As a young Christian, I would get impatient when Bible Study teachers would spend time talking about the background to whatever book they taught. I just wanted to grab verses here and there that I could shoehorn into my immediate circumstances. Textual context only mildly interested me; I had absolutely no use for historical or cultural background, thank you very much!
So if you’re groaning at the title of this post, anticipating a boring history lesson about First Century Colossae, I understand. It’s not what you expected from a study on discernment.
Don’t close this article yet, ladies! You need to know that I’m writing a little about the background to this epistle precisely because it will enable us to see how Paul taught discernment without once naming the false teachers that he Continue reading
Many Christians desire to have discernment, which is good. Many, however, maintain a narrow understanding of Biblical discernment, limiting its scope to simply calling out false teachers and/or identifying erroneous practices within the Church.
Biblical discernment most assuredly includes those activities, and we must never ignore the importance of exposing deception (Romans 16:17, Ephesians 5:11). But in order to identify false teaching, we must first have a grasp of sound theology. Going after Beth Moore or Joel Osteen takes more than Continue reading
This time of year, many bloggers share their most popular posts from the past 12 months. Ever the nonconformist, I’ve decided to celebrate the year’s end by featuring favorite articles of mine that my readers seem to have overlooked. Today I’m posting one I wrote back in May:
When we think of discernment bloggers, we generally think of those who dedicate themselves to ruthlessly exposing false teachers. According to the common caricature, these bloggers are sarcastic, unloving, closed to reason and (above all) self-righteous.
Some of them actually do fit this caricature, I’m grieved to say. Ironically, their eagerness to bring down people that they consider to be false teachers leads them to Continue reading
Popular false teachers give bloggers plenty of material to keep us busy. And when a false teacher has a Twitter account, he or she becomes the gift that keeps on giving.
I do understand the sense of urgency that compels people to call out these false teachers. Over the years, I’ve used this very blog for that purpose, and I certainly don’t rule out doing so again. As evangelicals grow more and more Biblically illiterate, false teachers gain greater power to spread their deception.
But in our urgency to warn our brothers and sisters against false teachers, we can stumble into a variety of pitfalls that could potentially undermine our message. For example, we could overload Continue reading
False teachers and false teaching should, by all the means, make Christians angry! If we love the Word of God, we will naturally hate anything that comes against it. And such animosity comes out of a pure love for Christ and His people.
Did you notice the clause, “and His people”? I didn’t put that there simply for rhetorical value. Loving the people of Christ encompasses many things, one of which is wanting them to reject false teaching in favor of doctrinal purity. It follows that we should approach victims of false teaching just that — victims.
Sometimes we forget that most of the people who fall victim to these theological aberrations honestly believe they follow the Lord. Some are even Continue reading
Originally published September 29, 2017
Through a variety of circumstances, I’ve recently been exposed to young women in the Millennial generation. With one notable exception, I don’t really like what I see. The irresponsibility and self-centeredness appalls and saddens me. This generation, from what I see, exchanges reason for experience and pragmatism, paying little attention to long-term ramifications of their decisions. They pay even less attention to how their behaviors affect others.
In short, they possess poor reasoning skills. As a result, they exercise poor judgment, and then cast themselves as innocent victims when they face the consequences of that poor judgment. Between the immediacy of social media and the indoctrination of liberal colleges and Hollywood, Millennials have never learned to think for themselves.
To be fair, those attitudes have definite roots in Continue reading
Was 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