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Top 10 Articles of 2017

 

I always enjoy the annual “year in review” articles and TV shows that run in abundance in late December, so I thought I’d contribute my own. Here are my ten most popular blog articles from 2017:

Do you recommend these teachers/authors? Volume 1

I get lots of questions about particular authors, pastors, and Bible teachers, and whether or not I recommend them. Some of the best known can be found above at my Popular False Teachers tab.
Below are some others I’ve been asked about…

 A Few Good Men: 10 Doctrinally Sound Male Teachers

Let me introduce you to a few of my favorite male authors of Bible studies
and other great Christian books and resources…

The Mailbag: BSF (Bible Study Fellowship)

I’ve received numerous comments on this article. About half have disagreed with some or all of it and the other half have said it’s spot on. As mentioned in the article, “every BSF group is different, so I’m sure these may or may not be issues with every group depending on the leaders and participants.” Comments are now becoming redundant, and some of them downright ugly, so I’ve closed comments on this article,
and will not be responding to e-mails about it…

Five Reasons It’s Time to Start Exercising “Moore” Discernment

This is not a request for you to believe me or agree with my personal opinion. I’m asking you to take a discerning look at the evidence and compare with Scripture what Beth Moore is currently doing and teaching. If you do, I think it will be obvious to you that, whatever she may have taught in the past, something is seriously wrong now…

Women and False Teachers:
Why Men Don’t Get It, and Why It’s Imperative That They Do

There’s at least one biblical issue women respond to differently at the core level of their spiritual DNA than men do. And men, it’s crucial that you get it on this one. You’re the pastors. The elders. The husbands. The fathers. The ones responsible before God for leading your churches and your families in doctrinally sound spiritual growth. You’ve got to get this for the sake of the girls and women you lead…

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

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…

Watch Your Language! 10 Christian Terms that Need to be Cleaned Up

“Well, she knows what I meant,” doesn’t cut it these days, as anyone on social media can attest. Sometimes, even as perfectly doctrinally sound Christians, we get a little sloppy with our phraseology, which can,
at best, confuse people, and, at worst, defame God…

 10 Biblically Sound Blogs and Podcasts by Christian Women

False teachers. You can’t throw a rock out the window these days without hitting one. But are there any “good guys” out there who are getting it right? Discipleship, Bible study,
and theological issues bloggers who rightly divide God’s word? You bet…

Going Beyond Scripture:
Why It’s Time to Say Good-Bye to Priscilla Shirer and Going Beyond Ministries

Should she repent in these areas in which she has broken Scripture and align herself with biblical principles, she would have no bigger fan than I, and I would rejoice to be able to point Christian women to her as a doctrinally sound resource. Until that time, however, it saddens me to have to recommend that Christian women not follow Priscilla Shirer or any materials or activities from Going Beyond Ministries for the following reasons…

Leaving Lysa:
Why You Shouldn’t Be Following Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries

For these reasons, plus her habitual mishandling of Scripture, unfortunately, I must recommend that women not follow, support, or receive teaching from Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries
(including any writers or speakers affiliated with Proverbs 31 Ministries)…

What was YOUR favorite article of 2017?

Christmas

Merry Christmas 2017!

 

Merry Christmas! I hope you’re having a lovely holiday with family and friends and that Christ is blessing you with rest and worship.

I’m taking some time off for a couple of weeks to spend time with my own family, but I have a few articles pre-scheduled that I hope you’ll enjoy. One I’m very excited about is coming up this Thursday – my annual, updated round up of tons of Bible reading plans. I’m looking forward to trying some of them myself!

A few “housekeeping” items as we finish up the year…

🎉 If my blog and resources have been helpful to you and you’d like to bless my family with a gift, please click here. Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated.

🎉 Readers who have been around for a while know I like to “rearrange the furniture” on the blog from time to time. I’ve decided to put Give Me Church Ladies or I Die in storage for a while and replace it with Discipleship for Christian Women, which matches the title of my Facebook page. (John Knox is a good brother. I’m sure he’ll understand.)

🎉 And speaking of Facebook, if you don’t already follow one or more of my social media pages, come join in the fellowship! Here are all of my social media links.

🎉 If you’re a little behind on our Women of Genesis Bible study (don’t stress, it’s designed to be self-paced), or if you’ve wanted to join but haven’t gotten around to it, now is the perfect time to catch up or jump in!

🎉 I’d love to meet you in January or February if you’re in the Atlanta or Memphis areas! Let’s Meet and Greet!

🎉 Need a speaker for a women’s conference, retreat, or other event? Looking for a guest for your podcast? I’ve got slots available on my calendar for 2018. Click here for more information.

