Discernment

The Apostate Church

Sometimes it is only when we take some time to reflect on the past that we can see the vastness of the change that has occurred. Take our own kids, for example. We live with them day by day, hour by hour, but we never specifically notice their legs growing longer or their brain maturing. It’s not until they’ve grown up that we think through all the various changes and stages and recognize the enormity of the change. Or take a struggling marriage. Little by little, couples grow apart and possibly turn to others for comfort rather than to each other. It is not until it becomes painfully obvious that the couple stops and wonders how they got to where they are.

All change is like that and enormous change is no exception.

A few years ago, I was talking with my oldest daughter about the many changes that are taking place in the church. She told me that Uncle Dean’s (Pastor Dean Good) series on Jude was so helpful in regards to this subject. Preached in 2009, it gives a great picture of what the church of the last days will look like and gave her much insight.

So I listened. And then I listened another time. And this past week, I’ve listened one more time.

(If you’d like to listen, you will find the series here. Scroll down to the bottom for the first sermon of the series, titled Living in the Midst of the Worldly Church, and then work your way up.)

You see, God doesn’t just leave us wondering what the last days will look like. He actually gives us a picture. And He tells us that as we approach the end of this age, the church will become, by and large, apostate.

So you may be wondering: What does apostate mean, anyway?

Apostate, in this context, means to abandon true, biblical faith.

So, think with me if you will of how this has happened (this is not from the sermon series but from my own reflection of history.). This change has occurred –not over the last five years, not over the last twenty years, but over the last century or more. The change has been so gradual that most of us never took much notice. At first, it was just certain denominations that abandoned biblical faith. Others would soon follow suit. But there was still a core hanging on. For most of the 1900s, there was this core of evangelical, fundamental churches that hung on to sound biblical doctrine.

I was born in the 1960s. By the time I reached high school that core was starting to be carefully and intentionally corroded. But I, along with millions of other believers, had no idea. Now, I can look back and see. The worship battles that took place in churches all over the country were part of that change. As was the “purpose-driven” (or can you say BUSINESS) model for operating a church. The push to move the church’s focus from the Bible to personal experience was not an accident. Neither was the insistence that we must be “relevant” if we were going to reach the lost (a lie from the pit of hell.)

We can probably all look back and see signs of change. Now. We couldn’t see it then. Because we didn’t know.

I remember my youth pastor showing us worldly movies as a “youth activity” in the 80s. And I remember a pastor bringing in the Purpose-Driven church book to the board my husband was serving on. I can see now that many of the “Christian” books I read and the “Christian” music I listened to were filled with mysticism and all other kinds of false (but oh, so subtle) doctrine.

But, as with any change, I couldn’t see it then. It is only in looking back that I can see these signs (and so many others) of a church that was falling into apostasy.

And this is where Pastor Dean’s sermon series was so helpful. Because God gives us a description of this church of the last days. And it matches perfectly to what we have been seeing take place, not only in America but across the world. This simply serves as one more reminder that the time is short. Eschatologically, the mainstream “church” is just where we are told she will be at the end of the age. Remember, this is not the true Church, which is the bride of Christ that contains the remnant of those following the true, biblical faith. This is, rather, an apostate version that uses all the right terms and phrases but is godless.

Titus describes these types of people in chapter 1, verse 16–

They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being [d]abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

Lots of “professions” of salvation but no turning from sin or from the world. This is an indication that a true life transformation has not occurred. When these “professors” gather together in groups and call themselves a church, they make each other comfortable in their worldliness and acceptance of sin. They gladly grab on to the pleasant promises of God’s Word (if they pay attention to the Word at all) but ignore or rationalize away any of the unpleasant parts.

The church of today (almost without exception) is a church focused on self instead of God. It is a church focused on experiences instead of the Bible. It is a church that views discernment and negative words as evil and instead warmly accepts any and all new fodder that has a the label of “Christian”. And it is a church focused on embracing the world instead of separating from the world.

There are few churches left –even the ones we have counted on to be solid– that have stood firm against the tsunami of change that has washed over evangelicalism.

I was struck when I was studying Titus last week. Chapter 1 gives this qualification for church elders:  holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

If church elders would have obeyed this scripture, many churches would have been saved. Instead, they were caught up in other trivial matters as the serpent stole his way into the hearts of the churches.

Because of the lateness of the hour, there is no saving the church as a whole. But, with God’s help, you pastors and elders can save your own churches and you moms and dads can save your own families.

So what to do? Jude helps us! Let’s take a look at verses 20-23–

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

22 And on some have compassion, [j]making a distinction; 23 but others save [k]with fear, pulling them out of the [l]fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

First, we must build ourselves up in the faith through prayer. We cannot withstand this Tsunami of apostasy without Bible study and prayer. It is truly our only anchor in this unprecedented and giant wave of change. And we must persevere, keeping ourselves in the love of God through our submission and obedience, as we look for Christ’s return that will take us to our eternal home.

And then we act. We take whatever opportunities God gives us to help. Sometimes that will mean showing compassion on doubters as we take them to the Word and other times it will mean snatching individuals from the serious danger of apostasy. The wisdom of what is needed for each opportunity will only come through walking closely with God through prayer and Bible Study.

So this is what God has told us to do as we navigate these last days. But Jude doesn’t end there. He goes on to give these marvelous words to conclude (verses 24-25)–

24 Now to Him who is able to keep [m]you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To [n]God our Savior,
[o]Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and [p]power,
Both now and forever.
Amen.

What an amazing reminder that it is God who works in and through us for His glory. And we cannot stumble if He is our guide. And, while our path may be difficult during earth’s final days, the day will come when we will be presented faultless before the throne–only because of Christ’s sacrifice. And then there is this wonderful reminder that the God we serve has all wisdom, glory, majesty, dominion, and power. We are loved and protected by the one and only God of the Universe. It’s an awesome thought.

And so we are not left without counsel and wisdom for where we find ourselves in these days–even if we feel lost and lonely in our own church. As Pastor Dean has said–expect to be persecuted by those who call themselves Christians. True, biblical faith is not and will never be popular (John 15:18-19). True biblical faith stands clearly separated from the world (James 4:4). True, biblical faith grows in holiness (I Peter 1:15-16). And true biblical faith avoids false doctrine (Romans 16:17).

As we compare these things above to the church of today, we can see the tragic departure from true biblical faith. May we unapologetically and courageously follow God’s Word as we strive to walk with God in this unique time of history. Only by God’s grace and mercy will we survive what is ahead. But God is able to keep us from stumbling! He will not forsake us.

 

 

The Sick Toddler

The mother eyed her whimpering toddler with grave concern. He had stopped crying. Like he had run out of the energy to even cry. That couldn’t be good.

“I think it’s time you take him to the doctor,” her husband said worriedly. The young couple had watched their little son grow worse and worse over the past two days.

Within a short time, the mother had the feverish baby strapped into his car seat and was on her way to the doctor. Every once in a while she’d look in the rear-view mirror to check on him. She grew more worried with each passing mile. What was wrong with him?

When she got to the doctor’s office, she was ushered into a room right away. Holding the hot and limp little boy, she prayed. Soon the doctor was examining him. His expression grew concerned. He sighed, stood up, and turned to the mother.

He explained what was wrong with the baby and said he had medicine to help the baby. The effect would be immediate. But there was a big problem.

“What is it?” said the mother with trepidation.

