Answering a Fool, Mailbag

The Mailbag: Answering a Fool #4

 

Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs 26:5

There’s a lot of foolishness masquerading as Christianity these days. Occasionally, I get e-mails and messages showcasing this type of foolishness. It needs to be biblically corrected so these folks can stop “being wise in their own eyes,” repent, and believe and practice the truth of Scripture. From time to time, I share those e-mails in The Mailbag with a biblical corrective, not only so the e-mail writer can be admonished by Scripture, but to provide you with Scriptures and reasoning you can use if you’re ever confronted with this kind of foolishness.

To answer a fool according to his folly (or in the case of most of the foolishness addressed to me – a professing Christian acting the fool by spouting unbiblical folly) is to stand toe to toe with him and firmly and biblically address his unbiblical foolishness without backing down or letting him run roughshod over you – sometimes even mirroring his own words back to him to help him see his hypocrisy. Some Christians think holding your ground, refusing to compromise on biblical truth, and offering correction in this way is unkind or unloving. It is not. Not if you’re going by the Bible’s definition of love rather than the world’s definition (“be nice” “accept everything” “don’t confront”), and not when you’re dealing with a pridefully stubborn person. One of the most unloving things a Christian can do is to see a professing brother or sister in biblical error and ignore it rather than trying to help that person see the truth of God’s Word. Jesus, Paul, Peter, Jude, John, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and many others, did this plenty of times in Scripture, and, often, much more stringently that I and other 21st century Christians do. Sometimes love – real, biblical love – has to be tough in order to reach someone’s heart.


(This reader’s blog comment {in blue},
responding to this article, is reprinted in full.)

Kay Arthur is a servant of the Lord and those of us who are Christians and love God and do her Bible studies can discern for ourselves. Who are you to bring up such things? Go study the Word of God yourself and take the log out of your own eye. Maybe you can go find somewhere to serve and stop trying to bring dissension among believers. I’m sure you can find better things to do then [sic] pick apart a woman who has devoted her entire life to teaching the Word of God. The woman is 86 yrs old, let’s all try to leave a legacy as she is doing.

All right, let’s break this down, shall we?

Kay Arthur is a servant of the Lord…

I never said she wasn’t. I’ve clearly stated on many occasions, including twice in the article you commented on (which I’m assuming you read) that I do not regard her as a false teacher, and I have never questioned her salvation, nor (unless she apostatizes) do I plan to.

By the way, did it ever cross your mind that I might be a servant of the Lord? Just because someone is serving in a way you don’t personally like, doesn’t mean she’s not serving the Lord. A lot of people didn’t care for…say…John the Baptist’s methods, or Jeremiah’s messages, or Paul’s teaching, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t servants of the Lord. When determining whether or not someone is a servant of the Lord, the question is not, “Do I like what this person has to say and the way in which she says it?” the question is, “Does this person’s teaching and behavior line up with Scripture? Is she bearing fruit in keeping with repentance? Is she teaching what is good? Is she following the principle of teaching sound doctrine and rebuking those who contradict it?”.

…and those of us who are Christians and love God and do her Bible studies can discern for ourselves.

So why haven’t you discerned for yourself the things I’ve mentioned in the article? Why are you arguing against the issues I’ve brought up instead of agreeing with them? And why are you accusing and slandering me for exercising biblical discernment? It doesn’t appear from your comment that you are “discerning for yourself” or you would have already noticed these issues and you’d agree with the biblical passages I’ve cited that these things conflict with Scripture.

But you’re right, some Christians who love God and do her Bible studies can discern for themselves. Which, in several cases, is what has led them to write to me and ask about the issues with Kay that I’ve cited in the article. They’ve been discerning. They’ve noticed that some of the things Kay teaches and does conflict with Scripture.

Who are you to bring up such things?

I am a Christian being obedient to the clear teaching of Scripture to contend for the faith.

What’s the problem with bringing up such things? You want to hide the fact that a Christian teacher is deviating from Scripture in certain areas? Can you cite any rightly handled, in context Scripture which supports that idea? Because the Bible never suggests we should hide sin or unbiblical teaching:

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:11

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. James 3:1

(I’m not suggesting, via these verses, that Kay is demonic or a false teacher or anything like that. But anything that you or I or Kay or anyone does that is sinful and/or contradicts Scripture is a work of darkness, and the Bible does not even hint that these things should be covered over, swept under the rug, or hidden. In fact, it says the opposite. God’s desire is always that sin and unbiblical teaching be dealt with and corrected in a biblical manner for His glory and our good.)

