Christian women, Church, Discernment

Nine Reasons Discerning Women Are Leaving Your Church

9 disc women leave

 

Earlier this week, Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay, pubished a blog article entitled “Six Reasons Why Women May Be Leaving Your Church.” Although I am not particularly a fan of Dr. Rainer (due to his allowing materials from false teachers to be sold at LifeWay), I thought this article was a good one, and I agreed with several of the issues he raised, especially, that these issues need to be addressed by church leadership.

As a ministry wife and someone in the field of women’s ministry myself, I, too, have noticed women leaving the church. Not just women in general, but a certain subset of church-attending ladies: discerning women. While Scripture is pretty clear that we can expect women (and men) who are false converts to eventually fall away from the gathering of believers, why are godly, genuinely regenerated women who love Christ, His word, and His church, leaving their local churches?

1. Eisegetical or otherwise unbiblical preaching
Discerning women don’t want to hear pastors twist God’s word. The Bible is not about us, our problems, and making all our hopes and dreams come true. We don’t want to hear seeker-driven or Word of Faith false doctrine. We don’t need self-improvement motivational speeches or a list of life tips to follow. We want to hear a pastor rightly handle God’s word from a trustworthy translation and simply exegete the text.

2. The worship hour has become a variety show
Skits, guest stars, movie clips, dance routines, rock concerts, elaborate sets, light shows, and smoke machines. We didn’t sign on for Saturday Night Live on Sunday. This is supposed to be church. Get rid of all that junk, turn the lights on, give us solid preaching, prayer, and some theologically sound songs we can actually sing, and maybe we’ll stick around.

*3. Women in improper places of church leadership
The Bible could not be more clear that women are not to be pastors, instruct men in the Scriptures, or hold authority over men in other capacities in the church. If your church has a female pastor, worship leader, or elders, or if women are teaching and leading men in Sunday school, small groups, or from the platform in the worship service, or if women are heading up certain committees, departments, or ministries which place them in improper authority over men, you’re disobeying Scripture, and we don’t want to help you do that by attending your church.

4. Children are being entertained, not trained
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of play time or crafts for younger children, but we want our children trained in the Scriptures, not entertained for a couple of hours. We want their teachers to open God’s word and read and explain it to them at a level they can understand. We want them memorizing verses, learning to pray, and demonstrating an age-appropriate comprehension of the gospel. We want them to understand that church is joyful, yet, serious, not a Jesus-laced party at Chuck E. Cheese. We need church to bolster the Scriptural training we’re giving our kids at home.

5. Women’s “Bible” Studies
The majority (and I don’t use that term flippantly) of churches holding women’s Bible studies are using materials written by Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Joyce Meyer, Lysa TerKeurst, Sarah Young, and others who teach unbiblical ideas and false doctrine. Not minor denominational differences of opinion. Not secondary and tertiary unimportant issues that can be overlooked. False doctrine. While we long to study God’s word with other women, discerning women will not sacrifice sound doctrine nor the integrity of Scripture to do so.

6. Ecumenism
Is your church partnering with other “churches” whose orthodoxy and/or orthopraxy are at odds with Scripture? “Churches” which approve of homosexuality or female pastors, or which hold to an unbiblical soteriology (grace plus works, baptismal regeneration, Mary as co-redemptrix with Christ, etc.)? Are you partnering with those who deny the biblical Christ altogether such as Muslims, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hindus, Mormons, or Buddhists? Discerning women know Scripture forbids yoking ourselves to unbelievers and we want no part of it.

7. Ageism
Look around at your pastor and staff, your lay leadership, your music team, the “face” of your church. How many of those people are over 40? Usually, discernment and spiritual maturity come through walking with the Lord over many years, yet, increasingly, by design, churches are run by twentysomething pastors, staff, and other leadership, who are often spiritually immature and/or lack the wisdom and life experience that come with age. The staff is often specifically structured this way in order to attract young people to the church. The counsel and wisdom mature, godly men and women have to offer is brushed off as old fashioned, and middle aged and older church members feel alienated and unwanted. While there are those among the twentysomething set who are godly and growing into maturity, discerning women value the wisdom and teaching of their godly elders.

8. The “troublemaker” label
Discerning women who see unbiblical things happening in their churches and stand up for what God’s word says about biblical ecclesiology and teaching are often vilified and labeled as troublemakers. We are called haters, threats to unity, complainers, gossips, negative, and a myriad of other scornful names. All this for wanting things done according to Scripture. Can you blame us for shaking the dust off our high heels and leaving?

9. Spineless or stiff-necked pastors
Discerning women have little respect for, and find themselves unable to submit to the authority of pastors who see people in their churches acting overtly sinful or propagating false teaching yet are so afraid of confrontation that they will not set things right. By the same token, we cannot continue to attend a church in which we bring scriptural evidence of false teaching or sin to the pastor and he outright denies the biblical truth we present to him. We cannot be members of churches in which pastors will not submit to Scripture or carry out biblical mandates.

 

Frequently, the discerning women you see tearfully leaving your church have been there for years. Sometimes they leave your church because it was never doctrinally sound to begin with, and God has opened their eyes to this as they grow and mature in Christ. Sometimes they leave because false doctrine and unbiblical practices have crept in and taken over a church that was once a refuge of trustworthy biblical teaching. Either way, these things should not be.

Maybe it’s not that discerning women are leaving the church**, but that the church is leaving them.

 

*If you disagree with this point and are considering writing a comment arguing that women SHOULD be pastors and have other unbiblical positions of leadership, please save yourself some time, because I will not be printing it. As it says in my “welcome” tab (top of this page), I do not print false doctrine without refuting it, and at the moment, I do not have the time. If you are truly interested in what the Bible ACTUALLY says about the proper role of women in the church, click here and explore the Scriptures that address this topic.

**While it may be necessary to leave a church that is not operating biblically, Hebrews 10:24-25 makes it clear that meeting together for worship and the teaching of God’s word is not optional for Christians. Please see my follow up article, Six Ways Not to Forsake the Assembly for more on this topic.

184 thoughts on “Nine Reasons Discerning Women Are Leaving Your Church”

  1. “Maybe it’s not that discerning women are leaving the church, but that the church is leaving them.”

    Exactly.

    My husband and I left our church 2 years ago. Our pastor was one of the best expository teachers I have heard and still the church was slipping steadily downward to the lies of the enemy. The remnant remains mostly outside the “church”.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I know what you mean. Kinda reminds me of what John (1:11) said about Jesus- He came to His own, and His own received Him not. Now His remnant isn’t being received by the “church.” My husband and I have been searching for a doctrinally sound church that’s a fit for our family for almost 8 months.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Michelle–I agree with everything you said, However, please give me examples on Beth Moore not teaching the Bible.
        I DID have one concern with her, and it was concerning the Scripture about why God destroyed Sodom and Gommorah. Her response was ‘inhospitality” which has bothered me since then.

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      2. I’ve moved from CALIFORNIA to South Carolina in 214 . Being active in my church was hard to leave. I ask God to find a church for me because there are to many for me to check out. He did what I asked. I wanted a church that mirrored the one I left…where the doctrine of God was top priority. JESUS and the rest of us! He was made first. The Pastors taught the Word of God…and we were taught to follow.

        God will give you the best. I became a member 7-21-15 I knew it was right because the Holy Spirit moved with in me. Receiving pray weekly from one of the blessed members confirmed even further this week…our call to pray for our Pastor was the same prayer I read in CA, as an Intercessor for the last 15 years.

        God provided my church home with out me visiting thousands.

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      3. So. Are you implying that anyone under the age of 40 ought not have church leaderahip? In point 7 it seems that way…

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      4. Not at all, and I apologize if that was unclear. The point I am trying to make in #7 is that there are many churches which:

        a) are pastored and staffed by a bunch of people under 40 who haughtily think they know everything and that no one who’s older has anything of value to contribute, or label the wise, biblical counsel of older, more mature Christians as “old fashioned” or “stuck in tradition”.

        or

        b) are intentionally “youth focused” -purposely staffing their churches with people under 40, ONLY using or showcasing younger people in the congregation, etc. -because they think that’s the way to draw in Millenials and young families.

        Both of these are unbiblical ecclesiologies that leave older people feeling shunned and unwanted, which is wrong. There are many places in the Bible which encourage us to learn from and value our older brothers and sisters.

        On the other hand, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with younger pastors/staff who have great respect for elder members, encouraging them to take positions of leadership, listening to and learing from their counsel when it is wise and godly, and seeing them as a treasured resource rather than a burden or a roadblock. My own pastor is one of these men, and he is under 40 (just turned 39 :0)

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      5. Have fun with that,we have church hopped for years and now just worship at home and speak to other believers we know,sad state of the so called church in America.

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      6. Check out http://www.tms.edu to find a sound biblical church led by men trained in expository preaching, teaching and counseling. The Master’s Seminary was founded by John MacArthur. Its graduates, whom we have heard and whom we now worship with, have been consistently excellent Christian leaders, preachers, counsellors and pastors.

