Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The bestseller book "The Shack" in development to become a movie

The lack of Christian discernment continues...(2 Timothy 4:3) or perhaps the reality is closer to a huge money making machine running over Christians and raking it in hand over fist. (2 Peter 2:3). Either way, in the wake of the blasphemous movie Noah starring Russell Crowe, and the equally blasphemous heaven tourism trip "Heaven is for Real", comes a proposed movie based on William P. Young's bestseller "The Shack"

It will star Forrest Whittaker and possibly Oprah. Though it is as yet unclear exactly what role Oprah will play, in The Shack, 'God' was depicted as a large, African American woman, sooo.... The Holy Spirit was depicted as a woman also, an Asian. As The Christian Post reports on the upcoming movie, they dug up the original quote from Dr Al Mohler regarding the heresy in The Shack-

In 2010, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, described [the book] The Shack as a "wake-up call for evangelical Christianity," and that its story reflected "a theology that is unconventional at best, and undoubtedly heretical in certain respects." He also blamed its popularity among Evangelicals on their ignorance of "basic theological knowledge."

To wit: though the book was heretical, it spent 70 weeks at #1 on the NY Times bestseller list.

How quaint those time were, lo those 4 years ago, when The Shack's heresy was embedded sweetly in a well-written book promoting what was termed as merely unconventional theology.

Here are a few reviews of The Shack. Negative, of course.

The Shack: Helpful or Heretical? by Dr Norman Geisler

Challies: A review of The Shack

Why Christians Should Not Read 'The Shack'

Burning Down The Shack

Our society is making God into its own image, and the script for it couldn't be followed any better and the trip down heresy lane more successful. Willing 'Christians' are allowing the dilution of holy and fearsome God into a romantic, boyfriend living in a shack cheerfully making pancakes for 'her' universally loved sheep, who will all end up in the sheepfold.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (2 Timothy 4:3)

Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. (Jeremiah 2:11)

"Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!" (Jeremiah 16:20) 


Do not grow weary in the doing good

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)


These days are getting more and more evil. A Christian in an area like ours, the Southern United states, is so far spared the persecution many are experiencing abroad, praise the Lord. However, attitudes toward Christians from secular people are shifting rapidly even here in the so-called 'bible belt.' Though we are not persecuted from the outside, many local churches are dying from the inside.

Just as Britain is grappling with the reality that they are a post-Christian nation, a clear look at the US will show that we are too.

Apostasy is rising, which means that people who have called themselves Christians are behaving less and less like our Master and more and more like the world.

I used to think that discernment ministries, such as the ministry the Spirit gave me to perform online and in the real world, was the hardest. I was wrong to think so. Plus, I was in error. It is hard for everybody. I'm nobody special.

The tendency is to excuse themselves because at some time or other they have been victimized.~Charles Spurgeon
For example, I was talking with a sister in the faith who serves in a helps ministry. She has been given a strong desire to serve. Even when people who call themselves Christian ask for help from churches where a sweet women like my sister serves, the seekers of help often display the worst of human attitudes; entitlement, greed, laziness, ingratitude, and anger.

Paul warned Timothy to:

"understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people." (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

"Having the appearance of godliness"...Christians who look like they are Christians aren't really, but will at some point be found to never have known the Lord. (Matthew 7:21-23). This is one of the saddest verses in the entire bible, to me.

Weary traveler by eharsee. reuse allowed
Discernment ministries arise within a church and online when a person has been spiritually gifted with a supernatural ability to distinguish between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error, between holiness and evil. It comes from 1 Corinthians 12:10.

Because it is getting toward the end of the end of the age (we have been in the end of the age since Jesus ascended (1 John 2:18), there are a good many people who succumb to tickled ears, heaping up teachers for themselves, and won't endure sound doctrine. As I read on Challies' website, not that they don't know what sound teaching is, but that they WON'T ENDURE it.

People still refuse to accept such and such is a false teacher, or that a particular doctrine is aberrant, or an activity founded on a scripture is actually a twisted use of that scripture.... Discernment is seen as something unnecessary to a vibrant Christian life. So many people display an attitude of "let's just agree Jesus is the only thing we need to agree on and leave the rest to God. But that's not all there is, and still the gift of discernment isn't adhered to much.

Back to the Galatians verse, Charles Spurgeon said in his exhortation about not being weary in the doing good, as related to teaching Sunday School

"It is true, my Brothers and Sisters, that you are not to save yourselves by doing good. Your motive is not selfish, but because you are saved already, you desire to manifest the power of gratitude and to prove to all the world that those who receive a free salvation are the very men who most cheerfully labor to please God and to bring glory to His name. O you who are debtors to infinite mercy, “Be not weary in doing good.” ...

Now, secondly, it appears from the text that in your service YOU WILL MEET WITH EVILS common to Christian workers of all descriptions. You will especially be liable to weariness and faintness. Take the first word as it stands in our version—you will be tempted to grow weary.  ...

Do you not think that, at times, our getting lax in Christian work arises from our being very low in Grace? As a rule, you cannot get out of a man that which is not in him. You cannot go forth, yourself, to your class and do your work vigorously if you have lost inward vigor. You cannot minister before the Lord with the unction of the Holy One if that unction is not upon you. If you are not living near to God and in the power of God, then the power of God will not go forth through you to the children in y our care! Therefore I think we should judge, when we become discontented and down-hearted, that we are out of sorts spiritually. Let us say to ourselves, “Come, my Soul! What ails you? This faint heart is a sign that you are out of health. Go to the Great Physician and obtain from Him a tonic which shall brace you! Come, play the man! Have none of these whims! Away with your idleness! The reaping time will come, therefore thrust in the plow.”  

By Benson Kua from Toronto, Canada. Wiki commons
"Sometimes, too—I am ashamed to mention it—I have heard of teachers becoming weary from lack of being appreciated. Their work has not been sufficiently noticed by the pastor and praised by the superintendent. Sufficient notice has not been taken of them and their class by their fellow teachers. I will not say much about this cause of faintness because it is so small an affair that it is quite below a Christian. Appreciation! Do we expect it in this world? The Jewish nation despised and rejected their King and even if we were as holy as the Lord Jesus we might still fail to be rightly judged and properly esteemed. What does it matter? If God accepts us, we need not be dismayed though all should pass us by. 

Perhaps, however, the work itself may suggest to us a little more excuse for being weary. It is hard work to sow on the highway and amidst the thorns—hard work to be casting good seed upon the rock, year after year. Well, if I had done so for many years and was enabled by the Holy Spirit, I would say to myself, “I shall not give up my work because I have not yet received a recompense in it. I perceive that in the Lord’s parable three sowings did not succeed and yet the one piece of good ground paid for all! Perhaps I have gone through my three unsuccessful sowings and now is my time to enjoy my fourth, in which the seed will fall upon good ground.”

