The Mailbag: Potpourri (What is Word of Faith?… Readers’ help needed… Foreign language resources… How to find a wife… Fundraisers… Should I get re-baptized?)

Welcome to another “potpourri” edition of The Mailbag, where I give short(er) answers to several questions rather than a long answer to one question.

I like to take the opportunity in these potpourri editions to let new readers know about my comments/e-mail/messages policy. I’m not able to respond individually to most e-mails and messages, so here are some helpful hints for getting your questions answered more quickly. Remember, the search bar (at the very bottom of each page) can be a helpful tool!

Or maybe I answered your question already? Check out my article The Mailbag: Top 10 FAQs to see if your question has been answered and to get some helpful resources.

Do you have an article somewhere on this site about the deceptiveness of the word of faith movement? I tried using the search bar to find it but didn’t come up with anything. I have family members deeply rooted in this and have my own conflicting views on it and would love a nice breakdown of why you are so against it. Thank you so much for your blog and for your time.

You know, I never did write an article specifically on the Word of Faith movement, and I really should have. All I can say is that at the point in time several years ago when I was thinking about writing one, it was looking rather like the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) was going to swallow up the Word of Faith movement all together, so that’s where I concentrated my efforts.

To some extent, that “swallowing up” has happened, but we do still see some “churches” that are still mostly “pure” Word of Faith. In my opinion, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood is one good example of that. He’s still all about the health, wealth, and prosperity, but has never really gotten into the crazy antics of the NAR like faith healing, raising the dead, prophesying, holy laughter, being slain in the spirit, the apostolic structure and hierarchy of the NAR, and things of that nature.

The reason “I’m against” (and every genuinely regenerated Christian should be) both WoF and NAR is because they’re both literal heresy. They’re both the “different gospel” Galatians 1:6-9 anathematizes.

  • Neither of them worships the God of the Bible, but an idol they’ve created to appease the lusts of their flesh. They’ve simply stolen the names “God,” “Jesus,” “Holy Spirit,” etc., from the Bible and plastered them on these false gods they’ve created to do their bidding.
  • The “salvation” they promise is not salvation from sin unto obedience to Christ, but “salvation” from poverty, problems, illness, lack of success, and so on.
  • They don’t teach that we need to come to Jesus in repentance and faith because we’re sinners in need of a Savior, but rather that their “Jesus” can make all our problems disappear and all our dreams come true, very much like the crowds who followed Jesus just to see a miracle, get healed, get fed, or because they thought He was going to overthrow Rome and lift their oppression.

And there’s so much more. Let me give you some resources I hope will help:

The Mailbag: Should I Say, or Should I Go?

The Mailbag: What is the New Apostolic Reformation?

The Mailbag: Should Christians listen to “Reckless Love”?

God’s Not Like “Whatever, Dude,” About The Way He’s Approached in Worship

Is the Word of Faith movement biblical? at GotQuestions

White Paper: Word of Faith at Berean Research

Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel by Kate Bowler (You may want to check your local public library for this one to save a little money. It was available at mine.)

Defining Deception, God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel, and More than a Healer by Costi Hinn

Our church ladies are searching for a presentation of Christ’s redemptive work from Genesis to Revelation. Supposedly it’s out there but no one can recall who authored it and/or put the study together…

I suspect John MacArthur and/or R.C. Sproul have some sort of teaching, book, etc., on this, but at the moment it’s not ringing a bell for me.

Readers, it sounds like they’re looking for something in particular rather than suggestions. Does this sound familiar to anybody? Comment below (not on social media), and I’ll alert the lady who sent in the question to keep an eye on the comments section.

I have a friend who speaks very little English and she wants to know more about the Bible and I would like to recommend a solid teacher who speaks Portuguese or has an interpreter as she really needs to grow in the Word of God.

I don’t personally know of any well known pastors or teachers who speak Portuguese, but many have had their materials translated into Portuguese. Here are a few to get you started:

John MacArthur’s books and materials (Just type “Portuguese” into the search bar)

Ligonier’s books and materials

Paul Washer’s books

I also found a number of sermons on YouTube that have either been captioned, dubbed, or translated into Portuguese. (For example: Paul Washer, John MacArthur)

Here’s what I would suggest. Go up to the blue menu bar at the top of this page and click on Recommended Bible Teachers. Scroll down to the men, gather up some names, and start typing them into both Google and YouTube followed by the word “Portuguese” (ex: “John MacArthur Portuguese”). Also try it without the last “e” as “Português” is the Portuguese word for “Portuguese” (like Español is the Spanish word for “Spanish”). I don’t think any of the women on that list have had anything translated into Porguguese with the possible exceptions of Martha Peace and Susan Heck.

