Monday, December 29, 2014

She Reads Truth, IF:Gathering, and women bible teachers. Part 1

This is a four-part series. I'll examine the website, teachings, and women of "She Reads Truth" in 2 parts (What They Say, and What They Do). Part 3 will take a look at the conference known as the "IF:Gathering" which many of the She Reads Truth women are involved in. In part 4 I will discuss women teachers in general from a biblical perspective, and provide a list of solid teachers (men and women) of the Word.

Part 2 here
Part 3 here
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She Reads Truth

A younger sister asked me about this website, in which six women write devotional bible reading plans and encourage women to gather to read the bible via their (free) plans. The women are Raechel Myers, Amanda Bible Williams, Diana Stone, Hayley Morgan, Rebecca Faires, and Debbie Eaton. The website is beautifully designed. It is good looking AND easy to use. The women's bios are located in the easy-to-find "About Us" section. By the look of the photos and the words used to describe them they come across as healthy, wholesome farm women, apple-cheeked and devoted mothers to happy, wholesome, apple-cheeked farm children with smiling husbands on the side. Simple lives, just struggling wives doin' laundry (like us, just like us!) trying to know Jesus in the best way possible.

LinkedIn photo
The women assure the reader that they have husbands who look over their theological work and pastors who do the same. They write that they are humble, submissive wives, creating bible reading plans for like-minded women almost by accident, and gee, needing to morph their growing-popular website into a Limited Liability Company before they knew it.

But are they?



Not so much.

When you look into a teacher to determine whether he or she is credible, there are two things to look at.

--What they say (the doctrine they teach)
--What they do (how they live out their doctrine)

The bible warns us that many will come in His name (claiming to be one of His children) but many will not actually be, according to what they say.
Amanda Bible Williams, Editorial Director
of SRT. Twitter profile photo

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (Romans 16:17)

The division comes when teachers try to pry you away from Jesus' side, dividing you from His once for all faith and separating you from His doctrine, not by what they say, but by what they do.

Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. (Hebrews 13:9)

Therefore it's important to look at what they do, not just what they say on their statement of faith page. How do they act? What is their life? Many, many church or Christian websites put up a statement of faith, and many, many of them don't live what they say.

The Gospel Coalition published an interesting article on this exact topic the other day titled "Is Your Church Functionally Liberal?"
The liberal churches I’ve known are not openly hostile to the Bible. They like the Bible. They want their preacher to use the Bible. They have home Bible studies. What makes them “liberal” is that the Bible alone is not what rules them. They allow into their doctrine, their ethos, their decisions, other complicating factors. The Bible is revered, in a way. But it is not the decisive factor. It is only one voice among others.
Doctrinally conservative, but functionally liberal. What they say, vs. what they do. Both matter, when it comes to examining a teacher for credibility.

So in She Reads Truth (SRT) you have an attractive website, run by attractive ladies, with a statement of faith that is as sterling as it gets.

In just one of their statements, with which I agree, because it is from James 1:22, they write that they believe we should be doers of the Word, not just hearers. So for them it is not just about reading the bible together, it is about what we do after we read it, our response. So far, so good.

However, thinking it through, don't leave it there. Exactly what response do the administrators and writers of SRT believe are we being called TO? What do they say we should do in living out the Word that we receive?

Social Justice. They are believers in a response to God's word that includes "social justice". Back up for a moment...social justice?! What is social justice exactly? Isn't that were we help poor or oppressed people? That's biblical, right?

Well, there are two kinds of movements that address poverty and injustice in the world. The biblical one, and all the others, including the SRT women. Here is what the modern-day notion of what "social justice" is.

According to the National Association of Social Workers,
"Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities. Social workers aim to open the doors of access and opportunity for everyone, particularly those in greatest need."
There is much more to it and more that is behind the modern movement (not the biblical movement). GotQuestions discusses the modern-day notion of social justice and its politically charged activists.
Social justice is often used as a rallying cry for many on the left side of the political spectrum. “Social justice is also a concept that some use to describe the movement towards a socially just world. In this context, social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution. These policies aim to achieve what developmental economists refer to as more equality of opportunity than may currently exist in some societies, and to manufacture equality of outcome in cases where incidental inequalities appear in a procedurally just system.” (Source)

Woman carrying leeks to market in the Andes. EPrata photo

It's based on a false premise that in all cases the rich have oppressed the poor in order to become rich, an injustice that needs to be rectified through income redistribution and other government programs and activist political means. So what is the biblical call to address the poverty problems and the oppressed? Because the bible does speak to it.



