Our required response to ‘liberal christianity’s’ attempted takeover of the visible Church

by Mike Ratliff

1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self- control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7 NASB)

I have a book in my library by J. Greshem Machen. It was published in 1923 while Dr. Machen was still at Princeton. The name of the book is Christianity & Liberalism. In this book Dr. Machen lays out the facts very clearly proving that Orthodox Christianity and ‘liberal christianity’ are two separate religions. On this blog that statement is one of our man tenets as well. I am amazed how often I have to fight the same battle over and over again against those who want to water down the truth, compromise, partner with those who are obvious apostates or say stupid things like, “I openly suggest to all Christians that we should study the Open Theists, the liberal Christians, the Pelagians, the Arminians, all of them, because each of them has something “useful” to say…” That is something that someone would say who has already taken that first or second step into unbelief. The battle line on this blog and in my life and pray it is for you as well is that we remain ready to defend God’s truth, share the truth to all who will hear and never retreat. 

The following is a quote from the late Dr. Walter Martin:

There is a progression that takes place in liberal theology: It begins with a corrupt bibliology, a corrupt view of the nature and the inspiration of Scripture. They have a corrupt theology because once you are picking and choosing from the Bible what you want, your theology has to suffer from it, because your human reason is corrupt… every major theological seminary that has turned from orthodox Christianity began with disbelief of Biblical doctrine.

There wasn’t a single exception.This corrupt Bibliology then lead them to the next step. Their theology began to be touched by it, their view of the Cross, the Virgin Birth were both immediately questioned; then came the miracles of Christ… And finally they had emptied the Gospel of all its content; they were simply using the outward shell so that they go on collecting money from the people and the churches; because they knew that if the people in the pew knew that they were apostate, they’d throw them out. So the strategy was hang on to the trust funds; hang on to the money we’ve got; hang on the properties we control, and we will gradually educate the laymen into this new approach to theology.

And then finally we will take control of everything. The gradual process of feeding you theological poison until you become immunized enough so that you don’t know what’s happening to you. And when you wake up to what’s happening to you, it’s too late they’ve got everything. That is not a baseless charge, I stand prepared to prove that the Cult of Liberal Theology in the United States has deliberately and consistently followed this methodology to entrap, control and dominate the denominations and the churches of the United States and our educational institutions. (The Cult of Liberalism, available from Walter Martin Religious InfoNet)

Did you notice the progression? It is important that we understand where this corruption starts. What is the first thing that so-called christian liberals attack as they attempt to take over or change whatever Christian institution or church or denomination or function? They are corrupt or liberal because they began with a corrupt bibliology, which is a corrupt view of the nature and the inspiration of Scripture. This is the first domino. If it goes then the rest fall rather quickly and by the time full corruption has set in all that is left is just an empty shell of the Gospel and just a façade of what used be Christian. So, what is it that we must do in order to fight the good fight to stop the liberal agenda from making what is left of the church visible in the United States nothing more than another part of Rick Warren’s empire?

1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 NASB)

Let’s look at this a verse at a time.

1) I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:

1) Διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς, καὶ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ·

The NASB’s rendering of “I solemnly charge you” translates the verb διαμαρτύρομαι or diamarturomai, which is in Present Tense, Indicative Mood, and Middle Voice. Paul is telling Timothy and everyone who reads this that what he is about to say is a command. The Greek has the idea of issuing a forceful order or directive. Paul then enforces this even further by saying, “ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς” or, literally, “before God and Christ Jesus the one about to judge the living and dead…” Why is Paul emphasizing this this way? This grammatical construction suggests imminency—that Christ is about to judge. He is doing this to make sure that we understand our accountability to Christ as Judge. All believers, especially ministers of the Word of God, serve Christ and this service is rendered both under His watchful eye and with the knowledge that as Judge He will one day appraise the works of every believer. Therefore, Paul is about to issue a command and is emphasizing this accountability to all of us. Woe be to all believers, especially ministers of the Word of God, who do not take this seriously by not obeying the command Paul is giving.

2) preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2) κήρυξον τὸν λόγον, ἐπίστηθι εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως, ἔλεγξον, ἐπιτίμησον, παρακάλεσον, ἐν πάσῃ μακροθυμίᾳ καὶ διδαχῇ.

