Podcast Appearances

Podcast Guest Appearance – Bibledingers

Don’t worry, this episode was not about complementing Arians! :0)

It was so great to sit down and chat with my new friends Ryan and Nick over at Bibledingers recently!

We talked about all things complementarian – the biblical foundation for the complementarian position, the Scriptures egalitarians twist to try to justify their position, godly women in the Bible, and the crucial roles women play in the church and the home. The guys even had some great words of wisdom for all you husbands out there!

Listen in here or check out episode 78 of Bibledingers on your favorite podcast platform!

Be sure to visit the Bibledingers website for blog articles, videos, gear, and all the Bibledingers’ social media links. Subscribe and follow!


Articles / resources mentioned or touched on in the episode:

Rock Your Role: All Things Being Equal

Rock Your Role article series

The Mailbag: Counter Arguments to Egalitarianism


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 in the blue menu bar at the top of this page, drop me an e-mail, and let’s chat!

Mailbag

The Mailbag: Asked and Answered

Good morning, readers. It is an honor and a joy to serve you in Christ. Welcome to all the newbies and to you seasoned veterans of the blog.

Because some of y’all are new, you aren’t yet aware of all of the resources here to help you. Or maybe you’ve been around a while and haven’t noticed something that might be helpful. Let’s remedy that!

First, if you’re new (or if you’ve never read it), check out Blog Orientation for New Readers and Old Friends. It’s like a CliffsNotes intro to the blog.

Second, be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the tabs in the blue menu bar at the top of the page. That’s where I keep the info I’m most frequently asked about.

Third, there’s a search bar at the bottom of every page (and one in the blue menu bar at the top of every page) which might help you find what you need.

Fourth, if you don’t find your question answered in one of these ways or below, you might want to check previous Asked & Answered articles and The Mailbag: Top 10 FAQs.

And finally, let me get you new readers some answers to the questions several of you have asked. Some of you long time friends may have missed these along the way, so I hope they’ll be helpful to you, too!


[Instagrammer asks a question in the comments or DMs me a question]

I love my Instagram followers! Most of you are very sweet and kind, and you ask some really smart questions!

But a lot of you a) don’t seem to know that I have a blog, and b) aren’t familiar with how I use Instagram and how I do correspondence. I totally get that. A lot of you are new and Instagram seems to have a high turnover, and a much higher “hit or miss” with posts than other social media platforms. (Plus, I’m a weirdo and don’t use Instagram the way most influencers do. I mainly use it to tell you what’s on the blog each day.)

So, let me try to help. If you’ve commented or DM’d me a question and I haven’t answered, I would encourage you to watch “Questions” and “Get Info” in my highlights. (In fact, you might want to watch “Need a church?” “Warning,” and “New?” too.)

This is included in the “Questions?” highlight from a Mailbag article. I think it will be helpful to all of my social media and blog followers.


I’m in the market for a new Bible. What would you recommend? I really appreciate your ministry!

Thank you so much for your kind words. And thank you to all my followers who take a moment to encourage me with your comments. As you might imagine, and have probably witnessed, I catch a lot of flak via email and social media from people who don’t like or misunderstand things I’ve said and written. The encouragement is greatly needed and appreciated.

You’re right on time with your question! Amy and I answered it on a recent Glad You Asked episode of the podcast, and that answer was largely based on my blog article The Mailbag: Which Bible Do You Recommend?


God bless you, I wanted to reach out to see if you do Bible studies or if you know any through Zoom with other ladies.

It depends on what you mean by “do Bible studies”. If you’re asking whether or not I teach Bible studies in a video or livestream format, the answer is no, for two reasons. First, at the moment, I don’t have time. Second, I really think you should be meeting in person with a small group for Bible study – ideally with women from your own church and with oversight from your pastor. I understand there are situations in which that isn’t possible, but that is the ideal I want to encourage women toward. God’s plan is the in person assembling of the local church, not Zoom.

I do write Bible studies, though. They are all free, all suitable for groups or individuals, and all designed to teach you how to study or teach straight from the text of Scripture. If you’re new to that idea, I would encourage you to find a friend or a small group of friends, pick one of my studies, and work through it together.

