Posted in holy living, homosexuality, jesus, prophecy

‘Outrage and Panic’ Are Off-Limits, Say Evangelical Leaders on Same-Sex Marriage

Last words on the national perversity of the SCOTUS decision, I promise. I have other things in the hopper for the next few days I want to write about. One can only opine so much, lol.

Yesterday I avoided all photos and news and social media regarding the terrible Supreme Court decision to allow legalized sodomite marriage in the US. However this morning I was listening to Reformation Network (Refnet.fm, a must listen-to radio station online! By Ligonier). I heard a great sermon and was eager for the next sermon, but in between was Al Mohler’s The Briefing. I rolled my eyes but I stayed with the channel. I’m so glad I did.

Dr Albert Mohler, Jr. is an “American theologian and the ninth president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky” according to Wikipedia. He also has a radio broadcast called “The Briefing,” a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview. He has an exceptional knack for distilling a wide range of news and drilling it down to what it means for Christians.

I listened to his analysis of the SCOTUS decision and it is superlative. I learned, sadly, that the news from the Court is even worse than we thought. The three streams of thought I gleaned from Dr Mohler’s article “Everything has changed and nothing has changed” analyzing the SCOTUS decision:

1. It’s worse for Christians. “Justice Clarence Thomas warned in his dissent of “ruinous consequences for religious liberty.” … Justice Samuel Alito stated bluntly that the decision “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”

2. It’s worse for marriage. “The Kennedy opinion opens wide a door that basically invites looming demands for the legalization of polygamy and polyamory. As Chief Justice Roberts observed: “It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.”

3. It’s worse for the Republic. “The Supreme Court’s over-reach in this case is more astounding as the decision is reviewed in full, and as the dissenting justices voiced their own urgent concerns. The Chief Justice accused the majority of “judicial policymaking” that endangers our democratic form of government.”

Listen to Special Edition of The Briefing or read the above article (it’s not the transcript) for context as to why each of those three will soon no longer be recognizable.

I know, no one wants to hear that the decision is much worse than we thought, because it’s already pretty bad. We want good news, we want to stay above the fray. I personally believe that this was a significant advance for satan, however. God lengthened the leash satan is on and it extended almost to the limit, perhaps. We are not to be unaware of his schemes, and we MUST be prepared. It is a spiritual battle after all, and though we don’t have to absorb every crumb of satan’s doings nor read every piece of news, this one above all is important to understand. The Briefing does that. Listen to it.

That said, I’m going to reverse myself. The culture at Sodom was worse than it is in America. The culture at Corinth was worse than it is currently in America.

I truly believe that in listening to The Briefing Special Edition, however, and/or reading the transcript (when it’s up) or the linked article, that we are WELL on our way to becoming Sodom or Corinth.

James R. White posted on Facebook this morning

God: We do not want You, Your ways, or Your law. We are our own creators, we are autonomous. We hate your good gifts—the gift of marriage, the gift of gender. We no longer want the joy of motherhood, fatherhood. We will make women husbands, men wives. We will twist and pervert everything that gives us life and light. Go away. Leave us alone.

God’s answer: as you wish.

He also posted this collage of iconic buildings or places in the US that celebrated and applauded (Romans 1:32) the nationalization of sodomy by splashing rainbow colored lights on them:

Really brings it home when you see rainbow-gay splashed coast to coast…Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

However there is no need to panic.

‘Outrage and Panic’ Are Off-Limits, Say Evangelical Leaders on Same-Sex Marriage

For most evangelical leaders, today’s discussion of the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage revolves around how best to express their dissent amid the legal uncertainties for churches and pastors.

“Outrage and panic are not the responses of those confident in the promises of a reigning Christ Jesus,” read a joint statement organized by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and signed by more than 100 evangelical leaders, including David Platt, J. I. Packer, Richard Mouw, Jim Daly, Al Mohler, and Ron Sider.

