Mailbag

The Mailbag: Your Article Was Unloving!

This article crosses a line…it’s bashing…mean-hearted…We shouldn’t be looking to twist a knife or bask in “I warned you” glory…so settled in our sense of rightness that we can’t grieve for those who are struggling.

…reading that [we should pray for Beth Moore’s salvation] after all the condescension comes off as more of a southern “bless her heart”.

…this article comes across as sanctimonious with zero grace. It complete [sic] discounts the power of God to transform the most wayward heart….ostracizing and belittling those leaders who fall…I felt a lot of smugness in the article…lack of grace and love…[coming] from a place of superiority…[being] gleeful when sin comes to light…take on the role of judge and executioner…

Michelle: So it’s OK for you to bash me, but it’s not OK for me to “bash” Beth?

I’m not bashing you.

Whenever I post an article about Beth Moore or another false teacher, I invariably get comments like this on social media, the gist of which is that I’m being unloving for saying that she is a false teacher, for rebuking her sin, for recommending that Christian women not receive teaching from her, for my “tone” of using stark language, and so on. (I always find it ironic that the commenter is usually bashing me even as she’s accusing me of “bashing” the false teacher.)

Such was the case last Friday when I posted my article Bye-Bye Beth: What Beth Moore’s Split with the SBC Means. I’ve posted excerpts above from several comments about the article made by one woman – not to single her out, but because her accusations and phraseology typify so well the pushback I often receive from those of the “You’re being unloving” persuasion. There were a few other women who responded in the same vein on the same Facebook post(s), so this lady – who, I must say, was much more polite and articulate in expressing her thoughts than most usually are – was not alone in her viewpoint.

I have not excerpted this lady’s comments in order to take them out of context or misrepresent her, but because her comments were far too many and too lengthy to post in full. Assuming they have not been deleted, If you would like to read her comments (and those of the other dissenting women) in full to make sure I’m presenting an accurate picture of the thrust of their sentiments, I would encourage you to do so here, here, and here. (Please do not address these women any further. They have spoken their minds in full, and they have been addressed sufficiently. There is no need to pile on.)

So to those who would accuse me of being unloving or hateful, who shame me that “Jesus would never talk to people that way,” who think my wording is too harsh, unkind, not gentle enough, etc., here’s my answer…

Whose definition of “loving” are we using here?

You’re defining “love” as my saying something in a way that you’re comfortable with and doesn’t offend your sensibilities.

That’s not how the Bible defines it. And that’s why Jesus was able to speak to the Pharisees…

…woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces…you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides!…You blind fools!…You blind men!…full of greed and self-indulgence…you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness…you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness…you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?..on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

Matthew 23

…and God was able to speak about His idolatrous people…

And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust. And after she was defiled by them, she turned from them in disgust. When she carried on her whoring so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned in disgust from her sister. Yet she increased her whoring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt and lusted after her lovers there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses. Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed your young breasts.”

Ezekiel 23:17-21

…so much more harshly and starkly than I’ve spoken about Beth in this article, and yet He is still the perfect embodiment of love, and the perfect example of love to us.

Using your definition of love, if you’re going to be fair and consistent, if you accuse me of speaking in an unloving way in this article, you have to accuse God of speaking in an unloving way in Ezekiel 23 and Jesus of speaking in an unloving way in Matthew 23.

But the Bible defines love like this:

God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:8b-11

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Because God is love, God alone has the right to define love. And God defines love as the redemption, restoration, and reconciliation of man to Himself. Love isn’t someone making you feel good about yourself or the world or your circumstances. Love isn’t being outwardly “nice”: always being the epitome of sweetness, never confronting anyone, affirming everything, never hurting anyone’s feelings, never saying or doing anything that makes anyone uncomfortable.

Because God is love, God alone has the right to define love. And God defines love as the redemption, restoration, and reconciliation of man to Himself.

While the world looks at a person’s outward, observable behavior and pronounces her loving or unloving depending on how pleasing that behavior is to others, God looks at a person’s heart and pronounces her loving or unloving to the extent that her motives match His.

…the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7b

God defines love as cooperating with Him in rescuing the perishing, building up the church, and showcasing His glory. Sometimes that’s going to look like binding up the brokenhearted or healing the untouchable leper, and sometimes that’s going to look clearing the temple or calling false teachers a brood of vipers. While the world would call the former “loving” and the latter “hateful” based on what those behaviors look like, God calls both loving if they spring from a heart motivated to rescue, redeem, restore, and reconcile.