You can find all of my studies and more helpful resources at the Bible Studies tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

And speaking of Bible studies…

Are your Bible studies able to print off?!

Yes. Click the “Bible Studies” link above for all the info and instructions.

Can you recommend a good daily devotional book for a 17-year-old girl? Our granddaughter is having surgery in a few days and I was hoping to send her a little get well soon package and I would like to include a devotional.

What a blessing to have a godly grandma! I’m sorry, but, on principle, I don’t recommend what I call “canned” Bible studies and devotionals. I recommend that Christians read and study straight from the text of Scripture. (You can read more about why at the “Bible Studies” link above, and in my article The Mailbag: Can you recommend a good Bible study for women/teens/kids?.)

May I make a suggestion? Instead of a devotional, how about a new Bible? Or perhaps you could find a small “for those recovering from illness/surgery” gift book of selections from the Psalms, or a “coffee table” type book that is mostly artwork or photography, accompanied by Bible verses. There are also “Bibles” that are Psalms and Proverbs only. (Just make sure all of these books use a reliable translation of Scripture.) If you want to go a little higher tech, consider an iTunes gift card so she can download her favorite (doctrinally sound) Christian music, or a subscription to AGTV.


The women’s group of the church that we are attending will be doing a Priscilla Shirer simulcast. I have read your article about Ms. Shirer and have decided to abstain from attending the event. How do I lovingly but truthfully tell the women in this group why I am refusing to attend and why I feel this is not someone whom we should be promoting? (unless of course, Ms. Shirer has changed her stance since your article was written). My husband and I believe [our pastor] to be of sound doctrine [but] I am certain that he is oblivious to P. Shirer. [I] hope that you can help me “find the right words” to discuss this with those involved.

I am so sorry this is happening in your church. I have been in exactly that situation, so I know what it’s like.

Here are a couple of articles I think will be of help:

The Mailbag: How should I approach my church leaders about a false teacher they’re introducing? I would suggest approaching your women’s ministry leader (or whoever is most immediately in charge of the simulcast) first, then working your way up the chain of command until you’ve spoken to the pastor, if necessary.

The Mailbag: Should I attend the “Bible” study to correct false doctrine? (I know you’ve already decided not to attend the simulcast, but I think some of the info in this article will still be helpful.)

Just a note to all of my readers on the “unless she ‘has changed her stance since your article was written'” part: You’ll notice at the top of my article on Priscilla it says, “This article is kept continuously updated as needed.” (I think I’ve remembered to put this at the top of all of my articles on particular teachers? If I missed one, let me know.) Translation: “Yes, I originally wrote this article in 2015, but I go back and update it – fix links, add or delete info, etc. – whenever I feel it’s necessary.”.

If any teacher I’ve ever written an article about genuinely gets saved, repents of her false teaching, etc., I promise you, unless I’m somehow Providentially hindered, you will hear about it from me ASAP. That is not something I’m going to neglect to update you on (and rejoice with you about!) immediately. In the meantime, you can safely assume that the information in my articles is still accurate and applicable and that the teacher is either still status quo with the info in the article, or has gotten worse.


I have several Bible apps, and recently you gave info in one of your mailbags that YouVersion app is not recommended, and knowing now what I didn’t know then, I uninstalled it. I did find it easy to navigate and the search capability was good, but I no longer want anything to do with it. If you could kindly lead me to one that is as user friendly, I need an app that you recommend that is as simple as me. Lol

I like to keep things simple, too. I hope you’ll find my article My Favorite Bible & Study Apps to be helpful.


Our church has a mixed adult Sunday school. My conviction has been silence as I do not want the appearance of teaching men. I am discouraged as most of the responses in the hour of teaching is from the women in the group even though our church only allows men to be in teaching positions. I would genuinely like to hear your thoughts on this. I have appreciated your podcast and website information.

I know it can be discouraging when it seems like men are being less manly or exhibiting less leadership than we would hope. I would encourage you to kindly talk to your pastor or elders about your concerns and ask for some insight as well.

In this particular situation, it may be wise to answer fewer questions, or make fewer comments than you normally would, not because you would be teaching (or even giving the appearance of teaching), but because it might give the men more space to get a word in edgewise. If this dynamic is really problematic, I wonder if it might be helpful to split the class into a men’s class and a women’s class. Perhaps that way the men would feel more comfortable contributing. Maybe that’s something you can discuss with your pastor or elders.

