Keys To Discernment: The Prominence Of God’s Word (Reboot)

I began this Monday Bible Study series on Colossians in January, but stopped it after suffering a compression fracture in my back at the end of February. Rather than picking up where we left off, I’ve been reposting each installment again to keep everything in context. I’ve also added new comments here and there, so even if you read the series when I originally published it you can find additional insights.

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Let me begin with a gentle reminder that I intend my blog as a whole, and my Bible Study posts in particular, for women. I want to obey 1 Timothy 2:11-14 and Titus 2:3-5  by avoiding any possibility of teaching men. Dear brothers, unless you’re my husband or an elder at First Baptist Church Weymouth, I respectfully ask you not to read this Bible Study series. Thank you.

Okay ladies, shall we continue looking at Paul’s introductory remarks to the church at Colossae? We’ve been noticing that Paul uses this opening section of his letter to set the tone for the main points he wants to convey. I’ll show you the full section for the sake of context before we jump into the second part of verse 5.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. ~~Colossians 1:3-8 (ESV)

Last week we learned that Paul capitalized on the hope of the resurrection and eternal life to draw his readers’ attention away from worldly concerns. In so doing, he set the stage for the practical application of his teaching (see Colossians 3:1-4 and Colossians 3:16). In the second part of verse 5 (which we’ll discuss today), he explains that the Colossians gained this hope through hearing the Word of truth — the Gospel.

Paul focuses on the Word of truth because he will shortly begin dismantling the errors that have wormed their way into the Colossian church. He could have simply named the false teachings and left everyone to figure out how to refute them, but he instead gives them tools for future discernment.

Think of it this way: you can read blog post after blog post decrying Beth Moore as a false teacher. But how much better to read posts helping you understand sound doctrine so well that you can identify her errors for yourself? The Word provides stability for Christians, as we depend on the apostles’ teaching to guard us against the winds of false doctrine (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Verse 6 beautifully articulates how the Word of God has already taken root in the Colossian church. Indeed, Paul assures them, it has borne fruit in the whole world. The Colossians have been so transformed by the Gospel that it’s bearing the same fruit in them that it’s bearing throughout the rest of the known world. This glorious increase happens through the grace of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus illustrated in Mark 4:26-29.

Since God’s Word has already been firmly planted in Colossae, Paul will later encourage the church to walk in Christ Jesus (Colossians 2:6-7) in accordance with the teaching they have received. Verse 7 of our current chapter tells us that they received the ministry of Epaphras. Since Paul describes Epaphras as a faithful minister, we can safely assume that he faithfully taught them the Word of God.

Verse 8 reveals that Epaphras has reported back to Paul regarding the Colossians’ love in the Spirit. Their love gives evidence that God’s Word has begun to work in them.

Do you see how Paul’s seemingly standard opening comments prepare his original readers for the epistle? Similarly, this section gives us a little preview of what we’ll learn in the coming installments of our Bible Study. Next Monday, Lord willing, we can finally get into the doctrine that Paul uses to teach the Colossians — and by extension us — discernment. I look forward to having you join me then.

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We’d Rather Read About False Teachers, DebbieLynne

Okay, I read my blog stats. Monday’s post reintroducing the Colossians Bible Study hasn’t received much attention, whereas yesterday’s post about a tweet Beth Moore “Liked” is soaring to over four times as many views as the Colossians post got.

I can understand this discrepancy in two ways.

Firstly, I can deduce that my readers already study the Bible on their own, and therefore don’t need another study to work through. Truth be told, I don’t go through the studies that Michelle Lesley posts each Wednesday for that very reason. When I met her in person three years ago, I explained that reasoning to her, and she graciously understood my position. She says other readers have told her the same thing.

I dearly hope that my readers forego the studies I write for the same reason. I hope each of you spends time going through God’s Word each day, reading and studying it in context. If so, I have absolutely no problem with you skipping my studies.

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Not A Tweet Any Professing Christian Should Endorse

I had never heard of Kristen Howerton before. I have no idea whether she professes to be a Christian or not. If she doesn’t, I can shrug off her recent tweet. Non-Christians can be expected to say the sort of things she said.

If she does profess to know Christ, however, her recent tweet troubles me, as it should trouble any Christian. Beth Moore’s evident endorsement of that tweet also troubles me. Read the tweet for yourself:

The problem with a professing Christian as visible as Beth Moore has little to do with the question of systemic racism. I really don’t want to address that question in this blog, primarily because such a discussion would distract from the purpose of this ministry. But I definitely want to explain why the sentiments Howerton expressed (and Beth Moore endorsed) conflict with the Gospel.

