Answering the Opposition- Responses to the Most Frequently Raised Discernment Objections

Discernment objections

Discernment- it’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it. While I’m a women’s discipleship blogger rather than a discernment blogger, discernment is part of discipleship. And it’s sorely lacking among Christian women today, which is why it’s regularly featured in my writing.

I’ve been very encouraged by the hundreds of e-mails, messages, and comments I’ve received from women who have turned away from false teachers or helped their loved ones and churches to forsake false doctrine because of something I have written. (I claim absolutely no credit for that. God and His word get all the glory. He is the one who changes hearts, not me.) It’s such a blessing to hear from so many women who are actively pursuing Christ and the truth of His word.

Unfortunately, there are also occasional comments and messages from women who are disciples of the false teachers I warn against, who take me to task for doing so. The same unscriptural accusations are raised again and again against me and against others who take a biblical stand against false teachers and false doctrine.

Here, in no particular order, are the most frequently raised objections to my discernment work and my answers to them. Many readers have told me that these same objections have been raised to them when they warn others of false teachers. Please feel free to use this article as a resource if these objections are raised with you.

Amy Spreeman and I recorded a series of A Word Fitly Spoken podcast episodes dealing with each of the items in this article. I’ve included a link to the appropriate episode in each section in case you’d like to listen.

1. Did you contact Ms. Twisted Sister in obedience to Matthew 18:15-20 before publishing this article about her?

No, I have not confronted Ms. Twisted Sister about her false teaching. Here’s why:

a. The Matthew 18 passage does not apply to public false teaching. It is about sin in the local congregation where you actually know the offender personally and have access to him/her. It has to do with correcting sin in the local church and removing the offender from the local church if she refuses to repent. Jesus, Paul, and others refuted public false teaching publicly without following the (again, inapplicable) steps in Matthew 18 many times. D.A. CarsonJosh Buice, and Randy Alcorn have each written excellent articles further explaining the inapplicability of this passage to public false teaching. The real question is, why hasn’t her own pastor placed her under church discipline for teaching men and/or teaching false doctrine?

b. I have no doubt that others have confronted her about these things. Plus, she has a Bible and supposedly knows it well enough to teach it. If so, then she is well aware of what the Bible says about these issues. If not, she does not know the Bible well enough to be teaching (James 3:1).

c. I have attempted plenty of times to contact people like Ms. Twisted Sister. One of two things happens: either I’m ignored altogether, or one of her underlings gets back in touch with me to defend her. It’s a complete waste of time.

d. What if I had contacted Ms. Twisted Sister and she flatly refused to repent of the false doctrine she’s teaching? Would you then be in full support of my article which warns against her? No? Then whether or not I attempted to contact her is not the issue you have with this article, so why bring it up?

“But did you go to him in private?” A look at Matthew 18

2. You say that Ms. Twisted Sister is in disobedience to Scripture because she preaches to men. You’re just as guilty because you have a blog and social media pages that men can read.

All this accusation does is to demonstrate the accuser’s lack of understanding of Scripture and how to correctly study it in context, which are fruits of sitting under the “instruction” of false teachers who don’t train people in proper hermeneutics.

Having a blog in the public square for women that men trespass on is not the same thing as intentionally and unrepentantly preaching to men in the church setting as I’ve explained in further detail in this article.

Furthermore, when trespassing takes place, who is at fault- the person trespassed upon or the trespasser himself? If a man is improperly receiving biblical instruction from a blog for women the man is the one at fault, not the woman blogger who has no intention of instructing him.

Addressing Objections to Discernment – Part 1

3. But look how many people Ms. Twisted Sister is helping! I’ve grown so much in my relationship with the Lord because of her!

No you haven’t. It is impossible to grow to biblical, Christian maturity by following someone who teaches false doctrine, just like it’s impossible to grow physically healthy by eating a diet of poison. The only kind of growing you can do by following a false teacher is growing away from the Lord, despite what you may think or feel.

False teachers are not “helping” anyone but themselves. Just like the false teachers Paul spoke out against, they are “teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”

The size or apparent success of a false teacher’s ministry also does not prove that she is helping people or teaching God’s word correctly. Jesus always taught biblical truth, and yet we read in John 6 that after one of His teaching sessions, “many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him”. The size of a ministry is not an indicator of whether or not it is biblical.

Finally, the “help” a ministry provides is not an indication that the false teacher is doing what is right in God’s eyes. Did you know that several medical procedures that have helped many people were discovered in World War II concentration camps during torturous experiments on inmates? Does the fact that those medical procedures have helped so many people justify the torture the Nazis inflicted on their victims? The ends do not justify the means, especially in Christianity.

Addressing Objections to Discernment- Part 2

4. You’re creating division and disunity by speaking out against Ms. Twisted Sister.

No, again, this demonstrates a lack of knowledge about what the Bible actually teaches. Scripture is abundantly clear that it is the false teachers, not those speaking out against them, who are creating division and disunity. See Jude 18-19 and Romans 16:17-18.

The solution to this division and disunity is for false teachers to repent of their false doctrine, learn how to rightly handle and teach God’s word, and begin to teach sound doctrine, not for discerning Christians to keep quiet.

Addressing Objections to Discernment- Part 2

5. You’re slandering Ms. Twisted Sister by warning against her.

The dictionary definition of slander is: “to make a false spoken statement that causes people to have a bad opinion of someone.” (So, technically the correct word would be libel when we’re talking about writing, because slander has to do with verbal speech.)

The key word in the definition of slander is “false.” When I demonstrate that someone is a false teacher, I do so by providing ample truthful video, audio, or text evidence of what the person says or does and compare it with what the Bible says. This is not slander. This is similar to what a lawyer does in court when examining someone accused of a crime. The lawyer provides evidence of the accused’s words and behavior and compares it to the law so a judge or jury can decide whether or not the accused is guilty of breaking the law. The fact that you don’t like the verdict doesn’t mean the lawyer is slandering the accused by exposing her own words and behavior.

