Posted in theology

The Bible is clear: Women cannot be pastors or teach men. This even includes Beth Moore

By Elizabeth Prata

Sunday Beth Moore preached again, this time at a Baptist Church in Houston. She described her attendance as not preaching but “serving,” which is disingenuous. It is also a sin. (1 Timothy 2:12, 1 Corinthians 14:34)

Secondly, she chose to embarrass her husband in front of her million-plus followers by calling him out for falling asleep during her sermon. This is a disgrace. (Titus 2:5, 1 Peter 3:2).

Third, she chose to boast that the invitation to (sinfully) preach was from a “prestigious” church. We can plainly see where her heart is.

She is receiving flack for her rebellion on social media and on Youtube. I myself denounced this behavior, saying “she belittled her husband for falling asleep during her message. Ladies, this should not be so. Bible is clear women are not to preach. They’re also to respect their husbands, not publicly embarrass them for a social media anecdote. Moore is a scourge & an embarrassment to us all.”

Image

Of the pushback Moore is receiving, she wrote a reply. She cannot resist. Below is her posted reply to the pushback. I’ll insert my comments in at certain points. Below that is an EXCELLENT video. At the end I’ll write why I am so concerned. Do not be deceived by her seemingly soft words.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18 KJV)

BETH MOORE:

This is a cheerfully-written, good-will word to my beloved kin in Christ who deeply disapprove of my accepting a handful of invitations a year from pastors

The frequency of her preaching is not at issue. The sin itself, is.

who graciously ask if I would speak on a Sunday to their congregations.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY is fooled by her use of the word “speaking.” It’s preaching. And she can call it whatever you want, but God isn’t fooled either.

I need you to know that I hear you. I see your deep commitment to your stand on women’s roles & I admire that you never tire of the subject.

I will never tire of warning women about false teachers. Jude says to. (Jude 1:23)

I acknowledge that, at the end of your open-minded & extensive exegesis of all the NT has to say about women, you hang your hat on the verses telling women to be silent in church. I get it.

But she continues to speak in churches.

I’ve read them once or twice or 500X myself. I too love the Bible. I too have studied it & value it so highly,

A person who spits on the gift and tramples it doesn’t value the gift highly.

I’ll spend my life, God willing, calling people into its pages.

And that is an issue, Moore calls people to its pages but by her ignoring verses that don’t suit her, and by her life, shows women that the Bible does not have to be heeded.

And after my own extensive study of women in the NT, I hang my head covering on verses like Acts 2:17-18,

It’s not a matter of ‘hanging our hat’ on one verse or another. It’s that the untaught and the unstable twist and distort verses, to their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16).

& on those where the same Paul who wrote your final word on women references hosts of women who were obviously colaborers in the gospel work

Co-laboring is not preaching or pastoring.

& among the leaders in their churches.

No woman was ever a leader in the churches.

I also burn alive inside with the call of Christ to the great commission.

I pray she repents before she truly learns what burning is.

I could know more stop than you could. All of this is to this point: if my story about Keith Moore falling fast asleep on the front row of a church in full view of the choir while I was bringing a message does not—at the very least—make you grin at my expense,

It was as Keith’s expense. Not hers.

consider hanging up your sheriff’s badge for a few weeks and taking a vacation. Everybody, including me, knows how you feel about women in church. You’ve done your job. We get it. We hear it. We see your commitment to the cause. But take a break.

No. I will never tire of helping women see that Beth Moore and others like her are a danger to their walk, their spiritual life, and to their souls. She wishes we’d stop. But we won’t.

These are sorrowful times. Have a hearty laugh on me. It’s good medicine.

They are sorrowful times because of the influx of preaching, rebellious women like Beth Moore who continue to pollute the church. It is a grief and a pain to me to see it and to help young women overcome the normalization of sin women like Moore have put on them like a millstone.

Now, is the problem of women preaching really that big of a deal? YES.

In 1962, 2% of clergy were women. Now, in 2022, 27% of pastors across the country are women. Fifty percent of students in Master of Divinity programs (a seminary program preparing the student for pastoral ministry), are women. (Source from video below).

It’s been an explosion. What happened? The Second Wave Feminist Movement, that’s what happened.

