Polemics Terms: Downgrade

What is Downgrade? Downgrade is a colloquial expression meant to convey a doctrinal dumbing-down or theological slide into apostasy. The term denotes a rapid decline in orthodoxy or the approval of heterodoxy that would not have been approved long before.
For well over one hundred years, Southern Baptists considered Campbellites a false and sub-Christian sect because of their teachings on baptismal justification, and the SBC Sunday School Board produced material to counter their false teaching. Now, Campbellites are recruited to attend SBC seminaries and Lifeway (formerly known as the SBC Sunday School Board) sells books from Campbellites in their retail outlets. Someone might say to that, “That’s Downgrade.”
Another example might be the Elephant Room debacle of 2012 in which notable evangelical leaders gave a proverbial “thumbs up” to TD Jakes, a Oneness Pentecostal and Prosperity Gospel preacher. Not believing in the Trinity (and its classical definition) was ruled a heresy at the Council of Nicaea, but modern day evangelical leaders failed to grasp the severity of Jakes’ errors (and his prosperity preaching was not addressed at all), endorsed him as a brother in Christ. Someone might rightly rule that, “Downgrade.”
“Downgrade,” as a colloquial expression, comes from the historical “Downgrade Controversy” of Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon’s magazine, The Sword and the Trowel, published a number of articles in 1887. The first several articles were written by Robert Schindler and later articles by Spurgeon himself, and they alleged that after a time of relative peace, the church-at-large had become complacent and watered-down their doctrine.
Schindler coined the term “Downgrade” in the first of those articles, when he claimed that (after giving a history of post-Reformation Europe to then modern day, churches and denominations were prone to get on “the down grade” (he used the term in two words rather than one) after abandoning key doctrines of the faith.
Listen to this message, preached in 2013, entitled “Modern Day Downgrade” at the 2013 Reformation Montana conference, which was widely listened to around the country and played on numerous Christian radio programs.


Bringing you discernment news and commentary from a biblical, polemical perspective means it is tough out there on social media. We’re constantly getting kneecapped and constrained by tech companies who find our fidelity to the scripture and pursuit of truth to be intolerable, resulting in our reach being severely throttled.

For this reason, we ask you please consider supporting us a few different ways. The first, by liking and following our new Facebook page, our home where we share new posts and interact with our members. The second, by following and retweeting our Twitter page. The third, by signing up for our newsletter below.

And last, through direct support. You can catch our free weekly episodes of the Polemics Report by subscribing at BTWN. If you like what you hear and desire to hear more, you can get the VIP full-length version for only $5.95 per month on Patreon. Also, you get other freebies for additional monthly pledges.

Subscribe to us on Patreon here and support our ministry.

God bless!

Stay informed. Subscribe Today.

When you subscribe, please add newsletter@pulpitandpen.org to your contacts to ensure that your newsletter doesn’t go into your spam folder.

Enter your email address below…

Contact Us Donate

Facebook Comments
Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
Best Wordpress Adblock Detecting Plugin | CHP Adblock