Category Archives: Social Media

Saturday Sampler: March 26 — April 1

Butterfly SamplerJohn Ellis’ piece in PJ Media, Teenage Boy Sues School Over Transgender Bathrooms is a political article rather than a specifically Christian one, but it serves as a reminder that our culture has chosen a path that degrades most of society. Christians must prepare to be marginalized as a new version of “morality” takes over.

Continuing her series on discernment at Growing 4 Life, Leslie A. writes Learn to Discern: Acknowledging the War. Find out how (and why) spiritual warfare fits into using discernment properly.

Does the Lord care how we worship Him? Rebekah Womble, blogging at Wise In His Eyes, believes He does. Her blog post, The Freedom of Worshipping God’s Way (she spelled worshiping with two p’s, not me), helps us understand why we must avoid self-styled approaches to worshiping a holy God.

Why Bargain With God?, a post that Kennedy Mathis wrote for Biblical Woman, brings back memories of my struggles as a single woman. But the principle she’s learned really applies  to any struggle Christians have.

As you can tell, I appreciate the series on cessationism that Jordan Standridge has been doing for The Cripplegate this month. His latest article, Three Reasons God is a Cessationist, employs arguments I’ve heard before, but they’re not common arguments. Please, if you have any Charismatic or continualist leanings, consider the points he makes.

Cameras Buettel, writing for the Grace To You Blog, says You Might Be A Pharisee If… This essay helps us examine ourselves (and others) more effectively to make sure we remain faithful to the Bible.

Jennifer of One Hired Late In The Day writes Same Bible, different beliefs, showing how the Lord helped her work though a perplexing question. And while you’re on her website, please check out Deconstructing Absurdity: a discernment lesson to watch her tackle a recent Tweet by Rick Warren.

R.C. Sproul posts TULIP and Reformed Theology: Unconditional Election on the Ligonier blog. Appealing to Scripture, he both explains the doctrine of election and deals with the argument that election is unjust.

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Saturday Sampler: March 19 — March 25

Flower SamplerContinuing her series in Growing 4 Life, Leslie A. writes Learn to Discern: Who Do You Follow? She raises several important points that women should seriously consider as we pray to develop our discernment .

Unbelief doesn’t need one more miracle says Jennifer at One Hired Late in the Day. I’d been considering writing a similar article, but I really couldn’t improve on hers. If you want a solid explanation of the doctrine of justification, Jennifer’s blog post certainly gives it clearly.

“Authentic” seems to be the latest buzzword among evangelicals. In Has “Be Authentic” Replaced “Be Holy”? Rebekah Womble explains what postmodern people mean by authenticity, contrasting their understanding of the characteristic with the holiness that Christ calls us to practice.

Dinitatians typically believe in the Father and the Son, but not the Holy Spirit. In his blog post, Are Cessationists Dinitatians? Eric Davis of The Cripplegate refutes the popular notion that non-Charismatics don’t believe in the Holy Spirit. I love his list of 20 things Cessationists believe about the Holy Spirit.

Do you sometimes wonder what you should pray in praying for your pastor? Steve Altroggie, blogging on The Blazing Center, enumerates 8 Prayers You Should Regularly Pray For Your Pastor to offer us good direction in the matter.

John Ellis’ article, How NOT to Argue Online in adayinhiscourt convicted me. But it also encouraged me in arguing my case in ways that honor the Lord .

Responding to one of Beth Moore’s recent Tweets, Elizabeth Prata writes How does the Holy Spirit lead us? in her blog, The End Time. Her essay is lengthy, admittedly (and perhaps could have been broken into two separate ones), but her point is so crucial to Christian women that I strongly recommend it as essential reading.

In Don’t Get Your Theology from Movies, Michelle Lesley explains why even Movie Subscription Services that advertise themselves as Christian fail at helping us negotiate life’s issues. I’ve never seen anyone address this matter quite this comprehensively before, but Michelle does an excellent job.

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Saturday Sampler: March 5 — March 11

Lollipop SamplerElizabeth Prata, blogging in The End Time, echoes my sentiments in her article, A note of encouragement: Don’t be discouraged about the Internet. With so much animosity on social media these days, her perspective refreshes me.

If you haven’t been reading Leslie A.’s fascinating series on developing discernment in Growing 4 Life,  please start. This week she writes Learn to Discern: What Is Your Paradigm? What a helpful and insightful blog post!

Oh yes, in my 46 years as a Christian I’ve watched plenty of my friends turn away from Christ. Some of these defections hurt worse than others. So I appreciate Jordan Standridge’s 4 Thoughts About People who Walk Away from the Lord in The Cripplegate this week.

In Not Your Mom’s Prosperity Gospel, Rebekah Womble of Wise In His Eyes discusses ways that evangelicals try exploitative tactics in attempts to manipulate the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t try these at home.

Tim Challies’ piece, Stop Calling Everything Hate, uses good common sense. Although that type of sense grows less common by the day, evidently.

An assignment in her Moral Theology class prompted Kim Shay to write Ethical Adventures for Out of the Ordinary. Writing about the evils of abortion isn’t as simple as she thought it would be.

