Movies

Coming Attraction: “By What Standard?” A Founders Ministries Cinedoc

Dangerous ideologies like Critical Theory and Intersectionality are gaining inroads into the thinking of some leaders, churches and organizations. These ideologies are even being promoted among some evangelicals as reliable analytical tools that can assist our understandings and efforts in gospel ministry. The result is that, in the name of social justice, many unbiblical agendas are being advanced under the guise of honoring and protecting women, promoting racial reconciliation, and showing love and compassion to people experiencing sexual dysphoria. It is time for Bible-believing Christians to stand up and say to those who are promoting such agendas,

“Whose standard of justice is being followed? God’s, or this world’s?”
“To what authority are we submitting? The Holy Scriptures, or worldly ideologies?”

Have you seen these kinds of dangerous ideologies making their way into your church or denomination? Founders Ministries is developing a resource, due out this fall, that has the potential to impact thousands of churches and Christian leaders with the biblical perspective on race, intersectionality, feminism, sexuality, and social justice.

It’s a documentary movie, or “cinedoc,” called By What Standard? God’s World…God’s Rules. I’ve had the privilege of looking over the trailer for the movie for the past few days before its public release, and every time I watch it, my anticipation increases. I think this is going to be a powerful tool for churches to use to educate themselves about how to scripturally handle these mammoth issues the world is throwing at us.

You’ll hear from pastors and teachers you know and love for their fidelity to Scripture such as Tom Ascol, Josh Buice, Tom Buck, Voddie Baucham, Owen Strachan, Albert Mohler, and many more, men unafraid and unashamed to boldly proclaim the truth of God’s Word.

If you’d like, you’ll also have the opportunity to partner with Founders in making this film a reality by making a financial contribution to the project. And you can sign up for e-mail updates on how the project is going.

Are you as excited as I am? Click the link below and see the trailer for yourself! Then come back here and leave a comment with your thoughts!

Click here to watch the trailer.

Answering a Fool, Mailbag

The Mailbag: Answering a Fool #2

 

Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs 26:5

There’s a lot of foolishness masquerading as Christianity these days. Occasionally, I get e-mails, messages, and comments showcasing this type of foolishness. It needs to be biblically corrected so these folks can stop “being wise in their own eyes,” repent, and believe and practice the truth of Scripture. From time to time, I’ll be sharing those messages in The Mailbag with a biblical corrective, not only so the e-mail/message writer can be admonished by Scripture, but to provide you with Scriptures and reasoning you can use if you’re ever confronted with this kind of foolishness.


(This reader’s remarks {in blue} are reprinted in full.)

I read your piece on Priscilla Shirer and it’s simple – you’re a White woman who knows nothing about Black Christianity or Black people in general.

How dare you suggest that there’s such a thing as white Christianity or black Christianity or any other kind of Christianity defined by race or culture? Have you never read the New Testament? The Apostles taught time and again that the gospel unites – not divides – us, because they were establishing the church in a place that had all kinds of ethnic and cultural divisions. Shame on you for trying to reinstitute division in rebellion against Christ’s command that His people are to dwell in unity!

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6

Furthermore, how dare you assume that I know nothing about black people? You don’t know me or anything about me. You are stereotyping me according to your own bigotry, assumptions, and prejudices against white people, and you’re stereotyping black people by assuming that all black people have the same worldview as you, and you’re putting race above Christianity by making this a racial issue instead of making this a biblical issue.

I have evaluated Priscilla Shirer the same way I’ve evaluated every other teacher on this blog – not according to race, but according to the Bible. You are the one who has come along and cast aspersions on me because I’m white and therefore supposedly unqualified to evaluate a teacher who happens to be black. Frankly, if I were Priscilla Shirer, I would be outraged that someone would suggest I should be held to a different standard than white teachers because of the color of my skin.

We already [sic] handling Mrs. Shirer, no need to put yourself in our lane and comment when you clearly know nothing about our ways or conduct.