“The medicine tastes awful,” the doctor spoke as if this mattered, “he might not like it.”

“I don’t care. Make my baby well. Give him the medicine,” urged the mother.

Good health was more important than pleasant-tasting medicine to the mother who loved her son more than she loved herself.

It was more important that he be healthy than that he be happy in that moment.

I heard this illustration on a sermon series by Dr. John Whitcomb today (I’ll include the link below). I felt compelled to share in hopes that this would help you understand why the Bible clearly commands us to expose false teachers. It isn’t about dividing the Body of Christ. It never has been. It’s about loving and protecting the Body of Christ.

A few days ago I put a post on Facebook about a false teacher. He’s much beloved and, as expected, I lost many followers. Some expressed their disgust that I would share something negative about this man. The conclusion is always the same: You are absolutely sinful and wrong to do this.

But is this what the Bible actually says? Does the Bible clearly show that it is unloving and sinful to expose a false teacher? We know it doesn’t when we compare this premise to scripture. (I have written about this in the past so I won’t repeat what I wrote but you can go here for that post.) But let’s dig a little deeper into the why. Why does God want us to expose false teachers? Why does it matter?

The truth is like that awful-tasting medicine. It doesn’t taste good and, as humans, we’d just prefer not to have it. But the truth is the only thing that can keep us spiritually healthy.

There is a spiritual pandemic going on and it’s sweeping across this land and into the utter parts of the earth. It’s a pandemic of wrong beliefs without any biblical basis. It’s a pandemic of strong opinions dominated by personal experience. It’s a pandemic of declarations and prophesies and zero doctrine. The landscape is simply littered with teachers who twist and warp scripture as they shout their opinions and ideas from well-lit stages to packed auditoriums.

This has led to many sick Christians. They are sick because they are listening to and heeding false teachers. And there are so few who are willing to speak up.

But just like that mother who loved her baby enough to give him bad-tasting medicine so that he could be well, so, too, should we love our siblings in Christ enough to tell them the truth.

For only when we know the truth can we begin to be spiritually healthy. The truth truly will set you free.

Jesus said this in John 8:31-32–

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Do you notice that the truth is only known by abiding in His Word? The Bible isn’t just an old book. It’s where we find the truth. It has been provided to give us a litmus test by which to test everything. It is the tool given to us to examine ourselves and to examine any teacher, author, or preacher that comes our way.

And so, if we truly love and care about the body of Christ we must speak up. For only this is truly love.

“Niceness” and pleasant words will never prove your love. For love is proven by actions. As we can see from the illustration above, this mother loved her son enough to frustrate his desires in the short-term because she really cared about him in the long-term. Is this any less true in the spiritual realm? What an important lesson for us all.

Look, I don’t have this down. By no means am I saying follow my example, for I have such a long way to go. The fact that it took me so long to write about Disney (which is so obviously occultic) shows me that I am certainly not immune to compromising in order to please people. Oh, that we may all (myself included) be encouraged to love people enough to speak the truth, no matter the cost.

And so I write to encourage us all. May we be loyal only to God. May we be willing to risk reputations, friendships, and whatever necessary to speak the truth for the sake of sick and hurting siblings. And may we remember that we aren’t perfect. Sometimes it is us who is sick. Let’s be willing to listen when someone speaks truth to us as well!

For only through Truth–both speaking it and listening to it— will the Body of Christ be healthy and unified in the way God intended.

 

 

Here is the excellent series by John Whitcomb that I referred to above:

Truth is Greater Than Love (Part 1)

Truth is Greater Than Love (Part 2)

Truth is Greater Than Love (Part 3)

 

 

Are Disney and God Compatible?

A few years ago, I stumbled on to a documentary about Disney. I was so disturbed but the cost of speaking out against Disney was high (as it is dearly loved by so many Christians) and so I am ashamed to say that I just let time slowly fade this content from my mind. I had a vague recollection but decided to not worry about this.

Some of our best family memories took place at Disney World. While we weren’t Disney fanatics by any stretch of the imagination, we did thoroughly enjoy our trips there. My kids watched many of the movies over and over growing up. (Of course, never the ones that were filled with sorcery— as if a “little sorcery” in the ones we did allow was not as worrisome as a lot!) At any rate, I wasn’t prepared to pay the price of turning away from this American staple. Neither publicly or personally. It seemed too hard.

But, recently, not only has Disney been doing some really concerning things in their theme parks, but their content is getting darker and more propaganda-like with each new movie or show.

And so I decided to watch the documentary again. And, friends, Disney has been telling us their direction all along. They have been putting it out there for all to see and we Christians have been completely and utterly deceived.

I decided, this morning, to share this documentary on Facebook. But, unbeknownst to me, the video used a fake photo. I doubt the author of the video knew it was a fake photo, but this was enough for me to remove it. (I am so thankful to the reader who brought this to my attention!) Although the video was otherwise spot on in the information it presented, this one fake photo would discredit the video enough to sour and turn off those who are looking for excuses to ignore this information.

SO this is why I am writing today. I want to take a look at what is wrong with Disney, according to scripture. May we be brave enough to open our eyes to these truths.

Here are the questions I’d like to answer today:

What is Disney’s purpose? And is it compatible with God’s purpose?

I want to acknowledge, right up front, that it took me a very long time for me to get to this point. I am ashamed to admit that I was not willing to face the ridicule of family and friends in order to stand for what is right. I was not willing to marginalize myself that much. How incredibly sad is that?? I am so ashamed.

But no more. I think it’s time we all take our proverbial heads out of the sand and take an honest look at what Disney has been teaching all along.

First, there is sorcery in almost every single movie in one way or another. While we think of these as innocent stories expressing the age-old theme of good against evil, they really are teaching our kids and grandkids about sorcery.

Let’s remind ourselves what God thinks of sorcery:

There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

It is fairly clear in these passages (and others) that God HATES sorcery of any type. So why would we Christians bring entertainment into our homes that contain this thing that God hates? (This goes for Harry Potter and Narnia and Lord of the Rings, as well–entertainment that is FULL of magic and sorcery.)  Why do we make exceptions for entertainment?

I believe that Disney paved the way for Christians to accept sorcery as an acceptable inclusion in their entertainment. Oh, how naive I was. How naive we all were.

Second, the theme of almost every Disney movie is “Follow your heart.” Any believer who is familiar with scripture at all must recognize the grave error of such a message. In fact, there we read that the complete opposite is true–

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

It is Satan who deceived Eve into thinking that she was capable on her own of determining truth. It is Satan who deceives us in this way yet today. We can’t follow our hearts because they will always lead us astray.

And yet this is the main message of the company that is the main entertainer of America’s children. Perhaps of your own children. Really reflect on that for a moment.

Third, Disney is busily changing the definition of family. Again, in almost every film, there lacks a normal family. Think about all of the Disney films you have watched. Almost all are missing a parent. Obviously, this sometimes tragically happens but it has never been the norm. I can’t think of one (even their real life series and movies often are not showing the proper–and what used to be normal– nuclear family structure). This change in the nuclear family structure from these movies of yesteryear have opened the door for other family structures. Can you see the progression?

Fourth, many of these movies promote things that are utterly unacceptable and yet somehow make them seem alright– a young man enticing a teen girl to leave her room (Aladdin); a magical being luring three young children on an adventure (Peter Pan); A magical nanny teaching children witchcraft (Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks).

Oh, Christians, what have we been doing?!?