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    2. Michelle,
      You have written an article here to help address issues you feel strongly about today in the church. It sounds like you are concerned people are watering down the gospel. What is your sense of what the gospel’s message is? It is said that they will know we are Christians by our love. It is said that we can have all knowledge and truth, but without love we are just a noisy gong. It lists the gifts of the spirit and says that the greatest of these is love. It says love covers a multitude of sins. And that the greatest commandment is that we love God and love our neighbor as ourself. It says he laid down his life in love for others and that he expects we will take up that same cross and do the same as his followers. Our Lord is gentle in heart, slow to anger, abounding in Grace, quick to forgive. He climbed up on the cross to die for those who persecuted him. He laid down his life for us while we were full of sin. He seems hardest on the ones who fail to show grace to others, urging us to love unconditionally our brothers and sisters and also those who are not our brothers and sisters. My question is do you feel that kind of love for these folks you are talking about in this article? Do you think someone reading this would sense that love in this article towards the ones you disagree with? Is our gospel
      And good news that Jesus died for us out of love and that now we’ve got love overflowing in our hearts? I wondered if this is an article stemmed from that kind of love. I would think if the world looks on and sees how we speak of one another they will be encouraged if they see love and grace pouring out for one another even if we don’t agree. That we might try to season every conversation with love above all things. I wondered if you would agree with that?

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      1. I don’t disagree with most of that, but I don’t think you have a complete understanding of the biblical definition of love. You seem to think that “love” is restricted to always being sweet and nice to people. That’s not biblical.

        Was Jesus being unloving when He cleared the temple? (Matthew 21)
        Was Jesus being unloving when He rebuked the Pharisees? (Matthew 23)
        Was Jesus being unloving when He instructed us to disfellowship unrepentant sinners from the church? (Matthew 18:15-20)
        Was Paul being unloving when he turned Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan so they would learn not to blaspheme? (1 Timothy 1:19-20)
        Was Paul being unloving when he anathematized anyone who preaches a false gospel? (Galatians 1:6-9)
        Was Peter being unloving when he described false teachers in 2 Peter 2?
        Was Jude being unloving when he wrote to the brothers warning them about the evils of false teachers instead of writing about the gospel?

        Am I being unloving in writing this article? No. Reproof, rebuke, and biblical instruction are all part of godly love. I am demonstrating love for Christ, His Bride, and His Word by pointing out biblical error that needs to be corrected. I am demonstrating love for ignorant pastors and churches by explaining to them why their most spiritually healthy members are leaving. I am demonstrating love for the thousands of doctrinally sound Christians out there who long to attend a healthy church and can’t find one because so many churches are in error in the areas I mentioned. And, I am demonstrating love for you by helping you understand what God’s definition of love is.

        Is this article loving? You bet it is.

        I Can’t Sit Down, Shut Up, and Play Nice
        Discernment: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

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  2. This article is wonderful (!!!!) but I am reluctant to forward it to people because there are ads with scantily clad women on the bottom of your blog. 😦
    Maybe I will cut and paste it into emails…

    Melissa

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    1. Oh, goodness! Thank you for letting me know, Melissa. I was completely unaware of that. I cannot see the ads from my end. I will get in touch with Word Press and see if I can get that fixed. Can you remember the company the ad was for so I can tell Word Press?

      Please feel free to cut and paste at will (unless there are any plagiarizers reading this, of course, lol :0) and thank you for your kind words!

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    2. Melissa ……. the ad at the bottom of the page for me is for Stanley Steemer. Everyone sees a different ad based on the search history on the computer they are using. You may not be viewing scantily clad women, but someone using your computer has searched for something and computer algorithms think this is what you like to see and bingo, there it is.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. As someone who lives in an area where many churches display all nine of these troubling issues, I appreciate your boldness in addressing them, Michelle.

    I know there will never be perfect churches as long as sinful humans attend, but it sure would be refreshing to find more Bible-believing, Bible-acting churches.

    God bless and keep boldly standing for the truth of God’s Word!

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    1. Thanks, Marcy. I am sorry to hear about the churches in your area. We are beginning to see that more and more. I don’t think any of us are asking for a perfect church, but obeying Scripture is not too much to ask of a church or pastor, I would say :0)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with almost all of the above, and I’ve seen many churches around us heading in this direction. I believe our church is sound doctrinally and biblically, thankfully. My only question is what, doctrinally, do you think Priscilla Shirer is teaching that is false? Thanks for your answer. 🙂

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    1. Hi Sharon- Thanks for your kind comment. I’m so glad you’re in a doctrinally sound church. They are getting harder and harder to find.

      One major problem with Priscilla Shirer is that she teaches contemplative prayer and claims to receive direct, extra-biblical revelation from God. Additionally, she violates 1 Timothy 2:12-14 by preaching to men, and violates 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 by partnering with Hillsong, (she has spoken at their “Colour Conference” multiple times and even has her own page on their web site: http://hillsong.com/contributor/priscilla-shirer/) which proclaims “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6-9), the Word of Faith/prosperity gospel. She also partners with Christine Caine (who has an affirming quote from Priscilla prominently displayed on the home page of her web site: http://www.christinecaine.com/) and Joyce Meyer (https://www.facebook.com/joycemeyerministries/posts/10151614055997384), both of whom also preach to men and proclaim the prosperity gospel. Here are a few articles that I thought might be helpful if you’d like more information:

      http://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html
      http://apprising.org/2010/07/26/priscilla-shirer-and-contemplativecentering-prayer/
      http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2012/08/true-woman-conference-speaker-priscilla.html

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s 5:32 a.m. and. I’m blown AWAY! This is ME and it confirms what I’ve been feeling for a very long time. I have been toiling with this very thing and thought Lord, why and what’s going on? I have up and left services for some of the very things mentioned in this article. I’ve even wondered should I move to another state because locally I’m drying up! Oh my gosh, I read this and my mouth dropped, its like having something wrong and the doctor can’t tell you anything. Then you start questioning yourself but YOU KNOW things aren’t right. Please pray I’m led to a church where God will have me to be. I’m over the patty cake mentality and don’t even talk about end times. That is like a plaque in the church. Thank you for this as you have no idea! This is what I needed today and pray my church home is coming SOON!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind words, hon. I am so sorry you’re experiencing this. I will pray for you right now. Here is something I said on my Facebook page (to others who are in similar circumstances to yours) that I hope will encourage you:

      “It just breaks my heart to hear that y’all are unable to find doctrinally sound churches to attend. I would urge you to leave no stone unturned. Check out every possible church in your town, and if you can’t find a good church, start looking in other towns that are within driving distance.

      Do not forget what Hebrews 10:24-25 says:

      And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

      We see the Day drawing near. That means that meeting together with other believers is now more important than ever. We need the encouragement and sharpening that comes from being with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Remember to pray that God will lead you to other believers to meet with, fellowship with, and study God’s word with. God WANTS to help you obey His word, and He will provide.

      Also remember, if you absolutely cannot find an established church to attend, that an established church is not your only option for meeting, fellowshipping, and studying with other believers. Your “church” might be a group of Christians studying the Bible and worshiping in someone’s home. It might be a lunch time Bible study with Christian co-workers. There are lots of ways of studying God’s word and worshiping with fellow Christians. And if you can’t find fellow Christians, make them! Share the gospel with everyone you know. We are supposed to do that anyway.

      I love y’all and will be praying for you.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There are two reasons I did not mention Anne Graham Lotz:

      1. While I have heard some troubling things here and there about her doctrine, I have not looked into it myself, and studied and researched the evidence. I’m not saying the evidence of her poor doctrine isn’t there, I’m just saying I personally haven’t had time to look into it and I don’t want to label someone a false teacher until I have all my ducks in a row. That wouldn’t be right.

      2. The list of false teachers I gave was not meant to be exhaustive. It would be impossible for me to list every single false teacher out there by name. I listed the ones that I currently see are the MOST popular with Christian women (I don’t see a lot of women following Lotz), and covered the rest of them with the phrase “and others who teach unbiblical ideas and false doctrine.”

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  6. Good article, but lumping those who believe in baptismal regeneration (all Conservative Lutheans) with works righteousness, Mary as co redeemer, female pastors, etc is simply wrong; unless of course you believe Lutheans are heretics.

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    1. I don’t believe all Lutherans are heretics, except for the ones (is it ELCA, I think?) that have embraced homosexuality and other unbiblical doctrines.

      I don’t know if you are familiar with Chris Rosebrough and his podcast, Fighting For the Faith, but he is one of my favorite Bible teachers, and is also a Lutheran pastor (I think he is AALC. I probably got the letters wrong, lol.) I certainly don’t consider him a heretic. He is absolutely my brother in Christ, but I do not agree with the Lutheran view of baptism as I have heard him explain it.