Culture has bowed the knee to the power of women as promoted by the feminist philosophy, but God’s word has not changed. Women are increasingly intruding into roles God has not designed for them in the church. So much so, that according to a survey in 2017, 80% of Americans are comfortable with the idea of a female pastor.

Women are not to preach to men and they are not to become pastors or elders. The Bible is crystal clear on this.

John Henry at The Gospel of Christ Youtube channel presents the following video. It is well-done. It contains refutations to the ‘what abouts’ such as “What about Deborah?” “What about Sarah Palin or Kamala Harris?” “What about the gifts of the Spirit, aren’t they given to everyone?” “What if I feel the call of God to teach and preach?”

All those questions are answered from scripture, which is clear. Once again, women are not to teach or preach to men.

Women’s roles in the church are valued and important for the health of the local church and the global church. There is no doubt that God used women for His glory. There is no doubt that God used women in all sorts of ways to advance the church – just not a teachers of men or preachers.

The video is 21 minutes long. John Henry at The Gospel of Christ Youtube Channel did a great job of editing, showing the truth is undeniably clear. Every women striding a stage with a Bible in her hand preaching in church or teaching at a conference to men, every women ‘feeling like’ she has a call from God to teach while her husband sits passively by, every women who insists to be ordained and assumes a position not meant for her, is a rebel. Every. Single. One.

We know they are false teachers because they have been told they are rebelling against God’s word. Joyce Meyer has been told. Beth Moore has been told. I know others have been told. They ignore the scriptures they claim to love. Their continued rebellion in the face of correction is a clear signal these women are desirous of personal glory, filling a lust, or otherwise casting aside the Savior in order to errantly continue in their pursuit of sin.

Please take a few minutes to listen.

I have prayed for Beth Moore to repent. I have prayed for many of these rebels. I pray the Lord gives them grace before they die. I have also prayed over women who have contacted me, confused, upset, unsure, thanks to ‘Bible Studies” like Moore’s and others that distort the scriptures, or present a lifestyle unsuitable for their demographic.

I have prayed to Jesus to stop them.

For there are many rebellious people, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of dishonest gain. (Titus 1:10-11).

A women preacher is a woman upsetting whole families. They are empty talkers and deceivers, teaching what they ought not. They confuse the unwary. They draw people away so as to diminish their effectiveness for the kingdom. We cannot ignore these evil people, we must stand opposed to them. We mark them, avoid them, snatch the doubters from the fire, and urge discernment.

PS- Beth Moore is preaching again this Sunday, at Transformation Church.
PPS: Her speaking fees range from $20,000 – $30,000 per.

Posted in theology

The Bible is clear: Women cannot be pastors or teach men. This even includes Beth Moore

By Elizabeth Prata

Sunday Beth Moore preached again, this time at a Baptist Church in Houston. She described her attendance as not preaching but “serving,” which is disingenuous. It is also a sin. (1 Timothy 2:12, 1 Corinthians 14:34)

Secondly, she chose to embarrass her husband in front of her million-plus followers by calling him out for falling asleep during her sermon. This is a disgrace. (Titus 2:5, 1 Peter 3:2).

Third, she chose to boast that the invitation to (sinfully) preach was from a “prestigious” church. We can plainly see where her heart is.

She is receiving flack for her rebellion on social media and on Youtube. I myself denounced this behavior, saying “she belittled her husband for falling asleep during her message. Ladies, this should not be so. Bible is clear women are not to preach. They’re also to respect their husbands, not publicly embarrass them for a social media anecdote. Moore is a scourge & an embarrassment to us all.”

Image

Of the pushback Moore is receiving, she wrote a reply. She cannot resist. Below is her posted reply to the pushback. I’ll insert my comments in at certain points. Below that is an EXCELLENT video. At the end I’ll write why I am so concerned. Do not be deceived by her seemingly soft words.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18 KJV)

BETH MOORE:

This is a cheerfully-written, good-will word to my beloved kin in Christ who deeply disapprove of my accepting a handful of invitations a year from pastors

The frequency of her preaching is not at issue. The sin itself, is.

who graciously ask if I would speak on a Sunday to their congregations.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY is fooled by her use of the word “speaking.” It’s preaching. And she can call it whatever you want, but God isn’t fooled either.

