By Elizabeth Prata
- Some people come into the church with mal-intent from the start (Galatians 2:4; 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 1:4).
- Some people who’ve come to faith unknowingly accept false doctrine. (Galatians 1:7).
- Some believers, due to fear, or apathy, or not knowing what to do, put up with false apostles. (2 Corinthians 11:20 and as a result start to be swayed. (Galatians 2:13)
Falsity spreads its tentacles no matter how it comes, secretly, openly, or when it is known but not opposed. It upsets the faith of some, destroys whole families, and pollutes the church, drawing away its disciples into darkness.
Though it is a heavy responsibility and a constant challenge, incorrect or false teaching must be identified and rejected. It does get wearisome for people to constantly see this one or that one called out as drifting, false, or a heretic. It’s disappointing too. But we must persist. Keep Christ’s name spotless and His faith pure.
Incorrect or false teaching sometimes doesn’t start out as false. It sometimes starts off as good. But without course corrections, satan can take something good and twist it. (2 Peter 3:16). That may be happening with Jen Wilkin.
She admitted in an interview that her foremost motivation is not to teach the Bible to women, it is that she wants women to see what’s possible when a woman teaches them the Bible. It’s gender, not Christ. She said, “One of the most important things that I do when I travel around the country and teach the Bible is actually not that I teach the Bible. It’s that I show up looking like a woman and teach the Bible. Because a lot of women see only men do that.” Underline mine. There is nothing more important than teaching the Bible, for a man or a woman. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
This 3-part series looks at Jen Wilkin’s “Redefining Rahab” lessons from 2014 and 2018. Part 1 is background & intro, part 2 is a look at her emphasis in the Rahab lesson, and part 3 is a look at her academic ethics & her situational ethics.
Jen Wilkin bio
Jen Wilkin hit the public scene with her freshman 2014 book, Women of the Word. She is a member of Matt Chandler’s Village Church, and is an Executive Director of Bible Studies at The Village Church Institute, a discipling/teaching arm of the church. Jen writes Bible studies and teaches. She is a nationally known author, and is a sought-after speaker for conferences, podcasts, and other settings. Jen is a wife and mother of 4 adult children.
Jen has stated often that she is a complementarian, and wishes to teach women only, strengthening them in their theological understanding. She decries books “that look like their covers were painted with estrogen”, lol, and pushes for a strong foundation for women in their beliefs. To that end, Jen has made her career and ministry focus by writing books and touring the conference circuit with that message.
However in the past series I wrote, I demonstrated that Wilkin’s complementarianism is in word only. Functionally, she teaches the Bible to men, she trains male pastoral staff, male missionaries and male church planters, (frequently on gender issues), and she speaks before mixed audiences even on a Sunday pulpit.
As we see with ministries with a singular focus, such as end time ministries, ‘deliverance’ ministries, or discernment ministries, the more singular and narrow focus the ministry’s theme is, the more easily it can be twisted away from its center and into something that over time goes far afield from orthodoxy. With Wilkin’s ever more narrowing focus on women and gender, I believe that is what might be happening with Wilkin.
I wrote a 3-part series on Mrs Wilkin, looking at her overall ministry here, here, here. It got long, so I promised to follow up with some specifics from her Rahab teaching lesson. This is that series.