Just for the sake of argument, I’m going to meet you on your own racial terms for a minute. If by “handling” you mean rebuking Priscilla for her false doctrine and insisting she teach sound doctrine, then your so-called “black Christianity” is not “handling” Priscilla Shirer, it is rewarding her.

Since you read my article, I’m sure you noticed that T.D. Jakes – who has to be one of the most (if not the most) popular, high profile, and influential black “pastors” in America – invited Priscilla to his “church” in 2016 to present her with the “Lady of Destiny” award. The audience was filled with other black evangelicals cheering Priscilla on, including her mother, Lois Evans, and her father, Tony Evans (another extremely popular, high profile, and influential black pastor) who also celebrated this “success” (Lois Evans’ word) of Priscilla’s on Instagram. How in the world can this type of thing be called “handling” her?

Furthermore, Priscilla has been teaching false doctrine since at least the early 2000s. How much longer is it going to take “black Christianity” to “handle” her?

Now I’m going to step out of the “lane” of racialism and back into the lane of biblical Christianity:

If you are a genuinely regenerated Christian, you and I (and every other Christian of every other race) are in the same lane, with the same ways, and the same conduct, because our lane, ways, and conduct are not dictated by race, they’re dictated by something that transcends race – the Bible. If you’re allowing your lane, ways, and conduct to be dictated by race instead of Scripture, you’re sinning by making an idol out of race (because anything that we prioritize above God and His ways, as revealed in His Word, is idolatry) and you need to repent.

I say this out of love so you don’t say something else and be seen as possibly prejudiced. I don’t expect a repost. That’s cool, but I do expect at least a double take when opining on us POC [people of color] in the future.

If you’re a Christian, you have no right to “expect” me to do anything but be obedient to Christ and His Word – just like I expect you to be. Just like I expect Priscilla to be. I will not degrade and disrespect the teachers I evaluate by drawing lines of racial distinction and suggesting that black teachers be held to a different standard, or “handled” differently than teachers of other races. That would be reason for people to see me as prejudiced. I will continue to judge teachers, not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character and their teaching, and whether or not that character and teaching align with rightly handled Scripture. As Jesus Himself said:

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. John 7:24

You are not saying any of this out of love. At least you’re not saying it out of biblical love, because biblical, Christian love would never falsely accuse, belittle, and slander a sister in Christ as you have done to me. Biblical love – love for Christ and His church – would never seek to divide Christians over race. Biblical love would never redefine Christianity according to race instead of defining it according to Scripture. Never.

Biblical love knows there’s only one color that matters. It’s the color that unites us together in one heart, mind, spirit, and family – the red, rich, royal blood of Christ.


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.

Mailbag

The Mailbag: What’s your take on White-Howse/Charlottesville/Trump?

 

What’s your take on the James White/Brannon Howse IFD controversy? The Charlottesville tragedy and other issues of racism? Anything and everything Donald Trump says and does?

There are a lot of divisive situations going on in the world these days. It’s no longer simply, “Did you hear the news?” but, “Which side of the news are you on?” And it seems like, more and more, the evangelical public requires – demands even- that every Christian who has any sort of an audience must declare to the world whose side we’re on or what our position on the issue is. I mean, come on; if people are asking some nobody like me where I stand on various news stories, you know things have gotten out of hand. It’s not that I mind people asking my opinion, it’s just that I’m baffled as to why anyone would care what I think.

But for those of you who really want to know what I think on these issues, here ya go:

1. It doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what God’s Word says.

I’ve said this, like, at least a thousand times on this blog in relation to homosexuality, female preachers, church attendance, and any number of other biblical concepts, and it applies to current events as well. I could give you my opinion, but if it differs from what Scripture says, you’d better not listen to it. And if it’s in line with what Scripture says, well, the Bible says it far better than I ever could, so my opinion is superfluous.

2. It doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what YOU think.

When it comes to what or how to think about a certain situation, the primary source that should shape your thoughts is God’s Word. Not me, not Christian celebrities, not your family and friends: the Bible. You need to be able to think biblically for yourself, not just blindly believe the thoughts and opinions of someone you look up to. When you stand before God one day, I don’t know what all He might ask you, but I feel pretty safe in guessing that He’s not going to ask you what Michelle Lesley thought about a dewdrop on a blade of grass. If you want to know what to think about something, get your Bible out and study what it has to say on the subject.