Challenging the stereotypes of Calvinism,  Steve Altroggie of The Blazing Center writes 5 Reasons I’m A Calvinist. Notice how he roots each reason firmly in Scripture.

Praise God for Michelle Lesley writing Basic Training: The Bible Is Sufficient to remind us that we no longer need personal revelations from God. I wish such essays were unnecessary, but I appreciate people like Michelle who boldly stand for the sufficiency of Scripture.

 

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Saturday Sampler: January 29– February 4

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As an introduction to a new series in his blog, Tim Challies writes False Teachers and Deadly Doctrine to demonstrate the necessity for distinguishing between good and bad teaching.  We live in a time of Biblical illiteracy, and it’s imperative that we inoculate ourselves against deception.

Elizabeth Prata’s essay, Discernment lesson: how secular writers of Biblical material manipulate your emotions in The End Time, sharpens our reasoning skills a little more. She encourages us to compare everything we read,  hear or watch to Scripture.

Going on Facebook and Twitter hasn’t been fun lately, especially for people who support some of President Trump’s Executive Orders. I know I’ve struggled with self-control as I’ve wanted to weigh in on various news stories. So I greatly appreciate Pastor Scott Slayton, who writes at One Degree to Another, for his counsel in 7 Questions to Ask Before Posting about Politics on Social Media.

In her post, Meme Theology Discernment Lesson: How Does God Choose Us?, Jennifer of One Hired Late In The Day analyzes a popular meme that isn’t quite as Biblical as it appears.

Women in Scripture: Lydia, which Persis writes in Out of the Ordinary, takes us through Acts 16:11-15 to affirm God’s sovereignty in bringing people to salvation. Persis brings out details to this account that I’d never been taught before, adding to my awe of how the Lord orchestrates circumstances to accomplish His purposes.

It’s right and proper to encourage women to read and study the Bible daily. But sometimes we simply can’t. Rachel of danielthree18, as a homeschooling mom of a six-year-old with a sleep disorder, understands the dilemma. Her article, How I’m Studying the Bible in 2017, offers helpful suggestions and a healthy dose of grace to those of us who occasionally get interrupted by the demands of life.

Catholics typically defend doctrines like Purgatory and praying for the dead by appealing to the Apocrypha, accusing Protestants of “throwing out” those books. Glen Chatfield of The Watchman’s Bagpipes helps us counter Catholic claims on this matter in his blog post, What About the Apocrypha? Some of his points may surprise you!

Can we apologize to LBGT people for our actual sins against them (and yes, Christians have committed sins against them that require us to repent) without going to the other extreme of condoning their sin? The Apology to the LBGT Community That Needs An Apology by Tim Barnett of Stand To Reason makes an excellent case for showing love by telling the truth about homosexual sin.

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When I’m Not So Outspoken

Pray For AmericaBeing a Republican in 2017, particularly if you engage in social media, can be intimidating. I often approach Facebook cringing, keenly aware that most posts I read will be vitriolic diatribes enumerating all the ways President Trump is “ruining” America.

In the months leading up to the election, I dodged posts from fellow Republicans shaming those of us who voted for neither Trump nor Hillary. Didn’t we understand that the Supreme Court was at stake? That Hillary would appoint judges that supported abortion rights, therefore eliminating all possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade? The blood of dead babies would be on my hands because I allowed Hillary to win by my failure to vote for a sexually immoral egomaniac that was actually (from what I could see) a closet liberal.

And anyway, I live in Massachusetts. There was absolutely no way my puny little vote would influence the Electoral College! But my friends insisted that I’d betray the unborn by failing to put a mark after Trump’s name.

I’ll leave you to speculate on how I marked my ballot.

To my surprise, our new President has made conservative decisions since taking office less than two weeks ago. Who would have thought Donald J. Trump (of all people) would keep his  campaign promises? Amazing!

Strangely, the Republican voices on Facebook and Twitter that so firmly reprimanded my reticence about voting for Trump have,  by and large, fallen silent on political matters. I don’t really blame them. Expressing any positive sentiment about Trump, Melania or his children on social media pretty much invites verbal bullying from the Left. (Apparently, free speech belongs exclusively to liberals.)

I’ll admit it: I’m scared! The mere thought of stating my opinion of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Facebook terrifies me! And isn’t that sad? It tells me that the progressives, for all their talk about tolerance and diversity, refuse to let anyone who disagrees with their agenda speak. So I cower, venturing onto Facebook with fear and trembling, lest I draw accusations of homophobic racism.

But, while the thought of being outspoken in regard to my political views fills me with terror, I have no fear of proclaiming Jesus Christ online. I will, I realize, suffer persecution for daring to declare that Jesus is the only Savior from God’s wrath. As Christians lose rights to free speech and free exercise of religion (think Christian bakers and florists being forced to participate in same sex weddings against their consciences), I feel an urgency to write about the Lord Jesus Christ as boldly as I can across as many social media platforms as possible for as long as I can.

When you think about it, declaring the Gospel is much more important than expressing political opinions.

