Posted in theology

Journaling … again

By Elizabeth Prata

DebbieLynne Kespert re-posted a great essay from 2018 yesterday in her blog feature Flashback Friday. I always like when people do this because it either brings forward great content I’ve missed, or it reminds me of great content I can read again.

Her essay was about journaling. After I re-read it, I began thinking about journaling once more. Now, there’s journaling and there’s journaling.

In Christian journaling, we’re treated to headlines like the “How-To” articles that make great promises:

–How to Encounter God through Journaling.
–How to Keep a Christian Journal: 9 Steps (with Pictures) that promise ‘will help you gain more faith in God’.

There are the subtle ‘How-To’ articles that also make promises, like promising the practice will allow you to hear the voice of God, as the headline here promises: “Spiritual Journaling for Christian Growth and Transformation: Spiritual journaling is a great way to find time for God and to hear his voice.”

From there it becomes easy to drift from the actual journaling into the products, like this search result:

4 FREE and Easy Bible Journaling Templates – “When it comes to Bible journaling, you may envision beautiful colors and artistic designs. As you’ll discover in today’s post, however, Bible journaling can simply be taking up pen and paper and jotting down study notes. Below you’ll find 4 templates for you to use in Bible journaling.”

Then drift further into not just journaling, but Christian adult coloring books, with even more products to search for. Distraction!

I like both journaling or coloring. They can be a simply fun or personally fulfilling activity you do to relax. Fun…unless you do expect to hear the voice of God or your adult coloring page is based on a Hindu mandala. The above kinds of journaling are not a substitute for deep Bible study, but they’re associated activities of journaling, whichever way you interpret the word ‘journaling’. Like any subject, its value is neutral – until satan gets hold of it and pollutes it grossly or subtly. It’s why we need to be on guard, even with so-called “good” Christian activities.

As I said at the opening, DebbieLynne’s article on Friday made me think about journaling again, so I searched on my blog for the subject. I laughed at the number of results. It seems I write about it every couple of years. I admit to struggling with the notion of pen to paper in a spiritual type of journal. I’ve started and abandoned more journals than I can shake a stick at. Here are my essays on the subject-

2018: Thoughts in Introspection and Journaling
2016: Journaling- Biblical or Occultish?
2016: Adult Christian Coloring Books: Put Away Childish Things
2015: Bible Art Journaling: No, No, No
2013: Is Christian Journaling Good or Bad?

What DebbieLynne found in her years of journaling is that the constant introspection caused an undue dwelling on emotions and negativity rather than on Jesus and His word. Journaling had become a distraction and hindered her walk.

After 17 years of venting my feelings, I woke up to the fact that venting only keeps a person’s attention fixed on his or her problems. Venting through a journal is even worse, in my opinion, because the act of writing slows down the thought process, prolonging the focus on a subject. So when someone uses a personal journal to ruminate on their feelings, should it surprise us that we wind up wallowing in self-absorption?

Journaling: The Pitfall We Should Recognize

Journaling can also be very good. Reagan Rose at Redeeming Productivity wrote about the Ten Spiritual Benefits of Journaling. He said,

A few weeks ago I was cleaning my garage and discovered a stack of old journals in a plastic bin. That put a prompt end to my cleaning plans. For two-hours, I sat on a metal folding chair poring over entries I had penned over a decade ago. As I read, I was reminded of long-forgotten life events, surprised by God’s providence, and embarrassed by my own ignorance. But for all the emotions those old journals stirred up, when I finally set them down, the one feeling I was left with was gratitude.

Ten Spiritual Benefits of Journaling

GotQuestions has a good article about journaling, noting that the Psalms aren’t exactly a journal but sort of are. There are other good points in their article, too, which is here.

I decided through all my back and forth over the subject of journaling, agonizing over it and worrying about how to do it, that in the end, I do “journal” every day. My entire blog is a journal. Blog is short for weblog, which is a record of thoughts and ideas. I’ve written daily here since January 2009. A journal doesn’t have to be solely pen to paper. Duh, I finally figured that out. LOL, well, I never said I was smart. Or quick.

