by Mike Ratliff
2 οὐ γὰρ ἔκρινά τι εἰδέναι ἐν ὑμῖν εἰ μὴ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν καὶ τοῦτον ἐσταυρωμένον. 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NA28)
2 I decided to not know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
When I started this writing ministry I had completely different goals (i.e. motives) than what I have now. I was doing this as a career move. I approached it from that perspective, but it did not take very long at all for God to force the issue and take away all of that as most in what we know of as the ‘visible church’ would consider what we do here as borderline reprehensible. However, I find it interesting that many of these same people do not hesitate to come to us for prayer and counsel when they hit rock bottom and God leaves them without an escape from the fiery trial that has come upon them.
In the last few weeks the “Woke Christianity” debacle has become “a thing” in the visible church. What do I mean? I have been aware of many so-called Christian leaders proclaiming that the Gospel is not complete or not really preached unless it is within the framework of “Social Justice.” This “Social Justice,” however, is not simply Christians taking care of the widows and orphans and helpless as we are commanded in the Bible. No, this is an attempt to combine the Gospel with Social Marxism. It is another form of Christian Liberalism. What I meant by it becoming “a thing” is that it has been revealed that many former solid Christian groups, denominations, and seminaries have bought into it and are actually teaching it and turning out new pastors who now “Woke Christians.”
I have attempted to make my stand against this and many people who were offended by me actually giving the names of the men who are doing this. I will be gracious here and say that I believe they simply could not believe that one or more of their favorite Christian leaders could say or do something like that, but the proof is out there and we have exposed it and now those who are offended by the truth are again saying we are being ungracious and divisive.
Since God reoriented me and this ministry I pray that most of you have also become aware that I have attempted to model it after what the Apostle Paul shares in 1 Corinthians 2 especially v2 when it comes to interrelations with each other. Let’s start with vv1-5.
1 Κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, ἦλθον οὐ καθʼ ὑπεροχὴν λόγου ἢ σοφίας καταγγέλλων ὑμῖν τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ θεοῦ. 2 οὐ γὰρ ἔκρινά τι εἰδέναι ἐν ὑμῖν εἰ μὴ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν καὶ τοῦτον ἐσταυρωμένον. 3 κἀγὼ ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ καὶ ἐν φόβῳ καὶ ἐν τρόμῳ πολλῷ ἐγενόμην πρὸς ὑμᾶς, 4 καὶ ὁ λόγος μου καὶ τὸ κήρυγμά μου οὐκ ἐν πειθοῖ[ς] σοφίας [λόγοις] ἀλλʼ ἐν ἀποδείξει πνεύματος καὶ δυνάμεως, 5 ἵνα ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν μὴ ᾖ ἐν σοφίᾳ ἀνθρώπων ἀλλʼ ἐν δυνάμει θεοῦ. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NA28)
1 And I having come to you brothers, I came not according to excellence of speech or wisdom announcing to you the mystery of God. 2 I decided to not know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 And I in weakness and in fear and in much trembling was with you. 4 And my speech and my proclamation was not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power 5 that your faith may not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Compare that with many of the “ministries” in our time my brethren. I compare it to my original goals and am ashamed. I set out to do the very opposite even though I was ignorant that that was what I was doing. I was seeking to gain a following for myself instead of doing as Paul did here, which is to humble self and make sure that it is Christ and Him crucified is all the message that the hearers hear and through that, God moves and the Church is planted and grows, et cetera. Christ Himself builds it, not according to the efforts of men or according to the wisdom of this world.
This knowing nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified is not just talking about presenting the gospel to the lost. It is also talking about how Christians relate to one another. When we are flippant with each other at all then we are not doing this. When we are mean or hateful or selfish or demanding, or any other thing that is centered in the flesh in our relationships with each other then we are not relating to each other within the bounds of knowing nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. No, instead, we are acting like the world, our flesh is in control, and that is not Christlike.
6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written,
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 (NASB)
There you have it my brethren. Paul’s standard for how he conducted his ministry and it is also the very thing God has impressed upon me to conduct this one. I know that I did not start out this way, but God accomplished this by taking away a great deal of my hopes and dreams and plans, but in their place He has given me faith that cannot be moved and love for Him and His Church that is far deeper than I can describe. Yes, I know that there is what we call the “visible church,” much of which is as apostate as can be. Our job is to continue to proclaim, “Come out of her before it is too late.” In the mean time my brethren, we do have the mind of Christ and we must continue to grow deeper in our faith as we ask God for Wisdom and Discernment each day that we may serve Him as He wills. Let us always treat each other, knowing nothing among ourselves but Christ and Him crucified.
Soli Deo Gloria!