The Fruit of Compromise

My friend Chris Rosebrough sent a link to the video below to our CRN discussion group today. I have long ago ceased being surprised by these examples of apostasy. The person doing most of the talking in the video is Andy Stanley and, as we have discussed in other posts, he has shown over and over again that he is a leader in what has come to known as the “New Evangelism.” Listen very carefully to what he says about the Word of God in this video and the “reason” he uses to discount it as having any authority in the Church. I have downloaded the video from Youtube so if it is removed from there I still have it. The comments there were pretty much what I expected. Those who support Stanley as their “teacher” whom they have gathered to tickle their itching ears come up with all sorts of arguments to try to explain away what he says, but there are plenty of others who are “aghast” and “disappointed,” et cetera. As I said, this in no way surprised me except that he actually said this publicly. Please watch the video with all discernment.

The Youtube video previously here was pulled. However I did save it so here is the link.

Update: The Rocket Company, which owns the rights to that video, which also had it pulled from Youtube, has asked me to pull the video from this post citing CopyRight laws. I have pulled the link to the video from this post.

Soli Deo Gloria!


by Mike Ratliff

1Διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς, καὶ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ· 2κήρυξον τὸν λόγον, ἐπίστηθι εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως, ἔλεγξον, ἐπιτίμησον, παρακάλεσον, ἐν πάσῃ μακροθυμίᾳ καὶ διδαχῇ.  3Ἔσται γὰρ καιρὸς ὅτε τῆς ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας οὐκ ἀνέξονται ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὰς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας ἑαυτοῖς ἐπισωρεύσουσιν διδασκάλους κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοὴν 4καὶ ἀπὸ μὲν τῆς ἀληθείας τὴν ἀκοὴν ἀποστρέψουσιν, ἐπὶ δὲ τοὺς μύθους ἐκτραπήσονται. (2 Timothy 4:1-4 NA28)

1 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, the one who is about to judge the living and dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom; 2 preach the word. Be ready in season, out of season, expose, rebuke, encourage, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For there will be a time when they will not bear sound doctrine; but lusting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers who do that very thing, 4 and turning their ears away from the truth they will be turned instead unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:1-4 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

One of the major reasons why the uncompromised preaching of God’s truth is so important is because there will come a time when people “will not (οὐκ) bear (ἀνέξονται)” [i.e. “put up with”] sound doctrine or as the Greek literally says, ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας or “healthy teaching.” What that means is teaching that is uncompromisingly God-centered and Biblically correct not watered down and or man-centered in order to be man pleasing or “culturally relevant.” God’s truth will never be “politically correct.” In their rebellion, “after their own lusts they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” My brethren, those days are here! Continue reading


I received an email today from my friend and fellow CRN writer Amy Spreeman. It contained a link to a post on her site Stand up for the Truth. The link is a post that contained a letter that was sent by an church elder to his former church questioning its adoption of Spiritual Formation and Transformational techniques throughout all of its ministries. His treatment by the elder board and pastor brought back some very bad memories of my own clash at a former church over its going full bore into the Purpose Driven paradigm back in 2006. For me It was tough reading this letter and the aftermath, but as I have been teaching you for quite some time now, to stand for the truth and never compromise under the Lordship of Christ will be costly for the true disciple. God is sovereign and does allow his saints to go through these fires for his own purposes. Look at the book of Job for instance. Follow this link to the article. Be blessed in the Lord my brethren. – Mike Ratliff

Soli Deo Glora!

Spiritual Formation or Biblical Sanctification?

by Mike Ratliff

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NASB)
The command by our Lord included in the Great Commission (above) to make disciples is part of the sanctification process ordained and controlled by God in the life of all true believers. However, in the current visible church there is much confusion between what we know of as Biblical Sanctification and a new term called “Spiritual Formation.” What is it? Is it a new way to do the same thing or maybe an improved way…? Can man come up with with a better way to disciple new Christians than that which God has given us? Here is what John MacArthur says.
I suggest you also carefully read the post by my good friend Ken Silva titled Dr. Gary Gilley On Spiritual Formation.
Soli Deo Gloria!

Is Vision Casting Biblical?

by Mike Ratliff

1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, (1 Timothy 4:1.2 NASB)

Apostasy seems to come in waves at times. We watch or listen to a Bible teacher or Christian leader for a time and develop a respect for them because they “seem” to be so solid doctrinally and have a love for the lost and for the preaching of the Gospel. Then out of the blue we hear a term such as “Missional” or how they are positive that God has given them a new vision for our church or their ministry and they then proceed to go into the process of “Vision Casting.” Are these things biblical? Below is an interview with John MacArthur about the Biblical veracity of “Vision Casting.”

