How to gauge the authenticity of a Christian leader or teacher or preacher or minister

by Mike  Ratliff

21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:21-23 NASB)

Was it just a couple of years ago that we were vociferously debating what was going on in the seeker sensitive churches all around us as they abandoned expository preaching, replacing it with topical sermons, entertainment, drama, dance, videos, et cetera? Things sure have progressed, or is it actually the opposite with the gospel contextualization having replaced all of that with the goal of church globalization within the framework of Dominonism? I remember some of the debates from that time and as I look back on it now, I see what was actually happening. Of course, at the time, as the Hegelian Dialectic is in play and Diaprax is in one of its incremental changes, it is difficult to see the “big picture.” As we look back at what was done and how it was accomplished by these devoted to their globalization agenda we can see clearly that we were dealing with the forces of our enemy who were dedicated to “ministry” via the practice of cunning in disgraceful, underhanded ways as they tampered with God’s Word for their own ends (2 Corinthians 4:1-2). That is not what He called us to do nor does He allow us to do.

1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:1-2 NASB)

This is the Apostle Paul’s statement of the integrity of his ministry and it should ours as well. What does it mean that he renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God? Sounds complex, but it really is not. Paul’s ministry, including all who worked with him was centered in God’s Word as absolute truth. He taught it that way. There was no “wider” view of God’s truth. God said it, therefore, that settled it. That is why he appealed to the people’s conscience. That is how the conscience works. It is a yes or no part of the human heart. It knows nothing about the pollution of “relationship language” in the context of biblical truth. God’s Word is Truth. It kills. It divides.

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two- edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NASB)

Paul did not hold back on the truth to spare people’s feelings. The Apostles and the early church were martyred for this reason. They approached their Christianity and their daily lives as inseparable and didactically. God gave us His truth, this is what He said, and we will not turn either left or right from it. Therefore, they were persecuted. The church has learned to live dialectically since then, that is, by compromising. That is why it is no longer persecuted. Which brings God glory? Paul shared with the Corinthians what life in this lost and dying world is like for those who live and walk the proper Christian life on the narrow path centered in God’s truth, relating to everyone didactically rather than dialectically.

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you. (2 Corinthians 4:7-12 NASB)

If we live our lives in the center of God’s will for us then we will also not compromise with those who compromise His truth. We will not tolerate their lies about God’s truth as they try to minster in disgraceful, underhanded ways as they practice cunning, tampering with God’s Word for their own ends. No, we cannot mix with them at all. The Holy Spirit will work to divide us from them for they and their doctrines are poisonous and deadly. As we stand against those who minister this way or against family and friends who believe this way, it will cost us. The truth of God divides God’s people from those who are not His.  There are some who hold that God is all about relationships and that takes precedence over truth. That is found nowhere in God’s Word, but the opposite is. We are told to not be associated in any way with heretics and those who are apostatizing (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

I have been asked for a very precise method to gauge the authenticity of the Christian leader or teacher or preacher or minister. In the past, I would have immediately said that the genuine Christian leader is one centered in God’s Word as the absolute truth while the false leader is one who waffles there. However, we have seen some very well respected Christian leaders make some very strange relationship decisions, appearing with obviously apostates in conferences or whatever. What is going on? It was through further research based on the didactic vs. the dialectic form of Christian ministry that this “gauge” of authenticity was made more apparent to me. Here it is. The genuine Christian leader is not only centered in God’s Word alone as absolute truth, he also ministers didactically. He tells the truth even if it means its going to cause separation in relationships. He does not minister in a way that puts human relationships ahead of God’s truth. On the other hand, the false Christian leader is one who puts human relationships ahead of God’s truth. In other words, he ministers dialectically. He ministers in a way that compromises God’s truth for the sake of relationships.

There you have it. If you are in Christian leadership, I pray that you honestly examine yourself. Pray for God to show you the truth. Pray for God to grant you repentance of the pollution of compromise wherever it is found in your ministry. Yes, if you turn around and minister didactically, it most certainly will cost you here in the temporal, but you will bring God glory in and through your ministry think of that eternal reward my brothers.

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. (Matthew 16:24-27 NASB)

Soli Deo Gloria!

8 thoughts on “How to gauge the authenticity of a Christian leader or teacher or preacher or minister

  1. But Mike – Billy Graham and Paige Patterson don’t agree with you, therefore you must be wrong! That is truly the case in most churches in these parts.