I need you to know that I hear you. I see your deep commitment to your stand on women’s roles & I admire that you never tire of the subject.

I will never tire of warning women about false teachers. Jude says to. (Jude 1:23)

I acknowledge that, at the end of your open-minded & extensive exegesis of all the NT has to say about women, you hang your hat on the verses telling women to be silent in church. I get it.

But she continues to speak in churches.

I’ve read them once or twice or 500X myself. I too love the Bible. I too have studied it & value it so highly,

A person who spits on the gift and tramples it doesn’t value the gift highly.

I’ll spend my life, God willing, calling people into its pages.

And that is an issue, Moore calls people to its pages but by her ignoring verses that don’t suit her, and by her life, shows women that the Bible does not have to be heeded.

And after my own extensive study of women in the NT, I hang my head covering on verses like Acts 2:17-18,

It’s not a matter of ‘hanging our hat’ on one verse or another. It’s that the untaught and the unstable twist and distort verses, to their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16).

& on those where the same Paul who wrote your final word on women references hosts of women who were obviously colaborers in the gospel work

Co-laboring is not preaching or pastoring.

& among the leaders in their churches.

No woman was ever a leader in the churches.

I also burn alive inside with the call of Christ to the great commission.

I pray she repents before she truly learns what burning is.

I could know more stop than you could. All of this is to this point: if my story about Keith Moore falling fast asleep on the front row of a church in full view of the choir while I was bringing a message does not—at the very least—make you grin at my expense,

It was as Keith’s expense. Not hers.

consider hanging up your sheriff’s badge for a few weeks and taking a vacation. Everybody, including me, knows how you feel about women in church. You’ve done your job. We get it. We hear it. We see your commitment to the cause. But take a break.

No. I will never tire of helping women see that Beth Moore and others like her are a danger to their walk, their spiritual life, and to their souls. She wishes we’d stop. But we won’t.

These are sorrowful times. Have a hearty laugh on me. It’s good medicine.

They are sorrowful times because of the influx of preaching, rebellious women like Beth Moore who continue to pollute the church. It is a grief and a pain to me to see it and to help young women overcome the normalization of sin women like Moore have put on them like a millstone.

Now, is the problem of women preaching really that big of a deal? YES.

In 1962, 2% of clergy were women. Now, in 2022, 27% of pastors across the country are women. Fifty percent of students in Master of Divinity programs (a seminary program preparing the student for pastoral ministry), are women. (Source from video below).

It’s been an explosion. What happened? The Second Wave Feminist Movement, that’s what happened.

Culture has bowed the knee to the power of women as promoted by the feminist philosophy, but God’s word has not changed. Women are increasingly intruding into roles God has not designed for them in the church. So much so, that according to a survey in 2017, 80% of Americans are comfortable with the idea of a female pastor.

Women are not to preach to men and they are not to become pastors or elders. The Bible is crystal clear on this.

John Henry at The Gospel of Christ Youtube channel presents the following video. It is well-done. It contains refutations to the ‘what abouts’ such as “What about Deborah?” “What about Sarah Palin or Kamala Harris?” “What about the gifts of the Spirit, aren’t they given to everyone?” “What if I feel the call of God to teach and preach?”

All those questions are answered from scripture, which is clear. Once again, women are not to teach or preach to men.

Women’s roles in the church are valued and important for the health of the local church and the global church. There is no doubt that God used women for His glory. There is no doubt that God used women in all sorts of ways to advance the church – just not a teachers of men or preachers.

The video is 21 minutes long. John Henry at The Gospel of Christ Youtube Channel did a great job of editing, showing the truth is undeniably clear. Every women striding a stage with a Bible in her hand preaching in church or teaching at a conference to men, every women ‘feeling like’ she has a call from God to teach while her husband sits passively by, every women who insists to be ordained and assumes a position not meant for her, is a rebel. Every. Single. One.

We know they are false teachers because they have been told they are rebelling against God’s word. Joyce Meyer has been told. Beth Moore has been told. I know others have been told. They ignore the scriptures they claim to love. Their continued rebellion in the face of correction is a clear signal these women are desirous of personal glory, filling a lust, or otherwise casting aside the Savior in order to errantly continue in their pursuit of sin.

