A Convenient Definition of an Apostate
In fundamental circles it is popular to teach that an "apostate" is one who is lost with little hope of redemption. This definition makes "apostate" synonymous with "reprobate." Perhaps this definition keeps the continually-backsliding fundamentalists of our day from ever having the ugly word used to describe them, since they are saved. However the dictionary definition of an apostate is very applicable to the modern fundamentalist. Webster's 1828 dictionary defines an apostate as "one who has forsaken the...profession to which he before adhered."
In an earlier blog we discussed the unfortunate truth that modern-day fundamentalists lack personal separation at least partially because they never learned it sufficiently from fundamentalist generations past. God help us to correct this long standing weakness in fundamentalism.
Nevertheless there is a more current issue in fundamentalism for which the old fundamentalists deserve less blame. This issue is the lack of ecclesiastical separation. The former generations were strong in their ecclesiastical separation, and taught it at least to some degree. Yet today many fundamentalists ignore the teaching of their predecessors, and the convictions they themselves once had about separating from neo-evangelicals and neo-orthodox preachers and groups Increasingly fundamentalists openly admit they're learning from compromising churches and preachers and authors. They're comfortable in a modern "Christian" bookstore or mega-church family activity. Of course they justify it by saying these groups are "reaching people", but they ignore the fact that they're "reaching people" like malls , movies and mass media reach people, with no power of God to change them from spiritual death to life.
There is a reason Paul said in Romans 16:17, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." Fellowship with false teachers is contrary to the doctrine of God's words and example of old fundamentalists. And since many modern fundamentalists know this, and purposely left their position, they fit the definition, according to Webster, of an apostate.