Discernment, Guest Posts

Guest Post: Lauren Daigle and the Fruit of “Losing her Religion”

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 MichelleLesley1@yahoo.com, and let’s chat about it.

 

Lauren Daigle and the Fruit of “Losing Her Religion”
by Laura M.

“It would be a sad dishonor for a child of God to be the world’s favorite. It is a very bad sign to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout, “Well done!” to the Christian…Far be it from us to seek a crown of honor where the Lord found a crown of thorns.”  CH Spurgeon

Lauren Daigle is a 28 year old Grammy award winner. In her short career she has won many awards, secular and Christian. She has four number one songs to date and many more at the top of the billboard charts. She has over 1 million Facebook followers, and an abundance of world tour dates that she alone headlines. Her Look Up Child album just reached double platinum. She is wildly popular in the church and on Christian radio stations.

The secular world is now also paying attention. What have they learned? This is an interview with Billboard.com 

“’My home church is right here,’ [Lauren] says, gesturing toward the stage.It’s right here, every night.'”

“Daigle doesn’t preach, onstage or off. In between songs at the show, she told goofy stories — like one about her misadventures in physical therapy — but never mentioned Jesus.” 

That one interview said a lot –no church, means no pastor, no teaching, no growing…no obedience.

Sure, she is fun and cool and trendy and sincere in her desire to use her talents, but is that enough to be labeled a Christian artist? Even she does not want to be described that way, having determined to drop the word “Christian”. Yet, Christians have her at the top of their “worship” playlists.

Should we consider her as purely secular entertainment? Christian words and a great voice filled with sincerity do not make worship acceptable before God.

“When we talk about worship, we’re talking about something very specific, very objective, revelatory, unfolded for us on the pages of Scripture. It is not private, it is not personal in the sense that you define it yourself. It doesn’t rise out of your intuition. It doesn’t rise out of your experience. It doesn’t rise out of your imagination. It isn’t the invention from your own mind of what you want it to be. True worship is simply treating God in the way that God has commanded us to treat Him. That’s what it is.” The Kind of Worship God Desires, John MacArthur

We should have a great concern about the platform and influence that many so called “worship leaders” have in the church today.  Many Christians incorrectly assume that if the words are not heretical and make them “feel” good, it must be acceptable worship. Lauren Daigle is growing in her platform and influence and we should take a discerning look at whether this is a wise choice for Christians. Is the fruit of Lauren’s “Religion” good or bad?

Her Partnerships

Here are just a few, Stephen Furtick and Jesus CultureJoyce Meyer , Hillsong, Bethel Church and here Lauren is leading “worship” at Bethel.

Michelle has already written much about these false teachers and churches.

Her Testimony

Can you tell what is missing? She does not start with Christ.  Does she finish with Him? She was interviewed by the Young Salvationist here (it seems they have removed it since we copied the text). 

The interviewer asked her, “Please share with our readers how you came into a relationship with Jesus Christ?”

When I was 15 years–old I was diagnosed with a debilitating virus. It’s kind of funny how God sets things up, as I was super busy. I was in high school running all over the place and God stopped me – He stopped me in my tracks. I was placed on homebound rest for two years with this illness. It was during that season when I truly began to know God and His character. He gave me hope the entire time; I wasn’t going through this for any reason. This wasn’t just the lot I was handed in life. No, I knew, I could tell, God was setting me up for something and I needed to stay focused.

So, every morning I would get up and read my devotionals and every night before bed. Soon I started making my own devotionals. The Word was filling me up so much and during a season when I was completely alone… During that time, God would give me visions and dreams of the season that I’m walking through now! He affirmed me and who I was in Him. He showed me that my placement had to be with Him and He began to teach me that He was my comforter, He was my portion and He was my foundation. I was baptized when I was a little girl, raised in the church, and a part of a Christian family; but it changed from that to God being my source, my Savior.”

This is typical of many who have their own personal dream and attach God’s name to it. She did not say how she was changed and she did not once mention Christ or sin or the Cross. Did she mention reading the Bible? A Scripture perhaps? No, only visions.

Her website would surely have a larger testimony for us to read. However, I did not find one. The most “spiritual” she got was stating,

“It’s about remembering what it’s like to be a child again and to look up and see the clouds, the sunset, and the stars. It’s about having hope once more. You can always come back to yourself. You can come back to the things you thought were lost. You can always come back to redemption.”

She doesn’t say anything about Christ. Instead she is pointing to childhood memories, the clouds, the sunset, stars. What is the basis of renewed hope? How does one come back to yourself?

