The Mailbag: Is It OK for Christian Women to Wear Bikinis?

It’s that time of year again, ladies. :0)

Originally published February 27, 2017

Foreword: I re-run this article every year in late winter / early spring. And every year, there are a handful of my followers who get mad that I don’t simply say, “No. It is not OK for Christian women to wear bikinis.”

If you’re one of those people, you’re missing the point of this article.

It’s easy to throw out a hard and fast law. It’s not so easy – especially for new Christians and those who come from a background of legalism – to practice biblical decision-making, a skill all Christians need to hone and implement in every area of our lives.

This article is a teaching moment. It’s an opportunity for women to take a fairly easy question that they pretty much already know the answer to and learn how to go through the steps to arriving at a biblical answer.

Remember back in school when your math teacher would make you show your work? She did that because getting the right answer is only a part of problem solving. Understanding and correctly doing all the steps – in order – to arrive at the right answer is the bulk of what she was trying to teach you. This is a “show your work” kind of article.

Summer is just around the corner, so a lot of women will soon be shopping for swimwear. With regard to modesty- do you think it’s OK for Christian women to wear bikinis?

I’m trying to remember back to the days when I might have actually considered – without doubling over in laughter – wearing a bikini. It was a really long time ago. Young, svelte sisters, if I may bring you a bit of comfort- you won’t have to grapple with this question for the rest of your life. As your other older sisters and I can attest, one day, age-appropriateness, your figure, sun exposure, and the desire not to frighten people will make this decision for you long before you have to consider modesty as part of the equation. It’s one of the blessings of getting older.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, let’s quickly define our terms. When I say “bikini,” I’m talking about the fabric equivalent of a bra and panties, not swimwear that covers a lot more yet comes in two pieces.


not bikinis

Generally speaking, I don’t think bikinis are wise in public unless you’re wearing a shirt or some kind of cover up over it. I’m reluctant to make a hard and fast law about it, though, because, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Bible doesn’t say “Thou shalt not wear a bikini.” (My husband would like to chime in here and says, “However, if you and your husband have a private place for just the two of you to swim or sunbathe, go for it!” You’re welcome, guys.)

A law is a fast and easy “yes” or “no” answer to our question- which is often what our flesh wants, because our flesh is lazy.

As with various other issues, the Bible gives us a general principle (in this case about dressing modestly) and we work out our own salvation in our own cultural context according to all pertinent biblical principles and our own consciences. A law is a fast and easy “yes” or “no” answer to our question- which is often what our flesh wants, because our flesh is lazy. But what God wants Christians to do is study His Word about the issue, pray, and ask Him for wisdom to make a godly decision. When we work through this process, it helps us to develop a greater desire to be conformed to the image of Christ and to be obedient to Him.

What God wants Christians to do is study His Word about the issue, pray, and ask Him for wisdom to make a godly decision.

Let’s take a look at just one passage of Scripture that could be helpful in this regard:

3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:3-8 

So, at first glance, you might wonder, “What in the world does this passage have to do with wearing a bikini?” It doesn’t have anything to do with the bikini itself, it zeros in on your heart (Why do you want to wear a bikini?) and your sanctification (Will wearing a bikini make me more Christlike?).

Verse 3a:
Examine your heart- could your motive for wearing a bikini be classified as selfish ambition or vain conceit? Is it possible you want to show your body off to men to appear desirable, or to women to make them jealous?

Verse 3b-4:
Is this a situation in which you should humble yourself and put the interests of those men who might be tempted to lust or those women who might be tempted to covet ahead of your own desire to appear attractive?

Verse 5:
Do you truly desire to have the same mindset as Christ- about this issue and all others?

Verse 6-8:
How did Jesus approach life, according to these verses? He set aside His own rights and privileges (6), He took on the role of a servant (7), He humbled Himself and was obedient to the point of death (8).

When it comes to wearing a bikini, are you willing to have the same mindset as Christ? To set aside your own rights and privileges, be a servant to others, humble yourself, and obey Christ even to the point of death?

These are not questions God wants me to answer for you. These are questions He wants you to come to Him and answer, because He wants your heart. And He wants you to examine your heart and see if it belongs to Him in this area.

