Why Schools Go Apostate
My heart breaks when I see the pernicious infective force of apostasy taking over our formerly fundamentalist Pharisaical institutions of higher learning. Everyone knows that Princeton, Harvard, and Yale all began as seminaries but were contaminated by the liberalizing forces of modernism and apostasy, until now they are blasphemers of the God they once used to proclaim. But what of more recent slides to apostasy? We have all seen how schools like Baylor and Wake Forest and Southern Methodist University have all embraced liberalism, but what of formerly staunch schools like Liberty, Cedarville, and Bob Jones University? Is there any hope for them? Thanks to Dr. Don Jasmin’s new book, Why Do Fundamental Schools Go Apostate, we now have an answer.
And it’s not good.
While Jasmin focus his attention on the Northfield-Mount Hermon school established by that great paragon or preachers Dwight L. Moody, the lessons are no less ominous for any school wanting to stand firm on its fundamentalist foundation. Despite the fact that Moody was a marvelous example of evangelizing zeal, his legacy suffered from the little compromises he allowed to creep into his ministry. Some of the flaws Jasmin cites in his book include:
- Moody ignored the emerging controversies of his day such as the new teaching of evolution and higher criticism.
- Moody refused to condemn the compromisers of his day.
- Moody preached only a positive message of God’s grace and love, neglecting the important negatives of God’s word.
- The school suffered a loss of spiritual discernment after Moody’s death and focused its attention on academic pursuits rather than spiritual ones.
- The school sought accreditation and academic respectability at the expense of its hold on The Truth.
The warnings for us are very clear. Fundamentalist schools of today should embark on a three step program I would like to outline here in order to prevent the slide into apostasy and to preserve their purity.
Stamp out the spirit of compromise with unrelenting vigor. Even if you find yourself standing alone for The Truth, it is essential that you take a stand. For example, in our city, as large as it is, we are the only church that stands for the whole Truth of God’s word. In fact, in our whole state, we are the last bastion fighting the rising tide of compromise, neo-evangelicalism, and caving in to worldly standards. Even though the prospects for the Pharisee denomination look grim with only a handful of churches in the whole country holding out for The Truth, we believe that God is faithful and will reward us for our unwillingness to bend even the slightest inch in compromising the word of God or permitting compromisers to remain members of our denomination.
Place an appropriate Biblical emphasis on the negatives. Joel Osteen and Rick Warren can build their huge megachurches on the power of positive preaching, never speaking out against sin or doctrinal error, but that is the surest way to apostasy. Some would say that Pharisee churches need a proper balance of positive and negative messages. It is my heartfelt conviction and understanding that preaching a message composed solely of godly, biblical negatives will result in strong positives. The emphasis on all the things we are against, whether it be doctrinal errors of even the slightest type or a willingness to allow worldly standards of dress or conduct to invade the lives of otherwise pious believers, guarantees that everything that is left is positive and will be incorporated into the spiritual lives of saints.
Shun the pursuit of academic excellence. Every single formerly fundamentalist school that has ever sought some form of respectability through accreditation has invariably compromised the faith to get it. They were willing to sell out the purity of The Truth for the favor of the world. We are living in a day and age where we are watching formerly fundamentalist schools like Cedarville University, Liberty University, and Bob Jones University sell out in order to curry favor with the academic community. I am convinced that academic rigor actually causes apostasy. It is better to pursue a thorough knowledge of God and His Truth than it is to pursue an understanding of the world in which we live. After all, this world is not our home, we are only passing through. Of what use is more thorough knowledge of a place that God is going to destroy in fiery judgments anyway?
In essence, the key to maintaining a fundamentalist Pharisee outlook on life is to remain ignorant. What some would call academic excellence or eduction is nothing more than worldly wisdom. It is only human pride that takes umbrage at being called ignorant and unlearned by the worldly-wise. Like the apostle Paul, we should count a worldly education as nothing but dung and make ourselves fools for Christ’s sake. This means we do not trust secularized, compromising institutions of higher learning to educate ourselves and our children. We only trust to our non-accredited Pharisee Bible Colleges and seminaries to do that for us. And if Jasmin’s warning holds true, not even all of them can be trusted.