Mailbag

The Mailbag: Potpourri (Sexual abuse, Feminism, Serpent seed doctrine…)

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!


Can you please suggest an iPhone app Radio station that plays biblically sound worship, praise and messages?

A reader asked this question via Facebook recently. I mostly listen to podcasts, and though I’m aware of a few good sermon apps, I wasn’t familiar with any apps that provide both sermons and music. I asked my Facebook readers for some help and got lots of great answers. You can check out their suggestions here (even if you’re not on Facebook). I’m not personally familiar with all of these sites and apps, so use good discernment and make sure everything they’re teaching lines up with Scripture.


Do you have advice on Christian women and feminism? I have friends who are reading Jesus Feminist. The title makes me cringe.

Secular feminism is not something I handle a whole lot here on the blog, although I have touched on it in these articles:

Toxic (Evangelical) Femininity

Feminist Infiltration and the Emasculation of Christian Men

6 Reasons Godly Women are Stronger Than Feminazis

 

I would recommend that you head over to Sheologians. Summer and Joy have done several very good podcast episodes and articles on the history of feminism and its current influence on society and the church. I cannot remember whether they covered Jesus Feminist or not, so you may want to make use of the “contact us” link at the top of their site and ask. (Tell them I said hi!)


My husband and I are having sexual problems that stem from the fact that I was molested as a child. What should I do?

I have intentionally left out the specific details of this particular reader’s question, first, in order to protect her identity, second, because I have no doubt that many readers have this same general question, and third, because, being a stranger on the internet, I am not the person who can best help anyone in this situation, so I can only give a very general answer anyway.

I grieve with those of you who have had this terrible sin perpetrated against you. I hope the person who abused you was caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It is also my prayer that God has taken what was meant for evil against you and used it for good in your life by drawing you to Himself, teaching you to depend on Him, and deepening your walk with Him.

As I mentioned, although I’m humbled and honored that readers sometimes reach out to me for help with staggering griefs and difficulties, I would be doing you a disservice if I tried to help you via e-mail or a blog article with complicated personal problems that require ongoing counseling from someone you have (or can develop) a face-to-face relationship with.

Generally speaking, it’s important that you understand that, as a child, the abuse was not your fault, regardless of how you responded to it at the time. A physiological response (orgasm) to the abuse does not mean you enjoyed being violated, wanted it to happen, or were “asking for it”. Neither does having kept it a secret, being friendly with the abuser, “allowing” the abuse to continue in order to receive gifts from the abuser, etc. You were a victim.

It’s important that your husband understand that the sexual difficulties you are experiencing are no reflection on him. Sex is a very personal thing, and he may be incorrectly assuming that your aversion to sex is an aversion to his performance or to him, personally. He will also need to come to grips with the fact that there’s no quick, cut-and dried, three or five or fifteen step plan to “fixing” this. It will be a growth process for both of you.

Assuming you’re in a doctrinally sound church, I would urge you and your husband in the strongest possible terms to set up an appointment with your pastor for counseling. Shepherding your souls through life’s difficulties is part of his biblical job description, and if he went to a decent seminary, he was trained in marital counseling.

If you absolutely don’t think you could look your pastor in the eye during the sermon every week after discussing such personal matters, ask him for a referral to a certified biblical counselor (not a “Christian counselor” – biblical counseling, formerly called nouthetic counseling, is different) who can help you and your husband heal by learning and walking out in your marriage the Scriptures that apply to your situation. If your pastor isn’t familiar with biblical counseling, find a referral through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, the counselor search links here, or contact a nearby (doctrinally sound) seminary or Christian university and ask if you can speak to someone in their school of biblical counseling.

I know it seems like it will be painful and embarrassing to discuss this situation with a third party, but don’t let it continue to fester. It will destroy your marriage. Getting biblical help will set you and your husband free.


What are your thoughts on a woman teaching an introductory class in biblical Greek to adults (men and women) at church?

Not knowing the context and spiritual climate of your church and assuming the class is taught in the same way other academic foreign language classes are taught – alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, etc. – I don’t see any more problem with it than if she were teaching French or Swahili or Chinese.

The biblical prohibition against women teaching men has to do with women instructing men in the content of the Bible, not the language the Bible was originally written in. Greek is just a language like any other. It is not holy or special just because that’s the language the majority of the New Testament was penned in. (Actually, the opposite is true. Greek was the most widely spoken language of the time, so God used it to get His Word out to the largest number of people.)

Even if the teacher has the class translate portions of Scripture or uses a word or phrase from a Bible verse to illustrate the meaning of a word – assuming she doesn’t veer off into preaching on that verse – she is still teaching a language, not giving Bible instruction to men in the way prohibited by Scripture.

As I said, I don’t know the context and spiritual climate of your church so there could be other factors along those lines that need to be taken into consideration as to whether or not it’s wise for a woman to teach this class, but strictly speaking as to whether or not it’s a violation of Scripture, no.


Do you have any teachings on the implications of the serpent seed doctrine?

No, I’ve never written about it because, until I was asked this question, I’d never heard of it.