I’ve explained why women answering questions and participating in the discussion in a co-ed Sunday School / Bible study class isn’t teaching men or a violation of Scripture in my article Rock Your Role FAQs #4.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Complementarianism

Throwback Thursday ~ Fencing Off the Forbidden Fruit Tree

Originally published April 26 2016

Often, with regard to 1 Timothy 2:12, husbands and pastors will reassure a woman that it’s OK for her to teach that co-ed Sunday School class or step into a church leadership role reserved for men because she’ll be doing so “under his [husband’s or pastor’s] authority.”

But is that biblical?

When God tells us (in context, rightly handled, of course) not to do something and we do it anyway, that is sin. Only God has the authority to say what is sin and what is not. No one – not your pastor, your husband, your parents, your best friend, the Pope, nobody – has the authority to tell you that it’s OK to do something God has said is sin. That authority belongs to God alone.

Try inserting any other sin into that situation. Does your husband, pastor, or anyone else have the authority to tell you it’s OK to lie? Cuss? Covet? Of course not. And why would they even consider doing such a thing?

My point exactly.

The issue here is that this particular sin (teaching/exercising authority over men) has become so acceptable in the church that we no longer even see it as sin. If your husband or pastor gave you the go ahead to preach to or teach men in the gathered assembly of the church body, and you were to ask him to show you in Scripture where God says it’s OK for him to allow you to do that, he would quickly realize that he is not basing his decision on Scripture (because there is no Scripture that allows him to give you that permission), but on his own personal opinion that it’s OK. And that opinion has been heavily influenced by the fact that this sin is now so widely acceptable in the church at large.

Beth Moore is a perfect example of why husbands and pastors should not allow or encourage women to violate God’s word by teaching men. Beth Moore started out teaching a women’s Sunday school class in her home church. It grew. Men wanted to attend the class (a problem I’ve addressed here). She was hesitant, so she talked to her husband and pastor about it. They both told her it was OK because she would be teaching the men “under their authority” (despite the fact that there’s no passage of Scripture that allows them to say that or gives them the right to lay some sort of “mantle of authority” on her) That initial compromise led to another and another. Fast forward to today, and this is still the argument Beth Moore – in all of her false doctrinal glory – uses for preaching to men if she bothers to defend herself at all. And she has influenced thousands of women (and their husbands and pastors) to do the same.

But it doesn’t matter how sound our doctrine is, when women stand in front of co-ed groups and teach (or accept positions of authority over men in the church) we are teaching more than just what’s coming out of our mouths. We’re teaching that group of people by example that it’s OK for women to teach men. That God’s Word can be ignored and disobeyed in this area while we stand there urging them to obey it in other areas. How can a woman exhort a group to obey God while she is standing there disobeying Him herself?

It’s my prayer that we’ll begin to see more husbands and pastors uphold God’s Word and protect their wives and female church members from sinning by encouraging them to fulfill all of the wonderful roles God has for women in the church and by fencing off that one tree in the garden that bears the forbidden fruit of teaching and exercising authority over men.

Adapted from a Facebook mini-blog.


Additional Resources:

Rock Your Role

Rock Your Role: Jill in the Pulpit

Rock Your Role FAQs

The Mailbag: Counter Arguments to Egalitarianism

The Mother of All Rebellions: Having a Woman Preach on Mother’s Day

Why Asking Women to Preach Is Spiritual Abuse by Josh Buice

Titus Bible Study

Titus: God’s Order of Service ~ Lesson 2

Welcome, ladies! Just a reminder, please do not skip Lesson 1 (link below). Not only will it answer any questions you may have about the study itself, but if you want to study Titus properly, you must do the background work contained in Lesson 1.

Previous Lessons: 1

Read Titus 1:1-5

Questions to Consider

1. Review your notes from last week’s introductory lesson. What are some things to keep in mind as you begin to study the text of Titus today?

