Monday, November 14, 2016

Discernment case in point: Glennon Doyle Melton comes out as gay

Two and a half years ago, in spring of 2014, I wrote about a popular blogger and author named Glennon Doyle Melton. Melton's blog called Momastery boasted 70,000 views per day, hordes of followers calling themselves 'Monkees', and a fan base for her books most bloggers only dream of. Melton's influence in the mom world and faith world cannot be overestimated. The Houston Chronicle wrote of Melton this past September,
The world can be divided into two groups: those who've never heard the name Glennon Doyle Melton, and those who know pretty much everything there is to know about her. ... The number of people who know these things about Doyle Melton is not insignificant. She's a writer whose publicity team estimates that her blog and social media posts reach 7 million readers a week. And that camp is about to get a lot bigger. [with the upcoming release of her new book]
To millions of women, Melton was THE Christian example.



Melton blogged about two subjects, mostly. Herself as a mom, and herself as a Christian. She dispensed Christian advice and spoke of Jesus and faith.

In 2014, after being contacted by a reader wondering about Melton, I did some research. What I found was disheartening. I'd written flatly that Melton was not a Christian, that her lifestyle was a terrible example to Christian wives and moms, and that she was as far from Jesus as the east is from the west. I used scripture and logic and Melton's own statements to show why. The discernment lesson was to look at the kind of example Christian women should set in their walk, pretty much the opposite of Melton's. You can read that essay here.

I received a lot of emails and comments calling me a big ole poopy head, and to stop being such a meanie.

One of the deplorable things Melton had written in one of her blogs was in a hypothetical letter she and her then-husband would hypothetically deliver to their son in case their son ever came out as gay:
Chase, we don't believe that homosexuality is a sin.
Today Glennon Doyle Melton came out as as lesbian. She admitted to dating soccer champ Abby Wambach.

Those with discernment could see this coming. Melton was brash, had separated from her husband years ago, (but failed in her "authentic life" initially to tell her 'Monkees'), she played fast and loose with the Bible, she had a poor hermeneutic, and she violated many scriptures as to the appropriate lifestyle for women. However many of Meltons' Monkees blindly followed her. Thankfully, there are just as many true Christian women who could not see this coming, but when it was pointed out, were grateful for the information. Those women went off and did their own research, studied, and prayed, and came to their own conclusions.

I'm saddened that Melton has chosen this path, but as the inevitable progression in Romans 1:18-32 shows us, when you abandon Jesus as your cornerstone, you crumble until you're so blinded that you cannot think straight and are filled with all manner of evil. I pray Melton repents. Jesus is such a gracious Savior, He would accept her plea for forgiveness of this sin.

And now for the discernment lesson. All Christians are responsible for their own growth in discernment. (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Here is a study guide discussing the importance of discernment for every Christian and a practical guide as to developing it. Some people have been given an extra dose of discernment by the Holy Spirit. These people possess the gift of distinguishing of spirits, or discernment, as seen in 1 Corinthians 12:10. The reason the Spirit dispenses this gift and installs Christians possessing it into local churches, is to be an early warning system for the Body. A person with discernment warns and this gives the rest of the Body an opportunity to study and prepare and take action if necessary. Satan's tentacles embed themselves quickly and deeply, so an early warning system helps keep people alert and on the safe path of righteousness.

There are many reasons a person with the gift of discernment continues to practice it and employ the gift. There are many reasons we do not abandon the gift.

1. To point fingers. Yes, we name names, point fingers, and warn. Is it right to do this? Yes. Most of the epistles were corrective in nature. Every NT book except Philemon contained some kind of rebuttal or warning about false doctrine. The NT writers were concerned with this issue and it hasn't gone away so we are concerned with this issue as well. It's not an issue that 'gets old'. Discernment is not an issue we outgrow. We're in a battle and we do not lay down our arms until we die or the trumpet calls us home.

As a side note, I'll relate a little story from my journalism days. I was an investigative reporter for a weekly newspaper. There were no two issues that riled the local people more than taxes and land. I had been following a local story about an important re-zoning issue. It was a series. I'd begun each new report with the same short review each week. I got tired of writing the same review introduction each week, and asked my Journalism mentor if it was really necessary. It seemed that everyone was following the issue. It seemed that surely everyone would be up to speed. He said no, don't stop writing the intro every week. As a matter of fact, he said, write it as if it's the first time you ever wrote it. There are always people who come to an issue for the first time.

I'll follow that up with a real example that happened to me in the discernment realms two weeks ago. I write about the dangers of Beth Moore a lot. I've written about her numerous times. I was getting tired of writing about Beth Moore. Surely everyone knows she's false. Surely everyone is up to speed, I'd begun to think.

Well, someone, somewhere posted a link to an old essay I'd written about Beth Moore. It suddenly was getting a lot of traction. I mean, like thousands of views per day. I received an email from a younger woman. She said thank you for the essay, and she said "this is the first time I've ever heard anything bad about Beth Moore." I wept in gratitude that the Spirit is so faithful. So yes, I point fingers, and I always will.

