Evanjellyfish and Mighty Warriors

by Mike Ratliff

“Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. (Isaiah 46:8-11 ESV)

There is a dread disease present in the visible Church in our day. The disease is the result of conformity to the current culture in which it is a crime to tell the truth to those who may resent it. It is a crime because a minority has determined that the worst thing that can happen to a person in our day is that they be offended by standards or truths that those conveying them portend, directly or indirectly, they are absolute. While temporal society can hold all sorts of beliefs and standards contrary those found in the Word of God, the tragedy is when the Church itself conforms to them. This causes it to become weak, ineffectual, confused, and spiritually dead. This causes those professing Christians to water down their doctrines, misinterpret scripture according to the world’s values, and reject the message from God while persecuting His messengers. This is exactly why the Jews all through Biblical History killed God’s Prophets. His message was always contrary to the closely held beliefs of the people that came from  them being conformed to the ways of the world just as has the majority of the visible Church in our time.

Much of the part of the visible Church in our day that claims it is “Evangelical” has become conformed to this disease over the last 250 years. Its theology has deteriorated to the point that it is no longer the world changing powerful message whose followers were separate from the world and its ways as light is from darkness. However, now it is the theology of “evanjellyfish.” The following is taken from the introduction to a book by  C. Matthew McMahon titled How Faith Works – Rescuing the Gospel from Contemporary Evangelicalism.

I am sure that those who really do hold to the true biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ and identify themselves as Evangelicals are also going to be a bit mad because I am going to bash “evangelicalism” today as the theology of “evanjellyfish.” It is spineless. In my satire on Evangelicalism at A Puritan’s Mind, I wrote, “The oceanic bodies that cover the earth are home to the unique and prosperous Liberalius Ignoramious Christianius, or better known as the Evanjellyfish. As a result of their morphed evolution over the past 250 years, these once fierce predators have lost their thick skin, large brains, razor sharp teeth, as well as their ability to see clearly in the loss of their eyesight, and their eyes altogether. Instead, these spineless invertebrates swim carelessly and carefree around the seaweed reefs which tickle their transparent membranes as the cool currents shift by them and propel them toward sunny waters throughout each day. They mainly swim around minerally deficient waters, and like to congregate in large numbers – it seems they feel safe that way. They filter microscopic units of plankton found throughout the seawater for food. They are unable to eat the meat they once hunted since their loss of ability to spot food from miles away. Now they float helplessly around reefs that contain little if anything to eat that is of substance. Strangely, they have multiplied, and continue to multiply into millions in any one locale, but they often remain small and of no consequence individually to the great barrier reefs from which they emerged. Even in great numbers, they no longer make a ripple in the currents they once occupied. Instead, when a predator such as a humpback whale swims by, they are gobbled up for food without any form of retaliation. Hopefully, theological evolution will deal them a better hand in the future. It has been reported of late that some of the large scale theoligica bookis wormis or Giant Theological Sea Worms have been seen floating around masses of Evanjellyfish. However, it seems the Evanjellyfish have been rejecting their interaction out rightly. More to come later…

This is satire my brethren, but is does strike a chord with us doesn’t it? The dumbed down version of the Church we have all around us got that way because its leaders have deliberately not fed their people solid meat to eat. They present a gospel that has been neutered. It has all those essential parts that could potentially offend removed. What is left is a non-gospel that makes their part of the visible Church a mirror of the world. The world and its ways have been brought into the church and it has become compromised. Seeker-sensitivity is the rule of the day. It is a fallacy. The only ones truly seeking the righteousness of God are those drawn to the Son by the Father as they have heard the real Gospel, which is very offensive to the spiritual palate of those who are compromised by the world and its ways. Below is an excerpt from a news story from Milwaukee, Wisconsin about a school being sued by a group that is attempting to stop it from holding any graduation ceremonies at the local church. Carefully read their reasoning for the lawsuit.

“These students and family members are being forced to graduate in the sanctuary of a church underneath a huge cross that dominates the sanctuary. They’re sitting in pews with bibles and hymnal books right in front of them.”

“They are being forced to graduate in a religious environment, and that is an egregious Constitutional violation.”