The Christian notion of social justice is different from the contemporary notion of social justice. The biblical exhortations to care for the poor are more individual than societal. In other words, each Christian is encouraged to do what he can to help the “least of these.” The basis for such biblical commands is found in the second of the greatest commandments—love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). Today’s notion of social justice replaces the individual with the government, which, through taxation and other means, redistributes wealth. This policy doesn’t encourage giving out of love, but resentment from those who see their hard-earned wealth being taken away. (Source)
The true Christian response to stewardship is an individual one, not an activist one. So which does SRT promote? The latter. More of the activist social justice, less of the biblical, individual call to personal stewardship. Therefore, their 'what we believe' is an unbiblical call to an incorrectly interpreted response to the bible's demands regarding the poor.
Basically, there is a tension between a God-centered approach to social justice and a man-centered approach to social justice. The man-centered approach sees the government in the role of savior, bringing in a utopia through government policies. The God-centered approach sees Christ as Savior, bringing heaven to earth when He returns. At His return, Christ will restore all things and execute perfect justice. Until then, Christians express God's love and justice by showing kindness and mercy to those less fortunate.(Source)
Does the SRT website say all that? No. It only mentions social justice once in the What We Believe section. So how do I know the women promote the unbiblical view of social justice and not a correct notion of stewardship? From what they do. That will be part 2.

But first, one other mention of 'what they say'. I read many of their reading plans. Some are good. Many of the books they promote are good too. Many are reformed. Many are solid. Nancy Guthrie is promoted, as well as Reformed classics like the Valley Of Vision and Matthew Henry’s commentary. On the down side, Billy Graham is promoted, as well as panentheist Ann Voskamp, and pragmatist Rick Warren, which are negatives. One of the editorial staff, Debbie Eaton, used to be a woman ministry leader at Warren’s Saddleback church, so the Warren book isn’t surprising. The SRT ladies promote several books by Gary Haugen, who is also a writer for She Reads Truth. Haugen is CEO of International Justice Mission. There's that personal agenda again.

Under the "What We're Reading", they promote one of Lysa TerKeurst’s books. Last February, Lysa preached an entire Sunday at Perry Noble’s church. Perry Noble is a false teacher. Women are not to be preaching the church service. (1 Timothy 2:11–14). Lysa attends Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church, which is not a church and Furtick is not a true preacher. Lysa is an undiscerning usurper and She Reads Truth has no business promoting Lysa’s books.

As for the specifics of the reading plans, in looking at just a few of them I saw the usual mistakes many women make when they interpret the bible. Here are two issues as just a sample. In their Day 25: “The Shepherds go To the Manger” Christmas devotional, author Raechel Myers stated that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. She wrote that Jesus came to make wars cease. She wrote that Jesus came for peace on earth.

Um. No.

Connecting the Prince of Peace with making wars cease is incorrect. We are at war with God because we are sinners. His peace is reconciliation through justification. She did mention reconciliation a bit further on, but her approach is not the best because she connects peace and war wrongly in this devotional. In Mt 10:34 Jesus says "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword!” In His first incarnation, Jesus came to bring a sword that will divide even families. Wars and rumors of wars will characterize the age of his post-Incarnation. Wars will not end until after the church age ends, after the Millennium Kingdom ends (Revelation 20:7-8) and it is only after eternity begins that wars cease.

Later in the devotional Myers says that God asks us (asks? not commands?) to be still and know that He is God.

Um. No.

"Asking" us to be still and know he is God is a total misrepresentation of the verse from Ps 46:10, which is commonly misused by women, especially young women. He does not ask us to be still. He commands us to believe in the Son, “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. (1 John 3:23).

The ‘be still’ verse is from Psalm 46:10, and what it means is this--
“Let his enemies be still, and threaten no more, but know it, to their terror, that he is God, one infinitely above them, and that will certainly be too hard for them; let them rage no more, for it is all in vain: he that sits in heaven, laughs at them; and, in spite of all their impotent malice against his name and honour, (Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible.)
The overall approach of taking snippets of verses on a topic or theme from the NT and the OT and building reading plans from that is not the best. It’s common, but it is not the best. First, mixing OT and NT is a dangerous hermeneutic. Often, OT verses are for Israel only (Jeremiah 29:11, for example, is often misused (I know the plans I have for you… so is Psalm 46:10, Be still)… Expositional teaching is best.