“While we believe the Supreme Court has erred in its ruling, we pledge to stand steadfastly, faithfully witnessing to the biblical teaching that marriage is the chief cornerstone of society, designed to unite men, women, and children,” the group stated. [Full text]

Someone asked me about what to do in these last days to warn people about the era seemingly coming to a close. How do we warn? What should be our next steps? I responded this way:

I firmly believe that as the world darkens, the Light of Christ will shine brighter. To that end, I also firmly believe our responsibilities are still the same as they always have been since Pentecost, but to be pursued diligently and fervently knowing that we are that much closer to the rapture than Simon Peter was.

1. To remain prayerful. Connection with Jesus through prayer is our energy and power. It’s also commanded.

2. To remain in the word. Reading of and meditation on the word of God is how we keep our sword sharp. The word of God is the ONLY way to break the hardness of a Gentile’s heart and mind. It pierces. We plant the word and the Spirit grows it. But we can’t plant it if we don’t know it, and if we don’t know it we are exposed in this pitched battle that is life on earth. It pierces them, and protects us. And the battle is terrible these days, don’t leave your bible alone for even a day!

3. To find a local congregation, become a member, and to consistently worship there. Make sure to do our parts to use the Spiritual Gifts for the edification of the body. Every platoon at Boot Camp has soldiers who rely on each other, you would not want to para-jump from a plane where you know the person packing your parachute had skipped the class that day. So we go to church without skipping, involve ourselves in fellow believers’ lives, and we use the gifts the Spirit gave us for their edification and they for ours.

4. Speak frequently of prophecy. Not Illuminati/conspiracy/newspaper exegesis. But credible biblical prophecy. Many churches don’t want to or aren’t familiar with prophecy. I speak of the rapture often, and matter-of-factly. I also speak of the wrath a lot. Just because other people DON’T. I study the prophecies in Revelation and talk about them. I bring it up in conversation. The end matters!! If the creation in Genesis 1 is important to the faith and making one wise for understanding, so is Revelation’s UNcreation. As a matter of fact it is the only book of the bible that promises a blessing for reading it. So I try to be an example in fervency to diligently study all of God’s word (so when I exhort biblical truths people will listen because they know I’ve studied and I’m serious about living a holy life). Bring prophecy back into the mainstream, but not sensationally, not by date-setting, but by including it as a normal part of the bible student’s readings and interest. It’s been ignored too long.

5. Live a holy life and not one of hypocrisy. This is all-important, the more we are moral in Christ (not of our own strength) the more we will stand out in the world.

6. Be joyful! If we are just as worried about the way things are going as the pagans are, then we are no different! We have the joy of knowing the future, the peace in being reconciled to God, and the wonder of knowing Him through His word. Show it. That will speak loudly!

7. Witness with urgency, not just because of the last days, but because the person you’re speaking to may die in the next hour. Death (or rapture) comes suddenly and usually unexpectedly. Therefore don’t be afraid to say things like sin-wrath-judgment. God isn’t ashamed of His wrath, we should not be either. Removing all talk of wrath and sin and judgment takes the News out of the Good News. Witnessing is not “God loves you and has a great plan for you life.” If God already loves them then why change, and many people already like the plan they have for their life, again, no impetus to change. But every person has a conscience, understands morality and sin, and secretly wonders about heaven.

So how we act in these last days in the face of looming fulfilled prophecy is not sexy nor mystical. It is really no different than a person would have in 1843 or 1721 or 1698 or 1400 or 65AD.

As for prophecy, I’m not writing books about last days signs and I’m not doing numerology to count secret codes and I’m not receiving new revelation prophecies from some kind of trumped up not-Jesus and I’m not on nationwide speaking tours or doing anything that’s any different than the usual Christian’s slog through the bible via hard work and application. Living to His glory is hard but we persevere in joy, and simply growing in holiness is the toughest of all in these days but if and when we do do, it is a beacon to the lost!

So in order to keep our light bright, we continue to look at Jesus. It’s very simple and it’s never changing.

Posted in bible, holy living, quiet

To Live Quietly…

My other blog is called The Quiet Life. It refers literally to the fact that I do not like noise. I like to live where there will not be loud noises, sustained interrupting noises, or any other wise unpleasant noises. I do not like them.