And what’s the problem with me or anyone else bringing up such things? In fact, why aren’t you bringing up such things? You’re a discerning Christian who loves God, and does Kay’s Bible studies – why haven’t you brought up the issues with Kay? The Bible clearly instructs us to hold to rightly handled Scripture and reject whatever contradicts it. Why aren’t you doing that? And why are you attacking me for following the Bible’s instructions? That’s not the fruit of a discerning Christian who loves God.

Either Kay is actually being obedient to Scripture in the issues I’ve cited in the article and you can prove that with evidence and Scripture (in which case, it’s actually to your advantage that I’ve brought these things up so you can publicly disprove what I’ve said and exonerate Kay), or she is being disobedient to Scripture in these issues (in which case, it’s also to your advantage, spiritually, that I’ve brought these things up so you can be aware and take Scripture’s side on these things rather than taking Kay’s side).

Go study the Word of God yourself and take the log out of your own eye.

What log? You’re wielding Scripture like a weapon and an insult against a sister in Christ who is obeying God’s Word, and you don’t even seem to understand what it means in context. (And neither of those things, if you’re a student of Kay’s, speaks very well of her teaching). And the reason I know that is because I’ve studied Scripture, as you’ve probably surmised from the copious amounts of it which I’ve cited in that article and this one.

If you’ll read the entirety of Matthew 7, you’ll notice that, in context, verses 1-5 (from which you’ve drawn your remark above) warn against judging others hypocritically. In other words, we’re not to judge a brother or sister for a slight fault (speck) when we’re guilty of that same fault to a much greater degree (log). Can you please explain precisely how I have done that in the article about Kay? Where have I taught unbiblically about spiritual warfare or endorsed someone else who does? When have I ever shared a stage with the likes of Beth Moore or Priscilla Shirer, much less co-authored books with them? When have I ever invited men to a conference I’m speaking at? How am I judging Kay hypocritically rather than judging her with right, biblical judgment?

Further along in Matthew 7, Jesus Himself not only judges false teachers (and, again, I’m not saying Kay is a false teacher) and false doctrine, but tells us to recognize them by their fruits (i.e. make judgments about what is and isn’t biblical). Obviously Jesus is not guilty of hypocritical judgment by warning against false teachers and telling us to do the same, and neither are those of us who obey His instructions.

What is hypocritical judgment is you casting aspersions at me  – like: I haven’t studied the Word, and I’m hypocritically judging someone – with no evidence or biblical support. You have no evidence or grounds for saying that I don’t study the Word. In fact, I think that the twelve years’ worth of material on this blog is sufficient evidence to refute that claim. You have also provided no evidence or biblical support to your claim that I have a “log in my eye.”

But the biggest hypocritical judgment you’re committing? You’re accusing me of being unbiblical based solely on your own personal opinions, not based on Scripture. You have cited no rightly handled Scripture whatsoever. You’re accusing me of judging while you’re judging me. Who’s got the log in her eye?

Maybe you can go find somewhere to serve…

Another unsubstantiated, unbiblically judgmental accusation. You know nothing about me. You have no idea whether I’m “serving” somewhere or not. I am a faithful, active as I’m able to be member of a local church and I serve it in any way I’m permitted to. Furthermore, I am serving the Lord with this ministry. At the moment, I’m doing so by rebuking your unbiblical judgments and ideas.

…and stop trying to bring dissension among believers.

And another Scripture you seem not to understand, which you’re wielding against a sister in Christ like a weapon and an insult. (And, again, your lack of understanding of the Scriptures does not speak well for Kay’s teaching. Jesus said we will know whether teachers are good or bad by the fruit of their ministry. You’re part of the fruit of Kay’s ministry. How do you think your misunderstanding and misusing Scripture reflects on her?)

