by Mike Ratliff
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew 6:22-23 (NASB)
Over the last several years, perhaps even over the last several decades, I have become aware of a disturbing phenomenon in the Church in America. Perhaps you have noticed it as well. The phenomenon I am writing about is willful ignorance in our spiritual leaders.
In the early to mid 1980’s I lived in the Edmond, Oklahoma area. On August 20, 1986 a postal worker at the main Edmond Post Office came to work one day with his National Guard pistol. He entered the employee area and locked the doors so people couldn’t escape then systematically started shooting and killing his former co-workers. The expression “Going Postal” came from this incident.
In 1989 into 1991 I worked at the F.D.I.C. office in Oklahoma City. One of my co-workers was the daughter of a postal worker who was there in the Edmond Post Office that day. She told me his experience. He was able to escape being killed by fleeing in the opposite direction from where the shots were coming from. He found one unlocked door and was able to get out. However, on his way out he found several of his co-workers hiding behind cabinets or in closets or behind doors. He tried to get them to follow him out, but they refused. They were convinced that they would be safe where they were. They were all killed. Those postal workers who thought they were safe staying put were being willfully ignorant of a clear and present danger. It cost them their lives.
The Compromised Church is being led by those who are spiritually blind. The spiritually blind Christian leader exhibits that blindness in several ways, however, willful ignorance is perhaps the one we see the most. What is the source of spiritual blindness? How does a professing Christian fall into spiritual blindness? Is it something that God does or allows to happen? If that is true, why does He do it? The following passage speaks of how God worked to blind some of Israel, but not all, to the truth of His saving Grace.
7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written,
“GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR,
EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT,
DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.” Romans 11:7-8 (NASB)
Why did God do this? Is this the only example? Let’s look at another passage.
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. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:18-32 (NASB)
When people worship what is not worthy of worship instead of worshipping God, He will give them over to whatever it is. This giving people up or giving people over is the same thing as giving people a spirit of stupor. This is a spiritual blindness that cannot be overcome by any power other than God’s.
What causes people, even professing Christians, to be given up or given over to false worship or false religion? Why would God do this to them? In my study, “Judge Not!” I wrote a chapter called: “The Curse of Self-Righteousness”. In it we explored what happens to Self-Righteous people when they refuse to humble themselves before God. Pride begets self-righteousness which begets spiritual blindness. Humility, on the other hand, begets self-examination and a penitent heart which is full of God’s light, wisdom and discernment.
As we look at the Compromised Church’s humanistic theology we find that the spiritual leaders of this false church are not humble. They are prideful and willfully ignorant. When clear exposition from scripture is used to shine God’s light of rebuke into their false teachings they scoff and turn away from that truth calling it heresy and claim that the messengers are being judgmental. This is the number one red flag that should show us which religious leaders are part of the Compromised Church.
What sort of deception have the leaders of the Compromised Church fallen under? What has caused them to be given over to self-righteousness and spiritual blindness? Well, as we have seen, God does this when people worship false gods. The Compromised Church’s god is one of their own making. It isn’t the living God. Their god is not sovereign. He is love and grace and mercy, but not just. The worship of this false god requires a huge compromise. This compromise is the sacrifice of God-centered worship, preaching, Bible study and the following of sound Biblical Doctrine such as the Doctrines of Grace. In their place these religious leaders preach a man-centered gospel that contains no mention of the Holiness of God, the Righteousness of God or His Justice. There is no mention of the sin of man and his utter helplessness in turning to God for salvation. Instead, the gospel that is preached is a feel-good pep-talk that makes becoming a Christian no more stressful than buying a Coke at the convenience store.
Why do they do this? What is the motivation for these religious leaders to make this compromise? They want big churches. They want numbers. They justify their compromises and secularization of their churches by saying they are simply creating church for the un-churched. They are creating seeker-sensitive churches that threaten no one with hell or teach that anyone should repent of their sins. They become pragmatic copy cats. They take Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church model and apply it to their church hoping to have the same results he had.
As a result of these compromises they are no longer worshipping the living God, but are worshipping an idol of their own making. What does God do to those who abandon their devotion to Him for their idols? He gives them over. He sends them a spirit of stupor. They become spiritually blind. Their self-righteousness and their compromises have resulted in spiritually bankrupt churches and their own hearts are now hardened toward the living God.
The spiritually blind religious leader, be he a pastor or deacon or elder, is treading on dangerous ground. He will not listen to God’s messengers tell him of his folly. When these godly men use clear scriptural exposition to show the unbiblical nature of what he is doing, he simply scoffs at them and shows his willful ignorance by refusing to repent.
The Compromised Church is very attractive to the world. Why not, after all, it’s worldly. It has no requirements of repentance or denying of self or dying to self. Instead people go to these “mega-churches” to be entertained for a couple of hours and told that they are fine and are on their way to heaven because they assented to their non-gospel of decisional regeneration. These types of churches will be large and the leaders of them will be empire builders.
However, what we are seeing right before our eyes is God giving these people over to what they really worship. Humanism has conquered their hearts. They are no longer able to see the truth from God’s Word because God has blinded their spiritual eyes.
Let’s pray for God to open the eyes of the genuine believers who are mired in these churches so that they will flee. God will judge the Compromised Church in His timing. The Christian Remnant must create or join churches which are not part of the Compromised Church as they pray for their leaders to not take their eyes off of their Lord Jesus as they serve God for His glory alone.
Dear Heavenly Father–You are the living God. You are not mocked. Your are sovereign and will judge all sin. I pray that You will draw your people out of the Compromised Church. I pray for you to open their eyes and give them Holy Discontent with the compromise going on all around them. Drive them out and send them to churches pastored by Your Men of God who live for Your glory alone. In Jesus’ Name – Amen!
Soli Deo Gloria!