Pride Arrogance and Humility

by Mike Ratliff

Though the Lord is exalted, he takes note of the lowly, and recognizes the proud from far away. (Psalms 138:6 NET)

But he gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6 NET)

I received an email yesterday from my friend and dear brother in Christ Ken Silva. In it he explained, “…Richard Abanes has threatened a lawsuit against IPower who currently hosts the website Apprising Ministries.” IPower had alerted Ken about “accusations” from Abanes in which he stated that Apprising Ministries contains content that is alleged to be, “untrue, offensive, slanderous, harrasing or controversial in nature.” They then demanded that Ken remove that content within 48 hours or his website would be terminated.

Ken included the letter from Abanes to IPower in his email. In that letter Abanes accused Ken of engaging in, “posting libelous, defamatory statements on his website about me — i.e., Richard Abanes.” Then Abanes “introduced himself” to IPower this way: “By way of introduction, I am an award-winning, bestselling author/journalist with twenty books published by major publishing houses. My public reputation, therefore is of paramount importance to my livelihood and carreer. Mr Silva, with no regard for factual information, has posted on his apprising.org website:

- defamatory accusations,
– baseless commentary that impugns my personal/professional integrity, and
– factual errors about my published materials.

He then goes on to tell IPower that Ken Silva through Apprising Ministries has libeled Abanes in the article  A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES .

I suggest you read that post by Ken. I’ve read it at least 5 times now. Now, please read the following definition:

“In law, defamation (also called calumny, libel, slander, and vilification) is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressively stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. Slander refers to a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism. Related to defamation is public disclosure of private facts which arises where one person reveals information which is not of public concern, and the release of which would offend a reasonable person. “Unlike libel or slander, truth is not a defence for invasion of privacy.”

Now, we know that Ken and Abanes have been in a very long debate online. This is a public debate, therefore, what each of them said or stated was not an invasion of privacy. Therefore, for the content of that post by Ken to be considered slanderous or libelous it would have to contain untruths used in a malicious way in order to defame Mr. Abanes. Is that what you read in that post?

Not long ago I ran a series of articles on Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven Paradigm. Mr. Abanes made several comments (I did not post all of them because I was preparing to travel and did not have time to address his arguments at that time) on one of my posts, “Christ the Cause of Division,” in which he attempted to dismantle all of our arguments with a blanket, Rick Warren is right and, therefore, you are wrong in any attempt to show that the Purpose Driven Church model is wrong. At least that was what I got out of his arguments. One really stood out for me. He commented on my point in my first rebuttal that Rick Warren plays fast and loose with scripture in his book, The Purpose Driven Life.

I said that that book is the, “prime example of Rick’s failure to be one who rightly divides the word of truth. In it he takes passages totally out of context to support his thesis. That sir is “proof” that the one you are supporting has failed the test.”

Here is Abanes response, “No, that is proof that Rick Warren doesn’t use every verse in the Bible perfectly like just about 90% of pastors in America and about 100% of Christians.”

That one got my attention. Really, so it’s okay for a pastor to misuse scripture just because most other pastors do too? What was Abanes reasoning for this being okay?

He said, “…because we are all sinners and fallible.”

Well, that is true, but Pastors and Evangelists are called to “rightly handle the word of truth.”

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV)

That is the standard my brethren. Is it okay for a Pastor to handle the Bible like Rick Warren?

Richard Abanes has said that there is no proof that Rick Warren doesn’t preach the gospel or that the gospel he preaches is not orthodox. In fact in his comments to me he listed all of the things that Rick Warren professes to believe and I agree that those things are orthodox. That was not my point. My point and problem with the Purpose Driven Paradigm is its corruption of the local church with an emphasis on the fallacy of “seeker-sensitive” orientation. That church model states that the full gospel should not be preached. Instead, the preacher should dummy it down and preach only the high points and never the negatives. Our point has always been that the truth of the genuine Gospel is divisive. It divides those who believe from those who don’t. It divides those who are in Christ from those who are not. It divides those who believe they are Christians because of their religiosity from those who really are Christians because of the saving work of Christ in their hearts. Abanes and company believe that it is these points that are divisive instead of the truth being divisive. I’ll let you decide that one.

Lastly, I would like to make a comment about my impression of Richard Abanes tactic of using intimidation in order to silence those who disagree with him. Is that the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a slave of Christ? What are Christians commanded to do when there are disputes between brothers in Christ?