Journaling can be good and helpful, as Reagan’s article notes or the GotQuestions essay instructs. It can have pitfalls, as DebbieLynne’s article notes. It can devolve into something that distracts from actual Bible study, like coloring, or draws a person into occult areas like waiting to hear God or channeling a spirit directly. Like anything, it is an activity that you may find helps your walk, or not. Being aware and mindful is the key. Why?

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8).

EPrata photo

Posted in theology

Insanity

By Elizabeth Prata

The news is always bad. That is the nature of news. But it seems lately (2020) the news has been relentlessly troubling, perplexing, and dismaying.

The virus scare that began in March 2020 caused people to do a spiritual inventory. This is because the new virus was supposed to be a rampant killer, and we Americans, as well as citizens in other nations, were told that lots of people were going to die from the virus. We weren’t going to have capacity to handle the thousands predicted to need hospital rooms, ventilators, and other life-saving equipment. Death was coming for us, they said. Fear became the prevailing atmosphere of 2020.

The saved are secure about our eternal destiny. The unsaved are scared out of their minds.

Continue reading “Insanity”
Posted in theology

Giving grace

By Elizabeth Prata

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29).

In this verse we have a juxtaposition: corruption/grace. The NASB uses the word ‘unwholesome’, so, unwholesome/grace. Strong’s Lexicon defines corrupting as “rotten, putrid, figuratively over-ripe; expresses what is of poor quality, unfit for use.” We know what kind of talk that is. The Bible is negative on unwholesome of talk, which is- slander, gossip, lies, whispering, murmuring, dishonesty, busybodies… (Proverbs 16:28, Romans 1:29, 2 Corinthians 12:20, 1 Timothy 5:13 etc).

In the Ephesians verse, the word grace means, “grace, extension-toward. Both refer to God freely extending Himself (His favor, grace), reaching (inclining) to people because He is disposed to bless (be near) them.”

When we speak wholesomely, He is near to us, blesses us, and reaches toward us.

So the next time you’re (I’m) tempted to gossip or say anything corrupting, picture rotten fruit coming out of the mouth, vomiting putridness all over the person. Alternately, picture the talk as flowers of grace reaching for the person, the very Lord Himself among the blooms reaching forward and extending Himself to them. Give grace.

This goes for social media, too.

In these days of hate and upset and negativity, imagine the freshness of graceful talk. I need to remember, and I hope others do too, that we need to give grace as well as receive it.

Posted in back to basics, born again

“You must be born again” What does it mean to be born again?

By Elizabeth Prata

I came to faith in Jesus at age 43. In my youth and in adult life I never was exposed much to church or Born Again believers or the things of Jesus. As an adult in New England, which is rife with false religions and atheists, I never bumped elbows with “Jesus freaks” as they are known up there.

That said, there is a vocabulary associated with Christianity that a person hears at some point in their lives just from listening to news clips or seeing movies or television. “You have to be born again,” or “He’s saved” are examples. I never knew what they meant. I do now. I’ll do my best to explain them. Continue reading ““You must be born again” What does it mean to be born again?”

Posted in theology

The Courage to be Humble

By Elizabeth Prata

And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” (John 1:19-20).

He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” (NIV)

John the Baptist didn’t make more of himself than he ought. When the Pharisees asked John what the situation was, who are you, they wanted to know, John didn’t hem or haw. He spoke right up admitting he was not the Christ. He didn’t inflate himself by reminding them of his association with Christ. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t insert himself into the conversation. He didn’t subtly add his credentials. John the Baptist did none of that. John simply said I am not he and then immediately went on to point to Christ! (v 23).

Humility. John was humble. We know from other verses that John didn’t think himself worthy to tie Jesus’ sandal or be the one to baptize Him. (Matthew 3:11; 13–14). Jesus Himself said that John the Baptist was the greatest man. (Matthew 11:11).

Part of John’s ‘greatness’ was that he was chosen to be the forerunner to Jesus’ advent. But part of the reason too, is John was humble. His constant thought was of Christ and for Christ.

The attention did not go to John’s head. Throngs came to the desert to hear John preach and to be baptized, but John continually pointed to Jesus only. As his popularity and fame reached its pinnacle, Jesus appeared and entered into public ministry. John’s ministry started decreasing because they all began to follow Jesus instead. John’s disciples came to him and said people are leaving you and going to Jesus… Those disciples should know it isn’t a rivalry. Even though Philippians wasn’t written yet:

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3–4)

John the Baptist reminded them that that all along he’d been saying the ministry is about Jesus. John knew it wasn’t about ‘his’ ministry, it wasn’t about ‘him’, it wasn’t about ministry ‘numbers, i.e. I have more than the other guy down the street. It isn’t a rivalry. John’s ministry was about Jesus.