Soli Deo Gloria

What is Idolatry?

by Mike Ratliff

1 Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments; 3 and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.”  (Genesis 35:1-3 NASB)

idolatry 1: the worship of a physical object as a god 2: immoderate attachment or devotion to something (from Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary)

I’m sure that most Christians’ conception of idolatry is one in which people fall down and worship some statue or image or a facsimile of something that appears to resemble a god. While that is an example of idolatry there is a more subtle form of idolatry that all people are neck deep in outside of the grace of God. If we look closely at the dictionary definition I placed near the top of this post, we will see that the first definition is our conception while the second is the reality that we must all agree that we are guilty of. The last word in that definition could easily be change from “something” to “someone.” Then all we have to do is look in a mirror to see who that someone is. We are all guilty of idolatry to some level. Continue reading

Who Are False Prophets and Teachers?

by Mike Ratliff

1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,  (1Timothy 4:1-2 NASB) 
In these last days, there appears to be a clarifying work of God going on in within the Visible Church. In the early church and in all those historic periods when it was not “comfortable” to be counted among those who named Christ as their Lord and Saviour, the genuine believers were easy to spot. They endured. They may have undergone severe persecution even unto death, but they did not fall away. Since the end of Puritanism, Christianity has taken on a role in the West that ensured religious freedom. Humanism began to encroach upon doctrine and in every aspect of how Church was done. Despite bright spots in this period such as the Great Awakening and then later the ministries of men like Charles Spurgeon, a downgrade in doctrine began to emerge into the Church. Humanism begat Liberal Theology which devastated the Church. A backlash against it called Fundamentalism was born. It was a move away from Liberal Theology, but it’s doctrines bore the stamp of legalism in many areas. This caused a backlash in the opposite direction that begat the emergent church movement and the New Evangelism.

Continue reading

A Disingenuous Christian?

by Mike Ratliff

18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 “You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 “For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.” (Acts 8:18-23 NASB)

In these times of the “Compromised Church” with very little knowledge of historical Christianity and what makes up what is truly Orthodox, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when I’m called a heretic and false teacher for teaching Reformation Theology and then revealing that my view of eschatology is (gasp) not dispensational/pre-millennialism. I have been told more than a few times over the last week or so that I could not possibly be a genuine brother and hold to the view of eschatology that I espouse or that I am a Calvinist, et cetera. What is it that makes one a genuine Christian rather than a disingenuous believer? Let’s take a look at a New Testament example. Continue reading

What Relationship Should Christians Have With Apostates?

by Mike Ratliff

8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For, “THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. 11 “HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. 12 “FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.”  (1 Peter 3:8-12 NASB)

This era of the Church is one of extreme deception due to compromise with the standards and focus of the world. Separation between the Church and the world is not being kept. Instead, the holy barrier between the two has been breached as false prophets have welcomed in not only the world and its ways into their churches, but have also embraced the mysticism of every type including those from Eastern Religions. Syncretism is the new byword of the Emergent Village. On the other hand, God is good. He keeps His promises. The Lord told Peter that He is the one building His Church and no evil will ever be able to destroy it. (Matthew 16:18) If this is true, and it is because our Lord spoke it, then how do we reconcile the rapid apostasy of so much of the visible Church with what He said? God always keeps a remnant during times of rampant apostasy. These Christians are the small group whom God has reserved who have not bowed the knee to Baal. These are also the ones in whom God is developing Christlikeness and through the fires of persecution by those in the visible Church who have succumbed to the heresies and ungodliness going on in it, He is teaching them how to stand firm and never compromise with evil. In this they learn the difference between debate and dialogue and know that the former actually clarifies the truth and why they hold to it while the latter is only a conversation which has the intent of compromising the truth. Continue reading

Do You Have Faith From God or Do You Have Human Faith?

by Mike Ratliff

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.  (Luke 2:15-20 NASB)

Human faith is not the same thing as Genuine (saving) faith, which is a gift from God. The former is based in Human reason and intellect. The latter is supernatural. What passes for faith in many professing believer’s “Christianity” is a belief based in who preaches to or teaches them. This is not Genuine faith because it is not a belief in the Word or in God through the Word. These are “believers” who will eventually fall away. Some may last a lifetime, but as soon as the fires of tribulation come upon them they slide into apostasy because their faith is not of the substance that endures. Continue reading

The Great Delusion

by Mike Ratliff

8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.  (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 NASB)

When I was a young Christian I was a Dispensationalist because that was what the churches I belonged to taught.  I remember listening to Hal Lindsey or some of the teachers at the church I was going to at that time teach on these things, but I never quite sunk my teeth into it. I remember never being fully convinced about that eschatology or that the Church would be secretly Raptured away and miss the Tribulation or that the “Tribulation,” as it was being presented by those Dispensationlists, was Biblical.  Why did I have these issues? At that time I did not really have any knowledge of other views of eschatology so I was more than a little concerned about these things.  These eschatological teachings with which I had issues are structured to be popular and they are presented in a way that tickles the itching ears of the many rather than on what is Biblical. Continue reading

The High Cost of Living A Godly Life

by Mike Ratliff

10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  (2 Timothy 3:10-13 NASB)

“Christians” in the United States and other “civilized” countries do not exist in a climate of a fear of persecution like those in China and India. Some would say that is because of our culture or that there are huge numbers of Christians here. However, the truth of the matter is that Christians who live in total obedience to their Lord will be persecuted. So, what does that say about Christians who live at peace with the world around them? The truth of the matter is this; the reason Christians are not persecuted in the US is that very few of them are walking in the level of obedience to their Lord that would draw attention to them from those who hate the real Jesus and the Word of God. However, if they were living holy lives, sharing their faith, actively making disciples, and preaching the whole Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ the wrath of Satan and his seed would come upon them. Continue reading