I’m guessing (since you didn’t quote or reference it) the verse you’re alluding to is Romans 16:17. Let’s look at what it actually says:

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

Where have I said anything contrary to sound biblical doctrine as taught in Scripture? This verse teaches that the people who cause divisions and create obstacles (“bring dissension”) among Believers are the people who teach things and act in ways that are contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught by Scripture. For example, the things Kay has taught and done (ex: teaching men, yoking with false teachers, etc.) that are contrary to Scripture. Had she not taught and done these things, there would be no “dissension” because I would have been able to happily and wholeheartedly recommend her and you wouldn’t have had anything to complain about. When there is dissension among Believers it is the fault of those who are contradicting Scripture, not those who are standing for Scripture.

I’m sure you can find better things to do then [sic] pick apart a woman who has devoted her entire life to teaching the Word of God.

Log, meet speck. Pot, meet kettle. Do you not see the hypocrisy of you saying this to me? My life is devoted to teaching the Word of God as well, even the parts you don’t personally like. And yet here you are picking me apart. I’m sure you can find better things to do.

And, again, twelve years’ worth of material on this blog. One article about Kay that was written four years ago. Over 1600 on other topics including Bible study, discipleship, encouragement, evangelism, apologetics, recommended Bible teachers, Biblical Counseling resources, and resources for helping people find solid churches all over the world, among a plethora of other topics. Although there’s nothing wrong with the article I wrote on Kay – so I don’t need to “find better things to do” – I’m sure any objective person would see a 1600+:1 ratio as evidence that I’ve certainly found other things to do.

Furthermore, writing a carefully annotated discernment article addressing and explaining multiple issues with a teacher is not “picking someone apart”. It’s called being ethical, biblical, and thorough. (And by the way, one of the reasons I have to be so thorough is because if I only briefly cited one or two issues, I would get critics like you saying, “That’s all you’ve got? That’s nothing!”. It’s a lot harder to dismiss multiple and well-documented incidents.) While some people may choose to write a paragraph casting unfounded aspersions and making unsubstantiated accusations against sisters in Christ (log), I prefer to be as fair, biblical, and extending of grace to the person I’m critiquing as I possibly (speck) can.

The woman is 86 yrs old, let’s all try to leave a legacy as she is doing.

I’m sorry, is there some sort of age limit beyond which we’re allowed to sin and teach unbiblical doctrine with impunity? I don’t recall seeing that in the Bible anywhere. Solomon was elderly when he started worshiping false gods, and yet God doesn’t shy away from pointing this out publicly. In writing. Unconcerned about how doing so might impact Solomon’s legacy. Age is no excuse for sin or unbiblical teaching. In fact, God specifically says quite the opposite:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5

The truth is, we’re each responsible for our own legacy. If Kay wants to leave a more godly legacy, the areas I addressed need to be biblically corrected. I am doing my best to leave a legacy of pointing women to Christ and His Word, teaching them to be discerning, and encouraging them to be faithful to their local churches. There are many areas in my life in which I need to be more obedient to God’s Word so that I can leave a more godly legacy.

Misunderstanding and misusing Scripture. Falsely accusing, slandering, and hypocritically judging a sister in Christ. How’s your legacy looking? It’s something to think about, because, as you rightly pointed out, we should all look to the legacy we’re leaving. And we should strive to make it a godly one.


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.

Answering a Fool, Mailbag

The Mailbag: Answering a Fool #3

 

Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs 26:5

There’s a lot of foolishness masquerading as Christianity these days. Occasionally, I get e-mails and messages showcasing this type of foolishness. It needs to be biblically corrected so these folks can stop “being wise in their own eyes,” repent, and believe and practice the truth of Scripture. From time to time, I’ll be sharing those e-mails in The Mailbag with a biblical corrective, not only so the e-mail writer can be admonished by Scripture, but to provide you with Scriptures and reasoning you can use if you’re ever confronted with this kind of foolishness.


(This reader’s blog comment {in blue},
responding to this article, is reprinted in full.)

You are a liar and devils tool. There is no role for corporate discernment. God doesn’t need you to defend His flock from false teachers, when did God become powerless or when did His flock become unintelligent or indiscernible? How come it’s OKY you who can discern? And just remember the same standard which you use to judge others, God will use to judge you.

Allllllllllrighty then. Let’s break this down.

You are a liar and devils [sic] tool. 

A liar is someone who intentionally deceives other people or says something she knows is not true. I have done neither. If there is something in my article that is incorrect, I assure you it was an innocent and unintentional mistake. If you could kindly specify exactly what you think I have gotten wrong with the evidence or rightly handled Scripture to back up your assertion, I will gladly correct my mistake.