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  7. Thank you, Michelle! I was unaware of all of this and will check into the links you mention; I’ll also pass them along to my husband, who is an elder in our church. Thanks!

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  8. I have been looking for MEN who want to do the role God gave them. Seems I have to disciple them myself, and I have no seminary training, just years of life’s experiences.
    Perhaps if men in the church were doing the role God gave them competently and confidently, then the discerning ladies would feel comfortable to stay in the church. I think the seminaries have fallen away, too. They are not putting out wise, loving courageous church leaders.
    Love God first and he will teach you how to love family, friends, and neighbors in righteousness, truth, wisdom, liberty, justice, and mercy.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. My husband who professes to be a Christian is no role model for anyone. I see the men in the church, save one, only on Sunday morning. Never do they grace a Wednesday night prayer meeting or the Sunday evening service. I have been wondering if heaven will be 85% women!

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      1. Oh, I don’t think so. There are lots of godly men out there, but sometimes they go to other churches. Please do pray for your husband, biblically submit to him, and encourage him. I know it can be tough when husbands act in ungodly ways. I’m taking a moment to pray for you now. :0)

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  9. Bang on with this article all of the above in my case I am 64 and the Lord led me out of the organized apostate church system nearly 9 years ago. So encouraged to read your article, God bless you. Helen. aka ASeedsower234 you tube A Seed Sower facebook…Justtomakeyouthink.blogspot.com Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good article but did you know that their are advertisements on this at the end of the post with women in bikinis? How can you stop those from appearing on your page?

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    1. Thank you Alaina. I did not know about the ads until someone alerted me to them yesterday. I cannot see them on my end and have not figured out how to fix it yet. I think Word Press just sticks whatever ads in there that they want to. Ugh. I will definitely be getting in touch with them to remedy this situation. Thank you for letting me know.

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    2. Unfortunately, ads are tailored to your browsing history, so if you share your computer, you may wish to have a discussion with the other party/parties that use it.

      Also, get AdBlock as an extension on your browser. I use it, and don’t even see an ad. I just see the little disclaimer that says, “about these ads.” I like it much better that way.

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  11. There are at least two Lutheran church bodies where sound Biblical doctrine is being taught as far as I know. The Fort Wayne Seminary (Missouri Synod), and the Wisconsin Synod.
    So long as my Missouri Synod church adheres to Biblical teaching, I will stay with it. They both see marriage as between a man and a woman. Their hymns, liturgy and sermons by male pastors teach God’s plan of salvation.What we need to hear is what Jesus did on the cross to save us from our sins! Just like we need to eat, we need to hear that! Only Jesus can help us!
    Women in my church are treated with respect and our questions and comments are listened to and answered, but we don’t teach adult classes where men are present. It’s simply noted in the Bible for us not to preach and teach to men.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, another reason women are leaving the church is that too many pastors are addicted to pornography, lecherous, uncaring for the sheep, fleecing the sheep, building empires with their names stamped large, pulling their sermons from the internet, don’t study the Word and do not care to, etc. Such a man has nothing to say that I want to hear. I no longer go to “church”; I am the Church. I find fellowship w/
    others who love the Lord.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I’m (hopefully!) a discerning man and I recognise everything you say. I just don’t have any faith that the main Stream churches are going to hold the line in the difficult times ahead. Perhaps we’re headed back to the First Century AD. Well, at least things aren’t boring! Best regards

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      1. That’s interesting, I’ve felt for a while now that we’ll be underground too. …and soon!

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  14. It has been over three years since my daughters and I pulled out of Church with your nine reasons right on target. We are still looking into places of fellowship but it’s been very frustrating. Thanks for your post. It’s encouraging to hear others have found a place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so sorry. I know it’s difficult searching for a church that’s biblically sound. My husband and I have been searching for almost eight months now. I pray you will find a way to fellowship and worship with other believers.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Women can, and should if they are being called by God, lead in churches. The bible says women should not be in authority over their HUSBANDS only. The first person to preach the gospel was Mary Madeline. And she did so because Jesus told her to AND when she had gone and told the disciples He has risen! she then told them what to do next. Thus showing her Christ given authority over men. When you tell women not to preach or lead; 1. what do you think will happen if she does? The earth will not open up and swallow her or the people/men she has taught. 2. You sound JUST like the Pharisees who told Jesus not to heal on the Sabbath. Is it better to leave people in darkness than to share the gospel with them? NO! 3. Jesus said, let them be when the disciples came complaining to Him about people using his name to heal and cast out demons. ‘If they are not against us, they are for us.
    Jesus, in His infinite, Holy example showed us numerous times that women CAN and should preach and teach. he said, ‘I have come for the free man, and slave, for man and for woman. the directive to go and make disciples of all people was given to men and women. No man or woman has the right to take away any woman’s God given calling. Just because that calling falls on a woman does not mean it is false!

    The number 10 reason why discerning women are leaving churches? Being held back by false doctrine and not being allowed to follow the voice of God.

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    1. Melissa-
      I appreciate your comment, but I’m afraid you don’t understand what the Bible has to say about the role of women in the church. And the Bible, not our opinions, is our authority and standard for the way we live and do church.

      “Women can, and should if they are being called by God, lead in churches. The bible says women should not be in authority over their HUSBANDS only.”

      Really? Where does the Bible say that? Can you please show me a chapter and verse?

      There are many ways women can lead in church as long as they are not instructing men or holding authority over them.

      “The first person to preach the gospel was Mary Madeline. And she did so because Jesus told her to AND when she had gone and told the disciples He has risen! she then told them what to do next. Thus showing her Christ given authority over men.”

      I think you mean Mary Magdalene. If you’ll go back and actually read the gospel accounts of what happened at the resurrection, you’ll see that Mary and the other women were merely reporting to the disciples what they had seen and what Jesus said. That did not put them in authority over the disciples any more than if you came across an accident on the side of the road, called 911, described the scene and its location, repeated what the victims had said, and asked for an ambulance to come.

      Additionally, Mary’s eyewitness report to the disciples was not in the context of a church. She had not been given, nor had she taken, a position of authority over them, and she was not instructing them in the Scriptures. What Mary did is far more similar to evangelism (sharing the gospel with lost people) – which women ARE to do – than it is to preaching or teaching inside the church.

      And if this passage supposedly shows that Jesus had given Mary authority over men in a church setting, then why do so many other passages say that women are NOT to have authority over men in the church? Jesus, and His word, the Bible, do not contradict themselves. Again, all you have provided is your opinion. Please show me chapter and verse Scripture to back up what you’re saying.

      “When you tell women not to preach or lead; 1. what do you think will happen if she does?”

      It doesn’t matter what I think will or won’t happen because, again, or standard is the Bible, not anyone’s opinion, including mine. The Bible says women are not to preach to or teach men in the church. Period. We are to obey that.

      “You sound JUST like the Pharisees who told Jesus not to heal on the Sabbath.”

      The Pharisees were taking laws that man had made up which went beyond Scripture, and were attempting to make them binding on Jesus, who was God. I have explained what the Bible says and why we Christians are to obey it. Not the same thing.

      “Is it better to leave people in darkness than to share the gospel with them? NO!”

      Again, we’re not talking about evangelism to non-believers here, we’re talking about having authority over men in the church (believers). I have already said that women ARE to share the gospel message of salvation with any lost individuals they come across.

      “Jesus said, let them be when the disciples came complaining to Him about people using his name to heal and cast out demons. ‘If they are not against us, they are for us.”

      This passage is irrelevant to what we’re talking about and does not support your argument. It has nothing to do with women preaching or teaching men or having authority over them in the church.

      “Jesus, in His infinite, Holy example showed us numerous times that women CAN and should preach and teach.”

      Ok, then you should be able to provide me with numerous examples of this in Scripture where Jesus says this. Chapter and verse, please.

      “he said, ‘I have come for the free man, and slave, for man and for woman.”

      Whatever verse this is, you’ve mangled it so badly that I don’t even know where to start searching for it. Please give me the chapter and verse of Scripture you think says this.

      “the directive to go and make disciples of all people was given to men and women.”

      That’s correct, as I’ve said above. Women are to share the gospel, and they are to disciple other women and children, not men.

      “No man or woman has the right to take away any woman’s God given calling. Just because that calling falls on a woman does not mean it is false!”

      God doesn’t “call” people to disobey His word, and His word says that women are not to preach, teach men, or hold authority over them in the church. If a woman has some kind of experience in which she thinks God is calling her to do these things, the call came from Satan, not God, because God doesn’t call people to do things that are in conflict with the Bible.

      “The number 10 reason why discerning women are leaving churches? Being held back by false doctrine and not being allowed to follow the voice of God.”

      Discerning women know that the voice of God is found only in the Bible. If a woman is following a “voice” of God outside the Bible, she is deceived, not discerning.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you for your explanation and insight. You have spoken wisely about many points! Will you please let me know how Sarah Young is not following Biblical principles? I like reading her “Jesus Calling” book, but I certainly don’t want to continue if there is a problem. Thanks, and God bless you!

