Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. - 2Thessalonians 2:3-4 (NKJV)
As the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) apostate church continues to fester and grow in this country, more and more people are becoming disillusioned by it all. The end result is many are questioning their faith. Many prominent Christian celebrities have renounced their faith, including the recent admission by the famous Christian rapper Brady Goodwin Jr., also known as "Phanatik." Goodwin is no lightweight as it was his experience in seminary that led him down to road to being unsure in what he has placed his faith. His long journey has just begun whereas someone like Lecrae seems to have finally come to a position of understanding. Lecrae was near infamous years ago for his own doubt and was excoriated by the seeker friendly industrial complex for doing so. Nevertheless, he appears to have finally arrived at the truth and that truth is that one can realize they have misplaced their beliefs in the apostate church system and actually have their faith strengthened.
While the NAR continues to pursue a revival that the bible never promised, they continue to ignore the key verses which do promise a great end times falling away. The miscalculation by many is that people like Lecrae and Phanatik represent this falling away when the reality is that the church they have left IS the great apostasy. They have chosen wisely to leave what they find incompatible with scripture. They possibly see Matthew 7 and those who will say "Lord Lord" when they stand before Christ as the embodiment of the apostate church system they once were a part of. To them I say kudos and congratulations. Welcome to the revolution. Welcome to the remnant church that realizes we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling and that few are those who find the narrow way. So, what was so egregious that has caused this great kerfuffle? A tweet from Lecrae on January 19th read as follows:
"Once upon a time I thought I was done with Christianity. But the reality was I was just done with the institutional, corporatized, gentrified, politicized, culturally exclusive version of it," - Lecrae
This quote is spot on and it is reassuring that Lecrae's journey has led him to this great realization. His problem as it turned out was not with Christianity but rather with the imposter that sits in her place in this country. His problem is not with Peter or Paul but with Hillsong and Bethel. His problem is not with the gospel of Jesus Christ but rather with the gospel of white grievance and greed that sits in the pulpit across this land every week. The problem is with a false church system that aligns itself with one political party, excusing all of their evil because they have determined it to be of a lesser variety than the other evil political party. That would be bad enough but it does not even acknowledge the evil they support. Instead, they convey a false sense of righteousness to them that they do not deserve and have not earned.
Is the apostate church institutionalized today? Absolutely. The apostate church is a club and not everyone is invited. This goes back to the Rick Warren teaching in the Purpose Driven Church guide for pastors when he teaches them about blessed subtraction. Dissent with the cult of personality pastor is not allowed. What is worse is that if you dare to leave that church, you will probably find yourself ostracized by the very people you called friend. I know countless people, including myself, that this happened to. Is the apostate church corporatized? Yes! Church today is a billion dollar business. The industrial complex includes the music industry as we see mega international churches supported by their million-dollar music entities such as Hillsong, Jesus Culture (Bethel), Elevation Music, Planetshakers; to name a few. Churches also promote their own educational institutions. Bethel has their own school and this is becoming the model for many other apostate churches. The pastors themselves become the most desired key speakers at other churches or the myriad of conventions and leadership conferences the complex puts on every year. Don't believe me? Try booking TD Jakes to speak, even virtually, for less than $100,000. Nearly every pastor with a sliver of notoriety is cashing in on motivational book deals, seen as the path to untold riches. The result of this corporatization is the need for richer congregants, leading to the gentrification of the church as well, as Lecrae pointed out. At the national event known as "The Renewal", this past week, the price tag for sponsorship packages went up to $100,000. That did get you stage time and personal photos with the Christian celebrity speakers.
The final two criticisms from Lecrae's tweet go hand in hand. Is there any doubt that the modern apostate church is completely intertwined with politics? Is there any escape from the naked politicization from the pulpit these days? The direct inference or even proclamation is that if you do not vote their way than you do not share their faith. You know what? They are right. The problem for them is their faith is not in Jesus Christ but with the princes and rulers of this age. Go back a year and see Lecrae was the featured performer at a get out the vote rally in Georgia that was organized by candidate Raphael Warnock, who happens to be a Democrat. Never mind that he is a pastor himself - he is a democrat. The result of this was for Charlie Kirk, speaking at Jack Hibbs' church to declare that Lecrae should never be allowed to perform in Christian churches again. For the unaware, Charlie Kirk is a political animal who runs Turning Point USA, which is a rabid Republican organization. The fact that he was speaking at a mega church goes to Lecrae's observation of the politicization of the apostate church. The fact that this white guy in Kirk calls for "canceling" Lecrae for having the temerity to help the culturally diverse poor get out to vote speaks to his charge about the apostate church being culturally exclusive.
Lecrae shared that he tweeted this because he continues to see professing Christians renounce their faith. Understanding where they were at he wanted to encourage them because as he said, "sometimes the problem is not with the faith; it's with the distortions of the faith,'" Amen to that. The result of this tweet? The industrial complex tried to send Lecrae a message by canceling one of his upcoming tour dates. Lecrae did not mention which venue canceled on him as punishment for daring to question the machine. He seems undeterred and is looking to rebook the event at a different location. Once again, congratulations to Lecrae for coming to the difficult place where you realize the error of your faith and are willing to correct it. Hopefully many will see and learn from his journey. Get off the broad path while you still have time.