Bible Study, Biblical Resources, Favorite Finds

Favorite Finds ~ February 19, 2019

Here are a few of my favorite recent online finds…

I’ve recommended my friend Kesha’s ministry, Bible Thinking Woman,to you in the past. Now Kesha has put together another resource I think will be very helpful to you. It’s a Facebook support group for sexually abused women. Kesha says, As a victim of sexual abuse, I know all too well the damage and destruction the trauma of abuse has. Yet, I also know the healing, freedom, and victory that we have in Jesus Christ. If you’re a Christian woman who wants help, prayer, guidance, encouragement, and a listening ear, please consider joining our private Facebook group, Support for Sexually Abused Christian Women. Even if you’ve never been abused, personally, I would encourage you to reach out to Kesha if you’re helping a friend or loved one through the journey of healing.

 

Need recommendations for a good concordance? A systematic theology? A set of commentaries? The Master’s University has you covered. Check out this extensive listing of biblical reference works. You probably won’t need all of these books, and the ones you do need you might be able to obtain less expensively by purchasing them via e-book, or checking your local public, church, or seminary library (your pastor might even be willing to lend out his copy of the volume you’re looking for).

 

Let’s go to the movies! I’ve heard about two movies recently that I’m really interested in seeing. Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy will be in select theaters March 14, 16, and 19. It’s a documentary on Moses as author of the Pentateuch. I saw the first movie in the Patterns of Evidence series – Exodus (you can rent it on Amazon Prime) – and it was phenomenal. I’m hoping Moses will be as well.

Roe v. Wade is a secular movie (so it’s probably going to have profanity and other sinful content in it – don’t go see it if those things violate your conscience) on the history of the original 1973 Supreme Court decision. If you can wade (pun intended – I like puns. I always intend them.) through the left-leaning worldview of this WaPo article, you’ll find that Roe v. Wade boasts a cast made up of “a veritable who’s who of conservative Hollywood” and other info. about the film.

Just a reminder – as of today, I haven’t seen either of these films, so I can’t vouch for their contents. I’m just saying I’m interested in seeing them and I thought you might be, too.

 

Need some help memorizing Scripture? David Mathis offers us 5 Tips for Bible Memorization that are sure to come in handy.

 

 

People are always asking me about Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). Is there anything good out there? Which songs or bands should be avoided? To be honest, CCM, even the doctrinally sound stuff, is not a style of music I enjoy. I don’t listen to it, so I’m almost completely ignorant of what’s out there, as I explained in my article, False Doctrine in Contemporary Christian Music. So, I’m glad to have another resource to recommend to you. Reformed Fellowship Church just kicked off their Christian Music Review on YouTube. Here’s their first installment:

Mailbag

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

Welcome to another “potpourri” edition of The Mailbag, where I give short(er) answers to several questions rather than a long answer to one question. I also like to take the opportunity in these potpourri editions to let new readers know about my comments/e-mail/messages policy. I’m not able to respond individually to most e-mails and messages, so here are some helpful hints for getting your questions answered more quickly. Remember, the search bar can be a helpful tool!


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

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


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

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

Toxic (Evangelical) Femininity

Feminist Infiltration and the Emasculation of Christian Men

6 Reasons Godly Women are Stronger Than Feminazis

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a couple of good resources explaining more:

What is the Serpent Seed doctrine?

The serpent seed and the Kenites


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Forgiveness, Sin

You Were Once Josh Duggar, Too

Update: This article was written June 5, 2015, shortly after the news broke that Josh Duggar fondled several young girls when he was a teenager. I stand by the content of this article as true and accurate to the best of my knowledge at that time. 

Yesterday (August 21, 2015), in the wake of the Ashley Madison hacking scandal, Josh Duggar confessed that he had subscribed to the web site, had been unfaithful to his wife, and had been using pornography. These are all egregious sins which have dragged the church, the traditional marriage agenda, home schooling families, Christians in general, and the precious name of Christ through the mud. While Josh has apologized publicly, the more important issue is whether or not he has truly repented before God and to his wife.

What Josh did was heinous, and we would all do well to take a lesson from him to flee from even the hint of temptation as we see its horrendous consequences. But Christians do not stop at the point of the horror of sin. We look past it and repentantly make our way to the foot of the cross seeking the mercy and forgiveness of our Savior. Praise God that the biblical principles in this article remain true, regardless of Josh’s sins – or yours or mine. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

imageThe first time I met him was in a prison where he was incarcerated for child molestation. Years later, after his release, he told me prison was the best thing that ever happened to him because that’s where, through a prison ministry, he met Jesus Christ, who graciously and radically saved him.

God can and does save child molesters. That He can change their hearts and behavior, forgive them when they repent, and make them new creatures in Christ, only serves to prove how deep and and broad and long and high and mighty His grace is to save.

I have seen first hand the life long devastation child molestation wreaks on families and individual victims. I am in favor of child molesters being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and never having unsupervised access to children again for the rest of their lives. So please do not misconstrue what I’m about to say as minimizing either the horror of the crime or the suffering of the victims.

The castigation of Josh Duggar and his parents by fellow Christians has gone on long enough and needs to stop. Disagree? Take a few minutes and listen to this interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar in its entirety.

This is not a blog article. It’s not third hand information from a friend of a friend of the Duggars. This is Josh’s parents speaking openly and honestly about what happened and how they handled it.

And how they handled it is:

They made clear to Josh and the rest of their family that what Josh had done was wrong and deserving of punishment.

They took Josh out of the home to keep the girls safe.

They got Josh and his sisters Christian intervention and counseling.

Not knowing what his fate might be, they took Josh to the police station – with a witness – where he confessed everything he had done.

Josh repented of his sin, asked his victims and parents for forgiveness, and subsequently trusted Christ for salvation. As far as can be determined, he has borne fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8) and has not repeated his sin.

I have a great deal of compassion for my brothers and sisters in Christ who have been victims of sexual abuse, and I understand that perhaps seeing this story play out in the news has re-opened old and painful wounds and that that is why you continue to voice your strenuous dismay at this situation, but I have to ask:

What else would you have had Josh’s parents do?

They protected their girls, they got everybody counseling, and they turned Josh over to the police. (And let’s keep in mind, parents don’t have the legal authority to throw their children in jail, no matter what they’ve done. At that point, it was up to the police whether or not to arrest Josh or take other legal action, and they declined to do so.)

Put yourself in the Duggars’ shoes and consider all the actions they took. How would you – in the moment – have handled the situation better or more biblically?

But even if Jim Bob and Michelle missed a step somewhere along the way, there’s a bigger issue at stake here for Christians. Whether you like it or not (and if you don’t, I would encourage you to spend some serious time in prayer examining your heart), whatever he may have done in the past, Josh Duggar is your brother in Christ now, and so are his parents.

The same blood of Christ that covered your sins covered his, too. God took Josh’s sins and separated him from them as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). He dropped them in the depths of the sea (Micah 7:3). He forgave Josh’s sin and remembers it no more (Jeremiah 31:34).

Just like He did for you.

Is the blood of Christ powerful enough to save you, but not to save Josh Duggar? To forgive you, but not to forgive him? Have you forgotten the great debt which your Master forgave you, as you scream at Josh, “Pay what you owe!”? (Matthew 18:21-35) Have you forgotten that your past sins aren’t any cleaner than his?

When Christ forgives, we forgive. He has not given us the ministry of bringing up a brother’s past sins and holding them agaisnt him. He has given us the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

My brothers and sisters, we were all Josh Duggar once. It’s time to forgive.