Celebrity Pastors, Holidays (Other), New Year's

Bonus “Razz-olutions”

I know, I know – it’s January 4. Time to get back to real life after the holidays, right? But it’s so hard to let go and leave that festive and fun time of the year behind! So, yes, this is another New Years-y related post, but after today, I promise to mothball all the holiday stuff until next year. Scout’s honor. (In the interest of full disclosure, you should know I was never a Scout. :0)

Last week, Amy and I released the AWFS’s Evangelical Resolutions Wish List episode of A Word Fitly Spoken. Did you get a chance to listen yet? If not, I’d recommend you fire up the old podcast machine (or just click the link on the title above) and give it a listen, because a) what follows won’t make as much sense if you don’t, and b) we chose the best resolutions for the podcast episode. Trust me, you’re going to kick yourself if you don’t listen.

(And for those who are already getting a little squinchy at the idea of Christians occasionally engaging in fun and frolic, we addressed that – from Scripture – right off the bat. So no complainies on that aspect of the episode or this post, please.)

Caroline Stanbury Ladies Of London GIF - Caroline Stanbury Ladies Of London Unicorn GIFs

The basic idea is that we made up a list of New Year’s resolutions (some of which were more akin to “razz-olutions”) we wish various evangelical celebrities – the good, the bad, and the ugly (from our favorite doctrinally sound teachers all the way down to heretics) – would make.

Here are the leftovers that didn’t make the cut for the episode. The junk on the cutting room floor, so to speak…

We wish Steven Furtick would resolve to stop wearing tight pants. It’s cutting off the circulation to the portion of his brain that might otherwise be able to comprehend sound doctrine. Or…you know…like…any verse of Scripture at all.

We wish Bethel would resolve to stop putting gold glitter in their air ducts. That ain’t a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, y’all. It’s 25 bucks and a trip to Hobby Lobby.

We wish somebody would resolve to lock Ed Litton in a room with only a pencil, paper, and a Bible, and challenge him to write an original sermon. If we weren’t all good Baptists, we’d be taking bets as to whether or not he could. The smart money is on “not”.

We wish Beth Moore would resolve to go home. I mean, on her Instagram it seems like she enjoys cooking and gardening…that’s a good start, right?

We wish Benny Hinn would resolve to get a new suit. Or maybe a sweater vest. Or even a windbreaker. Maybe Ed Young, Jr. can help him.

We wish Gloria Copeland would resolve to prevent just one devastating storm this year. You don’t see “weather controllers” preventing devastating storms for the same reason you don’t see “faith healers” emptying out hospitals. Oops, did I just double dip on some of those heretics?

We wish Todd Friel would resolve to come out of his shell a little. He’s just so staid and passive. Get a little life in ye, me good man!

We wish Chris Rosebrough would resolve to make a heretic walk the plank. The crocs are hungry, Cap’n.

We wish contemporary “Christian” artists would resolve to stop looking like they’re passing a kidney stone when they’re singing. Is praising the Lord really this painful? Well…maybe…if you’re praising the lord of the flies.

We wish Todd White would resolve to get a haircut. My head and neck hurt just thinking how heavy that mass of hair must be. You’re not Samson, dude.

We wish James White would resolve to stop wearing seizure-inducing sweaters. And, great googly moogly, the dear brother lives in Phoenix! It’s like wearing sweaters on the surface of the sun!

Got a resolution you’d like to make for an evangelical celebrity? Make it lighthearted and pithy – not mean-spirited – and share it in the comments below.
I’ll pick my favorite and add it to this article.
(Bonus points if yours is funnier than mine were
– and that’s a pretty low bar!)


Photo Credits: I did not take any of these photos. I am not claiming credit for any of these photos. I am not making money off any of these photos. If you are the photographer of one of these images and want credit, let me know, and I’ll credit you. If you aren’t the photographer and want to know who is, click here.

Doctrinally Sound Teachers

Doctrinally Sound Christian Men to Follow – 1

Ladies, the Christian retailing machine isn’t doing us any favors when it comes to Bible study and theology.

First, they’ve created the impression that in order to study God’s word, we have to buy a book, workbook, or DVD by a Christian author. Next, they show us the materials we have to choose from by cordoning off part of the store or web site under the heading “Women’s Bible Study.” Finally, they fill the shelves in that department with materials penned almost exclusively by women, the majority of whom (even at supposedly trustworthy Christian retailers) are false teachers.

Let’s think outside that box, shall we?