More philosophically the blog title refers to this verse from 1 Thessalonians 4:11 which is an important verse to me,

and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,

I like the word ‘aspire’ and then the surprise of what comes next- ‘live quietly’. Usually aspirations include lofty things like winning the Pulitzer or becoming President of the US. Or at least, getting that raise or becoming a homeowner. One does not aspire to be quiet. Not unless you’re a Christian and you’re used to the Bible illustrating an upside down lifestyle. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Meek shall inherit the earth. Do not expect to be served but to serve. Now we see that a holy aspiration is to live quietly. Why?

Excerpt:

First, his readers should lead a restful life. The word translated quiet (hēsychazein) means quiet in the sense of restfulness (cf. Acts 22:2; 2 Thes. 3:12; 1 Tim. 2:2, 11), rather than quiet as opposed to talkativeness (sigaō; cf. Acts 21:40; 1 Cor. 14:34). The former means “undisturbed, settled, not noisy,” while the latter means “silent.” Paul was telling the Thessalonians to be less frantic, not less exuberant. A person who is constantly on the move is frequently a bother to other people as well as somewhat distracted from his own walk with God. The latter can lead to the former. But a Christian who strives to be at peace with himself and God will be a source of peace to his brethren. Such quietude constitutes a practical demonstration of love for others.

Second, Paul recommended minding one’s own business. The connection with love for the brethren is obvious (cf. Prov. 25:17).

Third, working with one’s own hands demonstrates love for the brethren because a self-supporting person is not a burden to others. Paul himself set the example by working with his hands when he was in Thessalonica (1 Thes. 2:9). Too restful a life can be a problem also, and Paul guarded against that with this instruction. This verse dignifies manual labor. The reference also suggests that many, perhaps most, in the church came out of the working class. The Greeks deplored manual labor and relegated it to slaves as much as possible. But the Jews held it in esteem; every Jewish boy was taught a trade regardless of his family’s wealth. Work itself is a blessing, and working with one’s hands should never be despised by Christians. A man who is willing to work with his hands demonstrates his love for his brethren by being willing to humble himself to provide for his own needs so that he does not depend on others but provides for himself.

Constable, T. L. (1985). 1 Thessalonians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 703). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Posted in discernment, holy living, kings, opposing false doctrine

Failure to actively oppose false doctrine/false teachers is a sin

In reading 1 and 2 Kings, patterns emerge. In a recent blog essay I’d mentioned that reading the books of the Kings is like watching the tide go in and out. The king was good, the borders enlarged. The king was bad, the borders came in. In and out. Repeat.

Another pattern is seen in the LORD’s declaration of where on the spectrum the king’s goodness or badness was. Sometimes the King was declared by God as outright evil. Very bad. Sometimes not so bad. Sometimes good. Here is an example. In 2 Kings 3:2a this is what is declared of Jehoram the son of Ahab who became king over Israel in Samaria:

“He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, though not like his father and mother,”

Why wasn’t he as bad as Ahab and Jezebel? After all, “he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made.” (2 Kings 3:2b). But Jehoram also clung to the sin of Jereboam which had made Israel sin, and this angered the LORD.

The lesson is twofold. Leaders set the example and when they are below reproach, the followers follow suit, also falling below reproach. In addition, you can’t repudiate some sins, you must repudiate ALL sins. There is no picking and choosing.

Now, how about Jehu?

Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel. But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin—that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan. And the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin.” (2 Kings 10:28-31)

Did you catch that? “All His heart”. King David was a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22). This is a high honor bestowed on a man. Why was David given such an honor in the bible? He loved and feared the Lord. He had absolute faith in God. You might wonder, David was a great sinner, how could he be deemed a man after God’s own heart? He sinned, but he repented, fully. His heart was always pointed toward God.

David loved God’s law. (Psalm 119:47-48) He delighted in it! Yet you note that despite Jehu doing what was in the LORD’S heart, he “was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD.”

David was grateful for God. God was not a means to a kingly end for David, God was the end. (Psalm 26:6-7; Psalm 100:4).

