Posted in Amanda Bible Williams, Ann Voskamp, discernment, IF:Gathering, liberal, Raechel Myers, She Reads Truth, social justice

She Reads Truth, IF:Gathering, and women bible teachers. Part 2

This is part two of a four-part series. I’m examining the website, teachings, and women of “She Reads Truth” in 2 parts (What They Say, and What They Do). Part 3 will take a look at the conference known as the “IF:Gathering” in which many of the She Reads Truth women are involved. In part 4 I will discuss women teachers in general from a biblical perspective, and provide a list of solid teachers (men and women) of the Word.

This is part 2, looking at the teachers at She Reads Truth and their lifestyles, “What They Do,” to see if how they live lines up with scripture. In Part 1 I looked at “What They Say”, meaning, their teachings.

She Reads Truth, IF:Gathering, and women bible teachers. Part 1

She Reads Truth, IF:Gathering, and women bible teachers. Part 3

She Reads Truth, IF:Gathering, and women bible teachers. Part 4

In being a Berean, (Acts 17:11) which means examining the scriptures to see if what we are being taught is so, there is a second part to that examination to determine if a teacher is credible. If examining the scriptures is the “What They Say” part, then the second part is just as important to look at. It’s looking at their lives, or, “What They Do.”

In the verses speaking to qualifications for pastors, teachers and elders, there is only one that is of the gifts. “Able to teach.” (2 Timothy 2:24). The rest are character qualifications, which speak to how the potential pastor, elder, or teacher lives his or her life. In addition, teachers should not be young, but be tested first. (1 Timothy 3:10-11).

In 1 Timothy 3:6 it is said that overseers (pastors) must not be new converts, lest they become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. This is practical advice and I would hold that it also applies to teachers, male and female.

So looking at the lives our teachers lead makes sense and is biblical. Do they live what they preach? Please excuse me for making this long. There are 6 women who write for the She Reads Truth (SRT) site. That’s a lot of lives to examine. Please bear with me.

The women of She Reads Truth, “What They Do”

Raechel Myers is CEO and founder of She Reads Truth. She is 32 and married to Ryan, with whom she has 2 children. Myers states She Reads Truth’s purpose, that Myers along “with an amazing team of writers, write in response to the scriptures we’re reading to create daily devotionals for the community to enjoy and discuss together.

So please bear in mind that these ladies are not writing what the scriptures mean, but are writing emotional and personal responses to them. What you are ‘devoting’ yourself to when you read their reading plans are their thoughts and emotions, not necessarily biblical truth. FYI.

Myers’ bio is a fresh, American cornucopia of motherly mundanity. “Raechel is learning what a daily diet of the Bread of Life looks like in the “in between” – on laundry day, grocery day and Tuesday.

Sounds normal and mundane…except … it’s not. Raechel is “Crazy busy and super happy” as a sewist, writer, photographer, designer, author, CEO of a Limited Liability Company, Conference Fundraiser, Conference speaker, and world traveling Justice Activist. Oh, And mom. And wife.

From her website.

As for her project regarding “Style for Justice” travel to Rwanda in July 2014, “We journeyed with an influential group of storytellers and introduced them to Rwandan women who have overcome injustice and have been empowered through economic opportunity.

Myers high-fiving over successful fabric selection
with Rwandan women to overcome injustice in Sub-Sahara Africa

She stated up front that the Rwanda journey wasn’t a mission trip, but a social justice trip. I wrote at length of the biblical and the unbiblical notions of social justice, here. Myers’ is the unbiblical interpretation. Her trip, she said, had nothing to do with planting churches or handing out bibles, she wrote. It had everything to do with helping women in Africa sell jewelry. (Myers: The second half of this trip is taking a very “Project Runway” turn and I think it’s sort of awesome and redemptive and exciting!) That’s why she was leaving her children and her husband to travel halfway around the world? Let me find that in my bible.