Spurgeon always has a good word. In addition, the Good Book says to

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, (Philippians 2:14-15)

Spurgeon again,

"If there are a hundred reasons for giving up your work of faith, there are 50,000 for going on with it! Though there are many arguments for fainting, there are far more arguments for persevering. Though we might be weary and do sometimes feel so, let us wait upon the Lord and renew our strength and we shall mount up with wings as eagles, forget our weariness and be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!" 

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Methodist Church Organist has been playing every Sunday for 73 years

Monday, April 28, 2014

It's tornado weather

I'm working on another blog essay for tonight about not growing weary in the well-doing. But I wanted to pause and pray for a moment. There is a severe weather outbreak in the South and the Plains States of the US. Tornadoes, hail, lightning and severe winds and thunder are wreaking havoc at this hour, and have been since last night. Many people have died and much property is demolished. Lives are forever changed.

Our section of the South, Georgia, will start to get hit later tonight and tomorrow through Wednesday. It is by meteorological accounts, a very severe threat. Tupelo Mississippi just got hammered and there is a great amount of damage.

The Lord told us in His word that He holds us in His hand and the days of our lives are numbered. We never know if this moment will be our last breath or if we have another 20000 days to go. By this time tomorrow I could be dead, injured, or homeless. Or I could be the same- ensconced in my tiny apartment with three happy cats eating fruit and drinking tea. We just never know. However, what I appeal to the Lord for is my attitude. Here is my prayer:

"Lord, may You be glorified if You decide to blast my house in a tornado. May my attitude reflect submission to Your will, exhibit certainty that You are in control, and comfort in the knowledge that You have the bigger picture in mind- because all things work together for good for those who love you.

"If you decide to spare my house, then please may I reflect Your glory in gratitude that You have allowed me to continue unscathed, though, knowing that life's trials are a sure thing and another one may be around the corner tomorrow. In all, Your will be done."

"May You be glorified if some of those who have experienced tragedy through this weather come to salvation. Severe storms make a person think about life, family, and mortality. May they also think of You and Your Son,  and the afterlife you have prepared for those who love you. May your glory shine brightly in newly converted hearts, even amidst the debris." Amen

Job Loses his Children and Property
While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”...

 21He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." 

22Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.
            (Job 1:18-19, 21-22)


Sunday, April 27, 2014

"...and his face was like the sun shining in full strength"

In the spring and summer, the sun is a position that when it rises in the morning, it bursts over the trees and its rays shoot down the road.

I live at the end of a small one-way street. Looking east, the sun rises over the tree line for a few minutes, brightening the sky. It's coming!

Suddenly the sunrays burst out and stream down the road, lighting all the bushes and pastures along the way


The brightness is incredible, reflecting off everything the sun rays touch. The bushes burst into focus, each leaf evident in the gold adornment

It's as if the curtain of golden light is being raised- you can see half the bush illuminated as the sun rises higher and higher, the shadow line sinking fast to the ground as the illumination is almost complete

I always love that moment, when the sun comes up and the first light shows itself. What will it be like when we're called home in the rapture, and we see the full light of the glory of Jesus?!

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. (Revelation 1:12-16)

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Revelation 21:22-23)

All praise to the Lamb, the Light of the world!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Completely new mineral discovered: Putnisite

Source
It's purple, translucent and goes by "putnisite." Discovered in Western Australia, putnisite contains the unusual elemental combination of strontium, calcium, chromium, sulphur, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and is notable for its dissimilarity from other, known families of minerals.

Salon.com explains,
It’s purple and pretty and composed of cube-like crystals just 0.5 mm in size. But what really makes putnisite, the world’s newest mineral, truly unique is that nothing like it has ever been discovered before. “Most minerals belong to a family or small group of related minerals, or if they aren’t related to other minerals they often are to a synthetic compound, but putnisite is completely unique and unrelated to anything,” said Dr. Peter Elliott, lead author of a new study detailing the discovery in Mineralogical Magazine. ... Putnisite is named after German mineralogists Andrew and Christine Putnis for their contributions to mineralogy. What’s got scientists so intrigued by the mineral is its composition. It’s a rare combination of strontium, calcium, chromium, sulphur, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen that’s completely distinct from any of the other 4,000 known minerals in the world.

I love science. But I know Who the author of science is, God. He made the earth and everything in it. (Genesis 1:1, Acts 17:24, Hebrews 1:10). Jesus sustains it. (Hebrews 1:3). Insofar as man can, with his limited mental faculties (compared to God's), he strives to discover his origins and learn about this creation in which we dwell.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)

I love minerals. In Maine, as with many other states, there is a Mineralogical Society. Membership allows us entry to mining sites where the owners allow us to sift through their tailings. We often went on weekend expeditions with shovel and chisel and bucket in hand, to explore and try to find amethyst, quartz, tourmaline, beryl, and other gems hidden in the earth. In Maine you can also pan for gold, it exists in the rivers. But it was always too cold for us, so we usually only went on the rock hunting expeditions. Here are a few samples of some of the minerals we found.

Amethyst, quartz. EPrata photo
Quartz and Smokey quartz. EPrata photo
In Texas, we camped on the Woodward Ranch, where the teacher/geologist owner Trey Woodward gave you a shovel, a bucket, a pick and a hardy screwdriver, and let you hunt for red plume agate and opal. You brought it back and he'd tell you what is really good and what's junk, and whatever you wanted to keep, he weighed and you pay a nickel a pound. This was in the 1990s. Trey Woodward died of cancer a few years ago.



 These are some of the things we found on the Woodward Ranch.

EPrata photo
Geodes are fun, They look like a dull rock, but if you split them open, there is a world of minerals in there!
EPrata photo

EPrata photo

EPrata photo

In Jasper Beach, Maine there are a billion billion jasper and rhyolite stones, tumbled to a smooth sheen and glistening in the Atlantic waters at the edge of a totally stone beach.
It's the minerals in the granite stone that makes it sparkle. EPrata photo

Weather.com had an interesting list of the "8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet"

1. Why are we all wet? Scientists think Earth was a dry rock after it coalesced 4.5 billion years ago. So where did this essential chemical, H2O, come from?

2. What's down there in the core? The stuff of legend and lore, Earth's core has long fascinated writers as well as scientists. For a while, the composition of Earth's unreachable core was a solved mystery -- at least in the 1940s. With meteorites as proxy, scientists gauged the planet's original balance of essential minerals, and noted which were missing. The iron and nickel absent in Earth's crust must be in the core, they surmised. But gravity measurements in the 1950s revealed those estimates were incorrect. The core was too light. Today, researchers continue to guess at which elements account for the density deficit beneath our feet.