In another case of the LORD deeming a king pretty good, we see Amaziah. “And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not like David his father.” (2 Kings 14:3). Amaziah did not remove the high places and the people still sacrificed to other gods there. (2 Kings 14:4). However he did follow through on a point of God’s law whereupon ‘he struck down his servants who had struck down the king his father’ but correctly did not kill the children of those, as the Law states. (2 Kings 14:5-6).

As you read through the Kings the recurring theme is worship of other gods on the high places. The First Commandment is to have no other gods before Him. That the King worshiped God wasn’t good enough, he must set the example by destroying the altars of other gods. Leaving them in place is an implicit agreement with them.

This theme is seen in most of the NT books whereupon the Apostles or authors of almost every book decries false teaching. Following false teaching is following another god. Failure to repudiate false teaching is also a sin. See Revelation 2:20,

But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

The church at Thyatira knew this woman, a Jezebel-type, was teaching falsely, and they tolerated it. They themselves weren’t following her, which was good, but they did not strike her down from her high place, as it were. The Lord commended them for not following actively (Rev 2:24) but was still against them that they didn’t dig out the cancer of her false teaching and protect the daughters of hell she was making. (Revelation 2:23).

Discernment is active on all fronts. It means relying on the Spirit to open our eyes to false teaching, and actively asking Him to do this. It means practicing discernment by reading the word and testing what teachers teach against it (Acts 17:11). It also means when you see brethren falling under the beguiling sway of false teachers, to do something about it. Don’t tolerate it. If you do, thee Lord has that against you. Do what it right in the sight of the Lord!

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17)

Posted in holy living, spurgeon

The first of 11 reasons pastors aren’t trusted today

Paul is giving Titus some advice as to how older men and older women should live.

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 2:5).

Then Paul gives advice for how younger men should live and also pastors:

and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” (Titus 2:8)

Living Water by AmBr0

Paul speaks about how even slaves are supposed to live. Even though they are not free in life, they are free to make Godly choices.

not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.” (Titus 2:10).

Do you notice how in verse 5 and 8 and 10 Paul attaches to the verse the reason why we should live holy lives?

Paul says the same thing to Timothy in these verses:

So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.” (1 Timothy 5:14)

All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.” (1 Timothy 6:1)

So that the teaching of Jesus may not be slandered! Satan is always looking for an opportunity to accuse us
of being hypocrites. So are the lost. it is so important that since we have been given the Light, not to share the dark. Yet more and more often, Christians hide their light under a bushel basket and allow the way of Christ to be slandered. This is from Thom Ranier:

Eleven Reasons Pastors Are Trusted Less Today
The moral failures of a minority of pastors receive widespread coverage. The media loves the sensational stories behind clergy failure. For sure, some stories such as sex abuse should be brought to the public eye. But many people now believe the bad behavior of a few is normative for all pastors.

Wikipedia creative commons photo, Dunn County Farm

Kerby Anderson wrote in his essay “The Decline of a Nation

The refrains that are often heard are: “It can’t happen here,” or “Our country is different.” But the reality is that nations are born and die just like individuals. Their longevity may exceed the average person’s lifespan. But the reality is that nations also die.

History has shown that the average age of the great civilizations is around two hundred years. Countries like Great Britain exceed the average while other countries like the United States are just now reaching the average age.

Each of the great civilizations in the world passed through a series of stages from their birth to their decline to their death. Historians have listed these in ten stages.

The first stage moves from bondage to spiritual faith. The second from spiritual faith to great courage. The third stage moves from great courage to liberty. The fourth stage moves from liberty to abundance. The fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness. The sixth stage moves from selfishness to complacency. The seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy. The eighth stage moves from apathy to moral decay. The ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence. And the tenth and last stage moves from dependence to bondage.

These are the ten stages through which the great civilizations have gone. Notice the progression from

The Civilization Express Station by theflickerees, cc photo

bondage to liberty back to bondage. The first generation throws off the shackles of bondage only to have a later generation through apathy and indifference allow itself to once again be enslaved.

