“The rotting decay of feminism”

Feminism is cancer.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “feminist?” Is it a strong woman who after years of being oppressed by men finally got the guts to break free and stand up to them? Or is it someone who is just simply fighting for equality of the sexes? A Facebook taken survey shows some of the first thoughts- liberal lunatics, perverted causes, trying to prove they are acceptable, superior, vulgar, godless, shameless, prideful, in bondage, angry, not celebrating differences, no peace or joy, insecure, screaming liberals..Sounds like the worst of qualities, right? But the purpose of this post is to walk you through what the majority think feminism is and to make my case that a lot of times the most threatening feminist is not the one in your face screaming obscenities. The most threatening feminist comes from within the church. Feminism is like a rotting, decay that is seeping into every single area of this culture.

According to history books, the 1st wave of feminism began around 1848, with a gathering in Seneca Falls, NY to fight for women’s rights. There was another wave that began around the 1960’s which greatly influenced the views of women’s oppression and roles of women in the family. The 3rd wave is said to have started around the 1990’s and is still continuing, though some argue we are currently in the 4th wave. For the 3rd wave, gender identity and sexuality were a big issue. No longer should women have to identify as soft, gentle, or feminine. Instead they were now proud and defiant. And men became viewed as the oppressor of all women, hence the phrase “toxic masculinity.” Masculinity was now viewed as “harmful” to women.

I would argue that according to Scripture, feminism began much earlier than 1848. We are told that in Genesis 3 as a result of sin and the fall that we would be forever cursed with “wanting to rule over” our husbands. Let’s talk about the two types of feminism that are perpetuating the culture and then we will dig more into Genesis 3. There is “secular feminism” which basically says “I am entitled to compete on an equal basis with men.” Then we have, as some call it, “biblical feminism” which states “ I seek the freedom to follow Christ as He calls me, and to use my gifts however I choose for His kingdom.” For instance, those who say “teaching and preaching have been given to me as gifts from God and though I’m a woman, God would want me to use my gifts.”I want to make the case for my view, that there is no such thing as a “biblical feminist.” The two words used together are an oxymoron.

I think any church going evangelical would deny that secular feminism is an issue within their local church. They would agree that men and women are different, have different roles and hold to the “Complementarianism” view. This view states that men and women have different roles that compliment each other when it comes to all areas such as the home, church, or family. Women are precluded from certain roles that require leadership over men. Men have a headship role, women have a support role. While many claim to have this view, they now have muddied the line as to what is an acceptable role for women in the church. The typical evangelical pictures a feminist as a typical man hating, female with an extreme liberal agenda who goes around and fights against men and for the right to abort her own children.

But as I will point out, the second kind of feminism mentioned is a much more imminent threat to Christians. There is a group of women who won’t be out fighting to participate in male sports or events. They aren’t out taking over the work place. But they are attempting to twist the Scripture to allow room for their “biblical feminism.” These types of women exist and are all throughout the church. Recently in a discussion on social media, the passage in 1 Timothy 2:12 was brought up. Paul says “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, rather she is to remain quiet.” Paul is forbidding all women from filling the role of pastor or teacher over men or exercising any authority over men in the church assembly. When this passage was brought up in the discussion, the woman commented “Well, that was just a cultural standard for that time” and secondly she stated “We shouldn’t limit God or put Him in a box because He can use whoever He wants to speak for Him.” Technically God can do whatever He wants according to Psalm 115:3-“But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” However, God will not at any time contradict His Written Word.

How do we know that the standard set in 1 Timothy 2:12 wasn’t just cultural or geographical? We have to look at other passages. In 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 the very same commandment is laid out- “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” There is something new added to the beginning of that passage which is the statement “As in all the congregations.” This clearly implies that this is not a cultural standard but is God’s standard that was put in place for ALL of the churches or ALL of the congregations.

I’ve also heard Galatians 3:28 used to advocate that women can fill whatever role they desire in the church. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” To argue that this verse does away with God given roles of headship and submission is ludicrous. This verse is telling believers that there is no “spiritual inequality” with God, we are all one in Christ Jesus if we have been redeemed by His blood. No where does this verse state that the God ordained roles of male leadership within the church and home have been done away with. The fact is, that over and over again, the Word of God lays out a pattern of male spiritual leadership and female submission. So many churches, however, are trying to imitate satan in the garden of Eden when he said to Eve about the forbidden fruit “Did God really say?”..

So many so called “Christians” and church leaders are trying to incorporate feminism and women leadership roles into the church. The rotting decay of feminism has no longer been content with staying in the secular realm, it’s now seeping into the church, yes, even the ultra-conservative Southern Baptist churches. One example is last year, Brentwood Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist megachurch, ordained a woman to the pastorate. https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/02/17/southern-baptist-megachurch-ordains-female-pastor/ It was reported that they changed the ordination announcement from “pastor” to “minister” after some of the members complained. The woman was ordained at the church and given a pastoral position over men as “minister to senior adults.” Do the research and you will quickly find out that there is a rapidly spreading movement amongst churches to ordain women and allow them to teach men. Just check out this video of Southern Baptist darling Beth Moore preaching on a Sunday morning from the pulpit at Transformation church- https://youtu.be/MCIRf1S6cr0

Continue reading ““The rotting decay of feminism””

 Why do we say no more babies? 

This is the post excerpt.