3. It doesn’t matter what I think because voicing my opinion isn’t going to help or change the situation.

Take the White-Howse controversy for example (and if you don’t know what that is, Google it – I don’t have the energy to get into that whole can of worms). I don’t know, have access to, or closely follow either James White or Brannon Howse, so not only do I not have a dog in this hunt, but no public declaration from me is going to patch things up between them, bring about repentance wherever it might be needed, or solve the problems involved. I do, however, have friends on both sides of the issue. So the only thing a public opinion from me would do would be to alienate people on one side or the other, and, personally, I don’t think this particular controversy is worth that.

4. It’s an unnecessary distraction from the focus of my ministry.

Maybe the focus of your ministry is on racial issues within Christianity. Or rightly applying Scripture to politics. Or the proper way to evangelize Muslims. If so, it would only make sense that you’d speak out about the issues enumerated in today’s Mailbag question. The focus of my ministry is women’s discipleship: teaching Christian women how to rightly handle and apply God’s Word to your life so you can grow in Christ and better serve Him, your family, your church, and others. I’m willing to get controversial when I have to and when it furthers that ministry focus (such as my discernment articles). But to get off into the weeds of, say, the border wall, health care, and taxes (and all the questions, comments, and controversies that go with those issues), would be a distraction from what I’m trying to accomplish here.

5. Not every hill is a hill to die on.

There are a lot of hills I’m willing to die on, and virtually all of them have a chapter and verse reference. I do not like to see Scripture mishandled and false doctrine preached because people’s eternities are at stake, the health of the church is at stake, and Christian women’s sanctification is at stake. I am willing to fight those fights to the death and take the flak the Enemy and his servants hurl at me. But if I fight every fight that comes along, I’m not going to have the time or the strength to fight the battles that God has uniquely gifted and equipped me to fight. Other Christians, have a much better grasp of, and experience with, for example, the racial issues plaguing our country today. I would prefer to remain silent and learn from them. Sometimes the best contribution I can make to a discourse is to keep my mouth shut and listen.

6. It’s just annoying noise.

It makes me crazy when something happens in the news and that’s all anybody can talk about – in person or on social media. (It’s not wrong for people to talk abut these things, mind you, it just gets on my nerves hearing the same remarks and conversations over and over again.) When a scrillion people have already given their opinion on a particular issue – especially when a lot of them are saying the same thing I’d say – what is the everlovin’ point of adding my voice to the cacophony? All that does is put one more annoying opinion in your social media feed when you’d rather be seeing pictures of your friend’s new baby, reading someone’s quote of a Bible verse, or drooling over the latest recipe video.

Sometimes I comment on current events. Sometimes I don’t. When I don’t it’s usually for one of these six reasons, or because I don’t have time, or I’m not interested in the subject, or I’m not knowledgeable enough about the subject to make an intelligent comment, or because I’m not in the mood.

Or maybe I just found a really good recipe video to drool over instead :0)


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, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ Prideful and Prejudiced: Racism, Diversity, and Southern Baptists

Originally published April 1, 2016prideful prejudiced

 

Racism. The word practically emits the hum of electrical voltage. No decent person wants to be accused of being a racist, and no one wants to be mistreated on the basis of race. If there’s a more powerful word in the American vernacular right now, I’m not sure what it is.

Racism isn’t something I normally think about or have to deal with on a daily basis even though it would seem to be swirling all around me here in the Deep South. I’m white. The majority of my friends are white. Either I don’t know anyone who’s racist or those who are racist are wise enough, polite enough, or ashamed enough to keep it to themselves. But despite the fact that I don’t have much one on one experience with it, race is an issue that gets a lot of attention, and the main place I’m encountering racial issues of late is in my denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention.

