Does God have a purpose in divisions and factions in the Church?


by Mike Ratliff

18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 1 John 2:18-19 (NASB) 

19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 (NASB) 

Only those Christians who put their head in the sand, that is, those who are deliberately ignorant would say that the visible church is not under extreme attack from charlatans, out-right heretics, false-teachers, and compromisers.  That last being the most dangerous for they look so good and orthodox, have a great following, and yet they do and say some of the strangest things at times so that even their supporters have a hard time explaining them, which causes great confusion. This ministry has mostly been concerned with three major heresies since its inception. The first being the seeker-sensitive paradigm which has caused huge numbers of local churches to fall apart and be destroyed as deceived pastor after deceived pastor has fallen for the Purpose Driven Church lies and attempted to implement that model and ended up with simply a store front church full of goats. The second heresy I have spent much time on is the Emergent Church or as some call it now, Emergence Christianity. This takes many forms and I often finds elements of it in the third heresy I have spent much time on, which is a strange combination of Reformed doctrine, but includes the false doctrines found in Charismatic teachings and as well as Roman Catholicism and even Gnosticism. I don’t have a concrete name for it so I simple call it NAR/New Calvinism/Acts 29. There are 3 commonalities found in all three of these heresies, though not to the same degree.

1) Their Jesus is not the Biblical Jesus.
2) Absolute Truth is found outside the Bible.
3) Doubt is the marker of true faith not assurance.

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What is God doing within the division and factions in the Church?


by Mike Ratliff

19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19 NASB)

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 NASB)

In King James Version of Galatians 5:20 there is the word “heresies.”  The NASB translates the same word as “factions.” “Heresies” and “factions” are translating the Greek word αἱρέσεις, which is a form of the word αἵρεσις or hairesis. This word describes a condition which is only theoretical in that one can hold different views than the majority and remain in the same body but he is a heretic. Heresy is theoretical and does not become practical until the heretic tears himself away, σχίζω or schizō. Then he is schismatic and is the source of σχίσμα or schisma. In that, schismaticalness is practical heresy. Continue reading

Division and factions in churches serve God’s purposes


by Mike Ratliff

19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19 NASB)

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

In the passage from Galatians, which I placed above, at the end of v20 is the word “heresies.” The NASB translates this same word as “factions.” It is a form of the word αἵρεσις or hairesis, which is only theoretical in that one can hold different views than the majority and remain in the same body but he is a heretic. Heresy is theoretical and does not become practical until the heretic tears himself away, σχίζω or schizō. Then he is schismatic and is the source of σχίσμα or schisma. In that, schismaticalness is practical heresy. Continue reading

God’s Purpose in Divisions and Factions in the Church


by Mike Ratliff

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19 ESV)

I was listening this morning to Chris Rosebrough’s “Fighting For the Faith” on the Pirate Christian Radio podcast for 9/2/2010. The show seemed pretty long. I checked and it ran for over 2 hours and 38 minutes. In it Chris addressed the 25th Anniversary of the Jesus Seminar and some other things. At the 1:02:50 point in the broadcast he began what he calls The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly segment. It is where he reviews sermons. This one was a very long sorta’ sermon from Rob Bell’s Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan in which he had guest Peter Rollins speak. Chris did a fine job of breaking it up with his own input. If you aren’t familiar with Peter Rollins, he is a Post-Modern “thinker” from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is very much at home in the Emergent camp. I know that there has been a campaign to try to make Rob Bell not appear Emergent, but he speaks in this “sermon” as well and his comments at the end seal it. All through Rollins rambling “sermon” he speaks quite a bit about religion and life, but, to him, real Christians are those who are proven to be so by their doubts, not their solid faith. Never once does he talk about Christ’s atoning work in the Cross as the propitiation for sinners. No, to him, real Christians are those who work to make the world a better place. Jesus was like a coach to him, no more. In any case, at the end of the broadcast, Rob Bell said that hearing all of that was like drinking from a cold stream of water. On the other hand, I felt exactly the opposite. I was in desperate need of Biblical truth to wash myself clean from the filth of heresy.  Continue reading