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      1. Wow! I had no idea! Thank you! I really need to pray about better discernment from the Lord. Last week I signed up for the First5 app by Lysa Terkhurst, and now I have my doubts. Do you have a link about Lysa’s false teaching? We are surely in the end times. I just wasn’t expecting false teachers to be like this. God bless you!

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      2. There are a few fast and dirty rules of thumb I use when listening to anyone that help me to know whether she is teaching biblical truth or not. First, is she taking a passage of Scripture in context and simply explaining what it says? Second, when she says things like, “God says…God wants you to…the Bible says…” etc. I think to myself, OK, where does the Bible say that (in context)? Third, does she spend more time telling stories and personal experiences than explaining what the passage says? Fourth, is she saying things like, “God told me..I felt like God was saying…God laid it on my heart to…” instead of “the Bible says…” and giving you chapter and verse about it in context.

        Here’s some info I’ve been sharing with others who have asked about Lysa TerKeurst:

        There are several reasons women should not follow Lysa TerKeurst.

        1. She unrepentantly preaches to and instructs men in violation of 1 Timothy 2:12ff. As I have said many times before, without exception, every female Bible teacher I know of who unrepentantly instructs men also teaches other doctrinal error (usually Word of Faith false doctrine.)

        2. She is a member of Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church (where she has preached the Sunday morning service), and has written articles and made videos supporting his false teaching (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mUbdYY7bUU). 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 egregiously and narcissistically mishandle God’s word. 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. (For more information on the doctrinal problems with these guys, go to http://www.fightingforthefaith.com and do a search.)

        3. Lysa partners with and calls Christine Caine a “dear friend” (http://lysaterkeurst.com/2013/09/i-need-your-prayers/). Christine Caine also unrepentantly preaches to men and is a proponent of the false Word of Faith (prosperity gospel) doctrine. 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, I recommend that you stay away from Lysa TerKeurst, Proverbs 31, and any writers/bloggers associated with Proverbs 31. If you feel you absolutely must keep following her, please exercise extreme caution and compare everything she says and writes to Scripture, in context.

        Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:
        http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/10/28/steven-furtick-lysa-terkeurst-and-code-orange/
        http://info.alliancenet.org/mos/housewife-theologian/the-best-yes#.VbV6cmoo5pU
        http://booksataglance.com/book-reviews/the-best-yes-making-wise-decisions-in-the-midst-of-endless-demands-by-lysa-terkeurst

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  17. Thank you so much for this article. It completely erased my doubts. Four years ago I left my church and its denomination,all the nine reasons listed and more. I was surprised and bothered because When I left most of the church members left too and so instead of me going to a city church six hours drive back and forth, I was given the responsibility of gathering everyone who left too and find a place in our hometown where we can worship together. We all prayed and God answered our prayers. We have a church building and a pastor. We celebrated our church fourth anniversary last June.again than you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow! It was like reading my mind!! I found this on FB and was absolutely so blessed by it!! It is so true. I have determined to stay and try to make a difference in my church family on these very issues you mentioned in your post. Am I succeeding? Hardly. It’s like one step forward, three steps back. 😦 I am fighting though because the salvation of souls and the glory of God are at stake. Thank you for this article. Can we be new best friends? LOL

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    1. Haha- I can always use another friend! :0) I totally understand about sticking with it and trying to make a difference. My husband and I found ourselves in that position at a previous church. It’s not easy, but sometimes God will use you to open a few eyes.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I would dearly love to share more with you about my endeavor and maybe get some feedback. Not sure how to contact you. I’ll see about a pm on fb. I always appreciate those fighting the good fight and sisters in the Lord can be such a blessing to each other. Thanks for your reply!

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    1. Really? I need to see a counselor because I’m proclaiming biblical truth? And this is coming from a woman who calls herself “Pastor”? I say this to you in love, Susan, if you are serving in the office of pastor, you need to read your Bible, resign, and repent, because you are living in disobedience.

      Liked by 4 people

  19. Yes, and yes. This is me…Us really. Only, for now at least, we have chosen to embrace the church Christ lead us to (faults and all) and keep our leadership in constant prayer.
    I admit to singing Holy, Holy, Holy whilst the congregation sang a vapid Hillsong tune this week.

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  20. Thank you for your biblical statements it isn’t just women,my husband and I are broken hearted that our pastor who preaches biblical sermons can not see that the rest of the service and bible studies are so not bible based.He is trying to attracked more young families by entertaining than by using the power of the Word of God……we pray he will see this and pray for Godly guidance .Cliches in our churches are also a hugh problem…not welcoming,or showing the love of God but holding onto their status and positions…fearing new people will take their place.Oh yes….I have been long against all of these so called self help or look at me books by most christiN speakers and. Writters….they are making money off of people’s hunger for God’s word

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  21. What a timely article. Thank you for your insight and for sharing this. It’s good to know I’m in good company. For the last 13 years I have stayed in our church, faithfully trying to be beneficial from the inside. Once I realized it is the denomination not simply our local church, I began to look elsewhere. Biblical churches are scarce in my area.. An additional reason I might add for women leaving the church is that pastors / elders / leaders are not protecting the sheep, they allow every wind of doctrine in, tossing the sheep to and fro. When biblical truth is not taught, how is truth and error discerned? Who will protect the sheep? Who is contending earnestly for the faith? There is comfort in knowing I’m not alone in this, and I’m saddened to have to say it. I pray God brings you soon to your new church family.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. You hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head. Well stated.

    My wife and I left our church of 20+ yrs. because God was gracious and truly regenerated our hearts, giving us eyes to see and ears to hear the unbiblical nature of what was happening. Nearly every point you made was present in that church. That was almost 7 yrs. ago and we have been looking for a suitable replacement, that is not more than an hour and a half away from home, ever since. THAT is a sad commentary on the state of the “church”.

    Keep up the good work, Michelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Dave. You’re right, that is a dreadfully sad commentary on the state of the church. It breaks my heart. I hope you and your wife are able to meet together to study and worship with other believers even if not in a formal church setting.

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  23. Have you checked out the list of churches on the ncfic.org website? Many of them are very doctrinally sound and you can look up by region. We have been in this boat of trying to “witness” to those in our own church until we realized that these points were working against us on so many levels of leadership. Then we found our church family 30 min away and have been so blessed by the like mindedness -of wanting to put God’s word first in all areas of life. Not just in word but in deed. Thanks for sharing. Check out your area on the website!

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  24. My husband and I left the church we had attended for years due to the leadership accepting false teachers and not warning the flock. This really is a very common occurrence. We visited numerous churches in our area, but again the leadership was tainted with false teaching. The condition of the visible church today is truly desperate. It is so sad to read stories that are similar to ours. We fellowship at home, reading the Bible, singing hymns, and praying together. We would like to have fellowship with other believers, but that hasn’t happened yet. Thank you for giving the true reason that God has led His children to leave the visible apostate church. God bless us.

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  25. very true. I will only be a ‘shadow’ in the churches….not 100% participatory. I will go to a church if husband wants to go too……otherwise it is ‘religious’…..not ‘the way, the truth, and the life’…… I still keep connection with people in various churches in the area, but generally, faith comes from word of God and not from a church ‘building’…..sometimes I feel more love in people who do not attend church at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be really difficult to find a doctrinally sound church these days, but we must remember that Scripture tells us we are to meet together with other Christians for fellowship, worship, and the study of the word:

      And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

      We need to assemble with other Christians for our own (and their own) encouragement, training, and building up, ESPECIALLY now as we “see the Day drawing near.” If we can’t find an established church that preaches sound doctrine, sometimes it’s necessary to meet with other Christians in our homes or other venues, but it would be unbiblical to decide to give up meeting with other Christians all together. (I’m not saying you’ve done that, Laura, I just wanted to make that clear to anyone who might be reading through the comments thread here :0)

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  26. Hi Michelle,

    I am Catholic and just wanted to send this along to inform you of the Church’s current position on Mary as Co-Redemptrix:

    When asked in an interview in 2000 whether the Church would go along with the desire to solemnly define Mary as Co-redemptrix, (the then) Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) responded that,

    the formula “Co-redemptrix” departs to too great an extent from the language of Scripture and of the Fathers and therefore gives rise to misunderstandings…Everything comes from Him [Christ], as the Letter to the Ephesians and the Letter to the Colossians, in particular, tell us; Mary, too, is everything she is through Him. The word “Co-redemptrix” would obscure this origin. A correct intention being expressed in the wrong way.

    I really enjoyed your article and agree with so much of it. God bless you!

