The Mailbag: Potpourri (Christian online platforms…Home church…”I lost my temper”…Send in your pix!)

Welcome to another “potpourri” edition of The Mailbag, where I give short(er) answers to several questions rather than a long answer to one question.

I like to take the opportunity in these potpourri editions to let new readers know about my comments/e-mail/messages policy. I’m not able to respond individually to most e-mails and messages, so here are some helpful hints for getting your questions answered more quickly. Remember, the search bar (at the very bottom of each page) can be a helpful tool!

Or maybe I answered your question already? Check out my article The Mailbag: Top 10 FAQs to see if your question has been answered and to get some helpful resources.

I wanted to ask your opinion on which web host would be suitable to use for an online business? I have an online store and I currently use WIX, however, I recently found out they monetarily fund and support LGBTQ events and such. I don’t want our money going to support that. I did a lot of research and prayed, but I can’t for the life of me find a provider that is conservative. I know there will most likely be things I don’t agree with with pretty much any worldly web hosting company, but where do I draw the line? Is God okay with paying a web host who uses their funds to support anti-Biblical issues? I’m convicted of continuing to use WIX and I don’t want to continue with them. I originally left ETSY for the same reason. I just don’t know where to move my website! I would need an e-commerce provider too since I sell stuff. If you don’t mind me asking, who do you use? I see your website is Word Press, but I know you need a host for that too.

(Readers, if you have any suggestions of conservative and/or Christian blog or e-commerce platforms, please leave a comment at the end of this article.)

I completely sympathize with your dilemma. I don’t like my money going to support sinful causes like perversion, abortion, liberal politics, etc., either. You’re right, I do use WordPress for the blog, but they host it themselves. I don’t have a separate host, and I don’t do e-commerce, so I’m afraid I don’t have any practical suggestions there.

You’re correct, pretty much everything you pay for, whether it’s an online platform, the gas you put in your car, your pooch’s favorite dog food, even the device you’re reading this on right now, is owned or produced by a secular company that’s donating to or financing something that’s biblically objectionable. Even most so-called “Christian” companies probably support people or ministries that aren’t doctrinally sound. In practical terms, finding a company to patronize that doesn’t contribute to something unbiblical is almost as unlikely as finding a mermaid or a unicorn.

I can’t tell you where to draw the line – that’s a conclusion you (and your husband, if you’re married) will have to come to through prayer and listening to your biblically informed conscience – with each company you consider, but I think you may find some of the principles in my article The Mailbag: Should Christians Participate in Boycotts? to be helpful.

“Is God okay with paying a web host who uses their funds to support anti-Biblical issues?” Well, consider this – It’s not precisely the same thing as buying a product or service from a private company, but Jesus paid the temple tax, and we know from His clearing of the temple, His many rebukes of the scribes and Pharisees, and the fact that the temple leadership had Jesus crucified that He was well aware of the evil that tax money ended up supporting. And when the Pharisees asked Jesus, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” while their motive was to trap Jesus, the basis of this particular question they chose was probably similar to the basis of your question (not saying you’re a Pharisee – please don’t misunderstand): “Should God’s people give money to a pagan who does ungodly things?”. And Jesus’ answer was that they should pay their taxes. Like I said, it’s not exactly the same thing because taxes are an obligation and blog platforms are not, but it is something to study and consider.

Pray about it, trust God to guide you, and don’t sin against your conscience. You may also want to take a look at the principles for decision-making in my article Basic Training: 8 Steps to Finding God’s Will for Your Life.

My husband and I live in Canada. When the government placed our small town under lockdown due to COVID, not one church here remained open. Now that things have opened back up slightly, we are hesitant to join ourselves to a church that might, at any given time, close their doors at the whim of our government officials. Additionally, there are very few churches in our area and we have doctrinal concerns about all of them. But this leaves us without a church home.

We have started meeting together on the Lord’s Day with nearly 30 other like-minded brothers and sisters. We fervently seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance and do not want to be disobedient in any way. We want to please the Lord in our worship together. My husband and I never conceived of starting a church, we just wanted to obey our Lord in continuing to gather as the church body when the “church institution” failed us. I’m desperate for guidance and have no idea where to turn to for help.