3. How did the moon get here? Did a titanic collision between the Earth and a Mars-size protoplanet form the moon? There's no universal consensus on this giant impactor theory, because some details don't pan out.

4. Where did life come from? Was life brewed on Earth or sparked in interstellar space and delivered here on meteorites? The most basic life components, such as amino acids and vitamins, have been found on ice grains inside asteroids and in the most extreme environments on Earth. Figuring out how these parts combined to form the first life is one of biology's biggest hurdles...[and a link brings you to the 7 theories on how life began...and so on and et cetera, always learning yet never above to come to knowledge of the truth...]

5. Where did all the oxygen come from? Understanding the shift to an oxygen-rich Earth is a key factor in decoding the history of life on our planet.

6. What caused the Cambrian explosion? The appearance of complex life in the Cambrian, after 4 billion years of Earth history, marks a unique turning point, said Donna Whitney, a geologist at the University of Minnesota. Suddenly there were animals with brains and blood vessels, eyes and hearts, all evolving more quickly than during any other planetary era known today. [For another take on a biblical explanation for the Cambrian explosion, see below]

7. When did plate tectonics start? Thin plates of hardened crust knocking about Earth's surface make for beautiful mountain sunsets and violent volcanic eruptions. Yet geologists still don't know when the plate tectonics engine revved up. [The FLOOD. Genesis 7:6, Genesis 10:25]

8. Will we ever predict earthquakes? At best, statistical models can tease out a forecast of future earthquake probability, similar to weather experts who warn of coming rain. But that hasn't kept people from trying to predict when the next one will hit -- with no success. [Prediction: There will be an earthquake in Jerusalem killing 7000 and a tenth of the city will collapse. This will happen the same hour the Two Witnesses are resurrected and ascend to heaven. Revelation 11:13.]

A summary of  flood geology
Other creationists accept the existence of the geological column and believe that it indicates a sequence of events that might have occurred during the global flood. Institute for Creation Research creationists such as Andrew Snelling, Steven A. Austin and Kurt Wise take this approach, as does Creation Ministries International. They cite the Cambrian explosion — the appearance of abundant fossils in the upper Ediacaran (Vendian) Period and lower Cambrian Period — as the pre-Flood/Flood boundary, the presence in such sediments of fossils that do not occur later in the geological record as part of a pre–flood biota that perished and the absence of fossilized organisms that appear later (such as angiosperms and mammals) as due to erosion of sediments deposited by the flood as waters receded off the land. Creationists say that fossilization can only take place when the organism is buried quickly to protect the remains from destruction by scavengers or decomposition. They say that the fossil record provides evidence of a single cataclysmic flood and not of a series of slow changes accumulating over millions of years.

Here are some fossils I found beautiful:

EPrata photo

EPrata photo
I often wondered, as I looked at my fossils, what killed them. Now I know.

It's fun to speculate on the earth's mysteries. It was a blast looking for minerals in western Maine, in Downeast Maine, in Texas, and all the other places we searched, looking for clues as to how the earth works. We loved to unearth its beauty- literally.

Please note that for the born again Christian the scientific mysteries are different than the mysteries the unsaved scientist will ponder. If one does not have God as the first cause, one will always wonder about the ensuing causes. So, another new mineral was discovered, and scientists cannot figure out why it is unrelated to any other mineral... When this happens they begin to reassess once again what they know, and what they don't know. I'm glad I know what I know. God created the heavens and the earth...

And the minerals that we know, like gold and pearl, we will see in heaven and they will be beautiful. (Revelation 21:19-21). The minerals we don't know but we will discover in heaven will be beautiful also. But the most beautiful gem of all, in the entire universe, is Jesus.

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. ... And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Revelation 21:10-11, 23)

Friday, April 25, 2014

The fear of the LORD is clean

The title is from Psalm 19 verse 9. It has an intrinsic beauty and a comprehensible truth that is evident but hard for puny man to describe. However, Spurgeon did.

I'll post it in context. Psalm 19:7-9;

7The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.

Spurgeon wrote,

"The fear of the Lord is clean." The doctrine of truth is here described by its spiritual effect, viz., inward piety, or the fear of the Lord; this is clean in itself, and cleanses out the love of sin, sanctifying the heart in which it reigns. Mr. Godly-fear is never satisfied till every street, lane, and alley, yea, and every house and every corner of the town of Mansoul is clean rid of the Diablolonians who lurk therein. "Enduring for ever." Filth brings decay, but cleanness is the great foe of corruption. The grace of God in the heart being a pure principle, is also an abiding and incorruptible principle, which may be crushed for a time, but cannot be utterly destroyed."

It feels like there's no one left who is a true believer...

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

Paul reassured the Thessalonians that they had not missed the rapture and were not in the Day of the LORD. (another –pre-trib proof). He said that the Day will not come unless…certain events happened in order first
  1. Rapture
  2. Falling away (apostasy)
  3. Antichrist revealed
  4. Day of the Lord
The apostasy prepares the way for the advent of the Man of Sin.

Falling away AKA apostasy is a hard, hard thing, For anyone who is righteous, seeing loved ones succumb to the sway of a false doctrine, or follow a false teacher, it is a torture to the soul and a agony to the mind and a hardship on the soul. I see a Blackaby book on a pastor’s desk and I worry. I hear a woman refuse to acknowledge Joyce Meyer is false “because she preaches straight from the bible” and I mourn, I see a woman wear a “Walk to Emmaus” tee shirt and I fear. Encountering these things in my daily routine is like having a hot nail driven into my head. I am not exaggerating.

It’s not to say that these people or any person who reads a book, accepts a teacher or participates in a retreat once is an apostate. I participated in both the Experiencing God study by Henry Blackaby and a Beth Moore DVD retreat, but what doing so did was alert me to the falseness of their teachings. It gave me a close-up view of what it was that troubled my soul so much. That’s what false teaching does, it either grieves the soul and alerts one to its falsity or it entrenches one deeper into their lack of discernment. I worry because I know when someone doesn’t or won’t see the falseness of a particular doctrine or teacher, the false teacher or a false doctrine has successfully taken root into their mind. Satan won’t let that go. Unless they refute it and repent, it will grow like gangrene. That is the way of things. (2 Timothy 2:17; Acts 14:2)

It feels sometimes like there are hardly any people with discernment left. It feels like so many friends and family are falling away. I know from your emails and blog comments that many of you are in locations where there literally are no good churches or where false teaching abounds. Doesn’t it feel like were the only ones, sometimes!

Here is where we praise the gracious Lord for His examples for us in scripture. We are not alone! Elijah thought he was alone! Jeremiah was tortured by the apostasy around him and in his lifetime, judgment came! Noah preached 120 years and only had 7 converts! Isaiah was told to prophesy until there was literally no one left!