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    1. Hi Vicki- Thanks for the information and for sharing with me in kindness. Glad you enjoyed the article, and thanks for stopping by. Hope you’ll hang around with us on the blog and/or social media :0)

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  27. I was raised in church – my dad was a pastor – and if you had told me 20 years ago that today I would believe my children’s spiritual well being was better served by NOT going to church, I would have laughed at such a ridiculous thought. But sadly, that is where we are at this time. It’s nice to see I’m not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. For the most part I can agree with you. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I have to ask, how is the Jesus that I worship different from the one you do? I also believe that He is the Son of God. I believe that He atoned for the sins of the world. I believe that He is the only way that we can return to our Father in Heaven. I believe that He is the creator of the world. I believe that He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Messiah of the new. I believe that He is the head of our faith. I believe that He took each of our sins upon Him, both in the Garden of Gethsemane and later upon the cross. I believe that He rose on the third day and is the resurrected Lord, and that because He overcame death, we shall also rise again. I believe that He will one day return to the earth to rule and reign.

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    1. Hi Catherine- The short answer to your question is that Mormonism has taken words out of the Bible such as “atonement” and “Jesus” and given them definitions that do not match the Bible’s definitions of these words. Just as one tiny example, the Bible does not teach – as Mormonism does – that Jesus is the brother of Lucifer (Satan). If your faith is in the so-called “Jesus” of Mormonism, your faith is in an idol just as much as if you lived in Old Testament times and bowed down to Ba’al or Molech.

      Please do not believe Mormon teaching that you are a Christian. If you believe what the Mormon organization teaches about Jesus, God, Satan, Heaven, Hell, salvation, etc., you are emphatically NOT a Christian. I say that, not to hurt your feelings, but to get your attention. I urge you to repent of your sin and place your faith in the true Jesus of the Bible for the forgiveness of your sins. It’s not “I do my best and Jesus does the rest.” It’s “I’m dead in my trespasses and sins and therefore incapable of doing anything to save myself, and Jesus did everything for me through His death burial and resurrection.” (Ephesians 2:1-9)

      Below are a multitude of good resources explaining why Mormonism is not Christianity.

      http://saintsalive.com/index.php/resourcelibrary/mormonism/486-witnessing-to-mormons

      http://www.waltermartin.com/mormon.html (scroll down a bit to the “Mormon” heading)

      https://carm.org/mormonism

      http://www.teachingtheword.org/apps/articles/default.asp?blogid=5441&view=post&articleid=82453&fldKeywords=&fldAuthor=&fldTopic=0

      I appreciate your comment and welcome you to stick around if you’d like.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. This article, as well as the comments have been tremendously uplifting and informative. I was once labeled a troublemaker for calling out Beth Moore’s teaching, so I can sympathize.

    Thanks for fighting the good fight.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Today’s American Christians will eat popcorn and watch the name of our God and His Christ profaned and blasphemed in the midst of some movie or television show’s blood and debauchery, but become utterly unhinged if you dare insult one of their bible butchering human heroes.

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  30. Hi Michelle,

    Your article really blessed me. This is exactly what I experienced prior to leaving a church after several years. It took a real trial to began to read and study God’s word for myself. I thank God that test moved me to search for truth. Thanks to John MacArthur and others discerning pastors that teach genuine theology. You are truly a breath of fresh air. After a year of no church home, I now attend a church closer to home. I love the fact that there are no women in leadership but plan to proceed with caution before joining. Keep on proclaiming the word of God no matter who attacks you. I pray you and your family will find the right fit. May God continue to bless you and yours.

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  31. The reason given for making these changes in my church was “the young families won’t come unless we do”. Justified by Paul’s statement that he became all things to all people so that some may come.

    Do you consider women as musicians “leading” men in worship? As a singer and instrumentalist I have asked myself this many times over the years.

    Also the church I attended growing up was very small and many times women took leadership roles because of the lack of willing or able men to fill those roles. In actual practice, churches I have been are willing to have women perform in any capacity if it is deemed necessary, but draw the line at ordination or granting of the spiritual authority usually associated with the position.

    What are your views on these questions?

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    1. Yes, lots of churches will do just about anything to attract the younger generation. Unfortunately, older people tend to get hurt, forgotten, or brushed aside when that happens.

      “Do you consider women as musicians “leading” men in worship? As a singer and instrumentalist I have asked myself this many times over the years.”

      I’m also a singer, and my husband has been a minister of music for over 20 years, so I have been in music ministry at least that long :0) If you just mean playing the piano or an instrument in the orchestra/praise band/as an accompanist, no, because they are following the minister of music, not leading. Same with vocal/instrumental solos, duets, etc., or singing in the choir or praise team. If it’s a woman at the piano (or guitar or whatever) who, in addition to playing is obviously leading the congregation (miked, making comments, etc.), then that would not be appropriate.

      Regarding women’s roles in the church: women can hold any position in the church (assuming the position itself is in line with Scripture) as long as they are not instructing men in the Scriptures, holding authority over men, or occupying a position specifically relegated to men by Scripture (pastor or elder- which also falls under the previous two categories). Women can teach and lead other women and children. More importantly, women can SERVE.

      I think a lot of times we get so wrapped up in how we can LEAD that we forget what Jesus said:

      But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28

      We, and the church may prize leadership, position, and recognition, but Jesus prizes servanthood, anonymity, and humility.

      My plan is to write more in the future about the biblical role of women in the church. It can be really confusing, so I’m looking forward to studying it more, myself. Stay “tuned,” lol :0)

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  32. Excellent article! Thank you for posting it on Facebook. It perfectly expresses my concerns and why I would like to leave the church we are attending, but my husband is not ready yet. So, I am waiting for God to work in his heart as well.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts!

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    1. Thanks, Terri! Just keep praying for the church and your husband. That may be why God has you there- to cry out to the Lord on their behalf. It is amazing what God can do in answer to our prayers! :0)

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  33. Excellent article, and states pretty exactly why we left our local SBC church.

    I would stress two things: being told up front in our Beth Moore Bible study that we must never discuss anything from that class with our own husband, and music that seemed more of a sex based moment than God honoring.

    Thanks again!

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    1. Oh my goodness!!!! Unless the person who told you that was rebuked and repented, I don’t blame you for leaving! NEVER go to any class, church, or other group that tells you not to discuss something with your spouse. Oh my, it’s going to take me a while to get over that one!

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  34. Oh my goodness, you put into words how I’ve been feeling! MY husband works weekends, He is in healthcare and someone has to do it. In this economy and where we live we are blessed that he has a job. I’ve had no desire to go to church for months now and just couldn’t articulate what it was. My husband just sent me the link to this post, it’s spot on. Thank you so much for writing it. I’ll be poking around and reading more!

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    1. Wow, this is really interesting and well thought out! My curiosity is killing me on #18. What might be a real life situation in which women would not be allowed to vote? I was thinking voting for a new pastor, but aren’t WELS pastors assigned by the synod or something?

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      1. To your question on WELS, members of the individual congregations are the calling body for pastors, teachers, staff ministers. They are given a choice at the time of the need to go to the assignment committee for a new graduate or call from the field. If they call from the field, the district president will supply a list of around a half dozen or so names. The voters then either vote to call from that list or ask for additional names. Since all candidates are pre-qualified, in some sense it could be like casting lots. However there is always one who stands out that might best fit the needs on the congregation. From that point, they issue what is considered a divine call and that individual will consider accepting the call or continue serving where they are. We avoid interviewing people as some churches do, not that there is anything wrong with that but a practice we use. It has served us well over the years. Curious what church body you are associated with, as many today would rather practice tolerance vs standing on sound Christian principles Paul Sent from my iPhone

        >

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      2. That is true because it exercises authority. However there are many leadership roles that women hold and they help shape things in committees etc after all they are members as well. We just hold to Biblical principles. Some things that God lays out are difficult for us to wrap our heads but by faith we trust in His Divine Word.

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

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      1. Oh gosh, I’m sorry. When comments appear in my queue for approval, they just appear as isolated comments. It doesn’t show who the commenter is responding to.

        I’m not Lutheran, but it sounds like #6 is referring to the fact that everyone, male or female, is in equal need of salvation, and #12 is talking about the different roles that men and women fill in the church as Scripture instructs us. If so, these two articles of mine might be helpful in fleshing that out a little:

        http://michellelesleybooks.com/2015/08/21/rock-your-role-all-things-being-equal-galatians-328/
        http://michellelesleybooks.com/2015/09/11/rock-your-role-jill-in-the-pulpit-1-timothy-211-12/

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  35. Excellent article and probably every reason I have left the last two churches I was a part of. Thankfully, we are now in a wonderful, Bible-believing, Gospel-centered, theologically/doctrinally sound church who believe discipling true Believers the way God has instructed us in the Bible is more important than how many people fill the seats.

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  36. Great article! The last two church I have left can pretty much be summed up by the reasons you gave. Thankfully, we are now at a wonderful, Bible-believing, Gospel-centered, doctrinally/theologically sound church that cares more for discipling true Believers as God instructs us in the Bible rather than how many people fill the chairs.