Thank you so much for your loyal readership and the kind words so many of you have encouraged me with. You are such a blessing to me, and it is my honor to serve you through writing and resources. May we all strive to please our Lord Jesus Christ together in 2018, and may this be the year of His coming.

Podcast Appearances

Theology Gals Podcast Guest Appearance: Christian Discernment

Last week, it was my joy to sit down and chat for a while with Coleen Sharp, host of one of my favorite podcasts, Theology Gals. Listen in as we discuss discernment, what it is, how to exercise it biblically, and what to do if you’re seeing false teaching infiltrating your women’s ministry or church.

Episode 44: Christian Discernment with Michelle Lesley

 

Theology Gals has a wonderful Facebook discussion group you can join. Be sure to follow their Facebook and Twitter pages, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Theology Gals podcast!


Got a podcast of your own or have a podcasting friend who needs a guest? Need a speaker for a women’s conference or church event? Click the “Speaking Engagements” tab at the top of this page, drop me an e-mail, and let’s chat!

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 5- Eve

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4

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Read Genesis 3:7-4:2,25

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Questions to Consider

1. Briefly review Lesson 4 (link above).

2. Compare the serpent’s statements to Eve in Genesis 3:4,5 with verse 7 and the remainder of today’s passage. Were his statements factually correct? Did Eve die when she ate the fruit? Were Adam and Eve’s “eyes opened”? How can a statement be factually correct and deceptive at the same time? Have you ever been tempted to sin by facts that were correct, yet deceptive?

3. What two things did Adam and Eve do in verses 7-8 in response to their sin? Why did they do these things? (10) Compare Genesis 2:25 to verses 7-8,10 and explain the concept of shame as it relates to sin. How did shame over their sin cause Adam and Eve to act toward God? In what ways can shame over our sin be a blessing?

4. What three questions does God ask of Adam and Eve in verses 9, 11, and 13? Did God ask these questions in order to find out information He did not know, or to elicit a response or confession from Adam and Eve? Does God ever ask someone in Scripture a question He doesn’t know the answer to?

5. Why did God call out Adam first (9) instead of Eve? Whom did Adam blame for his sin? (12) Yet, whom did God hold primarily responsible (in a “the buck stops here” kind of way) for the fruit-eating debacle: Adam or Eve? Why? Did God give Eve a pass on her sin? (13) How did the fact that God held Eve accountable for her own sin demonstrate that He created her, and womankind, with intelligence, understanding, her own abilities, etc.?

6. Examine 1 Timothy 2:12-14 in light of what we have studied about the creation of Eve and the deception of Eve in lessons 4 and 5 of this study. How does the fact that verses 13 and 14 (of 1 Tim. 2) give the creative order and the deception of woman as the rationale for verse 12 help us to understand that this instruction regarding the role of women in the church is universal (to all women at all times in all cultures), not just limited to the time at which Paul wrote 1 Timothy?

7. In what order (who is 1st, 2nd, 3rd?) does God mete out the consequences for sin? (14-19)? Compare this order to the order in which the deception and sin took place in Genesis 3:1-6. List the consequences God gave the serpent, Eve, and Adam. What do each of these consequences mean, and how are they still impacting us today?

8. Verse 15 is often called the protoevangelium. Who does “her offspring” refer to in a broad, general sense? (20) Specifically? How did Satan “bruise” Christ’s heel? How did Christ “bruise” Satan’s head? How does this “gospel in the Garden” help demonstrate that redemption through Christ was God’s plan from eternity past?

9. Put yourself in Eve’s (as yet non-existent) shoes and imagine yourself hearing God speak to Adam in verses 17-19, beginning with the phrase, “Because you have listened to your wife…”. What are some of the thoughts and feelings that might have been running through Eve’s head? How might this have motivated her to be a better helper to and a godly influence on Adam in the future? Have you ever influenced your husband or someone else you love to sin and then had to watch him suffer the consequences?

10. Examine verse 21. What were Adam and Eve’s “garments” previously made of? (7) Did God find the fig leaf garments acceptable? What did God have to do in order to obtain skins for new garments that would be acceptable to Him? Have we previously seen the death of a living creature in the book of Genesis? Why are we now, in verse 21, seeing death enter the world? How does this sacrifice of animals to cover the sin and shame of man point us to the gospel? How do Adam and Eve’s fig leaf garments needing to be replaced by garments made by God introduce the idea that we cannot cover up our sin by our own efforts, but that God Himself had to provide a sacrifice to both cover our sin and clothe us in the righteousness of Christ in a way that was acceptable to Him?