  1. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb; a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them. He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5                                                                                All throughout Scripture you can look and see one common theme about children, they are a reward and a blessing from God. This passage in Psalms mentioned above gives us a view into how we as Christians are to view children and child bearing. We would never tell the Lord “please, stop you are blessing me with way too much money!” Or “please Lord, do not give me one more friend, I’ve just got too many!” We never tell the Lord to stop blessing us except for in the area of our womb! So that beckons the question, do you really view children as a reward and blessing? If we do, we would want as many blessings as He would give us. Why would anyone choose to cut off blessings that are straight from the hand of God? The reward of the womb? We have to be willing to look at this from a biblical perspective. There are three main reasons I see that are causing women to say no more babies-                                                        1) It represents a total denial of self. “I just want to travel more.” ” I want more sleep,” “I just want 5 minutes in the bathroom alone.” Children will ultimately consume all our time. We will have to die to our self and the things we want to do in order to raise godly children. It is no longer about us. We sacrifice hours of being up at night, nursing babies, bandaging boo boo’s, cooking meals and preparing snacks, changing their diapers and wiping runny noses. There will be little or no time to indulge ourselves or let our flesh do what it wants to do. But this is the ultimate picture of Christianity. We must take up our crosses and daily die to ourselves and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24) We must die to ourselves. Our purpose is now to raise up godly children that love Him and His Word. We are a picture to the outside world of what that looks like through bearing children. Raising children will be the hardest thing you will ever do, but as the Scripture says, they are that most rewarding thing and they are a gift of God. Now most upon hearing the term “die to self” will cringe. It is in our flesh to not want to die. That represents something we do not want. But if we are going to follow Christ we must be willing to do so in every area, including his plan of how many children we have.                                                         2) The second reason is because it represents putting all your trust and faith in Him in every area. This is a difficult thing to do. But what does the Scripture say? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding;in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 How many of us really trust Him in the area of childbearing? How about this statement -“I just can’t afford to have anymore” How much trust in the Lord is in that statement? Are you really saying that you don’t trust the Lord to take care of you if he chooses to sovereignly open your womb? Or what about those who say “I just can’t handle anymore.” Why not? Maybe your flesh feels overwhelmed at times but do you really think the Lord will not give you the strength to raise anymore children? Can not the sovereign God of the universe, the maker of heaven and earth, sustain you and give you everything you need to raise the children He decides to bless you with? Or what about those who say “my health is just too bad to go through another pregnancy. I have really tough pregnancies.” Well how do you know that it’s not God’s will for you to suffer in that way? Maybe God wants to bring glory to Himself by showing you and others that He can do the impossible and safely bring you through another pregnancy, despite how miserable they make you feel. You could choose to be a living testimony and say “yes, I have awful pregnancies but I trust the Lord and if he chooses to open my womb then He will take care of it and use it for His glory whatever the outcome. You see, it requires putting full trust in Him and entrusting our very body and womb to Him. We might say “Lord I feel overwhelmed, but I trust you if you decide to open my womb and I trust you to physically give me the strength I need to be a mother.”                                                                         3) It represents many hardships and trials. The more children you have, the more worry will be present. As a parent we all worry about our children. Will they grow up to know and love the Lord? Will they choose a godly spouse? Or when they reach the driving years our main concerm will be “are they safe? ” There are many things we could sit and worry about. There will be many discipline issues along the way as they become independent and their flesh will desire to have its own way. There are the teenage years to think about, the dating, the rebellious middle schooler,  the tenascious three’s, etc.  It is no easy task raising children. There will be blood, sweat and many tears. But the more you sacrifice the more become like Christ. You will learn to lean on Him through every situation. You will literally learn that you cannot parent without Him. You will need that time in the Word or you can’t make it through the day. You need that time in prayer to ask Him to give you patience and to help you to be a godly example. You will rely on Him more fully to give you the strength to be both a wife and a mother. You learn to go to Him for for everything you struggle with in parenting and He becomes your greatest peace and strength throughout your parenting journey. So all of these things that parenting brings to you- denial of self, sacrifice, absolute trust, dependency on Him, those are all godly qualities. The more children you have the more you will possess these qualities. Please seek the Scripture about all these things! Let the Lord have control of every area in your life including your childbearing and you will find riches and  rewards that cannot be described! 

God’s selective grace and particular love

Does God love everyone? Does God show grace to all men?

Have you ever really pondered the idea about how you chose your spouse? There were many fish in the sea, many with admirable traits. But out of all the other human beings in the world, you decided to marry and spend forever with that certain individual. And only because you thought they were worthy of your love and possessed something you wanted. Now think about God and His choosing you for salvation. It is quite remarkable. God choosing to set His love on an individual. There was no good in you. No worthiness. No holiness or something that set you apart from the others. You were just as lost and miserable as the rest.

The word “foreknow” as used in Romans 8:29 is used as a verb and “speaks of a predetermined choice to set His love on an individual and establish an intimate relationship.” (John MacArthur)

A friend recently told me ”God’s elective grace is beautiful.” And you know what is so crazy about that? The majority don’t see it that way. Usually when this topic is brought up, the glorious beauty of it is not spoken of but you hear things like “You mean God doesn’t choose everyone?!” Instead of marveling on the fact God chose to save any men. We are all deserving of hell and the wrath of God. Many view this truth as offensive, cruel, and unfair. Augustine says this- “Since man of himself can do nothing good, all power to do good must be the free gift of God, that is “grace.” Out of the mass of the fallen race God chooses some to receive this grace.” I recently memorized Ephesians 1. It amazed me to see how many times the kindness of God is talked about related to the doctrine of election.

“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,..” Ephesians 1:5

“Thinking on the topic of God’s love, with the exception of John 3:16, not once in the four Gospels do we read of the Lord Jesus telling sinners that God loved them. In the book of Acts, which records the evangelistic labors and messages of the apostles, God’s love is never referred to at all! The first thing to note in connection with John 3:16 is that our Lord was there speaking to Nicodemus- a man who believed that God’s mercies were confined to his own nation. “God so loved the world” signifies God’s love is international in scope. In other words, this was Christ’s announcement that God had a purpose of grace toward Gentiles, as well as Jews. This does not mean that God loves every single individual.” -A.W.Pink

Let me ask you a question. If it’s true that God loves every member of the human family then why did our Lord tell his disciples in John 14:21- “The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and (B)the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will (C)reveal Myself to him.”

Or how about Proverbs 8:17? ”I love those who love me, and those who seek me early shall find me.”

And we know that love is described as “keeping no record of wrongs”in 1 Corinthians 13:5 yet those who are thrown in hell are put there because their wrongs/sins have been held against them. They have not had the slate wiped clean and their wrongs pardoned by Christ. He has kept record of their wrongs.

Bottom line- God shows love and mercy to whom He chooses. (Romans 9:16) While there may be a general love for His creation, it is not the same as His particular, saving love for the elect. So many wrongly judge God instead of praising Him for this glorious truth! He could rightfully have chosen to send all mankind to hell since we have all fallen short of the glory of God and deserve His wrath (Romans 3:23)

If you have fallen into this category of misjudging God for His right to show grace and love to certain individuals, two things are in order.