2. To be an early warning system. We are part of a perfectly knit scheme of Christians each working in tandem through our various gifts for the good of the body to the glory of Jesus. In the employment of the gift of discernment, I warned about Melton two years ago. If a women read that, and did her own personal diligence in studying and asking the Spirit for help in determining truth from error, and decided to reject Melton and not read her blogs or books any more, then that woman has an added two years under her belt of serving the Lord in spirit and in truth. She has avoided the pitfall of false doctrine. She has escaped sin, and following false teachers is sin. Nothing makes me happier than to employ the spiritual gift of discernment in a way the Spirit uses for Jesus' glory and the edification of a lady out there.

I mention my earlier blog about Melton so that you can see my own track record. Over time, have I been in error? Have I strengthened in the gift of discernment, or have I weakened in it? Have I used scripture to show the issue? Or is it all just my opinion?

So the best things to do, ladies, is first pray and ask the Spirit to increase your own discernment. Read the Bible, which will become your benchmark against which all other things will be tested. Then, find a person or persons who have a solid track record of discernment and read their work. Here is what John MacArthur says he does regarding the gift of discernment:
Those people who come along who can think critically, and analytically, and carefully, and thoughtfully, and even historically, and know where error has come and gone before and who can say, “here’s a proper understanding of it,” they become the watchmen of the church.  We put them in seminaries and we send young men to learn from them.  Why?  So that they can learn to discern by learning how these men discern. 
I don’t know what you want to call it.  Maybe you feel uncomfortable calling it still the gift of distinguishing of spirits or discerning of spirits, but it is obvious to me that God has set some in the church who are uniquely gifted to be models of discernment that we can follow.  I read books.  Whenever there are issues that I want to face, there are certain authors that I know about who have written in that area, and I want to know what they say, because they help to give me insight because of the clarity with which they are able to discern certain areas of truth. 
Do you have a cadre of trusted authors to whom you turn in researching certain areas? I do. I trust RC Sproul when it comes to the topics of Beauty, Justification, and Holiness. I trust John MacArthur in eschatology and exegeting the NT. I trust Justin Peters for discernment issues, as well as Matt Slick at CARM. I trust Mark Dever for church matters.

I trust them because these men have a proven track record, are consistently biblical, and live a life of holiness aligned with biblical principles and expectations.

Could you see Glennon Doyle Melton's lesbianism coming? If you could, thank the Holy Spirit. If you couldn't, thank a discernment blogger, author, person in your church for warning you. It's a grief that this woman Glennon is so deep into sin that she is with another woman. The Bible is clear-

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature... (Romans 1:26).

As for the rest of us ladies, walking, running, plodding along the path, doing the best we can, Jude 1:24-25 says,

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.



17 comments :

  1. I have not heard of this woman, so thank you for writing about her.

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  2. I myself admire Glennons work, and am on the fence as to her recent changes, but as a sister in Christ I would like to remind you of one thing: empathy. there is no attempt to understand in your words, and if you don't meet people where they are (as Jesus did) you will not be able to lead them where they need to go. There's a way to say "I disagree with you" and "I love you" at the same time. Please consider this.

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    1. I agree empathy is all important. I completely empathize with Jesus, His sufferings to fulfill the Law and release us from bondage. I am empathetic with His exhortations and expectations for pure and holy living. He is the Way, and the truth and the Life.

      As far as false teachers go, like Melton, who use the name of Jesus and put homosexual sin under His umbrella of love, I have NO empathy. False teachers are agents of satan, out to lie, steal, deceive, and make merchandise of the brethren. I am not empathetic with that. I am with Paul:

      As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Gal 1:9

      I don't think anyone can say Paul wasn't empathetic. He loved his flock dearly. However, he had zero empathy for false teachers. I don't either.

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    2. Amen to this! Excellent response to sympathizers and "empathizers"!!!

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    3. If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Gal 1:9
      Amen!

      Thank you for boldly proclaiming truth.

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    4. I, too, applaud your firm Christ-honoring stance, Elizabeth. I'm a new reader of your blog, and I have to tell you...it's so refreshing to read your Biblically-based writings without apologies. Now is not the time to waiver. I've seen many friends and family members fall away because they put more stock in what the world says versus what God says. His Word NEVER changes. It's not to be edited, revised, altered, manipulated, updated -- it just IS. So many today want the Word to fit into their world, but we're not even supposed to be of this world. In it, yes. But only for a short time until He calls His children home. I was never a reader of Melton's. I visited her site once years ago, but when I learned how loosely she blogged about her life, I quickly ran from that mess.

      I think I'll stick around for awhile. I desperately need some Christian friends who live out their faith, and my circle seems to be getting smaller by the day.

      God bless! And thanks for providing a place where we ladies can fellowship and learn to live out a life of faith that is pleasing to Him.