11. What precautions did God take to make sure man would not live forever in a fallen world? (22-24) How does this demonstrate God’s mercy?

12. What do we know about Eve’s life after her expulsion from the Garden? (4:1-2,25) What do Eve’s statements about Cain’s birth (1) and Seth’s birth (25) tell us about her ongoing relationship with and attitude toward God?


Homework

Thinking back over what we know of Eve’s life, from her creation to the birth of Seth, make a list of three of Eve’s characteristics or actions that teach us how to be godly and three of her characteristics or actions that teach us to avoid being ungodly. Find a specific way to implement at least one of these life lessons from Eve in your own circumstances this week.


Suggested Memory Verse

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
Genesis 3:15

Testimony Tuesday

Testimony Tuesday: Libby’s Story

Libby’s Story

I want to thank you for so openly and honestly declaring Biblical truth. I have been on a quest for this truth for the past two years. I was on staff at a church from 2010-2015. My role as secretary rapidly grew into leading many areas of the church including the women’s ministry. During this time the church grew from 80 to more than 350 in attendance each Sunday. They are the megachurch in our small town and model everything after Andy Stanley’s church. The staff attends all of his conferences and reads all the leadership books. They have the cool worship band with lights and smoke and the hip preacher with tattoos…they are the cookie cutter seeker-friendly church.

Though I struggled with MANY things about the pastor, the leadership, and the felt-needs teaching, the church was growing so I thought God must be blessing our work and it must have been bringing glory to Him. The last two years I was there I tried to express my concerns many times to leadership but they were very quickly dismissed with an angry, defensive attitude. I became so tired of trying to sell the cool Jesus and not seeing any spiritual growth in the people attending that I finally stepped down from staff. I continued attending the church for six months so that it wouldn’t cast a dark shadow on the leadership or church and cause division. Then I slipped out quietly.

As I had more time to devote to reading Scripture and not working 80 hours a week at the church with all the busyness of ministry and people to please, I began my quest to discover TRUTH. Real truth. About a year ago friend told me about your website and though part of me was leaping for joy as I spent hours and hours reading and following links, I was not prepared for the horror that set in when I realized the lies I had been believing and even worse what I was part of leading.

I’ve worked through the anger toward my own foolish self and toward those who I allowed to spiritually lead me for so long and I have forgiven. Now I am trying to work through the guilt of what I was a part of building and who I influenced, what part I played in their eternity (though I know that is ultimately under God’s sovereignty). I only leave my home if absolutely necessary, usually 6 am on Monday mornings to grocery shop. If I see someone from my old church anxiety and guilt cripple me. Though I have been open with close friends about what I have learned, few have been receptive…after all Beth Moore, Lisa Bevere, and the IF Conference have much more influence. The people of the church think I have absolutely gone off the deep end as I have begun to share some posts of these controversial topics.

The friend who introduced me to your site has decided to attend [a doctrinally sound] seminary. She asked for a letter of recommendation from our executive pastor and his words were “Our pastor hated seminary. Andy Stanley doesn’t believe you need to go to seminary. He only hires doers and not thinkers. If Andy Stanley says that, you have to stop and think, this man is the pastor at the most successful church in America. He knows his stuff.”

I’ll just leave that right there.

In closing, I know God has a plan in all of this and I know He will reveal it in His time. I have been visiting your “Readers Seeking Churches” page for some time and through links on your page and the 9Marks church finder I was able to locate a doctrinally sound church about an hour from me. Honestly I am terrified to step into another church, but I know I must in obedience. I am thankful for his grace and mercy, for His Word, and for placing others like you in my path.


Note from Michelle- Libby says that she is trying to “work through the guilt” of helping to spread false doctrine. I shared this with her when she originally e-mailed me, and I wanted to share it with those of you who might be struggling in a similar way:

I encourage you to remember His kindness and mercy. You need not feel guilt and anxiety over your sin any more. That is all washed away by the blood of Christ, and you are free to live in peace and rest in His love. Look how Christ redeemed Paul! He certainly spread a lot of false doctrine and quashed sound doctrine before Christ got a hold of him.

First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Believe that, and be set free from your guilt today.


Ladies, God is still at work in the hearts and lives of His people, including yours! Would you like to share a testimony of how God saved you, how He has blessed you, convicted you, taught you something from His word, brought you out from under false doctrine, placed you in a good church or done something otherwise awesome in your life? Private/direct message me on social media, e-mail me (MichelleLesley1@yahoo.com), or comment below. Try to be brief (3-4 paragraphs or less) if possible. I’ll select a few to share on the blog another time. Let’s encourage one another with God’s work in our lives!