Whether you see it as “too little, too late,” or “it’s about time,” the upper echelons of the SBC have been talking a good game (and, in many instances, making progress) about diversity for the last couple of decades. It started in 1995 with the Resolution On Racial Reconciliation, in which the SBC confessed, apologized for, and sought forgiveness for past involvement with and support of slavery, racism, segregation, and other civil rights issues. Next came the task force that studied changing the name of the SBC to “Great Commission Baptists” due to the negative perceptions and racial implications of the word “Southern.” This was followed by the election of Fred Luter, the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Fast forward to 2016. So far this year, three well-known pastors have declared their candidacy for president of the SBC, and each has indicated that diversity is an issue he will give attention to.

J.D. Greear: “I want to see minority leaders take places of real prominence in the SBC, such that diversity might become a hallmark of our denomination.”

Steve Gaines: At Bellevue, we don’t just talk about racial reconciliation – we actually experience it and live in it as a reality. It works in our church because we focus on Jesus-centered racial reconciliation.

David Crosby (who will be nominated by Fred Luter): I hope to make [diversity] a matter of consideration from the very first as we seek to structure in the present for a future gospel strategy that is ever wider in its reach.

OK, great. More people of diverse racial backgrounds appointed to executive offices in the SBC. More books and resources about diversity. More seminars, conferences, panel discussions, and breakout sessions about race. Super. All of those things are wonderful and well intentioned, and will hopefully have some sort of positive impact at the administrative level.

But I really don’t think it’s going to make much of a dent in the actual problem.

I have a friend whose seminary graduate husband has been searching for a senior pastor position in an SBC church for about a year now. He’s a great guy who loves God’s people and rightly handles God’s word. And he’s been turned down by church after church. Why? I’m sure the churches who have rejected him would list a variety of factors, but one of the reasons is that he’s black and his wife is white.

Several years ago, my husband was on staff at an SBC church that was located across the street from a lower income housing project inhabited mostly by black, single parent families. The vast majority of our members were retired and I was a stay at home mom. We had a lot of people with a lot of free time on their hands. I suggested we start an after school tutoring program for the kids who lived in the housing project to minister to and reach out to our neighbors. The idea was quickly dismissed by a vocal few because “we don’t want those people in our church.”

That’s where real racism lives in the SBC, not at the national, upper management level, but in the hearts of some of our individual church members.

  • Church members who excuse their sin by saying, “Well, that’s just the way I was raised,” or “I’m too old to change.”
  • Deacons, elders, and search committees who – instead of dealing with sin in the camp – make provision for the flesh of their churches by quietly pushing aside the resumes of minority pastors because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of racist congregants making a stink or risk losing the money they contribute.
  • Churches who sell their buildings and move to a whiter part of town when the surrounding neighborhood “goes black.”
  • Christians whose offerings go around the world to share the gospel with people of all colors but who won’t go across the sanctuary to share a pew with people of another race.

Racism is an issue of the heart. It’s sin.

And sin can’t be solved by appointments based on skin color or some sort of “trickle down” diversity. It can only be solved by individuals repenting before a holy God, receiving His forgiveness, and growing in Christlikeness.

God’s way in the body of Christ is not “top down,” with administrators creating programs, holding meetings and conferences, and strategically moving people into various positions like pawns on a chess board. God’s way is “bottom up,” with local pastors preaching the truth of God’s word to their people and calling them to repent. It begins with Christ working in people’s hearts, one by one, convicting them of their arrogance and self-righteousness, their pride and their prejudice, their failure to see others through God’s eyes, and their failure to love one another the way God has commanded.

1 pet 1 22

The solution to racism and diversity in the SBC?
It’s right there in black and white.

Church

Prideful and Prejudiced: Racism, Diversity, and Southern Baptists

prideful prejudiced

 

Racism. The word practically emits the hum of electrical voltage. No decent person wants to be accused of being a racist, and no one wants to be mistreated on the basis of race. If there’s a more powerful word in the American vernacular right now, I’m not sure what it is.