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Confession Of A Discernment Blogger And What You Should Learn From My Sin

Praying WifeBeth Moore is a false teacher. If you need evidence for that claim, Elizabeth Prata has an excellent archive of resources substantiating the various ways Moore rebels against the Scripture she professes to love. In Elizabeth’s essays alone, you’ll see that Moore both teaches and practices a false imitation of Christianity.

Christians absolutely must avoid Beth Moore!

Over the years, I’ve written my share of articles exposing Moore (both in this blog and the now extinct blog I had in previous years). I’ve seen the dangers in following her, and I haven’t been afraid to expose those dangers. And as I’ve watched her Continue reading

Truth, Love, And Can Christians In Social Media Really Balance The Two?

Balance of Truth and LoveSometimes I log on to Twitter wondering what kind of food fight my brothers and sisters in Christ are engaging in now. I log on to Facebook wondering who will tear my latest blog post to shreds because I’ve said something Calvinistic. I log on to certain blogs that claim to be discernment blogs, only to find them anathematizing sound Christian teachers simply for treating people in false religions with respect.

Conversely, I sometimes log on to social media platforms to find people pleading with me and bloggers like me to stop calling out false teachers (especially Beth Moore). In the name of love, apparently, we should embrace anyone who says they’re Christian despite persistent doctrinal deviations and/or lifestyle choices that go against God’s Word.

As people become increasingly entrenched in either of these extremes, we inevitability fall into Continue reading

To Call Out False Teachers Or Not Call Out False Teachers — Does It Have To Be One Or The Other?

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Six months ago, I lost a friend as a result of my participation in the Open Letter To Beth Moore. The lady agreed with many of the concerns about Moore, but she believes it’s more productive to teach sound doctrine.

She has a point. As I’ve been saying for a few years now, most of Paul’s epistles confront false teaching by offering the corrective of sound theology. In fact, my primary reason for taking you through Colossians each Monday is to show you how Paul taught discernment without ever naming a false teacher. In studying Scripture, I’ve learned that the apostles very rarely called out false teachers directly.

Furthermore, I’ve seen several self-proclaimed discernment blogs Continue reading

Why I Started #TellUsBeth On Twitter, And How You Can Help

Dear Beth Moore

It’s been just over six months since Susan Heck, Michelle Lesley, Elizabeth Prata, Amy Spreeman and I published the Open Letter To Beth Moore asking her to clarify her position on homosexuality. Aside from some ambiguous Tweets and an admission that she softened her wording in the Kindle version of one of her books, she has never directly answered any of the questions we posed.

It’s odd hearing crickets at this time of year.

Beth doesn’t owe me, as an individual, an answer. She doesn’t owe Susan, Michelle, Elizabeth or Amy, as individuals, answers. I would even say that she doesn’t owe each of the 500+ women who signed the letter answers. Not as individuals.

However! Recently I reread Michelle Lesley’s post, The Mailbag: Questions about the Open Letter To Beth Moore. One point in particular made me think Continue reading

Repeated Warnings Need Not Mean Repetition Is Mandated

Big WomanWas the article I wrote last Wednesday unbiblical?

One person who contacted me this weekend adamantly believes it was.

Of course, she initially objected to my harsh tone in the article. And I agree that I sinned in that regard. I admitted it to her, and I wrote an article yesterday dealing with that regard specific sin. As I see it, my harshness indeed did violate God’s Word tremendously, but my sin in that particular area didn’t seem to trouble her all that much.

With that issue resolved, she continued asserting that I had been unbiblical. She insisted my greatest infraction Continue reading

Do We Really Need More Articles Exposing Beth Moore?

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Yesterday I wasted an hour slogging through a blog post promising more information about Beth Moore. It was, to my disappointment, only a badly written regurgitation of the same charges against her that Michelle Lesley, Elizabeth Prata and I have made for several years. The spelling errors made it miserable to read. Frankly, I should have found more productive uses for my time.

Much has been written about Beth Moore’s deviations from Biblical Christianity. Elizabeth Prata is probably the foremost authority on Moore, and offers a vast archive of carefully documented essays detailing various ways that Moore violates Scripture. If you seriously wish to research Beth Moore, Elizabeth certainly supplies more than enough material to educate you.

In that respect, it’s needless (and a bit silly) to write the sort of post that I bothered with yesterday. Nothing new came to light, and the poor quality of writing would only convince Beth Moore followers that the writer isn’t credible. Sadly, the writer added nothing noteworthy to the conversation.

And yet, many people Continue reading