Jesus said that those who humble themselves will be exalted but whoever exalts themselves will be humbled. (Matthew 23:12). Gulp. How often do we insert ourselves into the conversation when it comes to ministry, or promote our greatness, or our credentials? I know I do that too often.

So, how do we cultivate humility? It’s a character quality. Our inner depravity clings to pride, and fights humility at every turn. It takes courage to be humble in a society that expects self-promotion, jostles to be first, and expects us to ‘tower above’.

One way to cultivate humility is to look to John the Baptist for a biblical example of a life lived in humility. From a Ligonier.org devotional these passages might help for further study-

Psalm 25:8–10
Proverbs 15:33; 18:12
Matthew 18:1–4
Romans 15:1–7

Or these topical essays on Humility also at Ligonier

I always try to remember that before salvation I was a craven sinner deserving of hell. Now that I am saved, I stand on the same blood-soaked ground as everyone else, and only Jesus towers above in holiness and purity. As Peter said,

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5)

If we want more grace, be humble.

Posted in theology

Grace Community Church is not hiding their light under a bushel basket

By Elizabeth Prata

Yesterday, Sunday, September 13, Pastor-Teacher John MacArthur opened his service with an announcement. In an ongoing legal battle the church is fighting against the County of Los Angeles, Dr. MacArthur told his congregation the requirements that LA County is demanding that churches (and other large venue gatherings) fulfill in order to meet (an not inside, either, just outside). In the latest legal skirmish, the Judge this week ruled against the Church, saying they may not meet unless the ‘health restrictions’ were met. After all, the County wasn’t denying them the opportunity to meet at all, just that they could not meet in the way they desired.

I suppose that is one way to circumvent the First Amendment to the Constitution, which says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. In effect, the Judge on behalf of the County is saying, ‘You CAN meet, just do thus and such’. Let’s look at the thus and such the County requires of churches in order to worship God together, and see if the benchmark of “free exercise of” is happening or not. MacArthur read some of the limits and requirements the County places on churches and it seemed ot me that they may NOT freely exercise their religion. At all.

I re-ordered the list that MacArthur spoke into two sections. The first section infringes on the ecclesiology of churches, i.e. what the government says churches may or may do within their own services, and the second part is related to so-called health mandates that relate to church buildings and property. These are not all of what LA County is requiring, either: (Health Order here). Just some of the limits.

MacArthur said: “Before we begin, the question has come up a number of times about why Grace Church does not just comply with the orders that have been laid down for churches, and I thought it might be helpful to give you the list of things that are required of us as a church so that you understand how utterly impossible that would be. Here are the basic orders:

Source

ECCLESIOLOGY

–no indoor meetings at all,
–people only allowed on church property for scheduled events, (Ed note: so staff employment is impacted as well as packing and delivery of ministry materials for shipping)
–no hymn books,
–no communion,
–no offering containers,
–no pew Bibles,
–no singing,
–no hugging,
–no shaking hands,
–the services have to be shortened,
–and based on the separation we could only meet in the tent with a maximum of three hundred and fifty to four hundred people,
–restrooms are to be used during the service to minimize the rush,
–Anybody who comes in contact with someone outside their family for more than fifteen minutes must self-quarantine for two weeks (Editor note: this means if you mingled with someone not of your family, you would miss the next two services and could only return on the third week. You would miss half the services per month).

Source

HEALTH

–preregistration of every person who comes on the church property,
–every person who comes on the property is to be individually screened and have their temperature taken at the entry,
–we all must maintain six feet of social distance at all times everywhere including the parking lot and the restrooms,
–every other parking space must be left vacant,
–marked pathways to maintain social distance keeping people apart monitored by staff monitors,
–everyone always wearing a mask,
–restroom monitors to control six feet social distancing at restrooms,
–tape on the ground marking distance,
–signs indicating these mandates and also full exposure on social media,
–disposable seat covers changed between services,
–etc.