Addressing Objections to Discernment- Part 4

6. You’re being unkind, unloving, ungodly, divisive, hateful, self-righteous, mean, critical, etc. for calling out false teachers.

Every single book of the New Testament except Philemon warns against false teachers or false doctrine. Jesus called out false teachers. So did Peter, Paul, John, Jude, and other New Testament figures. And they usually did so much more harshly than I do. Are you ready to say that Jesus Himself and the apostles writing under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit were being unloving, ungodly, hateful, etc., for speaking against false teachers? That’s a very serious allegation to make against the Jesus you claim to follow.

Discernment work, done properly (and I’m not denying that sometimes it’s done improperly) is done out of love– love for the victims of false teachers. It’s the same love that sees an oblivious child in the street with a truck bearing down on him and snatches the child out of harm’s way. It is not loving to let people continue to believe false doctrine that may lead them to an eternity in hell without at least trying to rescue them.

Addressing Objections to Discernment- Part 4

7. Ms. Twisted Sister may not always be right but that doesn’t mean she’s a false teacher. We all get things wrong.

Following that logic, I would be accusing every pastor in the history of the New Testament church of being a false teacher, including Paul and the apostles, because they have all made mistakes in their preaching at some point. And I’m certainly not doing that.

In the same way that a driver, despite taking every precaution, could one day accidentally hit and kill a pedestrian is different from a person who decides to go out and become a serial killer, there is a big difference between a pastor who generally preaches sound doctrine, makes an innocent mistake, repents of it, corrects it, and goes on to continue to preach sound doctrine, and a person who unrepentantly, and despite continued rebuke, wallows in false doctrine and rebelliously keeps teaching it. Let’s not pretend that the two are the same. These are not innocent mistakes these false teachers are making and repenting of. This is the continuous, rebellious, proclamation of false doctrine.

Addressing Objections to Discernment- Part 3

8. Maybe Ms. Twisted sister says some things that are wrong, bibically, but she says some good things, too. I just “chew up the meat and spit out the bones”.

Please show me the Scripture, chapter and verse, in context that says that this is the way we are to deal with false teachers. Hint- it doesn’t. It says exactly the opposite. It says we are to have nothing to do with false teachers, and that if we embrace them, we are taking part in their wicked works. See Romans 16:17-18, 2 John 9-11, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Ephesians 5:11,and Titus 1:9-16.

Addressing Objections to Discernment- Part 3

9. You’re judging Ms. Twisted Sister! The Bible says not to judge.

No, the Bible says not to judge improperly or unbiblically. The same Jesus who said not to judge improperly in Mathew 7 also said we are to “judge with right judgment” in John 7.

Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 are clear that it is the duty of Christians to make scriptural judgments about sin in the church and excommunicate so called Christians who unrepentantly persist in sin.

The Bible does not say not to judge at all, it says to do it biblically.

Addressing Objections to Discernment- Part 4

10. You shouldn’t be writing against Ms. Twisted Sister, you should just be praying for her.

First of all, I do pray regularly for false teachers. But to say we should only pray for them and not warn others of them is to say that Jesus and all the other New Testament figures who warned against false teachers and false doctrine – under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – were wrong to do so and should simply have prayed for them. Are you willing to level that kind of accusation against Jesus and the Holy Spirit?

Addressing Objections to Discernment – Part 1

It’s disappointing for people who idolize a certain teacher – someone they’re so sure is helping them grow closer to the Lord – to hear hard truths about this person they’ve come to love and admire. I get that. I’ve stood in their shoes. It’s like ripping off a Band-Aid or being doused with a bucket of cold water. But, as I said, it is not loving to see people believing false doctrine without at least making an attempt to rescue them, even if it hurts at first. Let us pull them back from the brink in love and patience. Second Timothy 2:24-26 says it best:

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

90 thoughts on “Answering the Opposition- Responses to the Most Frequently Raised Discernment Objections”

  1. Thank you. I am in a hard place with this very issue. My husband believes and financially supports several NAR false teachers. I pray for and study for times when I can insert godly truth in our conversations. I cringed when I read that infuriating statement about meat and bones, I’ve been told that! Thanks again, trying to bring light into my husbands dark beliefs is tough but delicate work. Only God working through me will have a positive impact. I admit to extreme levels of frustration sometimes, but ignoring the problem isn’t an option.


    1. My hubby couldn’t believe when I threw out all my Beth Moore books years ago…. he wanted me to “at least recycle them” so others could read them. That’s exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good for you! We’re moving and I had to help pack his Rick Joyner books. He’d bought extras to give away!


    2. Dear sister. I stand with you . We have a duty to warn. I applaud you. Keep doing what you are doing. We are in that time when Gods people will not RECIEVE sound doctrine. I believe God is marking those that are his and separating the sheep from the goats in our churches. You are not wrong to expose. Do the duty of a Watchman.
      In Jesus Name
      David Boehmer.


      1. Hi Iris- If you mean me, click on the “Contact and Social Media” tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page. Please read my e-mail/messages policy carefully. I am unable to individually answer most e-mails/messages.


  2. Thank you for your post. This process of weeding out the false teachers in my life has not been easy. I have only been on this journey for about 3 months, and it has been painful. The first article I read on some of my favorite women teachers literally knocked the wind out of me. As the Holy Spirit has been guiding me through this, my anger and frustration towards the “messenger” has changed to thankfulness and gratitude. Thank you for caring about our spiritual growth!


  3. Thank you for this. It’s very helpful and I’m going to bookmark it and refer people to it a lot. I receive these same complaints, daily. It’s tiring to write the same thing over and over to all different people. This will be great to refer them to all at once. The similarity between what you wrote and what I also have experienced, makes it seem like these people have one set of talking points that they all use.

    Sunny Shell at Abandoned to Christ (sunnyshell.org) said in her review of The Bible miniseries, an answer to the charge that God can use anything (even error like in a movie or false teacher),
    Q. “Even though there’s a lot of error in this movie, still, don’t you think it’s a great way to show people who God really is, I mean, can’t God use anything to save someone?