Additional Resources:

Is it Okay for Christian Women to Wear Bikinis? at When We Understand the Text

Modesty, parts 1, 2, & 3 at A Word Fitly Spoken

If you’re looking for modest swimwear – even swim dresses – there are several online companies, such as Calypsa, that may have what you’re looking for. Try searching “modest swimwear”. Have you already found a great company you love? Suggest it in the comments below!

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.

Holidays (Other)

40 Things to Give Up for Lent

Originally published March 3, 2017

Although, as a Louisiana girl, I’ve had a decades long love affair with king cake, and I totally support the increased availability of fish entrées at local restaurants and getting a few days off school or work, I’m not a big fan of Mardi Gras and Lent.

The intrinsic philosophy behind Mardi Gras – a day of revelry, indulgence, and debauchery to get it all out of your system before you have to start “being good” for Lent – is patently unbiblical.

The practice of Lent often is, as well. Lent is the forty day period, beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter Sunday, observed by Catholics and some Protestants. Originally, it was simply a time of fasting, prayer, and worship in anticipation of Easter, and for Christians who continue to observe it this way, it can be a valuable and meaningful time of respite and renewal with the Lord.

For many, however, Lent – particularly the aspect of giving something up for Lent in an act of self-denial – is nothing more than an empty religious ritual, or worse, works righteousness. Giving something up for Lent because, “I’m Catholic and that’s what good Catholics do,” or to atone for your sins, or to curry favor with God, or to flaunt your self-righteousness flies in the face of grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone biblical Christianity.

If you give something up for Lent, why do you do so? If it’s for one of the aforementioned unbiblical reasons (or others), or even if you don’t observe Lent at all, I’d like to challenge us all to give up the things below for Lent:

I’d like to challenge us all to give up these 40 things for Lent…

1. Give up Lent for Lent.

2. Give up attending any church that requires the observance of Lent in a sacramental way and find a doctrinally sound one.

3. Give up thinking your good behavior earns you right standing with God.

4. Give up the idea that there’s any such thing as truly good behavior.

5. Give up thinking your good deeds could ever outweigh your sins.

6. Give up willfully indulging in sin as long as you “make up for it” later.

7. Give up the notion that penance or self-denial can pay for your sins.

8. Give up thinking that penance or self-denial curries favor with God.

9. Give up the idea that repentance and obedience belong to a certain season on the calendar. We are to walk in repentance every day.

10. Give up the concept that Christmas and Easter are Christian “high holy days.” We celebrate Christ’s incarnation and resurrection every Sunday, and should prepare ourselves all during the week. Every Sunday is a high holy day for the Christian.

11. Give up rote participation in church rituals. Search the Scriptures and see if they’re biblical first.

12. Give up thinking God concerns Himself strictly with your external behavior rather than the condition of your heart.

13. Give up “sounding a trumpet before you” with humblebrags on social media and in real life about giving things up for Lent, fasting, giving offerings, or any other good works you might do. You just lost your reward, baby.

14. Give up approaching church attendance as punching the time clock for God. The Christian’s entire life, our very beings, belong to Christ, not just a couple of hours on Sunday.

15. Give up the delusion that you’re basically a good person. You’re not.

16. Give up biblical ignorance and become a good student of God’s word.

17. Give up forsaking the assembly and become a faithful, serving member of your local church.

18. Give up thinking that everyone and everything that calls itself “Christian” actually is.

19. Give up the desire to have your itching ears scratched and long for the truth of God’s word. Even when it’s hard to hear.

20. Give up neglecting the daily study of God’s word.

21. Give up rejecting parts of the Bible you don’t agree with. We don’t sit in judgment over Scripture. Scripture sits in judgment over us.

22. Give up neglecting your prayer life.

23. Give up making excuses for failing to memorize Scripture. You can do it!

24. Give up being a non-serving member of your church.

25. Give up being a non-giving member of your church.

26. Give up thinking you’re hearing God speak to you. If you want to hear God speak to you, open your Bible and study it. God has spoken in His word and many are largely ignoring what He has already said.

27. Give up following false teachers and be a good Berean.

28. Give up being afraid to share the gospel and just do it.

29. Give up thinking you can please God apart from faith in Christ.

30. Give up basing your doctrine and beliefs on your own (or anyone else’s) opinions, experiences, and feelings, and base them on correctly handled Scripture instead.