In another interview, she says, (of her teen years)

“And I kept having all of these dreams about tours, awards, charts and all of these different stages I’d be on. And I was like, ‘God what is this about? … Then He affirmed me...” 

From fear and uncertainty sprang resistance as Daigle made the personal decision to not pursue Christian music, despite messages from God telling her otherwise. “I told the Lord—yes I told Him, ‘I’m not going to do Christian music! I’ll sing whatever You want me to sing, I’ll do whatever you want me to do in the mainstream world, but I’m not doing Christian music.’”

She took her personal dream of stardom and attributed it to God.  There is much danger in this kind of mystical dream interpretation. It may have come to pass, but God does not affirm pursuit of the praise of men and I cannot say this is anything more than her pursuit of a personal desire.

The Praise of the World and Views on Sin

“The most effective servant of the Gospel of Christ crucified is crucified to the world and its applause.”  Mike Riccardi

Lauren said, “she will not compromise her faith while traveling the world ministering to those outside of the church…She vowed that her testimony would not be destroyed in any way.”

However, this is her response to being criticized for being on the Ellen DeGeneres show. Ellen is an open and proudly lesbian woman.

“I think the second we start drawing lines around which people are able to be approached and which aren’t, we’ve already completely missed the heart of God,” Daigle said during a recent interview with WAY-FM Radio.

Lauren missed the point, this is not about kindness it’s about being foolishly and sinfully drawn to the world and then affirming them because they have affirmed her. Jesus clearly drew lines in Matt 7.

And yet…after being on the Ellen DeGeneres show, she capitulated on her conviction not to compromise.

“Do you feel that homosexuality is a sin?”

After a pause, she responded: “You know I can’t honestly answer on that…I have too many people that I love that, they are homosexual, I don’t know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it and I was like ‘I can’t say one way or the other, I’m not God’

Pastor Gabe Hughes responds to this interview in a short video titled, Lauren Daigle doesn’t know if homosexuality is a sin?

And now, not surprisingly, Lauren Daigle Takes Issue with the Label ‘Christian Artist’

“After being in a spotlight of controversy for weeks regarding her stance on homosexuality, well-known Christian artist Lauren Daigle is now saying she doesn’t consider herself a Christian artist, but simply an “artist”….Interestingly enough, the young artist did not mention Jesus or God throughout the interview, sticking to general phrases like “faith,” while placing a large emphasis on the importance of love.”

It is not acceptable to equivocate on sins that Christ died to save us from.  He died for us to be reconciled to the Father, because we are without hope of saving ourselves, not for everyone to “feel” loved.

A 2019 article states,

“She admits the transition from a majority Christian audience to a more secular one has already been a “ride” and hints at the negative comments she’s been receiving from fans and others who are concerned the singer is leaving her Christian roots. Daigle seems unphased by the pushback, though. Risk is the best. Risk is the most beautiful thing,” she says with a smile.” source

And yet 4 years before in 2015, she said, 

God’s not a God of risks. He just says, ‘Trust me,’ because He has it all under control. To us, in our human life, it looks like a risk, but He’s like, ‘No, I’m God. I got this.’” source

This Christian Post article interviews her as well, sharing,

“Daigle went on to share a story about a megachurch pastor which was asked to step down from his ministry and lost his church, after having an affair with his secretary.

Lauren said,

I could see privately that he had some things to reconcile and I just thought about the nature of the church, to push out someone that operated in humanity,” she explained. “It’s so easy to push those people away or to build the white picket fence around our ideologies that create this counterculture that completely denies just the love of Christ, the grace of Christ, the mercy of Christ, and rejects the relationship with Christ.”

Lauren has an unbiblical view of sin, it is not in her testimony, it is not calling homosexuality the abomination that the Bible does, and it sympathizes with the poor pastor who disqualified himself by the most egregious sin against his wife. These are not the words of someone who submits to the authority of Scripture.

The Bible does not mince words (1 Cor 6:11) and neither should anyone who has been washed of the sins we have been so graciously forgiven and desire this to be true of others.

She also provocatively named a song, Losing My Religion and then comments

“This is an age where I am learning, what I believe in. We have a song on there that record called ‘Losing My Religion’ and I think one of the things that I’ve learned and one of the things that I’m embracing is the freedom of taking off the checked boxes, the rules, and all those things that kind of muddy up what faith actually is

Unfortunately, she has muddied her faith and is influencing many who flock to her and find the same muddy waters. This is exactly what we would expect from someone who claims that her church is her “stage”.