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Hey Jude — Ministry To Victims Of False Teachers

Lady Reading BibleSpiritual discernment obviously requires an understanding of the difference between true and false doctrine, as well as knowing the characteristics of false teachers and how the Lord will judge them. As you read Jude’s entire epistle in preparation for today’s study (click this link to get the epistle), be alert to Jude’s focus on the latter two elements of discernment. Then remember how he shifts the conversation, beginning in verse 17, to the nuts and bolts of how believers should contend for the faith against these false teachers.

We’ll be talking about verses 22 and 23 in this installment of our Bible Study, but let’s read these verses in their immediate context:

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.  ~~Jude 17-23 (ESV)

As  we learned last Monday, contending for the faith isn’t as glamorous as taking on false teachers. As much as I used to enjoy trolling Beth Moore’s Twitter account (I repented before she needed to block me), such activity fails to accomplish anything productive.  False teachers have no  interest in repenting of heresy, and they certainly have no intention of considering Biblical challenges to their propaganda.

Jude instead counsels Christians to edify each other through sound doctrine as we pray according to Scriptural guidelines and love God by our obedience to His Word. Moving to verses 22 and 23, we discover that he also assigns us the responsibility of ministering to the victims of false teachers.

Jude presents three types of victims, prescribing various ways to minister to them. He begins with the most vulnerable group, calling them those who doubt.  These people have heard the teachings of the apostates as well as correct teaching, and they feel torn between the two. They need gentle correction. Compassion, please notice, includes helping them understand the difference between truth and error, but it makes these distinctions without a pejorative tone. Indeed helping people understand that they’ve been deceived is ultimately the best way  to express mercy.

Jude’s second group represents those who are on the brink of  accepting the lies of the false teachers. To rescue them, we don’t have time to be gentle. They’re walking into fire, and must be warned of the judgment and condemnation that will burn them  unless they repent and turn back to Biblical truth. We don’t have time for gentleness! Our tactics will seem quite harsh, I agree, but blazing infernos rarely afford anyone the luxury of patient persuasion.

The final group Jude mentions also needs to be treated with compassion, but our compassion must not lead us to condone their sinful beliefs, attitudes or behaviors. People in this group may demand that our mercy toward them include an acceptance of their sin. While maintaining a gentle posture toward them, however, we need to demonstrate an abhorrence for the sin that threatens to damn them. We absolutely cannot have anything to do with even superficial vestiges of that sort of thing.

False teachers leave severely damaged people in their wake. Rather than vindictively chasing after the false teachers, whom God has already designated for condemnation anyway (see Jude 4), we most effectively contend for the faith by encouraging their victims to return to sound doctrine. And that happens as we remain in Scripture and direct them back to Scripture.

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Saturday Sampler: January 1 –January 7

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Using the book of Isaiah to substantiate his point, Ricky Alcanter of The Blazing Center asserts that 2016 Wasn’t the Worst Year Ever (And Next Year Will Be Okay Too). Pastor Alcanter offers godly wisdom at a time when far too many people (even Bible-believing Christians) face the temptation to despair.

I love the way Elizabeth Prata of The End Time writes Crouching at sin’s door: Lessons from Lot to illustrate that even the most righteous Christian must diligently guard against living a compromised lifestyle. Her essay will call you to evaluate how your daily life affects your presentation of the Gospel.

The website Doctrine Matters has a nifty page called DISCERNMENT RULES which provides ten basic rules for…well, discernment. You might want to save it as a reference tool.

John and I are physically disabled and technically elderly (ouch, it hurts to make that admission!), so the cold New England winters often force us to miss church. Thankfully, our pastor and board of elders understand our limitations and health concerns. They know we really want to worship with the body. Perhaps the fact that we have to miss church so often makes me bristle when young, able-bodied people casually skip church.  Eric Davis  of The Cripplegate addresses such people in his important blog post, Reasons We Miss Church  (But May Not Need To).

For those of you struggling to study the Bible,  Jen at One Hired Late In The Day has encouragement for you in her essay, Studying the Bible: How do I do it, and Where to Start? She offers basic ideas that anyone can easily implement.

Writing for Biblical Woman, Sydnee Peacock addresses single women in her post, 4 Pinterest Boards You Shouldn’t Have. Reading her thoughts brings back memories of how I had to guard my heart when I was in “no man’s land.” But her cautions in this article should extend to those of us who are married. The Lord calls all of us to purity.

I could comment on Why You Probably Don’t Need a Quiet Time, which Donald Whitney writes for this month’s issue of Table Talk Magazine. But I’d rather let you read it for yourselves.

Leslie A. of Growing 4 Life asks if we are Grateful or Greedy? in our attitudes toward Christ. She raises questions that make even the best of us uncomfortable. And that’s definitely a good thing! As a matter of fact, that’s why I love her blog so much.

Addressing the matter of ministering to women by boosting their self-esteem, Elizabeth Prata of The End Time writes Did God really say “You are precious to me, you are honored, and I love you”? Women’s ministries today. As an extra bonus, she throws in a practical lesson  on sharing “Christian” memes.

 

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