31. Give up following your wicked and deceitful heart, take up your cross daily, and follow Christ.

32. Give up thinking you have to do big things for God in order for Him to be pleased with you and “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands.”

33. Give up worrying and trust God.

34. Give up neglecting to fear God’s wrath if you don’t know Christ.

35. Give up fearing God’s wrath if you do know Christ.

36. Give up the idea that “God is love” means God is a pushover who won’t judge you.

37. Give up thinking you’ve been so bad that God could never forgive you.

38. Give up thinking you’re so good that you don’t need God to forgive you.

39. Give up refusing to forgive others when Christ has forgiven you so much.

40. Give up everything and be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and walk in His ways, all the days of your life, to the glory of God alone.

Holidays (Other)

The Mailbag: Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, and Lent

Originally published March 4, 2019

For an expanded and more detailed treatment of this topic (based on this brief article), please listen to the Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, and Lent episode of A Word Fitly Spoken.

What are Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, and Lent? Are they biblical? Should Christians participate in them?

If you don’t live in Louisiana or a heavily Catholic area, maybe you’re not very familiar with all of these observances. Let’s take a look at each of them:

What is…

Lent- Lent is a forty day period (not counting Sundays) leading up to Easter. It is observed by Catholics and some Protestants. Historically, it is supposed to be a period of repentance, penance, fasting, and self-denial. The aspect of Lent that people tend to be most familiar with is the idea of giving something up (self-denial/penance) for Lent such as watching TV, chocolate, smoking, or eating meat.

What is the meaning of Lent? at Got Questions

What is Lent? at 40 Acts*

Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Ashes are applied to the forehead in the shape of a cross to indicate repentance and that the recipient will begin the Lenten fast. Ash Wednesday is primarily observed by Catholics and some Protestants.

What is Ash Wednesday? at Got Questions

Ash Wednesday at Catholic Online*

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) Mardi Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday. It has its roots in Shrove Tuesday, which was originally a day of feasting on all of the foods that were forbidden during Lent so these foods would not spoil or go to waste since they could not be eaten again until after Easter. Through the years, this day of feasting has morphed into drunken revelry – sort of a “last hoorah” for getting all the sin out of your system before you have to start “being good” for Lent. In Louisiana (and a few other places, such as Mobile, Alabama), it is much more a cultural holiday than a religious observance. People from various religions as well as non-religious people participate in Mardi Gras. It is celebrated with numerous parades, balls, and other festivities. The colors of Mardi Gras are purple (representing justice), green (representing faith), and gold (representing power).

What is the origin of Fat Tuesday / Mardi Gras? at Got Questions

Mardi Gras History at Mardi Gras New Orleans*

Are these days/observances biblical?

Lent Yes and no. Mostly no. The fundamental components of Lent – repentance, fasting, and the pursuit of holiness – are biblical. Repentance and holy living should be practiced by all Christians every day, and biblical fasting as the Holy Spirit convicts the individual Believer.

However, Lent is not mentioned or even hinted at in the Bible, and any Catholic observance (of Lent or anything else) is fundamentally unbiblical because the Catholic religion itself is unbiblical. It is also unbiblical for a church to require that its members observe a man-made religious ritual or to imply or teach that participating in this ritual earns favor with God or absolves or makes up for sin. Furthermore, to teach that there is a special time of the year set aside for repentance and holiness is unbiblical. Christians are to walk in holiness and repentance every day.

Ash Wednesday Again, yes and no. Mostly no, and for most of the same reasons Lent is generally unbiblical. The fundamental components of Ash Wednesday – repentance of sin and the pursuit of holiness – are biblical and should be practiced by all Christians every day.

In addition to the unbiblical facets of Lent, Ash Wednesday’s forehead ashes “disfigure[s] their faces that their fasting may be seen by others” which is the exact opposite of the humble way Christ teaches us to fast.

Mardi Gras No. The drunkenness, sin, and lasciviousness that go along with typical Mardi Gras celebrations are patently unbiblical as is the idea of getting all the sin out of our systems before we have to start being good. The Bible teaches against these things.

Should Christians participate in…

Lent Catholic observances of Lent – no. Some doctrinally sound churches and individuals freely choose to set aside a time of biblical fasting, prayer, and worship in anticipation of Easter. For Christians who observe Lent in this way, as long as it is observed in keeping with Scriptural principles, it can be a valuable and meaningful time of respite and renewal with the Lord just as it could if observed at any other time of the year.