    A. No, I don’t think this movie is a great way to reveal the truth about God since it’s filled with lies about God. And yes, I realize God can use anything to save someone, but He only chose to use the message of the true Gospel to save all men (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).

    Thanks so much for not repudiating discernment writing as well. It’s the fad today, as the pendulum swings in Christian trends, to reject it as an immature discipline one would hope to grow out of, but I will never repudiate it (done right, as you wisely cautioned). It’s the gift the Spirit gave me and I’m expected to use it (among the other gifts He dispensed, which for me is also teaching (Romans 12:6–8). I won’t reject a gift from the Spirit but I do always pray to be wise & gracious when employing it.

    Thanks again for all your work. You do a good job.


    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Elizabeth. I so appreciate your ministry as well. It has been such a helpful resource for me (http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/ for others who are reading this).

      “It’s tiring to write the same thing over and over to all different people.”

      This cracked me up, because, to be honest, that’s the main reason I wrote this. It’s so much faster and easier to copy and paste or share a link than keep writing the same answer again and again :0)


  4. I needed this blog post two years ago when I tangled with a Beth Moore fan who eventually ended our friendship because I wouldn’t “see the light.” She also said I was “ripping her friend” and confusing new Christians by blogging about Moore and posting about her on Facebook. Both her dad and her husband are pastors who agree with her that my critique of Moore is “negative.” Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank YOU!! What an encouragement. I have been told (even by pastors) that these groups/persons can bring people to Christ WHEN they are in a Bible believing church. I argued the point that the false doctrine is what creeps into the church. I see it in our church with our Womens Ministry. Nobody was vetting any of the material. I got labeled a trouble maker because I asked questions and pointed out that these false teachers are leading women astray and bringing it into not only our church but their homes. I am going to save this post as it is a great resource. Thank you again!


  6. I had a question about the “trespass” statement above.

    As a man, am I not to read or seek to understand anything from your blog because a woman wrote it? Need some clarity


    1. Hi Keith-

      Great question! (Besides the two articles I linked to in that section, here’s one more that might help (see #2).

      As far as my personal position goes, the answer is no on the “anything/ever” question, but I would encourage male readers to examine their motives for reading my blog. I have a number of godly male readers, including several pastors, who read my blog for a variety of reasons: they’re interested in a female perspective on various church/biblical issues, they want to use my perspective to better understand and help their wives or female church members, their wives/female church members read my blog and they’re keeping tabs on me to make sure those ladies are taught properly, they don’t have time to vet a certain Christian teacher, so they use my information on false/sound teachers as a resource, and there are those who are friends, whom I’ve asked to keep up with my blog so they can offer me correction as needed.

      My thought is that any of those (or similar) reasons are fine and don’t fall under the spirit of 1 Timothy 2:12. What I do feel would fall under the spirit of that passage would be a man seeking biblical instruction from me for his own personal walk with the Lord. For example- I run a Bible study for women every Wednesday on the blog, and the archives of my previous studies are under the “Bible Studies” tab at the top of this page. I’d feel scripturally uncomfortable if a man were using that as the basis for his quiet time rather than using something written by a man, or just studying his Bible.

      I guess the question I would ask myself if I were a male reader is: What are my reasons for reading this? Is my motivation to receive instruction in Scripture that should really be coming from a male teacher or straight from God’s word? (By the way, if you’re looking for some godly male preachers and teachers, check the “Recommended Bible Teachers” tab at the top of this page.)

      Hope this helps :0)


  7. You say that God won’t speak to a person outside of the Bible. What about being led by the Holy Spirit? God won’t spell out for you in his Word where he wants you to live, what job to accept or whom he wants you to marry. Don’t tell me that we’re supposed to make these important decisions on our own. I think that you are a false teacher telling people that they can’t hear from God.


    1. What about being led by the Holy Spirit?

      You do realize the Holy Spirit is the author of Scripture, right? And the Holy Spirit tells us that Scripture is sufficient for every situation we face in life. Want to know how I know that? The Holy Spirit told me so. In Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

      The Holy Spirit doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that we can expect Him to tell us through extra-biblical revelation where to live, what job to take etc. We study our Bibles, ask God for biblical wisdom (James 1:5), trust Him to give us that wisdom, and make the most godly decision we can, trusting God for the outcome. That’s not me telling you “we’re supposed to make these important decisions on our own,” that’s God telling you the way He wants you to make decisions in His word.

      When you insist on extra-biblical revelation when God has already clearly stated in His word how we are to go about making decisions, what you are doing is saying, “God, Your way is wrong and I reject it. I insist you do things my way.” That’s blasphemy.

      As to me being a false teacher, if you’re calling me that, you haven’t studied your Bible enough to know what a false teacher is. You need to stop following whatever false teachers you’re following, pick up your Bible and study it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was also wondering your thoughts on women teaching men? Do you have a link to point me your thoughts on that? I have some questions regarding that.


      2. Hi Steven-

        I’ve written a series of articles dealing with the role of women in the church. The series is called Rock Your Role. I would recommend starting with “Jill in the Pulpit” and the FAQ article (you’ll have to scroll down to get to them).

        I received your previous comment, and I apologize, but at the moment I’m in the middle of a huge project that has to be completed by the end of the month, so I’m not at liberty to answer it at this time. (Also, per my comment parameters in the Welcome tab, I don’t generally have the time to carry on long-form teaching beyond what I write in my articles.) I will be happy to answer what I can of your questions as soon as possible, but that could be quite a while.

        Thanks for reading :0)


      3. Hi Michelle, I’m sorry if I’m being really stupid, but I can’t see how 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says anything at all about how we are to hear God speaking with regards to scripture or otherwise…have you got the reference confused or am I not reading it properly? Similarly, you use James 1:5 to argue the case for ‘biblical’ wisdom however this verse makes no mention of scripture in relation to the wisdom we are to ask for…? I wonder if perhaps James 1:22-25 is more helpful on this point?


      4. Hi Zoe- Great questions! As I mentioned in the comment above, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 speaks to the sufficiency of Scripture. God says in that passage that Scripture is all we need to equip us for every good work. (I explain more about that here.)

