“2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties.
3 Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, 4 is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, 5 and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
6 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; 8 but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.
9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Tm 6:2-12)
Apostasy in Christianity is the rejection of tenets of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian. The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία”) meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. It has been described as “a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, the beliefs of Christianity. For current examples of apostasy we need look no further than our local parish and ask the question about how folks “feel” about the Real Presence of Christ, Body Soul and Divinity, in the Holy Eucharist.
Another example would be the belief in the need for a regular approach (monthly?) to the sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession for forgiveness of sins lest we eat and drink damnation upon ourselves by receiving the Eucharist while being not in a state of grace occasioned by not having attended confession and therefore having mortal sins on our soul.
So, first, to believe in the Real Presence, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, and secondly, to eat and drink this Body and Blood worthily, that is without sin upon you and in a state of grace. 1 Corinthians 23-32 is in every bible of every Christian denomination:
23 For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink it , in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern not the body. 30 For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep. 31 But if we discerned ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians: 23-32)
Presumably this is an important tenet of of all Christian belief … and yet, Christ Himself instituted the sacrament of Confession, and taught us that we needed to go to confession to be in a state of grace, to worthy to receive His Body and Blood …
19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (John 20: 19-23)
This scriptural fact exists in all Christian Bibles and the validity of the sacraments is at the root of the importance of the Apostolic succession. These days, there is no such thing as confession, or most other sacraments, in most “Christian” denominations and even very few “Catholics” avail themselves on the sacrament even when it is available … in many places it is difficult for Catholics to get the sacrament because it has fallen out of favour with some clergy and is only available by special appointment.
Back in the 1800’s it was still considered important, an essential requirement of Christian belief, that a Christian church could trace the Apostolic succession from St. Peter to the existing hierarchy, the “High Church” of whichever denomination. The Apostolic succession is required in order to have “valid” sacraments. No Apostolic succession therefore meant no valid sacraments. The Oxford Movement began in the 1830’s and was championed by John Henry Cardinal Newman.
The Movement was begun by Anglican theologians who attempted to trace the Apostolic succession from St. Peter to the existing Anglican High Church. The more they studied, the more the theologians realized that they were unable to do this. Their examination of the Anglican faith found that it lacked the full deposit of faith found only in the Catholic Church. some of these theologians, including Newman went on to follow the Truth and converted to the Catholic Faith.
The remainder who chose not to follow the evidence where it led were rewarded with worldly positions and honors and advancement in the “new” belief’s of the new “Non-Apostolic” churches. In other words, they became officers and practitioners of the new “State” religion and took their marching orders not from God and Rome but rather from whoever the “Head of State” happened to be at the time, rather like the way modern day Iran and Iraq and Saudi Arabia and others do it.
Very few modern “Christian” churches (only about 23 out of approximately 900 “Christian” churches ) can legitimately claim Apostolic succession and without it there are no licit sacraments available to their believers. Now in 2019 we can clearly see 23 distinct and authentic manifestations of the Catholic Church comprising the Latin Church and the 22 Eastern Catholic Churches all in communion with an unbroken history from Christ himself.
Looking out from that 2000 year old core of belief we see from the 16th century on a huge scattering as each man who rejected “Truth” started his own personal version of “truth” and pursued his own dream. The current landscape of culture and morality is now littered with the wreckage of virtually all the original mainstream Protestant sects and at present we can count 902 new sects including over 200 non-trinitarian sects, all of whom claim to have the one truth, and which arise and vanish like the leaves of summer.
Can they all be unique purveyors of truth and light? It does seem a stretch when considered in the bright light of day through the lens of history with the wreckage mounting all around us. Please visit: here for the latest count. This is all apostasy … through and through.
Christian Truth is either all true, or none of it is for any sect, it is either all true, or is just another long running con game practiced by various gangs throughout history and if that is the actual truth then the World’s claim that Christianity is evil is true … it is all just “relative” … “I’m OK, your OK” and whatever you feel is good is good as long as it is what you want. And we are just as evil as the world.
For a more cosmopolitan international flavor of Apostasy we have the current episcopal Summit, the Amazon Summit, where we are being told that we must take moral and spiritual instruction from the animist Amazon jungle tribes. This current “Amazon Summit,” is seeing all kinds of ecclesiastical enormities, being committed by amateur Rousseauians and Neo-Marxists in the pope’s “progressive” entourage., his holiness’s “delegation”. But then, we have seen “liberation theology” in action before and I am confident it will burn out again eventually.
Just in passing, the punishment for apostasy in the Catholic Church was, and perhaps still is, excommunication which is basically a formal Canon Law acknowledgement that the apostate is no longer a Catholic and no longer can partake of the sacraments nor can they legally present themselves as Catholic. In our modern day, excommunication is no longer much in use as in many cases the apostates are actually senior members of the Curia and even the ones who would organize the excommunication process. It has become “unfashionable” and as David Warren recently mentioned: “quaint”.
The current commonality is that many people, perhaps even most people, who claim the name of “Catholic” are in reality smorgasbord Catholics who do not adhere to all the beliefs of the Catholic Church … only the ones they like or are comfortable with, the “nice” beliefs that don’t involve any real sacrifice, that don’t involve taking a stand against the deviant beliefs of our politically correct polite society. In other words they are “Apostate” Christians or maybe even non-Christian. These days in the “Christian” world being “excommunicated” carries about the same weight as being “unfriended” on Facebook.
In Islam, things are still taken quite seriously. This is one of the more admirable characteristics of Islam … Real Belief … In Islam the Penalty for Apostasy seems to indicate a more serious view. Maliki – allows up to ten days for recantation, after which the apostate must be killed. Both men and women apostates deserve the death penalty according to the traditional view of Sunni Maliki fiqh. The verses 33-34 of Surah al-Ma’ida of the Qur’an[Quran 5:33] specify punishment for “those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and strive to spread disorder in the land”:
“The punishments of those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and strive to spread disorder in the land are to execute them in an exemplary way or to crucify them or to amputate their hands and feet from opposite sides or to banish them from the land. Such is their disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom save those who repent before you overpower them; you should know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Ever Merciful.”
The verbal noun form (i.e. hirabah) is frequently used in classical and modern books of Islamic jurisprudence, but neither the word hirabah nor the root verb haraba occurs in the Quran. (Yuhaaribun is the form used in Quran 5:33-4.) Blasphemy (sabb-al-nabi) of the Prophet Muhammad, his daughter, or his family is a crime in Iran, and a blasphemer would be found guilty of apostasy as well by default. Blasphemy is punishable by death or imprisonment. For all other hudud crimes, the fourth offense would be a capital offense (carrying the death penalty), unless the person repents. the Religion of Peace, indeed, for all will be peaceful when all believe.
If one looks closely at what might transpire in our society if “all believe” what Christ actually taught, then the “all will be peaceful when all believe” rings true as well. “Imagine” as world where there was no self love, no self interest, no “What’s in it for me”, where all people “Love one another as I have loved you”.