Ash Wednesday No. It is unbiblical, as cited above.

Mardi Gras Christians should not participate in any sinful activities any day of the year, including Mardi Gras, nor believe or portray to others by their actions, the unbiblical “theology” behind Mardi Gras. (And as a non-theological aside, violent crime in New Orleans during Mardi Gras has made attending Mardi Gras parades and other events very dangerous.)

However, as I mentioned, in Louisiana, Mardi Gras has become much more of a cultural holiday than an observance with religious undertones. Many smaller towns (and even some larger ones) eschew the debauchery that takes place in New Orleans and offer family-friendly parades which are basically as innocuous as our local Christmas parades or a Fourth of July fireworks show. For Christians who have worked and prayed through the appropriate biblical principles and whose consciences allow them to participate in non-sinful Mardi Gras activities such as attending these types of parades, I believe this is an issue of adiaphora (Christian liberty) similar to participating in non-sinful aspects of Halloween. (Don’t forget to take along some tracts to hand out!)

*Other than the linked article, I am not familiar with this site/organization and do not endorse it if it deviates from Scripture or any of my beliefs as outlined in the “Welcome” or “Statement of Faith” tabs at the top of this page.

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.


Asbury, Revival, and Discernment

(I’m flying out to a conference later this week, so this week’s posts will run Monday-Wednesday rather than Tuesday-Thursday.)

Have you been hearing about this “Asbury Revival” thing lately, and wondering what it is? Is it a “real” revival? Is it biblical? Are people getting saved? These are just a few of the questions Christians have been asking as video, eyewitness accounts, and, undoubtedly, a good deal of speculation have made their way out of Kentucky to other parts of the country.

I would encourage you to examine the resources below and compare everything to rightly handled, in context Scripture. This is a way of testing the spirits as Scripture commands us, rather than simply believing every spirit that comes along.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

1 John 4:1

To help you practice your discernment, here (and throughout this article) are some questions to keep in mind as you read about and watch the “Asbury revival”:

🔥Where does the Bible say that, in context, and rightly handled? Does the Bible really say that?

🔥Is what I’m reading objective, rightly handled, in context Scripture, or someone’s subjective personal experiences, opinions, feelings, or preferences? Which am I hearing more of?

🔥Could what I’m reading about have been replicated by a non-Christian person, event, or experience?

🔥Who, or what, is my attention being drawn to – Jesus and His written Word, or people, opinions, feelings, and experiences?

🔥A good, biblical approach to evaluating events like this, initially, is to “wait and see” what will transpire. We don’t want to make snap, uninformed judgments, but when there’s the possibility that spiritual damage could be done, at what point have we waited long enough and seen enough evidence that it is time to stop waiting and start warning?

What’s this all about?

“The 2023 Asbury Revival is an ongoing Christian revival at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. The event was prompted after students spontaneously stayed in Hughes Auditorium following a regularly scheduled chapel service on 8 Feb. 2023. News of the phenomena was quickly spread on social media and in Christian online publications. The revival has been compared to similar revivals at Asbury, notably one that occurred in 1970, which had far-reaching consequences in Methodism, US culture, and in the growth of the Jesus movement. The revival is noted for its use of social media, as the participants are mainly members of Generation Z.” 2023 Asbury Revival, Wikipedia

(Normally, I would not use Wikipedia as a resource, but after sifting through a dozen or so news stories for one that wasn’t slanted, didn’t drown the reader in tons of superfluous information, and simply presented the basic facts, unbelievably, Wikipedia is what I was left with. There are a few more details and a decent timeline of events at the link above.)

Entering week three, Asbury President Kevin Brown issued an announcement that the event will end on Wednesday, February 22. Asbury revival in Kentucky will end after two weeks of non-stop services, worship, Lexington Herald Leader

Theological Foundation, Background, and Context

🔥Are all of Asbury’s doctrines and practices biblical? If not, which ones, and why?

🔥Consider the following passage as you learn about Asbury’s doctrine and practices. Which parts of what you will read below are “tree,” and which parts are “fruit”? According to Scripture, does Asbury seem to be a healthy tree that will bear good fruit, or a diseased tree that will bear bad fruit?