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  37. What I find interesting is that “LifeWay is home to the most popular Bible studies for women in the world,” and I quote Lifeway. Isn’t it ironic that the leading women’s Bible study teachers offered by Lifeway just happen to be false teachers. Hmmm…that’s something to ponder. The Baptist denomination is not the only one using these studies for women. There are other Protestant denominations as well. Without a doubt, I believe this is by design. This is such a serious problem because it has allowed the enemy to infiltrate all these churches who lack discernment. Why are so many pastors and those in leadership positions giving a nod and not protecting the flock? Is this how little they perceive its impact, value and significance is on their church ministry as a whole? If this is any indication, I can’t imagine the books that are offered in these church libraries. Anyone taking the time to check those as well? No discernment!!! THIS is one of the reasons why I have left the local church; and don’t even get me going on the issue of cliques in the church. There should NEVER be cliques within the body of Christ PERIOD!!!! Churches should never be run like corporate businesses…a pecking order, if you will. I thank God for His faithfulness. Where He is working there will always be provision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I share your frustrations, Nancy. I’m thankful for the pastors and churches that are tenaciously clinging to and obeying God’s word. I hope you’re able to find a fellowship like that to join with.

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    2. I am a woman who has been out of church for nearly a decade. Various reasons for this, but they all boil down to hurt. Finally convicted by our Lord to return I began to attend a 200 year old Southern Baptist church nearby. What you spoke of is the mainstay of this place: Lifeway. The Lifeway curriculum is about as insipid as it comes. I barely used it when teaching Sunday school lessons to the second and third grade class. I mentioned to the music minister there that nothing was taught at Easter about the death of Christ on the cross. He told me that he thought children of that age are too young to hear that!

      The women’s missionary group I attended for one year only served the members of the church itself. The highest attendance to any group is the elderly Just Older Youth group. They go places and do things. Meanwhile, Sunday night bible study never has more that six people and Wednesday night prayer group is maxed out on the days there are 10 people there. The church as an active membership of around 250 people.

      I recently began attending the Sunday school. They had a substitute teacher, a woman, who told us that at Pentecost the tongues that the Apostles spoke in was the original antediluvian language! I’ve never heard this and I absolutely don’t believe it is provable in the biblical text.

      You want to talk about cliques? This place has circles of friends who don’t mix at all. My son and I used to attend the various church functions, where we were greeted and that’s all. We had only ourselves to hang out with. So with great dismay I find that I’m about to go church hunting again. I think that the nearly three years there have been a waste.

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      1. I’m so sorry you’ve experienced this. Being Southern Baptist myself, I wish I could tell you this church is the exception, but, unfortunately, churches like this are all too common in the SBC. I’m taking a moment to pray that God will lead you to a fellowship of Believers that worships Him in spirit and in truth.

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      2. You are right. The languages spoken at Pentecost were the languages of the people form other nations who were visiting Jerusalem.

        “Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.’” Acts 2:5-12

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    3. Amen to that, Nancy. It astounds me that either we have way too many people running Lifeway with no discernment or just do not care about the souls of the people shopping at their store.

      I believe it was Paul Washer (or maybe Justin Peters) who said, “The most dangerous place on earth is a ‘Christian’ bookstore.”

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      1. Vicki- if you’re looking for a doctrinally sound church in your area, send me another comment or an e-mail letting me know where you’re located. I’ll be glad to ask around and help in anyway I can.

        However, considering this comment and the others you’ve sent in which I have not published, it seems like you might be interested in getting into a debate on Catholicism vs. Protestantism, or denomination vs. denomination, or all denominations are flawed in some way, so Christianity is wrong.

        If that is not your motivation, I apologize for thinking it might be. If that is your motivation (or something similar), we don’t do that here, and I won’t be publishing any of those sorts of comments. The Welcome tab at the top of this page explains that and other parameters for commenting.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hello Michelle, I understand you completely and do not blame you for being concerned. However, I am in consternation as to what denomination would be the closest to teaching the fullness of Truth. I am not trying to start a debate nor am I interested in getting into one. My most recent comment to the gentleman was the truth, but I had already decided if he answered in a derogatory manner, I would refrain from answering.

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      3. Ok, fair enough. Again, my apologies for misjudging your intentions.

        I am not thoroughly familiar with what every single denomination and sub-denomination out there teaches on every issue. If you had a specific question about a particular doctrine, I could probably tell you whether it’s biblical or not. All I can do is give you my thoughts about the knowledge I do have (just understand, it’s limited because I haven’t done extensive research in this area.)

        In my opinion, Reformed Baptist doctrine holds more closely – generally, and across all areas of theology (soteriology, sacraments, bibliology, pneumatology, etc.)- to what the Bible teaches. I am a Southern Baptist, even though the SBC leans heavily Arminian, because I believe the majority of its statement of faith is biblical, and because there is, to my knowledge, no Reformed Baptist denomination per se. Also, since each church in the SBC is autonomous, there are Reformed Baptist churches in the SBC.

        However, I also agree with the major tenets of the conservative branches of the Lutheran church and the Presbyterian church except for their views on baptism. Because of this, I wouldn’t attend a church of those denominations (unless there were no other options in my area) but I certainly consider believers in these denominations to be fellow Christians.

        I would say that a church (of any denomination) is a biblical church so long as it has its soteriology correct, correctly handles God’s word and operates in obedience to God’s word everywhere it is clear cut (for example, on homosexuality and women’s role in the church). On “second tier” issues that are less clear, such as baptism and eschatology, they need to have biblical support for their views. If you take a look at their biblical support on those things and it does not sit right with you because of the way you understand Scripture (assuming you’re able to rightly handle Scripture) then you should join a church whose biblically supported views on those issues best match your understanding of Scripture.

        I know that’s not a very precise answer, but it’s the best I can do :0)

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      4. You’re welcome, glad to be of help.

        Oh, and I thought of a couple more things I wanted to add:

        1. Although looking at the beliefs of various denominations can be a helpful starting point, I think you ultimately have to look at the practices of each individual church before deciding which one to join. For example, in the SBC there are some fine, biblical churches I am happy to recommend to people and would join myself, but at the other end of the spectrum you’ve got some churches that are still considered SBC that are so heretical I wouldn’t send my dog there (even though she’d probably be welcomed and baptized). If my only two choices of a church to attend were a doctrinally catastrophic SBC church like Saddleback (Rick Warren), Elevation (Steven Furtick), or New Spring (Perry Noble), or a conservative Lutheran church that rightly handled God’s word, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the Lutheran one.

        2. If you’re considering a particular church to join, looking at their statement of faith on their web site is not enough. Many churches these days have a statement of faith that’s completely biblical on paper, but when you actually go there and get involved, you find that they don’t follow it in their teaching and practices. Visit for a good while, observe, and set up an appointment to question the pastor.

        Like

  38. I listen to Joyce Meyer all the time. I am having trouble with
    the statement that she teaches false doctrine. Since my main
    spiritual gift is discernment I know I would have caught
    that but honestly I think her doctrine is true. I don’t always like
    her personality but there’s a big difference between style
    and doctrine. You can’t make me believe God has not called
    her to public ministry. I’ve never heard her say anything that did
    not line up with the word of God. If she believes Jesus is the son
    of God, that he died for our sins and that He was raised up on the 3rd day,
    that He is the one and only Savior then she is a true christian.
    I’m careful to not criticize servants of God, unless and until I see
    for myself that they are distorting the word for their own sakes.
    I will not sit under a false prophet or false teacher. I will run away
    at the first sign of that. I’ve done it more than once. I will not
    tolerate that. If you can give me a real instance where Joyce Meyer
    is teaching wrong doctrine or distorting the word, please let me
    know. Maybe I missed a program here and there. But to say she
    is not called of God is not right. I discern strongly that she is a
    woman of God and called by him to be doing exactly what she is
    doing. God says He’ll pour out His spirit on male and female alike.
    We can all learn something from others. I do agree that female pastors
    are a different story. But Joyce Meyer is not a pastor.
    She is a preacher. There are always more women than men at her
    crusades. No one forces the men to be there. She can’t help it if men
    come to her meetings. Often it’s a man accompanying his wife. She
    will have meetings for only women at times and I’m sure she uses those
    times to speak to women’s issues that men would not be interested in.
    I think she is more of a teacher to women. Men should not be turned away
    from her regular meetings…they come of their own free will, and because
    God leads them there. To say women can never teach a man under any
    circumstances is to deny the very gifts and talents that God has placed
    in his daughters. I agree women should not be in high authority in a church,
    however, such as pastor or co-pastor.

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    1. Hi Sparkle-

      First, just to make sure we’re on the same page (and for the sake of others reading this comment), let’s define “discernment.” Discernment is the ability to read and understand God’s word properly and in context, compare what you hear and read to God’s word, understand whether what you’re reading/hearing lines up with God’s word, and reject anything that doesn’t.

      Discernment is NOT, “I’ll take in any material that sounds good and if it isn’t biblical, God will tell me so by divine revelation.” (Not saying you necessarily believe that, but I talked to someone the other day that did, so I just want to be clear.)