These are just four (of many) reasons we should stay far away from Disney, although more reasons are being piled up upon these four every day. From the ridiculous changes they desire to make in their theme parks to the ever-darkening propaganda they continue to push forth on the naive culture in their movies and series.

Should we be surprised at this trajectory of Disney?

Absolutely not. Not when we do a little digging into Walt’s past. You see, Walt was a 33rd degree freemason. He was always anti-God and  in direct opposition to biblical themes. From the beginning, he wanted to put occultic themes into the heads of children.

We Christians were just so naive.

Oh, I know that some of you saw this all along. And you were willing to speak up about it, too. I am so glad that you have done so!

But far more are unwilling to face the truth about this company that is deadset on teaching their kids and grandkids all that goes against scripture.

It is my hope and prayer that this post leads even one of you to re-evaluate this company and to start removing the wicked entertainment they are spewing forth from your lives and the lives of the precious children in your care.

And, like I said, I am saying this to myself as much as I am saying it to you. I will be throwing away my Disney movies (those I incorrectly labeled as “innocuous”). I have already canceled my Disney Plus and Disney credit card accounts. I am on a mission, now that God has opened my eyes.

There’s an inconspicuous verse in Daniel 10 (what I am reading this week) that says this:

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. (verse 12)

The angel came in response to Daniel because he had “set his heart to understand.” Well, I want to be like Daniel. I want to set my heart to understand so that I am not deceived by things like Disney. I am ashamed it took me this long to “set my heart” but better late than never, right?

Will you join me?

 

(If you want to be horrified and further educated regarding what Disney is teaching our young people, then this documentary which I referred to earlier will inform you. However, please be aware that the author included–I am guessing unbeknownst to him–at least one “photoshopped” photo. Unfortunately, this photo will discredit the author when the bulk of what he says is clearly true. So use your own judgment on this.)

 

What Is Your Price?

Every now and again I’ll go searching for some new music on Amazon music. There is a lot of good Christian music on there that is outside of the mainstream CCM that I stopped listening to a few years ago.

The other day I found a CD by some random guy that I was thoroughly enjoying. It was just his great voice and a piano and the songs were very appealing to my ear.

But a couple of songs in, I heard a weird phrase. Wait, what? I listened for it again. I wasn’t sure if it was unbiblical, but something didn’t seem right. I kept listening…

The next song came on. In this song, he assured his listeners that God would enable you to listen to your own heart. It was actually a very strange lyric and–no question with this one– definitely NOT biblical (Jeremiah 17:9)

At that point, I moved on.

But, it was a reminder that unbiblical, false teaching comes in all kinds of packages. It comes in pleasant-sounding songs as well as rap music. It comes in theatrical productions as well as in a soft-spoken preacher. In church and at work. On the TV as well as through a friend or your favorite social media account.

Any false or unbiblical teacher has either been deceived themselves or has chosen to compromise.

We can avoid being caught up in deception by careful and correct study of scripture. It is authoritative, inerrant, and sufficient. It is the only source of truth and God’s gift to us to keep us from deception. If we are deceived for a short time, He is faithful to call us from deception at some point if we are His own, dear child.

But let’s talk for just a bit about those who intentionally choose to compromise.

Some say we all have a price at which we will compromise. For many it is popularity, for some it is power or wealth, for others it is fear of what others will think. For many in the west, the price of compromise may be comfort, convenience, security, or stability. And then there is family. Many are unwilling to stand strong because of the ridicule and antagonism they receive from their families.

More and more, we are watching people compromise what is taught in scripture. People we have trusted to not compromise.

It is a most discouraging and disheartening process.

In the face of this most discouraging set of circumstances, how do we respond?

Since we can’t control what others do, we must keep plodding along, serving the Lord, intent only on pleasing Him. When we put our eyes on some other goal or idol, we end up compromising —sometimes without even realizing it.

Pastor Randy Hooper wrote this recently: “Most people, even the unbeliever, will not compromise his belief for ten dollars. But how about ten thousand dollars or ten million? A person is not any more noble because they, in a sense, charge more for their defection and cowardice than others.”

Exactly. Most people have a price. Oh, they may hold out if a small reward is offered. But when the cost gets too high or that thing that is so highly valued becomes available if they but compromise (just a little…) then most who call themselves Christians will cave.

So what is your price? What is mine? Will we compromise?

This is when it is helpful to take an honest and hard look at ourselves. What is our idol? What is more important to us than God? Hopefully nothing but this is a tough one. Sometimes we don’t even realize that something is more important to us until we examine our hearts. And this is our weak spot. This idol is what Satan will use to tempt us to compromise.

And so we pray for protection. We pray that God would enable us to keep Himself number ONE in our hearts, over and above all other things and people.

Others around us may compromise. But may we stand strong until the end!

And let’s not forget: We can only do this through the strength of the Holy Spirit. And this, through prayer and the Word of God.

Alone, we are like little lambs in the wilderness—prey for false teachers and incredibly susceptible to idol-bowing.

May we be people who are both unwilling to compromise, as well as people who refuse to fill our minds with the fodder of compromised teachers as we travel in these very strange times in these last days.

 


 

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.

2 Timothy 2:1-6

 

 

IF: Gathering: A Biblical Evaluation

Normally when my daughter, Jess, posts on her Anchor for the Soul Facebook page, I will repost on my page over there and then wait a few days (and sometimes a few weeks) to post it here on the blog. However, what you find written here today was on her page late last night. I knew I wanted to get this information into your hands as soon as possible. This IF movement has a lot of steam and is very popular and their gathering is coming up soon.

Although you may already be aware that something is off with this movement, you may not be sure how to discuss this with the women in your life who adore it. What you find written here will easily explain why all biblically sound Christian women should stay far, far away from the IF:Gathering.

I hope what Jess writes below is a blessing to you as you seek to please the Lord above all else and to be a light for Him in the ever-darkening, false religion that they call “Christianity”.

__________________________________________

 

The IF: Gathering was founded by Jennie Allen in 2014. The name is inspired by the question, “If God is real…then what?” and exists to “equip women to fulfill their calling.” It’s a weekend conference that women can attend in-person or livestream with a group in their home or local church. I’ve received a few questions about the gathering and since IF: 2022 is coming up in 2 weeks, I thought it was a good time to answer them. Is it biblically sound? Is it something we can benefit from or something to be avoided? I researched each speaker at the gathering and found an easy – and discouraging – answer.

Before we begin, I’m assuming these 7 things about you as a reader. If you agree with them, then you will absolutely share my concerns over the list of speakers and what they preach and believe.

1. Women aren’t permitted to preach in church (1 Tim 2:12-14)
2. Social justice isn’t a Biblical concept and we can’t seek to resolve racism in any way apart from the Gospel changing individual hearts.
3. Direct revelation from God is no longer occurring. (Rev 22:18)
4. The NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) and Prosperity Gospel movements are unbiblical and must be avoided.
5. We do not seek to unify with other faiths or denominations that compromise the truth. Truth always trumps unity. (Matt 10:34)
6. Dominion theology is false. The Bible is clear that the world will become worse and worse, not better, as the last days approach.
7. There should be no partnering with false teachers (Romans 16:17, 2 John 9-11)

J𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐞 𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧 – founder of the IF gathering, the idea was born after she heard a “voice from the sky” (that she attributes to God) telling her to gather and equip her generation. She’s a proponent of extra-biblical revelation, spiritual formation practices, unity over truth, women pastors, and dominion theology. Her dream guide states that “when we create and thrive for the good of others, you’re participating in God’s redemptive work of making the world better.” Her end goal always seems to be making the world a better place. What speaks the loudest against her, however, is those she invites to speak at the IF: Gathering.

𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞 – an ordained pastor who preaches at various churches across the globe. She is rooted in the NAR and the prosperity gospel. She calls Joyce Meyer her spiritual mentor and “prayed for an impartation of that teaching anointing and revelation” as she placed her hand on Meyer’s Bible. Her association with false teachers is inexcusable – she is officially part of the Hillsong church and has partnered with Joel Osteen, Paula White, TD Jakes, Beth Moore, and many others.

𝐉𝐞𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐀𝐥𝐲𝐬𝐬𝐚 𝐁𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐤𝐞 – they are proponents of ecumenism (especially the joining of Catholicism and Christianity), social justice, and dominion theology. Jefferson stated that the book of Revelation is simply “apocalyptic literature showing the evil of empire versus the goodness of the reign of God.” He’s partnered with multiple false teachers.

𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐋𝐚𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐧 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞𝐫 – Matt has recently jumped on the charismatic bandwagon, preaching about visions or “spiritual impressions” and our requirement to share those with others as a “word from the Lord.” He’s also a champion of social justice, often talking about white privilege and the inconsistencies and ignorance within the white church. He preached about the need for affirmative action within the church. He berates those who criticize CRT or the Black Lives Matter movement – claiming “their brains are broke” and that they’ve “given up on justice.” He believes God can eliminate racism as we partner with the world to reform the broken system.

𝐋𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐚 𝐌𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐧 – at a CRU event in 2019, she led a prayer to the stadium full of people where they repeated a prayer of lament for white privilege and systematic injustice in which they were “compliant.” Her book, 𝐵𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐵𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑔𝑒, claims that Christians refuse to actively repent for their failure “to be a credible witness of racial reconciliation.” She claims we all need to “explore our family’s history to discover ways in which you or your ancestors have been complicit in racism” and then make reparations for that. She says that guilt and shame are “communal” and that it’s a sin to benefit from structural privilege. She never talks about the gospel as being the only true solution.

𝐆𝐚𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐑𝐞𝐛𝐞𝐤𝐚𝐡 𝐋𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐬 – founder of “Q”, an organization that attempts to unite Christianity and other faith groups to bring about change through the “seven channels of cultural influence.” The organization has partnered with false teachers and many from the Catholic church. Gabe Lyons commended the IF: Gathering for “not getting into doctrine” especially over women’s roles within the church.

𝐉𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐢 𝐇𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐲 – a popular Christian figure who is slowly drifting away from Biblical theology. She has recently recanted her participation in “the American Gospel” (a documentary showing the falsity of the prosperity gospel) saying that she “deeply dislikes the tribalism and theological superiority those types of films encourage.” She’s become a proponent for Social Justice and has defended her partnership with Bethel, Hillsong, and other false teachers.

𝐒𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐞 𝐑𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐇𝐮𝐟𝐟 – a rising star in the Christian world, she speaks a very me-centered Gospel. She talks a lot about your worth, dreams, goals, confidence, and the importance of “being you” and very little about sin, repentance, and denying yourself. God is all love and no judgement.

𝐀𝐧𝐧 𝐕𝐨𝐬𝐤𝐚𝐦𝐩 – in her book, she says she “flies to Paris to discover how to make love to God.” She writes that “God makes love with grace upon grace, every moment a making of His love for us. Couldn’t I make love to God, making every moment love for Him? To know Him the way Adam knew Eve, Spirit skin to spirit skin?” The rest of the book is filled with similar verbiage. Besides this abominable erotic language toward a holy God, she is a big proponent for new-age and Catholic-influenced mysticism and believes that God is in all things (panentheism).

𝐃𝐫. 𝐀𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐚 𝐏𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐩𝐬 – a psychologist specializing in trauma, she has partnered with TD Jakes and spoke at his “Woman Thou are Loosed” conference. She hosted a black-only gathering for racial trauma at Saddleback Church and has also partnered with Oprah. She promotes social justice and CRT and has terrible theology all around.

𝐓𝐨𝐧𝐢 𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐫 – co-pastor of the Hillsong Atlanta church, she originally served at Andy Stanley’s church and has expressed her admiration for him. Proponent of social justice and the NAR movement.

𝐋𝐚𝐲𝐥𝐚 𝐃𝐞 𝐋𝐚 𝐆𝐚𝐫𝐳𝐚 – pastor of a church in Mexico and is “passionate about creating churches that unchurched people love to attend.”

𝐉𝐚𝐝𝐚 𝐄𝐝𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 – another pastor who previously attended Tony Evan’s church where she has returned to preach on occasion.

𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐞 𝐈𝐯𝐞𝐲 – she has a podcast that hosts a variety of questionable guests including Beth Moore, Russell Moore, Mike Todd, Max Lucado, and Amy Grant. Another champion of the ecumenical movement.

𝐁𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐚 𝐎𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐟𝐟 – another pastor who is a big proponent of NAR and Dominion theology. She claims that where the Spirit of God is, there is “unity, prosperity, equality, and supernaturally.”

Because of these many red flags, I cannot recommend the IF: Gathering. It’s simply bound to push social justice, ecumenism, and the NAR movement. Please note that because of limited space, the information above is very basic. I could’ve written an entire post about each person. I encourage you to research on your own and feel free to comment or contact me for resources. Compare what you find with the Word of God. I’m not judging the heart or motivation of any of these speakers. I’m not saying they’ve never said anything true or helpful. I’m simply bringing to light the many concerns associated with them so that you can make a wise choice and help other women in your circle do the same. I pray that it is helpful and encourages you to stand firm on the rock of God’s Truth even when everyone else is stumbling off the edge.

 

(The above was written by my oldest daughter, Jess, and originally posted on her Anchor for the Soul pages at Instagram and Facebook.)

 

The Road is Wide and Has More Than One Lane

Can we agree that life is just strange right now? And one of the strangest things of all lies in the “Christian” culture where we have these two sides in complete opposition to one another. On both sides, we find proponents of theories and theologies that are utterly outside or totally against what scripture teaches.

While one side may look better than the other to you, I want to explain why I believe that both sides are clearly not of God.

It always gets tricky to discern when the names of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are used. When words like prayer and church and other Christian terms are flung around with comfort and ease. We’ve come to assume that this means the person is on God’s side.

But that is not the case. Let me say that once more: That is not the case.

Consider these words by Robert Culver in his commentary on Daniel–

Idolatry in Israel as noted above had been always mainly a perversion of the true worship of the one true God rather than a denial or abandonment of it. The gods of their neighbors were worshiped occasionally, to be sure. But the idolatry of Israel was usually an attempt to worship Jehovah-God through some “aid to worship” such as a graven or molten image. p. 50, The Histories and Prophecies of Daniel

Reflect on this carefully. Man has not changed so much since the days of Israel. Oh, we may have replaced bowing at a golden image with bowing to science. Our burnt offerings are replaced with preaching self-help and psychology from the pulpit. And wild dancing in front of a golden calf has been replaced with swaying to apostate and worldly music. But it ends up as the same thing– perverted worship of God.

This always comes when the church tries to marry its idolization and fascination with the world to their worship of God. Always.

So while there is this “black” side that stands for all that God hates (think tyranny, abortion, homosexuality, CRT), there is also this confusing “white” side that seemingly looks pretty good. It seems to cling to biblical principles and to use the right language.