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:16-23

Asbury University has “its roots in the American Methodist and holiness tradition.” Here is their theological foundation as explained by Asbury University: Wesleyan-Holiness Theology

Briefer and more contemporary: Who are the Wesleyans, and what are the beliefs of the Wesleyan Church?

Though Asbury University retains many biblical standards on paper, genearally speaking, Wesleyans are Arminian, egalitarian rather than complementarian, pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, and social justice oriented. They tend toward theological “progressivism” – the liberal end of the theological spectrum rather than the conservative end.

And, indeed, there are openly homosexual students at Asbury, and they have been helping lead this event. From an Asbury student:

And here is “Pastor” Laurel Bunker, who is scheduled to preach at chapel on March 20, 2023 – just one of the numerous women they regularly have preach.

Asbury University also has a history of recurring spiritual events which they have dubbed “revivals” and attribute to the Holy Spirit. From the Asbury University website:

Notice anything about the dates of these events? They all occurred near the time of the Collegiate Day of Prayer, which is always the last Thursday of February. This has raised questions as to whether or not these events may have been at least somewhat contrived or encouraged. Coincidentally or not, Asbury University is hosting the 200th anniversary simulcast for the Collegiate Day of Prayer on Thursday, February 23 – the day after the current “revival” is scheduled to end.

Content of the Meetings

🔥What does the Bible say about the way we are to worship? How does the content of the Asbury meetings measure up against Scripture’s commands and instructions for biblical worship?

What’s being called the “Asbury revival” started after a regular weekly chapel service. This is the message that was preached during that chapel service that apparently got things going.

Many people have said that the gospel was preached during this sermon. Many others have said the gospel appeared nowhere in this sermon.

This is the gospel:

You are a sinner. You were born in sin and rebellion against the holy God of the universe, and you’ve also willfully chosen to break His law. You’ve lied. You’ve wanted and taken things that didn’t belong to you, which is coveting and stealing. You’ve lusted after someone, which Jesus said is committing adultery in your heart. You’ve been sinfully angry, which Jesus says is committing murder in your heart. You’ve dishonored your parents. And that’s only 6 of the 10 Commandments.

James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” So you’re guilty of breaking all of God’s law.

When you break the law, justice must be meted out. And the just punishment for rebellion against God is an eternity in Hell, which all of us richly deserve. And you can take that eternal death sentence for your sin, and serve it yourself if you want to, but God, who is rich in mercy, has provided another way out. A better way out. He sent His son, Jesus, to earth to live a perfect sinless life so He could take your death penalty for you. And that’s just what He did on the cross. He died in your place. He took the punishment for your sin. And then he rose bodily from the grave on the third day afterward.

If you want to be right with God, have your sins forgiven, and stand clean before Him now and when you die, confess your sin and rebellion against Him. Sorrowfully turn your heart and life away from sin and toward Him, believing that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection paid the penalty for your sin, and you ask Him to save you. And He will.

(For a more extensive version of the gospel with more Scripture references click the What Must I Do to Be Saved? tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.)

🔥Was the gospel preached during this message? Did you hear about sin, repentance, God’s law, Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection for your sin, and God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness? Can people get genuinely saved without hearing the full biblical gospel?

While many people have stood and spoken in front of those assembled, there have been conflicting reports about whether or not any further sermons have been preached.

Not all public speaking, even in a Christian or church setting, is preaching. To preach is to point the congregation to Christ and His written Word by taking a passage of Scripture and teaching, exegeting, expositing, and proclaiming it. Rightly handled Scripture is the substance around which a sermon revolves. Other forms of Christian speaking – such as personal testimonies, public prayer, words of encouragement, and merely reading or alluding to Scripture – are valid and appropriate at times, but they are not the same thing as preaching a sermon.

Below is the livestream of the Asbury meeting.

🔥Which types of speaking do you see and hear? Preaching? Teaching Scripture? Personal testimonies? Is the speaker teaching and explaining Scripture, speaking about personal thoughts and experiences, speaking about the experience of the “revival” itself? Do you see more singing and prayer or more preaching?

🔥Consider this passage as you listen to the speakers in the livestream:

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:13-17

🔥Could someone hear the full gospel and get saved through what any of the speakers are saying? Why or why not?