So, when you say I’m being “unloving” to use stringent language about false teachers (like God, Jesus, the prophets, and the apostles did), and I say you’re wrong, it’s because we’re using two different definitions of love. You’re using a worldly definition of love based on how pleasing my outward behavior was. I’m using God’s definition of love that’s based on the motivation of my heart. You cannot tell me I’m not demonstrating biblical love in a situation like this because you don’t know the motivation of my heart. I do. The article in question (like so many others about which I’m accused of being unloving) was motivated by love – God’s definition of love – for

  • Beth – that God would graciously remove the scales from her eyes and save her
  • Beth’s fans – that God would open their eyes to deception they’re believing and lead them to repentance and sound doctrine
  • Discerning Christians – that they might be encouraged not to let their guard down but to keep contending for the faith once for all delivered to saints
  • The church – that it would cleanse out the leaven of false teaching so that Christ might present her to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
  • and the Southern Baptist Convention – that it might forsake the idols of money, power, and celebrity, and return to its first love, Christ.

But it was also motivated by another component of love which the worldly definition of love, being worldly, is completely oblivious to. You see, the world’s definition of love only concerns itself with the “horizontal” love between one human being and another. But God’s definition of love finds its origin in Himself. He is the foundation and the culmination of love. He is both the starting gun and the finish line in the race of love. Where there is no vertical love of God, there is no horizontal love between people. There may be friendship, attraction, affection, attachment, and emotion, but there is no true love.

And so any biblical – rather than worldly – definition of love must start and finish with love for God. Only a heart that loves Him because He first loved me can extend that same redemptive, restorative love to others.

And though I have never, and will never, this side of Glory, love Him as completely and perfectly as I should – as I want to – those articles that offend your sensibilities, that you feel justified in berating me about because they don’t meet your standards, those articles are rooted in and motivated by love for the Christ whom I serve. I would not continue to do what I do and take the abuse I take for it if I did not love Him.

I’ve heard this whole “tone police” perspective a million times. I’ve prayed about it. I’ve considered it. I’ve weighed the motivations of my heart. And in cases in which I know before the Lord that my motives have truly been unloving, I’ve repented. But the astronomically overwhelming majority of accusations I receive are not from people concerned with the biblical definition of love, but from people using a worldly definition of love whose personal sensibilities have been offended. People who wish to correct me from the authority and standard of their feelings, not from the authority and standard of God’s Word.

And as I’ve prayed, and studied, and weighed, and considered all of these things, the conclusion the Lord has graciously led me to is that there’s no way I will ever please every single one of the thousands of people who hear me. Just like Jesus’ words didn’t please all the people who heard Him, or John the Baptist’s words, or Peter’s, or Paul’s, or Noah’s, or Ezekiel’s, or Jeremiah’s, or… (you know, I’m starting to think I’m in good company!)

So rather than trying to please man, I’m going to strive to please God. If my conscience is clear before Him, that’s all that matters.

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Proverbs 29:25

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

Additional Resource:

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

Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Tone


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.

Christian women

Throwback Thursday ~ Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Tone

Originally Published April 17, 2014

truth tone

Ladies, do you believe in woman’s intuition? Do you have it? I’m not talking about premonitions– having a feeling that some future event is going to take place- I mean intuition. Being able, for example, to sense from a friend’s tone of voice that she’s having a bad day, noticing from the body language of two people who are “just friends” that romance is brewing beneath the surface, or discerning the tension between two people who are seemingly cordial to one another.

wonder-woman-552109_1280

Maybe men have this “super power” too, but I’ve noticed it more with women. I believe it might have something to do with the way God has hard wired us. Nothing against men here (y’all are awesome in your own masculine way), but we women generally tend to be more sensitive to and concerned about other people’s feelings, we listen “between the lines,” and we hear and analyze tone of voice more. It’s one of the great things about the way God has created us that helps us as we nurture, comfort, and care for others.

But lately, I’m noticing that this “super power” of ours can also be a super problem.

Our sensitivity to tone (of voice, of writing, someone’s demeanor, etc.) is a hindrance rather than a help to us when we refuse to evaluate the content of what someone is saying to us simply because their manner of speaking, writing, or behavior has offended our sensibilities. This is especially harmful when that content is biblical truth.