If you ask God for justice, you are asking for hell. Ask for mercy. ~Steven J. Lawson

In an Instagram photo Raechel Myers published of her two young children perched on a chair and on a table watching a laptop playing a video of their mother being interviewed at If:Gathering, with this caption, My husband just texted me this photo of the kids watching our @shereadstruth interview at the @ifgathering. Seeing my baby girl perched on the table watching her mommy talk about her Jesus- so blessed!!!!

She has a choice, let her children watch her talk about Jesus through a laptop, or let her children watch her at home living the obedient life Jesus called her to live.

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Amanda Bible Williams is 36-year-old Editorial Director for She Reads Truth. She lives in TN in a farmhouse near Nashville and is married to husband David. I believe Mr Williams runs a Chick-Fil-A. Williams says she is a work-at-home mom to three small children. In addition, she is a blogger, writer, magazine contributor, Editorial Director, Co-CEO of a Limited Liability Company, and Graduate Student (Religious Studies). Oh, and a mom, And a wife.

She considers herself an Enneagram #9, which tells us she does not have discernment. Enneagram is an occultic practice stemming from Hinduism, and is another of the pagan practices Christianity has syncretistically adopted from pagan religions. Nancy Leigh DeMoss of Reviving Our Hearts explains the occult background of Enneagram.

Mrs Williams also is a Grad Student at Vanderbilt University, working toward attaining a MS in Religion. Most colleges, certainly, and many seminaries, have become anything ranging from liberal-to-secular. Women need to take care when submitting to religious instructors because of our proclivity toward being seduced away from the solid doctrines of Jesus. (2 Tim 3:6, 2 Cor 11:3, 1 Tim 2:14). Mrs Williams has already demonstrated an undiscerning interest in the practice of Enneagram, and whatever discernment she may still retain will no doubt soon be lost under the secular, Christ-hating agenda that Vanderbilt pushes. According to Al Mohler, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President,

Just a few decades after its founding, Vanderbilt had transformed itself into a secular university, embarrassed by its Christian founding. … In more recent months, Vanderbilt’s administration decided to push secularism to the extreme — launching a virtual vendetta against religious organizations on campus.

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Diana Stone (age 30), is married with a child. Her husband is in the United States Army. In addition to her writing on She Reads Truth, you can also find her work on her own blog Diana Wrote, and at Babble.com, Babble Parenting, Still Standing Magazine, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on Pinterest. Mrs Stone is busy. Nevertheless, we read that “You can find her in the mornings with a cup of coffee and her Bible flung open, preparing for the day ahead.” Awww, admirable! “With a sweet daughter in tow, Diana clings to God’s Word daily.” Wow, inspiring.

Is that the truth? Really? Er, only partly.

Mrs Stone relaxes with the bible “flung open” … after she drops her daughter to daycare.

For the past two and a half years, the couple employed a part time nanny care for their daughter in their home so Mrs Stone could work as a freelance writer. After bumping along with several nannies, they eventually decided to put their child in daycare so Mrs Stone could continue to write at home.

And countless are the mothers who ignore, neglect, or abandon their children in pursuit of self-centered “fulfillment”–motherhood is an inconvenient interruption to their lifestyle.~JMacArthur
As a mother and a working mom, Mrs Stone is not sure where her priority should be. In her own words, at the journal Liberating Working Moms, Stone wrote about making the switch from nanny to daycare.

“There’s a constant tug on me to be in both worlds 100%. Work should come first. Life should come first. What is a priority? Who gets my time that day – and is choosing one over the other wrong? When I’ve committed to being a mama and being paid to write, both need my top priority.”

First of all, there should be no distinction between “life” and “work.” Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,”

Secondly, Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. (Psalm 127:3)

Mrs Stone’s mothering gets in the way of writing about being a mom, so the mothering is outsourced. Let me find that in my bible.

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Hayley Morgan, is approximately 28, married, with 4 kids. I haven’t found a name for her husband, nor a job description. Mother to 4 boys. Mrs Morgan co-founded The Influence Network and organizes the annual Influence Conference (complete with the blatantly unChristian classes in, “there’s no such thing as Holy Yoga“) held in Indianapolis every fall. She is author of a book to help you with the daily question of “What do I wear?!” “The wisdom in the book has helped hundreds of women get dressed with more confidence and less fuss.” She blogs, writes at SRT, speaks at Influence Conference and is Editor-In-Chief of the Influence Magazine. Oh, and a mom. And a wife.