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud–even your own brothers! (1 Corinthians 6:1-8 ESV)

I struggled quite a bit in determining whether to address this so I asked for prayer from some close to me. I also prayed about it all day today. I became convinced that I must post this. What Richard Abanes has done with his intimidation tactics is that he has presented his case before the unrighteous instead of the saints. As I read the debate between Ken and Abanes I saw that Ken received a great deal of abuse from him. Did Ken go to the secular authorities to get Abanes intimidated and to back off? No, he simply presented the truth of the debate to all for them to read for themselves, to judge according the the truth from God’s Word. That is the humble way of a godly Pastor in a dispute like this. However, what was Abanes modus oprandi? He uses intimidation tactics. What is his motivation and basis for his accusations? He is an important, best-selling author who cannot have his character impunged. Well, if that is true then how can he participate in public debate? Certainly he doesn’t really believe that he is 100% right all the time does he?

According 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 the slaves of Christ must never resort to this sort of thing in disputes. Instead, Paul says that we are to be humble before each other and allow ourselves to “suffer wrong.” That is the godly response my brethren. Genuine believers are slaves of Christ and must not be all about self-promotion and self-protection. I wonder if Abanes actions are part of his following Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven model where he says we are to love ourselves?

I don’t know what his motivation is, but it looks like he has determined that Ken will not be intimidated so he has resorted to a threat of a lawsuit in order to silence him. I pray that God will intervene in this. I know that even if he allows this to take place that none of us, including Ken, are intimidated. Instead, we are bound to our Saviour and the cross which we have taken up as we follow Him. We are His slaves and must obey Him and do what pleases Him,not men. That means that even if we are threatened unto death, we will never forsake the truth nor will we compromise it. God’s will be done.

Soli Deo Gloria!

70 thoughts on “Pride Arrogance and Humility

  1. You nailed it Mike. And you used scripture to do it. You can’t dispute that one!! We are not to do law suits against each other. Wonder how he’ll get around that one?

  2. AMEN Mike. Very good summary of this situation. A great question also…

    Is this the fruit of the Purpose Driven Self Love gospel?

  3. Paul and Luann,

    Abanes is now accusing Ken of breaking Federal Law by revealing the contents of his letter to IPower. Well, let’s see, IPower sent it to Ken and RA had the audacity to now try to shift the guilt to Ken for His own violation of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  4. Now anyone with half a brain would be able to see what RA is up to and drop him like a hot potatoe. We clearly see it for what it is and yes its an audacity, but these guys think they can get away with anything. I hope IPower smunches him.

  5. I love it when people contend and stand firm. It gets me going. It just reaffirms the truth with those who have the truth and desire to live holy.

    Not ashamed of the gospel………. Luuuuuuuuuuuuv it!!!

  6. Mike,

    If you haven’t already done so you should read the post and comments thread on the latest piece Abanes has thrown up in response to Ken’s CRN/Apprising post regarding the IPOWER issue.

    Reading through the article and then reviewing how Abanes interacts with the commenters is pretty revealing stuff.

    Between Silva and Abanes I know who I’d want to be my pastor, and it sure isn’t Abanes. Keep standing on the Word, Ken – I’m praying for you brother!

    In Christ,
    CD

  7. Mike – Richard was completely wrong and unscriptural, as was Mrs. Schlueter, in implying legal action. I have read Ken’s article in question and I did not find anything close to what Richard was claiming. But even if there was blatant personal attacks, which there were not, it is still unsciptural to use litigation to resolve issues among brethren. We all must become much less concerned with our reputations, especially since our role model made Himself of no reputation.

    I rejoiced in Ken’s comment here. But some of the comments like “half a brain” and “They slaughtered him” are unproductive and reveal a lack of the humility you suggest in your post.

    Ti.3:2-3 – To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. For WE OURSELVES also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, DECEIVED, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

    We all have seriously underestimated the power of truth when spoken with grace and in the strength of Christ’s humility, all while revealing in our words a tangible consciousness of the remarkable unmerited favor that defines fully our own situation. I must confess that many times I have audited that class only to realize I have failed the test.

  8. Good post Mike.
    This is going to come back and bite Abanes many times over.
    It’s the same arrogance that fueled the efforts of others, who took it upon themselves to “correct” certain entries on Wikipedia.
    I tell you these guys are liberal wolves in sheep’s clothing.
    History shows us those who practice such forms of control, the religious thought police,i.e. pagan papism.Also the PC crowd.
    Don’t question the pope when he is speaking ex cathedra.
    Welcome to the new Rome.

    Just a thought; which of these “brothers” is the new Tetzel?

  9. Rick,

    My understanding about “legal action” was based on the last part of Richard’s letter to IPower where he suggested that if they did not take action against Ken then he would pursue it. I never got the impression that any legal action was pending.

    As far as the power of telling the truth in Grace, Amen brother!

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  10. Thanks Chris! The image of all of Jane Austin’s titles went through my head right after I decided on that title. Didn’t she write Pride and Prejudice? :-)

  11. Abanes is really egoisitic and obsessed with his “reputation”. No matter how the situation turns out, this fiasco has already destroyed whatever credibility he has if he desires to silence oppposition by threatening legal action, and then denying the obvious. Hey, there are people out there who slander me big time, yet apparently only Abanes is exempt from obeying Scripture cf 1 Cor. 6:1-8? Please!

