The inner war

by Mike Ratliff

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15 (NASB)

False prophets have infiltrated the Church since the very beginning. Also, disingenuous professors have always plagued churches. There has not been a time when the church has been free from enemies within. However, in our time the church is the sickest it has ever been. False prophets beget false doctrine, the doctrine of demons, for the false believers that flock to them. Sound Doctrine is no longer tolerated. Expository preaching and teaching is ignored or shouted down. This is happening not between Christians and non-Christians, but between professing Christians in the “name” of Christ. As a result of the “visible church” becoming more and more like the world, it has also begun to take on the insanity of “Political Correctness” and “Cultural Marxism”.  As a result of this pollution, those in the “visible church” who are contaminated by these things also demand, “No Offense to Anyone,” that is, except those who hold solid doctrine.

If doctrinal disagreements happen, the resultant “debate” soon resembles some sort of all out gang war. Those holding sound doctrine will often be condemned and threatened and pressured to abjure to their opponents view using every imaginable tactic. When he or she refuses to give in to the onslaught then those on attack will escalate it to something like this, “either you ‘repent’ and apologize publicly for this (not giving in) or I will ruin you. I will warn everyone about you.” Of course those other ravenous wolves demanding that he or she give in are chiming in with all sorts of threats such as, “either you … or I will pull my support for your ministry.” Again, what was their crime? They held a doctrine and presented it as the truth. Those in disagreement did all they could to silence the offender for good. They did not try to understand the point of the accused even when it was given plainly. The fact that he or she would not cave in to the pressure made them a target. Interestingly, the only and best way to end this is to simply do the Christlike thing, end the discussion and walk away. Of course, then they will be accused of being spiritually proud, etc. However, didn’t our Lord get accused of much worse than that?

No folks, these are not non-Christians doing this but professing Christians doing this to other Christians. We can no longer disagree on anything. If we do, then we will have the thought police down upon us to make sure we knuckle under to their will. How did we get here? How did the Church become full of factious war with hit squads and secret police?

14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. 1 Peter 4:14-19 (NASB) 

Is God judging the Church? I believe He is. I believe that the Church is lurching forward toward the culmination of a couple of centuries of bad doctrine and compromise with the World. The sick Church we have now is the product of the downgrade that began in the 19th Century. Some may even go back to the compromises that came upon the Church after the Puritan era. In any case, it is full of false prophets and false professors who will not endure sound doctrine or those who hold it and teach it. Why would God allow this to happen to the Church?

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. Romans 1:18-19 (NASB) 

This is the key. Unrighteousness suppresses the truth. Why? The ungodly cannot endure the truth. They hate it. What does this tell us then? The Church has many ungodly in it who suppress the truth. Many are leaders. Many have ministries. Many have been in the ministry a very long time and looked great and wonderful for decades, but now their apostasy is being revealed for all to see. God always judges unrighteousness especially in those who profess to be righteous. Since the Church is being ravaged then we must believe that God is allowing this to happen for His purposes. He is judging the Church.

However, I have good news. God always works with a Remnant. There is always the invisible True Church within the “visible church” that has the godly and ungodly side by side in it. The Remnant of godly believers will be the targets of the thought police who are Satan’s seed being used by God to cleanse the bride of Christ. When the attacks come upon them because they hold to sound doctrine, they must not lose heart, but keep their eyes fixed upon their Lord while continuing to run the race set before them by God.

1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NASB) 

Persecution will come. We must not lose heart, but simply continue to obey our Lord in all that we do.

Soli Deo Gloria.

9 thoughts on “The inner war

  1. Very sad, but very nice summation of the current state of affairs, Mike. Many “churches” have the best sound systems, HVAC, lighting, laser shows, etc. And all of those are nothing compared to the Gospel. Our church doesn’t even have Internet Wi-Fi, we think it’s a waste of money for the church (our Pastor has it at the parsonage). If not sound doctrine, then there is no sound church, no matter how many bells and whistles it has.