Hi—do you have any recommendations for pastors who put out content in Spanish? My boyfriend cannot benefit from the teachings of any of the wonderful Biblically-sound pastors that you recommend, because he doesn’t speak English!

Try the websites and suggestions above, substituting “Spanish / Español” for “Portuguese / Português”. I think you’ll find some good resources.

Also—do you know of sound churches in Tijuana?

I don’t personally know of any, but I would encourage you to exhaust all of the church search engines at the Searching for a new church? tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

What advice for a Christian who is looking for a female to marry. [This Instagram “Christian” dating page] follows one of the Bethel Churches, and I’m skeptical on attending [their dating event].

I would guess that most “Christian” dating sites are a lot like most “Christian” book stores: lots of anything and everything that calls itself “Christian” (regardless of whether or not it’s biblical) and a tiny handful of actual Christian.

I’ve been married almost 30 years, so this is not really my wheelhouse. The best advice I can give you is to join a doctrinally sound church if you’re not already a member of one. The first and most important reason for this is that Scripture commands it, and if you’re a Christian, you’re to obey God’s Word. (If you need some help in your search, click here.)

But a side effect of being a faithful, invested member of a doctrinally sound local church is that, as you’re growing into a more godly man, the single women of your church are growing into godly women with the same beliefs and theology as yours, which is vital to a healthy, Christ-centered marriage.

If your church is short on single women, set up an appointment with your pastor and talk things over with him. I would also suggest talking with a few of the spiritually mature older women in your church, letting them know you’re looking for a godly woman to marry so they can be on the lookout, but it would be a good idea to bounce this off your pastor first.

I absolutely love your page and the wisdom you share! Would you please share the link to my fundraiser on your social media?

I am so sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing fundraisers of people I don’t know or have any sort of relationship with. There are soooooo many online scammers out there, and there’s really no way for me to vet you and your fundraiser and find out if you’re legit. My followers trust me, and I don’t want to pass along something that might turn out to be a scam.

I did not grow up in the church, let along hearing God’s word, and it wasn’t until I got married that I started going to church and reading my Bible. My husband was Lutheran, so I went through confirmation class and then was baptized by sprinkling. It never occurred to me what baptism really meant and it’s definition until we became reformed Baptist. I have been studying and learning about baptism more lately and it has been convicting me to be baptized; again. I feel that my understanding of the outward expression of what baptism is definitely has changed. I truly believe that baptism should be full immersion; symbolizing the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and myself dying with Jesus and being born again in Jesus. So should I be baptized by full immersion, with the new understanding of what it is, or is my first baptism just as good? My pastor told me that because I was not fully immersed that technically I should not be taking communion because he said both go hand-in-hand. I don’t want to do something wrong by being baptized again but I also don’t want to do something wrong by not being baptized by full immersion. My conviction has been on my heart for a while now to be baptized again but I want to make sure that it’s the Holy Spirit convicting me and not just my heart telling me to do something.

I think your pastor is right, and you should trust him. If you’re unclear about the reasons he has given you for being re-baptized, ask him to explain again.

Please accept this in the spirit of love and concern in which I offer it – I hope you will give this some thought: Why would you trust the counsel of a stranger on the internet over your pastor’s counsel? If you don’t trust him and/or you disagree with the theology he’s teaching you, why are you still a member of that church? Just something to think about.

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.

13 thoughts on “The Mailbag: Potpourri (What is Word of Faith?… Readers’ help needed… Foreign language resources… How to find a wife… Fundraisers… Should I get re-baptized?)”

  1. For the lady asking for studies on the redemptive work of Christ from Genesis to Revelation, RC Sproul with Ligonier has a Study called “Dust to Glory” Video. It has a DVD and study guide. It was very concise and thorough. 57 – 23 minute messages on 8 DVD’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was re-baptized myself yesterday. I was originally when I was about 6. Came to realize that I wasn’t truly saved till I was 29. Hadn’t thought about it till recently listening through a series on baptism by Dr. James White. I was convicted that it was something I needed to do. I’m 49 now. It’s never to late to be obedient to Jesus Christ.


  3. Hi Michelle, thank you so much for the articles, they are so informative and have taught me so much. I really appreciate all the hard work you must put in. Bless you, sister and thank you x


  4. Question: I can’t find any scripture about cremation. Is this practice another pagan tradition Christians have accepted? I, myself was thinking it’s okay, but now I’m unsure. Thanks


  5. I believe that Answers in Genesis would probably have one of the Genesis-Revelation studies. Lifeway has the Gospel Project, and we have used it for our children’s ministry and it does share the redemptive story throughout the Bible.