Please take a few minutes to listen.

I have prayed for Beth Moore to repent. I have prayed for many of these rebels. I pray the Lord gives them grace before they die. I have also prayed over women who have contacted me, confused, upset, unsure, thanks to ‘Bible Studies” like Moore’s and others that distort the scriptures, or present a lifestyle unsuitable for their demographic.

I have prayed to Jesus to stop them.

For there are many rebellious people, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of dishonest gain. (Titus 1:10-11).

A women preacher is a woman upsetting whole families. They are empty talkers and deceivers, teaching what they ought not. They confuse the unwary. They draw people away so as to diminish their effectiveness for the kingdom. We cannot ignore these evil people, we must stand opposed to them. We mark them, avoid them, snatch the doubters from the fire, and urge discernment.

PS- Beth Moore is preaching again this Sunday, at Transformation Church.
PPS: Her speaking fees range from $20,000 – $30,000 per.

Posted in theology

God’s amazing love

By Elizabeth Prata

There is no point at which God began. Before God ever made a world, He already existed. And the Scriptures make clear that as He existed from all eternity, there was already in His nature from all eternity the attribute of love. God didn’t become loving at the time of creation, for He has always been a God of love.” ~RC Sproul, The Eternal Love of God

I think of the moving story in the Bible about the Prodigal Son. His arrogance in asking for his inheritance before the Father had died, demonstrating where his heart was…leaving to pursue sin with glee and abandon. His realization that he was in fact worse off than the pigs without the Father, his coming back, resolved to be a lowly servant…the Father running toward His son, who He loves!

It’s me. I wandered in the muck of sin for 4 decades before in His timing, the Father plucked me up. He loved me through all that time, my sin and rebellion he loved me through the ages before I was born. He loved me in infinity before the foundation of the world.

His love is tremendous, expansive, unplumbable to the ends.

Would you love a pig of a person who spit on you and hated your guts? Would you wash him, invite him to your home, a mansion, feed you and take care of your every need? Of course we would not. We don’t. But God does. BUT GOD.

The Nature of God’s Love by AW Pink

It is eternal. This [is] of necessity. God Himself is eternal, and God is love; therefore, as God Himself had no beginning, His love had none. Granted that such a concept far transcends the grasp of our finite minds, nevertheless, where we cannot comprehend, we can bow in adoring worship. How clear is the testimony of Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

How blessed to know that the great and holy God loved His people before heaven and earth were called into existence, that He had set His heart upon them from all eternity. This is clear proof that His love is spontaneous, for He loved them endless ages before they had any being.

The same precious truth is set forth in Ephesians 1:4-5, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us.” What praise should this evoke from each of His children! How quieting for the heart. Since God’s love toward me had no beginning, it can have no ending! Since it is true that “from everlasting to everlasting” He is God, and since God is love, then it is equally true that “from everlasting to everlasting” He loves His people.

LOVE ETERNAL AND UNCHANGEABLE

By Thomas Reade (1776-1841)
GOD is love (1Jo 4:8)! Sweet truth! O my soul, rejoice daily in this blessed revelation, “God is love.” Before all worlds, before any being was formed, “God is love”—love eternal and unchangeable. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is love. How inconceivably great is the love of God! All worlds rolling in the infinite expanse, all beings inhabiting those innumerable spheres, which extend far beyond the boundaries of the most excursive imagination, all the myriads of angelic spirits which dwell forever in the bright effulgence of uncreated light, are only the overflowings of that love, which is inexhaustible. The immense fountain loses not one drop, though countless millions are filled by its streams. It is ever flowing, ever full. “Lord, Thou art love. Oh, fill my soul with Thy love! Thou canst not be diminished, and I shall be made everlastingly blessed.”

By this the love of God was revealed in us, that God has sent His only Son into the world so that we may live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:9-11).

That is just one of many verses in the Bible about the deep and eternal love God has for His people. No matter where you are or what us happening to you, know that if you are a believer, you are loved by God, deeply, thoroughly, eternally.

and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand (John 10:28).