  12. I’ll be contacting iPower on Monday morning as early as possible as Ken called me an “agnostic” which is untrue. What I find funny about this is you guys had no problem when Ingrid threatened legal action but when it’s Ken you’re all in a tizzy.
    Now where is that iPower contact information….

  13. Looks like Ken’s site is gone.

    2 Timothy 4:
    14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. 15 You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.

  14. “I pray that God will intervene in this. I know that even if he allows this to take place that none of us, including Ken, are intimidated. Instead, we are bound to our Saviour and the cross which we have taken up as we follow Him. We are His slaves and must obey Him and do what pleases Him,not men. That means that even if we are threatened unto death, we will never forsake the truth nor will we compromise it. God’s will be done.

    Soli Deo Gloria!”
    ————————————
    Amen! Great post. I hope Mr. Silva’s site won’t be deleted over this nonsense. As stated in many places if they delete his site then they will have to delete thousands more.
    What a mess.

  15. Joe Martino,

    My goodness, what a vindictive attitude! I ask, is that part of the Fruit of the Spirit? I have no idea what you are talking about about Ingrid and lawyers. I really don’t have the time to peruse the internet like you do. This post was in response to the very same attitude evidenced in Richard Abanes.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratiff

  16. I am seeing this kind of thing happening more and more … and every time the thing that keeps coming to me is what Jesus said in Mat 12:37
    ” For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. ” Perhaps Mr. Abanes is not familiar with that verse? or with 1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

    Apparently, the ‘bigger’ you are, the less accountable you are to ‘actually obey scripture.’ The more you walk in the approval of men , the less it is necessary to seek the approval of God????

    The WORD of GOD is under attack today… by the very ones who claim to be ministers of it. And it is the sheep that are suffering. How arrogant is it to assume that we can say and do anything against another, in defense of our ‘self.’ and God will turn a blind eye? maybe because of our reputation? or our high ‘self-esteem?’ or our connections?

    “…for of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Little do these guys consider that they are exposing their ‘hearts condition’ every time they open their mouth… or that they are going to have to stand before a HOLY GOD and give an account for every word and action…. as we all will. You have to wonder if some people even believe in God at all?

    I believe that the Shepherd is doing some separating of sheep and goats… and the ‘blah, blah, blah’s’ are being penned up together….

    We are all being tested and tried, and need to figure out … who do we fear offending more… GOD? or man?

    God Bless,
    cathy

  17. Slander- a false report maliciously uttered and tending to injure the reputation of a person. (Webster’s Dictionary)

    Pay attention to the word, “false.” Here is the definition for the word, “false,” coming from the same dictionary. (I am putting this up for the endorsers of Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. plan)

    False-1.) Not genuine. 2.) intentionally untrue. 3.) adjusted or made so as to decieve. 4.) tending to mislead. 5.) not true. 6.) not faithful or loyal. 7.) not essential or permanent. 7.) inaccurate in pitch. 8.) based on mistaken ideas.

    Mr. Silva is not guilty of slander. He has shown ( and proved) that Rick Warren’s PEACE plan sounds like truth, but fails a true litmus test. Perhaps it is Rick Warren’s fame and standing with the world, that makes Mr. Abanes cling to him like velcro. After all, a high throne on earth is quite cozy and easy. We wouldn’t want Mr. Abanes to examine his own mentor. That would cost him his throne and bit of persecution from the world. God forbid if Mr. Abanes should critically examine his own mentor, or anybody else who claims to know Jesus.

  18. Mike, pray tell me how much time do I spend on the internet? As for me calling IPOwer, I have no intention or need.God will judge between ken and someday, I’m good without that. I hope that some day ken will be brought to the truth.
    Peace

  19. I think this is an outrage regarding what RA did to Ken!!!! He used underhanded, bullying tactics to silence Ken but all he REALLY did was expose himself and his depraved spiritual condition. He can try to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate 1 Corin. 6:1-8 but the fact is he stands GUILTY before God and [discerning] men. And shame on IPower for cowering to his baseless threats!!!

    I hope Ken gets his site up and running again because I do enjoy it.

    Thank you Mike for bringing this to our attention.

  20. The thing that disturbs me most when I become more and more aware of the Purpose Driven paradigm adherents is the attitude of these defensive PDLers: seek out and destroy any who stand in their way!

    I have not always agreed with the manner Pastor Silva has covered some subjects (purely a subjective response), but I have not had any problem with his integrity or veracity in what he has reported, nor his motives. I am certain, without question, his primary motive is to honor the One whom he serves and his secondary motive is to openly warn those who are caught up in today’s apostate movements and to inform others so that they will not become involved in these movements. If I am wrong, Pastor Silva, please feel free to correct my analysis of your motives.

