(Backsliding; Gk., literally from standing). A total lapsing from principles or faith. The NT mentions as causes of apostasy: the putting away of faith and a good conscience (1 Ti 1:19, 20); listening to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (1 Ti 4:1; 2 Ti 4:4); shallowness (Lk 8:13); lack of spiritual insight (Jn 6:6365); love of the world (2 Ti 4:10; Mt 19:22). The OT gives, among others, the following reasons: absence of spiritual leaders (Ex 32:1); evil company (1 Ki 11:4); worldly success (Ps 78:57; Hos 6:4; Zph 1:6).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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