As for being the “devil’s tool,” could you please explain how someone who points out biblical error and points people to the truth of Scripture is being used by the devil? The devil is the one who twists and misuses Scripture in order to lead people into error. Was Jesus the “devil’s tool” when He publicly pointed out and biblically corrected the unscriptural teachings of the scribes and Pharisees? How about PeterPaulJohnJude, and others whom God the Holy Spirit inspired to write the Scriptures that rebuke false teachers and false doctrine? Were these men the “devil’s tool” too?

When you accuse the brethren (me) without biblical cause or evidence, and in the face of Scripture that proves your accusations to be unfounded, what you’re doing is called slander and unbiblical judgment, and you are the one who is being used as a tool of the devil.

There is no role for corporate discernment.

I honestly have no idea what this means. “Corporate” means “a large company or group.” In Christian circles, when we use the term “corporate,” we usually mean the gathering of the church body. I’m an individual, not a group, so I really don’t have a clue as to how this statement applies to me.

Furthermore where does the Bible say or teach this? If you’re going to make a biblical assertion, you need to back it up with rightly handled, in context Scripture. There’s tons of New Testament evidence that God does want the church as a body and individual Christians to practice discernment, but I don’t know which verses to provide you with to refute your point, because I don’t know what your point is.

God doesn’t need you to defend His flock from false teachers,

God doesn’t “need” anybody. He doesn’t “need” you to rebuke me either. Did you consider that before you wrote your comment? Why didn’t you just remain silent and trust Him to convict me of whatever sin you think I’ve committed? Or is it that it’s OK for you to call someone on the carpet for what you perceive to be violations of Scripture, but it’s not OK for me to do so? Hypocrisy, much?

As I clearly stated in the very first paragraph of the article (which I’m assuming you read since you commented on it), people have written to me asking whether or not certain teachers are doctrinally sound. The articles I’ve written are answers to these readers’ questions.

Titus 2:3 says:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,

Teaching women the truth of God’s Word about false teachers, discernment, or any other biblical issue is good. Some other passages you might want to consider:

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
Romans 16:17-18

Here’s Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, warning fellow Christians to “watch out for” and “avoid” false teachers. You know what else Paul said? “Imitate me.

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ…save others by snatching them out of the fire;
Jude 3-4,23a

Jude, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, exhorts the church to fight for the purity of biblical doctrine and to save those who are vulnerable to false doctrine, “snatching them out of the fire.”

“So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.
Ezekiel 33:7-9

God commands Ezekiel to warn people away from their sin and says He will hold Ezekiel responsible if he fails to warn them.

But I guess God didn’t “need” Paul or Jude or Ezekiel or any of the people in the congregations they were writing or speaking to or, by extension, Christians today, “to defend His flock from false teachers,” right?

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
James 4:17

It’s clear from Scripture that warning people away from sin and false doctrine is “the right thing to do.” You’re asking me to stop doing the right thing. It would be a sin for me to stop, and it’s a sin for you to demand that I stop. And now that you know that warning people away from false teachers is the right thing to do, that means if you fail to do so, that’s sin for you.

So the real question here is not, “Why am I warning others about false teachers,” but “Why aren’t you?”.

when did God become powerless or when did His flock become unintelligent or indiscernible?

OK, so following your logic, why does every single book of the New Testament (except Philemon) address the issue of false doctrine or false teachers? Why did God have so many of the Old Testament prophets rebuke the false prophets of their day – false prophets who, much like today’s false teachers, would say “thus saith the Lord” and then tell the people things God had not said, or things that were in direct contradiction to what God had said? Was He so powerless that these New Testament writers had to write books and letters (“blog articles,” if you will) warning against false doctrine and false teachers and these Old Testament prophets had to publicly denounce the false prophets?

When did His flock become unintelligent or undiscerning? Let’s dispense with “unintelligent” because that has nothing to do with being discerning. Some of the most intelligent people in evangelicalism with strings of academic letters behind their names are some of the most undiscerning Christians out there – seminary presidents and professors, denominational heads, CEOs of Christian retail outlets. And there are people who have very little in the way of intelligence or education who are very discerning.