    As I read Mr. Abanes’ responses to those who were expressing their opinions to him on this matter with Pastor Silva, I was taken back by what appeared to me his arrogance and self-serving attitude. It reminded me so much of how I see his pastor.

    Mr. Abanes was quick to point out the technical definitions of “libel, slander, and even mentor,” (expecting us to accept and act upon these definitions as it concerned Pastor Silva) yet seemed unconcerned to point out the “technical” meaning of scripture such as I Cor. 6:1-8 and Matthew 18:15-17 and follow them. It seemed that his interest was more in following man’s definitive explanation of words rather than the definitive instructions of God’s Word which he claims to be a follower.

    The one biblical instruction that Mr. Abanes has willfully overlooked in regards to his “reputation,” though he was clearly warned by others, is:
    1Cor. 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
    He stated his motive in his letter to IPower: to preserve his reputation because any negative remarks made by others might cut into his livelihood. I think 1Cor. 6:7 should have settled this whole matter for him on his reputation…it did not.

    Mr. Abanes told IPower that he had no intention to bring a lawsuit against them, which to many who read this, including myself, left the impression that he would take a lawsuit against Pastor Silva if he did not remove or alter his article in question. I cannot blame Pastor Silva for coming to a wrong conclusion, which I don’t think he did. I believe that was exactly the intent for mentioning he would get hold of his lawyers but would not bring a suit against IPower. What other conclusion would a sane mind come to?

    This is surely a sad time for Christians, but we have been shown by the apostle Paul that we need to warn others of those who come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. I hope one day Mr. Abanes will recognize whose den he has taken shelter.

    BTW, in closing, I have already written to Mr. Abanes expressing my concerns and disappointments in how this whole matter was handled. I left him with what I will leave you: I pray that he and Pastor Silva will be able to resolve this matter to the glory of the Lord we serve. I look forward to seeing Pastor Silva’s Apprising Ministries up and running soon. May he find an ISP who will better serve those who pay their fees and not interfere with our mission to teach the “whole counsel of God.”

    Pastor Ray

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  23. This is truly an outrageous act of villiany!

    Jesus said it and it bears repeating (Matthew 7:15 – 20):

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.

    Even if Richard Abanes had a leg to stand on, by this heavy-handed act of cowardice and oppression, he has just shown his true unregenerate nature.

  24. That part about making peace with all men? It says, “If possible……..” Once again, the big, “if” gets ignored. Jesus did say that we would have to contend for the gospel. He said strive to be holy.

    As more and more apostasy grows exponentially like an unknown virus, so do the number of hirelings increase. Jesus never said that the true Bride should be united with a seducing spirit. For this reason, the word, “if’ should be emphasized so that truth never gets compromised. IF Mr. Abanes is willing to examine Ken’s findings according to scripture, then perhaps one day the two of them will be able to make peace with each other. IF Mr. Abanes does not critically examine Rick Warren and repent, then the Bible says to have nothing to do with them. How can a sheep expect to exist in the same pen with a wolf, and not get devoured? Mr. Abanes is a devourer who is bent on worldliness, status, vanity, and prominence. He has a form of godliness, but denies its power. That man has the world bowing down to his feet, but heaven will do no such thing. The virgin Bride will not either.

  25. I think everyone should send an email to the folks at iPower. Personally, I used the “Feedback & Suggestions” link at http://www.ipower.com/support/contact.bml
    to let them know that they had acted cowardly by giving in to Mr. Abanes’ bullying.

    Thank you, Watchmen/women, for contending for the faith and warning the sheep about the wolves in sheep’s clothing. God Bless you all, and lift you up in the strength of His encouragement.

  26. Since I have posted my thoughts on this issue, I would like to clear up several things about my first post.

    Firstly, I sometimes find myself susceptible to being unkind in my remarks towards or about others I don’t agree with. I must constantly be on guard against this. If I came across this way about Mr. Abanes, I am truly sorry. I was trying my best to merely state the facts as I saw them without setting Mr. Abanes up as a terrorist target, if I may use this term loosely and not have it subjected to a strict and limited definition.

    To reiterate, I am not one who finds himself without faults or sins. In my many years upon this God-cursed earth and with this sin nature of mine always wanting to take command, I have found myself at times being harshly critical towards others that I think have done wrong or said something I think wrong. Again, if I came across this way, I am truly sorry, and I would readily want to apologize to you readers and especially to Mr. Abanes.