  1. Repent. Repent for judging God’s lovingkindness as harsh or unfair. There is only one reason we take this view and that is pride. Pride won’t let us acknowledge that God has every right to choose some and not all. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
  2. Ask the Lord for wisdom regarding this truth. Ask Him to open your eyes. Go to the Scripture and see if this is not truth. God chose Israel. God chose His prophets. God chose His disciples. And God chose whom He would save before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) It is His prerogative to do so. He is sovereign over all souls.
  1. Here are some passages to help your studies- “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’sown possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9 “just as (A)He chose us in Him before (B)the foundation of the world, that we would be (C)holy and blameless before [a]Him. (D)In love5 [b]He (E)predestined us to (F)adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, (G)according to the good pleasure of His will,” Ephesians 1:4-5 But we should always give thanks to God for you, (B)brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because (C)God has chosen you [a]from the beginning (D)for salvation [b](E)through sanctification [c]by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13
    Let us gather together in thanksgiving to the Lord and openly praise Him for His sovereign grace, His choosing of us, His particular love, our redemption, and that He will keep us until the end.

Women stop forcing your husbands to have vasectomies

Did the title get your attention? This may be a touchy subject but I’m willing to broach it. I have talked to way too many women who have either forced their husbands to get a vasectomy or have made them feel guilty for not getting one. I want to briefly discuss this in the following blog.

So, the argument goes like this ”Babe, you should get a vasectomy since we are done having kids and it is easier for the man to get snipped than for the woman to have her tubes tied.” The husband then explains how he doesn’t want anyone snipping on his manhood. The wife grows angry that he won’t comply and tells him he is being selfish and the husband sheepishly complies and makes the appointment. There are many things wrong with this scenario.

First, children are a blessing from the Lord.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

What is your motivation for cutting off these blessings? Have you prayed through this? As Voddie Baucham puts it, ”We don’t tell God to stop blessing us in our finances, or our friends, or businesses so why are we so quick to try to shut off His blessings in the area of children?” This is something that should be prayed through and the decision made together as husband and wife.

Secondly, there are risks with a vasectomy. Studies show men in their older age are more likely to have prostate problems if they have had a vasectomy. No such risk applies for women who have had their tubes tied. I’ve even read studies of men having more mental issues down the road after going through a vasectomy. “The evidence suggests that the process may also be associated with by psychological complications, including depression, irritability and somatic symptoms15.” These side effects should be considered. And to be honest, men just don’t want their manhood being cut on. And I can’t blame them one bit. See this article for more info regarding the risks- https://www.pop.org/problems-side-effects-men-vasectomy/

Third, who is really leading the family if your husband gets ”forced” into having one? The Scripture is clear on man being the head of a woman.

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3

Are you really going to assume it’s honoring to the Lord to guilt trip your husband into something he doesn’t want to do? Certainly this is one of the most important decisions you will make as a couple and your husband should lead the way, not you. I assure you, if your husband goes to get a vasectomy because you ”made him” then the surgery is not what affected his ”manhood” but is indicative of his inability to lead by letting you make the decisions. I think it is harder to respect a man who won’t put his foot down when we try to lead with our emotions and make the decisions. My husband straight out of the gate told me ”I won’t get one and you won’t make me get one.” I respect him for that. It would be sinful of me to try to manipulate him or force him in any way after he made it clear how he feels about the procedure.

I hope that you will consider these points I’ve made regarding making the choice about child bearing and vasectomies. Pray through this. Don’t do something you will regret by closing the door on the blessing of more children. Let your husband lead the way as far as making the decisions in this area. May Christ be glorified through your submission!

22 (AV)Wives, (AW)subject yourselves to your own husbands, (AX)as to the Lord. 23 For (AY)the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the (AZ)head of the church, He Himself (BA)being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24

Defy the culture and bring glory to God..one biscuit at a time.

How a woman’s role is important in the most simple of tasks.

These may just look like an ordinary pan of biscuits. However, these are 15 years of practicing to make the perfect buttermilk biscuit for my family. I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t this a theology page? What does this have to do with the Scripture? I’m getting there.

I have this innate joy that God has given me from being in my kitchen. Making food for those I love is most joyous and fulfilling. While everyone is constantly saying the world is better served by women who go out and pursue degrees as doctors, VP’s, and professors, the Scripture teaches us that there is no better place for them than in the home. This design is clearly laid out over and over again in the Bible- that the woman was created for the man, that her husband is her head, that she has responsibility for raising up her children, and that her place is in the home. Beginning in Genesis, discussed in Proverbs and on into the New Testament, we see the glorious plan God has for women. Not one of drudgery, but of joy. Your husband has a leadership role to play in society and in the church and us women have a supportive role. This role is ever so important to the family unit. There is nothing that gives glory to God quite like a woman who manages her home well. She is not idle, she cares for the members of her household, she always looks to the needs of her husband and does so without complaining. Oh how I pray to be this type of woman!

The consequences of not taking care of your home are also given. The Word tells us in Titus 2:5- “to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” The Word of God is dishonored when we claim we believe it, but don’t live it out. God and His Word are glorified when we obey and are faithful to our roles as women. How can we claim to believe Titus 2:11 (For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,) but then neglect Titus 2:5? We must strive to obey ALL of what is written. That starts by embracing our roles as caretakers of the home. A woman in her home is beautiful. A woman who is subject to her husband without complaint is honorable. The world exalts women who pursue their careers and education at the cost of their families. But what does God say? “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

Don’t look at your role as just making biscuits. You are bringing glory to Christ every time you demonstrate to the world that you prioritize your family and your role as ”caretaker of the home.” So reject what the modern culture says regarding a woman’s place, embrace your role, and make those biscuits to the glory of God!

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 27:25

Me and my crew!

Here is one of my favorite easy recipes- https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/southern-buttermilk-biscuits/

Christianity and the narrow, lonely path

I have been in the ministry now for close to 17 years. I started out teaching youth around the age of 20-21. The Lord saved me around that time after a devastating car accident left me in bed and out of work for over a month. I was stuck at home reading the Scripture when I was born again. The Lord had sovereignly ordained that wreck. I had the testimony of many of you who had walked the aisle, prayed a prayer, got baptized, and then went on to live a godless life without bearing any fruit. Thankfully, God began to draw me at age 20, revealing to me that I was not truly born again. Something miraculous happened after that. He gave me a new heart with new desires. (Ezekiel 36:26) I immediately had the desire to read, understand, teach, and follow the Scripture. The Lord began teaching me truth and I began to speak out whenever I could. I began seminary to get a degree in Christian education. It was there I met my husband, Kevin, who was also pursuing a degree and was called to ministry. We were quickly married and began our lives together in the ministry. Here is a pic from our early years- (As of today, he is still in seminary getting his DMIN)

I want to share with you my struggles as the Lord has sanctified me in the hopes of encouraging you who may be suffering or experiencing the same difficulties.