I have recently observed several instances of this, all involving women who, at best, found it difficult (with some outright refusing) to put aside their feelings of offense at the writer’s or speaker’s tone in order to compare the content of his speech or writing to Scripture to see if it might be true. (And, by the way, the speech and writing I’m referring to here are sermons, commentary, and articles, not someone writing or speaking to these women personally.) I can sympathize. It’s happened to me plenty of times.

Often, when we hear a fellow Christian put biblical truth bluntly in black and white and it rubs us the wrong way, our first reaction is to quote part of Ephesians 4:15 and chastise him for failing to “speak the truth in love.” But is that the only point of Ephesians 4? Let’s take a look at it in context:

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:11-16 (emphasis, mine)

When I was in elementary school, one of the reading comprehension tasks we were often assigned was to find the “main idea” of a piece of writing. So, what is the “main idea” of this passage in Ephesians 4? I’ll even make it multiple choice (my favorite!).

Is the main idea of the passage:

a) Teachers and preachers should speak the truth in love so that they will not offend anyone.

b) A discussion of the different types of leadership roles in the church.

c) Christian leaders are to equip church members to grow to spiritual maturity which builds spiritually healthy and unified churches.

While the passage touches on some of the ideas in a and b, the main point is c. We’re to grow up. We are to listen to preachers, teachers, and writers who rightly handle God’s word, even if we come across one every now and then who steps on our toes with his demeanor or tone. Look, I know it’s hard. There are people out there who offend me sometimes, too, but persevering through the offense will grow us into mature women of Christ and make our churches healthier.

Statistically speaking, more women regularly attend church these days than men. And when I say “more,” I mean 61% women to 39% men. Can you imagine the impact it would have on the health of our churches if all of those women were pursuing spiritual maturity through biblical truth and sound doctrine?

Instead, we are often like a little girl in a burning building. The fireman is vehemently insisting that the little girl come with him to escape, and she refuses to move because he hasn’t said it nicely enough.

Ladies, I say this to all of us (including me) in love, because true love is desiring what’s best for someone:

It’s time for us to grow up. It’s time to stop taking our dollies and stomping home from the playground in a huff every time somebody speaks or writes strenuously. It’s time to stop crying about our hurt feelings, put on our big girl panties and be women.

Discerning women. Berean women. Women of God’s word. Women who can handle having our feathers ruffled and come out on the other side stronger for it.

9283e86a7bd7185b880df318c7681846

Too often, we make the mistake of equating a soft tone of voice and a sweet disposition with “love”.  But many of the people who speak with this kind of “love” are not speaking the truth. They are smooth talking, charismatic con men selling snake oil for our souls.

If we’re not careful, we can become people who “will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4), or “weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:6b-7), or even “children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord; who say…“Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions,” (Isaiah 30:9-11).

We forget that our Master, the perfect embodiment of love, didn’t always speak softly and act politely when the gospel was at stake. Because there are things out there that are much more important than our feelings, and biblical truth is one of them.

Favorite Finds

Favorite Finds ~ March 3, 2020

Here are a few of my favorite online finds…

“Why is the doctrine of justification by faith alone so important? Luther said that sola fide is ‘the article upon which the church stands or falls.’ As R. C. Sproul puts it, ‘We are either justified by a righteousness that is in us or by a righteousness that is apart from us. There is no third way.’ This short work surveys the main tenets of the doctrine of justification in Roman Catholicism and evangelicalism.”

Enjoy reading this FREE e-book from R. C. SproulJustified by Faith Alone.

Have you ever wondered where Paul’s wife was when he was gallivanting all over the world preaching the gospel? Denny Burk explores  Paul’s marital status through Scripture in this excellent article, Was the apostle Paul married? Yes, he was. Here’s how we know. (Also included: the audio to Denny’s sermon on this topic, in case you’d like to listen.

Some of God’s attributes are communicable and some are incommunicable. Which of God’s attributes do humans, made in the imago dei (image of God) possess, and which attributes belong only to God? Check out this helpful resources from CARM (Christian Apologetics & Resource Ministry), What are the communicable and incommunicable attributes of God?

The Master's Seminary“By God’s help may we not retreat from the fight for truth. May we be all the more invigorated by a love for our Lord, His truth, and His people. And may this commitment be evident to all as we discern with precision, humility, and sorrow.” Reagan Rose has a wonderful article about exercising love when practicing discernment over at TMS’s blog: The Danger of Loveless Discernment.

What’s the difference between Baptists and Presbyterians and Lutherans and Methodists and all the other Protestant denominations out there? Dr. Gregory Wills of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary explains the basic similarities and differences in What’s the Difference between Christian Denominations?.