    Secondly, it is my sincerest desire and prayer that this matter could be resolved between Mr. Abanes and Pastor Silva to the glory of God…and soon. I don’t see Pastor Silva conceding his stand any more than I do Mr. Abanes. I do believe that Mr. Abanes was in the wrong on how he handled this matter. I did not find anything in the article that would have made him take the action that he did. Surely he has heard far worse without taking similar recourse. I also found his statements about Pastor Silva highly derogatory and unkind. Possibly libelous. (Possibly. )

    Thirdly, this is my own opinion and it is said with much respect for Pastor Silva, but I think Pastor Silva should have removed the article or rephrased it, not because I believe he was wrong in what he said or how he said it, but to avoid what has become evident to the listening unsaved world: disrepute to the name of Christ, and to the saved: the dissension it has caused within the body of Christ. I believe, merely a personal observation-quite possibly wrong, that a little self-pride was displayed by both parties. I an willing to concede that Pastor Silva’s “displayed” and”verbalized” hard-line stand against apostasy and his unwillingness to compromise on certain issues can sometimes be taken as pride. I concede this. And if I have misjudged Pastor Silva, I here and now apologize to him.

    Though I phrased it a “little self-pride,” there is no question (in my mind) after reading the many responses of Mr. Abanes towards those who addressed him about his move against Pastor Silva that he displayed and verbalized much self-pride. “Self-pride” — redundant terminology I know, but we all say it, and it really does get the point across.

    Fourthly, Mr. Abanes must have known that Pastor Silva would not remove his article. I knew it from what little I know of Pastor Silva from reading his articles and from our mutual friend, Richard Bennett who I have been doing editing for nigh on two years. Because Mr. Abanes knew what Pastor Silva would do (I am fairly certain of this) Mr. Abanes should have dropped his complaint and left the matter in God’s hands. But he forced Pastor Silva’s hand knowing full well what Pastor Silva’s decision would be and what his own decision would be. He took him to ISP “court” allowing IPower to be judge, prosecutor, and jury in this matter rather than taking it before two or three witnesses which is the biblical move he should have taken. He tried using Pilate’s proverbial “washed his hands clean” of this “proxy” crucifixion of Pastor Silva. Notwithstanding, he remains just as guilty of Pastor Silva losing his web page as does the ISP, IPower, who would probably know nothing about how Christians should resolve differences.

    We can’t blame IPower. They responded just like worldlings should respond…money rules. Does anyone honestly believe that IPower believed Mr. Abanes would not take a lawsuit against them if they let Pastor Silva keep the article posted?

    Fifthly, and lastly, despite the immediate outcome of Pastor Silva losing his web site*, may we all learn of the sacrifices we must make to bear the message of truth in a world clouded in deceit.

    *I just learned that Pastor Silva has already been taken on by a Christian ISP. (From “Word and Verse: “By God’s grace, the site together with all content has been saved and will soon be up, this time hosted by company run by a good Christian brother.” http://wordnverse.com/2008/07/27/truth-under-fire/**

    ** I apologized for repeating this news if any have already posted it.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Pastor Ray

  27. I have never been a fan of the Purpose Driven Life and anytime a Pastor or speaker publicly lays out a book or message , critical analysis will occur. The thing that I find so distasteful is the way Abanes pursued this matter. No disrespect towards Mr. Silva but he is a small contender for the truth who’s influence is so small that in general I think his site would have little impact on Abanes world wide sales . Plus having read the letter numerous times , I fail to see how Mr.Silva slandered Abanes in any way . What I find funny is ,Dr.James White of Alpha and Omega ministries has had some of the nastiest letters posted about him on numerous sites and he has responded by meaningful exchange by rebutting the straw men and accusations against him , there by letting the truth to speak for itself. It seems to this reader Abanes wanted no more discourse and realized his straw house is blowing into the wind. Plus this is scary for everyone who writes a blog or even a letter to an editor because who knows when the next form of censorship will raise its head when the PDL paradigm is challenged . I hope and pray Ken Silva will arise again and not be bullied by this foolishness.

  28. Pastor Ray,

    God is not pleased when men shrink away. If Ken Silva does not stand firm against opposition, then he will be seen as a compromiser. We are called to contend for the gospel. This is why Jesus said that obedience will cost us.

    Ken Silva has not compromised. That is a far better witness for the Lord than to shrink away and retreat from the heat of battle. Soldiers in Christ will contend while God upholds them throughout the fight. Contending does not mean to pray the sinner’s prayer, and sit back in a spiritual recliner, and expect the world to welcome you with open arms.

    This situation is a prime example of how we should stand firm in the face of opposition. God is not pleased when men shrink away.

