Over coffee this morning, I read three good articles this morning and realized that they were all similar in theme.
In this first article, “Housewife Theologian” Aimee Byrd explores why it is that women are weak and gullible when it comes to discernment. In 2 Timothy 3:6 Paul wrote,
For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Ms Aimee is writing a series of blog posts to help women spot the Danger in Women’s Ministries. And if you have followed me for very long you know that Ms Byrd is preaching to the choir with me, for it is an extremely important and timely message I hold dear to my heart. It’s no accident that Joyce Meyer is one of the most popular “preachers” in America. It’s no accident that the best selling book of any genre is Jesus Calling. And Ann Voskamp’s influence is tremendous. She’s everywhere, writing books, holding positions on boards, participating in movements, and guest blogging on popular websites. Please follow along with Aimee as she continues the series she began on Friday and so far has two parts.
Part 1-The Danger in Women’s Ministries
Part 2-Why We Are So Insulted
Here is an essay I’ve authored containing recommendations for good women and men’s ministries that can be trusted (as of this writing, in my opinion). You will notice that Aimee Byrd is already listed on there.
Trustworthy Women’s and Men’s ministries
|Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
In the second essay I read over coffee this morning is written by the ever wise and gentle Sinclair Ferguson. He explains what biblical discernment is and how it should affect our Christian walk.
Discernment: Thinking God’s Thoughts after Him
The experience caused me to reflect on the importance of discernment, and the lack of it in our world. People do not see issues clearly and are easily misled because they do not think biblically. But, sadly, one cannot help reflecting on how true that is of ourselves, in the church community too. Most readers of this article would want to distance themselves from what might be regarded as the lunatic fringe of contemporary Christianity. But there is more to discernment. True discernment means not only distinguishing the right from the wrong; it means distinguishing the primary from the secondary, the essential from the indifferent, the permanent from the transient, the good and the better from the best. Thus discernment is like the physical senses; to some it is given as a special grace gift (1 Cor. 12:10), but a measure of it is essential for us all, and must be constantly nourished. The Christian must take care to nourish his “sixth sense” of spiritual discernment. This is why the psalmist prays, “Teach me knowledge and good judgment” (Ps. 119:66). But what is discernment? …
|Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
Discernment is important to each and every Christian, whether it is a specifically endowed gift, (1 Corinthians 12:10) or simply something the non-gifted Christian practices for the glory of the Lord. However especially gifted discernment practitioners are also especially given to the sins of pride, a harsh spirit, a tendency to look at only the negative, and more. All of us are prone to pride, no matter the gift we have been given. Here is an essay that we can benefit from … or be convicted by … as the case may be. It is written by Fabienne Harford at Desiring God with an aid to making that all-important diagnosis.
Seven Subtle Symptoms of Pride
Pride will kill you. Forever. Pride is the sin most likely to keep you from crying out for a Savior. Those who think they are well will not look for a doctor. As seriously dangerous as pride is, it’s equally hard to spot. When it comes to diagnosing our hearts, those of us who have the disease of pride have a challenging time identifying our sickness.
|For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Is being discerning just an excuse for being judgmental?
The Biblical Formula for Discernment by John MacArthur (This essay originally appeared in Pulpit Magazine but the link has expired, but here is another)