Reflections on Newsboys' George Perdikis and the Apostasy of Christian Believers

The news that George Perdikis, co-founder of The Newsboys, has renounced the Lord and proclaimed himself an atheist brought shock and pain to believers who have been blessed by their music for years. But now, rather than attacking him as if he somehow sinned against us, we should be praying for his restoration and asking why it is that so many are falling away.

Of course, the good news is that worldwide Jesus continues to build His church and the gates of hell are not prevailing against it, and there are far more coming to faith than falling away from the faith.

But in America and Europe, the large number of those turning away from the Lord or simply declaring themselves "nones" (having no religious affiliation) is a matter of real concern.

Why, then, are so many backsliding?

1) Many were not truly saved in the first place.

One pastor once said, "The reason some people backslide is because they never frontslid." How true!

This is especially relevant in contemporary Christian music (CCM), where it is an open secret that many gifted performers are just that: gifted performers, no more, no less.

I always give the benefit of the doubt and believe the best about people whom I don't know personally, and so, if a person claims to know the Lord, I'll take them at their word unless there is proof to the contrary. In the same way, if a band claims to be Christian, I'll assume they are.

At the same time, I'm aware of claims that only 1 in 10 "Christian" bands is really Christian, while others within the industry have told me that they witnessed lots of drug use, drinking and immorality among the "Christian" performers.

In fact, one former CCM executive told me that he saw just as much drug abuse and immorality in "Christian" music circles as he did in secular music circles, the exception being that in the "Christian" circles, the performers tried to hide it more.

I hope this is not true today, but for obvious reasons, we should have serious concerns.

2) Many have shallow roots.

In the parable of the sower (found in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8), Jesus spoke about the seeds that "fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away" (Matt. 13:5-6).

He then explained the meaning to His disciples: "As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away" (Matt. 13:20-21).

There are many shallow-root believers in the body today, having come to faith through a superficial, what's-in-it-for-me kind of message, having no depth to their faith and commitment and no depth in their personal relationship with God.

Yet in today's spiritual climate in America, they might go on for a while without ever encountering "tribulation or persecution" because of the Word. In other words, things are so compromised in so many parts of the church of America that a compromised believer with shallow roots might fit in just fine with both the world and the church.

In contrast, a serious believer will quickly encounter opposition from the world, and sometimes from the professing church as well. Those with deep roots will endure and thrive. Those with shallow roots will not.

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