The Influence Network and its attendant magazine have nebulous mission statements, other than for women to “make their online life mean something”. The Magazine’s mission statement reads,

“This Magazine is the physical embodiment of what I’d imagine a woman of influence being. It’s bright and vibrant, it’s stylish and smart, it has a lot to say about a lot of things. It has a lot of white space and margin. It’s also going to grow in front of you, equal parts wobbly and beautiful. We’re going to try new things and we’re going to push a lot of doors wide open…”

 

Turning biblical womanhood in its head
in pursuit of barely cloaked self-fulfillment

For a woman who communicates for a living Mrs Morgan is very good at hiding the meaning in her intent and mission. That was about as clear as, “Let’s leverage our core competencies so we can think out of the box while the paradigm shifts during our journey.”

As for the mission statement, her declaration of the magazine’s purpose contained lots of buzz words that mean nothing and isn’t clear. Except for the overall tone … that was very clear. It was unbiblical. I invite you to read the session topic synopses at the Influence Network (and a biblical definition of influence is never given, though it purports to be a Christian conference). At this “Christian” conference you will learn to throw out the “shoulds” and “not live by the rules”, to be “intentionally leaning in to what might feel imperfect”, to “use God’s gift of work to transform the lives of the poor,” and “how to use life’s valleys to build momentum for your journey.” Because, it’s all about us. Being disobedient.

Yet the woman lauded in the bible are humble mothers, wives, widows, honest and submissive, not having a lot to say and not being pushy with doors. (1 Timothy 2:11)

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Rebecca Faires, married, four children, lives in TN. Sister of SRT CEO Raechel Myers. “Loves the idea of international justice” and for that reason tries “not to be an oppressor at home.”

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Debbie Eaton, wife for 27 years, mom to teenage son. Worked at Rick Warren’s Saddleback church as woman ministry leader, which should say all there is to say about her discernment level. On Twitter Mrs Eaton describes herself as “Christ Follower, Wife, Mom, Women’s Ministry Leader, grateful for life and the influence we have to one another.”

With these women it is all about influence. Yet Jesus calls us to service in humility. He who has the most influence of any person ever born or who will be born, humbled Himself to the point of the cross, and commands us to be the same. (Philippians 2:3)

The overall tone of these women’s lives is to be influential in the world, leading corporations, being the generation to solve injustice and poverty, living strong and bold (and stylish and trendy).

Do the women of She Reads Truth and the Influence Conferences seem like a Titus kind of woman to you? Titus 2:3-5 says,

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5)

Sisters, the women of She Reads Truth and their friends (Shauna Niequist, daughter of Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church), Ann Voskamp, Christine Caine and etc, are not living a life submitted to the word. In Part 1 I mentioned a good article at The Gospel Coalition titled “Is Your Church Functionally Liberal?” in which the author says there are doctrinal statements, and then there is how the church lives it out. Many churches have a conservative doctrinal statement but are in fact “functionally liberal.” I apply the same concept to individual lives. Anyone can set up a blog, publish a faith statement, but is what they DO matching with what they say? Or are they doctrinally conservative but functionally liberal?

This matters, because the bible consistently curses the succeeding generations of idolaters. God does so many times in the OT and in the NT. Jesus tells the Pharisees they were making sons of hell twice as bad as they were. He curses the church at Thyatira, saying that their tolerance of the false prophetess ‘Jezebel’ made spiritual daughters who needed either to repent or He was going to kill them. Sin always gets worse from one generation to the next unless it is corrected through repentance.

Comparing the Titus verses with today’s spiritual mentors to these young women, the older women failed to teach the younger to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, because they weren’t. Beth Moore (age 57) began this erm, “journey”, into Christian feminism with her lifestyle. She speaks a good doctrine, but she does not live it. Other spiritual daughters coming up quickly noted the tolerance evangelical Christianity had for Moore’s calling-all-the-shots, CEO leadership, wide-traveling, park the kids with hubby, look at me celebrity, bring in the bacon kind of lifestyle. Tolerated … as long she gave a wink and a nod to the party line of certain doctrines and cloaked the lifestyle feminism in words like giftings for corporate talent and ministry rather than work or career.