“who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4

I am an introvert by nature, but I have no problem carrying on a conversation with strangers, especially if it is related to theology. But I prefer just to be in my room alone with a good book in hand. Socializing is very draining to me. But I have been given a love for the brethren and sometimes that requires dying to myself and fellowshipping in public events on a regular basis. Being a pastor’s wife, you don’t exactly have the option of being a loner. I have been a part of 4 different baptist churches with my husband over a period of 15 years. The path along the way has been filled with difficulties, betrayal, heartache and hatred from those around you. To be perfectly honest, the friendships along the way have been rare and at most points, nonexistent. Many church members who started off acting like my friend have come against me, betrayed my trust, slandered me, spread lies about me, publicly attacked me on social media, and spread horrible rumors about me to other church members. I have shed many tears over the hurt caused by those who betrayed me and over the fact that the narrow road is often filled with heartache and sadness. This verse often brings me comfort-

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:3

Jesus had a hard life when he walked on this earth. Despised and rejected by men, kicked out of towns, betrayed by his intimate followers, laughed at by the religious, many attempts to stone or kill him, and ultimately being crucified on the cross in an agonizing death. The apostle Paul describes his life in much the same way.

“because a great door for effective work has opened to me, even though many oppose me.” 1 Corinthians 16:9

“At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me.” 2 Timothy 4:16

We see Paul often beaten, deserted, and alone. The life of a follower of Christ is often described in this way. You are very often lonely and misunderstood. True friends who are like the Scripture says “iron sharpening iron” will be rare. We must continue to fix our eyes upon Christ and know He will give us the strength to persevere even when all those around us have turned away. He uses these times to draw us to Himself and show us His grace is sufficient.

I am thankful the Lord has provided me with a great support system in my husband. He is a source of strength and encouragement in these times, giving me Scripture and pep talk to spur me on. But even he is not able to supply me with the strength to persevere. This can only come from the Spirit. I consider it an honor to suffer for Christ on a regular basis. Most of the time, it’s those within the church and those you consider friends that are the one’s who will attack. King David experienced this kind of betrayal-

12For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me;Then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, And  walked to the house of God in the throng.” Psalm 55:12-14

I’ve been attacked for my theology, my firm stance on Scripture, speaking on the doctrine of election, my views on women in the home, and as of recent, my manner of dress. Apparently there is a certain code of dress for pastor’s wives that I failed to meet. Back in October of 2021, at least 4 women, 2 of whom I had become close with and were also pastor’s wives decided to publicly shame me over my manner of dress. Multiple women had found issue with my very modest, fully covering swimsuit or the length of my shorts. None took the care to go to me privately and rebuke me, but instead, attempted to discredit me and assault my character online. These who attack will attempt to find anything to try to shame, mock, or discredit you. My facebook posts have been used against me more times than I can name. Let me point out, that never have these attacks been due to any type of open sin in my life. And if there was sin that needed to be confronted, it should be done privately, out of love, by a brother or sister in Christ. These times where I have had public reproach brought to my name have been a clear contradiction to how Scripture says we should treat our brethren.

A Psalm of David.

“Lord, who may reside in Your tent?
Who may settle on Your holy hill?
One who walks with integrity, practices righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.
He does not slander [a]with his tongue,
Nor do evil to his neighbor,
Nor bring shame on his friend;
A despicable person is despised in his eyes,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He takes an oath to his own detriment, and does not change;
He does not [b]lend his money [c]at interest,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
One who does these things will never be shaken.

As you can see, according to Psalm 15, bringing reproach or shame to a friend or another Christian, has no place in the life of a believer. As I mentioned earlier, if a believer is caught in sin, we have clear instructions given to us in Matthew 18.

15 m“If your brother sins against you, ngo and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established pby the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, qtell it to the church . And if he refuses to listen even to the church, rlet him be to you as sa Gentile and sa tax collector.

Notice none of this involves public shaming on social media. We are to honor those who fear the Lord, taking very seriously the role of protecting their character and reputation. I am very careful about condemning God’s elect and respecting their position in ministry. We would do well to protect those in Christ, not attempt to discredit them. I will briefly tell you of a time at our last church. I began noticing a few women acting differently towards me. Finally after a few months, I was able to have a conversation with one of the women. She confessed that the youth minister and his wife, whom we gad been close friends with, had been ”poisoning her mind” with lies about me for months. When confronted at the church, they both denied it though we had witnesses and neither have repented to this day. The scars from that one went deep and it was so hard to transition to another church after that kind of hurt and betrayal. I tell you these stories because Scripture says ”the godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Though its hard, its an honor to suffer as our Lord did.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14

I pray that in seeing these passages about our Lord and how his apostles and those who belong to Him struggled will give you great comfort. Renew your mind in the Scripture daily. You may be experiencing these types of attacks at this very moment. I also pray this will convict you about being a loyal friend to your brethren. Pray for them, love them, protect them. We must continue to fix our eyes on Christ and recognize that the road of His followers is lonely and filled with hurt. But the joy of knowing Christ surpasses any worldly troubles you may have! We have one sure comfort, Christ who is always faithful, never changing, will never fail us or abandon us. Glory to God for that!

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by pvarious trials, 7 so that qthe tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes rthough it is tested by sfire—may be found to result in tpraise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

Much love in Christ, Lauran


Your favorite blonde theologian is now a brunette😁( attached a pic).Stay tuned this week for my blog on friendships and the lonely path and next week will be on reprobation-Is God active or passive? Merry Christmas to my brethren in here!

In Christ, Lauran

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

The greatest gift

James 1:17- Every good thing given and ever perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

I love celebrating Christmas. It is such a joyous time in my household. But as with all good things, there is the tendency to get caught up in the things of the world and before you know it, it becomes a holiday devoid of bringing glory to Christ. I want us to stop for a moment and renew our minds with the Scriptures that teach us why we should be so thankful during this season. How often do we caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday and neglect to think on these things? I pray the Lord will use these Scriptures to stir up within you a spirit of gratitude for all we have in Christ. Let’s examine some Scripture in regard to the gifts we have through Him.

