Is it possible to unknowingly be an apostate?


#1

My background as a former Jehovah’s Witness who rejects quite a few teachings of theirs has me labeled an apostate in their eyes.

Since that religion has been the only one I have associated with in my life time, I have been going through my own course of action to study other Christian faiths from a doctrinal and historical aspect. I hope this some day allows me to find the truth so I can accurately worship God.

My greatest fear is I will become an apostate in the Lord’s eyes. Is this possible to do unknowingly? Was it the case with Hymenaeus and Philetus? That their faith was shipwrecked and they stumbled into apostasy? Or does it require deliberate actions knowingly going against God?

I can’t outright accept Catholicism or any Protestant faith at this time. I learned a hard lesson growing up to not blindly accept what I was being taught is the truth. This has made me tentative and questioning about all that I study. But I do not want to be an apostate.


#2

Surely an apostate is one who rejects the teaching of a particular religion. Thus, this status as an apostate relates only to that religion and your relationship to it. This does not make you an apostate to the God you are faithfully searching for. It is the Catholic belief from the Bible that He is ceaselessly searching for you as well.
Study all the religions that attract you in your intellectual search, but pray constantly to God that he brings you to Him in whatever Faith you eventually embrace.
As a Catholic, I can’t help suggesting that you look at His original Church through the Bible and a look at the Catholic catechism as part of your overall search.
But in your searching you will never be an apostate from your Creator. God bless.


#3

You can see the word apostle in the word apostate. An apostate person is one who accepted the faith of the apostles and then denied it, or abandoned it.

You are not apostate never having accepted the apostolic faith.

An apostle is one who is sent. You can see the word postal there. You send a letter.

Jesus chose His apostles and sent them to all the nations of the world to teach the things He taught them.

He made promises to them. You can read them in scripture. He said He would send them the Holy Spirit who would lead them into all truth and be with them until the end of time.

The doctrines His Church believes are true and always have been. He guarantees their teaching from heaven according to scripture. This means the things the Church believes and teaches have always been true and always will be.

If you want to find the true Church look for the one whose doctrines have never changed, meaning from believing one thing no then denying it, becoming apostate.


#4

Ah, those are rather weird etymologies. Have you actually studied Greek and Latin?


#5

Praying for you…


#6

Yes, but not extensively.

One of the four marks of the Church is she is apostolic. It means sent. An apostle is one who is sent. There is a difference between apostle and disciple. A disciple is a follower.

An epistle is, take a guess.


#7

Then perhaps you would know that “apostle” and “postal” are not related.

And “apostle” and “apostate” share a prepositional prefix, not the connotation you are ascribing to them.


#8

:popcorn:


#9

I feel like it is a possibility, such as in the case of the early Christian writer Origen, who was anathematized after he had been dead a few hundred years. Another thought is that he is fine because what he taught was not considered bad theology at the time he was writing. Either way, an interesting topic.


#10

A Christian who subsequently rejects Christianity is an apostate.
As JW’s are not Christians they are not apostates. They are simply part of a false religion.


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.