First, you do not have to use someone’s book to study the Bible. In fact, I recommend that you don’t. Just pick up your Bible and study it in a systematic way. Next, if you do decide to use a Bible study book or other resource, it does not have to be written by a woman (though there are some great female teachers at the Recommended Bible Teachers tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page). If you limit yourself to women authors, you’re going to miss out on some wonderful teaching by the many doctrinally sound male teachers out there. Let me introduce you to a few of my favorite pastors and male authors of Bible studies and other great Christian books and resources.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Don’t take my (or anyone else’s) word for it that any ministry, podcast, book, or blog is biblical in its doctrine. You MUST do the work of comparing with Scripture everything you read and hear. If it doesn’t match up with God’s word (in context), chuck it.

Charles Spurgeon– “The Prince of Preachers,” Spurgeon was “England’s best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century…Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000.” Most of his works are still in print in both hardcover and e-book format, and many are available online for free. You may wish to use his commentaries to aid in your study of the Word. The brief devotions in Spurgeons’ Morning and Evening  are a favorite of many, and you’re sure to be edified by his many other books as well.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

John MacArthur– “John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry.” Dr. MacArthur has written approximately 400 books, including study guides, commenataries, Bible studies, and more. You might enjoy one of his free on line daily devotions, one of his study books, a sermon on the passage of Scripture you’re studying, or one of his books on a variety of biblical topics.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Steve Lawson – A pastor for 34 years, Dr. Lawson is now founder and president of OnePassion Ministries, “a ministry designed to equip biblical expositors to bring about a new reformation in the church.” He serves on the board of Ligonier Ministries and The Master’s Seminary, where he is also Professor of Preaching. Dr. Lawson has written a plethora of books, from commentaries to preaching texts, to an interesting series of profiles of godly men of the past such as Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, William Tyndale, and others. Follow along with Dr. Lawson’s Bible study lessons on video, And, of course, you’ll want to listen in to his sermons.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Todd Friel– Todd is the host of the Wretched podcast and television show, an outstanding resource dealing with discernment, evangelism, the church, theological aspects of current events, and various other topics. “Witness Wednesday” (the weekly episode airing on Wednesdays) is a great way to get “boots on the ground” training in how to share the gospel. Todd has produced a myriad of materials for both churches and individuals on biblical topics such as marriage, church history, parenting, anxiety, pornography, and more.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Paul Washer– An echo of Paul the Apostle, Paul Washer served as a missionary in Peru for ten years where he also founded the HeartCry Missionary Society. HeartCry now supports church planters in Peru and indigenous missionaries world wide. Paul is a challenging author and a sought after speaker who boldly exhorts the church. Be sure to explore his books, sermons, Bible study lessons, and videos.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Voddie Baucham– “Voddie Baucham wears many hats. He is a husband, father, former pastor, author, professor, conference speaker, and church planter. He currently serves as Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia.” Voddie specializes in cultural apologetics, and has been instrumental in shedding light on and pushing back against Critical Race Theory, among other issues, when speaking at conferences and other events. Listen to one of Voddie’s many fine sermons and check out his books and other materials on a variety of biblical topics.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Chris Rosebrough– If you’re looking for Chris’ previously daily podcast, Fighting for the Faith, that pirate ship has sailed. Chris is still the head of Pirate Christian Radio where you can find oodles of useful articles and audio, but the Aletheia is now docked at the Port of YouTube where Chris creates informative discernment videos on a variety of false teachers, false doctrines, and current events in evangelicalism. He is also the pastor of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church in Oslo, Minnesota, and quite an accomplished photographer.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

R. C. Sproul– “Dr. Sproul was founder of Ligonier Ministries, founding pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., first president of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. His radio program, Renewing Your Mind, is still broadcast daily on hundreds of radio stations around the world and can also be heard online. He was author of more than one hundred books,” which you can find at Ligonier along with teaching materials on nearly any passage you’re studying, as well as other biblical books, music, and other resources.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Phil Johnson–  “Phil is the Executive Director of Grace to You. He has been closely associated with John MacArthur since 1981 and edits most of John’s major books…Phil was an editor at Moody Press before coming to Grace Community Church. He is an elder at Grace Community Church and pastors the GraceLife fellowship group.” Phil is an amazing lecturer and preacher with an incredible depth of knowledge of church and biblical history. You’ll enjoy the theological richness of Phil’s sermons (check out his “Bible Q & A” teachings) and be challenged by his blog articles at Pyromaniacs.  Facebook  Twitter

Alistair Begg– “Alistair Begg has been in pastoral ministry since 1975.” Formerly of Scotland, “in 1983, he became the senior pastor at Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio.  He has written several books and is heard daily and weekly on the radio program, Truth For Life.” Subscribe to the daily Truth for Life devotion or get the app, listen to a sermon on the passage of Scripture you’re studying, check in with the Truth for Life blog, or read one of Alistair’s fine books.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram


You can always find these – and more great Christian men and women to follow – at the Recommended Bible Teachers tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

Sermons

“Did God Really Say?” ~ Free Online Conference

Boy howdy, what a treat! Owen Strachan, Justin Peters, Chris Rosebrough, Joshua Rosebrough, and Phil Johnson are all coming together this weekend for a free, online conference.