“And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”… God assured him, Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:9-10, 18)

My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent, for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. (Jeremiah 4:19)

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. …These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
(Genesis 6:5-6, 9)

“Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste,” (Isaiah 6:11)

In the New Testament, imagine there being no ‘church down the road’ you could switch to when apostasy is so rampant in your church you have to leave. The Corinthians were having chaotic services, drunken Lord’s Suppers, and immorality and sexual impurity were a problem. But that was the ONLY church. Can you imagine how the few pure and holy Corinthians felt?

Wikimedia commons
I’ve seen a massive defection from the faith since 2008. I’ve also seen a horrific decline in discernment since then too. The rise in apostasy to my mind and according to how I interpret 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is that the time is near when the rapture will occur. The defections of millions from the faith and the fast tsunami of apostasy in even evangelical denominations shows this, in my opinion. The curtain on this age is coming down, and fast.

Each of the prophets named above walked closely with God. Even in times of terrible apostasy when they were literally the only ones in their sphere left who were faithful. They were human, to be sure. Elijah suffered a bout of depression. Jeremiah was tearful and mourning much of the time. The key is, they clung to God.

Noah walked with God. (Genesis 6:9)

Take encouragement! The Lord Jesus is near to us. At the time of His appearing, there were few faithful ones. His religion had been turned into a mockery. They rejected His words while clamoring for His miracles. They wanted His 'stuff' but not Him for Himself. He knew apostasy! He knows the pain we feel when people reject our precious Jesus and go astray! Don't give up the fight!

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)

He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. (Hebrews 5:2)

Pray for those who are ignorant and going astray. Pray for yourself in your weariness and sadness. Jesus is with us. It is good.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Our roles as woman in the faith part 3: be discerning about our theology. This keeps us strong, AND helps the men in our lives

This is part 3 of a three-part series on woman of the faith and how satan is exploiting our specific vulnerabilities in order to infiltrate the faith with false doctrines.

In part 1 I looked at what the female's vulnerabilities are, from scripture.

In part 2 I looked at places where satan is operating in order to bring these false doctrines. Women are in the home, and so satan brings the doctrines into the home, as it is stated in 2 Timothy 3:6, "For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,"

Instead of these false teachers accomplishing their leaven-spreading, via personal visiting inside homes as the scripture indicates was done in biblical days, in today's world, false teachers come into the home via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and blogs. And unlike the old days when there were designated male teachers and elders matured in the faith over time and learned under an educational setting or from another elder, now anyone can become an instant Christian pundit and theologian, including women. And unlike the old days where in order to listen to these teachers, one had to attend a church or revival speech, buy a book, or go to seminary, now these false teachers' reach is anytime and anywhere at the click of a button. Of course satan makes hay with this and promotes his doctrines of demons very easily today.

Tickled ears leads to dead faith. Wikimedia commons
One of the most influential false teachers worming her way into homes to seduce women into false beliefs is Joyce Meyer. Joyce Meyer’s reach on social media is astounding. She receives more re-tweets on Twitter than the Miami Heat and CNN Breaking combined.

In this 2012 article titled “How Joyce Meyer Dominates Twitter”,

The pillars of social media are YouTube, Facebook, Disney … and Joyce Meyer Ministries, according to a ranking released this week. Social media analytics group Track Social ranked the top public Twitter brands and found that @JoyceMeyer was retweeted more often than any other brand, topping ESPN, the Miami Heat and CNN. That's right - Fenton-based Joyce Meyer Ministries was hotter than Jeremy Lin last month."

Their top 10 ranking of retweets per day:

1. Joyce Meyer Ministries
2. ESPN
3. Joel Osteen Ministries
4. Miami Heat
5. Breaking News
6. NBA
7. CNN Breaking News
8. Los Angeles Lakers
9. Chicago Bulls
10. BBC Breaking News

In 2012 Meyer had 750,000 followers and 11 months later, by November 2013, she had 2.5 Million, by April 2014 it was up to 2.75 million. Do you believe that?!?! I was astounded myself when I read it. Meyer’s message goes out tonearly 3 million people per day. Besides ranking "first in retweets, Joyce Meyer Ministries ranked first in overall social media marketing, first in social engagement and first in social buzz."

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you,
not sparing the flock; Acts 20:29. Wikimedia Commons

What makes the Joyce Meyer Twitter feed so popular? The account only tweets a handful of times a day, but the tweets' messages - "We're never hopeless with God. All things are possible through Him!" - give the direct inspiration that all 750,000-plus followers can share.”

Ear tickling. She has the same thing other false teachers have, a winsome personality, Christian-sounding language, and friendly approach to sin, with rare talk of holiness. Add a mega dose of word faith prosperity and you have a winning combination. Apparently.
We should inculcate a desire for women to increase their knowledge of God's word and the Lord and to be more competent theologians. ~Mortification of Spin.

This reach should be a God-given blessing. Imagine the power of the Gospel infiltrating millions of homes, and minds! But the Gospel is not the message Joyce Meyer promotes. She tickles ears and presents doctrines of demons, there fore this reach is not a blessing. It is a curse.

The following excerpt is from a pastor who became fed up with the false message of this woman and called her out from the pulpit. I agree with doing that, because many of the congregation read or follow false teachers, without their pastor knowing who is reading what. It is good once in a while to make a blanket warning about the false ones so that the sheep know who the wolves are. In 2012, Pastor Jim Murphy did this in a message called The Subtlety of Satan, (and included Beth Moore in the stuff he planned to root OUT of the Sunday School curricula, bookstore, and library).

Why I Called Out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer
By Rick Henderson, August 5, 2013
I have been preaching for 20 years. Yesterday I did something that I have never done before in a sermon. I publicly called out false teachers and named them by name. I said,

If you listen to Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer, if you take what they teach seriously, it will not be good for you. It will be detrimental to your long-term growth as a follower of Jesus.
And that is why we press upon you so hard, because ultimately these false teachers want your destruction. They will make a shipwreck of your faith. We care about you so deeply we are willing to risk your ire and our friendship to tell you these things.

If a book is on the Christian bestseller list, you probably shouldn’t buy it. ~Todd Pruitt, Mortification of Spin.
Pastor Henderson continued, and I agree with this completely...I haven't written about Meyer before now because I thought it was so obvious she's false, but no. I was wrong.

"I used to think that their error was so blatantly obvious that they could just be ignored. I was wrong. They are massively growing in popularity in the evangelical world and are seen as credible and helpful. ...When I first heard her tell her story I was deeply moved and impressed. She is an amazing example of overcoming hurts and abuse. She will forever have my admiration and respect in that regard. Furthermore, she gives spectacular advice. If my wife or if one of my daughters went to her in a moment of crisis, I believe they would return with magnificently helpful advice. If they went to her for teaching, they would return with deadly heresy."

