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.

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

  1. To the lady who wants to highlight: I bought regular old colored pencils and decided which color would be for which thing. Red for “Jesus is God”; green for “Jesus is the lamb”, etc. I used an index card and made a key (because my memory is atrocious). I also got a pencil pouch to carry my pencils and card to church.


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