Roaring Lions

by Mike Ratliff

8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)

On Monday this week I posted a devotional by Oswald Chambers about how our obedience to God is costly to other people. I wrote my intro to it and posted it along with the devotional with the intent of showing what happens in the hearts of people when God’s truth is preached from His Word. That was my intent, but the emergent conversation decided that I had written something offensive. I write very little about it or any of the people in it. I concentrate on writing things that God directs me to that are primarily focused on discipleship issues and Christian Authenticity. However, the outrage from the emergent camp about this caused me to ponder what God was doing in this. I never once feared their wrath or their slick (but obviously shallow) arguments. Their approach to confronting me was to pick out a phrase here and there in my posts and comments then twist the meaning of it ever so slightly in an attempt to trip me up or make me say something back to them that they could pounce upon and exploit.

Friends sent me warnings about what was going in the emergent camp about this. At first I was a bit confused, because I could not recall saying anything that would be offensive to anyone who sought to obey God in all things. Then as the day went on I began to see that the focus of their outrage was the fact that Christians are called, by Jesus, by God, by the Holy Spirit, to be obedient in all things. Why would that invoke such rage. Their attacks were all glossed in a very slick and deceptive tone. However, God gave me wisdom and discernment as I humbly sought it. I stopped accepting their “comments” on Possessing the Treasure. Why? All of their slick little arguments would only lead to unfruitful arguing. That is nothing more than a distraction. Who is the prince of lies and confusion? Why should we allow him any access to our ministries? How then should we react?

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

All of the rage and anger and attacks from the emergents yesterday amounted only to a few snide comments that were structured in such a way that I should be concerned that they were offended by what I had posted and written. My tendency as a Christian is to seek peace with all, but I will always seek to confront error in a way that will restore. However, these fellows were sending me comments that were suitcase bombs. They looked like questions or benign comments, but in them were the makings of destruction and deception. If I got bogged down in “conversing” with them I would never get out any time soon. It resembled being pecked to death by a duck.

Therefore, I am very grateful to God for the wisdom. Roaring lions are not to be feared by those who are obeying God. Their rage and wrath are to be expected when their sacred cows are attacked. The emergent camp believes they can do their own thing and have Christianity their own way. However, those who know their Bibles will also know that that is not real Christianity at all. Only those whose Lord is Jesus Christ are genuine Christians. That means that they are constantly seeking to obey God in all things. They may not be perfectly obedient all the time, but they are walking in repentance, working out their salvation with fear and trembling. When they fail, they repent and seek for God to help them obey Him at ever higher planes of obedience.

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17 thoughts on “Roaring Lions

  1. I sometimes will dialogue with an emergent type, but mostly it is of little value. A mother robin comes back to her three babies with three worms, one for each. As she lights on the nest two of the chicks open wide their beaks and the mother desposits one worm to each. She attempts to have the third chick open his beak but he refuses. This scene continues to repeat itself.

    So what does the mother do? She finally divides the third worm in half and gives it to the two open beaked chicks. Someone who has been captured by the emergent movement is usually not interested in change, he only wants to convince you. The reason he is an emergent person usually is because he became disillusioned with the church and went looking for something new and fresh. He now questions everything and his beak is tightly closed around his new found theology. He is not interested in being fed by God.s Word anymore.

    And now nothing is sacred. The emergents are oh so clever in creating perseptions and dialogues about anything. Even a baby Christian knows God demands complete obedience and that none of us ever meets that standard, but an emergent will question the veracity of that position not based upon Scripture but upon common sense and the reason of man.

    “God requires 100% obedience? That doesn’t leave much room for grace.”

    What this commenter fails to realize is that even the part that we do obey is grace. It is all grace and instead of gratefully pursuing perfection purely out of love for a Worthy and Glorious Lord and Savior, these emergents are fulfilled by arguing. Keep speaking truth, Mike, your words feed those whose beaks are open. Pray for those whose beaks are closed but do not waste much time with them because if we do some open mouths will go hungry.

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  2. Hey you’re getting a good first-hand experience as to what it’s like to argue with liberals and emergents, because they both use the same frustrating tactics. including semantics and picking out something insignificant you said, twisting it a bit, and going on at length about that new argument they’ve created for you (even though you never actually said what they’re arguing against). Tricky, but typical.

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  3. Mike,

    You definitely have had some interesting exchanges going on these past few days. Remember, Jesus said the road to life is narrow and few be that find it. I like what Isaiah said of this narrow road and believe that it is the same road Jesus described.

    “And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. Lions will not lurk along its course, nor any other ferocious beasts. There will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will walk on it. Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.” Isaiah 35:8,9,10

    This Highway of Holiness is a one-way street. Satan, that roaring lion, will not come near this road. So we have nothing to fear of that evil lion devouring any on this holy and narrow road. Only the redeemed (those who walk in God’s ways) walk this road. In this life we may encounter some of the fools and evil-minded people Isaiah mentions but, who knows, God may save some of them through that providential encounter. Hang in there Mike for the Lord will strengthen and guide all those who make their way towards that heavenly Zion via the Highway of Holiness.

    Loddie

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  4. “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11)

    Hang in there, brother! The battle belongs to the Lord!