And that is how Meyer - and all false teachers - hook you. Satan appeared to be helping Eve in the garden. The false ones use the bible. Of course they will have a bible in their hand, quote it, use it. If they failed to quote the bible it would be obvious they were false. If they quoted Buddha or the Koran, it would be obvious. But they use the bible. It is a matter of HOW they use the bible that makes discernment difficult. Charles Spurgeon said discernment isn't just detecting between right and wrong it is discerning between right and almost right.

But here is why I thought it would be obvious Meyer is false. Meyer has said,

"God rose up from His throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless Son of God, 'Let Him go.' Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus... He was resurrected from the dead - the first born-again man."

Listen to Meyer actually saying her many heresies here, and here, or go to Pr. Henderson's link above for the full explanation. More links will follow below.

But in just the 100 words above, Meyer is denying the ---
•Location of the atonement, (Meyer says it was the cross AND hell)
•The sufficiency of the cross in the atonement (the cross wasn’t enough, Jesus had to go to hell also)
•Sinlessness of Jesus (you only need to be born again if you’re a sinner, Jesus was never born again, He was sinless. Hebrews 4:15)

And we haven't even discussed Meyer's word-faith/prosperity gospel nor her failure in financial accountability with the millions she has raked in.

Husbands, brothers, pastors, your women are vulnerable to satan in massive ways in this technological day and age. Your message from the pulpit is only one of many she listens to each day. You compete with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, mommy blogs, radio while she is commuting, tv preachers while she is folding laundry at home, and the doctrinally disastrous music of her teenage children.

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Miss Auras By Sir John Lavery ca 1900
So what can we do?

Pastors, guard your flock. Actively. Name names. Be aware of the books and other material people are placing in the church library. Do a once-over of the Sunday School curriculum now and then. Apostasy is rising so fast, curricula that were acceptable even five years ago are no longer. I refer you to Jim Murphy's sermon above, "The Subtlety of Satan." As Carl Trueman mentions on the radio show linked here and below, ("Extra Special Revelation"), don't do it in a cavalier manner that offends, but in a way that provokes interest and further questions.

Husbands, guard your wives. Check in with her on her spiritual needs in terms of books and devotionals. Sarah Young's Jesus Calling devotional is currently sweeping Christian circles and it is a devotional that is not only blasphemous but is rank heresy. Same with Ann Voskamp's devotional. Same with anything by Beth Moore. And Joyce Meyer. Help her be discerning and select appropriate spiritual material. It is one of the joys of male leadership and one of your duties too. (1 Timothy 3:12).

Women, you don't HAVE to choose books or devotionals just because a woman wrote them. As a matter of fact, there are many great books and devotionals out there that men wrote and I guarantee they are usually meatier. Randy Alcorn's "We Shall See God" is great. I contains Spurgeon devotions on heaven intertwined with Alcorn's devotional thoughts. It is a good way to be introduced to Spurgeon AND eschatology. It's eating meat but in little bites.

Wives, becoming theologically sharper prepares you to help your husband and also demonstrates your devotion to him and his spiritual well-being. (1 Peter 3:1; Ephesians 5:33).

How can we challenge women to be good theologians? Housewife Theologian Aimee Byrd Aimee Byrd was asked on the Mortification of Spin show
"There are no books telling men how to take out the trash for God but there seem to be a lot of books out there for women on how to get skinny for God, how to do the laundry better. ... Theology is a very practical thing. What we believe about God shapes our decisions every single day. Pastors, elders, and the church in general should be encouraging to women to be growing in their theological study.
Byrd (she's good!!) recommends for women, the Abridged John Owen book "Communion with God." Rather than the treacle that passes for spiritual meat by Sarah Young of Jesus Calling, if you want to commune with God, this abridged and modernized paperback is a great start. It is also a great way to be introduced to the Puritans.

Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions by Starr Meade is also recommended
There is not a lot of teaching in Jesus Calling about the person of God and the work of Jesus Christ.
~Aimee Byrd

On the 30 minute Mortification of Spin radio show, a recent discussion by Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt, and Aimee Byrd revolved around women and their desire to "hear more from God", Jesus Calling, and why women are falling for these kinds of books and what pastors can do about it.

Men and women, it's good to ponder the following question: how can the church help women be more discerning? Our church's Discipling pastor said "Pray for like-minded women."

Prayer! In addition to requesting wisdom and discernment of God, ask Jesus to increase your discernment. Do we think this isn't one of the good gifts He wants to give us?! (Matthew 7:11). It is aligned in His will for us to be pure and holy (Titus 2:4-5) so we can honor Him in Spirit and truth. (John 5:23).

Pray for courage. It takes boldness to approach a person who asks you if you have read the latest Joyce Meyer book or done the latest Beth Moore study to disabuse them of the helpfulness of either of those women teachers. It should be done sensitively. You don't want to make someone feel stupid for having already chosen to read a particular book, follow a certain blog, or taken a specific course. But share we must.

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I hope this three part series has helped you, my sisters. I love my brethren and it wounds me to think of even one of you hurting from having fallen under the sway of a false teacher or a bad doctrine. Please consider these things, test what I've said against scripture, and pray for wisdom and discernment for the Spirit to apply what He knows you need to your heart and mind. He is coming soon, our Groom. We honor him by remaining as pure as possible, persevering to the end as holy saints.

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, (Titus 2:12)


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

(UPDATED)Our roles as woman in the faith part 2: Be discerning about mommy bloggers. For example, Glennon Melton is not a Christian

UPDATE: In this essay I wrote about Glennon Doyle Melton. I've written an update since this week (Nov. 13, 2016) she has announced she's divorced and has come out as lesbian. Update here

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This is a three part series about women in the faith. In part 1 I showed from scripture that women have particular vulnerabilities to satan. We looked at what those are and how to avoid being used by satan to bring shame on the family and slander to the faith.

In this second part I'm looking at where the modern woman is doing her dark work against Jesus: it's not just inside the church anymore. Mommy bloggers and online amateur theologians have grown to be an enormous network outside the church and thus often operate outside their husband's watchful eye and usually outside their pastor's eye. Much mischief happens on mommy blogs and amateur online theologian platforms and satan uses these to filter back to the church, to our detriment. I myself am in the amateur online theologian category so definitely don't take what I write at face value but test it.