EPrata photo

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Kay Cude Poetry: The Light of Our Salvation

Artist’s statement:

For me, the lone tree speaks of God’s wonderful handiwork, not only representing His gift of nature, but brings to mind that His redeemed are not alone, but safely tucked within His Might eternally. And as the brilliance of the sun pierces boldly through the dark-ending of the storm, one thought leads me to another — remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection. Then speaks to His beloved redeemed: the “things” of this world are now more clearly seen through the light of His Salvation! We must daily pause to remember…

REMEMBRANCE
Posted in theology

Prata Potpourri: Resources on Being Ordinary

By Elizabeth Prata

Believers are ordinary. We serve an extraordinary God.

He might use us in extraordinary ways, but we’re all flawed, sinful, ordinary people. He used ordinary grandmother Lois to raise up young Timothy. He took impulsive sons of thunder James and John and made them evangelizing Apostles. He used fishermen, (Peter, Andrew) sellers of purple (Lydia), teenagers (Timothy, Jeremiah, Mary, David), murderers (Paul). He used ordinary people going about whatever they were doing at the time and transformed them into vessels of activity for His glory.

Ordinary life: painting. EPrata photo

Yet there are some who believe that we must be extraordinary in order to make an impact for the kingdom. The movement of a few years ago when the books Radical, Crazy Love, Wild at Heart came out made many people think that they were ineffective unless they made a big and splashy move for the faith. This is not true. Mary and Martha were simply hospitable. Dorcas sewed. Susannah donated. Acts 4:13 says Peter and John were uneducated and untrained.

If you, dear reader or listener, feel marginalized, helpless to DO for God, ordinary, then rejoice. Our persevering faith in ordinary lives is just as valuable to God as a martyr uttering eternally known last words. Just as important as the luminary you read about in the Bible. Just as impactful as the hero in the Bible.

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42).

Ordinary life: sweeping

What the Spirit inspired Luke to write was not just the extraordinary means of glory we see occasionally in Acts, such as miracles or healings, but the ordinary means of bringing God glory by a consistently faithful church. They devoted themselves to teaching and gathering and prayer. The extraordinary events died away as the miracles ceased, but the faithful never stopped gathering, learning, and praying.

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, (Acts 2:46).

Ordinary life: selling. EPrata photo

Note that. ‘Day by day’. The ordinary Christian life is one of persevering in spiritual disciplines day by day, accruing spiritual interest in the bank of heaven. I’m sure your parents taught you that putting 5 dollars a week into savings eventually yields dividends. They did not teach you that putting gluts of startling amounts into your bank account in spurts yields dividends. The way to save is to be consistent over time. It’s the same with the spiritual life. Add to your account day by day.

I’m looking forward to meeting these heroes in heaven but I’m just as eager, if not more, to meet the unknowns who brought God glory with their words or their lives.

Here are a few resources to help quell any anxiety anyone might have that their life doesn’t count, just because they are not running barefoot to Bali getting shot with arrows from cannibals or leading big conferences in arenas filled with thousands of adoring fans.

Here is Michael Horton, who wrote a book called Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World. His book blurb reads as follows:

Radical. Crazy. Transformative and restless. Every word we read these days seems to suggest there’s a “next-best-thing,” if only we would change our comfortable, compromising lives. In fact, the greatest fear most Christians have is boredom—the sense that they are missing out on the radical life Jesus promised. One thing is certain. No one wants to be “ordinary.” Far from a call to low expectations and passivity, Horton invites readers to recover their sense of joy in the ordinary.

Ordinary life: cooking. EPrata photo

If you don’t want to read the entire book, here is Michael Horton with an article on the subject of Ordinary at Ligonier: The Ordinary Christian Life

John MacArthur with a sermon called “The Ordinary Church“. Excerpt: “It was Finney who decided that religion, to be valid, had to have some kind of high impact, high energy emotional element.  It was about methods, feelings, experiences, sentimentalism, and it all trumped sound doctrine and theology.  Gradual growth, by the normal ordinary means of grace, prayer, the study of the Word, fellowship was exchanged for a radical experience, the anxious bench, and there was introduced into the evangelical world a restlessness of those looking for something extreme.