The Did God Really Say? conference on YouTube “will equip you and your loved ones with the knowledge to see where cultural changes are happening, what those changes mean to average Bible believing Christians and provide you with practical tools to equip you to stand your ground in shifting sands of cultural change.”

Friday, September 17
1:00 – 5:00 p.m. (Central)

Saturday, September 18
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Central)

Get the schedule and all the details at the conference website, subscribe to the conference YouTube channel, and help keep the conference free and online by donating at the conference GoFundMe page.

Discernment, False Doctrine, False Teachers

Exposing Deception

 

Are you looking forward to the Discerning Women Learn to Discern webinar Amy Spreeman and I are hosting on Thursday? (If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time. Click here.) It’s being hosted by our very gracious friend, Bart McCurdy.

Recently, Bart hosted another online conference, Exposing Deception, featuring the teaching of Chris Rosebrough, Todd Friel, Phil Johnson, and Justin PetersIf you can’t wait until Thursday to start learning discernment, let these gents whet your appetite. (Don’t be alarmed- it seems as though the beginning portion of Chris’s session was cut off in the video, but there’s still plenty of great material here to learn from.)

Mailbag

The Mailbag: Potpourri (Christian romance novelist, home schooling sons, Spanish resources…)

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 also 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 can be a helpful tool!

In these potpourri editions of The Mailbag, I’d also like to address the three questions I’m most commonly asked:

“Do you know anything about [Christian pastor/teacher/author] or his/her materials? Is he/she doctrinally sound?”

Try these links: 
Popular False Teachers /
 Recommended Bible Teachers / search bar
Is She a False Teacher? 7 Steps to Figuring It Out on Your Own
(Do keep bringing me names, though. If I get enough questions about a particular teacher, I’ll probably write an article on her.)

“Can you recommend a good women’s Bible study?”

No. Here’s why:
The Mailbag: Can you recommend a good Bible study for women/teens/kids?
The Mailbag: “We need to stop relying on canned studies,” doesn’t mean, “We need to rely on doctrinally sound canned studies.”.

“You shouldn’t be warning against [popular false teacher] for [X,Y,Z] reason!”

Answering the Opposition- Responses to the Most Frequently Raised Discernment Objections


I was saved in 2011 and am seeking direction on how to live my new life in Christ. Prior to my conversion, I was a romance writer (think: Harlequin). The writing bug still haunts me. I love writing and I’m attempting to write a Christian romance novel. I don’t feel like writing Christian non-fiction would be a fit for me. I have a strong creative desire for writing and graphic design. Is there a place for my fiction work for women? I’m praying about it. Any thoughts you have would be welcomed and helpful in how I pray about it.

Aw, a kindred spirit! Maybe that’s why this question warmed my heart so much, or maybe it’s because it’s profoundly touching and encouraging to hear from any Christian woman who is genuinely seeking how she can best glorify God with the gifts He has given her.

As I was contemplating your question, my husband’s favorite verse kept coming to mind:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

The verse itself is appropriate to the situation, but so is its immediate context. Whatever we do – whether it’s something as significant as our vocation or as mundane as eating supper – we should do it in a way that glorifies God, represents Him well to others, and leads people toward Christ.

How many Christian romance novels have you ever read that do those things well? Not many, I’m guessing.

One of the ways the Holy Spirit leads us is by the way He has wired us. God has fearfully and wonderfully created each one of us with unique talents and abilities. We are bent toward some things and away from others. It brings honor to God when we submit to the way He created us and use the gifts He has given us to serve others and to serve and glorify Him. Perhaps your bent toward writing fiction is God’s way of leading you to write fiction that glorifies Him and points people to Christ, and to do it well. That’s something you could pray about.

As you plan out your next storyline, ask yourself some questions like:

✏ Is there a way I can pull back the curtain on God’s glory here?
✏ How can I point the reader to Christ in this scene?
✏ Is there a (rightly handled, in context) passage of Scripture I can add here?
✏ How can this character set a biblical example (of what to do, or not to do) for the reader?
✏ How would I summarize how this finished product brings glory to God and points the reader to Christ?