The first area is the gift of The Savior and His Sacrifice.

“For since the law has but va shadow wof the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, xit can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But yin these sacrifices zthere is a reminder of sins every year. For ait is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 

Consequently, bwhen Christ1 came into the world, he said, 

c“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, 

but a body have you prepared for me; 

  in burnt offerings and sin offerings 

you have taken no pleasure. 

  Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, 

as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ” 

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in csacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, d“Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will ewe have been sanctified through the offering of fthe body of Jesus Christ gonce for all.”

As this passage teaches us, it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to wash away all of our sins and put us in right standing with God. We had to have a perfect sacrifice, God in flesh, who lived a sinless life, as of a lamb without blemish or spot, to die in our place. He bore the wrath and punishment for ours sins. This Biblical concept is what we refer to as ”penal substitutionary atonement.” God either punishes the sins of the person in the body of that person or in the substitute. God, being a just God, couldn’t just pardon whoever He wanted without dealing with their sin. Sin had to be dealt with and God demands retribution. We all rightly deserve hell.

Much more then, having now been justified [a]by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved [b]by His life. 11 And not only this, but [c]we also celebrate in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Romans 5:9-11

The sacrifice of our savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to die on our behalf, should leave us in a state of never ending praise!

The second area we should be thankful for is the gift of saving faith.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9”

As A.W. Pink says ”We are saved ”by” our faith, not ”for” our faith. We cannot muster up faith from our flesh or even the will to believe.

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” Romans 9:16

Because we are dead in sin, we must be brought to life by the Spirit and given the gift of faith. This requires no cooperation from our unregenerate nature and is not the picture often painted that teaches salvation is a gift and you just have to do your part and open it. This is dangerous since it teaches synergistic salvation; you do your part and God does His. Remember, dead men cannot do anything! Salvation is all of God and must seen that way so that He receives all the glory.

“being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:24

Charles Spurgeon once said ”If I have Christ and nothing else, I have everything.” If you have been given the gift of saving faith, you should thank God for it every chance you get. You should honor Him and show gratitude by living a holy life devoted to serving Him. We were enemies, outcasts, children of wrath, having darkened minds, alienated. But now He calls us friend, children of God, we have fellowship with him, brought into the light, given understanding, and we are justified before God. Hallelujah!

The third area is the gift of sanctification.

13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to [a]desire and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

Paul tells us in Romans 7 that nothing good comes from our flesh. The ability to fight sin and perform righteous deeds are from the Spirit within us. To sanctify means to ”set apart.” From the time we are born again, until we die or the Lord returns, He is sanctifying us and making us more like Christ. We should be able to look back over the course of our lives and see a pattern of obedience and growth in the Scripture. We should be more like Christ than we were a year ago. When the Holy Spirit indwells a person, He does not save a person and leave them the same for 10, 20, 30 years with an elementary understanding of the Scripture. You should see growth in your understanding and character as the Lord sanctifies you. Sanctification is Monergistic and God will sanctify His own. If it was synergistic, we would have reason to boast for our good deeds. When someone compliments us for a good deed, we should reply with ”Not I, but Christ in me.”

The fourth and final area is the gift of security (or perseverance.)

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work [a]among you will complete it [b]by the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

As Voddie Baucham says ”If I could lose my salvation, I would.” If it were up to us to stay saved, we couldn’t do it. It is all of God, from start to finish. He is the author and perfecter of our faith as Hebrews tells us. Aren’t you thankful its not up to us to stay saved?! John Calvin in the Institutes of the Christian Religion says Adam in the book of Genesis was given all things, even intimacy with God, but He wasn’t given the gift of perseverance and that is why he fell. Once you a have been given the gift of faith, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit and kept by God. This is the doctrine known as the perseverance of the saints. You cannot lose justification and Christ’s righteousness is forever imputed to you. No man can snatch you away. Not one of God’s elect will be lost.

“For the gifts and pthe calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29

God does not take back His gift of faith and change His mind. We have security in that God will finish what He started. It wasn’t a decision that saved us, but God Almighty. What a great gift we have been given!

I hope this blog has been a brief reminder that has stirred up a spirit of gratefulness for all we have in Christ! And if you are reading this and you don’t know if you belong to Him, I pray the Holy Spirit draw you, grant you repentance, and give you saving faith. Cry out as the tax collector in Luke 18- “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner!”

Merry Christmas from my family to yours. May Christ be glorified!

Modesty- what’s the real take according to Scripture? 

Alright folks..lets be honest. Somewhere along the way, the idea was put forth that women can’t be godly unless they are fully covered from below the knee to the neck. All displaying of beauty is sin and we need to dress with the mindset that if we reveal any part of our female shape, it will cause men to sin. I think the reason I feel so strongly about this is because there is something glorious about women being women, being feminine, displaying beauty, softness, curves and clothing that accents these differences and it is becoming evident that femininity itself is under attack. Why can’t beauty in women be acknowledged? The common belief is godliness equals plain, frumpy, and loose fitting, unfashionable clothes. The church may not believe that it has bought into Satan’s lies in this area but it clearly has. There is so much out there on the topic of modesty. How can a Christian woman make sense of it? What can help her align with Scripture? I wrote this blog for that purpose. To help give give some clarity to my sisters in Christ. A recent post about this on facebook brought much flack and heated feedback. It can be a touchy subject because everyone has different views. Allow me to start by sharing my personal story with you. Not because it has authority in helping us determine our standard of modesty, but because it will give you an idea as to where my thinking on this topic first originated.

I grew up in a very conservative, Baptist household, though it wasn’t as strict as some of the fundamental Baptist and Pentecostal backgrounds. We were allowed to wear pants, shorts and skirts, even skirts on the cheer team, but they had certain lengths that were appropriate and they had to be almost to the knee to be acceptable. I’m not alluding to the fact that these type of rules were necessarily detrimental, other than the Arminian theology and merit based rules that were put in place along with it, but that there were certain standards in place at an early age. There were certain rules pertaining to our appearance. No earrings or piercings until the age of 12, no double piercings ever, no skirts above the knee, bermuda shorts had to go to a certain length, and no hair dye until the age of 16. Now where, I ask, did the standards come from? Were the standards from within the word of God? Now for clarity, let me add that I’m quite sure my parents had good motives and wanted the best for me when enforcing these rules. However, when laying down these standards and guidelines, the fact of the matter is, none of these were specified within the Scripture. Let’s look at what is specified in the Word of God regarding modesty because man’s opinion has no authority.