Even if the school district doesn’t have religion as its reasoning for choosing the location, Luchenitser contends the mere presence of a graduation there forces an endorsement of what Elmbrook Church believes.

“There’s a symbolic message of endorsement sent,” said Luchenitser.

“Right next to this huge cross in this auditorium, you have huge jumbotrons that show the speakers, the school district officials when they speak on the podium, all their speakers.

“You have a public, official school district ceremony taking place in a religious environment. That sends a clear message of endorsement of religion and favoritism of the Christian religion to the children and the family members.”

Luchenitser explained that its not just the physical environment there, but what he claims the teachings presented there force upon those who will walk in for the graduation ceremony.

“We brought the lawsuit on behalf of nine parents and students in the school district who do not subscribe to the religion of Elmbrook Church, who are extremely uncomfortable attending a graduation in this facility,” said Luchenitser, whose group’s lawsuit says that many top officials in this district are members of Elmbrook Church.

“This is a church that teaches that people who do not subscribe to the belief of this church are going to suffer torment in hell for all eternity. This church teaches that women should be subservient to men. It teaches that people who engage in sexual conduct that is not approved by the church will also suffer in hell.

“A very large proportion of the students and family members who would be attending this graduation, in the views of this church, are second-class people, second-class citizens.”

The evanjellyfish Christians in this church may indeed teach these truths about hell and morality, but they are considering veiling their cross and removing their Bibles and Hymnals from the pews so they can continue to receive the rent from the school for these sorts of things. This is compromise. Are they going to stand firm and grow spiritually through it or are they going to be spineless and give in to those who prove that the world is not interested in what we have come to know as Evangelical Christianity? Think of the response to these people that someone like A.W. Tozer, A.W. Pink, John Gresham Machen, C.H. Spurgeon, John Owen, Martin Luther, or Jonathan Edwards would have in the face of this. There would be no compromise. Oh, their evanjellyfish “Christians” in the pews may fire or do away with them for standing firm, but these men would not budge. They may lose their positions or be denigrated by others in unbearable ways at levels no one can easily take, but they would not compromise.

The mission of this ministry has always been to encourage Christians to move away from me-ism Christianity into the spirit-filled, abiding in Christ, living sacrifice, humble, poor-in-spirit, meek walk that brings God glory and matures the believer. It is only as we walk this way that we are given His joy and then we can do good in His eyes because we are doing God’s will by His grace. This walk is not about building big churches or becoming a celebrity or anything other than a humble slave of our Lord Jesus all for the glory of God. Those who walk this way are not evanjellyfish. No, these believers are mighty warriors for the truth who stand firm defending it, but at the same time, they, like their example Christ, do not defend self. They may take the abuse of those who hate the truth, but, being meek, they will hack to pieces the enemies of God, but will not raise their sword to defend self. God may have them take severe abuse that they may be found worthy to suffer shame for the name, but they will never compromise.

Which are you?

Soli Deo Gloria!

12 thoughts on “Evanjellyfish and Mighty Warriors

  1. Hi brother Mike
    Excellent post – thank you. :-D

    I have just been chatting to a very dear sister, who is much older in years than me, and she has been sharing with me how much she has recently discovered the amount of lack of discernment there is out there and how much is actually going on that is false/heretical/blasphemous. These are things that you and I and others who are on the NET and are exposed to all this already, know, but for her, who is not on the NET, it has never been made so ‘in her face’ as it were, until recently.

    As I said to her, we are sometimes left feeling like we are the”NO!’ or ‘Run!’ police. There is just so much to be cautioned against and fled from and there is much more on the way – of this I am fully certain. So many just suck up all the rubbish and filth that goes on in the name of the ‘Lord’ – some without any real fear or knowledge of God (God’s the God of love and he’s my mate – he’d never send me to hell ‘cos I am a good person) which all boils down to nothing more than emotionalism and feeling, while others, act out of fear of the repercussions of those around them and so their fear of man is greater than their fear of God and they will always compromise to those ‘who they can see’ to not be accused of being divisive and the world wins.

