Originally published November 6, 2015
“She’s at it again, going off the deep end about some church or Christian celebrity who does things just a little differently. She’s so nit picky, judgmental, and divisive. Why doesn’t she just shut up and be nice?”
That’s what I imagine most of my friends on my (personal) Facebook page are thinking whenever I post something about the latest false doctrine or false teacher. Maybe that’s what you think, too. “Ugh. One of those dreaded discernment bloggers.”
I don’t consider myself a discernment blogger, but rather a discipleship blogger. Discernment (warning against false teachers and false doctrine) is part of discipleship, but so is missions and evangelism, Bible study, and assorted “Christian living” topics, all of which I try to cover in balance.
Nobody seems to mind those latter topics, but a lot of people get their noses out of joint when I call attention to a false teacher, an unbiblical doctrine or practice, or an apostate “church.” I have been asked why I hate women. I’ve been told I’m what’s wrong with Christianity. And, I’ve been called every name in between for pointing out “Christian” teachers, doctrines, and “churches” that behave and teach in ways which directly contradict Scripture.
Who needs that? Who needs the hassle and emotional stress of being attacked, especially when you’re not even getting paid for it? Why don’t I just drop the discernment portion of my blog and social media and blow rainbows and unicorns up everybody’s skirt? It’s certainly a formula that works for other bloggers who choose to go that route, and everybody would be happier.
Well, let me tell you a little story.
I recently shared the gospel with someone who claimed to be a Christian. Why would I do that? If she says she’s a Christian, she must be one, right? Wrong. Before I shared the gospel with her, I asked her to explain her understanding of the gospel to me. Instead of talking about repenting of her sin and placing her faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection to save her from her sin, she gave me a laundry list of ways she was a good church member and all the activities she had ever participated in at her church. The name of Jesus did not come up once, nor did the cross, sin, nor repentance.
In case she had misunderstood my question, I then gave a very simple, biblical explanation of the gospel. She proceeded to tell me how wrong that was according to the teachings of her church. You see, all her life, this lady has belonged to an apostate church that teaches a false gospel of works righteousness (your own good works make you righteous before God, instead of Christ’s work on the cross).
This is a very real lady who really believes she’s a Christian who’s going to spend a very real eternity in Hell unless she repents and believes what the Bible says about salvation. Which is not what her so-called church is teaching her.
That’s why I do discernment work. Because real people’s eternities are at stake. False doctrine is not some trivial little difference of opinion over nothing issues in the church like pews versus chairs or what color the sanctuary carpet is. I’m not being judgmental or hateful over unimportant preferences.
People are dying and going to Hell forever
because they’ve been taught false doctrine.
And sometimes I wonder if anybody gets that.
So, if that’s what’s so important, why don’t I limit myself to writing about “first tier” issues like works righteousness or the deity of Christ which directly affect a person’s salvation? Does it really matter if churches allow practicing homosexuals to be church leaders or allow women to preach to, teach, and exercise authority over men?
Yeah, it does. Because if you take a look at churches that have their first tier issues wrong, they took their initial steps down the road to that destination by compromising and disobeying Scripture on issues, such as homosexuality and female usurpation, which are indirectly related to salvation. In other words, by the time the cancer has metastasized, it’s too late. Early detection, early cure.
Galatians 5 and 1 Corinthians 5 put it like this:
A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
In the same way that a couple of teaspoons of yeast leaven my entire batch of dough and a few cancer cells will grow and spread throughout the whole body, so, a little false doctrine, if left unchecked, will spread throughout the local Body of Christ and eventually kill it.
I care about y’all. I care about your churches. I don’t want to see a single person damned or church turn apostate. It absolutely breaks my heart when I encounter women who don’t know the gospel or have a complete misunderstanding of Scripture simply because that’s what they’ve been taught by a so-called church or a “Christian” celebrity that they trusted. These things should not be. Christ loves you and wants you to have a right relationship with Him and a right understanding of Him and His word. And I couldn’t live with myself – or Him – if I didn’t tell you that.
My voice and my platform are small. I don’t reach the millions of people the false teachers on the shelf at your local Christian bookstore reach. I am flawed and far from perfect. But I will continue to do everything I can, as biblically as I can, where I am and with what God has given me, to reach the women God places in my path in real life an on line with the glorious truth of His word.
Eternities are at stake. The church is at stake. I can’t sit down, shut up, and play nice.