Pic of me from highschool days..red hair and bangs 😁

Let’s look at some verses about modesty and break these down. Some verses that mention ”modesty” are 1 Timothy 2:10-11, Peter 3:3-4 and Proverbs 11:22 talks about women and discretion. The Greek word for modest is kosmioi, which means “respectable, honorable.” Definition of modesty- behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency. What is the definition of impropriety? Definition -improper or inappropriate, morally or sexually offensive, dirtiness, filth, impureness. After examining those definitions, let’s move on to break down 1 Timothy. The context is all about a woman adorning herself for worship. Behaviorally, she must receive instruction quietly and with all submission to her elders. She is not to flaunt her wealth, independence, or body in such a way that leads to her glorification, rather than God’s, who is to be the center of our worship and focus. Holy worship is required on the Lord’s day and worshiping Him in spirit and in truth. We’ve established a dress code for days of worship and given a few guidelines according to Scripture in the corporate assembly, now let’s look at every day standards of modesty.

I am under the firm belief that many of the imposed rules on women’s dress are merely based on tradition and not scripture. We must be able to discern between the two. Scripture trumps tradition and man made rules turn into legalism and Pharisaical behavior. I do not believe that every time a woman puts on a pair of leggings her desire is to bring about impropriety and indecency and lure men into a sexual trap. I’m aware I’m probably in the minority here regarding leggings. But the Scripture says where there is no law there is no transgression (Romans 4:15) and there is no law regarding the wearing of leggings. Leggings fully cover the thigh and the whole entire leg but why take such issue with the fact that it may show the outline of a woman’s shape? Where do we get the idea that a woman cannot dress in such a way to accent her natural, feminine features without it being sin? If we were to take first Timothy 2:9 at face value, without studying context, then that would mean all women are forbidden to wear braids or any type of gold. (P.S. There is no mention of leggings in this passage or Scripture whatsoever.) We have to dig deeper into this passage to find out what the braided hair and gold signified. What is the context here?

The whole point of this passage is to have women who demonstrate submission and not flaunting themselves, but instead they are meek, listening, and demonstrating godliness instead of desiring to be sexually attractive and alluring to the men. I’m sure you’ve all heard the story of the background and how women in the first century were using these elaborate hairstyles of braids, gold and jewels to draw attention to themselves and were therefore distracting from the preaching of the Word of God. This is actually very similar to the story we are given of those who were at the temple and using it for profit and turned it into a market place. The women were using the corporate assembly of worship as a fashion show instead of demonstrating willingness to come and learn from the elders and men of the church. So what is the logical conclusion here? Should we come to church in burlap sacks and shoes that have holes in them to prove we are poor and not flaunting any wealth? Let’s examine another passage in order to help us reach a solid conclusion.

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 – NKJV

So here, Peter is clearly not condemning all external adornment. As John MacArthur puts it “his condemnation is for incessant preoccupation with the outward to the disregard of one’s character.” Purity of life is what to is to be the dominant attribute. Yet somehow the legalists and those who are self righteous have taken it to the extreme, implying we must not wear any jewelry, any make up, and our clothing must be plain and of solid material. So why does Scripture not lay out specific standards? For instance, 2 inches above the knee for a skirt? No abdomen should show and no leggings ever? Or don’t wear any form fitting clothing? ( I, for one, will not wear loose baggy pants that make it virtually impossible to tell if I’m a woman or a man.) Then, we have the absolute double standard of swimsuits. It’s like this- if a body of water is present, you may show your thigh. But if no body of water is present, “make sure your shorts and skirts come below the knee.” This type of inconsistency is so prevalent in the church. One woman is deemed holier for her length of shorts compared to the other one. Honestly, I think it would be helpful if we had more exact guidelines in the Bible because then there would be no gray area. But God, in his infinite wisdom, chose not to lay out specific standards for dress. And even in the context of Scripture, the word “modesty” itself is quite ambiguous. So this brings me to my point..that you must acknowledge there is a subjective nature when it comes to modesty. Unless you are Amish or Mennonite, and have specific guidelines for your dress, along with a specific pattern, then you have to acknowledge it will vary amongst different believers. I can comfortably wear a swimsuit without my conscience condemning me, whereas there may be some who feel the need to wear swimsuits with more coverage or longer shorts.

Me, in my modest swimsuit apparel that was approved by my husband.😁

So, let’s talk about “principles“ versus “regulations” or “standards” that are given in Scripture. Here is a good example- Let’s say I come to you and say “I can make a biblical case that you should cut your grass and take care of your home” then that would be a true statement. I can use Scripture to back that up using the principles of not being slothful and being good stewards of your possessions. If, however, I came to you and say “you should cut your grass every week or that is sinful,” then that would not be scriptural and I would be adding to Scripture. This is the same idea regarding modesty. I cannot go to a woman and tell her she is in sin for wearing a skirt that is 2 inches above the knee. I cannot go to woman and tell her that her shorts are sinful because they are more than 2 inches above the knee. Why? Because there are no set standards regarding short/skirt length in Scripture. Any idea that I have regarding modesty and exact standards are based on my own conscience and if married, based on my husband and what he says is acceptable or a woman who is not married will have guidelines based on her father and his standards.

So how do we examine some standards regarding modesty? There needs to be some type of rule or guiding principles so that we are not all over the place regarding our dress and bringing shame upon the name of Christ. Let’s look at how to evaluate. The first standard we are told in Scripture to use regarding modesty is the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit often brings conviction when we are wearing something that may be sinful. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.“ Ephesians 4:30 We should be careful to follow the convictions we have been given and not attempt to demonstrate impropriety or indecency. It’s common knowledge that certain parts of our bodies are to be reserved for our husbands alone. The sexual organs, such as lower reproductive organs/private areas and the breasts are included in this. So a low cut blouse that reveals the breast and skirts that allow men to clearly see all the way up them, should obviously be considered sinful. Also, there are swimsuits in which the rear is completely exposed as well as the breast and I can not see not see how one can wear this in a public setting with a clear conscience. I do believe, regarding most clothing, that it is a Romans 14 issue, where each Christian must go on their own conscience ( Whatever is not of faith is sin Romans 14:23) unless as I specified, private areas that are reserved for your mate are clearly exposed. Should we ask ourselves when choosing an outfit “will this make a guy lust or desire me?” No, there are probably weird perverted men who are turned on by ankles so this isn’t a valid standard. While you should always be considerate of anything that causes a brother to stumble, your question should be more like ”What is my motive for wearing this?” Your motives should always be to glorify Christ with your attire. Men who lust are clearly held responsible for their sin according to Scripture and the blame is not placed on the woman.