When did God’s people become undiscerning? In Genesis 3, when a serpentine false teacher, “a liar and a tool of the devil,” walked up to Eve, twisted God’s Word and said, “Did God really say…?”. And lack of discernment has been a pervasive problem ever since.

How come it’s OKY [sic] you who can discern? (I think you mean “only”?)

It’s NOT only I who can discern. Praise God, there are lots of Christians out there who are discerning. The people who have written asking me about these false teachers are discerning (because they want help understanding whether or not they’re being taught sound doctrine). There are other writers and teachers doing the good and hard work of teaching discernment. Pastors, elders, deacons, Bible teachers, church members, podcasters, authors, parachurch ministries. They are out there warning fellow Christians against false teachers in their venues just like I am in my venue, and I thank God that they are! I wish every pastor and local church were so diligent about teaching discernment that I wouldn’t have to write discernment articles any more.

But the vast majority of them aren’t. In fact, the vast majority are throwing the doors of the sheep pen wide open to the wolves in sheep’s clothing and welcoming them in. And until that changes, somebody has to warn those vulnerable sheep. Like I said before, why aren’t you helping to warn them?

And just remember the same standard which you use to judge others, God will use to judge you.

The standard I use to biblically judge the observable behavior and teaching of evangelical teachers is Scripture, and that’s the standard God will judge me (and everyone else) by. I am totally OK with that because I am doing my best to be obedient to Scripture, and when I’m disobedient to Scripture I repent.

Can you say the same? What standard do you use for judging me and others? Let’s just put the opening and closing lines of your comment together:

You are a liar and devils tool.
And just remember the same standard which you use to judge others, God will use to judge you.

What standard are you using?

I’d like to leave you with a few passages of Scripture to consider:

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:36-37

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:1-5

O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
Psalm 15


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.

Answering a Fool, Mailbag

The Mailbag: Answering a Fool #2

 

Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs 26:5

There’s a lot of foolishness masquerading as Christianity these days. Occasionally, I get e-mails, messages, and comments showcasing this type of foolishness. It needs to be biblically corrected so these folks can stop “being wise in their own eyes,” repent, and believe and practice the truth of Scripture. From time to time, I’ll be sharing those messages in The Mailbag with a biblical corrective, not only so the e-mail/message writer can be admonished by Scripture, but to provide you with Scriptures and reasoning you can use if you’re ever confronted with this kind of foolishness.


(This reader’s remarks {in blue} are reprinted in full.)

I read your piece on Priscilla Shirer and it’s simple – you’re a White woman who knows nothing about Black Christianity or Black people in general.

How dare you suggest that there’s such a thing as white Christianity or black Christianity or any other kind of Christianity defined by race or culture? Have you never read the New Testament? The Apostles taught time and again that the gospel unites – not divides – us, because they were establishing the church in a place that had all kinds of ethnic and cultural divisions. Shame on you for trying to reinstitute division in rebellion against Christ’s command that His people are to dwell in unity!

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6

Furthermore, how dare you assume that I know nothing about black people? You don’t know me or anything about me. You are stereotyping me according to your own bigotry, assumptions, and prejudices against white people, and you’re stereotyping black people by assuming that all black people have the same worldview as you, and you’re putting race above Christianity by making this a racial issue instead of making this a biblical issue.

I have evaluated Priscilla Shirer the same way I’ve evaluated every other teacher on this blog – not according to race, but according to the Bible. You are the one who has come along and cast aspersions on me because I’m white and therefore supposedly unqualified to evaluate a teacher who happens to be black. Frankly, if I were Priscilla Shirer, I would be outraged that someone would suggest I should be held to a different standard than white teachers because of the color of my skin.

We already [sic] handling Mrs. Shirer, no need to put yourself in our lane and comment when you clearly know nothing about our ways or conduct.

Just for the sake of argument, I’m going to meet you on your own racial terms for a minute. If by “handling” you mean rebuking Priscilla for her false doctrine and insisting she teach sound doctrine, then your so-called “black Christianity” is not “handling” Priscilla Shirer, it is rewarding her.

Since you read my article, I’m sure you noticed that T.D. Jakes – who has to be one of the most (if not the most) popular, high profile, and influential black “pastors” in America – invited Priscilla to his “church” in 2016 to present her with the “Lady of Destiny” award. The audience was filled with other black evangelicals cheering Priscilla on, including her mother, Lois Evans, and her father, Tony Evans (another extremely popular, high profile, and influential black pastor) who also celebrated this “success” (Lois Evans’ word) of Priscilla’s on Instagram. How in the world can this type of thing be called “handling” her?