        I think James 1:22-25 (being doers of God’s word) is a very helpful passage to think about when it comes to making decisions. Thanks for adding that into the mix! When we think about James 1:5 with regard to God giving us wisdom through Scripture, it’s helpful to think about that verse in light of other passages that talk about God imparting wisdom to us through Scripture, such as Psalm 19:7-11, Deuteronomy 4:5-6, 2 Timothy 3:15, 2 Peter 1:19. I probably should have included those supporting Scriptures for greater clarity, so thanks for asking! :0)


      5. Hi again, Zoe. Your questions and follow up questions (I got them, but haven’t published them yet) are really good. I think a lot of other people probably have the same questions, so what I’d like to do is answer them in an upcoming edition of The Mailbag (where I answer readers’ questions) so that others can benefit. Keep an eye on the blog on Mondays. I’ll try to get it posted next week unless something comes up.


      6. Hi Michelle, have you published your mailbag edition where you address readers questions? I’ve been having a look but can’t find it. Please could you send me a link if it’s up but I’m just missing it? Thanks. Zoë


      7. Hi Zoe! What a coincidence! I just finished writing that post. It will publish a week from Monday (6/26). I apologize that it took so long for me to get to it. I’ve had some things come up unexpectedly that I had to attend to.


  8. Wow. Where have you been?? What a breath of fresh air. Thank you for your love for the masses. We need to hear the truth. Period. Just because a woman is trendy, comical, down to earth, and seems relatable doesn’t mean she is teaching truth. I’m slowly learning about this epidemic. And I’m heartbroken. One by one. Another one bites the dust. It’s easy to spot the blatant, direct heresies. It’s the ones that speak subtle untruths and misinterpret Scripture that are easy to miss sometimes.


  9. I think I need a new church as the one I go to now has Bible Study every Wed evening and I can’t seem to make the oops woman pastor understand that Ms Shirer and Ms Harper are false teachers. I don’t go to the women of purpose conference for the same reason. Help please.


    1. Hi Rose- Yes, if you go to a “church” that has a female “pastor,” you definitely need to find a new, doctrinally sound church. I’d be delighted to do what I can to help. Why don’t you shoot me a quick e-mail (MichelleLesley1@yahoo.com) and let me know where you live and we can move forward from there.


      1. Hello, Michelle. I just came across your offer to see if you could be of help to someone who is looking for a church which is doctrinally sound and teaches the truth. I’m wondering if you may be able to give me any direction in finding a church. I live in LaValle, WI which is in Sauk County, WI. I would appreciate anything you can let me know, if you have the resources to do that. Thank you. Tammy McKenzie


      2. Hi Tammy- I’ve posted your request here. Keep checking back on it periodically to see if anyone has responded. Also be sure to check out all the resources at the “Searching for a new church?” tab at the top of this page. I hope you’ll be able to find a great, doctrinally sound church! :0)


  10. I agree completely that there seems to be a rise in false doctrine in various ministries and churches, but I am bothered by pointing out false teachers vs. false doctrine. Can you point me to anywhere in scripture where Jesus or his disciples called out false teachers by name?


  11. Thank you so much for the article on Heather Lindsey something just doesn’t sit well about her with me and I can never put my hand on it and I’ve been praying that something comes up where I start to see that my feelings are right about her and I’ve read a couple of posts now that have gave me confirmation about this woman thank you so much


  12. Reblogged this on Unified in Truth and commented:
    Here is a great article about the importance of being discerning. Michelle Lesley answers objections that some women have brought up regarding ‘speaking out against false teachers’, and uses Scripture to support her stance.
    I think she is spot on!
    As always, be a Berean and test if everything you read lines up with His Word.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Michelle. Finding your blog was definitely an answer to prayer. Although the Lord has been reminding me “Nancy not all have bowed to Baal”. I have been saying, “really, Lord because it sure seems that way.” Just this past few months, first it was the movie “the Shack” that people were flocking to, then Soulfest (I find very little discernment in music these days) and now this women’s conference “women of joy”. For me personally, I get that knowing conviction in my spirit “beware this is deception” but have trouble articulating in word, I just know. But in order to warn others (which I know the Lord is preparing me for), I have to start being able to articulate it better. So coming across your blog when I was doing a search on some of the speakers at this conference, truly was an answer to prayer! And on a more personal note, it made me feel less alone. I look forward to reading more.


  14. Hi Michelle, This topic is a tough one for me…I’ve been processing this idea of teachers like Beth Moore being called out as a false teacher. I am going to seek this one hard and pray God opens my heart and mind through his word and prayer. But, I’ve been grappling with this one question and was wondering if you’d provide me some feedback. My question is: Would cessationists call continuists false teachers?


    1. I can’t speak for all cessationists, but I do not label someone a false teacher simply for being a continuationist, assuming all his/her other doctrine is biblically sound (and I sense that is the general position of most cessationists).

      However, of the well-known doctrinally sound continuationists I’m familiar with, I would say they’re generally less discerning and more susceptible to false doctrine than cessationists. They’re much more open to connecting with (forming friendships, speaking at conferences with, recommending and positively quoting/re-posting on social media, etc.) people who are false teachers than cessationists tend to be.

      For this reason, and because I don’t think Scripture supports the continuationist view, I don’t proactively endorse continuationists who have a reputation for being doctrinally sound. I don’t warn against them, but I don’t quote them, share their posts on social media, or recommend their books, conferences, or other materials, either.

      I’m so happy to hear you’re working through the Scriptures on this. That’s what every Christian should be doing. One thing I would throw out there – I don’t know if you’ve read my article on Beth Moore or not – but I’m not sure she really qualifies as a continuationist. I’ve never heard of her teaching glossolalia (“tongues”), “prophecy” (predicting the future), supernatural healing, or other sign gifts as they’re commonly understood among continuationists/charismatics. However, she does teach other false doctrine and violates Scripture by preaching to men and yoking herself with false teachers, which, whether one wants to label her a false teacher or not, should be sufficient evidence that no one should be following or receiving teaching from her.

