscience, but my highest priority is to love God with my whole being and love my neighbor as myself.

[inlinetweet prefix=”Christ alone has my loyalty. Love is what edifies, builds up, and brings life; love will always be remembered and prevail.” tweeter=”RThomasART” suffix=””]Christ alone has my loyalty. Love edifies, builds up, and brings life; love will be remembered and prevail.[/inlinetweet]

To close, it is completely incorrect to say that I am apostate in my spiritual belief of Jesus being Lord and Savior. Of course, I still believe that He rose from the dead to reconcile us to the Father. But it is completely correct to believe that I have defected and renounce all activity among religious activists to stigmatize and disenfranchise the gay community.

Published inLGBT+ Christ Follower

5 Comments

  1. I like the idea of the finished work of Christ. I am still learning but it make sense in terms of grafting us in and making us full fledged children… who are now under Grace and can experience His life and love in freedom not worried about a list of do’s and do nots, rather learning reclined at the feet of Jesus, our teacher. It makes sense that this grace is about His love for us ….from which motivates our sincere devotion to Him first and foremost…then our devotion to each other and love for humanity, a reflection of how our Lord loves. God bless you Randy, keep your chin up!

    • Randy Randy

      God bless you too and … right on :). Love your summation!

  2. Darla Meeks Darla Meeks

    I don’t believe you are apostate, Randy. But, respectfully, I don’t agree with your way of thinking about gay lifestyle. One does not stigmatize a sinner by stigmatizing a sin, especially one that is so destructive. It is a loving act…an ennobling act…to show people that they can be free in Christ Jesus…not just forgiven. Loving my neighbor is my whole life. So I will never tell my neighbor that there is no way out, or that Christ cannot conquer their sin because that sin is just too strong for Jesus. I don’t rely on feelings to know I’m saved from gay activities. But when I don’t involve with those feelings, God is faithful to make them dissipate. I don’t have them anymore, as long as I do not expose myself to temptation or fail to flee temptation if it arises. I do not fail to ask God to lead me not into temptation, but to deliver me from evil, as our Lord taught us to pray. I have heard testimony after testimony of people who have lost their impulses to sin..whether it’s drug use, alcohol abuse/addiction, or other sexual sins like heterosexual fornication, adultery or pornography use….I don’t understand why homosexuality is such a special sin that some people believe that God is powerless to take it away. Grace transforms us while it keeps us in eternal life. Grace doesn’t just cover sin…it obliterates sin…as we move forward in faith.

  3. DavidinSD DavidinSD

    Thank you Randy for your brave and loving words and your shift in perception. It is not judgment that saves us, as it only puts us into conflict as it is an unloving act, and separates God’s children from each other and Him. With homosexuality being so misunderstood, I believe it is really important to let the judgments “go and let God”. Especially in the marketplace where there are many different faiths and beliefs.
    It puts a dim light on Christianity when the facts don’t match doctrine, yet doctrine tries to rule the many in the masses. It’s a superiority conflict that harks a serious push back.
    I believe Grace is needed for those who don’t understand and judge without thinking of the outcomes, as it will then give them the space and time to think about the situation at hand, and potentially allow them to just let God handle this one in His own time and way. And to understand and allow, that not every one in the public forum is a Christian, and therefore not bound by its ways. It seems you have done this in your own way. It makes sense you are feeling closer to God as you seem to have removed yourself from an extremist judgmental painful point of view, the most damaging place a human can act from. That is why God says to leave it up to Him. It’s His way of saying ‘extremism is dangerous to your spiritual sanity, and best left up to me.’ It would seem you listened with your heart and prevailed. And God is where the heart resides. You’re a good example. I bet God has big plans for you. Good work.

    • Randy Randy

      Thank you for your comment and for the encouragement. I do believe grace is as needed for the legalistic/judgmental as anyone else. Right now my most gracious response is to not respond in many cases. I put off writing this post for about a week, but finally had peace to get it out of my heart and put it down in words. Again, thanks for your comment.

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