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.
Discernment

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

Originally published January 22, 2016

discernment love

…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…
Ephesians 4:14-15

Christians who know what discernment is have a variety of perspectives about how it should be practiced. Should we teach about false doctrine at all or just make sure our church is teaching sound doctrine? Should we name the names of false teachers or speak about them anonymously? Should we warn people away from false teachers or just pray for them privately? What’s the biblical precedent for using a stringent tone when speaking of those who teach false doctrine?

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase “speaking the truth in love” from Ephesians 4:15 as it pertains to speaking and writing about false doctrine and false teachers.

Many Christian women have the mistaken idea that “speaking the truth in love” equates to being “nice.” We’re always smilingly sweet and never say anything that might hurt someone’s feelings or could rock the boat at church.

Are we to be kind? Yes. Are we to do our best not to hurt others? Of course. Should we be making waves over every little thing that rubs us the wrong way? Absolutely not. We are to deny ourselves, setting aside our personal preferences and, in many cases, even our own rights, to the point of laying down our lives for others.

But we need to understand the distinction between personal preferences and biblical doctrine. And that’s where I think a lot of people get confused. We die to personal preferences. We die for the purity of biblical doctrine. The enemy is stealthily infiltrating and conquering church after church with false doctrine. We are at war. And that’s going to mean ruffling feathers, rocking the boat, and hurting feelings sometimes. Because the full armor of God doesn’t come with a white flag or a pen for signing peace treaties.

But how do we war for the truth “in love”?

Well, think about the concept and practice of “love.” Love always has an object. We don’t just say, “I love.” We say, “I love my children,” or “I love peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.” Speaking the truth “in love” is not as much about our demeanor or tone of voice as it is about the object of our love. It’s our love for others that compels us to speak biblical truth. And it’s that same love for others that should drive the manner in which we speak the truth.

So when it comes to speaking the truth about false doctrine, how should we be motivated by love? And love for whom?

We love Christ– As Christians, our love for Christ should motivate everything we do. If we’re speaking truth from fleshly motives such as pride, the desire to make a name for ourselves, or the competitive drive to win an argument, everything we say can be 100% factually right and we can still be spiritually in the wrong because the motive of our heart is wrong. God isn’t a debate judge awarding us points for compelling arguments. God weighs the heart.

We love God’s word– To love Christ is to love the Bible because Scripture is literally God Himself speaking to us. Besides the cleansing of the temple, the passage in which we see Jesus’ righteous anger displayed most clearly is Matthew 23. Here, Jesus delivers a scorching rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees for twisting God’s word and, in doing so, leading people away from the truth of Scripture. It is only natural for those of us who have the mind of Christ and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit to have that same love for God’s word and feel righteous anger over the maligning of it.

We love the church– To love Christ is also to love His bride, the church. Christ gave his life to cleanse the church “so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Seeing Christ’s bride blemished and corrupted by false doctrine should grieve us deeply and motivate us to call the church to be cleansed “by the washing of water with the word.”

We love the captives– Paul speaks of false teachers “who creep into households and capture weak women.” Often, the women who follow false teachers simply don’t know any better. They are casualties and prisoners of war held hostage by the enemy. We are to love them enough to show them the truth of God’s word so that “they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

We love the enemyEvery Christian was at one time an enemy of the cross. Every last one of us. Until someone loved us enough to intervene with the truth of the gospel. False teachers – those who, despite biblical correction, unrepentantly teach doctrine which is plainly refuted by Scripture – have made themselves enemies of the cross, even if they call themselves “Christian,” even if they wear the title of “pastor,” even if they’re holding a Bible in their hands and refer to it occasionally as they “teach” us.

In the same way a loving sister would not turn a blind eye and hope for the best if her sibling began using drugs and became increasingly addicted, it is not loving to stand idly by and allow false teachers to continue to sink deeper and deeper into Satan’s clutches by doing his bidding without making every effort to stop them in order to rescue them.

Sometimes – just as with the drug abuser – this can be accomplished early on with a private word of correction. And sometimes – as with the addict – more extreme measures of “tough love” and intervention must be employed. But we always love them enough to desire that they come to repentance and embrace the truth.

 

Our love for these also drives the manner in which we speak truth to them. A good soldier would never deal with a civilian casualty in the same way he would fight off an enemy bent on waging war. Likewise, part of discernment is knowing who the enemy is (and is not) and dealing with people in a biblically appropriate way. This requires humility, wisdom, thorough proficiency with our tools and weapons, unceasing prayer, and complete dependence on and self-crucifying love for our King. We trust in Him and His word to guide us in the wise and loving way to humbly speak His truth.