Source

You can see that these are the requirements that would completely shut the church down. Obviously, this is not Constitutional. But more importantly, this goes against the will of the Lord of the church. He calls us to gather. Amen?!” —John MacArthur

Source

Don Green was formerly a Teacher and Leader at Grace Church, is a pastor in OH now, and is also a lawyer. He reminded his Facebook readers that:

With their left hand, they [LA County] have obtained a restraining order from the Superior Court that bans GCC’s indoor services in the name of “public health.”

“But we gladly allow you to meet outdoors!”

They posture themselves as benevolent rulers.

But see what they do with their right hand.

They are simultaneously terminating an agreement that takes away hundreds of parking spaces for which GCC has been making timely and substantial payments for 45 years.

Friends, those parking spaces are no threat to public health. So what is the justification for this action at this vulnerable time for GCC?

Don’t miss it. Los Angeles County with judicial imprimatur takes away indoor services AND indispensable accommodations that make even limited outdoor services possible.

Source

Many Christians are watching this legal battle with eagle eyes. Other churches in California and elsewhere may also be going through the same fight, but the most public right now is GCC. The fact it is happening in America is shocking, where we are Constitutionally protected from these kinds of government infringements upon the free exercise of religion.

The lesson for pastors and congregants here is: what will you do when this begins to happen in your state or county? When Caesar says you may not fellowship? You may not give? You may not have Lord’s Supper, one of the two ordinances Jesus commanded? You many not sing? Your service must be of a certain length? Your fellow member must now become a compliance officer (spy) inside your warm and caring fellowship? You must register with the government before you attend church??

The power grabs by various governments during this coronavirus time have been stunning. If Grace Church ultimately loses, how much more emboldened will Caesar will be in other places? Are you prepared to be arrested? Lose your job? (An arrest often means you’d be prohibited from working in certain jobs). Are you prepared to obey God rather than man? (Acts 4:19, Acts 5:29; Daniel 6:13).

It’s coming. We are in a time where it seems the Lord is shaking his church to see who is still salt and who has lost their savor.

A Lamp Under a Basket
And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. (Mark 4:21-24).

It is a grief and a shame that some entities and national Christian leaders are hiding under the bushel basket, dimming their light so hopefully Caesar will overlook them. It is a joy to see one beacon standing taller each time Caesar comes for them, deliberately shining their light even brighter. This is the bushel basket time. Stand and shine? Or cover and hide?

Posted in theology

I’m ready to go

By Elizabeth Prata

There is no doubt that lately in the United States, things are getting more negative. Lawsuits, lockdowns, fires, riots, apostasy, false teachers, and so on. Things have been worse in countries before, think; Britain in WWII. Things have been worse for the church before: Think Spanish Inquisition. But here in the U.S. our circumstances have been continually blessed since almost our inception as a nation.

Lately though, the level of sin has increased so much it is hard to even look at Twitter, where only the headlines are shown, never mind the entire news story. John MacArthur made a great point this week.

“The slide is greased, and it’s rapidly going downhill at a warp-speed,” MacArthur continued. “And to try to intervene at some point and say, ‘That’s enough,’ you’d have to start a long time ago. This is just the next small step in the disintegration of an entire nation that has no conscience.”

Daily Wire: The Slide is Greased

In a recent sermon titled The Inescapable Corruption of Sin, he said the nation is so far gone it’s like a man that jumped off a 40 story building and began thinking about how to change his trajectory or the end result of his actions halfway down.

Ouch.

Things are rough and it hurts. But it makes me think of teenagers. You know when a teen has graduated from high school but hasn’t left for college? That in-between time? It is a huge transition, and it puts a strain on the family. It’s a tense transition. Bickering and fights break out daily, sometimes by the minute.

Why does this happen? Normally families love their children, and treat them with respect and love and care. But the fighting and tension during this period of imminent change is so prevalent and common, that Psychology Today wrote about it.

Leaving for college? Why families argue more right before the separation.

The weeks before my own child left for college were filled with battles that seemed to come from nowhere and enveloped our entire household. If he wasn’t arguing with me about something, he was butting heads with his dad; and if he wasn’t fighting with either of us, he was furious that we had somehow misunderstood something he said or were acting like he was a stupid child and always telling him what to do.