Other material that pushes back against the big, splashy, ‘change the world’ mantra are:

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson. D. A. Carson’s father was a pioneering church-planter and pastor in Quebec. But still, an ordinary pastor

Essay An Unremarkable Faith – “Meet Larry, a thirty-six year old Science teacher. Larry married Cathy 12 years ago. They love each other and enjoy raising their two sons. Larry’s life wouldn’t hold out much interest to the average citizen. His Facebook account doesn’t draw many friends and nobody ever leaves a comment on his blog. In fact, most people would summarize Larry’s life with one word—boring. But not Larry.

Ordinary Christian Work, essay by Tim Challies. “The questions every Christian faces at one time or another are these: Are Christian plumbers, cooks, doctors, and businessmen lesser Christians because they are not in “full-time” ministry? And what of Christian mothers and homemakers? Can they honor God even through very ordinary lives? Can we honor God through ordinary lives without tacitly promoting a dangerous kind of spiritual complacency?

Posted in discernment, false teacher, jesus, prophecy, rick warren

SBC pastor Rick Warren was always false: Exhibit A, co-preaching with archbishop at Catholic convention in 2015

By Elizabeth Prata

Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren made headlines again this past summer 2022 when he opined at the Southern Baptist Convention about how wonderful he is, listing alleged spiritual and ecclesiastical accomplishments for which he took credit, not giving glory to the Lord at all.

In May 2021, he made headlines again, when he, at his church, ordained three women pastors.

I dug this one out of the 2015 archives, when Warren co-preached at a Catholic Conference. The Bible says not to be unequally yoked with false religionists in spiritual pursuits.

We should also not forget that in 2008 Warren prayed the prayer at the US Presidential Inauguration, praying in the name of the Muslims’ false god ‘Isa’, and had been partnering with Muslims in spiritual pursuits, even claiming they worship the same god as our God. Warren has been false for a long time.

Continue reading “SBC pastor Rick Warren was always false: Exhibit A, co-preaching with archbishop at Catholic convention in 2015”
Posted in theology

The Churches of Revelation

By Elizabeth Prata

In the first century, there were 7 churches Jesus caused John to write messages for. These were actual churches with actual congregations, doing and saying actual things. Jesus told apostle John, exiled at Patmos, what to write to these congregations. Jesus spoke commendations, criticisms, and instructions. Not all 7 churches were commended. Not all 7 churches were criticized. All had an instruction, though.

The church at Smyrna and the church at Philadelphia were not criticized. The church at Laodicea was not commended. The rest had both.

The churches were: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.

Can you imagine being assembled on Sunday, hearing a knock on the church door, a messenger arriving and handing a scroll to your pastor, and the pastor reads a letter from the head of the Church, Jesus Christ Himself? Jesus is very much alive and in charge of His global body of worshipers, AKA His bride. He was directly involved then, and He is directly involved now.

Each of the seven churches was not only an actual church but is also a type of church dealing with a problem mentioned in the letters. The problem is not unique to that church for that time. There are always the same kind of systemic problems many churches deal with and have been recurring throughout the centuries. Always, there is a church somewhere that is busy but not alive. Always, somewhere, is a church that is indifferent and lukewarm. On this earth, there is a collection of churches gracefully enduring suffering, or being persecuted. And so on.

Today, consider these churches, their problems, and meditate on whether you are one of the congregants causing the same problem they were criticized for. Look at the commendations and consider what you might do to contribute to a recommendation, if Jesus were to write your church a letter.

Please read Revelation 1-3, it is not hard. Those chapters offer the reader plain language and it’s not heavily symbolic. And, remember, it’s the only book of the Bible that promises twice you will be blessed for reading it.

EPrata photo

Posted in encouragement, mighty waters, prophecy, the end time

The voice of mighty rushing waters

By Elizabeth Prata

And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. (Ezekiel 43:2)

His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. (Revelation 1:15)

And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. (Revelation 14:2)

When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings. (Ezekiel 1:24)

EPrata photo

When you’re canoeing or kayaking on a silent river, the only sounds you can hear are birds, whisper of wind in the trees, and the drip of water rolling off the paddle as it comes out of the water.

The sound of rapids can be heard a distance off. The tumult of rushing water is distinctive and signals a major change in the status of the river. Once calm and nearly still, the closer you approach to the rapidly rushing water, the louder it is, and the faster it goes. When you’re right on top of the rapids, that’s all you can hear. One must shout to be heard.