I believe the US, and perhaps even the entire world, are at the end of stage nine and readying for the final stage before the antichrist comes to power, by taking advantage of humankind’s dependance and moving them into the prophesied bondage.

But back to Paul’s admonitions. Paul ended his letter to Titus 2:15 this way-

“Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”

Paul is serious about holy living. On the Day when we all stand before Jesus, think of whether you want Him to congratulate you when your works are not burned up, that you lived for Him with good motivations. Or will you (or I) be embarrassed that our sins were exposed to the world and the word of God was reviled? Why give satan ammunition? He’ll only use it against us. (Zechariah 3:1, Revelation 12:10).

Spurgeon said of holy living:

There are legitimate reasons why the world, the church, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself, may expect more from Christians than from the rest of mankind. And, the first is, because they profess more. Professions should always be supported by facts, or else they are deceits, impostures, and hypocrisies. A Christian professes himself to be a renewed man; he has learned the evil of sin, repented of it, and fled from it to Christ Jesus; he professes to have been pardoned, and to have received a new heart and a right spirit; he professes, also, to be a child of God, and an heir of heaven. Other men do not profess this. … Now, Christian, if you profess this, your life must prove it, or else, if your life gives the lie to your religious pretensions, you stand convicted of a flagrant falsehood, a fraud on men and a felony against God.

But, secondly, we may well expect more from Christians than others, because it is a fact in the case of those who are truly Christians that they are more than others. It is not mere talk, it is a fact that the believer in Christ is born again. He is not only as other men are, made by God, but he has been twice made, new born, new created in Christ Jesus. It is no fiction but a matter of truthful experience; we have passed from death unto life. We have received the Spirit of God into our souls, which has implanted in us a new nature higher than the nature of other men.”

Again, it is certain that true Christians can do more than others. “Can,” saith one, “why, they can do nothing.” True, but through Christ that strengtheneth them they can do all things; and Christ does strengthen his people.”

Be strengthened, live holy, that the way of Christ not be reviled!

Posted in discernment, false teachers, holy living

How do you confront a brother or sister who follows a false teacher?

This blog is about prophecy, discernment and encouragement. In the discernment department, I write a lot about false teachers and show from the bible how and why the particular ones mentioned are false. I do the same with false doctrines.

However it is harder to know how to approach a person in your church who is under the sway of some of these teachings. You know that so-and-so is false. They don’t. There is no question that the issue shouldn’t be raised, because after all, the gifts are to be used for the building up of the saints to the ultimate glory of His name. Jesus wants a pure church. The Spirit works hard to ensure it, so that we can point to Jesus in holiness. But HOW do you approach someone you see involved in a Beth Moore study, or going to a Bethel Redding or IHOP conference, or using a curriculum by Henry Blackaby?

It reminds us that faith cannot be removed or detached from the realm of real life.
~John MacArthur
It’s one thing to know about false teachers in the academic sense, but quite another to put the information to edifying use inside a church teaching situation. Both theological knowledge and deeds are important in a Christian. I’ve had the opportunity to approach some various church leaders and some brethren in various churches regarding different false teachings or teachers. With that in mind here is what I did when approaching a person about a false teacher.

Please understand that this is not a template or a method to be mindlessly copied. I’m just a forgiven sinner, a woman in Georgia working out my salvation with fear and trembling. There may be other ways to bring up the subject in a church or with a person. There are undoubtedly other scriptures to rely on as the basis for the action. Please share your method and your thoughts on scriptures that apply to the issue.

Painting by echo feng, cc license

First of all, if you desire to approach someone about a false teacher or false doctrine in your church, it demonstrates the love you have of Jesus to care for His name so much that you want to protect your sisters from the dangers and poison that false teaching brings! “And many will follow their [false teachers] sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed,” (2 Peter 2:2). False teachers bring these heresies in and it always leads to destruction of those who follow- if they don’t repent. (Revelation 2:22-23). Therefore, remaining silent about the poison false teaching brings is actually hate. Helping brethren avoid the predators is helping them to abide in Him (1 John 2:27) and is love.

