Mailbag

The Mailbag: Potpourri (The Bible Project, leaving Elevation, Bible study supplements, Attend the study?…)

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.


A friend recently recommended your website for guidance with deciphering false teachers. I am wondering what do I do with all the books that I will now be getting rid of. I can’t in my right mind donate them or sell them. Is it enough to recycle them? Should they be trashed or even burned? Thanks in advance for your time and wisdom in this question. Thank you for your site and all the research and resources you have put together. I appreciate you.

How very kind of you to say! It is my absolute pleasure to serve you, and all my readers, in Christ.

I rejoice with you that God is growing you in discernment. Your instinct not to donate or sell these materials is correct. Throwing them out (render them unreadable first) or burning them is the best thing to do. (See section 3 of this article for more – you are not alone!)

(Long time readers- I know you’ve seen me address this question several times, but it is so encouraging to me to hear from women whose eyes have been opened to biblical truth, and I figured it would be encouraging to you, too. I might address this question every time I receive it just for the encouragement factor! :0)


Have you researched The Bible Project?

I have not, but my friend Gabriel Hughes has done a bunch of research on it. The short version is that he doesn’t recommend it. Click here for the long version.


I read your article about leaving Elevation Church. I am interested in hearing more about your experience.

Thank you for asking. I’d love to help you out, but as you can see from the title of the article and other remarks before, after, and in the article, this was a guest post, written by one of my readers who wishes to remain anonymous. I didn’t write it. I’ve never been to Elevation nor laid eyes on Steven Furtick.

If you have a question for the author of the article, I would suggest leaving a comment in the comment box on that article (click “leaving Elevation church” above, and leave your comment there, or she probably won’t see it). I will leave it up to her to check the comments from time to time and reply as she feels appropriate. (Just to save fans of Furtick, Elevation, and false doctrine some time: I will not be publishing your comments.)

Or, seeing as I’ve received several comments and questions about this article, if someone would like to start a “Survivors of Elevation” sort of Facebook group, send me the link. As long as I don’t receive any reports of unbiblical shenanigans, I’ll refer any inquiries I receive to the group.


Do you know if any good resources to study 1 Corinthians? Any good books, sermons, teachings you know about? It’s for my church’s ladies Bible Study. We read from the Bible but always like an extra sound resource.

While I don’t make recommendations for what I call “canned” (book, workbook, DVD, etc.) Bible studies, if you’re already studying straight from the Bible itself it can be helpful to use some good study aids, sermons, etc. as supplements from time to time. Here’s what I’d recommend for 1 Corinthians or any other book of the Bible:

Bible Book Backgrounds: Why You Need Them and Where to Find Them (I would also recommend any of the other materials at these three sites, not just the book backgrounds.)

Study Bibles, Commentaries, Dictionaries, and Bible Study Helps (see #4)

Recordings / transcripts of any previous sermons your own pastor has preached on the passage you’re studying.

Anything John MacArthur / Grace to You has preached, taught, or written on the passage. (Use the search bar)

Anything R.C. Sproul / Ligonier has preached, taught, or written on the passage. (Use the search bar. Also note that this is a Presbyterian ministry, so if you are more in the Baptistic stream, there will be a few perspectives you don’t align with,  but it’s always helpful to hear the other side of the issue from a doctrinally sound source.)

When using these resources (except for the Bible book backgrounds), I would strongly recommend studying the passage yourself first, and then listening to someone else’s sermon, reading someone else’s article, etc. Do the work of digging in by yourself, without being influenced by anybody else’s voice.

Why? A) It’s good discipline. We need to be able to mine the Scriptures and hear God speaking to us through His word for ourselves, without someone else doing the work for us and telling us what the passage means or how it applies. B) It’s such an amazing experience to grasp what God is saying in a particular passage and then turn to other Christians – maybe even Christians who lived hundreds of years ago and thousands of miles away – to whom God revealed the exact same thing by the exact same Holy Spirit. It will help you get a bigger sense of the inspiration of Scripture, the Holy Spirit’s work through His living and active Word, God’s sovereignty, and your connection to, and fellowship with the church catholic (“little ‘c'” / universal).


Regarding the steps listed in “How should I approach my church leaders about a false teacher they’re introducing”: If I talk to the Women’s Ministry Team and they decide to use the wrong teaching regardless, is it best to AVOID the classes or attend and be quiet? Previously, I attended and stayed quiet. I did not like that strategy, but to bow out totally feels uncomfortable as well. Just wondered whether anyone else has this issue. Pretty sure I will bow out next time.

Great question – and yes, it’s an issue for many women, unfortunately.

First, just in case you or another reader might need clarity on this part of the article (in #4a), when I say “approach [the women’s ministry leader] first before going over her head to the elders or pastor. You want to win your sister over to the truth, if possible, not simply force her to change things because a superior tells her she has to,” and “it’s usually best to approach the lower level leader, if any, before going over his head,” I don’t mean to approach only the women’s ministry leader or other lower level leader(s).

If you go to the women’s ministry leader, following the steps in the article, and she ends up saying, “Sorry, but I think you’re wrong and we’re going to do this study anyway,” you don’t stop there. You start over at step 1 with the next person up the chain of command – for example, the elder or associate pastor who handles discipleship/Bible study. You go through all the steps with him. If he gives you the same answer as the women’s ministry leader, you keep going up the chain of command until somebody listens and does what’s biblical or until you get to the top of the chain (in most cases, the pastor), whichever comes first.

If you’ve gotten all the way to the pastor and he, despite the evidence you’ve given him essentially says, “I don’t care. I’m going to allow the women’s ministry to keep using materials by false teachers,” it is then time for you (and your husband, if you’re married) to start considering whether or not you need to move your membership to another, more doctrinally sound church.