Source

Just when I was feeling that I would be very happy to see him go, he said, “You know what this is about, don’t you? It’s so that it won’t hurt you so much when I leave.” I had to laugh. He was right, of course. Fortunately, I had the good sense not to insist that it might be doing the same thing for him.

Source

It’s an actual phenomenon. The fighting helps the parents and kids let go, and makes parting easier.

I got to wondering if it is the same with Christians. Certainly, seeing the level of visible sin these days is grossing me out and making me want to leave all this behind even more. Maybe the Lord is using the fighting and riots and evil to help us put our eyes more firmly on Him and to release attachment to the place where we live, and make us long for the place we are going to even more.

It’s a thought.

Lord? Soon come…please.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Source

Further Reading

I strongly recommend the sermon by John MacArthur The Inescapable Corruption of Sin. STRONGLY

Steve Lawson, 3-min video clip: I want to be with Jesus

Posted in theology

Remembering September 11, 2001

By Elizabeth Prata

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 20 years since that day. Two decades. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was editor of a local newspaper then. I was working in my newspaper office on the morning of September 11. Tuesday is a big paper day, we go to print Wednesday morning. I rented the office from my friend who lived a big farmhouse, and she called me from her living room. I thought it was unusual that she phoned, being just a few feet away from me in the same building. But her voice evaporated all other thoughts. She said said fiercely, “COME HERE NOW”.

The first plane had just hit the twin tower in NY. We watched her television with eyes open, breathing shallowly, standing with arms numbly at our sides…until the second plane hit at 9:03. Our eyes locked together, and we knew without saying a word that this was an attack. We also knew that nothing would ever be the same. We watched until another plane hit the Pentagon 34 minutes later. It felt like the world was coming to an end. It really did. We thought the world was ending. A knot formed in my stomach and coherent thoughts refused to gather in my head.

We got our purses and the first thing we did was walk across the street to the hardware store where we bought the biggest flag they had. We walked back to the office and put it up. Then we went to the bank to get money. Cash was going to be important if the electricity went out or we were ordered to evacuate. We didn’t know what was coming next and we wanted to be prepared. It could have been a nuke coming next, for all we knew. At the bank, they had the TV on in the break room with the door open and the volume up so customers could hear what was going on. A fourth plane had just gone down in PA. We saw the smoking crater. We knew that plane was part of whatever was happening. The day got even more surreal.

The worst part was on NBC News when news host Katie Couric reported hospitals at the ready, the gurneys lined up outside at the emergency entrance waiting for victims…but we soon realized there would be no victims, only either survivors or the dead. We knew that rescuing the people above the strikes would be impossible. Our grief deepened.

We decided that with America under attack our freedom was also under attack. Running a newspaper which reported the news and offered a platform for the people to freely speak their thoughts on any political or civic matter, we resolved that our most patriotic thing we could do to support the Constitution that day was to get the paper out. The terrorists were not going to stop the presses. They were not going to stop freedom from ringing. And that is what we did.

Churches were full that Sunday, though a bit less full the following Sunday. By about four slim weeks, churches were back to their spotty attendance. Why is this? Why do people fly planes into buildings and kill others? Why is there murder? Why is there war? Why are there conflicts at every level? Because man is inherently wicked. Our hearts are evil above all things, who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9). Because man is basically evil. If we didn’t have laws and limits we would be killing each other at every moment.

Jesus is the hope we have to become good. Not on our own merits. We do not become good through our own efforts. No, “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.” It is not a popular thing to say, that we are not good, but we are not. [Click on the link for John MacArthur’s sermon the Sunday after 9/11/01 as he takes us through a biblical understanding of death, terrorism, and the Middle East]

I thank Jesus that He poured out His life so that we may live…and become righteous. “It is because of him [God] that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Even at that, our fleshly lives on earth are a struggle, a struggle against sin and growth in righteousness. I long for the day when flesh shall be glorified and sin shall be banished.

So people are evil, and we struggle against our nature. We want what we want and we sometimes terrorize or go to war to get it. Such will be the way, until the end. The end that comes before the beginning!

In the meantime, as we watch the death throes of this old world (which means the birth of the Glorious World!)…we mourn because also we love our nation America. Christians know, though,t hat our future is not America, but New Jerusalem.

The song you are about to listen to is from a Las Vegas Diamond Rio concert. They received an immediate resounding standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it!