    It is a tough place to be when you are just seemingly one of a few who says (not even yelling) “No” to virtually every popular trend in the ‘christian’ world, when so many around you are yelling their ‘hallelujahs’ and ‘praise God!’ and using the Word of God only as your point of departure or defense, you slowly become a thorn to them. Not a thorn of self, but a ‘thorn’ of God.
    Thorns cause pain and wounds and on top of this we are the salt of the earth, which when thrown into these wounds, cause either much deeper offense and hatred in response, or the Holy Spirit uses us as a vessel to bring about the Lord’s call to repentance and salvation.

    It is so easy in the flesh to buckle under this pressure to ‘go with the flow’, but if we love the Lord we will not want to no matter how extreme the pressure may be. It is also out of His love that we warn, and not to point fingers as so many seem to grab onto and then use against us.

    Our close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word has to be the most important and jealously guarded means we have to stand against all this, as without Him, we would be unable to discern anything or stand against anything. Only in Him and wearing His armour are we enabled to do this. In our flesh there is no good thing.

    It is all of His grace and Sovereignty in our lives and how nothing we have become so that He might become all..
    Bless you.

  2. Hi Mike,
    Elmbrook is a member of Willow Creek…I see the world doesn’t like the world.. Most of their members that I have worked with get along just fine with the world and look exactly like the world and when one shares the Gospel with one of them, they get very angry and point you to the door.. Their Bread store has sold many copies of the Porpose Driven Life and Have You Best Time Now. I’m still waiting to see a posting the J Olstead is going to be the guest speaker one of these Sundays. Praise the Lord.
    May God continue to hold you in His pinion and bless your comings and goings, in Christ Jesus, Amen.
    In Christ,
    David

  3. Thanks for that info David. I would think then that this church will compromise to keep the money coming in since they have cast off their BIblical moorings.

  4. I don’t think there is a building in this area that has a larger membership than Elmbrook. If you choose to inspect how large they are and other things elmbrook.org

  5. Somehow the ministry has been reduced to nothing more than ‘a glamour shot’ or a popularity contest. Jessie, here in the states the properity pimps take what is holy and alter it to fit inside a 14kt gold wrapper which they designed (and the masses paid for) under their oppressive dominion. The wrapper is expensive and shiny, but what is inside is not holy at all. Usually the gold wrappers have a picture of the pimp on it with the pimps signature to show of his approval of the latest trend. It is as if God’s Word cannot proceed unless the pimp has given God the final ok.
    Does this sound familiar? Do you have pimps on TV peddling the word of God for profit where you live? …………… Probably not as bad as it is here in the states.

  6. Josh :-)
    Oh yes they are here all right, albeit not in as much abundance as you have – we are a much smaller, poorer country than you are. We get TBN and the version of Africa TBN too. I don’t have satellite TV, so I don’t get it all, but I have friends who do and I have seen both on tv and on Internet.

    On a local level, we have them in the greatest form of Nigerian WOF and such like pastors and others from up North. And these guys seem to be the worst at it.. Their following is immense. They promise all sorts of miracles in the way of cars, homes, jobs, money problems solved, if you will just give to them…. They have huge warehouses that they use as churches and we have two just up the road from where I live. There was a recent TV campaign called ‘Drying Tears” that had a pastor talking about how the Lord wants to solve all your problems and then had a few locals talking to the camera about how the Lord had given them a job /car etc and now they were getting a house just because they joined this church. The emphasis is always the church, not Jesus Christ and Him crucified, our sin.

    One of the tragedies for me living in South Africa, is that there are so many needy people and so these guys prey and exploit those that don’t have much to begin with and then take from them that which they have – to ‘enable them to get more’ and have their problems solved by this ‘lord’.

    The other dreadful thing we have here is the Christianity mixed in with ancestral worship, which is much worse than the WOF stuff going on. This mixture is heinous and I can’t go into it here, but if you want to know more, you are welcome to email me, I can put you in touch with a link that can.

    I guess man is man wherever you live and without the true Gospel being preached and the True Lord reigning in fully-given lives, Satan rules supreme in them whether they realise or acknowledge it or not.

    I sat with my husband this morning and chatted about how it is an immense thought that it is the Grace of God that has us where He has us. His incredible Grace and Sovereignty and Mercy.

    We are so undeserving of it all.
    All of us.

    Bless you brother :-)

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