Normally, professing Christian women chafe at the idea of limiting their teaching ministry to other women and small children. They follow the world in insisting that we have a contribution to make to the whole church, and that our female perspective must be heard. As they see it, the Word of God cannot be fully represented without the female voice.
Where does Scripture ever say such a bizarre thing? If the Word of God is breathed out by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16), why would a female perspective be necessary? Shouldn’t we scratch our heads in bewilderment at the suggestion that men need to hear female voices before they can fully understand what the Bible says?
I can’t help wondering if some men — even Reformed men — have started buying into the idea that female voices need to join the conversation. Logging on to my Twitter Notifications today, I found two tweets by Reformed men, proudly proclaiming that they read The Outspoken TULIP.
During an argument over politics several years ago, someone dismissed my convictions with the remark, “Well, your faith informs your thinking.” The implication was that I let my pastor dictate how I vote. Never mind that no pastor I’ve ever had would do such a thing. Apparently my Christian convictions rendered me incapable of thinking for myself.
In reality, the person arguing with me was heavily influenced by academia and liberal media. Her world told her what thoughts were acceptable and what thoughts should be rejected. I could have easily countered that her social circles informed her thinking.
Does anyone really think for herself? Maybe to a point, but outside influences always shape our thinking. We just need to decide whether we want those influences to come from a worldview that rebels against God’s values and purposes or whether we want those influences to come from the Word of God.
As I explained two weeks ago, this Bible Study series on Colossians got interrupted in February when I had a compound fracture in my back. In order to bring everyone up to speed, I’ve decided to repeat the installments I’d written before continuing on. I may add a few comments that I overlooked when I first wrote them.
“Oh DebbieLynne, no!” you’re saying. “Paul’s opening verses in Colossians don’t really talk about discernment. Can’t you just skip them?”
To be truthful, sisters, I seriously considered skipping these introductory remarks Paul made. Like you, I’m eager to get into the meat of the epistle! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that even these verses possess nuggets of doctrine that can help us discern sound teaching. Remember — true discernment comes through right doctrine.
When we think of John Newton, our minds immediately go to his beautiful hymn, “Amazing Grace.” But did you know that he wrote other hymns?
Yesterday I poked around YouTube a bit, not sure what hymn to feature today, and I came across one performer by Indelible Grace. I’m certain they updated the tune, but they apparently preserved Newton’s original lyrics.
Right away, I knew I needed to post it!
In this hymn, Newton walks us through the various benefits of Christ’s atonement, continually returning to the glorious truth that He has washed us with His blood. Newton gives lots of good doctrine throughout the verses, introducing each one as yet another reason to worship our wonderful Lord.
People have a lot of misconceptions about Calvinists. Tim Challies demonstrates why some of us reinforceThe One About Calvinism and Evangelismthrough our disobedient behavior. He encourages us to practice what we preach.
Elizabeth Prata reminds readers of The End TimeYou’re not wonderfulin an effort to correct popular evangelical teachings. Oh how we need more people to stand up for the truth as boldly as she does!
Some of you may object to God Doesn’t Listen to Them by Jordan Standridge, which he contributes to The Cripplegate this week. Please read it anyway. And test it against Scripture. You might find that Standridge has a Biblical foundation for what he says.
The Grace to You blog reprises One Race, One Remedyby Darrell B. Harrison and Cameron Buettel, which first appeared on the blog on May 9, 2019. Their remarks take us back to God’s Word, which is always the best place to find answers.
Over on Into the Foolishness of God, SharaC reminds us that The Gospel Isn’t Patronizingas she analyzes the evangelical response to the current political climate. I applaud her courage to stand against efforts to modify Christianity.
For a refresher on Discerning false teachers, visit Femina Sola Gratia Theology for excellent guidelines from Anna Wood. You might want to bookmark it as a reference tool.
As global unrest gathers momentum, I see a greater urgency to proclaim the Gospel. I don’t know how soon Jesus will return to bring final judgement on the world, but world events lead me to suspect that Western Christians have little time left to speak (and write) freely about the Lord.
Perhaps I discern this situation wrongly. But even if I do, people die every day and enter a Christless eternity while professing evangelicals focus on receiving blessings and filling pews with warm bodies who happen to have deep pockets.
When I lived in Memphis, two friends often volunteered to drive me to church in the wheelchair accessible van that I had. One friend had a Master’s Degree (in what, I don’t know) while the other had only completed a GED.
The three of us always found it amusing that the one with the GED consistently had to show the one with the Master’s Degree how to use the tie-downs to secure my wheelchair. Consistently, I said. Every. Single. Time. We’d say, “So much for higher education!”
Thankfully the one with the Master’s Degree had a good sense of humor.
As cute as this story is, it illustrates a point the apostle Paul made about the disparity between human wisdom and the wisdom of God.
When I was little, John F. Kennedy’s administration popularized Learner and Lowe’s Broadway play, Camelot. My father, always the one to buy fashionable items, purchased the record album, featuring the original cast. Hence I grew up knowing and loving all the songs (rarely understanding their full implications).
Early in the story, Guinevere sings about “the lusty month of May” “when tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear.” In contrast to the sexually charged lyrics, the lighthearted tune creates a feeling of innocence. Those tons of wicked little thoughts can’t really be that wicked, the music assures us.
Tell that to Guinevere years later as her merrily wicked thoughts lead her to adultery so vile that it destroys King Arthur’s kingdom.
Several years ago, I had another blog. It was a great deal less focused than this one — mostly because it started as a way to showcase my writing and digital art.
Gradually, I found myself blogging more and more about the Lord. In one post, I quoted a friend of ours who said Christians need to be less concerned about what we think and more concerned about what God’s Word says. Of course he meant that we too often impose our ideas on a passage of Scripture rather than expecting Scripture to shape our ideas. But I quoted him as saying something like we think too much.
One of my readers latched on to that quote and wrenched it out of context. She understood it as putting forth the idea that Christians shouldn’t think, but instead should blindly follow religious teachers.
Last Monday I explained that I’ll repost the few Bible Studies I wrote on Colossians before I injured my back in February. I’ll add a few remarks to these articles where I feel they need further comment,so you really might find it beneficial to read them again.Once we’ve reviewed those studies, we’ll continue working through the epistle.
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 refuted.