Though it is for the glory of the name of Jesus, it’s hard to share even with a wise and trainable sister, one who wants to know and asked to know, about a favored false teacher, only to then see her saddened over the truth. Thankfully, these kind of hard feelings are fleeting and ultimately relationship building and not relationship-destroying.

On the other end of the spectrum, some people become very angry when told that a false teacher isn’t worth pursuing. These people are usually bound up in pride, and they cling to the teacher because they have invested their ego and pride in making the decision to follow them in the first place. It is called “Deception by Investment”, and these people remain angry, but at you, for bringing it to light. They would rather continue investing in the false teacher instead of looking it up like a Berean, so as not to puncture their pride. This kind of anger can be relationship destroying because you become the object of their ire rather than the false teacher who is blaspheming Jesus.

The first step is always prayer. The first pass in the process is always pray for your pastor, teachers, and

By Chris Yarzab, cc license

Sunday School Director (who makes the decisions about which books to buy) or brother or sister you’ve developed a burden for.

Second, because it is a leader who makes the decisions on what curriculum to bring forward, I usually make an appointment with the leader and sit down in private and discuss my concerns. Even if it is a church member and not a leader who you want to talk with, still, make an appointment, maybe for coffee. Ask to stay after Wednesday night prayer meeting for a few minutes. Go to brunch after church.

I’d let the leader know that in the upcoming meeting you’re going to share concerns about such and such a teacher, so they will know what the meeting will be about- and so they can pray more specifically too. I’ve done this with the Pastor, Sunday School Superintendent, Teacher, and Ladies Ministry Leader. I don’t want to sandbag them or embarrass them publicly so I always ask to meet.

Most importantly and scripturally, meeting in private is also an acknowledgement of their office as leader, Hebrews 13:17 says,

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Pray before the meeting. A lot.

Molly Sabourin
Original was in color

Third, when you meet: if they are a leader worth their salt, they will appreciate your humble approach and also appreciate the opportunity you’ve given them to personally research the issue you’re putting before them, and to pray. Even if you’re speaking with a sister, and even if they are confused or angry with the subject of the talk, they will see the lengths you’ve gone to reach them in love. If you were in error and didn’t know it, wouldn’t you want someone to come alongside and put their arm around you and take time and speak to you in love? (Mark 12:31).

In my opinion another benefit of doing it this way is that if my interpretation of the verses and the scriptures leading me to a conclusion that a teacher is false is actually  incorrect, the leader can then have an opportunity to instruct me.

This woman’s short essay on how she chose to bring up a Beth Moore teaching to a sister who was about to enter a BM study was really good. I find it instructive and encourage you to read it, too. Loving sisters who love Beth Moore.

Fourth, in the meeting, (if you get a chance to meet in privately or one-on-one), I’d have put together some notes about why you feel so and so is an unprofitable teacher. I use notes when I speak to the leader or person because I’m very shy socially and I refer to notes because I get really tangled up and I forget the points I’d wanted to make. I give it to them when we’re done. This helps because it gives someone a chance to later read over what you’ve said.

I’d keep it short and choose the worst offenses from the teacher’s cadre of false indicators. For example, though I’ve written about Beth Moore’s falsity many times, I am especially aggravated at the vision she says she had where Jesus spoke to her like she was a prophet and told her the church was paralyzed by unbelief. To me, it is the clearest example of her falsity. The link for that essay explaining why it is a false vision, with scriptures, is here: “Examining Beth Moore’s Statement ‘My Bride is Paralyzed by Unbelief’

Here is a good web page from Rev Matt Slick (who runs CARM.org) outlining succinctly Beth Moore’s many aberrations, you could pick and choose which ones the Spirit seems to be leading you to. The site has similar summaries for other false teachers, as well.

FMI: Is Beth Moore a false teacher?When you meet, the main idea is not to make an airtight legal case, but to share solid information particular to your heart and the church’s situation, and then to step back and let the Spirit apply these truths to their hearts.

