Hi everyone. I'm quite new to this site, and I've noticed that many of you are more than happy to call yourselves "apostates", even though many of you evidently believe in the bible and in Jesus as saviour, etc.
I'm aware that the society brands anyone who disagrees with them as being an "apostate", but just because they choose to do this, does this mean we should be comfortable with being so branded? Should we "bend over" and take it?
Here is what the Insight book says on apostasy:
This term in Greek (a·po·sta·si′a) comes from the verb a·phi′ste·mi, literally meaning “stand away from.” The noun has the sense of “desertion, abandonment or rebellion.” (Ac 21:21, ftn) In classical Greek the noun was used to refer to political defection, and the verb is evidently employed in this sense at Acts 5:37, concerning Judas the Galilean who “drew off” (a·pe′ste·se, form of a·phi′ste·mi) followers. The Greek Septuagint uses the term at Genesis 14:4 with reference to such a rebellion. However, in the Christian Greek Scriptures it is used primarily with regard to religious defection; a withdrawal or abandonment of the true cause, worship, and service of God, and hence an abandonment of what one has previously professed and a total desertion of principles or faith. The religious leaders of Jerusalem charged Paul with such an apostasy against the Mosaic Law.
It may properly be said that God’s Adversary was the first apostate, as is indicated by the name Satan. He caused the first human pair to apostatize. (Ge 3:1-15; Joh 8:44) Following the Flood, there was a rebellion against the words of the God of Noah. (Ge 11:1-9) Job later found it necessary to defend himself against the charge of apostasy on the part of his three supposed comforters. (Job 8:13; 15:34; 20:5) In his defense Job showed that God grants no audience to the apostate (Job 13:16), and he also showed the hopeless state of one cut off in apostasy. (Job 27:8; compare also Elihu’s statement at 34:30; 36:13.) In these cases the Hebrew noun cha·neph′ is used, meaning “[one] alienated from God,” that is, an apostate. The related verb cha·neph′ means “be inclined away from the right relation to God,” or “pollute, lead to apostasy.”—LexiconinVeterisTestamentiLibros, by L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Leiden, 1958, p. 317.
I don't know about you guys, but I personally take exception to someone telling me that I am (like Satan) an adversary of God, and inclined away from true worship. Surely, to accept that we are "apostates", means that we are sub-consciously accepting that Jehovah's Witnesses have the true faith (as we have deviated from it), and that we have become enemies of God? Shouldn't we be actively distancing ourselves from the word "apostate" instead of (as I have seen on some threads on this site) embracing it?
Was Martin Luther an apostate for splitting with the Roman Catholic church? Doubtless the catholics viewed him that way, but that is not how history remembers him, nor how he would wish to be remembered.
Surely if any group of people are apostates, it is those who are asking people to believe something other than what is in the scriptures (thereby deviating from truth), and to do so on pain of being separated from their families etc if they deviate after they have been baptised?
I'm interested to hear your thoughts...