Furthermore, Priscilla has been teaching false doctrine since at least the early 2000s. How much longer is it going to take “black Christianity” to “handle” her?

Now I’m going to step out of the “lane” of racialism and back into the lane of biblical Christianity:

If you are a genuinely regenerated Christian, you and I (and every other Christian of every other race) are in the same lane, with the same ways, and the same conduct, because our lane, ways, and conduct are not dictated by race, they’re dictated by something that transcends race – the Bible. If you’re allowing your lane, ways, and conduct to be dictated by race instead of Scripture, you’re sinning by making an idol out of race (because anything that we prioritize above God and His ways, as revealed in His Word, is idolatry) and you need to repent.

I say this out of love so you don’t say something else and be seen as possibly prejudiced. I don’t expect a repost. That’s cool, but I do expect at least a double take when opining on us POC [people of color] in the future.

If you’re a Christian, you have no right to “expect” me to do anything but be obedient to Christ and His Word – just like I expect you to be. Just like I expect Priscilla to be. I will not degrade and disrespect the teachers I evaluate by drawing lines of racial distinction and suggesting that black teachers be held to a different standard, or “handled” differently than teachers of other races. That would be reason for people to see me as prejudiced. I will continue to judge teachers, not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character and their teaching, and whether or not that character and teaching align with rightly handled Scripture. As Jesus Himself said:

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. John 7:24

You are not saying any of this out of love. At least you’re not saying it out of biblical love, because biblical, Christian love would never falsely accuse, belittle, and slander a sister in Christ as you have done to me. Biblical love – love for Christ and His church – would never seek to divide Christians over race. Biblical love would never redefine Christianity according to race instead of defining it according to Scripture. Never.

Biblical love knows there’s only one color that matters. It’s the color that unites us together in one heart, mind, spirit, and family – the red, rich, royal blood of Christ.


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.

Answering a Fool, Mailbag

The Mailbag: Answering a Fool #1

 

Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs 26:5

There’s a lot of foolishness masquerading as Christianity these days. Occasionally, I get e-mails and messages showcasing this type of foolishness. It needs to be biblically corrected so these folks can stop “being wise in their own eyes,” repent, and believe and practice the truth of Scripture. From time to time, I’ll be sharing those e-mails in The Mailbag with a biblical corrective, not only so the e-mail writer can be admonished by Scripture, but to provide you with Scriptures and reasoning you can use if you’re ever confronted with this kind of foolishness.


(This reader’s e-mail {in blue} is reprinted in full.)

I just happened to read what you had to say about all the Bible Teachers you discussed in [the] article I read.

Since I got the feeling you are 100% right in all of your teachings, you know the Bible better than anyone…

I’m flattered you think so, but like any sane person, I would never, and have never, claimed to be “100% right in all of my teachings” or that I “know the Bible better than anyone.”

Can we stop this sort of thing, please? This is really just silly. These are the kinds of retorts a fourth-grader throws out in an argument when she doesn’t have a leg to stand on or doesn’t think well on her feet. It’s basically playground name-calling, it’s childish, and it’s not becoming of someone who claims to be a Christian. Go learn your Bible and bring Scripture to back up your argument. That’s how grownups handle disagreements on theological issues.

I can’t help but wonder why you never mentioned a word about praying for God to reveal His truth and asking us to do the same!

I can’t help but wonder which article of mine you’re talking about since you didn’t mention the title of it. If you’re going to lambaste me about an article I’ve written, at least tell me which one it is. I’ve been blogging for ten years. That’s a lot of articles. Help me out here.

I can only assume you’re talking about one of my articles at the Popular False Teachers tab. The reason none of those articles mention “praying for God to reveal His truth and asking you to do the same” is that He has already answered that prayer. God’s revealed truth? It’s called the Bible. There’s no need to pray for something God has already given us. Perhaps if you weren’t following false teachers you would know that. God has given us His written Word as the standard for determining what is true and what is not. All we have to do is compare a teacher’s doctrine and behavior to Scripture to see whether or not it lines up. Simple.