As we study the book of Titus, I will sometimes refer to the author as Paul (e.g. “What was Paul teaching pastors in v.6?”) and, often, as God (e.g. “How does God encourage church members in v.7?”). I don’t mean for this to be confusing. My purpose is two-fold: 1) To combat the popular false teaching that anything a biblical author wrote that we don’t like was simply that author’s human opinion, not God’s, 2) To constantly remind us that all Scripture was breathed out by God, not fallible humans, and, as Christians, we are obligated to believe and obey every word of it. If you’re confused, it might help to think of it this way: God is the author of Titus; Paul is the writer of Titus.

2. Examine verses 1-3. Recall from the introductory lesson which genre of biblical literature Titus is (Law? Prophecy? Poetry? etc.). Today, when we write a letter, especially a business letter, we normally close it with our signature and credentials. For example:

Sincerely,

Joe Smith
Acme Widgets, Inc.
Vice President of Doohickeys – Southeastern Division

In first century culture, the style was to open the letter with one’s name and credentials. Compare verses 1-3 with these greetings of other epistles. What are some similarities and differences you notice?

Even our abbreviated modern signatures/credentials, like the example above, give the reader some very important information about the person writing the letter. What type of information can you glean about “Joe Smith” from the signature/credentials above? In what ways is it similar to the type of information in verses 1-3?

Go back to verses 1-3, and break them down. What information do you learn about Paul from his opening signature/credentials?

  • Who is the letter from? (1a)
  • What is his position, and why is he qualified to write this letter? (1a, 3b)
  • What are his three general purposes for this letter? (1b, 2a)
  • By Whose authority does he write this letter? (2-3)
  • What is his view of God’s nature and character, God’s authority, and his relationship to God? (1-3)

3. Let’s go back (see #2 above) to God’s three general purposes for having Paul write this letter. Explain each of these purposes in your own words. How do each of these purposes apply to pastors and elders today?

You’re obviously not a pastor or an apostle, training pastors, or leading a church, but as you’re discipling your children or other women or children in the church, are there biblically appropriate ways in which you can apply each of these purposes? How do you disciple them…

  • for the sake of their faith
  • in their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, and
  • in the hope of eternal life?

4. Revisit verses 1-3 and meditate on the vastness and depth of the faith, the truth, the hope of eternal life, and God’s sovereignty these verses describe. Then consider Paul’s statement, “the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior”. Do you think Paul felt the weight of that responsibility? Do you feel a similar weight of responsibility when discipling your children or other women and children?

5. Examine Paul’s greeting in verse 4. To whom is this epistle addressed? What is Paul’s relational dynamic with Titus? Notice the picture God paints of that relational dynamic. He doesn’t characterize it as a “master (Paul) / slave (Titus)” relationship or “boss / employee” or even “teacher / student,” but as what? Why do you think that is? What does that metaphor indicate about Paul? About Titus? How does this connect back to Paul’s authority and credentials (see #2 above) for writing this letter?

Go back to verses 1-2. Is it fair to say that this epistle is also addressed to the church? Why or why not?

Why does God use the metaphor of family (“my child in the faith,” “brothers and sisters,” today, we even speak of “my church family,” etc.) in Scripture to characterize the church? Do you have a “true child in the faith” relationship with someone? How does that relationship compare to Paul’s relationship with Titus?

How does “Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior” set the tone for the letter, reiterate Paul’s God-given authority in writing the letter, and reference part of the Trinity?

6. Take a look at v.5. Why did Paul leave Titus in Crete? What does Paul mean by “put what remained into order”? What’s a phrase we might use in today’s vernacular to say the same thing? Why did Titus need to appoint elders “in every town”? (You might want to review your notes from lesson 1 – link above.) How would appointing elders have given the churches in Crete structure and order?


Homework

Orderliness. Structure. Hierarchy. This is a major underlying theme of the book of Titus. Spend some time before our next lesson meditating on God’s orderliness, and the structures and hierarchies He has set up in nature, the family, the church, government, etc. Why is orderliness important to God? Why does He think orderliness is so necessary for us that He built it into the fabric of the universe? Jot down your thoughts. Make a list of at least five verses or passages of Scripture that talk about orderliness, structure, or hierarchy. Consider these verses and your thoughts on God’s orderliness in relationship to the church. Why is it important to God that our churches be orderly? Is your church orderly? Does it need to be more orderly? How could it be more orderly according to Scripture?