  2. Much of this problem arises due to the PROFOUND ABSENCE (a literal FAMINE) of PREACHING THE WORD of God aright, and SUBSTITUTING OTHER THINGS. Virtually ANYONE can call themselves a “pastor” or a “teacher” and hang a “church” sign on the door, and call their group a “church” whether they are a true biblical Ekklesia, or not. The average person sitting in the pew is ill equipped to discern between Sound Biblical Doctrine and mere pseudo-biblical persuasive words of men’s so-called “wisdom.”


  3. Very True! Most Church’s and christian book stores are very scary places, anything goes!
    If you do not have music and lights and free thinking sermons, or shall I say stories, you are not a Church of a large number. Slim pickings if you’re looking for truth!!
    Another Gospel is being preached…


  4. To me, it seems like a lot of church “preaching” these days is just counseling people how to have a better life. A verse or two is thrown in as a backdrop, but the majority of time is spent telling people ways to improve self-esteem, relationships, careers, dealing with “issues” of life.
    And of course, lest I forget, how to improve your financial situation by giving to the church – your account balances indicating the blessing of God in your life. I believe all of these things are covered in the bible if they would just teach and preach it. Just my .02.


  5. The comment above by Paul is spot on.

    And perhaps if one has read the recent “affairs” concerning Bill Hybels one of the “Visible” Church mega leaders you can see an example of what Mike says about God’s judgement.

    As for the impact of persecution on the “professing” Christian, Jesus summed it up in these two verses.

    Mat 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
    Mat 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.


  6. Yes, I totally agree with all the comments above. I noticed right after I posted this that Phil Johnson and Chris Rosebrough posted similar posts and are specifically including into their’s Andy Stanley. I did have him in mind when I put this together, but also many others like Joel Osteen and Stephen Futick. However, I think the most dangerous ones out there are the copy-cat pastors and leaders in those churches around the corner who are doing everything they can to “be just like Rick Warren” or “just like Joel Osteen” or “Just like Andy Stanley.” What do those men all have in common? They have their own little empires. They are rolling in money. They can’t change what they are doing because that would ruin their cash flow. The people they have coming into their churches are wanting their itching ears tickled and so that’s what they do for them.

    About two years before God drew me to himself to prepare me for what was coming, which was my pastor attempting to go purpose driven, my pastor came to the hospital where my wife was having surgery. He supposedly came to comfort her and pray with us, but as soon as they rolled her into surgery he said, “Okay, lets go to the coffee shop, I want to talk with you about something.” I was stunned. He was already planning his move. He wanted me to tell him about how a former pastor of mine had taken our former church from being traditional to Purpose Driven, what steps he took, blah, blah, blah. I told him what I could, but I was really thinking about my wife in surgery. He left after about an hour. I forgot about it.

    Then in 2004 I was taken through that 8 month boot camp with God and was totally changed forever. I will never go back to being a pew sitter, and simply being religious. God changed me. In any case, it was right after that that my pastor started his move into P.D. However, God had me already working with Ken Silva in dealing with the P.D. stuff online in debates. I knew more about it then most P.D. pastors and I had Rick Warren and his methods nailed. So when my pastor asked me to read The Purpose Driven Church to prepare the way for him taking the church that way I was stunned. I wrote a paper to the him and the Church council and the Deacons telling them why the P.D. paradigm was heretical and why we should not do it. After I presented it, my wife and I were no longer welcome there. We never went back.

    That was the start of this ministry where I began helping those who lost their churches to pastors like my former pastor who thought being a secular copy-cat was better than obeying God. God has taken me through many ups and downs and many debates since then and I think I have grown a lot through it all. I have no idea what he has planned for me and my wife now. We are both getting into our late 60’s so who knows? Please pray for us especially that God will give us direction and lead from this point forward or if it is time to pull the plug and let someone else fight these battles.


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