      Regarding Joyce Meyer (or any other woman) being a preacher, pastor, or teaching men in the gathered body of believers- this is a sin just as much as if she were a habitual, unrepentant shoplifter or adulteress. Would you follow any pastor or Bible teacher who continuously and shamelessly committed those sins? There are plenty of steps Joyce Meyer could take to obey Scripture about the role of women in the church (http://michellelesleybooks.com/category/rock-your-role/), but she makes no effort to do so because she is not a Christian. The book of 1 John makes clear over and over that people who say they are Christians and live in constant rebellion against God’s word are not saved (for example, 1 John 2:4, see also Matthew 7:21-23). God does not “call” people to do things that conflict with His word, and women preaching to men, men seeking out women for biblical instruction, and anybody preaching false doctrine, is in blatant rebellion against God’s word.

      Since you asked, here are three links (there are many more out there) that compare Joyce Meyer’s false teachings to Scripture. If you truly are biblically discerning you will believe Scripture and reject Joyce Meyer as a false teacher.

      https://carm.org/joyce-meyer

      http://longfortruth.blogspot.com/2014/07/6-reasons-you-should-stop-listening-to.html

      Now, I have given you a biblical explanation of why Joyce Meyer is a false teacher and have given you ample evidence that she is in rebellion against God’s word. Just to save you some time- in keeping with my parameters for publishing comments (see Welcome tab at the top of this page), I will not be publishing any further comments arguing against Scripture or defending Joyce Meyer.

      Liked by 2 people

  39. One thing you forgot — Disobedience. If you are a believer in this country and not a member of the body of Christ, under the accountability of eldership and the administration of the sacraments, then you are out of accord with the Word of God.

    Like

    1. Hi Jess-

      I didn’t really forget that, it just didn’t apply in the scope of this particular article. This article is about “godly, genuinely regenerated women who love Christ, His word, and His church.” In my mind, a woman who disobediently forsakes church membership, regular attendance, and serving the local body altogether does not fit this description. This article is written from the perspective that discerning women are leaving unbiblical churches and searching for biblically sound churches to join instead.

      That said, I couldn’t agree with you more, and I did write a follow up article to that effect shortly thereafter (http://wp.me/p1qdEF-1cF). Hmm, maybe I should link it to this article. I think I will. :0) Thanks for your comment.

      Like

    2. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9…Yes, this is why I brokenheartedly left the congregation I had joyfully served for almost 20 years (I’m only 32!) and limped toward an unknown gathering that was at least preaching the gospel and was full of grace.

      Our senior pastor had been called to another church in Chicago, so we went without a senior pastor for a while and had a series of itinerant preachers–some who served us well by faithfully preaching Scripture, others…less so. Unfortunately, the leadership chose to hire one of the “less so” preachers to come to our church for four months to “not preach the gospel” to us. The strange thing, is that it was all wrapped up in gospel-speak, but we never really heard from Scripture anymore. He was passionate, but about what, I’m not quite sure. I was shocked to learn that we were paying thousands of dollars to fly this man into town just for the weekend, put him up in a hotel, feed him, etc., just so that he could not preach the good news to us–once on Saturday, and twice on Sunday. Chalk that up to a guest star in our weekly variety show, I guess. When our care pastor was asked to give a few thoughts or impressions reflecting on what we had been “learning” from this cheerleader, he simply read a few passages of Scripture, offered a few words of encouragement based on the text, and then the service moved on. It was the first time I had seen anybody read Scripture–from the Bible–“at the pulpit” (actually just on stage) in MONTHS and I openly wept.

      To Jess’s comment on disobedience, I have an honest question: Where is formal membership commanded in the Scriptures? Do not misunderstand, me, please! As I said, I have been faithfully serving my local congregation for 20 years–discipling others in pre-school, elementary school, middle school, high school, college and early career, proclaiming the Gospel to those who have not heard it in other countries, inductively studying the Scriptures, fasting, praying, giving generously and faithfully to the congregation and global Gospel causes, etc. At my old congregation, some of the pastors were genuinely surprised when I informed them that I’m not actually a formal member–I suspect that they saw me more frequently than some folks on the membership list.

      I’m not a church-hopper and I truly agonized over whether to leave my previous congregation (I’m now regularly worshipping with a Gospel-preaching, grace-filled congregation). I’ve asked, and I’ve asked, but I’ve yet to find anyone who can tell (from Scripture) me why formal church membership is a requirement of a believer. I repented, believed, and made a proclamation of faith to the congregation when I became baptized. I’m a member of the body of Christ. Where am I commanded to sign a piece of paper, or make an additional statement before a local congregation affirming my membership there? It seems to me to all be an organizational/legal issue (we need to know for the mailing list, or we need to know who’s able to vote in church meetings, we want to legally cover ourselves if we ever have to discipline you, etc.), not a spiritual issue.

      I say this not to boast, but to honestly and sincerely question why formal church membership is required.

      Like

  40. I have a question. I am attending a church where women say “amen”while pastor is preaching. One in particulat does speaks out off and on during the sermon. Lots of “uh huh”, “that’s right”, ‘amen”, chuckles, filling in words as Pastor speaks. It seems like a lot of affirming and not really listening and learning. I believe that is wrong and should stop in light of Paul’s admonition for the women to keep quiet in Corinthians. Also, I am concerned about the plethora of theological and counseling books being written by women and women counseling men. Titus tells the older women to teach the younger to love their husbands and children not theology. It seems to me that women should be ministering to women in their local church. Women standing behind pulpits (like women’s conferences) and speaking at conference with male speakers. I know we are to share the gospel and let our lights shine, but I wonder if there is some teaching and authority over men being usurped in a more subtle way. Please give me your thoughts

    Like

    1. “I have a question. I am attending a church where women say “amen”while pastor is preaching. One in particulat does speaks out off and on during the sermon…”

      Hi, A.L. I’m familiar with the kind of thing you’re talking about. I think the primary concern in that situation is that it’s annoying and distracting to people who are trying to focus on the sermon. It would be just as much of a problem if a man were doing it.

      It sounds to me like maybe this lady comes from a church background where this kind of reflexive “feedback” during the sermon is the norm. She may not even be fully aware of the extent to which she’s doing it or that it’s distracting. Maybe, for her, it’s just “normal.” On the other hand, she could be a new Christian or someone who has recently come out from under false teaching, and is just overwhelmed by joy to hear the gospel preached and God’s word rightly handled. If I were in a similar situation with someone like her, I’d try to extend some grace, befriend the lady, and see where she’s coming from.

      As far as both men and women saying the occasional “amen” during the sermon, if that’s the norm at your church, and it’s not distracting, I don’t think that’s a violation of Scripture. Paul’s overall focus in 1 Corinthians 14 (the whole chapter) is orderliness in worship so that people can hear the Word preached. I’ve written about that here.

      “Also, I am concerned about the plethora of theological and counseling books being written by women and women counseling men.”

      There are a lot of separate issues there that I don’t think we should lump all together. Simply writing a theology or counseling (I’m assuming you mean biblical counseling) book is not a violation of Scripture on the woman’s part. (More on that here.) The biblical admonition is against women in the church gathering instructing men or holding positions of authority over them. (More here.) Sometimes the problem can lie with men who are improperly seeking biblical instruction from women (more here), but that’s not always necessarily the case just because a man is reading a book on those topics written by a woman. There are a lot of different variables at play in each situation, and I don’t think it’s wise for me to make a blanket “law” about female authors where Scripture has not explicitly made one. (One more article, here.)

      That being said, I believe that the wisest thing, and what’s most in keeping with the spirit of Scripture, is for female writers to aim their books, blogs, etc., at women, and for men to seek out books written by other men for their own biblical instruction, when teaching from books studies at their churches, etc.

      With regard to actual counseling (and by the way, I did my Master’s work in marriage/family counseling, so I have a little background there), I don’t think it’s ever a good idea for a woman to counsel a man or vice versa. Counseling can be a highly emotionally intimate situation, and there’s too much risk of romantic feelings developing and being acted upon.

      “Titus tells the older women to teach the younger to love their husbands and children not theology.”

      Well, let’s take a look at what it actually says:

      Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 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 2:3-5

      Let’s start by noticing that Paul doesn’t say that older women are NOT to teach the Bible or theology to younger women.

      Next, it says that older women are to be “reverent” in their behavior, that they are to teach “what is good” and and several specifics under the heading of “what is good.” How do we learn how to be reverent, what reverent behavior is, what is good, how to teach, and what “loving their husbands and children,” etc., means? By receiving biblical instruction from the preached/taught word at church and from studying our Bibles. So the older women are first to be students of the Word themselves.