Racism isn’t something I normally think about or have to deal with on a daily basis even though it would seem to be swirling all around me here in the Deep South. I’m white. The majority of my friends are white. Either I don’t know anyone who’s racist or those who are racist are wise enough, polite enough, or ashamed enough to keep it to themselves. But despite the fact that I don’t have much one on one experience with it, race is an issue that gets a lot of attention, and the main place I’m encountering racial issues of late is in my denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention.

Whether you see it as “too little, too late,” or “it’s about time,” the upper echelons of the SBC have been talking a good game (and, in many instances, making progress) about diversity for the last couple of decades. It started in 1995 with the Resolution On Racial Reconciliation, in which the SBC confessed, apologized for, and sought forgiveness for past involvement with and support of slavery, racism, segregation, and other civil rights issues. Next came the task force that studied changing the name of the SBC to “Great Commission Baptists” due to the negative perceptions and racial implications of the word “Southern.” This was followed by the election of Fred Luter, the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Fast forward to 2016. So far this year, three well-known pastors have declared their candidacy for president of the SBC, and each has indicated that diversity is an issue he will give attention to.

J.D. Greear: “I want to see minority leaders take places of real prominence in the SBC, such that diversity might become a hallmark of our denomination.”

Steve Gaines: At Bellevue, we don’t just talk about racial reconciliation – we actually experience it and live in it as a reality. It works in our church because we focus on Jesus-centered racial reconciliation.

David Crosby (who will be nominated by Fred Luter): I hope to make [diversity] a matter of consideration from the very first as we seek to structure in the present for a future gospel strategy that is ever wider in its reach.

OK, great. More people of diverse racial backgrounds appointed to executive offices in the SBC. More books and resources about diversity. More seminars, conferences, panel discussions, and breakout sessions about race. Super. All of those things are wonderful and well intentioned, and will hopefully have some sort of positive impact at the administrative level.

But I really don’t think it’s going to make much of a dent in the actual problem.

I have a friend whose seminary graduate husband has been searching for a senior pastor position in an SBC church for about a year now. He’s a great guy who loves God’s people and rightly handles God’s word. And he’s been turned down by church after church. Why? I’m sure the churches who have rejected him would list a variety of factors, but one of the reasons is that he’s black and his wife is white.

Several years ago, my husband was on staff at an SBC church that was located across the street from a lower income housing project inhabited mostly by black, single parent families. The vast majority of our members were retired and I was a stay at home mom. We had a lot of people with a lot of free time on their hands. I suggested we start an after school tutoring program for the kids who lived in the housing project to minister to and reach out to our neighbors. The idea was quickly dismissed by a vocal few because “we don’t want those people in our church.”

That’s where real racism lives in the SBC, not at the national, upper management level, but in the hearts of some of our individual church members.

  • Church members who excuse their sin by saying, “Well, that’s just the way I was raised,” or “I’m too old to change.”
  • Deacons, elders, and search committees who – instead of dealing with sin in the camp – make provision for the flesh of their churches by quietly pushing aside the resumes of minority pastors because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of racist congregants making a stink or risk losing the money they contribute.
  • Churches who sell their buildings and move to a whiter part of town when the surrounding neighborhood “goes black.”
  • Christians whose offerings go around the world to share the gospel with people of all colors but who won’t go across the sanctuary to share a pew with people of another race.

Racism is an issue of the heart. It’s sin.

And sin can’t be solved by appointments based on skin color or some sort of “trickle down” diversity. It can only be solved by individuals repenting before a holy God, receiving His forgiveness, and growing in Christlikeness.

God’s way in the body of Christ is not “top down,” with administrators creating programs, holding meetings and conferences, and strategically moving people into various positions like pawns on a chess board. God’s way is “bottom up,” with local pastors preaching the truth of God’s word to their people and calling them to repent. It begins with Christ working in people’s hearts, one by one, convicting them of their arrogance and self-righteousness, their pride and their prejudice, their failure to see others through God’s eyes, and their failure to love one another the way God has commanded.

1 pet 1 22

The solution to racism and diversity in the SBC?
It’s right there in black and white.