The Folly Of Pride, Gay Or Otherwise

I shouldn’t have gone on his Facebook page the other day. I knew I’d find photos of him with his new “husband,” along with posts condemning Christians who dare to say that homosexuality is a sin. And I should have known that I’d come away feeling saddened once again by his rejection of the truth that he used to proclaim.

He has chosen the world’s distortion of sexuality, and he takes pride in his choice. But Scripture has a much different view of the relationship between worldliness and pride.

15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. ~~1 John 2:15-17 (NASB95)

As we enter Gay Pride Month, I think of my many friends from those years in ex-gay ministry who decided the fight against that particular sin wasn’t worth the effort. Each of them accepted the lie that God made them gay and wanted them to embrace their sexuality. A few settled for living in celibacy while “celebrating” their same sex attractions (I’m not sure how that works) while others pursued committed relationships. One or two remained in heterosexual marriages, expecting their spouses to understand that these are “mixed marriages.” I gather that they all are talking about Pride right now.

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Older Women Need Instruction Too

Titus 2:3-5 seems to have become the definitive passage for determining the entire sphere of Biblical womanhood. It’s foundational, certainly, and a necessary corrective to the damage feminism has caused in recent decades. As Biblical women, you and I must obey its teaching, especially when it comes against the rebellious standards imposed on us by the world.

At the same time, some people react to feminism by making overly narrow applications of this passage, usually zeroing in on younger women working within the home. That assumption needs to be addressed at some point, as a few verses in Proverbs 31 provide qualifications that we have to consider. But as I’ve thought about taking you through Titus 2:3-5, it’s occurred to me that I’ve also gotten sucked in to the narrow discussion of a woman’s place being in the home. So I want to back up a bit and look more carefully at the passage. Specifically, I want to say a few things about Paul’s commands to older women.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. ~~Titus 2:3-5 (NASB95)

Yes, the passage clearly says that older women are to teach younger women with the goal of encouraging them to be wives and mothers who work on managing their homes. But that just isn’t the sum total of these three verses. Look at the first few clauses.

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Saturday Sampler: May 22 — May 28

Using a little humor to demonstrate his point, Ryan Higginbottom of Knowable Word shows The Absurdity of Using God’s Word Out of Context. Don’t let his bit of fun fool you though; he actually presents a serious case regarding one of the most important subjects Christians face. Stick with it to the end, where you will find refreshing encouragement.

Distinctions make all the difference, especially in talking about God and His dealings with us. In The End Time, Elizabeth Prata answers the question, Revelation, or Inspiration? So many evangelicals have difficulty making the distinction between the two, fueling confusion and false teaching that results in seriously weakening the church.

Are you enjoying Clint Archer’s series on the Person and work of Christ as much as I am? His latest post, The Goldilocks Effect: Christ the Sustainer, is fascinating from a scientific standpoint alone. But Archer merely uses the science as a launching pad that propels us into adoration and worship. You’ll find his marvelous piece on The Cripplegate.

In his post for Gentle Reformation, Keith Evans gives us 5 Considerations of an Action to think about. He challenges us in uncomfortable ways, to be sure, but perhaps those challenges are exactly what we need as we progress in our sanctification. If you’re tempted to skip this one in order to avoid conviction, it’s most likely just what you need to read. 🙂

Are All Abortions Equally Heinous? Writing for Stand to Reason, Amy Hall gives the answer Christians should expect with an argument that we might not expect. She makes no compromise with worldly ideology, but she closes with words of grace and compassion for those who have aborted their children.

Leslie A of Growing 4 Life reflects on a recent conversation in an airport that provided her with Something to Think About. She makes some observations and conclusions that are disturbing, especially to parents. I struggle to believe everything she says because I don’t want to accept what probably are hard facts. But I completely agree with her that we must consider the probability that our children are in danger from their school systems. Thankfully, Leslie also suggests strategies for protecting our children against indoctrination.

Speaking of children and indoctrination, have you wondered how to keep your kids from unbiblical attitudes regarding sex? If so, Pastor Tedd Mathis shares practical tips in Advice For Parents: Four Principles To Guide Regarding the Subject of Marriage and Sex on tedddmathisdotcom. He draws heavily from Scripture to substantiate each point, encouraging parents to do the same.

