Are you an "apostate"?

by cedars 34 Replies latest jw friends

  • cedars

    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...

  • mummatron

    Apostate is THEIR term for US. Most of us have adopted it in a very 'tongue in cheek', ironic manner as many of us don't believe the Bible (or the NWT at least) as the word of God. So it's all water off a duck's back really.

  • sizemik
    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?

    Only if what they do bothers you . . . frankly, I don't give a shit what they choose to do

  • cedars

    Thanks mummatron, you make a good point. I've noticed that many on here don't believe in the bible anymore. I'm not quite at that stage yet! If they want to apply the term in a "tongue in cheek" way to themselves, then, you're right, it makes no odds. However if you're still serious about the bible and what it contains, surely you would object to being called an apostate given the meaning of the word?

  • bigmac

    yep--i was branded apostate by the congregation i had attended---in 1981--i wasnt there--& i had no idea what it meant when i found out--none of them had the courtesy to tell me to my face--or write to me.

    still if it means i am publicly recognised as NOT being a jw ( lower case deliberate )---then its fine by me.

  • Twitch

    By definition, I am an apostate but only from some people's viewpoint.

    I, however, don't care for their opinions and it only defines me in their world, which is small and limited in scope.

    Why choose to define myself with a term from an idealogy I no longer believe?

    There are a multitude of labels to choose from, why stick with theirs?


  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    I'm not an apostate.

    I can never be an apostate.

    I have never been a baptised anything, let alone JW.

  • Heaven

    Hi cedars... I suppose I am. I was never baptized as a JW though, but I have definitely rejected my parent's religion and God. There are so many different ideas of what God is. I do not believe God is a supernatural, spirit, 'Sky Daddy' watching my every move and will smite me once I'm done with my physical body on this planet. However the Bible does state that God is love. To me, this is about the only thing I am willing to entertain about God. I have known and seen love so I know it is real. I am not an apostate of love. But I do not believe what I have been spoon fed by those in authority positions over me as a child about who or what God is.

    To me, religion is a man-made ideal using a tool created by man to control and manipulate others. This whole thing does not sit well with me. I definitely 'stand away' from religion and the God of the Christian Holy Bible.

    Does this make me an apostate? Yes. Do I care? No. A label only has power when you allow it to have power over you. I do not. To me, apostate is just a word. I would be more offended if you called me unprincipled or unkind or unloving.

  • fade_away

    I kinda like the idea of being evil like the Devil.

    It actually feels good to be feared. Haha! But I'm agnostic. I'm in a limbo where some parts of the Bible make sense but most of it doesn't, so the jw concept of good and evil is lost in me. I like to be "evil" from a jw point of view. Not evil from a moral point of view. (for example, I wouldn't kill and/or rape anyone) The WT idea of an Apostate is someone who goes against the WT. If that's the case then yes....I'm a proud Apostate.

  • Borgia

    Being an apostate is something that every person is. Who never changed his mind in the face of evidence and logic?

    Reading history is one long row of people changing their minds.

    What is wrong with that.

    As for: Acts 5:37, concerning Judas the Galilean who “drew off” (a·pe′ste·se, form of a·phi′ste·mi) followers; So what?If apostasy is such a horrible thinkg, why did God instigate it by confusing the languages? Gen 11? From this, all tribal, religious, national dissent draws.



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