But is this true or is it simply perverted worship? Is it simply the “right” side of the broad road?

A few days ago, I watched a very fascinating video*. In it was undeniable proof of the apostasy of so many. Men and women that you knew weren’t on the same team as us, but you weren’t quite sure why. Along with this apostasy came the approval of men and women that we have trusted. People hanging out with them that just shouldn’t be, given their beliefs.

I sent the link to a few people, one of them being my dad. He called me the morning after he watched it and said something like this: It’s almost like people are fighting over which side of the broad road to travel on. There’s two sides but they are both headed the same place.

Bingo.

The more I’ve thought about what he said, the more I realize that he is exactly right.

We are seeing the black, tyrannical side traveling side by side with the perverted worship white side. But they are traveling the same direction even though they look to be in complete opposition.

In fact, I would not be surprised if the black tyrannical side is setting us up for the antichrist system to come in and save the day. The trusted men and women that are joining with all types of “Christians” and even others (specifically “new-agers”) are paving the way and preparing the people.

Now, keep in mind, in saying all of this, I am never judging motives of any given individual. While I believe some know full well what they are doing, I also believe that there are many who are completely deceived. I have no way of knowing which is which. This is not about individuals, per se, but rather about the overall picture that we see taking place.

I want to add here (and I know this is an extremely unpopular statement that may cost me some of my readers) that I can’t find anywhere in scripture where we are told to fight for our rights. Jesus lived during Rome’s reign and yet He never once talked about rights or fighting the government. Neither did Paul or Peter or anyone else I can think of (am I missing one?). When we think of Daniel and his friends (what I am currently studying), there was never any vision that encouraged them to join with their fellow Jews to stand up against the wicked government that they found themselves in. Rather, in scripture, there is a recognition that, as true believers, we stand apart from whatever is happening in the world. We are pilgrims and sojourners (I Peter 2:11). This world is not our home (Hebrews 13:14).

Now, let me add quickly, that I don’t believe this means we shouldn’t {very prudently} stand for freedom. But we must remember that this is not why we are here as believers. This is not our main priority. We never want patriotism and fighting for our rights to become more important than God and obeying His Word.

One of the benefits of being fascinated with history is the perspective it gives. All throughout history (and even across the world today), Christians have been and are treated badly. They have historically been hated in whatever government they have lived under. They have had to have worship services in the deep, dark woods; they have been sent to gulags and concentration camps for doing what is right; they have been imprisoned, shot, and beheaded. This is still happening today.

The leniency and freedom we Christians have had in the west is not normal. And it never has been.

So why am I saying this?

I think some well-meaning believers may be getting too caught up in preserving this wonderful situation we have found ourselves in. As Americans, particularly, we have lived in this unprecedented time with freedoms and material blessings that have been unheard of across the world or ever in history. But we have to recognize that, while God used America greatly for His purposes (specifically to spread the Gospel and to reestablish the nation of Israel), this great country cannot be great in the end. For you cannot have a strong, powerful America to bring in a one world government.

So, if we recognize that Revelation is true and will be fulfilled (and it will, we can certainly see that!), then we can see that America must be rendered useless on the world scene. There is no saving her–at least not for the long-term.

But this should not fill us with despair as believers. We are literally seeing the world get set up for Revelation right before our very eyes.

Of course, we all wonder what the ramifications of all of this will be for us personally. And how long will we need to endure?

No one knows the answer to this but God. What we do know is that we can trust Him (Proverbs 29:25). He is our shield (Psalm 18:30). And our refuge (Psalm 46:1). He will sustain us (Psalm 55:22). His grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 9:8; 12:9) and He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He offers us a peace that is not of this world (John 14:27) and we can never be snatched from His hand (John 10:28-29).

Our comfort and guidance can only come from the scriptures in this confusing and chaotic time. And there is so very much there to grab hold of. God has not left us destitute and without help to face these coming days.

But, as we face them, may we pray for wisdom and guidance on who to promote and support and join up with. May we use shrewd discernment as we navigate the upheaval all around us. And may we recognize that the two sides are headed the same direction and that the direction is not good.

So let’s make sure we aren’t anywhere near that broad road– on either side.

Yes, the narrow road is lonely and hard and there are few that find it (Matthew 7:13-14). But there are still a few and we are not alone.

May we stand boldly for God and His Word. May we gladly and readily share the Gospel. May we focus on what is of eternal significance.

For, in the end, this will be all that matters.

 

 

*Due to the unnecessary harsh and unkind remarks by the video commentator in his presentation, I am reluctant to share this video publicly. However, the information he presents is undeniable and reliable. If you are interested in watching this video, please email me or pm me and I will see that you get the link.

 

Why Should You Study the Bible?

Sometimes I sit down to write a post and I just have…nothing. What can I write that hasn’t already been said? At that point, it might be best to just walk away. But I have found that disciplining myself to write something is a good exercise for me. And sometimes that something ends up being one of my best posts. In fact, it was one of those that went viral a few years back and grew the blog beyond anything I ever expected.

I can’t promise that same kind today, but I have decided to take a few moments this morning to share a few of the ways Bible Study has changed my life and why it is so beneficial and necessary for all believers.

For me it all started back in 2012. We had recently left our church and I felt bereft of ministry. I was talking with a friend and she said if you start a Bible Study I will come. This was my venture into actual Bible Study. Up until that point I was like the average Christian who read a few verses and then the devotional someone had written about it. I was faithful to church and I knew the basic gist of biblical Christianity.

However, I was not all that familiar with my Bible and I had never read it through. I had never just studied a book of the Bible (aside from my years in a Christian college for a grade).

One of the first books I remember studying was I Peter. I was flabbergasted at just how much there was in there to learn. So much I didn’t know!

In 2014, I finally read the Bible through from cover to cover. In 2015, I offered a chronological read-through of the Bible as a challenge to you, my readers. In 2017, I began to offer Bible Reading Challenges every year. While I can’t be sure how beneficial these challenges have been in the lives of my readers, I can definitely say that the impact they have had on me has been tremendous. Because I am organizing and administrating the challenges I can’t cop out when I get too busy. Somehow, I must continue to make time to study the Word. People are counting on me.

Eventually, I got to the point where I wouldn’t want to miss out for anything. I prayed that God would give me a love for His Word and I can see that He has answered that prayer over the course of the last ten years.

I am nothing special. I was reading my pleasant devotionals and desiring to do what’s right. Just like most genuine believers. I had never made time to study or memorize the Word and this was a huge hindrance in my growth as a believer.

I didn’t realize that carrying a Bible or reading a few out-of-context verses or listening to wonderful Bible sermons–while all good and even helpful– was not the same thing as actually studying the Bible.

So why should you study the Bible? What is the big deal?

Let me give you a few things that my Bible Study has taught me (in a general sense). This is not an exhaustive, specific list but rather a general overview of the things we learn when we study the Bible–

1.  We learn about God and His character. There are many, many opinions out there. In fact, some of those opinions hit the bestseller list (such as the heretical book The Shack) and can change how we view God. Our only protection is to actually know who God is from His Holy Word.

2. We learn of man’s depraved and hopeless state without Christ. While the world and apostate church lauds the goodness of man, I am learning through reading the Bible that all men are sinners, lost and without hope of reconciliation to God–except through Jesus Christ.