The series on Commandments for Commentary Usage that Peter Krol has been running in Knowable Word has benefited me, and I hope it has helped some of you as well. This week, he explains that Not All Commentaries are Created Equal and shows us how to determine which commentary gives the best assistance in studying a text. He even links to a list of commentaries that model the most text-driven arguments in understanding a passage.

Its been a while since I’ve shared anything from R. Scott Clark’s The Heidelblog,but his post, Winsome Is The New Nice, changes that trend. I’m not sure I agree with him on every single point he makes, but overall I think he has valid insight on this current conversation within evangelical circles. And his primary points are definitely spot on!

Protecting Yourself Against False Teachers

Although I will rarely identity false teachers by name anymore, I believe in the importance of training my readers to guard against such people. Every New Testament book except for Philemon deals at some level with the subject, and many Old Testament books address the problem. From that we can surmise God’s deep concern that His people not turn aside to deception.

Most of us believe that Christ’s return, and thus the end of this world, is imminent. Since I’m not as well-schooled on eschatology as I ought to be, I’ll refrain from making dogmatic remarks based on the evening news. But Scripture indeed draws a connection between the last days and the increased proliferation of false teaching. Notice, for instance, Paul’s warning to Timothy:

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. ~~1 Timothy 4:1-5 (NASB95)

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Playing Whack A Mole Was Fun, But I Don’t Want To Do It As Often

Let me begin by assuring you that I have nothing against discernment ministries and blogs that call out false teachers. Especially when those discernment ministries and blogs balance their critiques with clear Biblical teaching. Elizabeth Prata serves as one of the best examples of Biblical discernment ministry precisely because she emphasizes Scripture and doesn’t write about false teachers unless she has reason. Justin Peters, though famous for exposing false teachers, always maintains his purpose of proclaiming the true Gospel. Other trustworthy discernment leaders include Chris Rosebrough, Steve Kozar, Amy Spreeman and Michelle Lesley.

When people call out false teachers for the purpose of leading others to sound doctrine and therefore pure devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s a good work they do. So much of the evangelical world falls for deception because they don’t receive solid instruction in the Word of God. Consequently, the need for discernment ministries has mushroomed in recent decades. Young and poorly taught Christians often need to hear the truth about popular teachers on the evangelical landscape.

The Bible commands us to be aware of false teachers to the point of calling them out.

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Saturday Sampler: May 15 — May 21

Paul Tautgus begins our week’s collection with You Were Chosen by the Father in Counseling One Another. His brief study of Ephesians 1:14 is so much more than an academic exercise in theology, however, and it most assuredly isn’t dry! The closing paragraph brings it all home in an encouraging and uplifting way.

Don’t miss The Center of the Universe by Clint Archer in The Cripplegate. He continues his series on Christ’s nature and deity with amazing examples. As last week, this installment not only provides solid theology, but it inspires awe and worship of our wonderful Lord!

How do you know you can trust what I write in this blog? Hopefully, you check it against Scripture. In her essay, Paul: What does it mean to be a Berean?, Elizabeth Prata of The End Time takes us back to the account of Paul’s ministry in Berea to show us how the people there verified his preaching. It’s great instruction on how we should filter whatever teaching we encounter.

Reprising an article from June 22, 2018, Michelle Lesley wants to know: Is the SBC’s Tent Big Enough for ALL Marginalized Christian Women? I understand that not all my readers are Southern Baptists, but the problems she outlines here extend to other denominations and even non-denominatial churches. The women Michelle references indeed suffer marginalization. Will churches and denominations listen to the concerns we have?

We’re All Against Abortion, So We Shouldn’t Fight Each Other

13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. ~~Galatians 5:13-15 (NASB95)

Maybe my memory deceives me. If any of you were involved in the pro-life movement prior to 1987, I’d welcome your correction if I remember things wrongly. I’m about to make an assertion based on my personal recollections of being in pro-life ministry, and I know full well that people who usually agree with me will adamantly oppose my convictions on this matter. I’m therefore open to hearing correction from people of my generation who fought to save unborn lives.

As I remember those early years when Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop galvanized evangelicals to oppose abortion, infanticide and euthanasia with their film series, What Ever Happened To The Human Race?, I recall our unwillingness for any compromise. We understood the urgency of overturning Roe v. Wade. Precious babies were being slaughtered, and we needed to stand against laws that permitted such evil. We had no time to waste, and we wouldn’t settle for anything less than complete abolition of this horrible practice!