Gary Haugen
of International Justice Mission (IJM)
What happens with plans like these developed by liberal women like these is that verses get misused because they are stripped from context. It is actually the Beth Moore hermeneutic approach. Strip out-of-context verses and use them to make your point, like the Psalm 46:10 verse or Isaiah 55:1 I mention below. Mix in between the verses some personal stories and with them, personal agendas (i.e the social justice devotional written by Gary Haugen, founder of International Justice organization). It is best to offer a passage, and explain what it means in context and according to the culture at the time. Sometimes they do this well. Other times they don't.

Here is a second example of "What They Say."

At SheReadsTruth, in the Reading Plan for Day 28 of the "O Come Let Us Adore Him" devotional, writer Amanda B. Williams mentioned (but didn't paste) Isaiah 55:1a. The verse reads,

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;"

Williams equates the verse's 'being thirsty' with women who are needy, have longings, are broken, need to be accepted, have a blessed ache, need to be loved, and driven into His arms. Those are direct phrases from the devotional. These phrases appeal to women. They are phrases that include such language as "sweet reminders" or "whisperings" crafted subtly to be a catalytic connector to our sensitive, emotional side. In this way, their devotionals do not appeal to the mind. They strive to appeal to the heart, the emotions. The devotional's language creates a sense of romantic intimacy with the Lord through a female emotional yearning that sets Jesus up to be lover and filler of needs.

Except, that's not what studying the Word is all about. (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23).

Except, that's not what Isaiah 55:1 means.

Gill’s Exposition says of Isaiah 55:1, the sense is not an emotional one but
a spiritual one; thirsting after forgiveness of sin by the blood of Christ; after justification by his righteousness; after salvation by him; after more knowledge of him, more communion with him, and more conformity to him;
The thirst in the verse is not having “longings” - another example of feminine vagueness these types of blogs promote. The ‘thirst’ is not to "be accepted" (whatever that means or meant in junior high), the thirst is a desperation for forgiveness of sins. It is the universal invitation to Gentiles for salvation, not satisfying "needy women”. In this way the SRT women trivialize majestic verses. These verses are spiritual truths, not emotional satisfactions. They're definitely not romantic longings.

SRT plans are not really study. At SRT, it isn’t really ‘digging into’ God’s word. They are more like breathless romantic reactions to out-of-context verses written by liberal women who have an unbiblical approach to the Word.

I hope I was clear.

Part 2 here.

Part 3 here.

Part 4 here.

-------------------------------
Further Reading

Six months after the conclusion of this series, Lighthouse Trails researched the IF:Gathering also. Please read their extensive research here

22 comments :

  1. Another group that has what (I believe) Bob DeWaay called "file card orthodoxy" - in other words, they trot out their solid doctrinal statement when asked (ie, what they keep in their file card), but in practice, they are definitely not orthodox.

    2 Tim 3:6-7

    -Carolyn

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  2. Outstanding, very clear article, Elizabeth. I pray that women will read it and their eyes will be opened. Oh, do we need discernment! Six years ago I would have jumped on this bandwagon, but God has led me to some very solid teachers and teaching. We are to be Bereans always, with everyone we read!

    I'm sure the hateful comments will be pouring in soon. I have prayed for you. That He will strengthen you and bless you mightily for contending for the truth. Looking forward to Part 4 especially. People need to be steered toward good teachers. But, most of alll, they need to read the Bible for themselves and if they are true believers, the Holy Spirit will guide them in all truth.

    Thanks for being bold. Its so refreshing!

    Diana

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  3. Forgive me, Carolyn! For repeating what you'd just posted... I've had lots on my mind .... Yet you are right: interesting how that particular Scripture immediately came to mind for both of us!
    You know, I was guilty of that once ~ just jumping in the fray with anyone who mentioned anything about God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit! Even very vile sinners can claim they "love Jesus"! Yet the litmus test is do they FOLLOW and OBEY Him? His commandments are not burdensome. So yes, in these last days (hours) when being a Christian can be so difficult, we have to be on guard and on our toes at all times... always testing the spirits!
    Fairly recently when someone (a mere stranger in the grocery store) questioned me about something, I mentioned the Holy Spirit led me to the right source ..... oh she was all over that! She wanted to dialogue about the Holy Spirit.... "her best friend" she claimed. Yet, I could tell by her mannerisms, speech, and even style of dress (<--er... "lack of") that "dialoguing" with this lady was not something I wanted to do.
    For other readers and lurkers: that is not being harsh & judgmental, as in fact the Bible tells us we are to avoid certain people... did you know that?

    Quote from Diana: People need to be steered toward good teachers. But, most of alll, they need to read the Bible for themselves and if they are true believers, the Holy Spirit will guide them in all truth. /end quote

    OH HOW VERY TRUE!!!! BIG AMEN HERE!!!!

    Another Diana quote:

    Thanks for being bold. Its so refreshing! /end

    Amen AGAIN!! :)

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    1. No apology needed, Reva! I was just excited that the Holy Spirit had given both of us the exact same verse! :) I love it when that happens, it's like getting the Biblical 2 or 3 witnesses to the TRUTH!

      -Carolyn

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  4. Thanks for this article...I was beginning to hear about this study from some women and hadn't fully had time to look into it. Thank you for doing the leg work on this. We will be sharing it over at Falsified Ministries. Good job sis!
    Lori

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  5. Thank you Lori! I'm so thrilled. Very dangerous bunch of women, not the least because their website is so beautiful and deceptively doctrinal. The fruit looked good to the eye...

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  6. I just heard yesterday that our church ladies' ministry is introducing SRT. After reading your analysis, I took a look at it myself.
    Here is what really concerns me, and correct me if I am not reading the situation properly because I am not actually doing the program, but every lesson has a "comments" section afterward. The one I looked at, in Hosea, had 101 comments. I am thinking that a large range of different doctrines can be potentially represented there. What happens if a theological discussion emerges? Or if individuals take it upon themselves to answer one another's questions? (A not-unlikely situation.) I don't even know the credentials of the person moderating the comments (if there is one). Am I wrong to be concerned? An online study like this can reach globally and provide an open door for all kinds of error, it would seem.

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  7. Can I add a PS to my comment from a few minutes ago? I went back to the SRT site to read more, and discovered that a lesson being prepared for the readership is called LENT. So the ladies are about to read about celebrating Lent?
    Chris M

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    1. Hi Chris M,

      As we draw ever closer to the Tribulation, we see the non-believing false Christians drawing ever closer to Catholicism. Yes, many people celebrate Lent now, and think nothing of its pagan origins and its embeddedness int he Roman Catholic Church.

      You raised an extremely good point above. It reminded me of the recent article Tim Challies posted a link to. The fact that the comment section of a female blogger could be a host to all kinds of tolerant false doctrine. Here is an excerpt from the article, written by a woman, alerting us as to the plethora of falseness going on in mommy blogs. Social media is now the old fashioned coffee klatch.

      "As a general rule, ideas circulate differently among women than they do among men. Women encounter and embrace new ideas through their social networks, both virtual and physical; they are also more likely to share ideas the same way. The conversations that happen at play group or in the comment section of their blogging communities are just as real and just as influential as the conversations a pastor will have with his staff or formal mentoring group. This means that Christian women are more likely to encounter problematic teaching through their online homeschool group than by reading Rob Bell’s latest offering. And given their season of life, it’s also more likely to be offered to them in the form of “parenting tips” instead of in an obvious theological package."
      http://gospelcenteredwoman.com/womens-discipleship-and-the-mommy-blogosphere/


      Delete
  8. I did a couple studies with them and even linked to them for a while from my blog. But then two things happened that make it so that I can no longer support them. 1. They had a study called "Open your Bible" and its final lesson was called "Close your Bible". Very off-putting! 2. Very little actual Bible study. They just quote one verse but then give a long personal story that hardly relates to the verse given! I don't want to study the life of Amanda Bible Williams or Rachael Myers. I want to study the BIBLE. Real study for personal application and doctrine, not this la-de-da "Gee my life is so hard and weary because I dropped my $600 iPhone while waiting in line for a $5 cup of coffee, so I can totally relate to the hardships Ruth and Naomi went through!" fluff!

    I didn't even know about the Catholicism/Lent connection till just now! Yikes!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, very well said. I agree about the lack of bible in their studies and the long personal stories. Most women bible 'teachers' do this, approach the bible from personal feelings. It's backward. Though we women do have lots of feelings and emotions, a bible study should be approached from the perspective of what God says to us, then we feel something about it (joy, conviction, mourning, etc). Most women, like the ones you mention approach the bible with a feeling first, then read a truth FROM it.

      Women like to connect by using feelings and stories, Beth Moore is famous for this, but this is not the way to study the bible. It's why there are so few good female bible teachers and it's why we are to be careful when teaching, ourselves.

      Glad you got out of the IF:Gathering crowd. Praise to the Holy Spirit for that!

      Delete
  9. I've been a lurker on your blog for a couple weeks - reading several posts on a wide range of topics.

    We think along the same lines concerning these women teachers. I've been doing research on them (Voskamp, Moore, TerKeurst, etc.) because I've been compiling a study resource page for our church website. My pastor asked me to add Voskamp's blog and TerKeurst's blog as biblical resources. I did not know them, and felt uncomfortable adding them without first knowing what they taught.

    I first learned that TerKeurst attended Elevation church and sat under Furtick's teaching. First red flag! That she even preaches at his church. But other than this, there is absolutely no more information on her, besides what is being promoted by her own entity.

    My church is also doing a co-ed Beth Moore study. The one about OT tabernacle. It is the first study she put out, but had been re-vamped in some way. So I learned about what Beth Moore truly teaches and believes, and to me, all these are biblical poison.

    I also found all the info that is readily available on Voskamp and her book; as well as Sarah Young and Jesus Calling. No question there. Wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole!

    I brought all these findings to the attention of my own pastor. I'd had the suspicion that it's his wife who asked to have these added to the resource. I'm certain she was the one who brought the Beth Moore study into the church. It's not the first one we've done.

    To my utter surprise and dismay, my pastor finds nothing wrong with these women and their teachings. I told him that there was no way I could, in good conscience, point other people to these materials as good, sound, biblical teachings. That I'd rather not even have a resource page if it had to include these.

    My pastor has since done his own research, and still concluded that he doesn't see anything wrong with them.

    As you can imagine, I'm questioning even his and his wife's discernment. Questions that I didn't want to have of my own preacher. Yet, there they are.

    Thank you for what you do.

    Lesley

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    1. Hi Lesley,

      Praise the Lord and His grace and discernment that He is delivering to you wisdom regarding these women teachers! I'm glad you came to the conclusions you did. I have similar negative concerns about Ms TerKerst but like you, have found little of substance to credibly confirm them to do much more than rumble and ruminate.

      I'm sooo sorry about your pastor. Good for you for approaching him, I believe that is the right thing to do. To bad he did not see the issues clearly. It happens, heartbreaking as it is. The BEST thing to do now, if you are not already, is to pray for the Spirit to deliver discernment to him regarding the situation.

      I *guess* if we were to look under every rock for a positive it might be that He has granted you this opportunity to not only pray for discernment for him and his wife but to be alerted as to its lack in the first place...

      In the end it will be all for God's glory, but the path to get there is so long and bumpy... thanks for what you do, which is worship, learn, submit, and persevere. :) :)

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    2. Elizabeth,

      Thank you for the encouragement. I actually have been praying for God to deliver our church from apostasy and to cleanse us from any false teaching or doctrine. I have also prayed in regard to my pastor's discernment.

      And things have already been happening.

      I'm happy to have found your blog, and I've been reading here a little every day. This has been an encouragement as well. There are people out there like me! dealing with the same things. I do not have a blog, but I am on Facebook, if you need another FB friend.

      Grace and peace!
      Lesley

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  10. Elizabeth, I'm so sorry for your misunderstanding of Scripture. And, forgive me, I must have missed it, but what is your theological training? When I read the Bible, especially about Jesus (in the gospels), I see someone who demonstrated mercy on those who were cast out by the religious leaders. He helped the hungry, the blind, the sick, the "sinner." Take a read of Amos or Joel. Do you the last straw for the Israelites before God exiled them? Their self-righteous care of themselves and not caring for the needy.
    I am not encouraged as I read your comments on SRT. I am in tears. You do not know any of these women. Have you been in their home for dinner? walked around the lake at dawn? Listened and handed tissue after hearing about your friend's betrayal? One of these is my friend and you do not know her. Yet you speak very hurtful words. You are also passing judgement. I wonder why?
    Please, please be careful. Remember Jesus' words? He who is without sin, cast the first stone.
    I have been where you are, faced with other Christians who interpret Scripture different than I. I have been enraged with (self) righteous indignation that I know so much about what the Bible said about end times. I am older now. With years comes grace (and some wisdom). Jesus came to unite to himself all who would follow him. We now are to do the same. If you feel so strongly about these women's views, wouldn't it be more Jesus-like to send them a note and ask them to share why they view things the way they do? Would that not be less divisive and more unifying?
    I'm just sayin...a little grace might make the non-Christians find us Christians a bit more appealing.
    --S

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    1. --S wrote: "Elizabeth, I'm so sorry for your misunderstanding of Scripture. And, forgive me, I must have missed it, but what is your theological training?
      UM…OK…which scriptures did I misunderstand? How? If I need theological training to correct SRT ladies, where is your theological training to correct mine? Be specific, what is your understanding of the scriptures you say I misunderstand? Don’t make nebulous claims. This is God’s word we’re talking about.

      My training is diligent study via the Holy Spirit as illuminator (Ephesians 1:17-18 ) and as per 2 Timothy 2:15, diligently studying to show myself approve and handling the word correctly. Plus some other stuff.

      --S wrote "When I read the Bible, especially about Jesus (in the gospels), I see someone who demonstrated mercy on those who were cast out by the religious leaders. He helped the hungry, the blind, the sick, the "sinner."
      Yes Jesus was those things and He did those things…and your point is…? It is important not to shy away from rebuking and admonishing when necessary, something Jesus did more than you realize. I recommend John MacArthur’s book, The Jesus You Can’t Ignore. The tagline to the book is: “If you've ever wondered how to deal with false teachers and their bad theology, where better to look than Jesus and His example.” Compassion/condemnation, it is not a mutually exclusive proposition.

      --S wrote "I am not encouraged as I read your comments on SRT.
      I didn’t write it to encourage you, but to warn you. Not everything in Christian life is encouraging. Not every day is a Friday.

      --S wrote "I am in tears. You do not know any of these women. Have you been in their home for dinner? walked around the lake at dawn? Listened and handed tissue after hearing about your friend's betrayal? One of these is my friend and you do not know her. Yet you speak very hurtful words.

      What they are teaching is hurtful to my friend. She looks at me with tears in her eyes and confusion in her face as she tries to reconcile what she reads on SRT and in her bible. She spends nights in agonizing prayer trying to understand their unbiblical and confusing messages &lifestyle.

      No I do not know her but I do know her teaching. False teachers are free to spread their poisonous doctrines but the recipients of these poisonous teachings are not free to expose them? Not so! A public teacher’s teachings are available and open to scrutiny, critique, and rebuke.

      Paul didn’t say you have to walk around a lake and give tissues to the teacher before you can critique. We are taught to compare what is taught with the scriptures. Test it.

      --S wrote "You are also passing judgement. I wonder why?
      Because we are biblically called to pass judgment on doctrine were taught, testing it against scripture to see if these things are so. (We judge on teachings not the teachers) Every book of the NT except Philemon warns against false teachings. It is a huge subject in a believer’s life, and yet you would have the believers ignore it all? You are NOT passing judgment. I wonder why?

      Here are scripture warning against false teachers, then the following list of verses should help you understand the importance of this topic.
      Matthew 7:15-23; Matthew 24:10; Mark 22:23; Acts 20:25-31; Romans 16:17-18; Galatians 1:6-9; Colossians 2:8,18-19; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 1 Timothy 1:18-20; 1 Timothy 4:1-8,16; 1 Timothy 5:3-10; 1 Timothy 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 2:14-18; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Titus 1:9-16; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 2 Peter 3:14-18; 1 John 1:18-27; 1 John 4:1-6; 2 John 7-11; Jude 3-19

      Again, since you prefer to learn from those with theological training, here is Denny Burk on why it’s important to deal with false teachers, and how. http://www.dennyburk.com/how-to-deal-with-false-teachers/

      TO BE CONTINUED

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    2. --S wrote: "Please, please be careful."
      You are assuming I wasn’t careful before I wrote this.