There have been a number of reports that the nearly perpetual music during the meetings has largely been songs from Bethel, Hillsong, and Elevation. What do you observe in the livestream?

🔥Have all of the songs’ lyrics been doctrinally sound according to Scripture? Is God pleased when we use music from heretical sources to worship Him even if the lyrics of a particular song don’t conflict with Scripture?

One of the concerns early on in the meetings was that rank heretics of the worst order such as Todd Bentley, Rodney Howard Browne, Tasha Cobbs, and Greg Locke were attracted to and enjoyed attending the Asbury meetings. Some speculated that they attended in order to gain some sort of power, take over the meetings, or garner attention for themselves.

🔥Would such demonically controlled people have shown up at a “revival” meeting at any doctrinally sound church you can think of where the gospel was being preached and Scripture was being rightly handled? If they had, what impact should that have had on them, spiritually?

False teacher Todd Bentley posts he is ‘booked to spend several days’ at ‘Asbury revival’ — university says he was not invited to speak

OP Continued: “…This happens when people get hungry for more of God. Many will refer to this as a sovereign move of God, however God sovereignly moved 2000 years ago on the day of Pentecost, and he has never stopped. He is still moving today. Can’t wait to hear all the critics, the controllers or better yet the opportunists who would love to co-opt what God does. Let this shut down the whole university! Let the fire continue to fall & spread! #Revival #HolySpirit #Awakening @AsburyUniv

In addition to the worst of the worst evangelical heretics, several in Catholic leadership have attended the meetings and spoken glowingly about them. (Catholicism is not Christianity. Those who hold to Catholic doctrine – and we certainly would expect Catholic leaders to hold to Catholic doctrine – are not Christians because Catholicism anathematizes the biblical gospel.)

‘Jesus was right next to me’: Asbury revival sets Catholics on fire with Holy Spirit

🔥Is it possible for an unbeliever who anathematizes the biblical gospel (i.e. believes and teaches that anyone who believes the biblical gospel is condemned to Hell) to be “set on fire with the Holy Spirit”? According to Scripture, what is the function of the Holy Spirit in the life of an unbeliever?

There has been one (that I’m aware of) instance of someone allegedly exorcising a demon during the meetings. If you’re familiar with the trappings of the New Apostolic Reformation, you know that what you see in the video below goes hand in glove with the NAR’s heretical theology of “spiritual warfare”.

🔥Does a “tree” (see Matthew passage above) of sound doctrine produce heretical fruit? Would this type of incident be likely to happen at any doctrinally sound church you know of? If not, why not? If so, how would it have been handled by the pastors and elders?

What Other Biblically Trustworthy Voices Are Saying

🔥Some have said it’s sinful or wrong to biblically critique the Asbury meetings without physically going there to experience it personally in real time. Does the Bible require us to be physically present while something is happening in order to experience it personally before making informed, biblical evaluation, observation, or critique?

If yes, have you ever evaluated the Holocaust or slavery as sinful? Have you ever said that Mormonism, Hinduism, Satanism, etc., were unbiblical, having never practiced one of those religions yourself? Consider this passage in which Jesus comments on events at which He was not physically present.

Is The Asbury “Revival” A Real Revival? by Samuel Sey

Let’s have some real talk about this whole Asbury revival thing. We’ll start with a lesson from the Western Front. at Not the Bee

The Asbury Revival: observations from a local pastor at The Cripplegate

Why It’s Good to be Skeptical of the Asbury Revival at The Cripplegate

Can Anything Good Come Out of Asbury?

🔥Consider these passages. God is able to take any sin, any false doctrine, any bad situation, and use it for His glory and our good. What are some scripturally good, doctrinally sound things that could happen as a result of the meetings at Asbury?

🔥What are some things doctrinally sound Christians and churches could do to reach out to and help the students at Asbury?

🔥When someone hears the biblical gospel and gets genuinely saved while still a member of a “bad tree” belief system or a follower of a false teacher, does she stay in that unbiblical environment or does God grow her and bring her out of it? What is something you could do to share the gospel with and disciple someone caught in a false belief system?


The Mailbag: Potpourri (Women giving eulogies… Highlighting my Bible?… Sharing resources with men… Leading a tract ministry)

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.

