Michelle Lesley writes at Michelle Lesley Books. Last week she wrote a wonderful article to which I’d linked, called “Nine Reasons Discerning Women Are Leaving Your Church“.
In the ‘Nine Reasons’ article’s comments section a reader had asked Ms Lesley to offer some biblical discernment regarding a new and popular author Lysa TerKeurst. Ms Lesley replied, and then expanded that reply into a stand-alone article. The article is re-blogged below.
Parallel to that, I’ve noticed a new popularity in a certain young author/teacher/social justice champion: Lysa TerKeurst. Her book “The Best Yes” was featured heavily by the “She Reads Truth/IF:Gathering” ladies, a group/ministry of which I’d researched and rated negatively. These women are not edifying to you nor are they helping the cause of Jesus Christ. Though associations are important, I don’t believe guilt by association should be the only factor to warn about this or that person or ministry, but it is an indicator. This put Ms TerKeurst on my radar, but I waited. Since then, I have not had time to review Ms TerKeurst further.
Now Ms Lesley has done so, and has graciously allowed me to re-blog her work here. Yesterday I wrote extensively on the phrase that Paul begins his warning to the Colossians about mysticism and ascetic practices. He said in Colossians 2:18 “Let no one disqualify you for the prize…”. One of the problems with false teachers and false teachings is that they hinder the Christian in his or her walk, color our perceptions so that we cannot think clearly about Jesus, and defraud us of our rewards. If we should see a sister falling under the sway of a false teacher we should help them by letting them know they are at risk of being defrauded. We do this because we love them and want the best in Christ’s name for our sisters.
Here is Ms Lesley:
Leaving Lysa: Why You Shouldn’t Be Following Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries
According to her web site, “Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the New York Times best-selling author of The Best Yes, Unglued, Made to Crave, and 16 other books.” She also blogs prolifically and speaks at numerous Christian women’s conferences.
Lysa is charming, friendly, and down to earth- the type of person I would probably want to be friends with if I knew her personally. We have several things in common: a big family (she has 5 kids, I have 6), women’s ministry, we’re even just a couple of months apart in age (which shocked me, since she looks so much younger!).
I first became familiar with Lysa a year or so ago when her name, articles, and memes of her quotes (and those of Proverbs 31 Ministries) began appearing in my news feed on Facebook. What I was seeing sounded good, and I hoped against hope that she was a doctrinally sound teacher of God’s word that I could recommend to my friends and readers. In fact, I resisted vetting her for a while because I was afraid of being disappointed by another popular Christian women’s author and teacher who seemed biblical on the surface but turned out not to be.
Sadly (and I genuinely mean that- I was sad), that is exactly what I found when I began to research Lysa TerKeurst at the request of several of my friends and readers. It’s my prayer that Lysa will repent of the areas in which she is acting against Scripture, learn biblical hermeneutics so she can rightly handle God’s word, and have a tremendous – doctrinally sound – impact on the thousands of women who love her so much. I would love nothing more than to give her a virtual “high five” and highly recommend her to others if she would do so.
Until such time, I regret that I must recommend that women not follow Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries (including the other women who write for and are leaders in this ministry) for the following reasons:
1. Lysa unrepentantly preaches to and instructs men in violation of 1 Timothy 2:12-14 (as well as the many other passages of Scripture that do not allow this). Without exception, every female Bible teacher I know of who unrepentantly instructs men also teaches other doctrinal error (usually Word of Faith or seeker driven false doctrine).
If a woman is supposedly knowledgeable enough about the Bible to be in the position of teaching and authoring, yet doesn’t understand or obey such a basic biblical truth, what does that say about the rest of her knowledge of the Bible? How can you trust that anything else she teaches you about the Bible is accurate and true?
2. Lysa is a member of Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church (where she has preached the Sunday morning service on multiple occasions), and has written articles and made videos supporting his false and eisegetical teaching. She has also preached the Sunday morning service at Perry Noble’s New Spring Church.
If you are not familiar with either of these men, you should know that they both egregiously and narcissistically mishandle God’s word (click links above). Both of them support and agree with prosperity preachers such as T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Christine Caine, etc., and many of these have preached at their churches. Perry Noble is perhaps most famous for having AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” played during his Easter Sunday service a few years ago.
This is the type of false teaching Lysa supports and is being fed each time she attends her home church. The old adage, “You are what you eat,” is true in both the physical and the spiritual realm.
3. Lysa partners with and calls Christine Caine a “dear friend”. Christine Caine also unrepentantly preaches to men and is a proponent of the false Word of Faith (prosperity gospel) doctrine, as a leader at Word of Faith “church,” Hillsong. Because this is “another gospel,” (Galatians 1:6-9), partnering with Caine is a violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
For these reasons, plus her habitual mishandling of Scripture (as outlined in the resources below), I unfortunately must recommend that women not follow, support, or receive teaching from Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries (including any writers or speakers affiliated with Proverbs 31 Ministries).
Steven Furtick, Lysa TerKeurst, and Code Orange by The Wartburg Watch
The Best Yes? at Housewife Theologian
Review of The Best Yes by Aimee Byrd
Unglued at The Gospel Coalition