I’d also include some verses which support your right and duty to point these things out, a few are above in the beginning of this post, a few are below. Just in case you get the old chestnut “Judge Not!” verse or “Touch not God’s anointed!”

  • Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
  • 2 Timothy 3:5 Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people
  • Romans 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

5. When it comes time for the ladies study to begin, and the leader has dismissed your concerns or hasn’t had time to work through it yet, or the Sunday School class is about to start, have your prayerful decision ready. I hope it is that you will choose not to attend. If you’re asked by the other ladies or men why you’re not attending, have a short statement ready in your mind to reply. Not as detailed as you give the leader, but enough to say in a sound bite which conclusively states your opinion.

Something like “I have researched Beth Moore’s doctrine and her teaching methods and have come to the conclusion that since she confesses hearing from Jesus and having visions, she twists scripture from its historical context and allegories it too often, as she did in her Strongholds book with misapplying Galatians 5:1, so it seems she is a false teacher and I decided not to partake of the study. I’d be more than happy to talk about this later with anyone who has concerns with my (and my husband’s?) decision.”

Salem (MA) Public Library, cc photo

Or you might say, “Joel Osteen is a word-faith preacher who refuses to preach the whole counsel of God and since Ephesians 4:14 says to preach the whole counsel of God, Osteen demonstrates a lack of discernment and a rebellion against the Spirit inspired word, so I humbly decline to attend the study.” And then your absence from it will be the continuing statement.

Use scripture in all cases, with the leader and with the brethren and in all discussions. It is the power of God to apply truth to hearts. Always use scripture. I can’t say it enough, it is of extreme importance. Use scripture. It is not our earnestness or our fervor or our zeal which will win them over. It is not a carefully constructed argument. It is not the power of our intellect which will pierce the spell they are under with a false teacher. It is the Word!

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:12-13).

The Spirit will resonate the verses you use in minds and hearts, and if I was a betting woman, at least one of them will seek you out later to say, “I had concerns too, but couldn’t put my finger on them. Can you tell me more?” And by golly you can hand them the same paper you gave the Leader you chose to speak with previously.

6. At all times keep praying. And keep loving the sisters and brothers who are under the teacher’s spell, by all means. Some of them might be false converts but some of them will be truly brethren in the faith, standing on the same blood soaked ground you’re standing on.

‘Under A Spell” rjg329, cc license

The spell of the false teacher is always powerful. Picture a doctrine-whisperer seducing the brethren.

I was reading up on Beth Moore the other night. I read one woman’s blog where she had written that she had attended a Living Proof conference and really wanted to talk with Moore, because two of her children had died and she knew Moore could share the grief of child-loss, since Moore had given her adopted son back to his mother after raising him for 7 years. This blogger said she approached a counselor at the back of the arena when the conference was over. The following is an excerpt from her narrative. While I understand the woman was in the throes of grief, it is still a startling example of how deeply people get wrapped up in false teachers:

As we were walking and I was crying, I realized that Beth Moore was standing right beside me with her back to me. I looked at the woman leading me out of the room and held up my hand as if to say, “Just one minute.” With my other hand, I reached out and literally took a hold of Beth’s arm as if it were my only chance to ever be that close to her and feel her love. I couldn’t help but think of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ robe……not implying that Beth has this same power, but simply saying that I truly wanted a blessing from Beth and in touching her hoped that I would receive it.”

These women are truly ensnared! Those who follow false teachers are caught up on something satanic. We can’t beat satan but the Spirit of God can. I say satanic because the false teacher always tries to shift your gaze from Jesus to themselves. So many of them have elevated the teacher to a status they certainly don’t deserve but if they are so emotionally (or financially) invested, they will balk at the notion that they have misplaced their trust. Just be sensitive.

On the other hand sometimes the Spirit helps by moving a person out off range of the predator. Distance helps clear the vision and they see the false teacher in a new light.