Third, I'll look at the most famous female false prophet, heretic, and worker of iniquity today: Joyce Meyer. Meyer is representative of the female false teacher doing very much harm to the women of the church. Under her umbrella are women like Beth Moore, Anne Voskamp, Kim Walker Smith, and other newcomers who are spiritual daughters of Meyer and Moore and are being used by satan in exploitation of the particular vulnerabilities I showed in part 1.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As women, we are vulnerable to satan in specific ways. As I related in part 1, satan is crafty and he has a plan. He targets women. Satan doesn't only target women, but he targets women because we are the weaker vessel. (1 Peter 3:7). The serpent deceived the woman, Eve.

and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (1 Timothy 2:14)

"But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:3)

In part 1 we looked at the specific times in the bible that women either individually or in groups were chastised by either one of the Apostles or by Jesus. In general, the men or groups of men in the bible who were rebuked were false believers. In contrast, the female groups or individual women who were chastised were believers.

The issues with the women were that they become loaded down with sins and are vulnerable to flattering false teachers who come near to them, or as widows either old or young they tend toward slander, gossip, and idleness. Much mischief can happen in these cases. In part 1 I provided a list of the scriptural remedies for resisting satan's deceit.

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Because women are vulnerable in specific ways to satan's deceits, women are not allowed to lead, rule, or prophesy during church services. This may seem harsh, or seem outdated, but it is scriptural. God knows what He is doing. Jesus is building His church, and He knows the proclivities of human nature. He knows satan. He set up the church so that women would be submissive to husbands, just as husbands are to be submissive to Jesus, who is Head over all. Children are to obey their parents.

Women do have roles to play. Phillip had four prophesying daughters. Priscilla taught along with her husband. Tabitha helped the widows. Lydia opened her home and supported the men of the church with means and encouragement.

But the proclivities I mentioned are in us, as God said to Eve after the Fall. He took what happened in the Garden and extended it to a semi-permanent condition (semi-permanent because once we're glorified we will be free from the Genesis 3 curse).

"Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." (Genesis 3:16)

As Matthew Henry's Exposition states,

"If man had not sinned, he would always have ruled with wisdom and love; if the woman had not sinned, she would always have obeyed with humility and meekness. Adam laid the blame on his wife; but though it was her fault to persuade him to eat the forbidden fruit, it was his fault to hearken to her."

So there will be this constant chafing of the woman to rule over her husband, to enter into his domain, to strive against his headship. This does not happen in only man-woman marriages but also in THE marriage, the church.

And outside the church, too...as in blogs, other social media, books, and television. Women ponder, write, speak, interpret, prophesy, and do all sorts of theological things, mostly away from the eyes of their husbands, pastors, or other accountability. I'm not talking about good interpretation, solid ponderings, and appropriate use of scripture, but women who twist scripture and shape Jesus into a god of their own making. One who is comfortable, where sin is just a mistake and being gay is OK. Where experience is equal to or trumps scripture, and where everyone goes to heaven and no one goes to hell, because that would be just so mean.

I'm talking about women like mommy blogger Glennon Doyle Melton, a HUGELY influential blogger and someone who claims to be a Christian but is far from Jesus as the east is from the west. Her blog is called Momastery.com, and she receives over 70,000 views per day. It's important to remember that she dispenses both parenting advice and advice regarding the Christian faith, Jesus and the bible. She is a phenomenon, which occurred after one particular blog post went viral and the publishers lined up to make a book out of her blog, which has been called "classic Glennon: self-deprecating, sardonic, mildly insane, major-league wit." She is a recovering bulimic, alcoholic, has rage issues because of which she has earned a permanent police record, was pregnant and had to get married, and refuses to live quietly but believes instead that the "authentic life" is one "lived out loud."

To that end, Melton spills everything on her blog, despite the fact that "her parents and husband sometimes plead that she should take a few things to the grave, Melton rejects self-censorship. She believes that sharing everything — the ugliness, hole-iness and messiness of our lives — is the way to forge relationships dense with meaning." (source)

No. No, it's not. The bible calls women to live quietly (1 Thessalonians 4:11, 1 Peter 3:4)  Characteristics of a meek and quiet spirit as posted on the Revive Our Hearts blog and adapted from Matthew Henry, "Meekness is calm confidence, settled assurance, and rest of the soul. It is the tranquil stillness of a heart that is at rest in Christ. It is the place of peace. Meekness springs from a heart of humility, radiating the fragrance of Christ."

Yet Melton writes,

"Sex is really, really freaking confusing. No one talks about this, which is a shame. I’ve been married for eleven years and my husband and I are still trying to figure out how to make sex enjoyable for both of us."

This is not meekness. This is not humility. This is 'look at me, how authentic I can be, and so what if it freaks out my husband' (who Melton was secretly separated from before she confessed to her readers. Some authenticity.) And we are supposed to use her as a model of a good, Christian wife? Or even a good wife? No thanks. Or this statement from Melton,

"Marriage is still the best chance we have to become evolved, loving people."

And yet after her separation from her husband, she wrote that separating from him made her into a more well-rounded person. Which is it?

Isn't the Holy Spirit in us really the best and only chance we have to become evolved loving people? And what about the never-married or the widowed? They can never evolve? Or do you have to be married then separated then reconcile to be well-rounded. Advice from a non-Christian person, no matter how funny and witty and 'been through it all' attitude they have, will never make sense. No thanks, I'll take my advice from someone who is really a Christian and even better, from the bible.

Do you think that Apostle Paul would have commended Melton as Paul commended Timothy's mother Eunice and grandmother Lois for being Christian women of great faith, raising Timothy so well that Paul reminded Timothy of where he learned it? Or have commended her like he did Lydia, who, despite being a busy businesswoman of means, independent and intelligent, worshipped God, and was baptized after God opened her heart. She hosted Paul in her home and was always hospitable, even after Paul and Silas were released from prison. Can we picture gracious and hospitable, faith filled and dignified yet independent Lydia loudly spilling her guts to the world about her sex life? Never let it be so!

The problem is, her followers see Melton as a Christian, they believe she speaks for Christians and they avidly follow her (they even dub themselves her 'monkees.') I was not aware of Melton until a reader alerted me to her. In reading one of her posts, I saw the following and began to mourn the misplaced faith and perverted view she has of Jesus. And yet most who follow her see her as a true Christian. How warped. Read this. It is from Melton, in composing a hypothetical open letter to a hypothetical son who is hypothetically homosexual. What would we say to him if he came out to us, she wondered. Here is what she wrote.

"We've worried that since we are Christians, and since we love The Bible so much, that there might come a day when you feel unclear about our feelings about this. Because there are a few parts in The Bible that discuss homosexuality as a sin. So let us be clear about how we feel, because we have spent years of research and prayer and discussion deciding. Chase, we don't believe that homosexuality is a sin. Your parents are Christians who believe that the Bible is inspired by God, just like people are. And since the Bible is a living thing, it is in its very nature to evolve toward becoming more loving."

Significantly, you notice that Melton said they read the scriptures and decided. Not submitted. What they "decided" was to reject the word of God to suit their own personal tastes. And that is why she is not a Christian.

