As Christians who care about sound doctrine, we should be willing to have people challenge us to back up our positions with Scripture. Such challenges may cause a degree of discomfort, certainly, but that discomfort shows us whether we care about God’s truth, or simply about showing off our cleverness at wielding Bible verses. Once we study a matter with humility and arrive at conclusions that follow good hermeneutics and the agreement of well-established Bible scholars, we can (and should) defend Scripture.
Women bloggers, however, have to exercise particular caution as we contend for the faith, lest we cross the line from answering honest and valid criticisms from our male readers to actually instructing those male readers. My fellow women bloggers, Pamela Courvette, Erin Benzinger and Elizabeth Prata (among others too numerous to mention) undoubtedly feel this tension. We all know men read our blogs, yet each of us firmly believes God’s Word prohibits us from teaching men (1 Timothy 2:11-12). This limitation makes it tricky to blog about God’s Word without violating it.
Recently, a man commented on one of my posts, wanting a rather detailed defense of my position, backing my argument with Scripture. I may address some of his presuppositions in future posts because they influence Charismatic thought at its core. I think some of his points need to be addressed, and I know I have the ability to provide Scriptural answers.
What I question is the appropriateness of me going in-depth. It’s one thing to voice my concerns about various movements among evangelicals in a way that asks readers to go to Scripture for themselves. And I have no objection to writing about my past theological errors, briefly contrasting them with Biblical teaching. I even consider it legitimate for me to warn against popular teachers and trends that undermine either the authority or the sufficiency of God’s Word. Also, and most importantly, I want to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, the very Person that sound doctrine honors.
In honor of Christ, I want to avoid teaching men through this blog without avoiding my responsibility to substantiate my assertions (or, when necessary, recant them) with Scripture. Sometimes, I may cross the line, in which case I’ll eagerly repent.
If I had a way to guarantee an all-female readership, believe me, I’d be teaching a lot more boldly! Alas, I can’t control who reads this blog. I will, to the best of my ability, state my beliefs with appeals to Scripture, and will provide links to in-depth teaching by respected men. This approach may not satisfy those who take issue with me. I anticipate accusations of copping out and of being unable to defend my position. But as much as my flesh would relish the opportunity to demonstrate my theological abilities, I choose to restrain myself out of obedience to Christ.