After several years of seeing absolutely nothing happen, we began to consider incremental steps to stopping abortion. Make no mistake — we continued praying for the total eradication of abortion, but we believed our all or nothing approach actually retarded our efforts. We decided that victory is best won by winning small battles first.

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Saturday Sampler: May 8 — May 14

Why didn’t I post each of the essays on those women of the Middle Ages who gained celebrity as mystics that Elizabeth Prata wrote in The End Time last week? She wrote five of them (including an introduction), which would have dominated Saturday Sampler and excluded the other fine articles I wanted to feature. But she opens Medieval mystics: Conclusion with links to all the previous installments in the series. If you’re too busy to read them, she has a podcast where she reads each essay, so you can listen while driving or doing chores.

Many evangelicals think doctrine is boring and irrelevant. Clint Archer’s Meeting your Maker: Christ & Creation defies that erroneous assumption by showing Christ’s relationship with creation and how false religions distort that relationship. This post, if properly understood and applied, will do more than equip you to answer heresy; it will enhance your adoration of the Lord Jesus Christ!

In Growing 4 Life, Leslie A shares insights on The Apostate Church with a helpful history on how the visible church declined over the past century or so. She includes interesting observations and encouragement toward a Biblical response to the situation. I suggest reading her article in conjunction with Elizabeth Prata’s Can you be an ‘ex-Christian’? for a fuller understanding of apostasy.

Jason A. Carter contributes to the Reformation 21 blog with his analysis of Two Temptations for the Post-Covid Church. I hope his article will help you avoid both spiritual heart failure and spiritual nerve failure.

I greatly appreciate Tim Challies for writing Keys To Knowing God’s Will for Your Life this week. If Christians would simply follow the Biblical principles that he lays out, they could significantly reduce the anxiety they feel about major life decisions.

Some people erroneously teach that baptism is necessary in order to be saved. Tedd Mathis of tedddmathisdotcom muses On Baptism and Acts 2:38 with evidence from the Bible that baptism can in no way be a prerequisite to receiving God’s forgiveness. Take a few moments to read this brief but helpful study.

Most of us struggle to “set our minds on things above” as Colossians 3:1-2 commands. Andrew Kerr, in his column for Gentle Reformation, paints a picture of True Heavenly-Mindedness for us to consider. Heavenly-Mindedness might be more down-to-earth than you think.

Continuing his series on the proper use of commentaries on the Knowable Word blog, Peter Krol asks Which Voice Delights You Most? I absolutely recommend this post as probably the heart of this entire series. Please don’t overlook this wonderful and encouraging discussion of where commentaries fit in to healthy Bible study.

Wanting God To Talk Less About Himself And More About Me

The person quite agreed:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. ~~2 Peter 1:2-4 (NASB95)

Absolutely, he said — Scripture tells us everything we need to know about God. In that respect, he said, we need no further revelation. Most definitely, we can affirm the sufficiency of Scripture. But he clung to the popular idea that God speaks to people directly, giving personal guidance on decisions like which car to buy or whether to change jobs. In his mind, Christians can’t make these types of decisions unless the Lord speaks to them specifically. The thought that God speaks only through Scripture was simply unthinkable.

As I contemplated his position, I realized that this person cared more about having God talk about relatively inconsequential details of his life than about knowing Who God is and how to honor Him. Scripture wasn’t enough for him because it focuses on the Lord rather than on our daily lives.

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An Unexpected Perk Of Disability

When the phone rang before 6:30 a.m. Monday, I knew my PCA was calling out. She had a serious family emergency that required her presence. I’d been without a regular PCA all weekend, and spent Sunday in bed to accommodate my girlfriend’s Mother’s Day schedule (I deeply appreciate her for filling in on Mother’s Day to keep me clean), so I felt a little disappointed Monday. It took until 10:30 to locate a backup PCA.

Usually, situations like this make me grumble. Since I can’t use my hands, being in bed means I can’t type or read. John has to call around for backup help because I can’t operate a phone. I just lie in bed, aware that I’m physically as helpless as a newborn baby.

Times when PCAs call out or just plain don’t show up remind me of my total dependence on other women. Instead of congratulating myself on my writing and artistic abilities, my days stuck in bed confront me with the actual extent of my disability.

Those confrontations are an answer to prayer.

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