      I hope this helps :0)


  15. I am sorry to be a ‘radical’ christian, but people, those who use the Word of God – in order to make money, – don’t really love Jesus! Freely you have been given – freely you should give to others!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, actually, if you’ll read the verse you’re alluding to (Matthew 10:8) in context, this is Jesus’ instruction to the disciples for that one particular “mission trip” that those specific men went on at that designated time. It’s not a general command to all Christians, or even to the disciples, for future mission trips, preaching assignments, ministry work, etc. (You’ll notice, for example, in v. 5 of that same passage Jesus also tells them not to go to the Gentiles, and the disciples certainly preached to the Gentiles later.)

      The applicable passages here are 1 Corinthians 9:1-14, Titus 1:10-11, and Matthew 6:24. Legitimate pastors are to “get their living by the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:14), but they can’t serve both God and money (Matt. 6:24) because serving money will draw them away from serving God, and certainly those who are “teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach” “must be silenced.” (Titus 1:11) :0)


  16. So glad I found your website. I have come here several time since found for a “breath of fresh truth!” There are so many false teachers/ types and false ministries my head is spinning…Seems some of the “good guys” are also rubbing elbows with the known emergent/prosperity gospel guys at times (my observations).
    As 2 peter tells us that the way of the truth will be blasphemed (by these herisies) – the unbelievers cannot tell the difference and much of the church can’t either!
    I don’t know you personally Michelle but I can see your heart spilling into your words. Thank you for that! DO NOT be discouraged – 2 tim. 4:3, …It’s the people who are heaping up for THEMSELVES these teachers, they want them! when exposed they will lash out unfortunately – I liken it to a grief process only add a splash of pride.

    1 Peter 5:7 God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.(cev)- something I sometimes forget to do…


  17. My dear and precious sister in the Lord. While here on the web, surfering for some pertinent information, I came across your bold title regarding Priscilla Shirer’s false teaching and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Though it didn’t surprise me to see another Christian blantantlly and unwarrantedly blast another “body” member. becasue this I totally disagree with you regarding this woman of God and her ministry and I think that it is much unfortunate that as a woman of God, a Sister in Christ, that you would handle the situation in this manner; publicly over cyberspace for everyone believers and non-believers to see. Where is the mercy, grace and love?

    I think that it is most unfortunate that in the 21th century, you have a rather archaic, antiquated, obsolete and misinformed interpretation of the Bible as it pertains to women teaching men. Please, dear sister, go back pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you revelation into the time period, culture to which the scriptures that you are referring to in your indictment against Priscilla Shirer was written so that you may have a clearer understanding of what you unfortunately don’t understand and as a result other innocent people are being caught in your web of confusion by joining your bandwagon or having their reputation smeared as in the case of Priscilla Shirer and others by you. I pray for you. I pray that the eyes of heart would be enlighten to God’s words with a spirit of understanding so that you may be clearly be able to know the truth and demonstrate the proper response to your spiritual family.

    Peace and Blessings,
    Valerie Scott

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Valerie, would you care to back up ANY of your slanderous aspersions with rightly handled Scripture? (2 Timothy 2:15) As Christians, the Bible is our authority for what to believe, not our own opinions and feelings, so if you could please tell me, chapter and verse, in context, where the Bible says ANY of the things you’ve written I’d be glad to discuss it with you.

      All of the objections you’ve raised are answered with Scripture in this very article, which, incredibly, it seems you didn’t bother to read before commenting.


  18. Teaching a doctrine about women not teaching men based on a couple of scriptures taken out of context (culturally and scripturally) is silencing more than 50% of the population and relegating women to teaching children and women only. What do you do with Deborah, the judge, the women at the tomb who were the first to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection to men, the daughters who were prophetesses, the woman at the well who went back and told her village (men included) of Jesus’ words of knowledge regarding her lifestyle, etc.? Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and learned of Him and He memorialized her example (teaches men and women from the Word). (Just because she did not have a pulpit, doesn’t mean that she is not teaching men and women.) Women keeping silent in church was cultural in that day because they were not learned and were interrupting the men in the assembly. They were told to go home and ask their husbands. God is neither male or female and He certainly doesn’t select one gender to speak His oracles over another. If you compare scripture with scripture, using the whole counsel of God, He used women to speak His truth. He even used a donkey to speak.

    Also, there are two Greek words for the word “Word”: logos and rhema. Logos is the written word and rhema is a now word, a word from God appropriate for a specific situation. As long as a now word does not contradict the written word, it is still God’s word. I find that those who strictly stick to the written word and disallow the rhema word are those who are not comfortable with the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. They adhere to cessationist theology and look for a way to explain away anything they don’t understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Terri-

      I’m afraid you’re the one taking Scripture out of context here, not me. If you’d like to understand what the Bible teaches (if you’re a Believer, the Bible is your authority for what to think, believe, and practice, not your own opinions and feelings) about the things you’ve mentioned, I’d suggest the following articles:

      Jill in the Pulpit
      Oh No She Di-int!
      Order in His Courts: Silencing Women?
      Basic Training: The Bible is Our Authority
      Basic Training: The Bible is Sufficient


  19. Good afternoon sister, been reading about this, is it wrong to make comments on Facebook regarding our Lord, encouraging men at times? Is it wrong?



    1. Facebook discussions, comments, and encouragement are fine as long as they’re doctrinally sound and not otherwise inappropriate (for example: too personal, flirtatious {if one of you is married}, etc.)


  20. I agree with you about Beth Moore, though I didn’t pick up her being a false teacher when I did most of her studies over the years. She has become extremely emotional and is hard to listen to. I had not heard of Priscilla Shirer before but have been doing one of her studies (I forget the name) for the first time. Could you tell me which of her teachings is heresy? It seems like so many evangelical churches use Beth and Priscilla’s material. I am sorry I did not have the discernment to recognize her claim to “Special” Holy Spirit knowledge.


