Jackie Hill Perry is a problem — I get that. I understand the importance of researching her and warning people to avoid her, just as I’ve warned against Sarah Young, Ann Voskamp, Joyce Meyer and (especially) Beth Moore. Scripture mandates that we mark false teachers who divide the Body Of Christ from sound doctrine.
17 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. 18 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)
If my posts reach women who follow the false teachers that I evaluate, praise the Lord! If you use them to help friends and family members understand the errors these teachers propagate, hallelujah! And if you show them to your pastor in an effort to keep your church from problematic teaching, glory to God! I’m honored to be one of many resources to steer women away from harmful teaching and toward a Biblical understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But the popularity of my articles that name names far exceeds the attention given to those that discuss doctrine or those that examine passages of Scripture. This fact troubles me.
It’s necessary, I agree, to expose false teaching. The 16th Century Reformers and their 17th Century offspring at the Synod of Dort served as the consummate discernment ministry, bringing the Body Of Christ back to Biblical teaching. Historically, Christians have always had to publicly oppose those who corrupt Biblical teaching. Again, I sometimes write about teachers like Beth Moore and Jackie Hill Perry because church history establishes such a model.
Having said that, I don’t like encouraging my readers to devour evangelical scandal. I much prefer encouraging you to love the Word of God that directs our focus to Christ. Since we will spend eternity adoring Him, shouldn’t we begin that practice now?
As I write this essay, I can’t help thinking about Paul’s letter to the Colossians. He wrote that letter in response to the variety of false teachers overrunning that port city. Those false teachers confused the Christians with all sorts of philosophies that sounded very spiritual. Some of those philosophies even appeared compatible with the Gospel.
In this particular letter, Paul didn’t name any of the false teachers, nor did he specifically identify any of the teachings. Rather, he constantly brought the attention back to Christ. He didn’t counter error because he wanted his readers to admire his discernment skills. Instead, he wanted to lead them into exalting Christ.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. ~~Colossians 2:8-10 (ESV)
If and when I write about Jackie Hill Perry, it won’t be to feed you tantalizing bits of Christian celebrity gossip. And I strongly urge each of you to examine your motives for reading those types of blog posts while you shy away from the doctrinal posts that would naturally draw you away from teachers like her. Think about it.