Deciding whether or not to attend the “Bible” study class is only necessary if you can’t find a more doctrinally sound church to move to, or if it’s something like, for example, you and your husband prayerfully come to the conclusion that you need to give this church six more months before you decide to leave it.

If you’re in a similar situation to one of those scenarios, I would not recommend attending the study and remaining quiet about the false doctrine being taught. This makes it appear that you either aren’t discerning enough to know there’s false doctrine in the study, or worse, that you either don’t care about the false doctrine being taught, or that you actually agree with it. I think you’ll find my article The Mailbag: Should I attend the “Bible” study to correct false doctrine? to be helpful.


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 ~ August 27, 2019

Oh my! We haven’t had a Favorite Finds article in far too long! Here are a few of my favorite recent online finds…

Image result for cbmwIt’s a frequent accusation about Scripture’s treatment of women. But is it really what the Bible says? Does the Old Testament actually sanction rape by mandating that a woman marry the man who forcibly raped her? CBMW examines this fascinating biblical conundrum (which isn’t really a conundrum at all once you study it carefully) in Did Old Testament Law Force a Woman to Marry Her Rapist?

 

Love broccoli or hate it, I think you’re really going to enjoy this little parable about salvation from our friend Allen Nelson over at the Things Above Us blog. Allen’s article, Brittany the Broccoli Hater, talks about the spiritual transformation that has to take place to turn us from “broccoli haters” to “broccoli lovers.” (And if you like this article, be sure to check out the reviews of his books, From Death to Life and Before the Throne.)

 

Image result for grace to youHere’s something fun and informative over at Grace to You– an article series: Frequently Abused Verses. What Is the Eye of a Needle? Can We Really Do All Things Through Christ? On Whose Door Is Christ Knocking? This series straightens out the confusion over commonly mishandled or perplexing passages. (To read the remainder of the articles in the series, you will need to enter “Frequently Abused Verses” in the GTY search bar.)

 

Autism, Awareness, Puzzle, Heart, Love, AutisticTry to imagine what it’s like to attend worship service and other church functions if you have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Helpfully explaining his own experiences, David Delgado gives practical tips to people with ASD on preparing for and navigating church events, as well as advice for Christians wishing to better serve those with ASD in their own churches in his article Doing Church with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

The aptly named David Wesley gives us a lovely medley of a capella hymns and worship songs down through the ages. Those of you who are around my age will have fond (or terrible) flashbacks of youth camp at David’s 1969 offering. :0) He lost me somewhere in the neighborhood of 2010, but I believe there’s at least one Hillsong song, and probably some other doctrinally unsound artists, around that time period. So, if you don’t already know that you and your church shouldn’t be using Hillsong, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, Elevation Worship music or music by anybody else who’s doctrinally unsound, let me just take this opportunity to say, don’t.

Movies

Movie Tuesday Double Feature: Hearing His Voice ~and~ New Life In Christ

Note:
I apologize, but I need to temporarily suspend “Project Breakdown“.
This project will be completed at a later date.


It’s a Movie Tuesday double feature! Get out the Kleenex and get ready for a heaping helping of encouragement. These movies will do something most others can’t: introduce you to some brothers and sisters in Christ whom you’ll meet in Heaven. So get comfy and gather the family around for a night of joy!

“Imagine how dark it would be to live out of reach of the Gospel and any of the hope that it brings; to only know Satan’s rule and fear of the spirits, an endless and terrifying cycle of appeasement. Imagine if murder, self-harm, and deception were a part of everyday life.

Hearing His Voice documents the story of what happened when a people group just like this encountered God’s Word for the first time. They were forgotten by the world in the jungles of Asia-Pacific until 20 years ago when a Christian pilot spotted them in the foliage below.

Watch Hearing His Voice to stand in awe of the power of God’s Word as it transforms a desperate people into a joyful community. The hero of this story is not the pilot, or the missionaries, or even a specific evangelism strategy… it is God alone and his precious, everlasting Word.”

Hearing His Voice is a production of Access Truth“We develop training resources for making the truth of the Bible accessible across cultures.”

This year, 2019, marks John MacArthur’s fiftieth year in ministry at Grace Community Church. On February 10, GCC celebrated his many years of faithful service. And as a little homage here at the blog, I thought you’d enjoy this movie featuring Dr. MacArthur, Jubilant Sykes, and members of GCC. All the way from 1979, here’s New Life in Christ.

Sermons

What I’ve Been Listening to Lately

I am so thankful for my pastor and my teachers at church. They are my main source of spiritual nourishment (along with my personal time in the Word), but for some reason they don’t seem to want to come over and teach me while I’m doing the dishes or putting on my makeup. Go figure! So for leisure time listening, I’m thankful for the great men and women of God whose teaching is available online. (These all happen to be available on iTunes, too.) Here’s some awesome audio I’ve come across lately that’s sure to encourage and edify you:

Sheologians had Steven Bancarz – a survivor of New Age false doctrine – on last week to talk about New Agey, occultic, mystical stuff and why you should say no-ga to yoga. It was good. You should listen.

New Age Jesus and How to Find Him with Steven Bancarz

 

Sometimes it can be hard to trust God for provision, or to carry you through a difficult situation. John MacArthur’s multi-part series, Anxiety-Free Living, on the Grace to You Radio Podcast explains from Scripture why and how we can trust God for every need.

 

 

Kerrie suffered horrible abuse at the hands of C3 “Church” and Hillsong in Australia. False doctrine and the so-called churches that promote it destroy real lives, folks. Listen in as Fighting for the Faith’s Chris Rosebrough interviews Kerrie Ferguson about her harrowing experience.

A Look at the Dangers of False Ecclesiology

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.