Well, sister, I’ve got good news for you. You do have a church home. You have a home church church home. When the church started out in the book of Acts, it existed in the form of groups of like-minded believers who met together in homes, often in secret, hiding from a persecutory government. The church is not the building, but the body of Believers meeting together in person for the study and preaching of the Word, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, prayer, worship, fellowship, and practicing the “one anothers”. In many parts of the world home churches are still the normal expression of the church due to persecution, and as persecution continues to increase, so will the underground church.

I’ve never started a church either, but let me see if I can point you to some resources that can help:

First, go to the Searching for a new church? tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page. Next:

  • Carefully comb through every single church search engine listed there to make absolutely sure you haven’t overlooked a doctrinally sound, established church within achievable driving distance of your house. (Home churches can be very susceptible to false doctrine, so you want to make every effort to join yourself to an established, doctrinally sound church if at all possible.)
  • If there simply does not exist an established, doctrinally sound church you can get to (even if it may not be terribly convenient) each week, scroll down to the “Church Planting” section, get in touch with Grace Advance, explain your situation, and ask them for help. Church planting is what they do, and I’m certain they can give you better guidance than I can.
  • As you’re going through this process of getting in touch with Grace Advance and following their counsel, read through all of the information under What to look for in a church (especially the links in the second paragraph of Six Questions for a Potential Church), so the men leading your home church understand, and perhaps can begin codifying a doctrinal statement on these issues for your home church. It may also be helpful to visit the websites of churches you know to be doctrinally sound and read through their statements of faith (sometimes called “doctrinal distinctives,” “what we believe,” “what we teach,” “constitution and by-laws,” etc.).

May God richly bless you and your church.

I recently lost my temper with a store employee and made a scene over something very stupid. It is a large corporate store and not one I frequent often, but this young woman is most likely from my surrounding area, and thus, I feel like I did not treat a neighbor well. I have prayed and asked God to forgive me for shaming His name and for treating another person badly for something that was not her fault. What else can I do? I feel terrible. I let my emotions overcome me, and it was completely unbecoming of a Christian woman.

Wow, praise God.

No, seriously…this is something to praise God for. Praise God that He convicted you of this sin. That’s one of the evidences that you’re a Believer and that the Holy Spirit is working in your life. Praise God that your heart is tender to that conviction and you want to do what’s pleasing to Him. Another evidence that you’re a Believer. Praise God that through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, He has indeed forgiven you for this sin and you stand righteous before Him. (You do need to accept and believe His forgiveness if that’s part of the reason you’re still feeling terrible.)

I would suggest you go back to the store, locate the employee, repent to her and ask her forgiveness. I would also suggest taking a small “peace offering,” like a gift card to a local coffee shop or maybe a batch of brownies you’ve made. You could also include a tract or a small gospel booklet. Frame your apology to her in a gospel-centered way, and, hopefully, this will turn into a witnessing encounter.

This last one isn’t a question submitted by a reader, but rather a request from me! :0)

If you or your women’s Bible study group are working through one of my Bible studies, I’d love it if you’d send me a picture of yourself or the group studying or discussing it. And if you could somehow include the title image for the study (see below) in the picture – maybe with everybody gathered around the image on a screen, or everybody holding it up on their phones, or print out a copy of the image and hold it up, or something like that – that would be fantastic. (These pictures will probably be shared on my blog and/or social media, so make sure everybody in the picture is OK with that.)

You can email the pictures to me here.

These are the title images from some of my studies. You can find them at the top of each lesson:

You can always find all of my Bible studies at the Bible studies tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

Thank you!

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.

Church, Guest Posts

Guest Post: Planting a Doctrinally Sound Church in the Midst of NAR Chaos

If your theology pretty much matches up with mine (as outlined in the “Welcome” and “Statement of Faith” tabs) and you’d like to contribute a guest post, drop me an e-mail at,
and let’s chat about it.


A Brief Word from Michelle:

I’m frequently asked by readers what to do if, despite their best efforts, they can’t find a doctrinally sound church within reasonable driving distance from home. One of my suggestions has been to look into church planting. Here is Elliott’s story of planting a doctrinally sound church in an area where none exist. If you live nearby, consider joining him in this work or at least stopping by to encourage Elliott and Naomi.