Discernment. Speaking truth. What’s love got to do with it?

Everything.

Christian women, Church, Discernment, Sanctification, Women

Throwback Thursday ~ Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Tone

Originally Published April 17, 2014

truth tone

Ladies, do you believe in woman’s intuition? Do you have it? I’m not talking about premonitions– having a feeling that some future event is going to take place- I mean intuition. Being able, for example, to sense from a friend’s tone of voice that she’s having a bad day, noticing from the body language of two people who are “just friends” that romance is brewing beneath the surface, or discerning the tension between two people who are seemingly cordial to one another.

wonder-woman-552109_1280Maybe men have this “super power” too, but I’ve noticed it more with women. I believe it might have something to do with the way God has hard wired us. Nothing against men here (y’all are awesome in your own masculine way), but we women generally tend to be more sensitive to and concerned about other people’s feelings, we listen “between the lines,” and we hear and analyze tone of voice more. It’s one of the great things about the way God has created us that helps us as we nurture, comfort, and care for others.

But lately, I’m noticing that this “super power” of ours can also be a super problem.

Our sensitivity to tone (of voice, of writing, someone’s demeanor, etc.) is a hindrance rather than a help to us when we refuse to evaluate the content of what someone is saying to us simply because their manner of speaking, writing, or behavior has offended our sensibilities. This is especially harmful when that content is biblical truth.

I have recently observed several instances of this, all involving women who, at best, found it difficult (with some outright refusing) to put aside their feelings of offense at the writer’s or speaker’s tone in order to compare the content of his speech or writing to Scripture to see if it might be true. (And, by the way, the speech and writing I’m referring to here are sermons, commentary, and articles, not someone writing or speaking to these women personally.) I can sympathize. It’s happened to me plenty of times.

Often, when we hear a fellow Christian put biblical truth bluntly in black and white and it rubs us the wrong way, our first reaction is to quote part of Ephesians 4:15 and chastise him for failing to “speak the truth in love.” But is that the only point of Ephesians 4? Let’s take a look at it in context:

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:11-16 (emphasis, mine)

When I was in elementary school, one of the reading comprehension tasks we were often assigned was to find the “main idea” of a piece of writing. So, what is the “main idea” of this passage in Ephesians 4? I’ll even make it multiple choice (my favorite!).

Is the main idea of the passage:

a) Teachers and preachers should speak the truth in love so that they will not offend anyone.

b) A discussion of the different types of leadership roles in the church.

c) Christian leaders are to equip church members to grow to spiritual maturity which builds spiritually healthy and unified churches.

While the passage touches on some of the ideas in a and b, the main point is c. We’re to grow up. We are to listen to preachers, teachers, and writers who rightly handle God’s word, even if we come across one every now and then who steps on our toes with his demeanor or tone. Look, I know it’s hard. There are people out there who offend me sometimes, too, but persevering through the offense will grow us into mature women of Christ and make our churches healthier.

Statistically speaking, more women regularly attend church these days than men. And when I say “more,” I mean 61% women to 39% men. Can you imagine the impact it would have on the health of our churches if all of those women were pursuing spiritual maturity through biblical truth and sound doctrine?

Instead, we are often like a little girl in a burning building. The fireman is vehemently insisting that the little girl come with him to escape, and she refuses to move because he hasn’t said it nicely enough.

Ladies, I say this to all of us (including me) in love, because true love is desiring what’s best for someone:

It’s time for us to grow up. It’s time to stop taking our dollies and stomping home from the playground in a huff every time somebody speaks or writes strenuously. It’s time to stop crying about our hurt feelings, put on our big girl panties and be women.

Discerning women. Berean women. Women of God’s word. Women who can handle having our feathers ruffled and come out on the other side stronger for it.

9283e86a7bd7185b880df318c7681846Too often, we make the mistake of equating a soft tone of voice and a sweet disposition with “love”.  But many of the people who speak with this kind of “love” are not speaking the truth. They are smooth talking, charismatic con men selling snake oil for our souls.

If we’re not careful, we can become people who “will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4), or “weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:6b-7), or even “children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord; who say…“Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions,” (Isaiah 30:9-11).

We forget that our Master, the perfect embodiment of love, didn’t always speak softly and act politely when the gospel was at stake. Because there are things out there that are much more important than our feelings, and biblical truth is one of them.