The next generation of these Christian feminists were such as Christine Caine (age 48) who leapt onto the liberation mantra of ‘stepping into giftings‘ and went global with boldness and joy. The third generation is this crop of twenty and early thirty something women mentioned here on this blog, are even more bold about their feminist lifestyle, actually thinking they are unleashing it all and pushing open closed doors for the benefit of the world, and have learned how to use technology to their severe advantage. More on this technological savvy in part 3, where I also explain further why I am being so hard on women who promote this lifestyle

The women at She Reads Truth do not have discernment enough to teach, do not know what it is to live out lives as Christian women. They do not have the wherewithal to teach you anything close to what Jesus would have for His women to know.

And yes if you detect a tone in which I am upset, I am. I am offended by Christian feminists who re-define the biblical word for “gifts” and “ministry” just so they can live lives as usurpers, who promote a different Gospel, (“our story is the Good News“), commercially trade on their motherhood while stowing the kids at daycare or leaving them and husband behind while they travel for unbiblical but worldly reasons, yes I am offended. I’m offended by Christian feminists presenting a disingenuous bio while teaching wrongly interpreted doctrines and disobeying the doctrines that are there, and who are poor role models for younger generations. When those two toddlers grow up watching Raechel Myers be a mom through the laptop, what will they have been taught by their mother’s and their father’s lifestyle?

One of the women wrote that she was reading Charles Spurgeon, Myers I think it was. These women who thirst for influence and boldness and a place in the world, fail to see the greatest gift of all. Spurgeon had a mother. She bore 17 children. Nine of them died. Phil Johnson wrote in his essay “How Childhood influences shaped a great preacher“,

Spurgeon’s mother was the one whose influence first awakened him to the claims of Christ on his life. Her exhortations to her children, as well as her prayers on their behalf, made an indelible impact on Charles as a young boy.

Does Mrs Myers think for one moment that she would even be reading works by Spurgeon if his mom had been consumed with personal glory influence and trotted off to Africa to help natives pick out scarves instead of grieving her nine lost children and raising the eight others? Praying, living, worshiping, doing laundry, and gasp, submitting to the womanly life Jesus commands? Mrs Eliza Spurgeon’s influence lasts to this day and Myers is a beneficiary of it. What will Myers’ influence and legacy be for her children? Will they have a biblical worldview?

Do any of these women live a life that is starkly different from any other woman of the world? (1 Peter 2:9).

Feminist Gloria Steinem & activist
Dorothy Pitman Hughes on civil rights and social justice.
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

I am offended by women who say all the previous generations got it wrong and now, finally now that WE are here, we will unleash proper womanhood onto the world. I am offended by all of that. None of it honors Jesus.

It’s up to you, my young Sisters, to decide what kind of mother/woman you want to be. Influential according to the world, unleashed, living out loud? Or Godly. Because you cannot be both. (Luke 16:13)

For better or worse, mothers are the makers of men; they are the architects of the next generation. That’s why the goal of becoming a godly mother is the highest and most noble pursuit of womanhood. ~John MacArthur

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)

She Reads Truth, IF:Gathering, and women bible teachers. Part 1

She Reads Truth, IF:Gathering, and women bible teachers. Part 3

She Reads Truth, IF:Gathering, and women bible teachers. Part 4

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Further reading

Six months after the conclusion of this series, Lighthouse Trails researched the IF:Gathering also. Please read their extensive research here

Interview with JD Greear about new 7-week study: Jesus-centered Parenting in a Child-centered World

LifeWay resource: Ready to Launch: Jesus-Centered Parenting in a Child-Centered World

Profile of a Godly Mother

What does the Bible say about Christian Mothers?

The Secret Christian Feminists

Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)

A Biblical Theology of Motherhood