The NASB’s rendering of “preach” translates the verb κήρυξον, which is the Aorist Tense, Imperative Mood, Active Voice form of κηρύσσω or kērussō, “to preach, proclaim, tell, announce a message.” This is the first part of the command. Our focus must be on preaching the Word and this means the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as well as expository preaching through books of God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice the rest of the command. We don’t preach the word only to those who want to hear it and only when it is convenient, but we must ἐπίστηθι or “be ready.” Again, this is in the Aorist, Imperative, Active form. The base verb is ἐφίστημι or ephistēmi, “in this context this verb carries the ideas of urgency, preparedness, and readiness. It was used of a soldier prepared to go into battle or a guard who was continually alert for any surprise attack. Think about the surprise attacks that descend upon us nowadays from the enemy! Notice the next two contrasts, “in season and out of season.” This the translation of εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως. These are adverbs. The first one, εὐκαίρως or eukairōs speaks of opportunely: – conveniently, in season. On the other hand, ἀκαίρως or akairōs speaks of inopportunely: – out of season. In other words, we are to be prepared to preach the Word urgently whether it is convenient or not. We are to do so whether the people want to hear the truth or not. We are not to be concerned about tickling people’s ears. We see that in the next part of the verse because this is what real preaching of the Word of God does. It reproves, rebukes and exhorts. We do all this with complete patience as teachers of the Word of God.

3-4)  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

3-4) Ἔσται γὰρ καιρὸς ὅτε τῆς ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας οὐκ ἀνέξονται ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὰς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας ἑαυτοῖς ἐπισωρεύσουσιν διδασκάλους κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοὴν καὶ ἀπὸ μὲν τῆς ἀληθείας τὴν ἀκοὴν ἀποστρέψουσιν, ἐπὶ δὲ τοὺς μύθους ἐκτραπήσονται.

The phrase, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching” is a rendering of “Ἔσται γὰρ καιρὸς ὅτε τῆς ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας οὐκ ἀνέξονται.” It is the teaching of sound doctrine (ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας) that is the problem for these people. The word οὐκ absolutely nullifies the verb ἀνέξονται, which is the Future Tense, Indicative Mood, and Middle Voice form of ἀνέχομαι or anechomai, “to hold oneself up against, that is, (figuratively) put up with: – bear with endure, forbear, suffer.” What Paul is saying refers to holding up under adversity and a good translation here would be “tolerate.” This is a warning that in the dangerous times of these last days, many will become intolerant of the confrontive, demanding preaching of God’s Word as Paul just described for us above that is commanded for us to continue to do whether it is convenient or not. How are we to remain faithful in this when so many are resisting the truth?

5) As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

5) Σὺ δὲ νῆφε ἐν πᾶσιν, κακοπάθησον, ἔργον ποίησον εὐαγγελιστοῦ, τὴν διακονίαν σου πληροφόρησον.

Regardless of the resistance from the enemies of the cross of Christ, we must remain faithful because we have been given this command in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus as a charge. I wonder how many ministers of the Word of God understand that they have been given this commission to do this this way? There are some of us whom God has given spiritual gifts like those I have that enable me to put these posts together or get up in front of people and exposit God’s Word or teach or counsel or rebuke and exhort. We all have ministries. Let us do them in the power of the Holy Spirit regardless of the merciless attacks and outright lies coming from those who claim to be Christian leaders, but who prove they are wolves by their denial of good doctrines of our Orthodox Christian Faith. We prove they are false by remaining faithful and showing that what they teach is not the truth, not by attacking them directly.

Even so, as we remain faithful, there will always be those who will not tolerate the truth and will resort to all sorts of evil tactics to attack us as well as the message we proclaim. No matter what, let us do our work, fulfilling our ministry.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Greek Bible text from: Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th revised edition, Edited by Barbara Aland and others, © 2012 Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart.

8 thoughts on “Our required response to ‘liberal christianity’s’ attempted takeover of the visible Church

  1. In one of the old Baptist books I’ve been reading, one author proclaimed that we do not serve our purpose and our Lord well when we soften our message. To reduce the gospel or the rest of Scripture to “God loves you too much to let you stay the way you are!” is to deny the whole of Scripture.