  29. Joe Martino,

    My point Joe was that I have no idea what you are referring to with Ingrid and lawyers, et cetera so to try to argue using that point as if I am being hypocritical is not valid. What truth would that be Joe? The only truth that is eternal is God’s truth. None of us are perfect, but Ken is more lined up with God’s truth than Richard Abanes or Rick Warren or Tony Jones, et cetera. I suggest you read what I posted last night about how we are to deal with these sorts of disagreements.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  30. Josh,

    I appreciate your comment and am willing., as I stated, to admit that my assessment of the situation concerning Pastor Silva may be wrong. However, having said that, sometimes we are called upon to consider the welfare of the church over our own convictions. There has to be considered the immature in Christ and the good of the church in general, and whether the fire is worth all the smoke.

    Pastor Silva is to be taken as a serious defender of the faith, but you must admit he is not without fault as you and I are not without fault? Taking into account the effects our actions will have on others in a negative way is not to “shrink away.” It is putting the welfare of others before ourselves. Has all this fire and smoke served the church well and glorified Christ’s name? That is what this all boils down to.

    I realize the gravity of this situation. I do not consider it a light matter to be discarded as a used tissue. My point was, if I may use a cliché, it is easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar.

    Personally, I did not find anything in Pastor Silva’s article that should make Mr. Abanes do what he did. But, after further consideration, I cannot regard myself as being the measuring rod for how Mr. Abanes feels about the article. What I did not find that serious, Mr. Abanes obviously felt quite serious and slanderous. That should suffice for Pastor Silva to remove the article or rephrase it. It doesn’t matter what we think about the article.

    We can, however, judge that Mr. Abanes took the wrong course of action on how he resolved his dispute with Pastor Silva. I do remember that there were a number of other articles that Pastor Silva wrote concerning Mr. Abanes that Mr. Abanes did not find so offensive that he considered them libelous. I would suggest that most of the concerns that Pastor Silva has regarding Mr. Abanes has been covered in the various articles and this specific article could be amended or tossed.

    Well, let’s us agree on one issue if we cannot agree on this: The Lord be glorified.

    Respectfully yours,
    Pastor Ray

  31. Pastor Ray,

    You said, “Has all this fire and smoke served the church well and glorified Christ’s name?”

    Yes. Absolutely. Mr. Abanes is being exposed as vicious, undiscerning, and in defense of a false gospel. Ken Silva is being refined during this process. This is obviously a fiery trial for Ken Silva, so God certainly has purposed this event for spiritual reasons. I for one have learned much about Mr. Abanes character. He has shown us his true colors.

    Contending for the faith matures the believer. This kind of hardship will not be in vain for Ken Silva. There is a crown of glory which comes for contending. It doesn’t come free. Jesus said that we would partake in sufferings, not that we would be exempt.

  32. Pastor Ray,

    You say that it is easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar. What does that mean? Does that mean that you sugar coat the truth in order to compromise it? Why would Ken Silva sugar coat Mr. Abanes errors? What is so sweet about them?

  33. Catch flies with honey? That is compromise. Here take a look at what happens when an adulteress church chooses smooth words (shmoozing people into salvation), and a compromised gospel. God is not in it.

    “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, an her mouth smoother than oil: But her bitter end is wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now therefore , O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house.” Proverb 5:3- 8 (KJV)

    In the apostate church, a seducing spirit will deceive many because of the desire to preach whatever is sweet, popular, or pleasant to the ears instead of what is just and right. Absolute truth gets compromised because of relativism. Since the goal of their message is to “keep” the unsaved among them, they can often resort to a “less offensive” altered form of the gospel, which they think the unsaved will like. The altering of the gospel does not warn men to repent of their sins. It is just another form of idolatry, which corrupts the so called church. Compromising pastors want to offer a “god” that the unsaved will like…. Pure blasphemy, Pastor Ray.

    “Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy’ having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” 1 Ti 4:1-2 (KJV)

    The unrepentant sinner cannot be enticed or shmoozed into salvation. If you read about the adulteress ( also called a strange woman), in the Proverbs, you will see the illustration of a woman who tries to lure in those who pass her by. She uses material things (gimmicks) and smooth words to entice them. Once they fall for her smooth words, they enter her house. Then they are as good as dead.

  34. It amazes me how people can take a phrase used to clarify something else being stated and that phrase is misconstrued and used against them. No one here knows me nor can judge my forty-eight years of serving in ministry, but that does not keep some here from judging me and thus charge me with sugar coating the truth, and therefore I must be a compromiser. My college and seminary professors, close pastor friends, and the people of the churches I have pastored would find this charge hilarious. Compromise has never been one of my recipes for contending for the faith. Quite the contrary.