My father passed away recently, and I’ve been asked by my family to give one of several eulogies. I am saved, and I’d be very eager to share the gospel, as most of my beloved relatives & extended family are not. However, I will decline, and not go against God’s Word, if this would be an example of “teaching” both men & women. Thank you so much.

My deepest condolences on the loss of your father.

No, giving a eulogy is not a violation of Scripture for women. What God prohibits you from doing is pastoring, preaching, teaching men the Scriptures, and exercising authority over men in the context of the gathering of the church body.

A funeral is not the gathering of the church body (especially when, as you indicated, most of the people attending are lost), and a eulogy doesn’t correlate to a sermon, it correlates more closely to giving a short personal testimony. You’ll be talking about your dad, not instructing or exhorting people from the Scriptures.

Was your dad a Believer? If so, one way to share the gospel during your eulogy that might make you more comfortable would be to word the gospel in terms of your dad’s testimony. (i.e. “In 1973, Dad hit rock bottom and came to realize he was a sinner. He cussed like a sailor, he wasn’t leading his family to know the Lord, he was a liar … but then he picked up the Bible Grandma had given him so many years ago and started reading. As he read, he came across Scriptures like X, Y, and Z [read Scriptures like Romans 3:23, etc. here] ….I’m so glad Dad trusted in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ to save him, and I know he’d want you to trust Christ, too.”)

If your dad wasn’t a Believer, was there something in his life that lent itself to you becoming a Believer? If so, you could word the gospel in terms of your own testimony. (i.e. “…Dad had messed up. Again. But that led me to think about all the times in my life when I had messed up. I had sinned so many times against a holy God…. [insert the gospel via your testimony here] … and even though Dad wasn’t perfect, I’m so thankful for the way God used his life to help me understand that I needed Christ.)

What you might want to do is meet with your pastor for some counsel on this. He has undoubtedly performed a lot of funerals, both for saved people and unsaved people, and I’m sure he can give you better guidance than I can.

Additional Resources

Rock Your Role: Jill in the Pulpit

Rock Your Role FAQs

Rock Your Role series

You’re the first person I thought of to ask how to highlight Bible verses using specific colors. Do you have a system for this skill that you can share? I’m 61 and have never had a church that taught it.

Well, I’m honored that you thought of me! I’m almost 54 and I’ve never been in a church that taught it either. I think it’s really just an individual thing that you develop a method for on your own rather than something the church teaches.

I wish I could help you come up with a system, but I don’t use highlighters in my Bible. I did when I was younger, but I ended up highlighting so many verses it just became pointless.

(I have no idea what @faithcomedy is. I’m not recommending it, just leaving it on the pic for a photo credit.)

My husband gave me a MacArthur Study Bible for Christmas! It’s a precious gift, so I want to use it wisely.

Your husband is a keeper! I hope you gave him plenty of hugs and kisses. The MacArthur Study Bible is one of the best study Bibles out there.

I also want to learn how to study my Bible without a formal study, so I thought I would start with a few of your studies before going solo. I believe systematically highlighting what I learn will help me focus better and provide order to my efforts. Brain fog and focus are current challenges for me, so keeping things simple works best.

I hope you’ll enjoy whichever of my studies you decide to use. Studying straight from the text of Scripture is the wisest possible use of that new Bible.

My advice would be to ask your friends at church how they highlight. You can also Google something like “how to highlight my Bible”. I’m sure you’ll get lots of results. Just sift through them carefully, use what works for you, and throw out the rest.

My daily structure was shattered last year, but God used it to get my attention. Now, I’m working on re-establishing self-discipline to restore the structure as God directs me. Thank you for your time in considering my thoughts. Your assistance is greatly respected and appreciated.

You are more than welcome. I’m so encouraged to hear how God is working in your heart and life. It is my pleasure to serve you in Christ.

You write to women. I love the things you write but are they appropriate to share with men? Is it my place to share with men? I’m not talking about my husband, I have a man who is the right age to be my son, I am 62, and he randomly sends me things from teachers you have helped me learn to veer away from… but my friend has much more of an attitude of something you wrote somewhere about chewing the meat,spitting out the bones… I can’t remember exactly how you said it. Anyway he feels like sharing anything is better than sharing nothing. I am wondering if forwarding him your article is a good idea or if there is a strong male pastor who writes about discernment? I hate to send videos of John MacArthur although I’ve watched him and it’s so good. But I’m not sure if sending an hour long video is something that would capture his attention enough. He is of course accusing me of being a Pharisee😔

Thank you so much for your kind words. Hon, let me start off by saying this- if this disrespectful dude is young enough to be your son and he feels comfortable calling someone he should view as a mother figure a Pharisee, he’s not your friend. You may have some sort of relationship with him, but it’s not a friendship, at least not on his part. A younger man treating an older woman that way ought to be ashamed of himself.

