by Mike Ratliff
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. (2 Timothy 4:1-4 NASB)
In the passage above (2 Timothy 4:1-4) the word “myths” translates the Greek noun μύθους (mythous), the Accusative, Plural of μῦθος (mythos). It is where we get the English words myth and mythology. In Classical Greek, this is a tale or fable that is “fabricated by the mind in contrast to reality.” In the New Testament, μύθους is always used to denote a cunning fable full of falsehoods and pretenses for the purpose of deceiving others. Those who willingly turn from God’s truth will unwillingly be deceived. Is this happening in our day? Yes it is. Why? It is because most of the visible church won’t tolerate true preaching, which proclaims truth and confronts sin, and so doctrinal error is everywhere: God’s sovereignty has been redefined in the “Open Theism” movement; Christians seek extra-biblical revelation through mysticism and so-called prophecies; hell is denied as a reality; the roles of men and women are blurred or destroyed altogether; homosexuality, fornication, abortion, and other immorality is condoned and even defended; et cetera. This deception has resulted in most of what we call the “visible church” as having zero discernment. Error is rampant because they have willingly turned from God’s truth. In this they have proved that they have not entered by the narrow gate.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way leading to destruction and many are the ones entering through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and constricted the road leading to life and few are the ones finding it.” Matthew 7:13, 14 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (Luke 13:24 NASB)
Churchianity is not Christianity though some will disagree with me in saying that. No, Churchianity is a form of idolatry that is man-focused works-righteousness, pietism, Biblical ignorance, church tradition, et cetera. The analogy our Lord gives us in Matthew 7:13, 14 compares genuine Christianity versus false forms of Christianity, which we call the “majority of the visible church.”
In our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount He gives us in Matthew 5, 6 and the first part of Matthew 7 what a genuine Christian looks like in comparison to one who is simply religious. The genuine Christian is one who has entered the Kingdom of God by the narrow gate. It is the only way. There is no other. As we see in Luke 13:24, many seek to come to God their own way, that is by their own religion rather than the narrow way, but, of course, they are not able. Man-made religiosity is the broad way leading to destruction.
It is vital that we stand firm right here my brethren. Post-Modern thinking has crippled the reasoning ability of those who are in darkness. Sadly, many of them are deceived into believing that their religiosity is real Christianity while true Biblical, orthodox, doctrinally sound Christianity is too narrow and those of us who believe that God’s Word is his truth, infallible, inerrant, and complete are just legalistic, judgmental jerks. I have been accused of that more times than I can count since I started this ministry. There were many times when that I happened I would allow certain commenters whose comments I blocked after I allowed them a few so I could make a point. That point was that with each of their accusations that since what I taught was contrary to what they believed then it was simply my opinion rather than what we clearly showed them from Sacred Scripture in context that they were very wrong. Were they convinced? No, they simply became more and more belligerent and rejected the premise we were teaching, that Jesus taught us to not judge hypocritically, not to never judge, using solid Biblical Exegesis with everything in proper context. However, since they disagreed with what we taught then we must be wrong and so it did not matter what the Bible taught, we were incapable of knowing the truth and proved it by not agreeing with them so their accusations increased so I would end up spamming their comments and blocking them.
What was their problem? If solid Biblical exegesis is not acceptable proof and you have no other recourse but to heckle and accuse, that is, you have no Biblically sound rebuttal then by the way you handle your “debate” you prove you are not within the narrow gate. You are outside and this is proven by your rejection of God’s Word as Truth and the contextual rules of proper Biblical Exegesis are what we use to reveal the truth of his Word to you and you reject and, therefore, this proves that you do not have the mind of Christ, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who would take the truth from the Word of God that is taught and identify it to you as truth. Hence the seriousness of being a Bible teacher.
Churchianity bypasses the mind and is all about the heart, which is mindless. Genuine Christianity encompasses both. That is why we must become transformed through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). This is our sanctification. Those outside of the narrow gate cannot be sanctified because they have never been justified. This is why they do not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and so doing, they turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Remember my brethren, when accusers come as we stand firm, and they will in these times of deep deception, you will be able to tell those who really are seeking to help you find the truth from those who are simply servants of the evil one. Those who seeking to truly teach us the truth will use solid Biblical teaching, but those in darkness cannot do that. They will only badger and accuse and try to discourage us with their false charges and twisting of scripture. This is why we must know the truth and be ready to defend it.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Reblogged this on Rainbow Trout and commented:
Mike well said, and a good complement to your recent 2 Timothy 3 post!
Churchianity also has its milder forms.These can include club like friendship and fellowship, Emphasis on family parenting, marriage and community service and helping those who have great needs, all good things in themselves but they can become the focus of the church. Many are desiring a vital atmosphere focusing on music and excitement often with great sincerity, but doctrinally light at best. Unfortunately all this is encouraged by the seemingly endless stream of authors, pastors, conference speakers, television and YouTube experts spinning the latest new way to do church and/or society better.
Btw, I’m not an End Times proponent, but reading all this in full context with Chapter 3 is as appropriate today as it was 2,000 years ago.
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
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Thank you! This was a very timely message for me, and one I very much needed to read. I praise God for blessing me through you.
Isaiah 9:2 “The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.”
Thank you for being used by God to shine His light of truth.
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