      Finally, if older women are to teach younger women (and, yes, teaching needs to start in their homes with their children, followed by ministering to the women in their local church, before they think about venturing outside the church to teach) we must teach them theology. First, theology certainly falls under the heading “what is good.” Second, if we are to teach women to do all of the specifics in verses 4-5, we must teach them what the Bible says about why they’re to love their husbands, how they’re to love their children, the biblical view of submission, etc. Why? “That the word of God may not be reviled.” If we’re going to teach women to live in such a way that the word of God may not be reviled, they have to know what God says about the way they’re to live, and that is theology.

      I’m sure you’re right and there are plenty of subtle ways women are improperly teaching and exercising authority over men that we probably don’t realize, but I also think we need to make sure our main focus is on all men and women hearing the gospel and hearing God’s word properly preached and taught. If we deal with the camels, we won’t have to worry about straining out the gnats :0)

      Thanks so much for your questions. They were very thought-provoking.

      Like

  41. Thank you so much for writing this. I know it had to be the Holy Spirit moving you to do so because the pure backlash would be scary enough to stop most people.

    Everything you wrote resignated with me.

    I’ve been struggling with these 9 issues for years now we were at one church for over half a decade & at another church for less than 2 years. My biggest issues were always the women’s groups. So much emotionally lead, anti biblical blasphemy being taught from these women. I mean the church as a whole were teaching biblically accurate doctrine in every sense of the word otherwise but when I attended the women’s get togethers there was always some amount of blasphemy taught out of emotionally lead “revelation”. Bible twisting interpretation. When you’d try to bring up scripture that contradicted them they’d call you legalistic, they’d say you lack grace & love or whatever else they could think of to demonize you. I’m also younger (I don’t think I’m so young but for someone who’s been married more then a decade and has more then a dozen children I’m sort of young, 32) and so often the older women who were completely unknowledgeable would just yell over me or scream at me so in respect of their age & trying to conduct myself like a lady, I’d stop speaking.

    At the last church I attended my husband was made an elder. He stepped down because we completely disagreed with how things were happening behind the scene & we decided we’d stay and just love on everyone. We were asked by the pastor to take a hiatus from church because his wife was too angry to see us. He said we could return when she cooled off. She was a tyrant. There’s actual Yelp reviews of their church from over a yr before we even attended their church of other women who spoke of her complete tyranny.

    She manipulated everything & everyone. She was a huge fanatic of Beth Moore too which made me laugh to see her as the first name you posted.

    Her Saturday morning women’s bible studies consisted of her newest self diagnoses (ADD, Asbergurs, OCD, PTSD, etc…) we essentially were therapy for her & then she’d add snippets of scripture here and there completely maligned and distorted to mean what she wanted it to mean. In 14 months of 2 times a month bible studies we went from Matthew 1-3. Because the rest of the time she spoke about herself. She spoke of how her kid annoyed her, how she went out every day & her husband (the pastor) would ask where she went every day and how she told him it was non of his business what she did. She spoke about what she did for people and how they weren’t thankful enough and how she was such an amazing person whom no one noticed. I

    was the only woman at the church who homeschooled or was a SAHM so she always picked on me for not being “more”, although she didn’t actually have a job & her 16yr old went to public school. We saw her get in her husband’s face screaming at him, jumping up and down cursing at him calling him the **f ** word that’s a derogatory term for homosexual. We saw her verbally abuse her husband and son. She was always demasculating her husband & telling him to shut up. For a while we stayed there in spite of her behavior because we felt so sorry for the pastor. We thought his plight was to deal with this ravenous woman but after my husband became an elder her teeth came out.

    She was trying to control everything we did. Who we had at our home, whom we spoke to, what we did with our children, how much time my husband evangelized. If I made dinner for a family because they were going through something, she’d find out & call other women to rebuke me. She was angry that my husband & I were so involved in evangelizing & bible studies. She took my husband and I aside & told him she resented my husband’s relationship with her husband & that he would not be allowed to be a pastor at Her Church. That my husband would have to leave & start a church somewhere else.

    Her husband wanted to retire & make my husband the pastor but she made him make my husband an elder instead. Not that we minded, praise God for saving us from that mess. She accused me of trying to start a cue against her, turns out she had done this already to all the women at the church. Everyone considers her “touched” but harmless. She’s not harmless, she vindictive & spiteful. We then saw her husband wasn’t a victim of her problems but her enabler. He hid behind her, he was just as spiteful, vindictive & conniving. He ended up starting a cue at another pastor’s church & essentially destroying the leadership that pastor had there.

    I’m seriously so done with churches. We now attend another church outside of our state. We attend it causesly & without actually fellowshipping, we like the teaching but…

    The other issue I have is that while I have no problem with the churches we have attended doctrinally, when it comes to Ephesians 5:21 it’s like pastors are afraid to teach truth. They tip toe around the truth, they vehemently apologize & kiss up to women as they teach but when they teach the men they practically throw granades at them. Women are being mislead by their sinfulness because pastors are scared to rebuke them & exhort them.

    My husband & I taught children’s ministry for many many years and I can’t agree more with you. We would teach them at their level but the other teachers who’d teach on our days off would play games, give out candy, let the kids run around the room hurting each other, wrestling, etc… To be honest most of the time the teachers didn’t even prepare so they just winged it. As parents it’s hard to teach our kids to reverence church when their Sunday school teachers treat church like chucky cheese. One of the people who lead children’s worship did a fruit of the spirit song. They’d go “the fruit of the spirit is not a coconut (kids echo back…”coconut”…while turning to their neighbor & punching that kid in the skull). The fruit of the spirit is not a banana (kids echo back…”a banana” …while they pretend to slip on a banana & throw themselves as hard as they can onto the floor…” I couldn’t believe this garbage especially since 3 of my kids were in this group. I looked around the room & the other teachers and helpers were all smiling. Why was I the only person upset? Kids were hurting each other & themselves. No, they were not knocking lightly on each other’s heads or slopping to the floor gently. They aggressively punched each other on the head & slammed themselves to the floor.

    On another note, Some of the first Christians we met ten years ago we still know. The wife is the right hand woman of this pastor’s wife. We recently saw her & I said to my husband. “Did you notice how combative & aggressive (so and so) has become. It’s so not her character. I don’t even know what’s wrong. She even lost her job for putting her hands on someone at work. She never even spanked her kids.” My husband very wisely said “Babe, ‘bad company corrupts good character’, the bible says so!” The pastor would actually gloat about the women his wife put her hands on to intimidate them. She had screamed in my face a few times but I never took it personally because like everyone else at the time I just thought she was mentally unstable. However I later saw she controlled every elder, his wife, every compactor & their wife. I thought crazy or not, I’m not having that.

    Which makes me even more happy we left that church. Praise God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that sounds like a really terrible experience! I’m so sorry you and your husband had to go through that. I’m taking a moment to pray for y’all right now, that God will lead you to a healthy church that you can get plugged in to, serve faithfully at, and where you can find true fellowship. I understand the need to take a brief, temporary step back from lots of activity at church (my husband and I once had to do that due to a situation at a church we left), but I would encourage you to make it just that: brief and temporary. We need the body of Christ, the teaching of the Word, and the fellowship with other believers.

      http://michellelesleybooks.com/2015/08/14/six-ways-not-to-forsake-the-assembly/

      Liked by 1 person

  42. What exactly has Beth Moore taught that doesn’t line up with scripture? Granted I’ve only gone through one of her bible studies, but I never saw anything in it that didn’t line up with scripture in it.

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  43. This peaks volumes, with all 9 points being on target. I could add a few more too. I confronted the pastor at the last church we attended as I caught him plagiarizing his sermons. He would listen to my concerns. He then posted one of his many plagiarized sermons on the church FB page to which I added the video sermon from which he stole from. The only two differences were the candy used as the teachable moment – the original sermon used skittles and this one used gummy worms; and second thing was that the original pastor attended the movie together as a family where this pastor went with just his son (from the stage he looked at his wife when he said it like he was making sure she better not contradict him). We have been without a church body for 7 years now. We once in a while find a new church to check out only to see they are down the same path as the others…circle maker sermons, purpose driven, word of faith, king James only, etc. I watch sermons on video with my family and gather with a friends that I can. Many people I know are still in the trap and don’t want to hear that it’s wrong. They like the recognition they get or how it speaks to them with all their programs for them and their children…the same kind of programs that you listed in your 9.

    Like

    1. I’m so sorry you had that bad experience, and that it has been difficult to find a new church. Check out the “Searching for a new church?” tab at the top of this page, and let’s find you a great, doctrinally sound church. God doesn’t want His children to be “homeless” :0)

      Like

  44. Oh hittin’ the nail on the head! Amen and Amen! #8 really hit home, beause the church I attended didn’t like me questioning anything, especially potato chip sermons. You know, fluff pieces. They look like food, but they don’t nourish anyone. The pastor called it a Jezebel spirit, though never to my face, he just started coming out with all of these self-righteous soap box sermons brow beating from the pulpit.
    another church had a lady’s Bible study and when it first started the pastors wife said they did a Beth Moore study last year, but some found it too difficult. sigh. Seriously? I left that church too.

    Like

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