One does not have to read one moment more to understand that Glennon Doyle Melton's version of Christianity is nowhere near the faith delivered once for all to the saints. It is clear that she HATES the bible. A careful read of that paragraph will tell you that she said that God said homosexuality is a sin, but she decided that it's not. That she knows better because she can decide which parts to choose to obey and which parts not to. Because the bible is evolving, being alive and all, which obviously means that God is changing too, in order to keep up with the times and desires of Glennon Doyle Melton.

Anyone with an ounce of discernment knows that God never changes. His Holy Spirit inspired the word, and He never changes either. That God IS love and that He doesn't evolve to become more loving (which would mean He was less loving before. In fact, God is immutable). A discerning person would know that humans have no right to decide what is sin and what is not, especially since the bible lists them plainly. How wrong it is to compare people to the Holy Spirit. Glennon Doyle Melton in no way is Christian. Avoid her, sisters! The chuckles she evokes in you are not worth the blasphemies and the insinuation of satan's false doctrines into your heart!

She wrote that in the Huffington Post, to parents on a blog about bullying. You see how satan is using the woman to insinuate his blasphemy into the minds of the gullible via non-church avenues. Even 25 years ago, if a woman had said such a thing in church or in a bible study setting, she would have been corrected by a deacon, pastor, or elder woman. And there were no other outlets in which to speak blasphemies and perversions, unless she had a ditto machine and handed out pamphlets on the street corner.

But because social media is so prevalent and permeates everywhere now, and anyone can blog, and the men either don't or won't oversee what women write on them, women are saying these and other blasphemous things. Younger women are eating it up! And because Melton is witty, her false words go a long way. Because she resonates with mothers, she has an entry. And because she appeals to the rebellious side that is in all women who want to usurp male authority, (Genesis 3:16 again) the combination is too tempting not to absorb. A reviewer wrote on Melton's Amazon review page, “She easily expresses what so many of us think but would not dare say aloud.” There is good reason not to say some things aloud. Biblical reasons.

But the monkees spread Melton's seed of false doctrine and liberal post-modernism and a different Jesus of their own making everywhere they go. Just as Beth Moore's groupies do and Meyer's admirers do and so on as Revelation 2:23 shows, where there is a Jezebel there will be children of Jezebel. Melton is a problem of unparalleled proportions. You have no idea how popular Melton is. Unsupervised women spouting false Christianity are a problem, and undiscerning women lapping it up is even more of a problem. These are the times in which we live.

Godlessness in the Last Days : But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

This has become long, and I don't want to prevail upon your patience for much longer. There are grave problems with women like Sarah Young of Jesus Calling, Rachel Held Evans whose 'Christianity' is similar to Melton's, of Joyce Meyer and other women who spout false doctrine. However, false teachers have always existed. But there's graver problems with the way so many choose to follow these women. Women more often gravitate to a female teacher who has overcome addiction or abuse or having been through some sort of trauma such as grief. Women tend to choose bible teachers based on an emotional quality of being able to identify with them through their personality or a shared trauma, rather than the doctrine the women are saying.

And secondly, often as they come to appreciate the qualities of the female teacher in their shared identification (Glennon Doyle Melton is 'authentic', Beth Moore is 'funny', Joyce Meyer is 'down to earth') discernment of WHAT they are saying passes away and they focus solely on HOW these teachers are saying it. When I wrote about Beth Moore's wild histrionics on stage and charged her with being undignified, I received more criticism for that than I did for my exploration of her illegitimate bible exposition. And that's sad.

Women have become so undiscerning, and the fault is not all theirs. Their men have abdicated their responsibility to share in the bible teaching of their wives, and to monitor who their wives are listening to (or reading, or writing).

Women, Sisters, choose a person to admire and learn from who speaks truth, not because you were both bulimic at one time. Your bulimia (or rage or alcohol addiction or nymphomania or molestation) will be wiped from your memory in heaven, but the truth never will be. Any shared feeling you think you have with these women is ephemeral, while the shared reality of a solidly built sisterhood in truth with Jesus will remain for all eternity. Choose wisely. Remember, satan wants to make merchandise out of you.
source
So who IS good to read or listen to?

I enjoy the following women bloggers. I also enjoy blogs from John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Carl Trueman, Al Mohler, and Tim Challies. Please don't make a decision to read or not read a person based on their gender, but instead focus on the truth of their doctrine.

Aimee Byrd, Housewife Theologian

Nancy Guthrie

Challies interview of Nancy Guthrie

Erin Benziger, Do Not Be Surprised

The Christian Pundit, a husband and wife team who write alternatingly. Rebecca VanDoodewaard (RVD) is the wife and William VanDoodewaard (WVD) is the husband.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Our roles as woman in the faith: We are vulnerable to satan in specific ways. Part 1

This is a three part series about women in the faith. In this part I'll show from scripture that women have particular vulnerabilities to satan. We will look at what those are and how to avoid being used by satan to bring shame on the family and slander to the faith.

In the second part I'll look at where the modern woman is doing her dark work against Jesus: it's not just inside the church anymore. Mommy bloggers and online amateur theologians have grown to be an enormous network outside the church and thus often operate outside their husband's watchful eye and usually outside their pastor's eye. Much mischief happens on mommy blogs and amateur online theologian platforms and satan uses these to filter back to the church, to our detriment. I myself am in the amateur online theologian category so definitely don't take what I write at face value but test it.

Third, I'll look at the most famous female false prophet, heretic, and worker of iniquity today: Joyce Meyer. Meyer is representative of the female false teacher doing very much harm to the women of the church. Under her umbrella are women like Beth Moore, Anne Voskamp, Kim Walker Smith, and other newcomers who are spiritual daughters of Meyer and Moore and are being used by satan in exploitation of the particular vulnerabilities I will show in part 1.

Would they target a Christian book to men titled
"Eat the hot dog, buy the tie"? I think not
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In the bible there are groups of men listed and also individual men listed by name who were causing dissension or harm to the faith. Of the groups, Paul rebuked the Circumcision group (Galatians 2:11-14) and Jesus rebuked the Nicolaitans. (Revelation 2:6). Paul also names individual men who he rebuked or wrote about in a negative light,
  • Demas who left the faith, an apostate (2 Timothy 4:10).
  • Phygelus and Hermogenes who deserted Paul, apostates both. (2 Timothy 1:15).
  • Alexander the metalworker, he did Paul harm and opposed the message of Christ. (2 Timothy 4:14).
  • Hymenaeus and Philetus, irreverent babblers, leading people into ungodliness (2 Timothy 2:17, 1 Timothy 1:20).
  • Alexander made a shipwreck of his faith and handed over with Hymenaeus to satan to be taught not to blaspheme (1 Timothy 1:20). Unsure if this is the same Alexander as above or a different Alexander (a very common name then, as was Mary).
  • Diotrephes, rebuked by John, a man who "who likes to put himself first," "speaks wicked nonsense" and "does not recognize our authority" (3 John 1:10).
Not to be outdone, women are named too. Jesus names a group in Revelation 2:20, a false prophetess named 'Jezebel' and her followers. She is a false teacher whom Jesus said He will throw into a permanent sickbed in hell if she did not repent.