When the prophets were given a glimpse of the throne room and heard the sound like of “many waters”, I don’t pretend to understand what that means or how it sounded in real life to their ears. It’s hard to describe something so supernaturally incomprehensible as the voice of God translated to mere human words. One can only imagine what the sound of His voice is like at full, glorified throttle.

I do know two things though. The sound of Niagara Falls is about 95 decibels, roughly equal to a rock concert. That’s loud.

Second, the voice of Jesus when He returns is a voice that will drown out all other voices. The Mighty Rushing Waters will drown out all voices that deny Him. The Many Waters will drown out all voices that blaspheme Him. The roar of the Rushing Waters will drown out all voices that proclaim a different god.

Albert Bierstad (1830–1902) oil painting, Niagara Falls

In Revelation 6:15-17 it says

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

On His Day, when He speaks with a voice like Many Waters, who can hear another voice? NO ONE. The voice of Jesus in power and strength will be the first, the last, and the only voice of holiness and glory, proclaiming His father the Almighty God! All those that dwell on the earth, the great and the small, the mighty and the lowly, will hear His voice, and who can hear another?

Each day that passes is a day we are in that kayak paddling downstream to the rapids, or on that boat Maid of the Mist approaching Niagara, getting closer to the day when the mighty rushing voice of God will be heard throughout the land. And what a day that will be.

Posted in clarity, humble, perspicuity, scripture, The Hermeneutics of Humility

What good is unknowable truth? Be certain!

By Elizabeth Prata

Some sayings sound legitimate on their surface. They sound pious. They sound biblical. Like this one: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Only problem is, that one isn’t in the Bible. At all.

Yesterday I wrote about the verse in Colossians 2:18,

Take care that no one keeps defrauding you of your prize by delighting in humility and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,

I’d noted that the false professors, i.e. false believers were standing on three things that were designed to draw people away from the faith, or at least dilute their effectiveness for a while: delighting in humility, worshiping angels, and visions/experiences.

The humility part sounds good, doesn’t it? But if you really think about the phrasing here, ‘delighting in humility,’ you begin to realize that delighting in your own humility is not humble at all! In fact, that s pride not humility, and we know what God says about the proud. They fall.

Part of humility is claiming to be uncertain. In other words, they said then and are still saying today that if you’re certain about an interpretation, or certain that Jesus is coming back, or certain about anything, you’re not humble. This is called the Hermeneutic of Humility. It was a problem then, as seen in Colossians 2:18, and it’s a problem today. Just think of all the people who say we need to approach the Bible with ‘nuance’ and ‘we can’t be sure’. (“I’m too humble to claim anything for certain!” they claim)

Mike Ratliffe said, “Hermeneutic of Humility” is a way of looking at our faith and interpreting the very Word of God through a filter that sees certainty as a product of pride and uncertainty as a virtue. … These people contend that to be certain divides people while uncertainty creates an environment of unity.

However the mantra that doctrine divides is a misconception. True doctrine does divide, and that is a good thing, because that is what it is supposed to do. But first let’s define hermeneutics.

CARM defines Hermeneutics as “The science of interpretation. Theologically, and biblically, speaking it is the means by which a person examines the Bible to determine what it means.”

The hermeneutics of humility says that anyone saying for sure what the Bible means is being proud and displaying arrogance. Ultimately, it is a subtle denial of the truth.

There’s a new hermeneutics, a new science of interpretation called the Hermeneutics of Humility, and this is serious to the people who espoused this and their Hermeneutics of Humility say, “I’m too humble to think that I could ever know what the Bible really means and so I can only offer my opinion and I certainly can’t say that this is in fact the truth.” (source)

Now, while it is good to be humble (that’s why this saying is a subtle trick), let’s look at the difference between personal humility and interpretive humility. In personal humility, Romans 12:3 says,

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

In other words do not exalt yourself, but think soberly and judge rightly.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Do we suppose that sober judgment and rightly handling the truth means that we can never know what it means? As Paul would say, “What a ghastly thought!” Denying that the Bible can be clear is denying the work of the Holy Spirit, who makes it clear. (John 14:25-26).