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  2. Walking that way has gotten folks kicked off of more than a few blogs and out of more than a few “fellowships” (pronounced Fallow Sheeps) over the last 10 years….

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  3. Amen! Praise the Lord for this post. And yes, it does cost us to follow the Lord. He told us that, it’s called the cost of discipleship, which we are all called to as believers. We must choose His truth over everything else, relationships, you name it, and that is how we are called to live, we don’t leave our loyalty to Jesus outside of any doorstep. Truly following Jesus brings persecution, He told us it would, and it will only get worse. The dividing line will soon be even more solid and it lies in this question from the Lord; “Do you truly love me more than _______?” “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matt. 10; 37
    Some will fall one one side of that scepter, others on the other side. If we are not His witnesses, we bring Him no glory. We are called to be His witnesses with our testimony of Jesus unto death. Rev. 12; 11. This is the word for the moment, it is crucial at this time to make sure Jesus and our loyalty to Him comes first.

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  4. On another note, it takes a while to see this about what has happened. But it is nothing less than scheming and cunning on the part of the enemy. Yes, that translates into conspiracy theory. But, it’s not just a theory about a conspiracy, it’s a list of facts about many conspiracies. The mastermind behind it is of course satan, pulling the strings of the powerful under him, and the wolves have infiltrated the church from the top down by design, intention, deliberate malice and forethought. The goal is their agenda to get the pew warmers on board with the dominionist plan and embracing the antichrist. They swap the truth of God’s word; that only Jesus can bring real change (to human nature (the root of the problem) by saving us and conforming us into His image, and to the world by His return, bringing in His kingdom) to the lie that ‘we’ can ‘change’ the world into a utopia through ‘transformation.’ Unity at the expense of truth is what they call for, ushering in unity with other religions and eventually the one world religion under antichrist. Anyone who doesn’t compromise the gospel will be labeled a ‘terrorist’ and ‘extremist’ who stands in the way of ‘world peace.’ Antichrist will take over all the governments too, and the ‘solution’ to the world’s economic, political, and religious turmoil he will claim to bring, and at the cost that all must worship him or die (Rev. 13). But most of the church won’t even notice. They will be totally lulled to sleep, duped by all the books from Apostasy Inc., not reading the bible, believing the lies from the pulpits and their religious mascots and idols, chasing after the cares of this life. Believing lies from “Left Behind,” that they won’t even see the antichrist (contrary to 2 Thess. 2), they will instead be giving him their hearty approval. But, that was the enemy’s plan all along. And when those ‘pesky’ types like us warn them that this is wrong and that it is the broad road that leads to destruction, they will give their hearty approval when we are put to death for our testimony that Jesus is the only way of salvation and refuse to compromise our loyalty to Jesus by joining hands with them and their one world religion of abomination. By the way, have you read David Cameron’s speech about limiting extremists? There is some interesting language there, see the article entitled:
    “David Cameron to unveil new limits on extremists’ activities in Queen’s speech”, it’s worth a google!

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  5. Mike, praise God for the timeliness of this article. This spoke to my heart exactly when I really, really, really needed to hear this. Christians, today, don’t want to hear the whole truth, they only want little bits and pieces that make them feel good. And if you share the part that doesn’t make them feel good, you are no longer their “friend.” This hasty attitude of “unfriending” is probably a result of what is going on in social media (facebook). It has now carried over into their daily lives as they interact with real people. They do not want to be challenged in order to grow (iron sharpens iron). Is this due to the carry over from what is being preached in the pulpit today? There seems to be a hyper-sensitivity today amongst Christians. Oh how they are offended so easily. It doesn’t even matter if you have scripture to back up what you are saying. Apparently, that doesn’t matter because for them, relationships are more important than the Word of God. You know, a little compromise won’t hurt anyone…just enough to go along to get along (the herd mentality). Again, I ask, is this the result of what is being taught and preached in the pulpit today…no accountability? Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. v5) Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” God Bless!

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  6. Victoria – Billy Graham certainly helped the ecuminical movement, but it started centuries before he dreew his first breath. Rome rejoiced when Jacob Arminius defected from his professed belief in the sovereignty of God, as did others before him. The prince of the air has had willing disciples and “useful idiots” in each generation since the Fall of man.

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