The Compromised Church – Introduction

by Mike Ratliff

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. (2 Timothy 3:1-9)

The discerning believer knows that something is “just not right” with the Church in America these days. He or she may not be able to pin down exactly what is bothering them, but red flags of warning are ever before them as they observe the American Church change radically at an ever-increasing rate. Even though some “Church leaders” claim that more are being brought into the kingdom than ever before, something is not right.

When I was a small child back in the 1950’s my Dad became a partner in a TV and Appliance business. Later he became the sole proprietor of it. When he first got started repairing those then new contraptions called Television sets, I was a preschooler with a limited vocabulary, but a very vivid imagination.

One day I was exploring the workbench area in the back of the store. The top of the workbench had the internal parts of several Televisions on it. I was watching my Dad solder some connections in one set as I overheard my Mother talking to a customer on the phone about their TV which my Dad was working on at that very moment. Next to where he was working was a little round can of some sticky stuff that he occasionally used on the tip of his soldering iron. I had no idea what it was, but it looked important. Then I overheard my mother tell the customer that their TV was “out of whack” and that it may be a few days before it would be ready.

My little four year old mind immediately made the connection between that sticky substance my Dad was using to fix the TV with the “whack” my Mother had said that it was out of. Therefore, my Dad was obviously putting the whack back into it to using his soldering iron. :-)

Of course, the little can did not contain a wonderful substance called “whack” that would make Televisions works again, but it was flux that cleaned the tip of the soldering iron. It was several years before I learned that there was no such thing as “whack,” but I thought my Dad must be pretty special since he was the only one who could put the whack back into all of those broken TV sets. :-)

This amusing little confession on my part really happened, but sadly it is also analogous to how most American believers view Christianity. They see their Christian leaders making bold moves to change their churches so they can be more culturally relevant and make the mistake of thinking that these “holy men” must know exactly what God wants them to do and are doing it. They must have prayed and sought the Lord’s will before they started to restructure their churches along secular lines didn’t they?

Sadly, many churches have been so radically altered by these pragmatic approaches to “doing church” that large numbers of loyal members of them have been forced to either conform to the new methods or told to leave if they didn’t like it. These sheep have been scattered by false shepherds, wolves in sheep’s clothing, who care nothing for the flock. They only care about themselves. They want big churches that draw the “unchurched” to come and not feel threatened or convicted by that old Gospel stuff.

In this series we will look at the slippery slope that many Christian leaders have found themselves on as they have adopted pragmatism in order to be “culturally relevant.” This slippery slope is made up of many decisions and actions which increase the secularization of a local church. If completed then the slippery slope becomes a one-way plunge into a form of “Church” that in no way conforms to the New Testament Church.

The American Church, for the most part, is “out of whack.” It has reached such a level of compromise that it will take God’s good work to restore and revive it. This series or study will, I pray, reveal the need for us to divorce ourselves from the world and its ways instead of embracing them and making them part of our churches. God is at work drawing His remnant out of the Compromised Church. I pray that you will become drunk and intoxicated with Him as you obediently do whatever He tells you to do.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™ Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.

15 thoughts on “The Compromised Church – Introduction

  1. Thanks Albert and terrilynn,

    Just remember, I am writing this series as I go. There may be gaps of days in order to get a post proofed and right and God glorifying. I do appreaciate your support though. It is exciting to be writing again.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  2. Someone more clever than I could use the television being ‘out of whack” story and parallel it to the “compromised church” being outside of (I cannot us “out of” as that would imply that it once was supplied with) the HOLY SPIRIT.

    I, too, am looking forward to this series.

    I am rejoicing in the LORD for the blessings I am receiving reading the postings on this blog. It is hard to believe my first read here was only about a week and a half ago. The filter of humanism is being eroded and much of my thinking is changing. As I spend time in the WORD I can increasingly see that the emphasis of all of scripture is God and HIS glory— not man and his need/want/happiness.

  3. Great comment Kim! I too am just another Pilgrim learning how to listen to God. That little story makes me laugh every time I think of it,but I knew that God would use it for HIs glory sometime. I never thought of using it this way.