I am a little offended that I have been put into a category of not knowing God’s word well enough to discern false teachers from legit teachers.

I have no idea who you are, and we’ve never had any previous contact, so I haven’t put you in any sort of category. But these strong feelings you’re having could be an indication that the Holy Spirit is convicting you of unbiblical beliefs. It’s never an accident when you “stumble across” biblical truth. Have you considered the possibility that the Holy Spirit led you to my blog so you would be exposed to the truth of His Word?

There’s a solution for this offense you’re feeling. Study your Bible, pray for the wisdom and discernment to handle and apply Scripture correctly, and obey God’s instructions to dump teachers who rebel against His written Word and teach false doctrine. God delights to answer such prayers.

God can speak to us through a Wino if we will listen.

Thanks, but I’ll stick with the Bible. I don’t know any winos personally, and even if I did, I’m pretty sure that the Bible is a lot more reliable than anyone’s drunken ramblings since I know the Bible is God speaking.

I will be praying for you Michelle that God will reveal His truth to you about you judging people you do not even know…

Can I ask you something? Do you know President Trump? Any movie stars? Sports figures? Hitler? The president of Planned Parenthood? Have you ever looked at the words or actions of any of them and said they were wrong about something? According to your logic, you can’t judge that Hitler’s actions were wrong because you didn’t know him. You can’t judge any of President Trump’s words or actions and say he was wrong (or right) about anything because you don’t know him. You can’t even sit on a jury in your local court system and render a verdict because you don’t know the defendant.

And you certainly can’t judge me as you’ve been doing in this e-mail, telling me I’m wrong, because you don’t know me, either. Get the log out of your own eye before you suggest there’s a speck in mine, you hypocrite.

The truth is, in my articles about false teachers, I have made biblical judgments by examining their words and actions against Scripture. I encourage people to stay away from those who live in unrepentant sin and/or teach false doctrine, in keeping with Scripture. God instructs us to judge the fruit of those who claim to be Christians in order to keep sin and false doctrine out of the church.

…and have no idea how many people may have gotten saved under these teachers.

Anyone who gets saved while sitting under a false teacher gets saved in spite of that false teacher, not because of her. The fact that someone happens to get saved at the same time she’s under the influence of a false teacher does not legitimize the blasphemy that false teacher is committing. People get saved while still a member of Mormonism, too. That doesn’t mean Mormonism is biblical and OK with God.

Furthermore, when people are genuinely born again while under the influence of a false teacher or false doctrine, they leave that teacher or doctrine pretty quickly. John 10 explains that when a sheep truly belongs to Christ, that sheep will know and obey her Shepherd, and she will not follow the voice of a stranger (false teacher).

A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. John 10:5

I didn’t say that. Jesus said that.

Let God do His job…

It’s difficult for me to believe that you know what God’s job is well enough to assume that I’m trying to do it when you’re not even clear on what our job is even though it’s clearly spelled out in Scripture. I am not attempting to “do God’s job,” I am attempting to do the “job” He has instructed Christians to do.

…there are to (sic) many lost people in this world for you to be trying to stop Christian Women from reading or attending services they choose to attend.

Where does it say that in the Bible? Chapter and verse, rightly handled, in context, please.

Also, you need to understand that just because someone claims to be a Christian, goes to church, gives all the “right” answers, has been baptized, is a nice person, etc., does not mean she is saved. Go back to John 10: obstinately following false teachers is a sign that someone is not saved regardless of what she professes to be.

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, 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

I cannot stop anyone from attending anything. It is my job – and yours, if you’re a Christian – to proclaim God’s written Word and warn our brothers and sisters of the danger of false teachers and false doctrine. The question is not, “Why am warning people against false teachers?”, the question is, “Why aren’t you warning people against false teachers, and why are you unbiblically judging me for obeying God’s instruction to do so?”.

Praying for you and all false teachers and leaders, including myself if I am one.

I welcome your prayers, and I mean that sincerely. I have also prayed for you. If you honestly want to know the truth of God’s Word, keep your nose in The Book, and ask Him to help you understand it rightly, with godly wisdom and discernment. Ask Him to help you obey His Word, even if you don’t totally understand it or like it. Deny yourself – your opinions, preferences, and experiences – and be transformed by the renewing of your mind unto Christlikeness.


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.