Planting a Doctrinally Sound Church
in the Midst of NAR Chaos
by Elliott Micha

I walked into a church on a normal, mid-February cloudy Sunday. An elderly woman came up to me and in a rather creepy timbre, leaned over and said, “God always shows up here.” Then the service started, and an old man in rusty Birkenstocks got up and started screaming. From that point forward all chaos broke loose.

The worship team played a well known Pentecostal song about the fire of the Lord falling down, and bodies started to drop like it was a World War II battlefield. A woman convulsed on the ground in front of me making inappropriate sexual-sounding noises. She appeared to have no control of her body and was almost drooling on the floor. Young people all wearing matching checkered flannel shirts ran to the front of the room to get the anointing as random people laid hands on others. It was a violent scene. This was my first experience witnessing Charismatic chaos in person.

Later, I went to visit a buddy, Russ, who was a local young adults pastor at the time. I asked, “Russ does that happen every week at that church?”. He said, “Yes, Elliott, every single week they do the exact same thing.”. From that day forward I was determined to stop the rise of the Charismatic chaos that had started to infiltrate Orange County Christianity.

At this point I was a young adult. Many years later, the chaos, false teaching, and carnage would escalate to a new level. Some of my close friends from my early twenties sadly got sucked into the emotion and started following famous traveling prophets. My wife, Naomi, coined a term for the fringe Charismatic churches: “koo koo land”. Many people I know, including Naomi’s boss and my dentist both were turned off to ever checking out any Christian church due to their bad experiences with Charismatic churches.

Over the years, Naomi and I saw more and more “pastors” who wanted to be viewed as Spirit-filled men of God, but had little care for God’s word. For a little while I became a church planter working alongside a group of churches, but then the faith healers, “prophets”, and skinny jeans started to arrive. I left that group of churches and dusted off my computer which contained the name of the church Naomi and I felt called to originally plant – Outpouring Church.

Naomi and I knew the blueprint the Lord gave us. There was no more biting my tongue and trying to be politically correct about the madness I had witnessed unfold in so many churches. We were called to plant a church that would be fiercely devoted to educating young people, old people, and those caught in deception about the dangers of the modern day prophets and apostles movement. We felt called to not just sit on the sidelines any longer, but to stand up and not be pushed around by the false prophets (who many times tried to intimidate me, calling me, “just some young punk”) in our region.

The city we live in, San Clemente, is a town that 68,000 people call home. For southern Orange County, that is a rather large population. Our area is home to three mega churches that have a weekly attendance between 700 and 2,000 people each. On the surface many people would say San Clemente has 15 churches total, so what’s the need for another church? These churches are all within a 4 mile driving radius of the rich white suburban side of town, and unfortunately, many of them now feature associations with the New Apostolic Reformation, prophets and apostles, worship music with aberrant theology, and loads of seeker friendly, watered down theology that turns church more into a ringside circus then an actual church service.

Naomi and I originally felt called to San Clemente before we got married. We didn’t want to move to San Clemente, actually. We wanted to move to inland Orange County. Inland Orange County is our version of the Midwest – everyone is hardcore Christian, and many of the people actually know the Bible. We knew it would be a life of contentment if we moved there, but we would be running from our calling. Many of the pastors in our town have even said, “I don’t feel called to San Clemente, I moved there because of the sunny weather,” or “I moved there because I love surfing.”. Naomi and I have zero interest in surfing or the ocean. By the time I was 18 (after working in the skimboard industry) I was really sick of going to the beach. We felt called to San Clemente because we met many “Christians” who were confused about what they believed. In that group we saw a massive need for discipleship and really sitting down and teaching people the Bible.

Our good friend, a local San Clemente native and faithful Christian mother who is 55 years old, went to a house one day for a “women’s gathering”. The women in attendance all said they were “Christians”. At this gathering one of the women started saying how it was okay for Christians to use horoscopes. Our friend rebuked the woman and the woman got really angry. This gives you an idea of the type of danger that has seeped into our local Christian scene. Many of these people don’t understand the basics of the faith and some of them have been walking with the Lord for years.

Naomi and I also felt called to San Clemente because no one wanted to go near the area we felt called to plant a church in. We felt called to Southern San Clemente and specifically an area called Surfer’s Row. Everyone plants churches in Talega (inland San Clemente) which Naomi and I joke is like Utah (it has a massive Mormon population) and is home to many wealthy Caucasian families. We live in a neighborhood in the middle of town that is largely Mormon and has lots of older Roman Catholics. In our actual tract of homes there are only a few Christians.