I would encourage you to continue praying and asking God for wisdom and guidance. Take advantage of every opportunity (writing-related or not) He sends your way, and steward it for His glory. You might also find my article The Mailbag: Christian Fiction Recommendations to be of interest.

And don’t forget: Look back over the parables in the gospels. Jesus authored a lot of God-glorifying “Christian fiction”! :0)


For mothers who homeschool their sons, what are some ways to get more masculine influence during daily school lessons (when fathers are usually at work)?

Honestly, and speaking as a mom who has home schooled three sons, I wouldn’t worry about it unless your husband is absent from the home (military, work travel, etc.) for extended periods of time or doesn’t come home at night until the kids are already in bed.

I mean, think about it, the typical family structure since the dawn of Creation has been for Mom to stay at home and raise and nurture the kids (girls and boys) and for Dad to go out and tend the crops or make the widgets or close the business deals, and there’s nothing in the Bible that indicates that your boys will be lacking male influence because of this. The manliest men in Scripture were raised this way. Jesus was raised this way.

If your sons are spending time with Dad when he comes home in the evening and on weekends, if he’s reading them stories and throwing the ball around with them and taking them to monster truck rallies and having them help rake the leaves and wash the car and things like that, they’re going to be just fine.

I would encourage you to instead steward your energies toward walking out in front of your sons what it looks like to be a godly woman, because that’s part of God’s ingenious plan of giving boys such a close relationship with their mothers during their formative years. Every day, you are training them up to be godly men and husbands by showing them the kind of woman they should be looking for in a wife, and how their future wives and children should be treated.

Don’t worry, and entrust your boys to the Lord. He will take care of all of you.

You might find my article The Mailbag: How Can Christian Moms Raise Godly Men? to be helpful.

(And not to leave out moms of girls, here’s Avoiding the Creepers: Six Ways to Raise a Biblically Strong Woman)


My new daughter-in-law is learning English, but her first language is Spanish. I’d like to give her some good, doctrinally sound books and resources in Spanish. Where can I find these?

I would check Grace to YouLigonier, and HeartCry Missionary Society (Paul Washer). I know they all have books and resources (sermons, articles, etc.) in Spanish, and if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for on the site, you can contact them directly, and they can point you in the right direction.

And keep an eye on the comments section of this article. I’m sure my readers can suggest some great resources in Spanish, too.

Thanks for being such an awesome mother-in-law!


I am Lutheran. My church is very Scripture-based. I have been asked to run for church council for education. Do you think it is against Scripture?

Hello, you lovely Lutheran lady! I’m afraid I am too ignorant of what a Lutheran church council for education does to say whether or not it’s against Scripture.

I’m intrigued by the idea of “running” for a position of service in the church. I’m not sure actual campaigning for the position is in keeping with doing things decently and in order, but I guess that would depend on how it is done. And perhaps what you mean by “running” is that you’ve been nominated and you have to be approved by a vote of the church, but there’s no actual campaigning involved? I can’t see any biblical problem with that.

But I’m guessing the main thrust of your question is whether or not a woman should be serving in this position. As I said, I don’t know how this council functions, so I can’t give you a thumbs up or down. The best I can do is to tell you that as long as the position doesn’t require you to teach Scripture to men, exercise authority over men, or do anything else that’s unbiblical, and as long as your husband (if you’re married) is OK with you filling the position, it should be fine.

Let me offer you a couple of other resources that might be helpful:

1. Check out my articles Jill in the Pulpit and Rock Your Role FAQs. They may help give you a better idea of whether or not you should take the position.

2. My go-to guy for all things Lutheran is Chris Rosebrough. He is a doctrinally sound Lutheran pastor and host of the Fighting for the Faith podcast. I would recommend you contact him. He does a bit of traveling, so if he’s not able to get back to you right away, I would suggest you join the Facebook group that supports Fighting for the Faith and ask your question in that group. There are oodles of good solid Lutheran members who could probably help.


I’m praying for you…Here’s an encouraging word of Scripture…Here’s how God has used your writing to work in my life…

I have the best readers in the world – the best. I can’t imagine that any other writer has readers who are sweeter and more encouraging than y’all are. Hardly a day goes by that one of you doesn’t love me well by dropping me a few words that are so much kinder than I deserve.

I just want you to know that, while you may not think that’s much of a ministry, it is. It keeps me going and keeps me sane on the days when all the crazies are attacking and I feel like quitting. Your kindness matters. And I know it matters to all the other  people in your life that you’re being kind to, too – your family members, your friends, your co-workers, even strangers on the street. Don’t grow weary in the well-doing of ministering encouragement to others. It matters.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has offered me gracious words over the years. You are very much appreciated and loved.


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.