How Can I declare someone as an Apostate?

Not that anyone should want to, but if a Presbyterian goes Baptist, he is NOT an apostate (Okay Scottish covenanters).  He is what I came up with…

Primary Essentials (Nature and work of Christ) – Cannot deny and be Christian since they are explicitly stated as required in scripture.

Secondary Essentials – (Nature of God) Cannot deny and be Christian.

  • God exists as a Trinity of persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (See Trinity)
  • Virgin Birth of Jesus – relates to incarnation of Christ as God and man.

Primary Non-Essentials (Bible, Church ordinances, and practice) – Denial does not void salvation, yet principles are clearly taught in scripture.  Denial suggests apostasy….

  • Male eldership and pastorate
  • Fidelity in marriage in heterosexual relationships
  • The condemnation of homosexuality
  • Inerrancy of Scripture

Secondary Non-Essentials – does not affect one’s salvation relationship with God.  Debated within Christianity.  Denial or acceptance does not suggest apostasy.

  • Baptism for adults or infants
  • Predestination, election, and free will
  • Communion every week, monthly, or quarterly, etc.
  • Saturday or Sunday Worship
  • Worship with or without instruments, traditional or contemporary.
  • Pretribulation rapture, midtribulation rapture, posttribulation rapture.
  • Premillennialism, amillennialism, and post millennialism.
  • Continuation or cessation of the charismatic gifts
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8 Comments on “How Can I declare someone as an Apostate?”

  1. gjware says:

    Michael, how does your listing reflect the notion that apostasy would seem to require some form of ‘falling away’, in the sense that these were truths once held and are now being disowned.
    Is that where the difference between being apostate and heretic arises?

  2. Just was simply making an observation of some areas today that one easily calls someone an apostate, but what they hold to has nothing to do with their salvation.

  3. Neil says:

    Love this very simple and accurate list. Thank you so much for posting.

  4. Chris says:

    YAY! I can still be pre-trib raptured! 😉

  5. Colin Samul says:

    Mike,
    I like your list, and the categories and distinctions. I would add one more nuance though. A apostate/heretic is someone who goes against and propagates teachings which go against Scripture and the dogmas contained there in, AND who are continuing to do so in the face of rebukes and corrections. We want to make sure that we are not calling the Christian stay at home mom who doesn’t quite know how to articulate the Trinity in an orthodox way as an apostate/heretic. Also even those doctrines which you put in the 3rd non-essential list, which I agree are not essential, if denied repeatedly upon being shown them plainly from Scripture may indicate a far deeper heretical doctrine the person is holding to. Anyways, good post bro!

  6. If you really want to believe in such false hope, sure.

  7. Colin Samul says:

    ummm sorry I don’t get it Dewalt? Was that aimed at me?

  8. did I reply to you?


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