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    5. Hi Lisa and Momma24,

      Thank you so much for your kind words of support! You are welcome here whether it's to lurk or to comment. I cherish the ladies' readership and thank you both for visiting!

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  3. 10/10 will read again. I'm most interested to reread your 2014 article, because I remember reading it. I anticipate being impressed by your prescience and thereby also encouraged. Thank you for what you're doing for women in the church (and out), because as a Christian man, I have every reason to be invested in this.

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  4. Saw this headline before you posted. Was going to give you a heads up, since I remembered you previously addressed this problematic woman (the name rang a bell), but I knew you'd find this new article without any help.

    Rejecting this woman should be a no brainer. To the one who said they're sitting on the fence, the devil owns the fence.

    As for recommended resources, I personally avoid anyone who isn't strongly premillennial. As your reader bloggerjim said in a comment in another of your posts, there's too much misinterpretation of Scripture from those men (amill's, also postmil's and preterists) due to their incorrect method of scriptural interpretation. In other words, eschatological error is really an overall hermeneutic error.

    -Carolyn

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    1. Clarification - "rejecting this woman" - in the sense that it is abundantly clear that she is not a sound Bible teacher; her teaching should be flatly rejected. Someone who claims to be a Christian while pursuing willful sin should be a major red flag.

      -Carolyn

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    2. Hi Carolyn,
      I too believe the correct eschatological position is premill but unlike you, I have found a boat load of error among this group on other aspects of theology. I have quit reading any blogs that have to do with end times, with the exception of Elizabeth's, because of this. On the other hand, I have several blogs that I read where the author does not hold that view of eschatology, but we agree on more important doctrines like the doctrines of grace, literal 6 day creation, etc.

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    3. Hi Jennifer,

      I appreciate what you are trying to say. I will clarify by agreeing that I have also found some doctrine errors in some with premill eschatology. No one is exempt from error. Acts 17:11. But from my observation, those who are premill do have the correct hermeneutic framework: literal, grammatical, historical.

      I have found far greater problems with those who have a hermeneutic framework that is not literal, historical, and grammatical. Their misguided hermeneutic framework does affect many other doctrines. An example, many reformed hold to infant baptism. Some take it so far as to speak of so-called "covenant children", the belief that children of believers will become believers themselves. There is no such guarantee in the Bible.

      That said, I have little to do with most of what's in the Christian blogosphere. I do appreciate the few I do follow. I choose blogs based on as much total doctrine agreement as possible. Ie, I'm not going to follow someone with whom I disagree on eschatology even if I agree on soteriology.

      I also have little to do with most of celebrity Christianity, i.e., well-known preachers, known for better or for worse. Same thought process as I have with blogs.

      That will be all for me on this. My apologies, Elizabeth, I won't go down the rabbit trail any further.

      Back to the topic at hand: Melton. That woman is clearly a disaster to follow. I know next to nothing about her - and don't care to learn any more about her - but I am thankful to those who have called this issue out to the table, because there are no doubt some sisters in Christ who may have been swayed by Melton.

      -Carolyn

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  5. Glennon is basically a New Ager, so no, it is not surprising news. I hope there are.people warning her of her errors (not that she doesn't know better, but still, deception is an awfully strong thing) and praying for her. I do feel badly for her for her husband's cheating.

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  6. Thank you for your article! I was invited by a friend to attend the Charlotte NC Women of Faith conference where GDM was a surprise guest speaker. I had never heard of her and the audience received in a warm, almost worshipful way.
    Since then, I am left so confused and disheartened by our Christian culture acceptance of 'anything goes'. It truly grieves me, and I'm concerned for the potentially millions of women being lead astray, or further confused about their sexuality. I scoured the internet for anyone who dared to speak Biblical truth into this situation, and I don't mean just homosexuality, but also idolatry, and honestly the lack of Scripture, and foundational teachings of Christ. I found four articles. People who know me know I love and give freely, no matter what the burdens and brokenness of those I serve and live among may be.
    Why aren't more Believers talking about this? I know you mentioned several Bible teachers, who I also respect. But are there any other women who realize that this is heresy? I'd love any recommendations to connect me to them.
    Thank you so much!

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    1. Only 4 articles, what a pitiful state of things. But praise the Lord for the 4,adn for you to whom He gave discernment and can identify the truth!

      Michelle Lesley offers good teachings at her web page. MichellelesleyBooks.com.

      Erin Benziger has a podcast called Equipping Eve. (equippingeve.org).

      DebbieLynne Kespert writes good blog essays. https://headstickdeb.com/

      Sharon Lareau is solid. http://chapter3min.org/author/strandexec/

      You can see their blogrolls and expand from there... :)

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    2. Bios:Michelle is a 40 something homeschooling mom of multiple children, Erin is a youngish single (I assume single because she never mentions a husband), DebbieLynne is a married woman with Cerebral Palsy and types with a headstick, and Sharon is a homeschooling mom with health issues. The gamut of women at different stages!

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