    What I meant by the phrase is that you can accomplish more with Christian grace than you can by lampooning your opponent with strong argument. The Bible has a far more effective way of putting this then it seems I have been able to do. Maybe I should have used it rather than the cliché I chose. I think that the following verse says it all. My emphasis is on the first part, but the second part is just as important to remember. I leave off by giving you the verse. I won’t be responding to any further comments. Answer this for yourselves, if this verse had been followed by both Pastor Silva and Mr. Abanes, do you think there would be this discussion going on right now and on a number of other blogs? Personally, I don’t think so.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Pastor Ray

    Pro 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

  35. Iron sharpens iron Pastor Ray. I should expect you to do me the same favor. I was only correcting you brother.

    Respectfully correcting you brother,

    Josh

  36. I was responding to you according to your blog. If you type something not true, then be accountable. Your years in ministry or your ordination do not make you unaccountable for what you say.

    Don’t let your ordination or your status blind you. Let us ALL examine ourselves and be willing to snatch one another from the fire, also despising even the garment spotted by the flesh. You sound angry about me correcting you. I don’t care about your past or your standing. I had to answer you according to your own words. You came into the blog, I didn’t come to you.

    Josh

  37. Pastor Ray,

    Again, putting your past and your status aside. You said, ” What I meant by the phrase is that you can accomplish more with Christian grace than with lampooning your opponent with strong argument.’

    Lampooning, Pastor Ray? Don’t run off.

  38. Our standing,our past, or our social position is not the litmus test. The Bible is Pastor Ray.

    Once again, iron sharpens iron.

    In Christ,

    Josh

  39. Pastor Ray, Dont worry about. It happens to the best people in interpretation. These ‘Defenders’ of the faith like to make people conform to them as often or more than conforming to the scriptures.

    JS

  40. Spadinofamily,

    Take your straw man attacks somewhere else. I was correcting a brother in the Lord. I was not talking to you. If you can’t appreciate someone defending the faith, then you have no inheritance in God’s kingdom. Just lay down and conform to the world. You will fit right in, and they will love you for it.

    In Christ,
    Josh

  41. Pastor Ray, Amen to everything you said. Especially to WHY you were trying to say it.

    # Psalm 5:11
    But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
    Psalm 5:10-12 (in Context) Psalm 5 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 6:4
    Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
    Psalm 6:3-5 (in Context) Psalm 6 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 11:5
    The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.
    Psalm 11:4-6 (in Context) Psalm 11 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 13:5
    But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
    Psalm 13:4-6 (in Context) Psalm 13 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 17:7
    Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.
    Psalm 17:6-8 (in Context) Psalm 17 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 18:1
    [ For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: ] I love you, O LORD, my strength.
    Psalm 18:1-3 (in Context) Psalm 18 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 21:7
    For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.
    Psalm 21:6-8 (in Context) Psalm 21 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 23:6
    Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
    Psalm 23:5-6 (in Context) Psalm 23 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 25:6
    Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
    Psalm 25:5-7 (in Context) Psalm 25 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 25:7
    Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
    Psalm 25:6-8 (in Context) Psalm 25 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 26:3
    for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.
    Psalm 26:2-4 (in Context) Psalm 26 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 26:8
    I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells.
    Psalm 26:7-9 (in Context) Psalm 26 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 31:7
    I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
    Psalm 31:6-8 (in Context) Psalm 31 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 31:16
    Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
    Psalm 31:15-17 (in Context) Psalm 31 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 31:21
    Praise be to the LORD, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city.
    Psalm 31:20-22 (in Context) Psalm 31 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 31:23
    Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full.
    Psalm 31:22-24 (in Context) Psalm 31 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 32:10
    Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.
    Psalm 32:9-11 (in Context) Psalm 32 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 33:5
    The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.
    Psalm 33:4-6 (in Context) Psalm 33 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 33:18
    But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
    Psalm 33:17-19 (in Context) Psalm 33 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 33:22
    May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
    Psalm 33:21-22 (in Context) Psalm 33 (Whole Chapter)
    # Psalm 36:5
    Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.
    Psalm 36:4-6 (in Context) Psalm 36 (Whole Chapter)

  42. I agree with pastor Ray that it is best for the Kingdom of God if this matter can be resolved between Ken and Richard.

    I have a few suggestions that may help this situation in the positive direction. It may sound naive on my part because I believe that our brothers Ken and Richard will be able to reconcile. If our not-so-good president, Thabo Mbeki, could get Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe to sign a document of intent to begin talks and shake hands in public, surely we can as Christians, with God on our side, convince Ken and Richard to talk and sort out their differences.

    Here are things that I think we can do to help:
    1. Stop writing on at who’s door the blame should be placed. (This has been happening all over the web in the two “camps” and it is not helpful to the cause of Christ)
    2. Pray for Ken and Richard tat God will work in both of their hearts to bring them together in a spirit of forgiveness.
    3. Send them each messages asking them to consider reconciling with each other.
    4. Find someone who can be an arbitrator. This person will have to be respected by both (It might prove to be very difficult to find such a person).

    Just think of the wonderful testimony this can be of reconciliation happens and they can issue a press release together stating their forgiveness of each other and the agreement they have reached.