In 2 John 1:4-11, John gently corrects a specific but unnamed woman who needs to watch herself, to walk in love, and to refuse to receive false teachers into her house.

Albert Edelfelt (1854–1905) Women of Ruokolahti outside the Church
Another general group receiving a warning are Gossiping widows. They are a group named in a negative light. GotQuestions explains,
"Another group who were (and still are today) known for indulging in gossip is widows. Paul cautions widows against entertaining the habit of gossip and of being idle. These women are described as “gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to” (1 Timothy 5:12-13). Because women tend to spend a lot of time in each other's homes and work closely with other women, they hear and observe situations which can become distorted, especially when repeated over and over. Paul states that widows get into the habit of going from home to home, looking for something to occupy their idleness.
Younger widows also were mentioned in a mild rebuke because of their potential to give the adversary an occasion for slander. These women are loaded with passions and "some have already strayed after Satan." (1 Corinthians 7:9; 1 Timothy 5:14-15)

Women in general were told to remain silent in the churches, especially regarding tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophesying. This is the section where Paul was rebuking the Corinthians for having disorderly services, and women were a large part of the reason the services had become chaotic. (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)

Women who were specifically named were Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2-3). These women were causing disunity due to their disagreement with each other. Paul asked his loyal yokefellow to help these woman agree in the Lord.

You notice that there is a general difference between the men listed and the women. The men were mostly false believers. They tended not to be in the body of Christ. You notice stern warnings of the men, who were all obvious heretics and shunned or told to be put out. (One exception is that Paul rebuked Peter and of course Peter was a true believer. Alternately Paul rebuked a demon possessed slave girl and of course who was a false professor of the faith).

The women who are mentioned, however, were mostly believers in the church. Their spiritual crime caused disruption, division, and chaos in church circles. Gossip, idleness, and easily being drawn into false teaching were the issues at play here.

"Galicnik Wedding by Marjan Lazarevski" A Macedonian bride. CC

Women are the weaker vessel. (1 Peter 3:7). Some women are weaker than others. (2 Timothy 3:6). Satan attacked the woman, Eve, first, didn't he? Genesis 3:1 says that satan was the craftiest creature in the garden. That means he didn't just come up with a spur of the moment plot and threw spaghetti at the wall to see what would happen as he chatted with Eve. Crafty means "clever at achieving one's aims by indirect or deceitful methods." Crafty means that Satan had a method in place, he thought about it for a while, watched Adam and Eve, and came up with a plan. Point number one on his plan was "Approach the woman."

Knowing this, satan sends false teachers who have the appearance of godliness but denying its power, to seduce women with their false doctrines.

He also uses women in their vulnerability (the younger ones with passion and the elder ones with gossip and slander) to spread discord and gangrenous doctrines.

He targets the women and he uses the women. So, how can women avoid being used by satan who wants to exploit our vulnerability?

First, recognize ourselves as weaker. (1 Peter 3:7).

Labeled for reuse
Second, submit to authority. If married, submit to husbands. Raise your children. If having a question, ask the husband outside of church services. Wives should adorn their husbands as a jewel, busy herself with the home, and remain quiet. (1 Timothy 5:14, Ephesians 5:22, Titus 2:5, 1 Corinthians 14:34). Doing these things will not give satan as much of an opportunity to exploit your vulnerability.

In the same vein, elder widows with children or grandchildren should "show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God." (1 Timothy 5:4)

Elder widows without family should "set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day," (1 Timothy 5:5). Anna did this and was revered for it. (Luke 2:37-38).

Third, be busy. Elder widows should be "having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work." (1 Timothy 5:10). 1 Timothy 5:13 speaks ill of idle women, so keeping one's self spiritually busy in true service will also stave off satanic attacks and keep us thriving on the narrow path.

A silly woman at Mard Gras, by acedout. CC
Fourth, rein in passions. Younger widows tend to be passionate and flighty. They set their minds on marriage again so Paul said they should marry. (1 Timothy 5:11).

Self-indulgence in women is severely rebuked. Paul said "she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives" (1 Timothy 5:6). Idleness is rebuked because it tends toward disruptiveness (1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:11).

Women loaded with passions have a huge target on their back. Paul wrote, "For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions," (2 Timothy 3:6). So obviously one way to remain spiritually fit and stave off satan's wiles is to repent frequently when we do sin and resist sin when it presents itself.

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I hope these words help you, whether you're a young wife or an elder widow. Women are women, and we all have the same vulnerability in our weakness to satan and his attacks. These attacks don't hurt merely the family, they disrupt the church, as we saw with Euodia and Syntyche, the disorderly prophesiers, and the idle widows. Pettiness, idleness, gossip, slander, division seem to be the unique set of negative characteristics we possess in our sinful state that Jesus revealed to us women. He gracefully shows us through scripture how to combat this. In so doing, we can receive high commendations from our Father, our Lord, our Comforter!

In Proverbs 31:30-31 it says, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates."

Proverbs 3:15-18 "She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed."

Judge Mary Margaret Bartelme,
a most dignified woman. WikiCC

Widow Anna was commended. Mary was called favored by God. (Luke 1:28). Eunice and Lois were commended by Paul as having great faith and raising Timothy well. (2 Timothy 1:5, 2 Timothy 3:14). Dorcas was lauded for all her good works and charities. When Dorcas died, "All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them." (Acts 9:39b). "All" the widows! Dorcas was loved, and when she died, many pleaded with Paul to raise her to life. If you were to die, would all the women in your circle cry and beg for you to be returned to life? Or would they be relieved to see you go? In Dorcas' busy-ness I am sure that satan had little opportunity to worm his way in and cause her to bring shame to the church.

Please ponder these things. Check the scriptures and test all that I've said. We have an important role to play, that much is obvious. Satan wants to use us in disrupting the church and be a carrier of false doctrine in our silliness and rebellion. That can easily become our role if we do not pay attention. Our role should be an important work for Jesus in unifying the church when we repent of our sins, and stay on our God-given path. Let us please Him as His precious women of faith, working and striving and contending and being a helpmeet to the men in our lives, whether they are fathers, husbands, or pastors.

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Further reading

What does it mean that women are the weaker vessel

Bible Gateway: All the Women of the Bible

Essay: Widows in the church, part 1

Should you leave a church if it has a woman pastor? 

The Proverbs 31 Woman 

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