While it’s admirable that you’re trying to help him, it sounds like you’ve already tried to, and he’s thrown it back in your face. Scripturally, you are under no obligation to keep going back indefinitely for what he’s dishing out. Even God the Father, Jesus, and their admonitions in Scripture don’t teach us to keep indefinitely pursuing people who have rejected biblical truth:

  • Think about Old Testament Israel. God pursued them, disciplined them, sent them prophets, performed miracles – the whole works – and He bore with them in their idolatry and disobedience for hundreds of years. But not forever. He eventually sent them into exile.
  • Remember the story of Jesus and the rich young ruler? Did Jesus chase him down and keep trying to convince him once he rejected biblical teaching from Jesus Himself? No. He let him go. What about the father of the prodigal son? Dad lets that rebel leave. (You can probably think of many more examples.)
  • Matthew 7:6: 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.
  • Mark 6:11: And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave [this phrase assumes they will leave], shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.

Now, all of that being said, you’ll want to spend some time in prayer for wisdom about how much longer you should hang in there with him on this topic. It is perfectly permissible for you to say, at some point, “It seems like we are at an impasse about these teachers and it is causing contention. If you’d ever like to discuss how you can stop following these false teachers and follow some sound teachers instead, my door is always open. But until then, let’s talk about other things instead.”. Keep praying for him. This is a heart issue, not an evidence issue. God has to open his eyes to the truth before he’ll be able to see it.

In the meantime, yes, it is OK to send him my articles, but if you’re looking for a man’s discernment materials instead, you can’t go wrong with Chris Rosebrough. Check out his YouTube channel and the archives of his podcast, Fighting for the Faith.

I don’t want this question to appear on the forum, if that’s all right. Like the name and details….

This was the preface to a question a reader posed in a comment here on the blog. I certainly understand wanting to remain anonymous, but I can’t answer blog comments that way. I’m not able to. If you leave a blog comment and I publish and respond to it, your name, avatar, and comment are going to be visible to the public in the comments section of the article you commented on. And I can’t respond to your comment without publishing it. I’m sorry, that’s just the way WordPress works.

A church I previously attended is interested in funding a ministry idea I have to mail or email gospel tracts to anyone for free. They are encouraging me to lead the ministry and I don’t see how I qualify biblically being an unmarried woman. I told them I read in the Bible a Christian woman is allowed to share the gospel but a Christian man qualified as bishop or deacon should lead the ministry. They said I shouldn’t worry about being a woman leading the ministry. I could use your guidance and prayers about what I should do.

Should I work on the ministry plan and administrate the ministry? I would still find qualifying Christian men to lead the ministry through a Board of Directors/Advisors. Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.

What a fantastic ministry! I’m so glad you thought of this, and I hope it will be a blessing to many.

If your conscience prevents you from heading up this ministry, then don’t sin against your conscience by heading up this ministry.

That said, you do want to be sure your conscience is biblically informed before you base a decision on it.

The biblical prohibition is against women pastoring, preaching, teaching the Bible to men, or exercising unbiblical authority over men in the gathering of the church body. I’m guessing your hesitation is based on the “authority” aspect of that passage.

On the surface, with the limited information I have, it doesn’t sound like ordering and mailing tracts, the administrative sorts of tasks that go along with that (i.e. buying stamps, taking the mailers to the post office, etc.) and organizing those who volunteer to help, would be an authority issue. I mean, how much supervision does a man need to stick a tract into an envelope, seal it, stamp it, and address it? Are you truly “exercising authority” by sending him a list of email addresses to send e-tracts to?

However, there may be some other aspects of the situation I’m not aware of that would make authority an issue. Assuming your current church is doctrinally sound, I would suggest you set up an appointment with your pastor, lay everything out for him, and ask for his counsel and advice.

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.