Naomi and I know another group of people right now that are leaving our area to plant a Bible-based church up in Idaho. We have watched as many people plant great churches in our town and then after a few years leave San Clemente due to the spiritual warfare and backlash. We were attracted to planting in Surfer’s Row because it is still unchurched. Surfer’s Row is home to drug addicts, local professional surfers, various ethnic people groups, a low income school, and dive bars that look like they belong in a Harley Davidson ad.

One of the huge battles we face in San Clemente is that many professing Christians idolize the sport of surfing. There have been Christian parents in our area who have gotten divorced because of their obsession with surfing. Some of the local pastors base their life and schedule around surf contests and conditions. We even have one pastor in the area who will skip being in the pulpit if there is a good swell coming in to surf. When I went to share the story of our church plant with another well known retired surfing pastor, he said to me, “Do you surf?”, as though surfing was a requirement for planting a church in our town. It was a very weird experience. (For the record I don’t surf. I grew up skim boarding.)

Instead, my father-in-law, Pastor Bob, has had a big influence on me. He is a retired pastor, Vietnam vet, and seminary grad who served for 50 years. But in his words, “You never retire from ministry.”. He’s my mentor when it comes to day to day church planting. In our first church planting experience, Naomi and I were struggling to find someone to really disciple us. At a certain point (when one of the pastors started teaching that Christians can be demon possessed and that Christians can walk on water just like Jesus did) we left that group of churches and realized that her folks had seen it all in a long career of ministry and would be great mentors on this crazy journey of planting a church.

We also have a few buddies that pastor churches in inland Orange County who are all great allies. These men have shown us how this whole process of church planting works and what it looks like to be faithful to the flock that God has given them. (The funny thing is we aren’t Calvinist, but we have a large following of Calvinists now because we are one of the only vocally anti-charismatic chaos churches in our area.)

So the next logical question is: how do you evangelize the people who call Surfer’s Row home? Naomi and I get up every Sunday and prayer walk the Surfer’s Row area. The main way we invite people into the story of Outpouring Church is door to door knocking. One day my friend Billy said to me, “You door knock to tell people about your church plant? That’s hardcore Elliott.”. It may be a rare thing nowadays, but so far it has worked to help start getting the word out. I door knock a few times a week, give out free Bibles at the local surf spot, give out free surf supplies to the surfers (if their boards need repair), deliver Bibles to the homes of people who need them, utilize social media (Twitter, Instagram,, Yelp), hand out contact cards with our info on it, and distribute free surf wax with our church logo on it. So far, these simple forms of outreach have started to build a small following of people in our area. Currently, we have four people on our church interest list. Once we get enough people, we will start our once a week “house church” style Bible study.

It might shock you, but many of the people in Surfer’s Row have never seen a Bible or heard about Jesus. The Bahai faith, Mormonism, fringe Charismatic Christianity, and the New Age are all large religions in that specific area. Some people within Surfer’s Row have large tiki statues of various Hawaiian gods they worship displayed in their front yards. Many of the pro surfers run nonprofits that push mindfulness, yoga, and New Age belief, and have no frame of reference for Christianity. I have had many good discussions with young (18-19 years old) surfer kids and they are blown away that Christians would actually care for them and want to talk to them. I always try to share the gospel with them. Slowly but surely we are starting to build a following.

That is just a little of our story. It has been a crazy ride so far. Through it all we have learned to always come back to Hebrews 13:8 which says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Naomi and I have learned the true meaning of the narrow road. We have seen what happens when you call out false teachers and stand for truth. I have learned what it feels like when you get home from plowing the fields for the sake of the Gospel and just want to sit in your chair. We are a tiny church with just a handful of people, but we are ready to make a big dent in San Clemente for the kingdom of God.

We are Outpouring Church and as always, “Our mission is His mission.”

Elliott Micha is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Outpouring Church at Surfer’s Row located in southern San Clemente, California. Elliott and his wife Naomi have two English bulldogs and are looking forward to one day starting their own family. Naomi loves equipping young women with biblical knowledge. Elliott, Naomi, and their ragtag group of friends are excited to see people who are far from Jesus come to know Jesus. Follow Outpouring Church on Twitter or Instagram.