    The naive South African who believes what happened in South Africa can happen in the internet church world.
    – Eugene

  43. Pastory Ray, I really agree with this paragraph of yours.

    I have not always agreed with the manner Pastor Silva has covered some subjects (purely a subjective response), but I have not had any problem with his integrity or veracity in what he has reported, nor his motives. I am certain, without question, his primary motive is to honor the One whom he serves and his secondary motive is to openly warn those who are caught up in today’s apostate movements and to inform others so that they will not become involved in these movements. If I am wrong, Pastor Silva, please feel free to correct my analysis of your motives.

    One of the problems ALL of us “truth” seekers have is we see ourselves as having more truth than someone else and then our MO (mode of operation) is not Christ-like. We even justify our mode of operation as defending truth. The proof of the pudding is less in what we say and more in what we do…. although both play a part.

    Thank you for being so transparent in your attempt to analyze this with the concerns coming from your heart.

    JS

  44. Spadinofamily,

    It is good that you have the ability to post scripture. At least that is a start. What about what the Bible says about a brother who sees no reason to contend for the faith? Shouldn’t we correct a brother who sees our efforts at contending as futile or pointless?

    You have led a straw man attack against me for correcting a brother. I was correcting him because he said that there was no point for Ken Silva standing up and defending the faith. Sure, the Lord is refuge to those who trust in him, but that does not mean we cannot rebuke a brother when he says that there is no point in our perseverance.

    You come on here and bash fundamentalism. You do it on your blog. You label us as pharisees because we do not compromise. Jesus said to be either cold or hot. Which one are you?

  45. Rick Frueh, on July 26th, 2008 at 4:21 am Said:

    I rejoiced in Ken’s comment here. But some of the comments like “half a brain” and “They slaughtered him” are unproductive and reveal a lack of the humility you suggest in your post.

    Ti.3:2-3 – To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. For WE OURSELVES also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, DECEIVED, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

    We all have seriously underestimated the power of truth when spoken with grace and in the strength of Christ’s humility, all while revealing in our words a tangible consciousness of the remarkable unmerited favor that defines fully our own situation. I must confess that many times I have audited that class only to realize I have failed the test.

    Rick, well said!!!!!! You get an A. :-).

  46. spandino, Seems you don’t know Rick very well. He has made comments that make mine look like kindergarden talk. He throws rocks. If you want to critisize and correct all the time, then you should do it on your own blog site. Some of us don’t claim to be perfect for sure, but your attitude towards comments made here make it look like you think you need to ‘correct’ everyone. I thought this was Mikes blog. If he thinks we need correcting, since its his blog, then I believe Mike should have that say so, not you. If we wanted to be questioned we’d go over to your blog site and you could question us all day. You even question Mike. Its a breath of fresh air for us to be able to read Mikes blog site. I can understand a question every now and then, but almost every time Mike posts, you make it sound like he is lacking and you need to finish it up for him.

  47. Paul and Luann,

    I couldn’t have said it any better. It is good to see brothers come to each others’ defense. Jesus said that people would know who his disciples were because of the love they have for one another. Coming to defend a brother and contend with him in the heat of battle is rare nowadays. Thank you for standing up for Mike. I am just happy to see others who can see through spadinofamily.

  48. Josh, Lemming? I gotta look that up :) Sometimes the ‘fruit’ seems to be artificial concerning some of the comments on Mikes blog and it takes awhile to see it for what it really is. The true colors come through after a bit though. Mike has a lot of patients with them.

  49. Paul and Luann,

    You wanna see something funny? You should go to You tube and watch the nature movie about lemmings. Type in something like, “Norway lemmings,” or something like that?@#$% They don’t pay attention to where they are headed, they just follow the pack until they all run off of the cliff and fall into the ocean. They die there. It is a mystery.

    It reminds me of the old saying, “If the guy sitting next to you told you to jump off of a cliff, would you do it.”

    Anyway, go check out the video. Some say that the lemmings are committing suicide, but I don’t believe they even know what that is.

  50. Dear Pastor Ray,

    In reference to your comments, and as an outsider (commenting from the Middle East), I must say that though it grieves me (being a Christian) to see an unwanted dispute between two Christian brothers I must say that my faith has been more strengthened to see KS take a stand like Paul did when he was commanded not to preach in the name of Jesus. As a Christian we ought to obey God first and then man.

    Therefore as an outsider, in this matter, I must say that the (true) church of Christ is more glorified through real warfare than through false peace. I’d rather go to heaven with a tattered and bruised shield than with a new, polished and unused armor.

    It’s true that such a situation would turn away the unsaved – but somewhere a ‘Paul’ might have just been born again.

    Somewhere the devil indeed is laughing, but I believe that the true church will have the last laugh when no stone shall be left unturned on that great day.

    In Christ alone,

    NLF

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