This is the narrative of a pastor’s wife who moved from Alabama to Wisconsin to plant a church with her husband. She used to love Beth Moore but found out after the move that her love affair was drying out. Her writing is clear and down to earth funny. “Secret Life of a Pastor’s wife: Breaking Up with Beth Moore

Josh Mishell, cc license

Even though I am a native Southerner, born and bred in Alabama and having lived in the south all of my life, when I look through my Midwestern lenses, Beth Moore is not relevant. Her homey humor, “beloved,” and “bless your heart” sayings don’t translate. I would watch the faces of native Wisconsinites as they watched her DVD. They thought she was cheesy and as much of an over-the-top caricature as Jeff Foxworthy. “You girls, know what I’m sayin’, right? We wouldn’t be caught dead without our face on and our hair did.” Hah! Most of the Wisconsin women I know can shovel snow, chop wood, and milk a cow without batting an eye. So many of my students grew up on dairy farms and were out milking cows by 5 am, shared a room with 4 other siblings, and didn’t have a car until they graduated from college and bought their own. Concern about curling their hair in Africa would not rank in their list of concerns. And quite frankly, she’s very patronizing to women and holds very, very strict gender stereotypes.”

Nick Sherman, cc license

If a teacher doesn’t translate it is because they are embedded in the world and using the world’s language- the wrong language. God’s word always translates because He transcends distance and time.

The upshot is that even if initially your message about a false teacher is not received, the Spirit is always working. He perhaps had prepared the person you’re going to speak with by sending other people prior to you. Or subsequent to your talk, His work might continue in physically moving the person from the location of false teacher’s sphere…or cause financial hardship to prevent cable subscription so TBN won’t come into their house anymore, or to simply illuminate the scriptures when that person is reading the bible, or continue the work in a zillion ways we can’t anticipate. Though we get emotionally wrapped up in the conversation, it is not the only thing the Spirit is doing and His work extends far beyond our little participation in it.

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

That’s why we use the Word and not our opinion in these talks. Our opinion is just a puff of wind, but His word is always working!

7. Not to say that it always works out. Sometimes the person you speak with doesn’t see the light but your exhortation might entrench them further into their snare. This, too, is the work of God. His glory is always the highest outcome of everything we do. He is working for the glory of His name. This is where I found Ezekiel 2:3-7 especially helpful-

Flickr marsmet533, cc license

And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.”

NOT that we’re prophets but on His day the person will have no excuse. In Revelation 2:20-22 Jesus is describing a false prophetess and commanding John to tell the church at Thyatira to leave off her and repent, and He gave them time to repent. He is always reaching for His sheep. But not all repent and leave off the false teacher, but His glory is such that they will know they were told. Ultimately, it is not up to us and it is not about us, but about Him and His glory, now and on His Day.

In conclusion, those are my thoughts on how to approach a person involved with a false teacher.

  1. Pray, (Philippians 4:6)
  2. Research with biblical accuracy to the best of your ability, (2 Timothy 2:15)
  3. Respect your leaders, (1 Thessalonians 5:12-14 )
  4. Meet and talk humbly of the issue, (Galatians 6:1)
  5. Share notes, (1 John 2:1)
  6. Be open to correction, (Hebrews 12:11)
  7. Pray some more, (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18)
  8. Separate from the false teacher, doctrine, curriculum, or teaching (Romans 16:17)
  9. Remain reliant on the Spirit no matter the perceived, observed, temporal outcome, (John 14:26)
  10. Pray (Romans 8:26).

Often, I’ve discovered that there are more people in the church who feel the way we do but simply don’t

Yenkassa, cc license

speak up because they don’t know HOW to go about bringing difficult topics up. And for others, the notion of challenging a current popular teacher’s doctrine on a biblical basis will be a new thing to them, because many churches or church members never do it at all. They are watching what we do, which is pursuing holiness and building each other up. (Ephesians 4:11-32; Philippians 2:1-18). There are always wider lessons in everything the Spirit in involved in. Just make sure the Spirit IS involved by being gentle, prayerful and biblically accurate.

This is what I came up with after prayer and research. What do you think? What has been your experience?

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Further Reading

Is It Right for a Christian to Expose False Prophets and False Teaching ? (by Damon Whitsell)

Speaking out against false teachers

Why we must pursue holiness