    1. This comment was mentioned in your article: “Having a blog in the public square for women that men trespass on is not the same thing as intentionally and unrepentantly preaching to men in the church setting as I’ve explained in further detail in this article.” Is Priscilla Shire the pastor of a church? (“Church setting” was mentioned above.) I thought what she did was teach in seminars/conferences, a place were men could decide to go to but weren’t their main authoritative source of biblical teaching (kinda like the comment about blog articles that men may decide to read). Has she ever taken a stance (like Beth Moore has) that it’s okay for women to be pastors of churches? (I don’t believe women should be church pastors.) Please help clarify this for me. Thank you and God bless!


  21. Thank you so much Michelle for your faithfulness to the Lord in presenting us with the truth in scripture. I have just recently discovered you and your blog and have really begun to understand why my attendance at Joyce Meyer Women’s conferences, participation in many Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer studies etc. has not left me more mature in the word or more satisfied in my understanding of scripture but confused and unfulfilled instead. I have actually been feeling guilty in my frustration that my church and many others have relied on these teachers to instruct its members I’ve just gone along but have become increasingly frustrated that women, particularly, seem to want to abdicate their own responsibility for their spiritual growth to a well-known personality. I find it much more insightful to read scripture in several translations and then pose three questions to myself- What does this scripture say about God?, What does this scripture say about me? and What does this scripture say about others? I will be continuing to follow you and look forward to reading more of your articles. Many thanks and blessings to you.


    1. Thank you for your kind words, Aileen. It is my joy to serve you in Christ. I’m so glad God has been opening your eyes to the truth of His Word. That is all I want for anyone who follows me. Like John the Baptist said: “He must increase. I must decrease.”

      You may want to check out the “Bible Studies” tab at the top of this page for some helpful resources. :0)


  22. Hi
    About your Lysa TerKeurst article.
    Lysa TerKeurst is one of my role models. Her books have helped me through the hard times in my life and I am thankful that she has written them. Lysa TerKeurst seems like a woman who loves the Lord and has a deep relationship with Christ. I look up to her.
    I don’t think women teaching scripture to men is wrong. I think if a woman has a good idea about a book in the Bible, she should preach about it, instead of keeping it to herself. In my home church, women speak sometimes and nobody has a problem with it.
    Lysa TerKeurst is working hard, speaking in-front of hundreds of people, writing books and spreading her message daily. She is also being very vulnerable, telling people stories from her life that others may be too embarrassed to share. I don’t mean to be rude, but she is doing more than you are.
    Finally, we are all humans. Humans are not perfect and we all make mistakes. If Lysa TerKeurst has made any mistakes(which I haven’t seen) then you do not have the right to judge her for it. Think how much pressure she must go through to know that her every word is being examined.
    Regardless, her books have helped me and countless other people.
    I’m sorry if I have been rude in any way.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.


    1. Hi Agnieszka- Thank you for your comment. I did not think you were being rude, and I hope you’ll understand that I’m not being rude either as I address what you’ve said here.

      I notice that you haven’t provided any Scriptures to back up your personal opinions. All you’ve said is things like “I think” and “I don’t believe.” That’s fine when it comes to matters of personal preference like pizza toppings or your favorite movie, but if you’re a Christian (and I’m not saying you’re not, just saying I don’t know you and you didn’t mention it) the Bible is your authority for what to believe, not your opinions or what you personally prefer. Since we are slaves to Christ, He calls the shots, not us. As the head of the church, He gets to set the rules, not us. That means we don’t get to pick and choose what we believe or what we’re going to obey. We believe God’s written Word – all of it. We obey God’s commands to Christians in His written Word – all of them. Even the parts that initially rub us the wrong way. When we believe or act in ways contrary to God’s written Word, we are sinning. First John 2:3-6 makes this very clear:

      And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

      Now, I’m sorry to have to point this out to you, but if Lysa’s not teaching you things like this – that you should submit to Scripture and obey it and that if you’re not, you’re sinning, and that God’s Word is your authority, not your preferences, feelings, and opinions (which I suspect she’s not because that’s not evident in your comment) – she’s not teaching you the Bible and she’s not helping you despite what you may think or how you may feel. Because Jesus calls Christians to abide in His Word (John 8:31,15:7), not in other people’s personal stories and anecdotes. After being immersed in Lysa’s materials for this long, whose story do you know better, Lysa’s story or God’s story as spelled out in Scripture?

      If you’d like to better understand the biblical view of God’s role for women in the church, I would encourage you to read my article Jill in the Pulpit, which explains one of the key passages on this issue, 1 Timothy 2:11-12.

      And finally, you say that I have no right to judge Lysa (which is incorrect according to Scripture), but did you realize you unbiblically judged both Lysa (good) and me (bad) just two sentences previous to that statement by saying, “she is doing more than you are”? What is your factual evidence of this? On what Scripture(s) are you basing this statement? If you can’t answer these questions with rightly handled, in context Scripture, this is further evidence that Lysa is not helping you know your Bible better. You are the fruit of her teaching and ministry.

      You seem like a bright woman who loves the Lord and wants to grow in Him and know Him better. That’s awesome, and I heartily encourage you in that pursuit. If I could just make a suggestion, or maybe a little challenge, if you’re up for it, toward that end? Try putting aside all of Lysa’s (and anyone else’s) books for the next year and simply pick up your Bible (assuming you have a trustworthy translation) and study straight from it in a systematic way (i.e. pick a book, start at the beginning and study through to the end, then pick another book and do the same, etc.) every day for the next 365 days. I guarantee you’ll know God better, know your Bible better, and you’ll be walking more closely with the Lord in one year than in all the time you’ve spent in Lysa’s books.

      If you’ve never studied straight from the Bible before, you’re not alone. That’s new for a lot of women. That’s why I have lots of resources – all completely free of charge – at my “Bible studies” tab at the top of this page. They’re there for you any time if you need a little help, and so am I.

      By the way, you say “she is doing more than you are” – Has Lysa ever taken time out of her day, with no remuneration, to personally talk to you, address your specific concerns, and try to help you, biblically, for no other reason than that she loves you and is concerned for your walk with the Lord?


