Category Archives: Lysa TerKeurst

How Could Understanding Sola Scriptura Apply To 21st Century Evangelicals (Or Does It?)

sola-scriptura-02October 2017 has arrived, bringing more intensified blog posts and podcasts about the Protestant Reformation. Hopefully a few evangelicals will gain interest in this watershed moment in church history (indeed, in world history) as the conversation escalates.

Sadly, most probably won’t.

History in  general bores most people. I’ve mentioned before that one friend of mine prefers to concentrate on the mess in the 21st Century Church rather than study what happened 500 years ago. To her, the Reformation seems largely irrelevant. And I definitely agree that the visible Church has very serious problems that Christians should address vigorously. Sitting in an ivory tower memorizing the Five Solas seems ineffectual when people like Beth Moore, Jen Hatmaker and Lysa TerKeurst are actively promoting false teaching and obscuring the truth.

Yet I would argue that false teaching proliferates precisely because most evangelicals have ignored, neglected and/or forgotten the Five Solas and other legacies of the Protestant Reformation. Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), for example, would go a long way in correcting most of the errors in present-day evangelicalism.

By 1517, the Roman Catholic Church had devolved into a religious system that suppressed the Gospel for the sake of political power. Popes depended on the unquestioning obedience of the laity, and consequently they developed a theology that made people rely on works and religious taxation (as exemplified in the sale of Indulgences) in order to retain their hold on people.

Keeping the Bible and the Mass in Latin helped them maintain control over everyone. By making God’s Word inaccessible to all but the highest levels of clergy, the Roman Catholic Church avoided questions about its unbiblical doctrines and practices. As you might expect, therefore, the Reformers’ emphasis on preaching the Word and translating it into languages that people could read for themselves posed a substantial threat to Rome.

Today, the Bible is readily available in an astounding variety of formats, and most false teachers will encourage their followers to study it. They obscure it, however, by promoting supplemental teaching, mystical experiences or self-centered interpretations that cause people to follow them. They discourage proper hermeneutics and rush to annex psychology,  Charismatic gifts and/or mysticism to Bible Study, thus distracting people from the clear teaching of Sacred Text.

Studying the Protestant Reformation, and observing how the Reformers drew people back to the Bible, would go a long way in correcting many flaws in the present-day church. As we see how Luther, Tyndale, Calvin and other 16th Century Reformers insisted on Sola Scriptura and the other Solas, we learn to resist error and cling to the truth. If ever a generation needed to study the Reformation, it’s this one.

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Lysa TerKeurst And The Challenge To Discernment Bloggers

Teardrop RoseAfter reading that Lysa TerKeurst has decided to divorce her husband, I wanted to follow Leslie A’s lead by sharing a few thoughts of my own. As I type, I pray that my words will honor the Lord Jesus Christ rather than generate vicious gossip. So I’ll begin this article by asking that all of us (myself included) pray for Lysa and her husband Art to search the Scriptures and (if at all possible) find ways of reconciliation.

My greatest fear in this matter has been that discernment bloggers would use this divorce as a “gotcha” moment. Indeed, I’ve been struggling with that very temptation all weekend. Lysa’s ministry has been more than questionable on several fronts, and this situation seems like a perfect opportunity to show her followers that she shouldn’t be trusted.

Well, she shouldn’t be trusted, but this isn’t the appropriate time to talk about the problems with her ministry. Again, I agree with Leslie A that it’s a time for compassion. Can you imagine how humiliating it must feel, after writing books on marriage and speaking to large audiences about having successful relationships, to publicly announce that you’ve initiated a divorce? In that respect, Lysa TerKeurst exercised tremendous courage.

Thankfully, I haven’t seen any discernment bloggers celebrating Lysa’s downfall, though I’ve heard that some of them have been a little giddy. Perhaps as this week gets going, some less scrupulous bloggers will emerge and write self-righteous blog posts about this divorce. They’ll quite probably rationalize that they’re simply showing people the truth about Lysa TerKeurst. But in reality they’ll be capitalizing on someone else’s suffering, just to demonstrate their supposed discernment skills.

To such bloggers, I’d issue a challenge. Please examine your hearts. Is discrediting Lysa TerKeurst at this particular point in time the most godly response to the situation? Would you consider praying, with sincerity and compassion, that the Lord would use this terrible tragedy to lead this woman into His Word so that He can purify her theology? And, like Leslie A, would you humbly look at your own marriages with the understanding that you might be just as vulnerable.