The women who I have known that are in trapped by this burden of legalism/tradition and the imaginary standards that are not found in Scripture are many in number. Not to mention, there is almost a double standard for the attractive woman, always being projected as the villain if someone dare gives her a second glance” it must be “because of her outfit” and clearly she is trying to draw attention to herself. Look at the description of Esther-“ He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.“ Esther 2:7 Did you catch that? She had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at..Wow. Bet all of the Baptist fundy’s would have shaken their finger and given her judgement for having such a nice figure and for allowing it to be seen. How in the world would people know she had a nice figure and was lovely to look at if she didn’t somewhat accent and display that beauty?

Somehow it has been assumed that the area of Christian liberty does not pertain to our standard of dress. But I argue that it does. If your conscience condemns you, don’t wear it. There have been many times I’ve put on an outfit only to take it off because I felt it was not glorifying to God. Dress in a manner that honors God and your spouse. This brings me to my second principle for helping us evaluate our clothing.

And that is simply this- Submit to your authority figure. If you are a single woman, this is your father.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.“ Ephesians 6:1

If you are a married woman, this is your husband.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.“ Ephesians 5:22

Dress in a way that pleases your husband, knowing the type of clothing that is appropriate for worship vs. casual settings or in the home. Honor your husband’s guidelines. I’m grateful my husband has given me much freedom in this area. He will speak up if he sees something I’m wearing that he deems immodest and it is my duty to submit. I come from a history of fashion modeling and showing off your body and trying to sell your body was hard wired into my brain. The Holy Spirit had to do a major work on my mind and definitely convicted me of much of my wardrobe. I will be the first to admit that the Lord is still sanctifying me in this area.

Dressing up is the norm for me most days and my husband prefers black pants 😁

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.“ Proverbs 11:22

Definition of discretion- not causing offense, deciding what should be done in a particular situation according to one’s own judgement.

A woman should display discretion in her dress, speech and behavior. This is the opposite of a giddy, careless woman who doesn’t think about her words or actions and how they represent Christ. There are certain times we can be more laid back in our dress and speech. The gathering of the saints for corporate worship is not one of them. We should put in effort to look nice for worship on the Lord’s day and not to be a distraction. Obviously, clothing like shorts,gym clothes/ leggings and swimsuits that could be worn in other settings are not appropriate and would demonstrate a lack of discretion if worn for worship. We must use proper clothing in the proper place. I am a runner and often training for long distance races outside. Loose fitting clothing chaffs you and longer shorts slow you down. I dress in a practical way that will enable me to run well which is usually athletic shorts, leggings, and a fitted tank. The setting determines your clothing choice.

When evaluating our own dress, we should not use our own personal convictions to condemn our sisters in Christ who may have slightly different standards. We each are in different stages of sanctification and the Spirit convicts us as He wishes. I firmly believe that the only time another sister in Christ should be rebuked in this area is if she is using her body and dress for sexual sin, fornication/adultery, or she is intentionally dressing in a way that is a distraction during corporate worship.

“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For wwe will all stand before xthe judgment seat of God;“ Romans 14:10

I vividly remember being invited to a splash pad with some of my sisters in Christ. At the splash pad I noticed that several of their daughters were wearing two piece swimsuits, as well as some of the moms. I quickly condemned them in my heart out of self righteous judgment. Knowing that these women love the Lord and walked in the spirit, I was still willing to judge them by my own standards. God forbid we treat our brethren in this manner! This is the exact type of self righteousness that the Pharisee’s demonstrated. They ignored the weightier matters, like correct doctrine and a right relationship with Christ, to focus on the external appearance. They sought the approval of men, as many of these self righteous women do, who love to flaunt their modesty as a means to elevate themselves and their holiness. In discipling my four daughters, I know that instilling in them a love for the Word of God is a much more sure way to keep them from the dangers of fornication than teaching them about the dangers of wearing shorts or tank tops. May we grant those around us with grace as the Lord so graciously deals with us. Let us all press on towards knowing Christ and glorifying Him in all things. Display our feminine beauty in a way that brings Him much glory..May we honor Christ with our clothing and go to Scripture alone for our standards. Soli Deo Gloria!

Psalm 119:2-3 ”Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— 3 they do no wrong but follow his ways.“

Examining fruit- how can you tell the goat from the sheep? The true believer from the unbeliever?

I remember being taught early on that we should never make a judgement call on someone else’s salvation. If they tell you they are saved, take them at their word and don’t question it. In fact, if they go to church regularly, don’t question their regeneration. Imagine my surprise after studying the Scripture to learn that not only can we make a judgement call, we are supposed to make a distinction between believers and unbelievers. How can we come to this conclusion? The Word of God tells us how to do it.

You will recognize them lby their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, mevery healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 nEvery tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into thefire. 20 Thus you will recognize them lby their fruits.“ Matthew 7:16-20

As Dr. John MacArthur says ”False doctrine cannot restrain the flesh.” Unbelievers are good pretenders but they cannot bear good fruit and restrain the flesh without the Spirit.

We as true believers and followers of Christ have to be discerning as to who is genuine and not who is not. Why is this necessary? Multiple reasons. So that we will not have relationships with those who are bad company and corrupt our good morals, so that we will not be unequally yoked and so that we can discern the true teachers from the false teachers. Lets look at some passages that back this up.

Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.“ Matthew 7:6

14 zDo not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For awhat partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or bwhat fellowship has light with darkness? 15 cWhat accord has Christ with Belial?2 Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For dwe are the temple of the living God; as God said, 

e“I will make my dwelling among them and fwalk among them, and gI will be their God, 

and they shall be my people. 

