Understanding the “Great Falling Away”

In 2010 I wrote the following in “Visions of the Coming Days: What to Look for and How to Prepare”. That book was published in 2011 (Chosen Books) and was largely ignored until it was promoted as part of my interview on Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural”. Here’s the quote…

“I find myself appalled concerning a trend I have seen developing in the body of Christ for several years now. This trend propels us toward a crisis in the charismatic Christian world that may well derail and destroy a great many followers before they can join the coming move of the Spirit into the reality of the kingdom of God. A set of cracks has already opened up in renewal circles that will quietly widen into division over the course of the five to ten years to come. The center of the chasm consists of conflict over the gradual erosion of central Christian doctrines, acceptance of extra-biblical revelation as fact and the proliferation of aberrant ministry practices. To a lesser degree it involves questions involving sin in leadership, acceptance of it and conditions of restoration for fallen leaders.

I believe much of this to be part of the Great Apostasy taking root in places we never expected. In ways few concerned revival leaders have yet spoken of openly, a line is being drawn in the sand by those who remain committed to solid grounding in our historic biblical faith. I believe a remnant will stand and remain steadfast—the revealed sons and daughters of God—but significant damage will be done before the dust settles.”

“Visions of the Coming Days”

Today we see an accelerating stream of influential leaders declaring their departure from the faith, the most recent being worship leader and Hillsong songwriter Marty Sampson. This comes in lockstep with a list of top Christian leaders compromising or abandoning core doctrines of the faith, as well as essential moral principles of human sexuality. Why is this happening? For many years I have seen this coming and have warned concerning it, although I’ve been little heard.

Currently, a great demonic pressure is leading many long time believers to doubt and question their faith. For my part, I have made a non-negotiable covenant with my God. I will never allow that covenant to be renegotiated. I will seek deeper understanding and I will learn new things, but the foundational core of it all will never change. That’s what covenant is about, but too many have little or no understanding of what covenant means. Too few spiritual fathers and mothers have passed that inheritance to their children.

The roots and causes of the falling away are many, but a significant part of it is a demonically inspired culture that conditions the thinking and feeling of both the world and the body of Christ. In the church, we have allowed this relentless conditioning to shape and affect both our practices and our understanding of core doctrines and principles.

Much of it is fed by an off-balance emphasis on experience at the expense of solid Bible study that would lead to real intimacy with Jesus and the Father. In at least two of my books, I have written that if your focus is on being supernatural, you will end up in shipwreck, but if your focus is on intimacy with the Father, you’ll end up being supernatural. Intimacy with the Father and Jesus begins with absorbing their mindset through the eternal Word of God, and making certain it remains grounded there.

Our culture of entertainment has contributed significantly to this state of affairs as it conditions us to become passive observers of worship, as if we were attending a concert, while we expect a band of performers to make us feel something. True worship is participatory, whether or not the musicians who lead it display any great level of excellence.

Conditioned by a culture of self, we’ve become consumers, as opposed to active worshipers of God and lovers of those He loves. When we become mere consumers, then meaning and purpose get lost, and, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18). We have been called as a nation of priests (I Peter 2), actively moving in the gifts of the Spirit bestowed on each one of us to declare the wonders of the God we serve, but we’ve become too much mere receivers of something someone else dishes out, seeking to be served, as opposed to serving. This leads to disappointment, while disappointment leads to apostasy.

Some of those who have left the faith have done so in reaction to the Pharisaical side of Christianity that cries out against sin and heretical doctrines without a balancing foundation in the Father’s heart of perfect love. The tone is too often harsh and loveless. How often have we failed to stand by our moral standards and principles while at the same time loving those Jesus so consistently loved? Zaccheus, the thieving tax collector? The prostitute washing His feet with her tears and drying them with her hair? The woman taken in adultery whom He saved from condemnation and stoning and simply admonished to sin no more?

Have we learned to speak the truth in real love that invites and enables repentance?

I can’t help but think that fatherlessness contributes significantly to all this. Fatherless sons and daughters rise to positions of influence on the strength of charisma and gifting, but fall for lack of a foundation in identity communicated through the presence of fathers, both physical and spiritual. How many fatherless pastors function as mere motivational speakers or CEOs of spiritual corporations? Fathers impart life and identity. They’re pregnant with the lives of those they lead, like Paul who found Himself in labor, pregnant with the life of the Galatian church until Christ would be formed in them. My earthly father was a flawed man to be sure, but I am gloriously bound by the identity he imparted to me and the faith in which he rooted our family.

The Great Apostasy prophesied in II Thessalonians 2:3 is clearly under way, but a remnant of laid down lovers of God is also emerging, driven by a hunger for the genuine. They long for the Father’s heart, hunger for the truly genuine and seek His eternal Word for answers.

Don’t be derailed by those who fall away, no matter how big they seem to be. Stand your ground and find a revelation of the one true God.