Here in America, In God We STILL Trust:

On the day of 9/11 there were people trapped above the strike zones who thought it would be preferable to hurl themselves out the shattered windows of the twin towers rather than burn to death. One photo in particular caught the world’s attention. It is called “Falling Man” and it seems that his graceful swan dive plummet was poignant in the extreme. Here is the back-story of that photo.

Five months after 9/11 the Superbowl came along, just as it always does. The Superbowl is noted for artful, funny, or avante garde commercial debuts, due to the high viewership of the game. Budweiser showed a commercial called “Respect” and showed it only once, then until now. Thanks to Youtube, the ad has resurfaced. It is sure to bring a tear to your eye. We remember American greatness, American products, American ways.

Jesus will return in glory with His glorified saints. He will institute new nations and new cities populated by sinless resurrected chosen ones. There will be no more war because our hearts will be made right with Him. There will be no more terror because we will want nothing, having been given it all by our Savior. If you bow low to the Savior, He will lift you up high. Please do it soon.

Source
Posted in theology

Error vs truth: Jesus takes the difference seriously, so should we

By Elizabeth Prata

And on that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, so that they shall be remembered no more. And also I will remove from the land the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness. (Zechariah 13:2).

By this point in 2020, given the various struggles Americans are experiencing, the promises of scripture seem all the sweeter. The more we see the evil and ugly in human hearts, the more we long for the purity and holiness of a clean earth.

And if anyone again prophesies, his father and mother who bore him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the LORD.’ And his father and mother who bore him shall pierce him through when he prophesies. (Zechariah 13:3).

Wait… what’s this?

After the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, (Jeremiah 30:7) also known as the Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), there will be humans left alive to enter what is known as the Millennial Kingdom. It is so named because it will last for 1000 years. (Revelation 20:2-6) (cf Isaiah 11:6; 65:20).

During that time, the earth renews from the devastating judgments rendered unto the Israelites and pagans, quickly, just as it did after the Flood. Satan will be bound in the pit with his cohorts. Peace will reign on the earth and Jesus will be bodily among His people. Holiness will be paramount. Holiness and truth will be so supremely important, that as we see in the Zechariah verse, even parents will run their own relative through if they prophesy falsely.

Because of the salvation of God which has cleansed God’s people and made them love him and His truth, hatred of false prophecy will overrule normal human feelings, causing even a father and mother to put their apostate child to death (cf, Deuteronomy 13:6-9, 12-15, Deuteronomy 18-22). This is a stern reminder of how God feels about and will eventually treat those preachers who misrepresent the truth.

John MacArthur Study Bible, Zechariah 13:3

As a Christian to whom the Holy Spirit has given the gift of discernment (1 Corinthians 12:10), I feel a heightened emotional and spiritual pain when I come across false teachers. It hurts when I receive emails from women who have been ill-used by these false teachers. It is sad to have women asking questions about how to cleanse themselves from the tentacles of these insidious doctrines wrapped around them from. It actually hurts to see the corruption and lies thrown on the name and Person of Jesus, all done in His name!.

Too many people react with anger toward me and other people who point out false teachings from these false teachers. The most common comments are, that I’m not to judge, that the feelings of the (false) teacher matter, to be nice, to ignore it and Jesus will take care of the problem, or that I’m wrong and the teacher isn’t false at all.

Jesus takes His truth VERY SERIOUSLY. We see that in the Zechariah verses. We see that in many other verses. I am not advocating for parents running their children through if they prophesy falsely, of course. But the picture of hatred for lies and love of the truth is in view. We see this in the New Testament also.

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:6).

The picture is of a love of His truth so much that in comparison it seems that we’d hate our mother and father and wife and children. He is not speaking of actual hate, for that would violate the Fifth Commandment to honor thy parents (Deuteronomy 5:16).

Rather, the love of His truth must be so paramount in our eyes that by comparison, everything else fades into the background. That when we come across liars of His truth, we hate what they say and what they do. That we love our Jesus’ truth with all our strength, mind, heart and soul, and that by contrast, we strongly repudiate all that contradicts it.

If we are involved with a teacher’s teachings, we must examine ourselves to see if that they are saying is so, and if they are found to be false, we must repent of our association with him or her. The truth is just that important.