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  5. Rick,

    To a man (person) each of these people have denied that they are emergent though they continue to quote the emergent writers and go to emergent churches or work for other emergent church folks. I actually have come to the conclusion that they are simply liberals. Yes, it is a total waste of time to engage them in these conversations. I like you anaology about the birds and the worms.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  6. Jay,

    As this stuff went on yesterday I remembered a dialogue I had with a fellow several years ago in which no matter what I said it got twisted and misinterpreted as he tried to make me submit to his theology (or lack thereof.) In his case he was a legalistic to the max. Isn’t it amazing that they all use these tactics? It is completly unfruitful to engage them in dialogue.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  7. Loddie,

    Thanks for the encourgement brother. I am very grateful for the spiritual protection I have had over the last few weeks. It’s been a faith testing time, but God is faithful. As long as I remain obedient and on this narrow path with a penitent heart, I have nothing to fear from our enemy or his people.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  8. Thanks Mike,
    Thanks Mike
    We have just left a church which has been enamoured of PDL, and contemplative spirituality. We felt compelled to write to the deacons of our church and highlight our concerns and reasons for leaving. The senior pastor has done just what you have detailed. In our letter we at one point referred to the contemplative spirituality teaching and emergent church teaching as “false” and the whole discussion has been hijacked by the pastor into how hurt and offended he is that we called him a “false teacher” which in fact we did not. There is even the threat of legal action being taken against us. What ever happened to christian liberty? Jill

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  9. Keep tugging on their little security blankets Mike. Those to whom God will give ears to hear will let go of them and follow the Great Shepherd Creator of the Emergent Hollow Men whose books and musings they are now craving.

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  10. Hi Mike, I have been following your last few posts with much prayer for you and for continued strengthening and discernment of the Holy Spirit in what you say and do here. I am glad to read this post. I am glad for the work of the Holy Spirit in you and in your writing. This ministry that God has given you at Possessing the Treasure blesses many and exalts God, His Word, and His ways.

    Rick’s analogy of the mother bird is so good, too.

    Will continue to pray that God be glorified, that saints be encouraged toward holiness and that the kingdom be increased by the faithful work of the Holy Spirit in you. Kim t

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  11. “Only those whose Lord is Jesus Christ are genuine Christians. That means that they are constantly seeking to obey God in all things. They may not be perfectly obedient all the time, but they are walking in repentance, working out their salvation with fear and trembling. When they fail, they repent and seek for God to help them obey Him at ever higher planes of obedience.”

    Amen and amen!

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  12. Jill,

    It is amazing to me our spiritually blind some have become in that they cannot see the truth that you and others have shared. My ex-pastor was the same way. You couldn’t tell him anything. He was right and anyone who disagreed had to be run out of the church. It hurt at the time. It hurt deeply, but now I can look back and see God’s hand in moving us out of that compromised church.

    By-the-way, spiritual blindness is born from God giving people over their idoloatry. They are deceived and even if they are deeply sincere, they are still false shepherds and false teachers.

    Legal action for speaking the truth within a church setting? Do you see how spiritually blind your pastor is? He should know from scripture that that is disobedience to direct commands we read from Paul. Amazing.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  13. Ken,

    Thanks for the encouragment brother. We have to beleive the truth from scripture. The life from God brings the light into the hearts of God people. That light cannot be overcome by the darkness. You are right. We must not stop nor should we cease praying that the truth will obliterate the strongholds of deception they are in bondage to. I really appreciate you being there when these roaring lions get all riled up. 🙂

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  14. Kim,

    Thank you for your prayers and support. It means more to me than you know. We have nothing to fear from these deceived people as long as we remain obedient as Loddie shared.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  15. Don’t worry Mike in all our dialog you have wasted my time also… and ken usually only give snide and mocking remarks to serious concerns at CRN…

    So…

    Be at peace knowing the that you somehow can justify being associated with people who attack other often without any biblical backings… such as the latest attack on Beth Moore at CRN.

    But what ever go back to your amen buddies and ignore those who may not agree with you with a ” snide remark” comment…. we have dialogued and though it started out rough I thought we have both made headway… yet i guess i was wrong…

    Thanks for your time… I repent of wasting my time by talking with you…

    iggy

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  16. iggy,

    I approved your comment because I want to address this. I will be posting something in the next few days about this little struggle. First, where did you ever get the idea that I would compromise the truth? I will not. I have attacked no one. I posted something stating that when I am obedient to God it cost those who refuse to be obedient. That was actually a devotional from Oswald Chambers from nearly 100 years ago. I firmly believe that this is biblical. Just look at the battles the Apostles and our Lord had with those who refuse to repent and obey.

    I mocked no one. I stopped allowing comments from some people because it would only result in my blog becoming a platform for compromise and that isn’t going to happen.

    This post, “Roaring Lions” was my response to people who refuse to repent when given the truth while insisting that I am spiritually arrogant because I won’t compromise the truth.

    I pray that the Lord will break your heart because of your rebellion.

    By-the-way, the Prince of Peace came to bring peace between men and God not between men and men. Those who are at peace with God will have peace with one another, but will be opposed to all who are not at peace with Him. That includes those who THINK they are at peace with Him, when in fact they are decieved and on the road to destruction.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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