She excuses her decision to crossover by pointing to Avril Lavigne, Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin because they sing a few gospel songs as well. “There’s all these people from back in the day that did this thing as well, where they had both. And I feel like history always repeats itself.” Billboard interview  Not great role models.

Remember, it is OK to be fruit inspectors, not just of false teachers but of everyone, fruit always gives evidence of the source of life. (Matt 16:17-20) We rejoice when we find good fruit and we warn when it is bad.

Lauren is leading worship to the masses she has before her. She seems to love the world, clings to false teachers and obfuscates clear Biblical teaching when given opportunity to proclaim it. As Christians, would it not be better to stop supporting her and so give her the wakeup call she needs rather than the praise and attention she is getting for bad fruit? If she does have a clear testimony of saving faith why is it not front and center for us to see?  

Let’s pray she would get off the stage and into a Biblical church to be taught well how to worship in “spirit and truth.” (John 4:23), and give opportunity for a pastor and church family to care for her soul. (Heb 13:17)


Laura and her husband Scott have been married 25 years and have three children. They live in a suburb of Philadelphia and NYC, where they have recently planted a church. She also writes with a few friends at Where Ordinary Life Meets Divine Truth as a ministry to the local women they are privileged to disciple.

Discernment

Discernment IS Love

I’m often accused of being “unloving” for writing in a direct or firm tone against false doctrine and other unbiblical issues in the church.

I received another such accusation recently on one of my older articles, “Nine Reasons Discerning Women Are Leaving Your Church“. I thought I’d share my response to the reader with you, because it seems there’s a misunderstanding among Christian women as to the biblical definition of love. It ain’t always “sugar and spice and everything nice” y’all…

“I don’t think you have a complete understanding of the biblical definition of love. You seem to think that “love” is restricted to always being sweet and nice to people. That’s not biblical.

–Was Jesus being unloving when He cleared the temple? (Matthew 21)
–Was Jesus being unloving when He rebuked the Pharisees? (Matthew 23)
–Was Jesus being unloving when He instructed us to disfellowship unrepentant sinners from the church? (Matthew 18:15-20)
–Was Paul being unloving when he turned Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan so they would learn not to blaspheme? (1 Timothy 1:19-20)
–Was Paul being unloving when he anathematized anyone who preaches a false gospel? (Galatians 1:6-9)
–Was Peter being unloving when he described false teachers in 2 Peter 2?
–Was Jude being unloving when he wrote to the brothers warning them about the evils of false teachers instead of writing about the gospel?

Am I being unloving in writing this article? No. Reproof, rebuke, and biblical instruction are all part of godly love. I am demonstrating love for Christ, His Bride, and His Word by pointing out biblical error that needs to be corrected. I am demonstrating love for ignorant pastors and churches by explaining to them why their most spiritually healthy members are leaving. I am demonstrating love for the thousands of doctrinally sound Christians out there who long to attend a healthy church and can’t find one because so many churches are in error in the areas I mentioned. And, I am demonstrating love for you by helping you understand what God’s definition of love is.

Is this article loving? You bet it is.”

Additional Resources:

I Can’t Sit Down, Shut Up, and Play Nice

Discernment: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Favorite Finds

Favorite Finds ~ January 14, 2020

Here are a few of my favorite online finds…

“How can I know with certainty what the Bible is saying? How can I be certain what books really belong in the Bible? How can I be sure that my interpretation of any text is correct, and, still more, what its proper application is…?” Have you ever tried to explain a biblical principle to someone only to hear the retort, “But That’s Just Your Interpretation!“? D.A. Carson has some helpful words for us in the latest issue of Themelios.

 

“Pastors, I have a plea for you. Please, love your women enough to warn them against false teachers. It isn’t enough to simply teach the good stuff; if they don’t know what is out there that is not good and why it isn’t good? They will continue to fall for it.” Check out Amy Spreeman’s article, When Seemingly Solid Pastors Fail to Protect Women.

 

“Christianity is sexist!” “The Bible is patriarchal and just wants to keep women down!” We hear these tired arguments trotted out again and again, but are they really true? No, Eric Davis explains in his excellent article over at Cripplegate, 10 Reasons Why the Bible Regards Women Higher than All Other Systems, “The fact is…the Bible regards women higher than any other ideology, religion, philosophy, or system in history. Nothing teaches a higher view of women than biblical Christianity.”

 

Crossway has an interesting infographic for us on a study they conducted on prayer: “Over 14,000 people recently shared about various aspects of their prayer lives with us…we invite you to dig into the data, looking at established prayer habits, common pain points, and useful practices and tools for prayer.” Take a look at Infographic: How Is Your Prayer Life?.