3. We learn about ourselves. As I read the accounts of the people in the pages in the Bible, I can see myself. I see my own sins and weaknesses. As I read the epistles that contain exhortations and encouragement for believers, I am confronted with my own need for change. The scripture functions as mirror that shows me my true self. But it doesn’t stop there. It also teaches us how to turn away from the sin that so easily besets us. And encourages us with the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is with us for guidance and comfort in our efforts to eradicate sin and grow in Christ.

4. We learn to know the real Jesus. Since He is literally nothing like the apostate church (and all other false churches) present Him, this is almost necessary these days to even understand the Gospel. One cannot understand who Jesus truly is without studying the Bible. There is just so much false information out there.

5. We learn of the hope, the grace, the mercy, and the deep love that is ours upon salvation. The promises of God are rich and certain. Give by God to His own dear children, they serve as a source of comfort and strength.

6. We learn to discern between right and wrong. If scripture is where we find the truth, then this is what we must know in order to determine what is false. This becomes increasingly important as deception deepens and grows in this current age we are living in.

7. We learn to stand strong for truth–even if it means standing alone. Through the examples of so many in scripture–Noah, Daniel, Jeremiah, Stephen, and so many others–we learn not only the importance of but also the possibility of standing for and even dying for our faith. God will make a way for us to do what is right.

8. We learn how to face both trials and good times. In the Bible, we are given so many encouraging verses in how to handle all states of life we find ourselves in. God shows us how we can best grow and glorify Him in whatever we face.

9. We learn how all of scripture is connected. It has been an amazing thing to see themes repeated over and over. To read one thing in a book and see it repeated in a different book. It really wasn’t until I finally took the time to study the Word that I understood the significance of the consistency and cohesiveness of scripture. It’s truly amazing!

10. And, finally, we continue to learn (and be amazed at) how true and reliable God’s Word is. The fulfilled prophecies alone are simply awesome. One cannot walk away from a humble study of the Bible and not recognize the impossibilities of these very specifically fulfilled prophecies. Confirmation that the Bible is the inerrant, inspired Word of God become more and more evident as one gives time to study.

______________________________________

And, as we learn these things above, we become so much more confident in our walk with Christ. We feel comfortable sharing the Gospel. We lean alone on God’s Word when calling out false teachers. We recognize that our opinions mean literally nothing. All we stand on is the Word, which is easy to do because we are so aware that it is God’s very Word to us, giving us all truth we need for life and godliness.

And, so, I hope that this might reach some believer out there who has never really studied the Word for themselves. I hope that you will give it a try. If you are looking for a place to begin, I hope you will consider this year’s Bible Reading Challenge (find more information here). My goal for each challenge is for it to be helpful to both beginner Bible Students and Advanced and every student in between. I also try to make it so that one can join anytime throughout the year. Right now is the perfect time to commit to study the Bible!

But, no matter what way you choose or where you start your study of scripture, I hope that you will make it a priority. For the Bible truly is the only source of truth and guidance for the Christian Life.

 

Four Boys and What They Can Teach Us

It is sobering to consider the average 15 year old boy these days. Most are obsessed with sports or video games or some other frivolous pastime. Fast forward ten or more years and you will find the average 25 year old–and even 35 year old–man in the American culture continue to be obsessed with the things that do not matter for eternity. And this isn’t just a problem with men. Young women also find themselves wrapped up in the things of this world.

Of course, this is an easy thing to have happen and it isn’t without intention that any of us avoid this–even us older people. We live in a world that is literally obsessed with entertainment and sports and outward beauty and money and education and politics. This list of temporal distractions is endless. And, while these things can be enjoyed and attended to in a godly way, they often also provide temptation to become fixated on the wrong thing. None of us is immune to being ensnared and preoccupied with the things of this life that are of no lasting value…the things that won’t make a bit of difference in all of eternity.

Most of us can’t even define what a true hero is, much less be one as we remain distracted with the stuff of life that just doesn’t matter.

I can’t help but compare this to Daniel and his friends. In studying chapter 1 of this much beloved book of the Bible, we see defined for us true heroism.

American culture has taught us that heroes have super powers or that they are someone who can catch a ball or put it through a hoop. We are given the poor substitution of someone who can pretend to be someone they are not on a big screen or drives a fast car. The word “hero” has been watered down and redefined until it gives us nothing but shallow or unrealistic men and women to emulate.

But God gives us real heroes in Daniel and his friends. These are real people who existed many thousands of years ago that are worthy of emulation.

It starts off in chapter one, when they are just boys. They are captured as teenagers and taken to Babylon. They are without any adults to remind them of God’s laws or to whisper encouraging words in their ears.

But by the age of 15 (or so), they are men enough to stand strong against peer pressure and possible persecution (or loss of life!) Now think about that for a moment. I am not sure even most grown and mature adults would have been brave enough to do that. As we move through the book of Daniel we see other heroic acts by these four, but this first chapter gives us insight on why they were able to face the hot fire and the den of lions.

If you haven’t read Daniel for awhile (or ever) then let me give a quick overview of chapter one. These teens were taken from their homeland to serve the King of Babylon in his courts. In order to prepare them they were to be given the choicest of food to eat.

Daniel and his friends refused this food. Not because it was wrong to eat meat (as some have surmised) or because it was unhealthy to eat it. They refused it because it was unceremonially unclean. It had been offered to Babylon’s false gods. (This topic could be expanded upon in great detail because it is much more complicated than all that, but for the sake of keeping this from getting too long, this is the reason in simplified explanation.)

God not only gave these four boys favor in the eyes of the officials, giving them an opportunity to not eat the King’s delicacies, but He also made them stronger and finer for not eating it.

So what made these four boys stand firm about something so simple as the food they would eat?

I want to turn to Robert Duncan Culver’s commentary on Daniel for the answer. In this, he gives eight reasons why these boys were able to stand firm instead of caving to peer pressure, as most would (and as many of Daniel’s co-exiles most surely did).

Let’s take a look at these reasons and examine our own lives and choices, as well as examine our parenting (and even our grandparenting) by what we read here.

For the instruction and enlightenment of a hundred generations, this story presents the elements present in true Christian heroism. If we want heroes to emulate, here are some of them. p. 20, The Histories and Prophecies of Daniel by Culver.

So let’s look at the reasons Culver gives. Let me add here that the reasons are from Culver and the commentary about the reasons are mine. I’d like to type all that Culver wrote as it was so profound but it would just be too long, so I am trying to give his points more concisely.

First, these boys were taught to discern. They had been taught the difference between right and wrong. This is something most likely learned from their parents (Deut 6:4-9). There is much to be commended with seeing that your children get a Christian education or taking them to church every Sunday but nothing can replace a godly parent’s influence in the life of a child. This influence is through both example and conversation.

Second, these boys had learned to resist evil. Where did this inner strength come from? Again, we must assume parental influence. They had been taught to live in submission and obedience to God. They had been disciplined from a young age to respect authority but to respect God above all else.

Third, they had the power to say NO. Youth is a season of conformity. Generally, they want to fit in so badly that compromise is the norm for teenagers–even Christian ones. Most are unable to resist the peer pressure in order to stand for what’s right. Even we “mature” adults have trouble with this. And, yet, here are these four boys showing us how to stand up and just say NO in a respectful and kind way.

