If You Want To Be A Discerning Woman

Lady's BibleIs discernment ministry essentially baptized celebrity gossip? When the Bible commands us to be discerning, does it mean we should actively hunt down problems with the intention of making public pronouncements against them, thereby showing people how accomplished we are at distinguishing truth from error?

I have a feeling that some who put out the Discernment Ministry shingle do so from an attitude of pride. I did. Somehow I doubt that I’m the only one guilty of this sin. Having knowledge that So-and-so is a false teacher and such-and-such is an unbiblical practice can give a girl a huge shot of self-esteem!

But Biblical discernment (or wisdom) shouldn’t Continue reading

They Enjoy Their Own Cleverness

OpenBible John 1How many times have people ridiculed you for believing the Bible? Have they questioned your sanity or acted surprised that you believe serpents  speak and messiahs rise from the dead? Yeah, and you’re probably already bracing for such uncomfortable conversations at Thanksgiving gatherings. So maybe I can offer a little perspective to help prepare you for conflicts around the adult table.

Ladies, we’ll resume our Monday Bible Studies on 1 Corinthians 15 pretty soon. Before you accuse me of a non sequitur, hear me out. I started working through verse 35 this morning, and I had some immediate thoughts on it that made me think about the ways some non-Christians (particularly those who are openly belligerent) try to derail us when we share the Gospel with them. Look at the verse with me.

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” (ESV) 

Okay, I didn’t get very far into my study today (I had a stressful situation last night that kept me from getting adequate sleep), so I don’t have as much of a handle on the verse as I will when we actually work through it. But the small amount of study I did reminded me that often people who raise objections to our beliefs honestly think they’re helping us understand why Christianity is intellectually untenable.

You’ll recall that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 15 in response to those who denied the doctrine of bodily resurrection. In the first 34 verses, the apostle provided legal evidence that Christ rose from the dead. Then he argued that Christ’s resurrection ensures the resurrection of believers. Verse 35 transitions to the rather childish challenge to prove the doctrine by giving specific details.

In other words, these skeptics think they’ve poked holes in Paul’s theology. They remind me of neighborhood kids who tried to prove that I was intellectually disabled by peppering me with impossible arithmetic questions that they themselves couldn’t answer.

“What’s 97,043 plus 32,017?” they ask.

I’d admit I didn’t know, and watch their smug grins steal over their little faces. With perhaps a little sadistic pleasure, I’d give them a minute to savor their cleverness before asking, “So what is 97,043 plus 32,017?”

Though I in no way recommend such a smart alec retort to non-Christians who fancy that their arguments blow holes in our Christian faith, I do want you to realize that they trust in their own cleverness. We must pray that the Holy Spirit will open their eyes the truth before they face the Lord in judgment. At that time, they won’t feel quite so clever.

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Just Because I Have Something To Say Doesn’t Mean I Have To Say It

Mosaic CrossThe ease of blogging, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms tempt people to express thoughts and opinions instantly, always with the hope that something we tap out on our keyboards will go viral. We all dream of influencing people. And, for Christians, that dream can have a certain degree of nobility to it.

Alas, even as Christians, we see pride well up as we gain followers. If our followers like our posts, that pride convinces Continue reading

Masculinity Isn’t Toxic. Femininity Isn’t Toxic. But Feminism? Now THAT’S Toxic!

Redhead 03I didn’t include Michelle Lesley’s outstanding blog post, Toxic (Evangelical) Femininity, in last week’s Saturday Sampler because I wanted to draw special attention to it. Yeah, it’s that significant!

Michelle wasn’t so much concerned about the world’s latest kick of blaming everything on “toxic masculinity.” The world rejects all God’s standards anyway, so we needn’t be surprised at the growing rejection of male leadership that God established from creation. Rather, she focused on the feminist attitudes that have been slithering into the church.

Sadly, Michelle correctly analyzed the situation. I say sadly because the growing feminist influence in evangelical churches highlights the increasing compromise with the world that Continue reading

Dinosaurs Tend To Recognize Boomerangs

betty-portrait-paintedJohn MacArthur dared to say that the real answer to social injustice is proclaiming the Gospel. His statement has apparently enraged proponents of the Social Justice Movement, who seem to want white evangelicals to display perpetual penance for the racist sins of our ancestors. His insistence on maintaining a Gospel focus negates their agenda, necessitating that they depict him as a dinosaur who is woefully out of touch with how the Spirit wants to move today.

The reaction reminds me of my attitude toward my grandmother (and toward most adults)  during the social upheaval of the 60s and 70s. As far as I was concerned, Gran had absolutely no concept Continue reading

What Makes You So Great?

When you attend high school reunions, weddings, funerals or other social events, people invariably ask about your accomplishments. Who did  you marry?  What career did you choose?  Where are you sending your kids for college? Where do you spend vacations?

And don’t you love answering that your husband is a prestigious man? Or that your employer absolutely depends on you? Or that your kids each chose well-known universities and consistently make the dean’s list? Or that you’ve been abroad just recently and happen to have pictures on your iPhone.

We love boasting about ourselves!

But as Christians, we should boast only in Jesus Christ and what He has done to save wretches like us. His love should both puzzle us and fill us with overwhelming joy! If we must boast, let us boast in what He has done for us.

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Humility And Standing Firm: A Balancing Act

sola-scriptura-02Being outspoken has its drawbacks, especially when your beliefs hurt people you have known and loved for decades. Sometimes I’d rather have a blog called The Softspoken Pansy.

Being outspoken, I frequently post things on Social Media that challenge established evangelical thought, hoping people might stop and think about my perspectives. I post with the clear understanding that I could get pushback. Anyone posting on Social Media really should post with that expectation. Whether it’s your blog, Facebook or Twitter (or any other app), posting publicly invites conversation — both positive and negative.

On the other hand, I rarely give pushback on someone’s post, reasoning that it’s their forum, giving them every right to express their beliefs without fear of censure. Sometimes their posts trouble me. I see professing Christians make extremely worldly comments, and I just itch to play Holy Spirit and convince them of their errors. But I feel as if doing so would invade their territory.

Anyway, this weekend I posted a quote by Justin Peters that resulted in a firestorm on my personal Facebook page. Continue reading