A couple of days ago I listened to a KJV-Only video on YouTube which introduced me to the web site ApostasyWatch. My introduction was negative, because there was a major error in a critical part of the video that came from that site. I’ll embed my video response at the end.
The reason I bring this up here is that recently I have been talking about the mission of Energion Publicatiosn. It’s very important to me, because while this is a for-profit business, I consider it a ministry and run it as such. I seek to serve a particular audience.
You can read over the ApostasyWatch.com site for yourself. I’m not going to quote from it, but just give you my general impression. The approach of this site, and many like it, try to refine Christianity until they have only the real thing–in their own opinion. This results in long lists of false teachers, false doctrines, and false ministries. I’m quite certain they would find my own ministry false as well.
They then set themselves up, sometimes just a few people, sometimes only one, and try to become the arbiters of truth, and what is and is not Christianity. They believe they are watchmen, as in Ezekiel 33, watching for signs of error and apostasy, and aiming to correct it.
I think it is well motivated at the start. I was touched by Steve Lumbley’s testimony on ApostasyWatch.com. But it is also misguided. Finding and pointing out falsehood, as you see it, will only go so far. It can become a good thing. There is that fine cartoon which has someone busily working on a computer, and he can’t go to bed because someone is wrong on the internet. Well, these apostasy watchers will probably never get to sleep if they’re watching for someone to be wrong (or a heretic) in the Christian church.
In addition, such groups very frequently become quite anti-intellectual, taking pride in the education they don’t have and the things they don’t know, if for no other reason because so many educated people disagree with them.
What is actually needed? I would suggest that we need to build the individual discernment, the ability for people to make decisions about Biblical and theological topics for themselves, using all the resources available. Folks who have some knowledge need to help people learn, to motivate them to get closer to God and to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is not a matter of setting oneself up as the standard, but rather of pointing them to One who can lead them in the right course.
This could be another statement of the mission of Energion Publications. We aim to equip and empower, not to corral and guard.
For your reference, I’m embedding my video response on 1 John 4:2 below: