Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Open Letter to Rachel Held Evans

Note: I posted this on Mrs Evans's website, Facebook and Twitter stream, which were the methods she stated people can contact her.

Dear Mrs Evans,

I am the Elizabeth Prata of the blog “The End Time” who wrote about you this week and to whom you responded. I am writing in heartfelt concern and in Christian tender pleading.

I am a 53 year old woman, born and bred in New England and transplanted to Georgia later in life. My salvation in Jesus Christ came later in life also. By this short biography perhaps you can accept this missive as an elder woman teaching a younger as in Titus 2:4.

I can see that you are a bright, accomplished, intelligent woman yourself, as much as we can discern these things via the computer screen and internet.

The Holy Spirit has laid you on my heart and it is on that basis I write to you. If we were standing face to face, you would see that my hands are extended and my eyes are full of tears.

On Twitter you shared with me that you long for the truth. It is because of that longing which you expressed that I write to share the truth with you.

The truth is that there is “this same Jesus” (Acts 1:11) and there is “another Jesus”. (2 Cor 11:4). This same Jesus of the Old Testament and the New is going to return to judge the living and the dead. He will line up the sheep and the goats and He will tell them to account for their lives.

Some in the goats line will be shocked they are not in the sheep line. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ “ (Matthew 7:21-23).

This is a serious passage of scripture and it behooves every person who claims Jesus to examine themselves frequently to ensure they are not among the ones who have claimed a different Jesus. (2 Corinthians 13:5).

“I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel:” (Galatians 1:6)

Do you claim a different Gospel? I think so, if I may say so tenderly. In your book, Evolving in Monkey Town you wrote,

"I’m an evolutionist because I believe that the best way to reclaim the gospel in times of change is not to cling more tightly to our convictions but to hold them with an open hand."

To claim ‘this same Jesus” is to claim the same Jesus who was with God when the world was made. (Acts 17:24). To claim this same Jesus is to claim that He is the Word and He speaks truth. (John 1:1, John 14:6). To claim this same Jesus is to claim the Jesus who said ‘Let there be man, Adam, and it is good’. (Genesis 1:26, 27, 31).

If you believe in evolution you claim a different Jesus.

As for ‘changing our convictions to meld’ with the times, I ask you, how often? Did the Chinese of the year 200AD need to change what they believe, or the Icelanders of the year 1500, or the Bolivians of 1999 or the Rachel Held Evans’s of 2013? When does one change? How often? Every millennium? Every year? Every week? Change to which culture? Or do we claim this same Jesus who said to us via His Spirit, cling to what is Good! (Romans 12:9, 1 Thess 5:21). And we know that the only Good is the Father! (Matthew 19:17). And we know that the Father revealed Himself in the Word by His Son! (Hebrews 1:1-2)

We do not need to “reclaim the Gospel” because the Gospel never went anywhere. The Gospel are words unto life, and has the power of God behind it. This is the Gospel of Jesus you go away from when you say we need to loosen our convictions, despite the Word who is Jesus telling us to cling to them:

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

I want to ask you and then pray that the Spirit convicts you, to examine yourself to see that, if Jesus were to return in the next few moments, would you be in the group that says “Lord, Lord, did we not…?” I believe you are in that group. I mourn for you, in seeing the fruits from your different gospel, and beg you to come to Jesus, and believe the bible as He has given it to us. For what a person thinks of the bible reveals what they believe about Him. He IS the Word (John 1:1)

You said you seek the truth. The truth is that Jesus said via His word “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15).

Do you believe it is impossible for you to have fallen under the sway of a false notion of a different Gospel, and further, that there is no need to examine yourself? If so then THAT is arrogance. Do you believe that one must change and adapt their convictions in order to stay current with man’s culture on this world which is run by satan? If so then you believe in a different gospel that does not save!

“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Please, Mrs Evans, for the sake of your eternal soul, heed these things. Fall to the cross and plead for forgiveness and ask for grace and mercy. The glory of the universe is that this same Jesus who will come one day to judge the living and the dead, this same Jesus, loves you and wants you for His daughter. He will send mercy-

For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9:15.

I pray He says to you, precious Rachel, “I will have mercy.”

In His name,

Elizabeth Prata
July 10, 2013

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Further reading

Another Jesus: an example of defective Christology 

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God": Not so seeker friendly

Can we ever know doctrine for certain?

The power and comfort of the name of Jesus

4 comments:

  1. Hello, I am a new reader, who discovered your blog from Rachel Held Evans. I admire your conviction and how earnestly you write about your beliefs. Sometimes I do wish I had more of that, but we are all different. My nature is to look at all sides of an issue, to read personal accounts, to read facts, and then to weigh it all against the words and teachings of Jesus Christ. Because there are countless Bible verses that can support or attack any political view. But I think Jesus's words hold more importance and weight than what Paul wrote, for instance.

    I say all this because whenever I come across someone who either refuses or cannot see another person's opposing view, I become suspect. Because I feel like that is something God directly taught us to do. He put himself in our shoes didn't He? So when we cannot do that ourselves I feel like we're going against the life Jesus led.

    I also wanted to ask if you could explicitly tell me how accepting evolution as fact and believing that women are equal to men is "unchristian"? I chose two specific examples, but I guess what I really mean is how can we be certain that there is only one right political party (because that's what we're getting at right?) when Jesus himself never gave that impression.

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    1. Lilah, thank you for visiting the blog, and for your comments. You asked some good questions and I appreciate the opportunity to answer them. I tell you before-hand, you will probably not like the answers.

      Lilah, if you are a Christian, you know the method you describe to arrive at truth is wrong. You take man’s beliefs, personal accounts, and THEN “weigh them against the words and teachings of Jesus Christ.” This is backwards. We use His word to confirm the message man brings. If a man brings a different message, we know he is false. Scriptures are certain, mans is faulty.

      “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8.

      You said, “whenever I come across someone who either refuses or cannot see another person's opposing view, I become suspect.”

      In high school debate class, this might be relevant. When balanced against the only truth there is, you are incorrect. I already know ahead of time that what man teaches is wrong and what Jesus teaches is right. I follow Christ, not Darwin. I follow Jesus, not Gloria Steinem.

      In fact, we are not to embrace opposing ideas, but refuse them!

      “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,” 1 Timothy 6:20

      Man’s beliefs are demonic strongholds and not counted for anything. (1 Cor 2:13; 1 Cor 2:1; 2 Tim 4:3-4). Personal accounts are also counted as nothing against the teachings of Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:19). The heart is deceitful above all things, (Jer 17:9). To take it all and then weigh it against the teachings of Jesus Christ is exactly backward. The only thing that matters is what He taught. Period.

      "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." John 7:17

      You asked if I could explicitly tell you how “believing that women are equal to men is "unchristian”. You are mixing up egalitarian and complementarian. Women *are* equal to men. They were BOTH made in the image of God! GotQuestions writes-

      "Summarized by "The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood," complementarianism is the viewpoint that God restricts women from serving in church leadership roles and instead calls women to serve in equally important, but complementary roles. Summarized by "Christians for Biblical Equality," egalitarianism is the viewpoint that there are no biblical gender-based restrictions on ministry in the church."

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/complementarianism-vs-egalitarianism.html#ixzz2ZiEOZlQb

      Women are restricted from leadership roles in church. They are restricted from being pastors. They are to submit to their husbands who are the head of the household.

      Feminists balk at the world submit, yet the husband is to submit, remember. And Jesus submitted to the Father, unto the point of death, did He not? (Phil 2:8). God set up a system for life and for marriage. It is unchristian to rebel against that. God knows best. Read how God challenged Job for Job thinking he knew better than God!

      "“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2, and the chapter goes on. I encourage you to read that chapter.)

      Same with evolution. God said He made the world in 6 days. If you do not believe what God said, you are in rebellion. (Genesis 3:1, Psalm 107:11; Isa 5:24.).

      No this is not about political parties. That's man's construct. It is about belief in God and His word, the Son.

      Luke 6:46-47. Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.

      What is it we have to do?

      And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” Luke 9:35

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  2. What a great letter. I applaud you for writing to her. God bless you!!!

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    1. Thanks Andie. She and I had a little go-around on twitter and her blog and mine. Then I wrote the letter.

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