 

Hermeneutics is the lens through which we view Scripture. Dr. Dane Ortlund helpfully explains some right and wrong lenses to use when studying Scripture in 6 Ways Not to Read the Bible (a brief excerpt from a longer seminar). Are you handling Scripture correctly?


The resources listed above are not to be understood as a blanket endorsement for the websites on which they appear, or of everything the author or subject of the resource says or does. I do not endorse any person, website, or resource that conflicts with Scripture or the theology outlined in the Statement of Faith and Welcome tabs at the top of this page.
Top 10

Top 10 Articles of 2019

I always enjoy the annual “year in review” articles and TV shows that run in abundance in late December, so I thought I’d contribute my own. Several Mailbag articles were among this year’s most popular, so I decided to make two separate lists, the Top 10 Mailbag Articles of 2019, and the top 10 non-Mailbag articles of 2019. Here are my ten most popular non-Mailbag blog articles from 2019:

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

There are also occasional comments and messages from women who are disciples of the false teachers I warn against, who take me to task for doing so. The same unscriptural accusations are raised again and again against me and against others who take a biblical stand against false teachers and false doctrine. Here, in no particular order, are the most frequently raised objections to my discernment work and my answers to them…


 10 Biblically Sound Blogs and Podcasts by Christian Women

False teachers. You can’t throw a rock out the window these days without hitting one. But are there any “good guys” out there who are getting it right? Discipleship, Bible study,and theological issues bloggers who rightly divide God’s word? You bet…


Christine Caine: Have No Regard for the Offerings of Caine

Unfortunately, Christine’s teachings and some of her actions do not meet even these basic biblical standards, and it is my sad duty to recommend that you not sit under her teaching for the following reasons…


 A Few Good Men: 10 Doctrinally Sound Male Teachers

Let me introduce you to a few of my favorite male authors of Bible studies
and other great Christian books and resources…


An Open Letter to Beth Moore – Timeline of Events

Since the discussion of the events and commentary surrounding the open letter have mostly taken place on Twitter, and many who have an interest in these events and comments are not Twitter users, this article is intended to be a timeline outlining the sequence of events, beginning with the publication of the open letter.


Living Proof You Should Follow Beth (No) Moore

For these reasons it is my sad duty to recommend that you not follow Beth Moore or receive any teaching from her or anyone connected to Living Proof Ministries.


Guest Post: Why I Left Elevation Church

I was part of Elevation Church for about six years. At the time, I thought it was the greatest church on Earth..


Going Beyond Scripture:
Why It’s Time to Say Good-Bye to Priscilla Shirer and Going Beyond Ministries

Should she repent in these areas in which she has broken Scripture and align herself with biblical principles, she would have no bigger fan than I, and I would rejoice to be able to point Christian women to her as a doctrinally sound resource. Until that time, however, it saddens me to have to recommend that Christian women not follow Priscilla Shirer or any materials or activities from Going Beyond Ministries for the following reasons…


 An Open Letter to Beth Moore

We as female Bible teachers ourselves write this letter to you in hopes of receiving clarification of your views on an important issue: homosexuality.


Leaving Lysa:
Why You Shouldn’t Be Following Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries

For these reasons, plus her habitual mishandling of Scripture, unfortunately, I must recommend that women not follow, support, or receive teaching from Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries(including any writers or speakers affiliated with Proverbs 31 Ministries)…


What was YOUR favorite article of 2019?

Discernment

Amanda Bible Williams and She Reads Truth

You are seeing this article as a part of “Project Breakdown“.


If you are considering commenting or sending me an e-mail objecting to the fact that I warn against certain teachers, please click here and read this article first. Your objection is most likely answered here. I won’t be publishing comments or answering emails that are answered by this article.

 

I get lots of questions about particular authors, pastors, and Bible teachers, and whether or not I recommend them. Some of the best known can be found above at my Popular False Teachers tab. The teacher below is someone I’ve been asked about recently, so I’ve done a quick check (this is brief research, not exhaustive) on her.

Generally speaking, in order for me to recommend a teacher, speaker, or author, he or she has to meet three criteria:

a) A female teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly preach to or teach men in violation of 1 Timothy 2:12. A male teacher or pastor cannot allow women to carry out this violation of Scripture in his ministry. The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be living in any other sin (for example, cohabiting with her boyfriend or living as a homosexual).

b) The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be partnering with or frequently appearing with false teachers. This is a violation of Scripture.

c) The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be teaching false doctrine.