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. ~~1 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV)

Discernment ministry can so easily lead us into pride, particularly as we point out false teaching that comes from popular teachers. But the news that Lysa TerKeurst is filing for divorce challenges me to use a different type of discernment. I must have wisdom regarding when to write about her errors and when to humbly pray for the Lord to gently lead her to repentance. And I must realize how easily  I fall into sin.

Lysa TerKeurst’s divorce is nothing we should gloat over. Nor is it, to paraphrase our last President, a crisis that discernment bloggers shouldn’t waste. It should grieve us, driving us to humility and compassion as we seek for God to glorify Himself through this sad turn of events.

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Saturday Sampler: June 11 — June 17

Bezier Flower SamplerLike Michelle Lesley, I’d never heard of Karen Ehman, but based on The Mailbag: Did Jesus Really Teach Karen Ehman’s 3 Step Life Plan? I don’t think I’ll bother. In addition to examining questionable aspects of Ehman’s teaching, Michelle shows us the importance of keeping everything we read in context.

Praise the Lord that Jennifer at One Hired Late In The Day pays attention to her Bible! She supplies Some Encouragement for Marrieds & Parents in response to the Social Gospel and its call to radical living.

Is The Bible A Love Letter From God? Stephen Altroggie of The Blazing Center says no. Find out why he disagrees with this popular view of God’s Word.

Lysa TerKeurst is, from what I’ve read, a false teacher. I’m still researching her, but I know enough about her to be very wary of her. Sadly, she’s announced this week that she’s decided to divorce her husband, alleging he’s been unfaithful. In response, Leslie A. of Growing 4 Life has written Some thoughts on ending a marriage. I appreciate Leslie’s balanced, compassionate approach to this matter. This is not a time for self-righteousness or glee, but a time to pray for Lysa’s repentance.

Highlighting two very different incidents from Martin Luther’s life, Allen Cagle writes If he is inviting me to my death, then I will come for Parking Space 23. Even if you don’t normally like history, this article is an inspiring portrayal of courage. Don’t cheat yourself out of it!

As a woman with a disability, I resonate with Elizabeth Prata’s Two or more good things about having a disability in The End Time. It’s not a typical Elizabeth Prata essay, but I love the way she points to the Lord’s goodness and sovereignty in giving us various trials.

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Saturday Sampler: April 23 — April 29

Umbrella SamplerAs a Biblical response to Earth Day (a totally ridiculous celebration, anyway), John Ellis of PJ Media insists that Earth Day is Wrong: The Earth is Not Our Mother. It’s refreshing to see somebody take such a firm stand on this matter!

Women struggling with infertility rarely find helpful support from the church, as Rachel reminds us in her danielthree18 blog post, NIAW ’17: Sometimes? There’s Never a Pregnancy. Her heartbreaking article highlights the fact that theology based on positive thinking can cause incredible damage.

Learn to Discern: Philosophies in Opposition continues Leslie A’s series in her Growing 4 Life blog. Much of accepted evangelical thought has nothing to do with Biblical Christianity, and Leslie helps us see the contrast.

In an essay for Berean Research, Amy Spreeman writes about the Sufficiency of Scripture against 21st Century attempts to augment God’s Word. This piece walks us through Psalm 19:7-9 to demonstrate how the Bible speaks to every area of life.

Writing a guest post for Desiring God, 17-year-old Katherine Forster pleads, We Need More Bible in Youth Ministry. Kids know when adults shortchange them, so let’s stop entertaining them and start showing them respect. They really can study the Bible if we’ll just give them the chance!

Elizabeth Prata has no idea how some of her essays in The End Time speak to issues that have touched my life! Having spent 30 years in a church that constantly talked about “brokenness,” I read her blog post, I’m not broken, with great interest. You’ll appreciate Elizabeth’s Biblical approach to this matter.

I haven’t written about Hank Hanegraaff’s decision to join the Eastern Orthodox Church, but Michelle Lesley’s article, The Heart of the Hanegraaff Hubbub: Dethroning the God of Your Personal Experiences, captures the essence of the matter. Don’t miss this superb analysis of the situation!

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Saturday Sampler: October 2 – October 8

rose-sampler-silkNot being a mom, I simply don’t possess the qualifications to blog about child-rearing. Since The Outspoken TULIP  ministers specifically to women, however, I must realize that most of you actually are moms, and many of  you moms have sons. So I’ll refer you to Michelle Lesley’s wonderful post, The Mailbag: How Can Christian Moms Raise Godly Men? What, you ask, qualifies Michelle to address this topic? Well…she has five sons!

Continuing her series on superstitions, Jessica Pickowicz of Beautiful Thing gives us Portraits of Superstition: The Deal-Maker, which pretty much nails one of my sinful proclivities. Thank you, Lord, for Your grace to show me where I need to repent!