      1. Hi
        Thanks for your words of advice. I will definitely take your advice. I’m sorry about the “she is doing more than you are.” I tend to get a bit hot headed and say things I don’t mean when I think people are getting hurt. Thank you for your advice and I will definitely be reading more of your articles!


      2. Hi Agnieszka-

        First, I’m so sorry I got your name wrong in my previous comment (I fixed it :0))!

        Wow! Thank you so much for your encouraging follow up comment! Hardly anyone is willing to listen to others who are trying to help these days. You are a rare gem. You’ve set a great example to me and to anyone else who reads your comments. God bless you!

        I wanted to mention one more resource you might find helpful. If you click on the “Bible Studies” tab at the top of this page, there’s a link near the top for Bible reading plans. (I post an updated version of this article at the end of every year. This year’s updated version is coming out next Thursday, Dec. 26.) I highly recommend #1 on the list, the chronological plan (you don’t have to do it in one year, you can take your time with it if you want). It has been very helpful to me in better understanding the “big picture” of the Bible.

        Blessings to you! :0)


  23. I have done a lot of research lately on patriarchy vs. complementarianism vs. egeletarianism….I would like your thoughts and opinion on those “sticky situations where educated women work outside the home and are actually boss over men in some form or fashion…for example, those black women who were the subjects of Hidden Figures…they were the ones with the knowledge and training to do the math that got the astronauts safely home. They also were college educated and had to fight prejudice on top of that because they were black….. If God wanted women to only stay at home and raise children, why didn’t He give that knowledge to men who wives stayed at home?


    1. I think there’s ample evidence that God did give that knowledge to all kinds of men. Even today, STEM is still dominated by men even though they proactively recruit women. I don’t know all of the details about the women who worked in the computing department at NASA during the space race, but it’s possible that the pay/benefits were so low that men couldn’t take those jobs and support their families or something like that. Maybe there were men who worked in that department. Let’s remember, that movie was a fictionalized account, and sometimes the facts get skewed in the name of artistic license or agenda-pushing.

      Obedience to God (in any aspect of our lives) is not contingent upon our circumstances. We obey him whether its practical or impractical, convenient or inconvenient, easy or hard, or when we think we have a better idea of how to handle the situation.

      There’s no biblical command that says, “Women shall never do any work outside the home, period, or it’s a sin.” Indeed, we see women like the Proverbs 31 woman and Lydia transacting business. There are also seasons of life in which working outside the home does not conflict with a woman prioritizing managing her household. And there are emergency situations in which a woman has no choice but to work. But the overall teaching of Scripture is that the normative role for wives/mothers, whenever possible, is to be about the business of raising her own children and keeping her own home. Here are a few articles I’ve written that may help to clarify:

      The Mailbag: I’m a female executive in the workplace. Is this OK with God?
      The Mailbag: Christian Women Working, Using Birth Control, and Limiting Family Size
      The Mailbag: Stay at Home Dads?


      1. You people are tiresome. Do you think you’re walking in Jesus’s footsteps? You People are nuts. You “so called “by yourselves as intellectuals and Bible thumpers. Do you realize how boring you are? You have no clue what love is. When Jesus came here legalism was done. The spirit overcame the law. You people sicken me. You are the reason why people don’t like Christians. Do you think you’re so darn smart. Trying to take down other people. Look in the mirror. God your so dull! No bright light was wasted on you. Thank God for that. Go back to the drawing board. Leave Lisa Turkhearst alone. Can I say it again? You people are so boring.


      2. Because calling a sister in Christ tiresome, nuts, Bible thumpers, boring (twice), unloving, stupid, dull, saying, “You people sicken me,” and “You are the reason why people don’t like Christians,” accusing me of “trying to take down other people,” and taking God’s name in vain are all definitely “walking in Jesus’ footsteps” and the epitome of knowing what love is.

        Is that what Lysa TerKeurst (you spelled her name wrong, by the way) has taught you? To slander and impugn other Christians who are rightly handling and teaching Scripture, to take God’s name in vain, and to defend your opinions, not with rightly handled Scripture, but with childish name-calling? Wow, she’s a great Bible teacher! She must be so proud to have you representing her.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. I have been reading most of Jen Wilkin’s “In His Image”, 2018. I find a problem on pp. 66-67 “Seeking to Justify Ourselves” section. The writer is defining a person who has “patterns of denying or minimizing our sins”… “scorekeeping” etc., as a person who is a believer. The writer seems to be unaware that such a person is most likely not a believer. I find the rest of the book to be rather emotional and watered-down. I do not find any educational credentials of this author. She does have a talent for writing. [Just letting you know what I have seen here. I am disturbed that a women’s bible study group recommends this book.]


  25. I think that there is a difference between a woman teaching men and a woman writing a book. Do you think that women should not write a devotional book? My understanding of Jesus Calling was that she took scripture and rephrased the scripture to present the scripture as Jesus talking directly to the reader. I do not believe that she was adding to scripture. Then, I haven’t scrutinized everything about the book.


    1. Hi Kristin- Yes, there is a difference between women instructing men in the Scriptures in the gathering of the church body and writing a devotional. I wrote a (women’s) Bible study book myself. That’s not the problem with Jesus Calling. The problem with Jesus Calling is that it is false doctrine. Here’s more info in case it would be of interest.


  26. Thank you Michelle for your article on false teachers and ministries. Many I’m not surprised are on the list but some I am surprised like Celebrate Recovery. We pass a church in town that has a huge banner for Celebrate Recovery. I actually was considering checking them out due to a betrayal in my life but the info on the churches website seemed weird to me.
    Your articles on “The Big Three Celebrity Churches” as I like to call them Hillsong, Elevation and Bethel, was very informative. It made give more thought on what words I’m singing. I don’t like that our church sings these “churches” songs. As the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee used to say, may I say to you the song ” Oceans” makes no sense to me.
    Anyway, I just want to thank you and please ignore the popular social media term “haters” who bash you for warning us about false teachers. Lord willing they will realize the truth about their favorite “idol”.


