Mary Understood What She Needed (Or, How Do You Stop A Runaway Blog?)

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In the past couple of weeks, I’ve blogged about some fairly important topics, and I don’t regret addressing those issues. Since publishing the Open Letter To Beth Moore, my online life has been a bit crazy, taking my thoughts in unanticipated directions. At times I’ve felt somewhat frustrated that I wasn’t taking my blog where I believed it should go.

As I thought about the disconnect between what I’ve wanted to write and what I’ve actually been writing, my mind went back to the familiar story of Continue reading

When My Personal Life Interferes With Blogging

Clock Yellow

I have a blog post in mind that I’ve been thinking about since June 17. Things changed on June 18 when I agreed to post An Open Letter To Beth Moore. In the fallout following that post, I wrote articles to address the responses (and vitriol) my co-signers and I received as a result of our questions.

Last week I  felt too tired to do the post I’d planned. That, and I just didn’t sense that the timing was quite right. 4th of July was coming, and I wanted to celebrate! I also wanted to caution American readers against incorporating our patriotism into our worship of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday I was physically tired as well as uncomfortable in my wheelchair. When I’m not positioned properly, typing is enormously difficult, particularly the intensive typing required when I write a blog post. For me, blogging is highly physical work. I love doing it, mind you, but I often get tired and sore from doing it.

As Michelle Lesley’s timeline of events with Beth Moore shows, Friday and Saturday were very busy days for those of us involved in the Beth Moore saga. Ironically, Beth’s two-sided “explanation” of her views on homosexuality bring me back to the blog post I’ve wanted to write since June 18.

So I went to bed last night looking forward to writing that blog at last.

Then this morning my Personal Care Attendant called out. With me lying helplessly in bed,   John frantically started calling our back-ups. We had a 10:30 interview with someone to fill in the next two weekends while my weekend PCA is on vacation. As it ended up, she came and got  me out of bed. It went well enough that she stayed to do paperwork for the temporary job. Praise God for His provision!

But by then I’d lost two hours of my day. Doing the article I’d planned was absolutely out of the question. So I have to hope that tomorrow accommodates my plans a bit better.

The heart of man plans his way,
    but the Lord establishes his steps. ~~Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

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Your Attempts To Love Examined Through Scripture ~~ Part 3

1 Co 13

Growing up in the late 60’s, I absolutely loved The Beatles. To this day, I recall their harmonization as they sang, “All You Need Is Love!” At the time, however, I thought of love as a flowery feeling that magically accepted everyone (unless they supported the war in Vietnam, of course). I had no clue that Biblical love demanded dying to self and standing with the Lord for His priorities.

Tuesday I began taking you through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to show how people — in this case, discernment bloggers and our critics — can exercise love even while disagreeing. I continued the discussion yesterday. Today I’d like to keep working through this well-known passage, including a clause that probably  would have made The Beatles Continue reading

Your Attempts To Love Examined Through Scripture ~~ Part 2

1 Co 13Postmodern culture equates love with unquestioning approval — as long as we unquestionably approve of politically correct people, behaviors or causes. When we question people or views that the majority of people enthusiastically support, we usually receive harsh tongue lashings condemning our unloving positions.

Oh, the irony!

Yesterday we started looking at questions people on opposite sides of a given issue can should ask themselves in the midst of disagreements. Since I’m currently embroiled in heated debates as a discernment blogger, I’ve chosen to illustrate my thoughts by challenging discernment bloggers and our critics to examine how lovingly we deal with conflict. But please don’t imagine that Continue reading

Your Attempts To Love Examined Through Scripture ~~ Part 1

1 Co 13In the movie Forest Gump, Forest makes only a couple references to his intellectual disability. When Jenny questions his ability to have a serious relationship with her, he angrily retorts, “I may be a stupid man, Jenny,  but I know what love is!”

Critics of discernment ministry often accuse discernment bloggers of being unloving. Sometimes, sadly, they correctly call us out. And when we fail to operate out of genuine love, we definitely need our brothers and sisters to correct us. In fact, if they really love us, they certainly will be faithful to show us our sin and to call us to repentance. Christian love never allows someone to remain in sin and/or doctrinal error.

To demonstrate my point, let’s walk through the Bible’s most celebrated passage on love, and compare the attributes it lists against Continue reading

Did I Publish The Open Letter To Beth Moore In Order To Get People To Read The Outspoken TULIP?