      --S wrote: "Remember Jesus' words? He who is without sin, cast the first stone.
      You use that scripture incorrectly. For the reader’s sake, it is John 8:7. What was happening there was that a man and woman had been caught in adultery. However it was a set up, and the Pharisees brought only the woman to Jesus. They were using her to set a trap. They kept pressing Jesus to answer their charge of adultery, which required a stoning. If Jesus said stone her, then they’d say He wasn’t the savior. If He didn’t say stone her they’d say He broke the Law. If he said nothing, they’d say He didn’t know.

      What the Law actually required though was BOTH parties, two witnesses, and a trial. Jess wrote something in the sand, and when they still kept pressing Him, he said, OK, stone her, but only if you are without sin connected to this charge, also. They knew they were beat, and left the scene. If you prefer learning scriptures from men with theological training, and you said at the start, then here is a good short essay explaining how that scripture should be understood: http://www.gotquestions.org/without-sin-cast-first-stone.html

      The lesson here though is similar to one in Matthew 7:1-3, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why behold thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

      What this means is, don’t judge something unless you have cleared the decks of your own sins and can see to judge righteously. This can be summed up in John 7:24: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

      TO BE CONTINUED

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    3. --S wrote: "I have been where you are, faced with other Christians who interpret Scripture different than I.
      This is not a matter of interpreting scripture differently. It is a matter of understanding it in the first place.

      --S wrote: "I have been enraged with (self) righteous indignation that I know so much about what the Bible said about end times. I am older now. With years comes grace (and some wisdom).
      That is true. I hope you have been given that grace and wisdom. Unfortunately you also need some discernment.

      --S wrote: "Jesus came to unite to himself all who would follow him. We now are to do the same.
      No we are not. We do not unite with those who preach false things, teach a different Gospel, and lead others astray. “Unity” at the expense of truth is no unity at all. By the way, Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

      --S wrote: "If you feel so strongly about these women's views, wouldn't it be more Jesus-like to send them a note and ask them to share why they view things the way they do? Would that not be less divisive and more unifying?
      Did they send me a note asking me how I felt about what they teach and preach before they started conferences and blogs and wrote books? No. Again, their teaching is public, they are influencing the masses, and I am publicly commenting on their public teaching. Jesus didn’t write a thoughtful little note to the Pharisees asking to have a conversation over tea. He spoke truth about their false teachings. So did John the Baptist. So did Paul. So did Peter. Even John was angry and dismissive at times. They were actually a LOT harsher than I ever am.

      By the way, and I don’t have to tell you this, one of the women contacted me. We had an email exchange. I used a lot of scripture. In each email she ignored it, insisting on a conversation with an emotional not a scriptural basis. Kind of like you’re doing.

      Unity? No. I HOPE TO DIVIDE. DIVISION IS THE GOAL. We are to separate from any falsity, and stay apart from those who bring it. The result will be grace.

      --S wrote: "I'm just sayin...a little grace might make the non-Christians find us Christians a bit more appealing.

      First, I answer to Jesus, not non-Christians. I am His ambassador, charged with bringing His message as given, and protecting it. Second, what Non-Christians find appealing are holy people, and when they see us compromising and accepting all sorts of teaching, they become defeated. What non-Christians like is people who stay pure.

      The most extreme example of this is that the church in Acts GREW after Ananias and Sapphira were killed for lying, a drastic example of how important it is for Jesus to keep His church pure. (Acts 5:5, 5:9, 5:11, 9:31). Yet the church that compromised and soiled their garments became a dead church and the people in it, dead. (Sardis) Just sayin’.

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    4. So much "yes", to all of this. Those that love the world, hate those assured of God's truth, as much as they hate truth itself - for the very fact that truth convicts, and divides.

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  11. Excellent discernment the Lord gave you Elizabeth. I appreciate these articles very very much. I hope to continue to have my eyes and ears spiritually open as the Lord leads. We forget that they come disguised as friendly sheep.

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  12. Just today I read a quote written on a pic of a lady sitting on a deck gazing at the water. The quote is from Lynn Cowell. "A posture of humility brings God's presence to my problem" She put her name underneath the quote. I immediately saw the deception in "brings God's presence to my problem" These kind of quotes are all over twitter and facebook.

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