Some Christian spokesmen have responded to Jan Markell by condemning her for criticizing fellow Christian leaders — and in particular for naming them.
But how is the person in the pew supposed to deal with apostasy if they are unaware of those who are spreading it? The Apostle Paul was certainly not reticent about identifying the apostate teachers in his day. He named Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20), Phygelus and Hermogenes (2 Timothy 1:15), Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Timothy 2:17) and Alexander the metalworker (2 Timothy 4:14). Paul even criticized Peter publicly for being hypocritical by living as a Gentile while insisting that Gentiles live as Jews (Galatians 2:11-14).
The critics always respond by quoting Matthew 7:1 which says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” This passage must be referring to the judgment of motives, not words and actions. The fact of the matter is that Christians have an obligation to judge words and actions because the Bible commands us to test everything by the Word (Galatians 1:8-9 and 1 John 4:1). It is impossible to test something without judging it.
Paul complimented the brethren in Berea for testing his teachings by the Word of God (Acts 17:10-11). Likewise, Jesus commended the Church in Ephesus for testing self-proclaimed “apostles” whom He called liars (Revelation 2:2).
Mike Oppenheimer, a Messianic Jew who has an apologetics ministry called “Let Us Reason,” has addressed this issue in detail. He has written, “To watch our spiritual family being misled is negligence and is absence of true compassion.”50 “True love” he adds, “is not silent when people are being misled, hurt or abused.” He concludes:51
It is right to expose error and to name those who are teaching error. Faithful messengers will warn the sheep of heresy, and when needed, identify them by name.
The Relationship to Our Nation
So, how does apostasy in the Church relate to the disintegration of our nation? Because the Church is supposed to stand for righteousness, condemn evil, call for repentance and preach the Gospel. Our society is falling apart because the Church has stopped doing these things. In its desire to be accepted by the world, the Church has gotten in bed with the world, embracing the world’s demand for tolerance of all kinds of evils.
Addressing this fact, Markell has written:52
God raised this…nation up for several reasons. We have been a Gospel light to the world…We have been Israel’s “off-and-on” ally. Our Christian heritage has made us a compassionate nation. But I see a nation pulling away from the one true God and giving a voice to those who hate God or who have a skewed view of Him.
As evidence of what she calls “the great falling away,” Markell printed a list in January of 2008 of events in 2007 that evidenced an abandonment of the Judeo-Christian consensus this nation was founded on:53
- The Congressional Gold Medal was granted to the Dalai Lama.
- A Hindu opened the U.S. Senate with a prayer.
- A Muslim delivered a prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- A nationwide emphasis was placed on interfaith gatherings.
- Atheists became increasingly aggressive in their attack on God and Christianity.
- President Bush stated that “all religions pray to the same God.”
- The lead story in US News & World Report at the end of 2007 was about Protestants returning to Catholicism.
Christian apostates are not the only ones Markell blames for America’s demise. Like the other prophetic voices God has raised up, she points to the proponents of Humanism, calling them “Masters of Deceit.”54
Despite all her passionate concerns about the Church and American society, Markell does not despair.
One of the fundamental themes that runs through all her articles is: “Things Aren’t Falling Apart — They Are Falling In Place!”55 This observation is based on the many Bible prophecies that state that the end times will be characterized by apostasy in the Church and immorality, violence and chaos in society (2 Thessalonians 2:3 and 2 Timothy 3:1-5). Jesus Himself said that when He returns, society will be as evil as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37).
With regard to “things falling into place,” Markell has declared:56
Humpty Dumpty is having a great fall, but secular mankind cannot figure out how to put him back together. They think new elections, new laws, new treaties and new regulations will fix everything! They are clueless that the secular path always leads to folly…
We have passed the tipping point. Let’s hang on a little longer and be salt and light and try to delay the decay. There are still some faithful shepherds in some of our pulpits…Nothing is falling apart. Everything is falling in place. More distress is coming, and it will be heart-stopping and breathtaking. Judgment is upon us.
But Markell rarely ever ends one of her articles on a negative note. She usually concludes by emphasizing that although the world is facing unprecedented turmoil, Christians have a glorious hope based on the promises of God. A typical ending for her is this one:57
While we may be on the brink of global chaos, the true believer can take comfort in the fact that we are also on the brink of Jesus’ glorious return.
50) Mike Oppenheimer, “To Defend the Truth,” www.letusreason.org/defend-truth.htm, page 3.
51) Ibid., page 4.
52) Jan Markell, “America Distances God,” January 3, 2008, www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=6221, page 1.
53) Ibid., pages 1-2.
54) Understanding the Times, “Who Are the Masters of Deceit?” by Jan Markell, November-December 2015, pages 4-5.
55) Understanding the Times, “Things Aren’t Falling Apart — They’re Falling in Place,” by Jan Markell, January-February 2015, page 1.
56) Understanding the Times, “The Sea and the Waves Roaring,” by Jan Markell, November-December 2016, page 2.