I am not very familiar with most of the teachers I’m asked about (there are so many out there!) and have not had the opportunity to examine their writings or hear them speak, so most of the “quick checking” I do involves items a and b (although in order to partner with false teachers (b) it is reasonable to assume their doctrine is acceptable to the false teacher and that they are not teaching anything that would conflict with the false teacher’s doctrine). Partnering with false teachers and women preaching to men are each sufficient biblical reasons not to follow a pastor, teacher, or author, or use his/her materials.

Just to be clear, “not recommended” is a spectrum. On one end of this spectrum are people like Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth and Kay Arthur. These are people I would not label as false teachers because their doctrine is generally sound, but because of some red flags I’m seeing with them, you won’t find me proactively endorsing them or suggesting them as a good resource, either. There are better people you could be listening to. On the other end of the spectrum are people like Joyce Meyer and Rachel Held Evans- complete heretics whose teachings, if believed, might lead you to an eternity in Hell. Most of the teachers I review fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum (leaning toward the latter).

If you’d like to check out some pastors and teachers I heartily recommend, click the Recommended Bible Teachers tab at the top of this page.


Amanda Bible Williams
Not Recommended

Amanda Bible Williams is co-founder and CCO (Chief Content Officer) of She Reads Truth (SRT), “a worldwide community of women who read God’s Word together every day. Founded in 2012, She Reads Truth invites women of all ages to engage Scripture through curated daily reading plans, as well as online conversation led by a vibrant community of contributing writers.” Amanda’s co-founder of SRT is CEO, Raechel Myers. Amanda and Raechel have co-authored two books and collaborated on the She Reads Truth Bible and the He Reads Truth Bible.

I first learned of Amanda and SRT a few years ago through my friend Elizabeth Prata’s excellent blog. Check out part 1 and part 2 of her article She Reads Truth, IF: Gathering, and Women Bible Teachers.

Though SRT’s “What We Believe” section boldly proclaims, “we believe God’s Word is Truth,” Amanda has disregarded the Bible’s truths about false doctrine and the biblical role of women in the church by inviting female “pastors” and false teachers such as Sharon Hodde Miller (more on Sharon here), Erin Rose, and Lisa Harper (more on Lisa here) to be SRT contributing writers.

Amanda has appeared at several of LifeWay Women’s Abundance Conferences alongside the likes of Christine Caine, Jennie Allen,  Lisa Harper, Lysa Terkeurst and Curtis Jones (Beth Moore’s son-in-law/pastor who allows her to preach on Sunday mornings) and others.

Amanda has been featured on IF: Gathering’s YouTube channel. Amanda’s and Raechel’s book, She Reads Truth, is sold on IF’s website.

On Twitter, Amanda has retweeted and/or shown public affinity for several false teachers including Beth Moore (tweet, tweet), Ann Voskamp (tweet), Eugene Peterson, and Rachel Held Evans.

In 2018, Amanda’s SRT partner, Raechel, was a featured speaker at the Inspired for Life Conference alongside an advocate for female pastors and a social justice activist. (See article on Raechel for more details.) Amanda both attended and helped promote the event on Twitter:

 

For someone with such a well known ministry, Amanda has a very small online footprint, so it was difficult to find pertinent information on her for this article. She doesn’t seem to have a blog or website separate from the SRT website (which has minimal information about her). She doesn’t post often on social media, and when she does, it’s usually about her family, which, frankly, I find charming and refreshing. But that means there’s scant information on events she speaks at or participates in and her ministry associations with others. This could be a positive sign. Perhaps we’re not seeing online evidence of her, for example, preaching to men, because she’s not. On the other hand, perhaps she is associating with or following far more false teachers than we know of but she isn’t posting about it on social media, so there’s no evidence of it. It’s simply impossible to tell.

With so little information available on Amanda, and with very little knowledge of her own theology and handling of God’s Word, I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and withhold the label of “false teacher” until such time as more evidence is available that would support that label. That being said, I believe there is enough evidence that Amanda is sorely lacking in discernment that it would not be wise to follow her, use her materials (and certainly not SRT’s materials, considering their contributors), or attend her speaking engagements.

Furthermore, consider her ties to female “pastors” and false teachers. As I said in the introduction to this article, it is reasonable to assume Amanda’s doctrine is acceptable to these female “pastors” and false teachers and that she is not teaching anything that would conflict with their doctrine. If she were, they would not associate with her. If she were, she would not associate with them.