I’ve heard sermons extolling the Bereans for searching the Scriptures, but it’s a rare preacher indeed who will urge his listeners to themselves search the Scriptures to see if what he is teaching them is true.
When I’ve heard it, it’s often been about fact-checking him on details.
Some time ago, the Victory Today Facebook page posted someone’s Bible study notes without context. As of this writing, 2.5 years later, it has been reposted (Shared) 88 THOUSAND times.
The original author said that in her original context, she was only talking about small things, and she was sorry this was shared without her context. So with that disclaimer I’ll proceed, because Victory Today gave only this chart, and this is the only context that 88,000 people had for reposting it. Continue reading “If Someone Offends Me, Should I Not Talk About It?”
“Let your speech always be gracious [or in some versions, ‘with grace’ or ‘full of grace’], seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
This is one of the many Scriptures used to teach us to “speak sweet.” When I researched it, I found article after article telling us that having “gracious” speech, or speech that is “full of grace” means speaking in a kind and inoffensive way to and about everyone.
And to those writers, “seasoned with salt” means “pleasant tasting.” Again, inoffensive, causing no waves, just pleasant and smiling and plastic no matter what.
And for my non-American readers, here’s the rest of that old adage:
In May I recorded the audiobook for the second Untwisting Scriptures book, focusing on Patriarchy and Authority.
I’m happy to say that the producer is a professional sound engineer who has done audio work for Julie Roys, Dr. Diane Langberg, and other advocates.
It should be available within a few days, I hope!
I’ve mentioned before that most of the chapters of this book were blog posts before they were edited into chapters, going all the way back to 2013. But a few of them were written brand new for the book.
One of those new ones was chapter 18, “The Authority We Have in Jesus Christ.” A day or two ago as I was listening to the optimized version of this chapter, I thought, “Hmmm, this information is so important, I should probably make it available free of charge to those who for one reason or another won’t or can’t buy the book.” Continue reading “Yes, We Really Do Have Authority in Jesus Christ”
In our correspondence, you referred to the parable of the talents as a story of a person being punished “because he feared the master’s severity. It was not about the cleverness of investing but about how he viewed the owner/master,” you said. “I hate it… but that’s soo me. And I know it displeases Him. Because if I BELIEVED in my heart what my head and you tell me of Him, I wouldn’t be feeling this. So I don’t. And it feels like I can’t.” Continue reading “The Parable of the Talents, for a Fearful Abuse Survivor”
I knew she had come out of the Bill Gothard cult (Advanced Training Institute, ATI), I knew she was now free from it, and I knew she loved Jesus. (A rare combination, it seems, for young people who grew up Gothard.)
But it was when I heard her being interviewed in a Called to Peace Ministries Facebook Live that I heard that story. I asked her to share more with me about it, and she sent me her testimony.
The thing is, my friends. The thing is, I was sure that the people who leave cults and also leave Jesus don’t really know who He is. I figured they couldn’t have really found out who He is, clear through, as He’s presented in the gospels.
NOTE: I’ve written about fear a number of times. Some of the most pertinent are listed and linked down at the end of this article.
We don’t want to ignore the fear signals that tell us to get out of an unsafe situation, and I’ve addressed those in other articles. But the encouraging “fear not” verses in the Bible will help us to shed inappropriate fear.
Have you heard, as I have, that there are 365 “fear not” verses in the Bible, one for every day of the year? (And that this is supposed to help you remember to not be afraid.)
Well, that sounded a little suspect to me, so I decided to check it out. Turns out even websites like this one that claimed they were giving you all “365” fear not verses actually listed fewer than 150.
A couple of years ago I wrote a series about “fear” (part one, part two, part three). But I knew there was much more for me to learn, and for me to share with others.
Not to mention that I want my next Untwisting Scriptures book to be (tentatively) subtitled Shut Your Mouth and Stuff Your Emotions.
Yesterday, a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I sat outside with my Bible and pondered “perfect love casts out fear” in 1 John (which I plan to blog about eventually). As I did, I thought about the typical ways believers are told to “cast out fear” and get on the right track with their “perfect love.”
All too often church leaders and other church people tell us that it’s by “choosing to do right,” our actions, our behavior, our internal decisions. Gritting our teeth and forcing ourselves. Will power. There may be some mention of the Holy Spirit, but it is often passing and incidental.