Fourth, they had physical courage. They knew they could lose a lot–even their very lives–in the face of their refusal. And, yet, for the sake of pleasing God they were willing to risk this. Do we have this same courage? Or are we too obsessed with our own comforts, conveniences, worldly goods, and safety to do what’s right? I think we have learned much about this in our own hearts and in the hearts of others over the course of the last two years. And it’s not been very pretty, has it?

Fifth, they had perseverance. Daniel gently persevered in his conviction. He was not going to give in.

Sixth, they had determination. “Daniel purposed in his heart.” He kept his eyes focused on what matters, rather than to get distracted by the unimportant and transient.

Seventh, they were meek. We see here boys that just did what they were called to do by God. We see no arrogance or boasting or disrespect for authority (by the way, this disrespect is something we are often witnessing by those claiming Christ today). They simply and quietly did what was right.

Eighth, they had wisdom and good sense. Daniel wisely offered the trial of ten days. Instead of simply refusing to eat the food set out before him, he asked to be given a short time to at least try out his idea. He had wisdom beyond his years in dealing with this situation.

While most of this first chapter is focused on Daniel (he is the one making the requests), we know from verses 11-16 that his friends joined him in not eating the unclean food. We also recognize these same heroic traits in these friends later on in the book when they are cast into the fiery furnace. We don’t know where Daniel is at this point but he was not with them. This shows us that they, too, were of strong moral fiber and full of heroism themselves.

I found myself really reflecting on my own heart and mind as I studied Daniel 1 this past week. Do I have these same heroic traits? Am I prepared to face what they faced? These boys–all four of them–offer us a wonderful and quite relevant example for all of us believers as we start living in an unfamiliar world and face the persecution that is looming on our horizon. We may not have been exiled to a foreign land but the land we are living in is not the same land of our childhood. It’s not even the same land of just two short years ago. Everything has changed.

I want to conclude with one final, very profound, quote from Culver (p. 15 of his commentary)–

Our own period, aptly dubbed “the ease era”, does not have the climate which produces many heroes. The average American, including many who are already parents and a few grandparents, has yet to be involved in an unavoidable choice involving the necessary risk of his physical safety or public reputation. We prefer to watch synthetic heroes on television rather than even to read about authentic ones–much less to be real heroes!

Our era needs some heroes, too. We need them in public civic office no less than in the pulpit and mission stations; in newspaper offices as well as on the judges’ bench, and in the professor’s chair.

Written in 1980, much has changed since then. The opportunities to lose our reputation in order to stand up for what is right are now upon us. I believe the opportunities to sacrifice our physical safety are not far behind.

Are we ready to stand??

 

 

 

Lauren Daigle: A Biblical Evaluation

I often wonder if we Christians aren’t like those proverbial frogs boiling in a pot. Cultural Christianity has changed so slowly and so subtly over the past fifty years that some of us still may not realize that it has become a completely different religion than what the Bible teaches. There is no place this is more clear than in the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) world. Here an “anything goes attitude” regarding biblical doctrine goes utterly unchallenged and often unnoticed.

At what point do Christians actually start listening to the lyrics playing on their “Christian” radio stations? At what point do Christians start looking at the artists that are filling their heads with words about God and life?

A great time to begin is now. Today.

Today we will look at one particular artist but I want to encourage you to look into any favorite “Christian” artist. Look at their testimonies. Look at who they hang around with. Look at what they stand for. You will most likely be very disappointed but this is better than filling our heads with things that are not only false but are also in complete opposition to God and His Word.

As I think back over my own music journey (which I wrote about here), I recognize that God can and will remove the desire for ungodly music that displeases Him so that you no longer even miss it. It takes awhile, but the first step is actually being willing to give it up. That step took me far, far too long I am ashamed to say. I truly hope you won’t make the same mistake I made, clutching on to something that not only is useless for a deeper walk with God but is actually harmful. 

Today’s particular post will help you get started on evaluating the music you allow in your mind. It is regarding a music artist that has a huge fan base of Christians. My daughter, Jess, posted the information below on her Anchor for the Soul Facebook page yesterday. As I was reading what she wrote, I recognized that this may be something you would want to know. Lauren is wildly popular and even if you don’t listen to her, there’s a good chance that someone you know does.

Jess did some research to find out just what Lauren believes, what she stands for, and who she stands with. I hope you find it helpful–not only in evaluating this one artist but also in learning how to evaluate all musicians who claim to follow Christ. Here’s what Jess wrote–

I’ve avoided discussing Lauren Daigle for a long time now. I know she’s incredibly popular and well-loved by a lot of people. And I don’t want it to ever look like I’m attacking individuals for the sheer pleasure of it. I only choose to write about someone when they are so far from Biblical truth that they have become dangerous and are leading others down a destructive path. Therefore, there is a lot of thought, prayer, and research that comes before an article like this one.

Lauren is incredibly talented. Her gift for singing and song-writing is undeniable. And she really seems to be a likable, kind, and fun person. I truly wish I didn’t have to warn you about her. I am not judging her motivation or her heart. I’m simply going to share her words and actions and compare them to God’s Word so that you can make your own decision. I’ve broken it down into my seven main concerns.

1. 𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘆. Lauren’s testimony begins as a teenager when she wad diagnosed with an illness that kept her homebound for nearly two years. She could tell, during this season, that God was setting her up for something. “𝘋𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦, 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘐’𝘮 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘯𝘰𝘸. 𝘏𝘦 𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘏𝘪𝘮.” She said she had visions of stages, tour buses, and awards. “𝘐 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘬 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶.” No mention of Jesus Christ, sin, or the cross. Only mystical dreams and visions that ironically predicted a future that would fulfill her own dreams and desires. I looked for the rest of the testimony. The part where she shares the actual Gospel. But I wasn’t able to find anything beyond what she shared above.

2. 𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗼𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙝𝙖𝙘𝙠. Lauren Daigle contributed to the soundtrack for the movie, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘩𝘢𝘤𝘬. It’s an anti-Bible, blasphemous movie (and book). Lauren was interviewed in a promotion for the film and was asked what she liked best about it. She answered: “…𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘰𝘥. 𝘐 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘧𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘦…𝘐 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘦 (𝘎𝘰𝘥) 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥, ‘𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦.’” Complete and utter heresy. God is not a “she” nor does He ever appear to us in different forms because of “what our heart needs.”

3. 𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗼𝘀𝗲𝘅𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆. After she appeared on the Ellen Show (and failed to talk about her faith in any way), she was asked if she thinks homosexuality is a sin. Her answer? “𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵…𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘹𝘶𝘢𝘭, 𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸. 𝘐 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 ‘𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳, 𝘐’𝘮 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘎𝘰𝘥’…” No, Lauren, you aren’t God. But God does tell us what He says in His Word and His Word says homosexuality is a sin. (1 Corinthians 6:9, Romans 1:26, 1 Timothy 1:10, Jude 1:7)

4. 𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗼𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗹. Lauren doesn’t share the Gospel or anything faith-related on her website. She doesn’t share the Gospel during her interviews or guest appearances or at her concerts. In all my research, I couldn’t find even one semi-clear presentation. Can you imagine this being said of any true Christian?

5. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗺𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘂𝗻𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀. Lauren gets asked a lot about her music during her interviews. She constantly mentions “𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤” and how people have told her that her songs have “𝘴𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘶𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘥𝘦.” Notice that? It’s the song that saved them. She never gives the glory to God. She said her “𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮, 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢.”

A radio host asked her how she felt about her music hitting the top of the secular charts and reaching far beyond the christian world. Her answer? “𝘐𝘧 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘯, 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘰.” She said that “𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯- 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦. 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳. 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘧 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴, 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘴.” That’s the purpose? Not sharing the Gospel. Not showing people their only real hope in hard times. Not pointing people toward the Bible. Not even worshipping the Lord. No, just togetherness.