Dear DebbieLynneSince Susan Heck, Michelle Lesley, Elizabeth Prata, Amy Spreeman and I released Open Letter To Beth Moore last week, we’ve fielded a lot of questions and criticism. Some of the questions undoubtedly come from Mrs. Moore’s supporters, who typically won’t tolerate any questioning of their beloved teacher. Nevertheless, their questions deserve respectful answers such as those Michelle Lesley graciously provided in today’s In the Mailbag blog post. I dearly hope you’ll read Michelle’s thoughtful and important post before you continue on with this article.

That said, a comment by J Mill included a remark that troubled me. Let me quote the entire comment for the sake of context before I discuss the portion that bothered me:

It certainly seems against the gospel to assume that one cannot be friends with people because you interpret scripture differently. The world wide CHURCH has many different interpretations on many theological issues and yet we are one. Just because you disagree with her does not mean that she is operating outside of biblical orthodoxy. Not everyone needs to speak on everything – we all have topics that are especially in our view at certain times. Most importantly, Scripture would direct you to conduct this inquiry one-on-one with Mrs. Moore, not use it as fodder for your blogs. It seems you may have a log in your own eye to remove.

Michelle’s Mailbag post dealt with most of J Mill’s objections, so again I refer you to her wisdom. But the accusation that I used this matter merely as fodder for my blog shouldn’t go without notice.

Regular readers of my blog know quite well that I have been trying to move away from the idea that discernment ministry revolves around calling out false teachers. Too many so-called discernment blogs (most notably Pulpit and Pen) capitalize on exposing teachers they disagree with (even doctrinally sound teachers). Such baptized versions of supermarket tabloids have severely damaged legitimate discernment bloggers, and I have absolutely no desire for The Outspoken TULIP to degenerate into that type of blog. If J Mill had read enough of my articles, she would have known better than to have made such a baseless accusation.

Subsequent to running the Open Letter, I wrote a teaching reviewing the basic Gospel message. At this writing, only 101 people viewed that post, compared to 5,844 people who clicked on the Open Letter. Ladies, that lack of interest in posts that actually focus on the Word of God disturbs me. I would much rather have you excited about posts that proclaim the Gospel and study God’s Word than about posts about Beth Moore.

I was asked to provide input on the Open Letter, to sign it and to post it on my blog. I complied with those requests after consulting my husband. I wanted the letter publicized in order to ask very legitimate questions of someone who has an extremely high profile in the Southern Baptist Convention — to which my church currently belongs. As Michelle Lesley explained in her post today, publicly asking Beth Moore to clarify her views on homosexuality is no different than publicly asking Joe Biden to explain why he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment. The SBC is floating Beth Moore’s name as its next president, making it necessary to understand her position on this issue. In that context, I agreed to donate space to the Open Letter.

I had been planning an entirely different series for last week’s posts. Running the Open Letter derailed those plans indefinitely. Far from being fodder for my blog, this letter has interrupted my train of thought.

Furthermore, the Lord has been convicting me concerning caring about gaining readers. The SBC may be big on numbers, but I am fighting against the lust to have thousands of adoring followers. The lust for numbers has led the SBC and other evangelical churches to compromise God’s Word — ironically that’s the main reason they cling to Beth Moore in the first place. To put it bluntly, they profit from her book sales. I have no interest in compromising my obedience to God simply to have a widely read blog.

Wanting more readers for posts that teach Biblical doctrine than for posts that call out false teachers like Beth Moore doesn’t mean I want a huge following. It simply means that I want the women who read this blog to care more about studying Scripture than they care about the latest dirt on a false teacher. Though it’s sometimes necessary to ask the sort of questions that Susan, Michelle, Martha, Amy and I asked, I prefer to teach Biblical discernment by helping women rightly understand God’s Word.

Finally, although people I highly respect gave me words of encouragement after I published the Open Letter, only one affirming Tweet meant the world to me:

Jeremy's Tweet

May it be a joy for Pastor Jeremy to give account for me when he stands before the Lord (Hebrews 13:17).

____________________________

Also see Elizabeth Prata’s essay answering her critics.

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The Greed Of (Even Christian) Bloggers

Blog Stats

Screen Capture of today’s blog stats

Wow, I had a lot of visits and views on yesterday’s post! Looking at the numbers today was quite a heady experience.

Until I remembered that I wrote only the introductory paragraph.

My proverbial 15 minutes of fame didn’t even belong to me. As of this post, I’ll return to my obscure little corner of the web, where a certain blogging expert will declare that I repel readers by using complex sentences in lengthy paragraphs. Ironically, the sentences in yesterday’s post were even more complex than mine. And the paragraphs were often much longer.

Anyway, I found myself sulking a bit because a guest post on my blog attracted far more attention than posts I labor over. And the very sin of sulking Continue reading