  6. When I saw the question about “re-baptizing” it made me think of another possible topic. In the situation described above, she was talking more about “sprinkling” than baptism by immersion. But I have seen several people who have been baptized by immersion and shown growth in faith, but have gotten “re-baptized” later on, and it seems to be more of a “rededication” than a baptism. Any thoughts?


    1. Great question, Terryl.

      From a Baptist perspective (which is the only one I can offer), the only reasons people should get re-baptized are:

      1) If their first “baptism” was invalid because it wasn’t Christian baptism. (For example, being baptized as a Catholic, Mormon, etc.).

      2) If they’re joining a church that doesn’t accept the mode of their previous baptism. (For example: Baptists believe in baptism by immersion because it pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Sprinkling and pouring do not. This is only one of the reasons Baptist churches normally require a Christian to be re-baptized if her previous baptism, though in another Christian denomination, was by sprinkling/pouring.)

      3) If their previous baptism was not credobaptist (being baptized after making a public profession of faith in Christ). (For example: Presbyterians practice paedobaptism (baby baptism), not credobaptism. To join a Baptist church a Presbyterian Believer would have to be re-baptized as a Believer, by immersion.)

      4) If they come to realize that their first baptism took place when they weren’t saved. (For example: A child who makes a profession of faith and is baptized at age six, only to realize at age twenty-six that she wasn’t actually saved when she was baptized the first time. This is, unfortunately, way too common in Baptist churches. More here if you’re interested.)

      These reasons often overlap. For example, if, as a baby, you were baptized Catholic by sprinkling, all four would apply. Catholicism isn’t Christianity, sprinkling isn’t an acceptable mode of baptism to Baptists, Catholic “baptism” isn’t credobaptist, and you weren’t saved when you were baptized.

      No one should be re-baptized for the purposes of “rededication”. In other words, “I’m a genuinely regenerated Believer, but I haven’t been living like I should for the past several weeks or months. Now I’m repenting and I want to be re-baptized.” If the person knows he was genuinely saved when he was originally baptized by immersion into a Christian church, there’s no need for re-baptism. We already have a solution for his current situation. It’s called repentance and restoration.

      The issue here is that, often, what looks like “rededication” is actually #4. The person has been living in sin because he was never genuinely saved in the first place, despite walking an aisle and passing through a baptistery when he was 6. If this is the case and he is now saved, he should be re-baptized, because baptism is our proclamation to the world that we have genuinely been born again.

      Hope this helps. :0)


      1. Hi Michelle, I recently joined a church that I very much like. I have been a faithful follower of yours for awhile now along with a few others. You have helped to open my eyes. My question to you is that I join a womens Bible study and have enjoyed the ladies. We are starting up with a new study….1 Peter. My concern is it is a Rick Warren study. I am not a fan of his anymore! I have a lot of concerns about him. I am new to the study and church and I don’t want to offend anyone. Any suggestions/advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Pam Ritter Sent from my iPhone



      2. Hi Pam- Thank you for your kind words. You are right to be concerned. Rick Warren is an extremely dangerous false teacher. I would strongly recommend that you click on the Popular False Teachers & Unbiblical Trends tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page, scroll down to his name, click on it, and make the time to read the information and watch the video about him so you can see for yourself just how dangerous he is.

        Once you’ve done that, read my article, The Mailbag: How should I approach my church leaders about a false teacher they’re introducing?. Go to the woman teaching the study first and share this information on Rick Warren with her. If she listens, praise God! If she doesn’t, go to the next person up the chain of command until either someone listens and puts a stop to this, or until you’ve gone all the way up to the pastor and he tells you he’s fine with Rick Warren.

        Fair warning – you will most likely be rebuffed every step of the way, including with the pastor, and you’ll probably be made to feel like you’re the problem, or you’re unloving and divisive. I urge you to press on anyway until you’ve gone as far as you can with it. Even if they don’t change anything, you will have spoken a prophetic word of warning to them. (See Ezekiel 33:1-9) I have heard from women who have approached their leadership about false teachers and their leadership listened to them and did away with the materials from the false teacher, but it’s very rare.

        If you go all the way to the pastor and he makes it clear he’s fine with Rick Warren, you need to find a new church that’s doctrinally sound. Any church that would embrace Rick Warren is unbiblical at its foundation and is most assuredly teaching false doctrine that you might not even have noticed. If/when that time comes, be sure to click on the Searching for a new church? tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page for some great resources for finding a healthy church.

        I hope this helps. I’m taking a moment to pray for you now.


  7. I’m wondering if the lady requesting the studies is thinking of Vaughan Robert’s series called God’s Big Picture. The videos and study notes are readily available for free and can easily be found by doing a search of his name and the series title.
    Thankyou for your very informative and helpful blog which I seek out regularly.


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