Billboard asked her, “why should people listen to your music?” She answered: “𝘉𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺. 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘰. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘵. 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘯, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘪𝘵.” She told a reporter at the Grammy Awards that she “𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦. 𝘎𝘰𝘥’𝘴 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘏𝘪𝘴 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴.” By telling the secular world that God is only love and kindness, she is robbing them of the good news of the Gospel. There is no good news without the bad news of sin, judgement, and the wrath to come. (Romans 1:18, John 3:36, Hebrews 10:31)

6. 𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀. James chapter 4 is very clear that you cannot be both a friend of the world and a friend of God. When the world applauds you, there is usually something very wrong. Lauren has soared to the top of the secular music charts. She was invited onto the Ellen Degeneres show, the Jimmy Fallon show, and the Kelly Clarkson show. She has been interviewed and lauded by secular magazines, radio shows, and youtube channels. She’s attended award shows like the Grammy’s and AMA awards. She even enthusiastically gave an award to an artist at the AMA Awards- an artist who’s lyrics would make any Christian sick to their stomach. When asked about her musical inspirations, her answer is always a list of secular music artists like Billie Eilish and Adele and Amy Winehouse. She was thrilled when Grey’s Anatomy featured one of her songs. Her actions perpetuate the lie that you can be loved and adored by the evil world and also be a child of God. (1 John 2:15, John 17:14, James 4:4)

7. 𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝗼𝗳 𝘀𝗶𝗻. Lauren says her popular song “Losing My Religion” is about removing the idea of striving and seeking perfection in Christianity. She says that “𝘖𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘐’𝘮 𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘰𝘹𝘦𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘶𝘭𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘶𝘥𝘥𝘺 𝘶𝘱 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘪𝘴…” When asked about a Pastor who was caught in adultery with his secretary and asked to step down, she said: “𝘐 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘩, 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘶𝘴𝘩 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺. 𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘴𝘰 𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘶𝘴𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘵 𝘧𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵.” She talks a lot about humanity (aka sin) and how God’s grace just covers it all. We don’t need worry about it. Yes, rules for the sake of rules aren’t good. And following rules will never get us into heaven. But following God’s rules in the Bible as an outpouring of love toward Him is a necessary result of true Salvation. We are to always be striving for holiness and obedience. (John 14:15, Philippians 3:12, Hebrews 12:4, 1 Timothy 4:10)

This is really just scratching the surface but there’s simply no room to elaborate much more. She a big believer in dominionism and the idea that we’re “bringing heaven to earth.” She told her concert audience that “𝘮𝘺 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘪𝘴 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 – 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵.” No preaching, no Bible, no fellowship but sure, that’s church. She’s partnered with Steven Furtick, Hillsong, Bethel, and Joyce Meyer. Her recent Instagram post about fasting included words like “stillness” and “clearance of mind” and “the transcendence of a mind, spirit, and body reset” and “awaiting secrets to be revealed.” Guys. These are occult buzz words. Oh, and she no longer wants to be considered a “Christian” artist but prefers simply “artist” since those labels really get put on you by other people, anyway.

Lauren Daigle is leading “worship” to the masses. And yet she seems to love the world, partners with false teachers, and fails to proclaim the truth of the Bible at every opportunity. She wants everyone to come together and be unified and experience the love of God. Did you know that that’s exactly what Satan wants? He wants people to have a good experience and feel unified and happy and think that they’re loved by God. All without having to turn from their sin and repent. He wants people to believe they can have both the world and Jesus. And Lauren is being used as a tool to further his goal.

Hopefully this opens your eyes to why we need to steer clear of her influence and her music in our lives and in the lives of our teenagers.

Jude 1:4 says “Beloved, although I made every effort to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt it necessary to write and urge you to contend earnestly for the faith entrusted once for all to the saints. For certain men have crept in among you unnoticed— ungodly ones who were designated long ago for condemnation. They turn the grace of our God into a license for immorality, and they deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Let us contend earnestly for the faith. Biblical faith. And let us not praise and follow people who are blatantly turning the grace of our God into a license for immorality and therefore denying our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.

 

Self or Truth? (It can’t be both)

I came across this quote yesterday–

He who loses his temper in argument has begun to care more about himself, and less about the truth. (Alfred Plummer)

What an interesting thing to reflect upon in this age of strong opinions and thoughtless, angry words. There is no dearth currently of harsh judgements, often accompanied by flaring tempers.

Even if we Christians struggle with losing our tempers at home on occasion, most of us have learned (or are learning) the importance of not allowing that to happen in public. We understand the damage that does to the cause of Christ.

But the losing of one’s temper isn’t the only thing that shows one cares more about oneself than about the truth, now is it?

I believe there is another very acceptable way that Christians show their priority of self over truth. It’s lauded even. And this is a problem.

You see I think for most believers the temptation isn’t to talk too much but to talk too little. The temptation isn’t to prove the rightness of a point as much as it is to not speak up when it’s important.

And this can be confusing. After all, doesn’t the Bible teach that we are to be slow to speak (James 1:19) and that he who restrains his lips is wise (Proverbs 10:19). It sure does! So then it is important we interpret these in light of other scriptures (Mark 16:15; Philippians 1:13-14; I Thessalonians 2:4; Titus 2:1 and others) that encourage us to speak up.

You see, it isn’t so much in the speaking that we run into problems. What God knows (and what we quickly learn about ourselves) is that the sinful issues arise when we speak without thinking first or we talk before we actually listen to what the other person is saying.

It’s obvious that the Bible can’t mean to never speak up, given it’s many verses (and also the examples of godly people) encouraging us to do that very thing. But so many believers cling to those verses as if that gives them God’s permission to never speak the truth–even at the most opportune moments.

I guess each one of us struggles with this in one way or another. We all struggle with loving ourselves more than loving the truth. Whether it is exhibited by the relentless desire to prove we are right (and smarter than the other person) or it is by staying quiet so as not to draw unwanted antagonism or ridicule, both show the ugly love of self.

Only we can know why we are choosing to speak up or not to speak up. Only we can examine our hearts as to why we are responding as we are in times of opportunity.

James 3 reminds us just how dangerous the tongue is. It is an important reminder! There is so much potential to cause tremendous amounts of damage with it. But when we read the end of that chapter we begin to understand that it isn’t in the speaking but in the motives when we speak that the sin lies.

James 3:14-18 puts it like this–

But if you have bitter envy and [h]self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Bitter envy and self-seeking in our hearts are the proof that we are using earthly, sensual, and even demonic wisdom. When we speak up with these things in our hearts and minds, no good fruit can result.

But when we use the wisdom from above, then all is changed. Speaking up becomes about our dedication to the truth. It’s about being willing to admit we were wrong when necessary, it’s about being willing to yield on issues that are not of biblical import. It is peaceable and gentle.

I like how the ESV puts it: “open to reason”. This means are willing to have a loving, thoughtful discussion. And yet we must always go back to the Word of God as our standard and guide. This is our foundation for any opinion that truly matters.

God gives each of us many opportunities to share the Gospel and to point people to His Word. The question is do we love that other person and truth more than we love self so that we willing to speak up? And, if so, can we remove our love for self and our need to be right from the conversation?

 

Do we love truth more than we love self?

It is a very important question for any sincere follower of Christ.

 

 

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: