I Can, But That Doesn’t Mean I Should

Read BibleAs 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 CourvetteErin 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.

11 thoughts on “I Can, But That Doesn’t Mean I Should

  1. Pamela Couvrette

    Good points, Debbie.

    I have been feeling secure as of late regarding male readers as I have come to understand that women are not to teach men in a church setting – in other words, they are not to have Biblical authority over them. As I understand it, having male readers is not crossing Biblical lines. It was weighing heavily on me for a while, though. All that being said, if a male reader emails me and requires extensive teaching, I will refer him to a male.

    I will pray for your peace and His guidance for you in this. And thank you for the mention 🙂 Blessings, Pamela Couvrete

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    1. healinginhim

      I agree with you Pamela because what you have shared is Biblical truth. Women can not control who reads their blogs and DebbieLynne has done an admirable job of defending the faith and keeping within the roles of a very Christ-honoring woman.
      I live in a small community. I am not exaggerating by saying all churches are apostate. The Alpha Course, Rick Warren and many others have done a fine job of distracting and deceiving from the Truth. I am very much alone as family and friends feel I am legalistic … I should be more liberal in my Biblical ‘worldview’ and lately women in the pulpit has become a popular acceptable belief … The idolization of Beth Moore has me being politely snubbed as ‘they’ do not want to see the sources where others have shown the heresy of Beth and others.
      My sincere prayers for all who continue to “earnestly contend for the faith” Jude 3.

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  2. Christina

    I agree with the other commenters. I appreciate the tension you speak of and have grappled with the same thing when I blogged more regularly than I do now. (That, of course, is a story for another day!) As the others have noted, authoring a blog is not the same thing as holding a position of authority in the church. While it is true most women have, for their audience, other women in mind, it shouldn’t be a problem if a brother enjoys or benefits from what we share. Anyway, our blogs should not be replacements for the kind of growth that can only take place in the local church. I think it is entirely your prerogative to continue or discontinue any discussion you are engaged in. I think it should be treated on a case by case basis. On the rare occasion where I’ve been uncomfortable with a male, I have passed on their contact information to my husband. If your husband is willing, that might be something to consider. One final thought. The major figures of the Reformation often corresponded with women. Not only were the women ardent defenders of the Reformation, they were also versed in the theological issues of the day. I think of Martin Luther and Argula Von Grumbach. While Luther would freely admit he benefitted from her influence, never would he say she sought to usurp his authority. So, that’s my 2 cents! I hope it is helpful! Thank you for your God-honoring spirit. It comes out in all that you share!

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  3. healinginhim

    Hey DebbieLynne, Although the blogging has been tough for many of you I am greatly blessed to read comments from other women who passionately love Christ. I am starved for true Christian fellowship and Bereans at that!!

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  4. Susan

    That is how I perceive the issue as well (women to not have titles or hold positions of authority within the church over men)…great post and great comments as well, and am saddened as well as irritated by teachings such as what Beth Moore peddles, many sadly “teach” for all the wrong reasons (to sell books, or to have others boost their egos by spending time and money on conferences, etc, and sharing the message of the “teacher” rather than sharing the message of the gospel) and what these “teachers” teach has very little in common with what Jesus actually said.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Susan

        I agree. There is a spiritual reason for the proper order of things in church hierarchy which has nothing to do with how smart or eloquent or what have you, and it just has to do with submitting to Christ. The world doesn’t desire, accept, or understand this, and something my husband has to keep reminding me of is the fact that many who call themselves Christian probably are not, and do not follow the Lord’s instructions because it does not resonate with them. I do not know whether Beth Moore is saved or not, but my suspicion is that she isn’t. She has an appearance of godliness but denies His power over her.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: In Case You Were Wondering: Are Female Bloggers Violating Scripture by “Teaching” Men? | Michelle Lesley

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