Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might


by Mike Ratliff

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17 NASB)

This ministry began primarily to bring Christians from the darkness of dead religiosity into the light of an obedient, vibrant, growing, daily walk by faith as a living sacrifice. However, it soon became apparent that a huge number of those who God sent this way were refugees from churches that had been taken over by the Purpose Driven paradigm. They had stood against the takeover and had been asked to leave or told to leave. They were no longer welcome in churches in which they had served for years. In many cases, generations of their family had served there. Now, that local church had become a local Purpose Driven franchise that only welcomed the world and cared nothing for real Christians. In our analysis of this and our ministering to those who were dealing with this we soon found ourselves also dealing with the PDC apologists who were allied with another group. That group was a loosely defined bunch of people we called the “emergent village.” We had other names for them, but that name will work for now.

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Is there a war going on between God and His forces on one side and Satan and his forces on the other?


by Mike Ratliff

1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” (Zechariah 3:1-2 ESV)

Today I was sent this link. It brought back a lot of memories of some very serious battles from about 5 to 6 years ago between many of us at CRN and those who proclaimed allegiance to “The Emergent Village.” The fight got ugly at times, but from it it became more and more apparent that the Emergent or Emergence movement was just another form of the “Liberal Christianity” that Charles Spurgeon faced during the Great Downgrade Controversy in his time and what J. Gresham Machen stood against in his ministry and wrote of in his fine book Christianity and Liberalism. In that book Machen proved that what was called progressive or Liberal Christianity was a different religion from genuine or Orthodox Christianity. It was a good thing that my friend sent me that link and it was also a good thing that I read what was going on there and thought back on those days and those fights. Why? It is imperative to know the enemy and how he works. To have an enemy implies that there is a conflict of some kind. Is there a war going on between God and His forces on one side and Satan and his forces on the other?

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The Intolerance of emergent (liberal) Christianity


by Mike Ratliff

89 Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. (Psalms 119:89 ESV)

Truth is not relative. If truth were then it couldn’t be truth for what would be true for one could be considered a fallacy by another. Therefore, it is utter foolishness to make assertions that truth is just a matter of opinion and we must be tolerant of other’s views on the Gospel and all of the vital aspects of our faith. On the other hand, I am perfectly willing to call another Christian my brother or sister in Christ even though we may disagree on things about our faith that are not barriers to orthodoxy. I find the discussions about these things with them to be wonderful opportunities of iron sharping iron. However, that is not the same thing as joining in fellowship with those who have serious issues with vital parts of doctrine that are non-negotiable. What do I mean? I have no problem loving and having fellowship with a Christian who is not Reformed in their Theology as I am. However, I draw the line and, as God leads,   contend with those who, for example, deny the deity of Christ or add works as a requirement for salvation or deny the inerrancy of the Bible or teach that Biblical Truth is inherently unknowable, therefore, we cannot hold to solid doctrinal truths. Continue reading

The Fiction of Evolutionary Christianity


by Mike Ratliff

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:9-13 ESV)

Continuing within the context of yesterday’s post, Dead to Sin Alive to God in Christ Jesus, in which Christians devote themselves entirely to their Lord in all parts of their lives rather than simply seeking to be religious, my intent was to use this post to elevate the role of God’s Word to its necessary role in the life of all true believers. However, today I read this post by my dear brother Ken Silva. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by what these men say, but as one who is totally devoted to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word as the living active, sharp, two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart knowing full well that no one is hidden from God’s sight, but all are naked and exposed to His eyes and to Him all must give an account, well, I am just astounded when “professing Christian leaders” say and teach such σκύβαλον as if it is truth, which, of course, is of the world and of our enemy Satan, therefore, it is nothing but lies meant for those bound for destruction.  Continue reading

Acts 29 Network and Subjective Religiosity


by Mike Ratliff

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18 ESV)

Our brother in the Lord Ken Silva wrote a very good article this afternoon revealing the rotten spiritual foundation of the Acts 29 Network and its embracing of Contemplative Spirituality. I pray that you follow that link and read it. There was part of that article that really got my attention from a different direction however. Here is the list of the four ways ‘New Calvinism’ is So Powerful and, hence, is becoming such a force in our time.  Continue reading

The Deification of Man


by Mike Ratliff

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7 ESV)

As many of you know, I was given the opportunity to do a pre-release review of a book written by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola titled Jesus Manifesto. To be honest, I was shocked after I received it and began reading it. I knew, for instance, that Sweet was a good friend of Brian McLaren and was emergent in his theology. However, the book started out well. It was like reading a sermon preached by a very good evangelist. My good friend Jon Cardwell was also enlisted to review the book and was going through the same struggle. It was amazing. However, I was also asking for a lot of prayer for wisdom and discernment from friends and family as I dug into the book. It did not help though that this was going on as I was also dealing with a great deal of mental exhaustion. In any case, my prayers were answered when I came to the part of the book dealing with our Lord’s crucifixion.  Continue reading