    When I started praying for this series I knew it was going to be a contrast study between the genuine Church and the humanistic Church, but I cannot plan anologies like that. I probably write much differently than most writers. I write as I go. I outline, but as I write I pray and I listen. What comes through these fingers as I type is the direction I recieve. That’s not to say that I don’t have typos and left out words now and then. :-) God is a much better writer than I will ever be.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  4. Mike this is a timely and needed series. I look forward to it. The illustration was excellent! When the leaders jump on the band wagon of church growth…or are unwilling to speak out against it, then the members of the church do make the assumption that what ever is going on is ok, or worse… that it is God’s will. We have much to answer for in the American church. As we read these posts may God allow the truth of His Word to wash over us and cleanse our thinking, desires, and motives. So much of the “church” is taking in poison daily….thank you for faithfully seeking to bring us refreshing Living Water, through the truth of The Word of God!

  5. Thank you bruisedreed,

    Isn’t it interesting that we “debate truth.” Jesus came speaking the truth, but only those whom the Father had given to the Son believed Him. The fact that we believe should really bless our hearts, don’t you think? We beleive because God has done that wonderful work in our hearts so that we CAN believe.

    All genuine believer’s hearts should break about the condition of the American Church. It is so sad to see the secularzation of it. Repentance is being called for from the discerning, but I fear that just like Israel, their leaders are stiff necked, pridful and spriitually blind. Sad, very sad. We must pray that God will call His people out of the Great Harlot before He judges her.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  6. Mike states, “The fact that we believe should really bless our hearts, don’t you think? We beleive because God has done that wonderful work in our hearts so that we CAN believe.”

    Amen!!! It certainly does make us rejoice at the work of God. And it also humbles us. I think we, like Paul, should determined to know nothing except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.(1 Cor 2:2) And let us never forget this verse…Gal 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

    To God be all Glory!!!

  7. I cannot think of a more obvious character of a compromised church than a failure to obey God’s Word in public discipline of unrepentant sinning members. There seems to be in the book of Acts such a seriousness about the church because the church defended the heavy holiness of God and held the holiness bar quite high. M’Cheyne learned this too:

    http://spurgeon.wordpress.com/

    Thoughts??

    Tony

  8. Yes, Tony I agree with that. The Compromised Church won’t be gung ho in remaining Biblical in this area because of the fear of offending. Sad, really sad.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  9. There are many earthly reasons that the church has adopted some of the relevant strategies. Satanic deception, hyper-arenianism, humanism, are a few. But another one that is missed is the worship of America and the hedonistic American culture. America never has been and is not now a “Christian” nation, which seems to be an innocuous enough view, but when you see the cultural osmosis that has taken place inside the church you realize that America is a dangerous idol. Can you imagine the remnant Jews having a Babylonian flag in their synagogues? And worse yet, can you picture them placing their hands over their hearts and pledging their allegiance to it IN THE SANCTUARY? We are Americans because we live here, but our entire allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ. The culture that we now live in is one of the most carnal and blasphemous in history and we blend in. I have watched men who never showed any emotion in church concerning the Savior, weep when they played America the Beautiful on the 4th weekend. It is blatant idolatry and remember, these mega, seeker, purpose churches that you and I so strongly disagree with, would gladly join with the churches we agree with and “celebrate” America together. On that we ALL agree? I know, I’ve killed the red, white, and blue golden calf.

  10. Rick,

    The Messianic State is an idol for sure. Our number one loyalty must be to God. Jesus said that in comparison to our love for Him all other affections should be hate. That means we obey Him in all things even if that causes conflicts in any other relationship. That would include to King and country.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  11. Got here via. ‘Fishhawk’. Have read only the introduction but I can see that there are going to be some great truths written here. I will have to come back as I am unable to read more just now.

  12. Henry Frueh,

    How do you pronounce your last name?

    Anyway, I saw a Christian poll which asked a question. It asked: “America is a…

    1.) Christian nation
    2.) Godless nation
    3.) Islamic nation
    4.) a Pagan nation which masquerades as a Christian nation.

    I have to say that #4 would be my answer. But within the last year, I would have to answer both #2 and #4, since there is an ‘in your face’ rebellion against the Bible. The new free speech zones, gay rights, and spiritual compromise within the church add to our current grievous situation.

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