Suggested Memory Verse

Mailbag

The Mailbag: When is OMG a 3CV?

Originally published February 11, 2019

Is it wrong for people to exclaim “Oh my G-d” in various situations? I have heard it said casually as well as in response to a tragedy or cry for protection. I would assume that it could be taking the Lord’s name in vain in certain circumstances (e.g. Oh my G–, look at that cute kitten!) but not in others. How can I discern when it is used correctly in ambiguous situations?

That’s a great question since this phrase and its initials (OMG) are used so frequently in real life, on TV, on social media, in books… it’s everywhere! Bless you for wanting your speech to honor the Lord!

A couple of explanatory points before I give my answer:

I’m including the initials OMG because when people see or hear those initials, they understand it to mean “Oh my G–!”. I’ve heard a few Christians say that when they use the letters OMG, in their minds, the “G” stands for gosh or goodness. That’s great, but that’s not what the overwhelming majority of other people think when they see or hear those letters, and they can’t read your mind, so that’s not what it means to them.

The third commandment (taking God’s name in vain) is not limited to this phrase and its initials. There are many ways to misuse God’s name: profanity or offhand phrases (ex: “Good L-rd!”) that include any of the Trinity’s names, taking a vow or oath in God’s name flippantly and/or not keeping it, misrepresenting God or His Word to others, etc. However, the reader is asking only about this particular phrase, so I will simply answer the question she asked.

The third Commandment is:

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Exodus 20:7

Let’s start with a fast and dirty rule of thumb in case that’s what you need: in today’s society in general, this phrase/initials are virtually always used in a way that takes God’s name in vain.

There are only a couple of instances I can think of in which using this phrase is not taking God’s name in vain, and I rarely even hear them in church, let alone on the street, on TV, etc. (Readers, if you can think of others, please comment and let us know.)

There are several verses of Scripture in various books of the Bible that contain the phrase, “O my God”. (I found it interesting that Nehemiah was fond of that phrase, as were the psalmists. Those two books contain the most verses with that phrase.) Here are a couple of examples:

Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.
Nehemiah 5:19

O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.
Psalm 25:2

If you’ll examine all of these verses you might notice a few things about the way this phrase is used in Scripture that sets it apart from the way this phrase is normally used today.

First, this phrase is used to address God directly. The people saying or writing this phrase in Scripture are talking to God, not using God’s name as an exclamatory (like we would use the words Wow! or Cool!) without giving Him any thought at all.

Second, this phrase is used reverently and worshipfully. It is used to honor God and the fullness of His nature and character, not, as you mentioned, to exclaim over kittens or some other paltry earthly happening.

Third, this phrase is used in the context of prayer, much the same way we would reverently address God in prayer with phrases like “Dear Lord” or “Heavenly Father”.

(One more thing that might be of interest to my fellow grammar nerds: When you see the phrase in Scripture, it always starts with “O”. When you see it written in the common exclamatory usage, it always starts with “Oh”. That’s not an accident. It’s meant to set apart the two discrete usages. Read more here.)

So the first scenario I can think of in which saying “O my God” would not be taking God’s name in vain would be things like: if you are quoting one of these passages, singing a worship song that either quotes one of these passages or uses the phrase in the same way in which it’s used in these passages, or if your pastor uses this phrase in his sermon or prayer in the same way in which it is used in Scripture.

The second scenario is similar: If you feel comfortable using this phrase in your own private prayer time by using it in the same way in which it’s used in Scripture – speaking directly, reverently, and worshipfully to God in prayer – there’s nothing sinful or unbiblical about that.

I would discourage the use of this phrase in public prayer, though, because it could confuse the people who hear it, causing them to think you’re breaking the third Commandment even if you aren’t. Additionally, if they hear you using that phrase in prayer with no explanation they may think you’re using it in the common (OMG!) way and assume that since you’re using it in prayer it’s OK for them to use that phrase in any situation. Sadly, most people are probably not familiar with the proper, reverent way this beautiful phrase is used in Scripture.

For more on this topic, check out Cussing, Profanity, and OMG on A Word Fitly Spoken:


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.