I did a brief search, and I would say that the implications are racism, false doctrine, and poor hermeneutics. Apparently, the gist of this teaching is that when the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, a sexual encounter took place between the two, leading to the conception of Cain. Therefore, everyone who is descended from Cain was conceived from the “serpent’s seed” and is of the devil.

This is a concoction of an evil imagination and has no basis in Scripture whatsoever. In fact, Genesis 4:1 clearly tells us who Cain’s father was. Even Cain’s name tells us God caused Eve to conceive him:

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.”

I mean, that’s pretty much a mic drop moment with regard to this ridiculous “doctrine”.

Here are a couple of good resources explaining more:

What is the Serpent Seed doctrine?

The serpent seed and the Kenites


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.

Favorite Finds

Favorite Finds ~ July 10, 2018

Here are a few of my favorite recent online finds…

Want to memorize Scripture, but you need a little help or don’t know where to start? Check out the Scripture Typer Bible Memory System. Use verses you’ve already decided you want to memorize, or get some suggestions from Scripture Typer. Type in and practice your verses until you have them memorized, and Scripture Typer will keep everything nice, neat, and organized for you. Scripture Typer is available online, or in an app for Android, Kindle, iPad, or iPhone.

 

I thought Theology Gals‘ podcast episode 68, Evangelism, was just the bees knees. As a stay at home mom myself, I really appreciated Coleen and Angela’s discussion of what evangelism can look like for a mom who’s at home with her kids and isn’t out and around lost people very much. This episode was so helpful I added it as a resource to two of my own articles on evangelism. There are tons of useful links on the episode web page, too.

 

“Among English Baptists of the eighteenth-century, Anne Dutton was known as ‘the most theologically capable and influential Baptist woman of her day’.” I had never heard of Anne before, but I found this little piece about her, Lessons from the Life and Ministry of Anne Dutton by Joshua Mills over at Servants of Grace to be charming and encouraging. Take a moment to read about one of our foremothers in the faith.

 

Being a “1689er” myself, I just loved this modern English version of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, put together by Dr. Stan Reeves of Founders Ministries. Dr. Reeves has stayed true to the original LBC as much as possible, only clarifying and updating archaic verbiage when necessary. (You can compare with the original 1689 version here.) Give The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith in Modern English a read. You might even want to study the Scriptures it references during your Bible study time.

 

For regular readers, it’s no secret I’m a big fan of Josh Buice and his blog, Delivered by Grace. A few months ago, Josh started adding quizzes to his stellar lineup of blog articles, and I hope he keeps them coming. Quizzes can be a fun and helpful way to get us thinking through various issues and pointing out areas in which we need to study more. Take Josh’s most recent quiz, Biblical People—How Much Do You Know?, and find out how much you know about the people of the Bible. (And click here to check out any previous quizzes you might have missed!)

Social Media, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ My Favorite Christian Apps

Originally published October 30, 2015

fave-apps

 

A friend of mine messaged me the other day. She was looking at a list of recommended Christian apps someone had posted and was curious to know which apps I use and recommend. There are a lot of great apps out there, but here are the ones I have on my phone (iPhone 4- I know, practically an antique!), use regularly, and highly recommend. And, as far as I know, they are all still FREE! These apps (or very similar ones) are also available for Android unless otherwise noted.

b gBible Gateway This app has the whole Bible in many different translations. Several of the translations are also available in audio format so you can listen to the Bible as you drive or do other activities. There are Bible reading plans (you can even set daily reminders) and other helpful resources such as devotionals, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and study Bibles. Do note that the devotions are sometimes written by false teachers (so steer clear if you’re a beginner at discernment) and some of the “translations” Bible Gateway offers are extremely problematic (ex: The Message, The Voice, The Passion “Translation”) and should also be avoided. But if you know what to stay away from, Bible Gateway is excellent. If you only get one Bible app, get this one.

 

unnamedFaithlife Study Bible A wonderful study Bible with copious notes, charts, articles, maps, photos, and even videos. It comes with several free translations (the Lexham English Bible is their default translation, and a good one), an audio feature, daily devotions, and community groups you can join.

 

 

icon175x175ESV Bible This is a great, simple ESV Bible app. The downloadable Global Study Bible provides helpful notes, background information, and character sketches of people in the Bible. The best feature of this app is that it contains 16 different Bible reading plans – including a Scripture memory plan – of varying length.

 

 

olivetree_app_Icon-retinaOlive Tree Study Bible The interface can be a bit tedious, but the library of resources, the best feature of this app, more than makes up for it. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of commentaries, Bible dictionaries, maps, theological books, and even biographies you can download absolutely free. The Bible portion of the app is ESV default, though there are other downloadable versions. Bible reading plans and study notes are also standard.

 

logosLogos Bible Software Logos is the parent company to Faithlife, so you’ll find some similarities between the two apps. Logos, however has far more available free resources including numerous translations, commentaries, handbooks, several Bible studies, study Bibles, and theological books. A great feature of Logos is that many of its resources are available in languages other than English. (Be discerning if using books or articles here. Logos’ Bible Study Magazine, although separate from the app, has featured false teachers on its cover several times.)