  2. “Certain it is, my reader, that any preacher who rejects Gods Law, who denies repentance to be a condition of salvation, who assures the giddy and godless that they are loved by God, who declares that saving faith is nothing more than an act of the will which every person has the power to perform, is a false prophet, and should be shunned as a deadly plague.” —Taken from “The Sermon on the Mount” by A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

    How we desperately need men like A. W. Pink; men of boldness, men empowered by God the Spirit to stand up and proclaim His truth with boldness, not caring what people think of them.
    Mike, may the Lord continue to give you strength and wisdom to stand firm against the tidal wave of apostasy that continues to pound the shores of true biblical Christianity.



  3. Sorry to be off topic, but has anyone heard of Kim Davis?
    They have t-shirts now that say things like ‘save Saeed,’ which is good, (the Iranian pastor in prison there for his faith), but what about something for the Christians being persecuted right here on American soil? She is in jail for refusing to compromise with sin, google for more.

    To take a stand for our Christian faith, our God given right to obey it, to stand in the face of persecution with determination, boldness, and dignity, honored to suffer for Him, and stand with those already persecuted in this way, I am doing a ‘Yellow Cross’ movement. You take a piece of yellow fabric, cut out a cross, sew it onto a t-shirt or levi jacket (it’s supposed to look raggedy) and the statement is obvious especially for those familiar with the last holocaust and the Jewish yellow star. It’s hard to get through elementary school without having seen those photos of Jews wearing it because they were forced to. I wear it because I choose to and am honored to, not out of shame, but honor. I am honored to suffer for His namesake and righteousness sake! Anyone can do this!


  4. This seems like a noble thing to do, however, where is the biblical support for this? When the Apostles were jailed and persecuted, how did believers react? They prayed, and they were increased in boldness to proclaim truth. The yellow star that the Jews were forced to wear signified humiliation, as one Jewish woman put it {source -http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/education/artifacts/star.asp} . They were not forced to wear the star of David because they were followers of Christ; the star itself symbolizes Judaism {source- http://shamash.org/lists/scj-faq/HTML/faq/11-09-02.html}. We who are born again certainly do not want to be affiliated with that.

    Perhaps the zeal here is a bit misplaced; rather than attach yellow crosses to our clothing {this saves no one}, let us proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not in a battle with flesh and blood, this battle is spiritual. Our weapon of warfare is God’s holy word.


  5. Lyn, and everyone… I agree. My point, and I am sure none of you are surprised about it, is an intense dislike for remaining in this fallen world having to deal with evil all around us continually all the time. I so desperately want to go home… Then I read today’s devotion from Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning.

    Saturday, September 05, 2015

    This Morning’s Meditation

    C. H. Spurgeon

    “Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar.”—Psalm 120:5.
    As a Christian you have to live in the midst of an ungodly world, and it is of little use for you to cry “Woe is me.” Jesus did not pray O that you should be taken out of the world, and what He did not pray for you need not desire. Better far in the Lord’s strength to meet the difficulty, and glorify Him in it. The enemy is ever on the watch to detect inconsistency in your conduct; be therefore very holy. Remember that the eyes of all are upon you, and that more is expected from you than from other men. Strive to give no occasion for blame. Let your goodness be the only fault they can discover in you. Like Daniel, compel them to say of you, “We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” Seek to be useful as well as consistent. Perhaps you think, “If I were in a more favourable position I might serve the Lord’s cause, but I cannot do any good where I am”; but the worse the people are among whom you live, the more need have they of your exertions; if they be crooked, the more necessity that you should set them straight; and if they be perverse, the more need have you to turn their proud hearts to the truth. Where should the physician be but where there are many sick? Where is honour to be won by the soldier but in the hottest fire of the battle? And when weary of the strife and sin that meets you on every hand, consider that all the saints have endured the same trial. They were not carried on beds of down to heaven, and you must not expect to travel more easily than they. They had to hazard their lives unto the death in the high places of the field, and you will not be crowned till you also have endured hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Therefore, “stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”

    Soli Deo Gloria!


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