Yet the issue is a delicate one. Professor of religion and philosophy Winfried Corduan said, [link is to a .pdf]

…the Bible is the inspired Word of God. And Jesus has promised the Holy Spirit to lead us into truth (John 14:26; 16:13). The Christian interpreter ought never to proceed without relying in both mind and spirit on God’s gracious gift of illumination. Nonetheless, the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer (undeniable though it is) does not provide a short cut through the hermeneutical process. The obvious counter-example to any such presumption is found in the fact that Christians who are equally committed to the discovery of truth disagree with each other. But the Holy Spirit does not teach different truths to such believers. Apparently it is possible to (at least claim to) rely on the Holy Spirit alone and not arrive at truth. Consequently it is best to say something along the line that the Holy Spirit’s work of disclosure is not entirely divorced from the human task of interpretation.”

It is why we strike a balance between personal humility and interpretive humility in the learning process, and boldness and confidence in proclaiming what we have learned.

If you think about it, if you’re too humble to say anything about the Bible’s contents for certain, then, what is there to proclaim? Proclaiming biblical truths would be seen as prideful, so we must remain silent…and therefore never tell anyone the Good News? Would such a conversation go like this: ‘Um, I think I have the answer to the problem you are having, it may be sin, but maybe not, and repenting of sin is the solution, but I can’t say for sure that repentance actually is, it might be a work, which would be bad but it might not be a work, but I can’t say for sure if repentance is required,…” and so on?
The doctrine of the clarity (or perspicuity) of Scripture (that the central message of the Bible is clear and understandable, and that the Bible itself can be properly interpreted in a normal, literal sense) has been a cornerstone of evangelical belief ever since the Reformation. ~John MacArthur
The reason why these sayings resonate is because they sound almost right. There is a grain of truth to the fact that we need to demonstrate humility when we approach the scriptures. It is an interpretive humility we need to possess. But once we come to a settled conviction, then, we’re sure that we know, because the Spirit will confirm in to our soul and our mind will be transformed. How is the Spirit supposed to transform the mind if the mind never settles on anything for sure.

It sounds exhausting.

In Kevin J. Vanhoozen’s book,”Is there a meaning in this text?” he writes,

God is a speaking God. The Father is the one who, in the words of the creeds, est locutus per prophetas. [spoken through the prophets]. Most of what God does, creating, commanding, warning, communicating, promising, forgiving, informing, comforting, etc., is accomplished by speech acts. Moreover, God’s speech agency is the epitome of clarity and efficacy.”

Pride rears its head in people exhibiting a lack of interpretive humility when we believe we have got the meaning right before we have made the appropriate effort to recover it, as Vanhoozen explains. In other words rightly divide and make a sober judgment and with the aid of the Holy Spirit we will know what God is saying to us as far as our assigned faith will take it. Clearly and definitively. Because what good is unknowable truth?

Ultimately as Vanhoozen says, “Humility must be balanced by conviction. The uncommitted interpretation is not worth hearing.

What a person adhering to a hermeneutic of humility is really saying is that:

–I am too lazy to put in the effort to really understand God’s written word,
–If we can’t know for sure what the Bible means, then I don’t have to follow its commands,
–Look at me, I’m so humble I won’t even try to figure out what God is saying,
–God spoke but not clearly enough to understand it. [He is a God of confusion].

Ask the Spirit to aid you in remaining personally humble, and seek His aid in being interpretively humble. Then, when the Spirit illuminates a truth to you, proclaim it boldly and certainly! The Bible never says that bold faith is arrogance. Peter and Paul were definitely certain of what they taught!

–In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. (Ephesians 3:12)

–Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. (Acts 28:31)

Scripture itself at tests its own perspicuity, but not to the point that it can not be misunderstood or is in every point equally simple and clear. The doctrine does not rule out the need for interpretation, explanation, and exposition of the Bible by qualified leaders. The doctrine does mean that Scripture is clear enough for the simplest person, deep enough for highly qualified readers, clear in its essential matters, obscure in some places to people because of their sinfulness, understandable through ordinary means… Professor Larry Pettigrew, The Master’s Seminary

Put on your armor and wield some truth!

Sir Gawaine the Son of Lot, King of Orkney,
by Howard Pyle (1903)

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Further reading

Definition: The Clarity of Scripture

Ordinary Essay: The Clarity of Scripture

Seminary level paper: The Perspicuity Of Scripture (.pdf)