 

imagen-grace-to-you-bible-app-0bigGrace to You Bible Study A streamlined Bible app from Pastor John MacArthur. Most of the resources, including sermons, articles, Q & A, and study Bible notes, are available only for New Testament passages. Not available for Android.

 

 

gtyGrace to You Sermons Dr. John MacArthur has been preaching for over forty years, and I think this app has just about all of his sermons! Available in both audio, and in many cases, video format, you can search sermons alphabetically, chronologically, or by Bible passage. This app also contains a daily Bible reading plan, daily devotionals, and GTY blog articles.

 

mzl.ohffnsoj.175x175-75WretchedWretched is a daily Christian issues radio program hosted by Todd Friel. On the app, you can listen to the show, view YouTube videos from the Wretched TV program, visit the WretchedRadio web site, and check out evangelism resources. Not available for Android. Update (7/25/2020)- Wretched has discontinued their app. The program is now available on all regular podcast platforms.

 

 

F4FfacebookFighting for the Faith This is not a stand alone app, but an excellent Christian radio show I upload to my podcast app. Hosted by Chris Rosebrough, Fighting for the Faith centers around sound Bible study and preaching, current issues in evangelicalism, and discernment. It can also be accessed at the Fighting For the Faith web site. I can’t recommend this one enough.

 


this article was originally published at satisfaction through christ.
Bible, Social Media

My Favorite Christian Apps

This article was originally published at
Satisfaction Through Christ.

fave apps

A friend of mine messaged me the other day. She was looking at a list of recommended Christian apps someone had posted and was curious to know which apps I use and recommend. There are a lot of great apps out there, but here are the ones I have on my phone (iPhone 4- I know, practically an antique!), use regularly, and highly recommend. And, as far as I know, they are all still FREE! These apps (or very similar ones) are also available for Android unless otherwise noted.

b gBible Gateway This app has the whole Bible in many different translations. Several of the translations are also available in audio format so you can listen to the Bible as you drive or do other activities. There are Bible reading plans (you can even set daily reminders) and other helpful resources such as devotionals, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and study Bibles. Do note that the devotions are sometimes written by false teachers (so steer clear if you’re a beginner at discernment) and some of the “translations” Bible Gateway offers are extremely problematic (ex: The Message, The Voice, The Passion “Translation”) and should also be avoided. But if you know what to stay away from, Bible Gateway is excellent. If you only get one Bible app, get this one.

 

unnamedFaithlife Study Bible A wonderful study Bible with copious notes, charts, articles, maps, photos, and even videos. It comes with several free translations (the Lexham English Bible is their default translation, and a good one), an audio feature, daily devotions, and community groups you can join.

 

 

icon175x175ESV Bible This is a great, simple ESV Bible app. The downloadable Global Study Bible provides helpful notes, background information, and character sketches of people in the Bible. The best feature of this app is that it contains 16 different Bible reading plans – including a Scripture memory plan – of varying length.

 

 

olivetree_app_Icon-retinaOlive Tree Study Bible The interface can be a bit tedious, but the library of resources, the best feature of this app, more than makes up for it. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of commentaries, Bible dictionaries, maps, theological books, and even biographies you can download absolutely free. The Bible portion of the app is ESV default, though there are other downloadable versions. Bible reading plans and study notes are also standard.

 

logosLogos Bible Software Logos is the parent company to Faithlife, so you’ll find some similarities between the two apps. Logos, however has far more available free resources including numerous translations, commentaries, handbooks, several Bible studies, study Bibles, and theological books. A great feature of Logos is that many of its resources are available in languages other than English. (Be discerning if using books or articles here. Logos’ Bible Study Magazine, although separate from the app, has featured false teachers on its cover several times.)

 

imagen-grace-to-you-bible-app-0bigGrace to You Bible Study A streamlined Bible app from Pastor John MacArthur. Most of the resources, including sermons, articles, Q & A, and study Bible notes, are available only for New Testament passages. Not available for Android.

 

 

gtyGrace to You Sermons Dr. John MacArthur has been preaching for over forty years, and I think this app has just about all of his sermons! Available in both audio, and in many cases, video format, you can search sermons alphabetically, chronologically, or by Bible passage. This app also contains a daily Bible reading plan, daily devotionals, and GTY blog articles.

 

mzl.ohffnsoj.175x175-75WretchedWretched is a daily Christian issues radio program hosted by Todd Friel. On the app, you can listen to the show, view YouTube videos from the Wretched TV program, visit the WretchedRadio web site, and check out evangelism resources. Not available for Android. Update (7/25/2020)- Wretched has discontinued their app. The program is now available on all regular podcast platforms.

 

 

F4FfacebookFighting for the Faith This is not a stand alone app, but an excellent Christian radio show I upload to my podcast app. Hosted by Chris Rosebrough, Fighting for the Faith centers around sound Bible study and preaching, current issues in evangelicalism, and discernment. It can also be accessed at the Fighting For the Faith web site. I can’t recommend this one enough.