  27. Hello. I am a newcomer and I’ve read much of what you’ve said about Beth Moore. I don’t disagree. In fact I’ve felt something was “off” for several years but I kept quiet because my ladies group at the church adore her and think she’s wonderful. We’ve done many of her studies. Well here recently we did Henry Blackabys Experiencing God and I felt something was off there, too, and I did try to speak up but got rebuked as basically trying to stir up trouble. One member even said we should try to lift up others and not be negative. But anyway back to Beth. We are now doing a more recent study of hers on Galatians. In it scripture warns of false teachers and as such they will be “eternally condemned!” I just can’t understand why she would choose Galatians to preach about when she’s clearly a false teacher herself. I am wondering what you think her mindset is here. It’s confusing. Do you think she purposely picked Galatians to throw it in our face??? Oh and you are probably wondering why I’m doing this study. Honestly I guess it’s because I wanted to see for myself one last time. The other Beth studies I participated in were several years ago and I think I’ve gotten more discerning the older I’ve gotten. Thank you for your time.


    1. Hi Lynn- It’s because, as an unbeliever, Beth is spiritually blind to the truth of God’s Word, and Satan has deceived her into thinking she’s a Christian. From everything I’ve seen and known of Beth, I believe, in her heart and mind, she truly believes she’s saved and that she’s correctly teaching Scripture.


      1. Can we assume she isn’t a Christian because she gets some things wrong? Not being sarcastic, genuinely asking. I haven’t been a Christian for too long and am not very confident in my knowledge. Didn’t the disciples get things wrong and Jesus corrected them? That didn’t mean they didn’t believe, just that they were wrong. I am still reading your articles and researching about what she teaches (I know some of the others you have talked about are false teachers but I never heard anyone say this about her before) but if she believes that Jesus is the only way to heaven and she put her faith in him doesn’t that make her a Christian? If she has other things wrong then the Lord (or others like you who know the Bible) can teach her that right?


      2. Hi Angela- Did you get a chance to read #7 in the article and listen to the podcast episode linked under that section? I think that will help you understand. You may also want to study and prayerfully consider James 2:19, Matthew 7:15-23, 1 Corinthians 5:11-13, and 2 Corinthians 11:12-15. It’s not what people say with their mouths, but the godly fruit of their lives that helps us to see whether they’re true Christians or false converts.


  28. Hi! I am interested in knowing how you personally hear from God, meaning how to discern God’s will concerning your personal life choices that may not be answered directly through Scripture. For example: buying a house, knowing how to homeschool or what church to attend. Would you mind writing an article on this subject? ☺️


  29. What if men are being taught by Michelle on this web site? Would she not be guilty of what she accuses others of?


    1. Hi Janice – Are you genuinely interested in knowing and accepting the biblical answer to this? If so, I’d be happy to explain. If not, and you’re just looking to argue or unbiblically judge, please just tell me honestly, because I’d rather not waste my time.


      1. Soft answers turn away wrath…we all fall. My Jesus would
        Never reply to my question as a waste of His time. Women and men who put themselves above. Only One God and Jesus Christ who lovingly and truly and genuinely examines our hearts.


      2. Then “your Jesus” is not the Jesus of Scripture, but an idol you’ve created in your own heart and mind that you call “Jesus.” Because the Jesus of Scripture is the Jesus who said, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” (Matthew 7:6) When someone is acting like a dog or pig (i.e. Not wanting the truth of Scripture, but merely wanting to argue and air her own anti-biblical opinions) the Jesus of Scripture says not to waste the pearls of biblical truth on her. Such a person cannot understand them and won’t accept them (1 Corinthians 2:14ff). I was merely asking which it was – whether she was, in Jesus’ words, a dog/pig (as indicated by her snarky and slanderous false accusation) or if she was teachable and sincerely wanted to know. If she had given any indication of the latter, I would have answered. She didn’t, so I obeyed the command of the Jesus of Scripture.

        The Jesus of Scripture also said in that very same chapter (Matthew 7:1, also John 7:24) that we are not to judge others unbiblically – which is what you’ve done by judging that I put myself above God and Jesus – but to judge with right, biblical judgment. My reply to her was biblical. Her false accusation was not. Why are you judging me instead of her?

        And finally, the Jesus of Scripture also said, “Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.” (Proverbs 26:17). Why aren’t you obeying Him and staying out of this?


  30. I have never thought about these things before and it is very interesting. I am actually a little concerned though. What if a book or movie that I have realized now isn’t biblically sound was what helped me to realize I needed to give my life to the Lord in the first place? Does that mean my foundation isn’t good, or that my faith might be in error? I know that my salvation is steady (other than the doubts that rarely pop up) but I want to make sure I am living my life and building my faith the way that the Lord wants. I try to read my bible everyday, but I also benefit from studying outside material. How can I be discerning as well? I am DEFINITELY not as knowledgeable as you are in the bible.


    1. Hi Angela- The fact that you can look back and discern that something God used in the process of drawing you to Himself wasn’t biblical is actually evidence that you are saved. If you weren’t saved, you wouldn’t be growing and maturing in discernment and your understanding of His Word.

      If you have concerns about your salvation, here’s what I’d recommend.

      1. Go to the blue menu bar at the top of this page and click on “What must I do to be saved?”. Take some time and prayerfully consider all the materials there to make sure you’re believing the true, biblical gospel.

      2. Click on the “Bible Studies” tab in that same blue menu bar, scroll down, and work through my Bible study on 1 John, Am I Really Saved? A First John Check-Up. First John is very helpful and clear when it comes to understanding which sorts of things are characteristic of Christians and which are not.

      Be convinced by the Holy Spirit working through God’s Word. :0)


      1. Thank you so much for the advice. I have been praying for discernment (more literally I have been asking for God to show me what is true and right) and I think that you might be on the biblically correct path. I like how you reference the bible verses, and you never respond with anger but with honesty and equality. Thanks again!


  31. I like your articles. I am not a woman but answers/learning can come from anywhere where God leads.
    Please take a look at what I’ve put together for this particular subject: prosperitygospel.info/prosgos.carrd.co


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