People in discernment ministry often (very often) get criticized for being negative. Writing for Berean Research, Amy Spreeman tackles these critics as she responds to the question, Why don’t you recommend GOOD teachers for a change? She encourages us to develop our  own discernment skills.

Praise God! Finally, someone has voiced the truth that this concept of “five love languages” encourages selfishness and manipulation. Tim Challies, in Those Exquisite Forms of Love That Do Not Speak Your Language, comments on the dangers of love languages.

Denny Burk gives a precise and thoughtful response to Andy Stanley’s contention that educated people won’t accept the Bible’s authority without augmenting evidence. In his essay, The self-authenticating power of the Bible, Burk demonstrates that God’s Word has intrinsic authority regardless of whether or not people accept it.  His point cannot be overstated!

In her book review Unglued, Rebekah Womble regretfully points out the doctrinal problems with Lysa TerKeurst’s latest book, Unglued. I think most of us are like Rebekah in that we really want to like Lysa TerKeurst, but problems like calling outbursts of anger “mistakes” instead of sin and presenting the Gospel as little more than a means of self-improvement forces us to reject her teaching.

Michelle Lesley has hit a grand slam with her blog entry, Band-Aids vs. Chemotherapy: Why Suffering Women are Drawn to False Doctrine and 7 Things We Can do to Help. If you only read one item in this Sampler (I hope you’ll read more), please make it this one!

The writer of One Hired Late In The Day boldly declares that America is experiencing God’s judgment. I quite agree! Her essay, Glorifying God For His Wrath, powerfully explains why the Lord has begun judging this rebellious nation.

Can We Enjoy Heaven Knowing Loved Ones Are In Hell? Tim Challies answers this difficult question by reminding us of our limited knowledge.

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Saturday Sampler: August 28–September 3

Butterfly Sampler

Not ten minutes had passed from when I said more than necessary in an email until I read The crooked sin of gossip in Elizabeth Prata’s The End Time blog. Elizabeth shares Scriptures in this powerful blog post that underscore God’s righteous indignation at this “respectable” sin.

Inspired by a biography she’s reading on Jonathan Edwards, Leslie A. of Growing 4 Life outlines The Four Missing Elements that possibly indicate a false salvation. She notes similarities between the reliance on religious experience as proof of one’s salvation in the early 19th Century and that same reliance now. She quotes Edwards a couple of times to illustrate what marks the life of a true believer.

In her article, Meme Christianity, Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised questions whether or not posting memes on social media is really effective ministry.

Mere  days before the birth of his first daughter, Jordan Standridge already expresses his  desire that she marry a godly man.In his blog post for The Cripplegate, Should I Marry Him?, Standridge counsels single women on the traits to look for in potential husbands. Happily, John meets the criteria!

Blogging for Satisfaction Through Christ, Kristen answers the question: Why Did God Use a Harlot and a Lie? Most Christians have wondered about that incident. While Kristen could have probably developed her theory a little more, she offers some interesting insight worth consideration.

Andrew David Naseli and J.D. Crowley, writing in the Crossway blog, ask How Reliable Is Your Conscience? It’s an interesting read; don’t miss it.

If you think I refer to Elizabeth Prata a lot, consider the fact that she’s simply been putting out some top-notch stuff lately. In One more reason to avoid Lysa TerKeurst of Elevation Church, Elizabeth both reviews TerKeurst’s church affiliation and encourages us to examine women’s ministries and libraries in our own churches. Remember that it matters who teaches those who in turn teach us.

Kim Witten writes The Secrets of Self-Harm for the blog, Biblical Woman, explaining the widely practiced behaviors of cutting, bulimia and other self-destructive habits that girls and women engage in. She briefly demonstrates how Biblical Counseling can help such women stop hunting themselves.

Carl Trueman, in First Things, contends that our culture’s casual attitude toward sex has resulted in Sex Negative. It’s a sad blog post.  Sad, because we’ve reduced one of the Lord’s most beautiful gifts to a mere tool for selfish pleasure.

Along those same lines, Tim Challies tells us Why Marriage Is Better Than Cohabitation. He raises points I’d never considered before, and clarifies other points that I’ve known for years. If you’re thinking about a sexual relationship without legal marriage, you may need to read Challies’ article.

Familiar Bible passages often need to be read with fresh eyes. Michelle Lesley, writing Making a U-turn on the Road to Emmaus, helps  me see the well-known story in Luke 24:13-35 just a little bit differently than I’d ever seen it. Take a look, and then see whether or not the Lord might have something to say to you.

 

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