 17  Therefore hgo out from their midst, 

and be separate from them, says the Lord, 

and touch no unclean thing; 

then I will welcome you, 

 18  iand I will be a father to you, 

and you shall be sons and daughters to me, 

says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

33 yDo not be deceived: z“Bad company ruins good morals.”4 1 Corinthians 15:33

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.” 2 John 1:10-11

“Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man,  25  lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.” Proverbs 22:24-25

Do you not know that bthe saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall cjudge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?” 1 Corinthians 6:2-3

I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.“ 2 John 1:7-10

But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone nwho bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.“ 1 Corinthians 5:11

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.” John 14:21

As we see throughout the Scripture, we have to be able to discern believers in Christ and those who are not. We must be able to ”test the Spirits” as it teaches in 1 John 4 and determine who is teaching doctrine contrary to Scripture. I want to help you in this blog by walking through some helpful guidelines and tips of discernment. The Scripture gives us characteristics of those who belong to Christ and those who belong to the enemy. We need to know who to evangelize and who to fellowship with, those of darkness vs. those in the light. Lets look at the characteristics you can find in a Christian.

  1. Christians are not divisive amongst the brethren.

Have you ever known someone who just thrives on division? They get a thrill from gossiping or talking negatively about others? They are controversial just for the sake of being controversial? There are many of these types within the church.

“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

This is totally different than dividing over error and doctrine. There should be division when we stand for truth without compromise. “for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.“ 1 Corinthians 11:19

“Do not think that I have come tobring peace to the earth. sI have not come to bring peace, but a sword. “ Matthew 10:34

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.“ Proverbs 6:16-19

Jesus himself acknowledges that truth divides and the gospel is offensive, however, this is different than those causing unnecessary division. The immediate result of the gospel is frequently conflict. How many of you have had strained relationships with close family members over your beliefs? I imagine all of you have at some point. The Christian life is not conflict free. But there is a difference between those who live for conflict and those who experience conflict for proclaiming the gospel and the word of God. Brethren, do not be discouraged if you experience this type of conflict because the Scripture says this will happen if you stand for Christ. I’m warning you to be on guard against those who stir up division amongst the brother over petty issues, secondary doctrinal truths, and slander or gossip about other Christians. 15 years of ministry has taught us when you stand on Biblical truths, such as predestination and election, this will most assuredly divide the sheep from the goats. Those who are carnal in mind attempt to cause division over these truths. These types of pretenders make it their goal to cause conflict and strife and do not strive to be peacemakers as Matthew 5 tells us we should be. This is a huge red flag that we should take note of when examining others who claim to follow Christ.

2) True Christians will proclaim the clear truth whatever the cost. They love the truth, they speak the truth, and are willing to fight for the truth. They aren’t wanting to play to both sides and speak out of both sides of their mouth. Those who are men pleasers and not desiring to speak God’s Word but to please those around them and cater to both sides, should be called to examine themselves. These are similar to the ones in Titus 1:16 that profess to know God by their mouth, but deny him by their works. “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.“

Lets look at some clear passages of God’s views related to truth and righteousness.

“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity..” Hebrew 1:9

hWhoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Matthew 12:30

How much gray is in these passages? Think of Joel Osteen going on these talk shows, Lauren Daigle regarding homosexuality when appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres show and how they avoid truth and won’t give a clear cut answer. Those who are not born again will not take a clear stance on any topic of sin.

Christians, however, hate sin and lawlessness and speak out against it. it is like a fire within our bones if we do not speak out against the things that God hates.

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.”But His word was in my heart like a kburning fire, shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And lI could not.” Jeremiah 20:9

There are those in our life who are silent about sin, and fearful of men and must be called to examine themselves. A person who is born again will die to self and proclaim the truth no matter what the cost. A peacemaker in the scripture is someone who makes peace among the brethren, not attempting to make peace with the world and compromise truth.

3) Christians honor Christ with their words and glorify him with their lives.

When you speak with a Christian about their testimony, their hearts desire is to give all glory to God. They want to take no glory in their salvation but give glory to God and his work in their lives. Notice the personal pronouns used in the wording when you ask someone about their salvation “I’ve prayed a prayer”, ”I walked an aisle”, ”I’ve gotten baptized,” “I invited Jesus into my heart.” We should avoid using personal pronouns that put the focus on ourselves because it diminishes the glory of God. The only reason a person is saved is the grace of God. A better use of language would be “He saved me,” “He gave me a new heart,” or ”He had mercy on me.” we should question those around us who is very testimonies do not give glory to God but elevate man and the flesh.

Another area they will glorify Christ with their words regarding their language. They will not want to use crude language and will want to avoid gossip.

Colossians 3:8
“But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.“

Ephesians 4:29
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.“ Luke 6:45

A good indicator of someone’s heart is the words that they use in the way that they speak. Someone who fears God will not feel comfortable spewing out profanity. Also, do they speak of Christ often? We often speak about what is most important to us and if they rarely bring up Christ and His Word, we have to assume that Christ and His Word are not important to them. This pattern of speech should be followed with holy living. They should be living their lives striving for obedience to walk within the parameters of scripture and this should be evident in the way they live their lives with holiness and obeying God’s commands. This does not mean perfection, but it does mean a general attitude of striving for obedience, repentance when they have sinned, and grieving when they sin against God.

I think these are some helpful tips to look at when examining someone who says they follow Christ. What do they confess about Christ? Does it line up with the Christ of the scripture? Are they divisive among the body? Are they speaking truth no matter what men think? Will they stand without compromise? As Galatians 1:10 says- 10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant[a] of Christ.“

Be on guard against the pretenders. Examine their fruit and what they say. Call those who aren’t living holy lives to repentance.

Biblical love vs. Secular love- Responding to the push from the LGBTQ movement 🌈

“God is love.” We have all heard this right? My husband remembers sitting in a huge pastor’s convention and hearing a sermon preached on this topic and it was said by the speaker “God’s most defining and important attribute is love.” I’m sure John 3:16 was at the forefront of this idea.

God is love. But there is no verse that tells us that is His dominate attribute. We are told what is being said of Him in Revelation over and over again- And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, who was and who is and who is to come.”

They aren’t saying “love, love, love.” But “holy, holy, holy.”

Not to downplay God’s love for the elect because without this we would not be saved.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

So we know that the attribute of love does belong to God because we see that in Scripture over and over again. But what about the secular idea of love? How is this different than the Biblical view of love? Why do so many secular people get to use the term love when they clearly have no idea of the real meaning of God’s attribute of love? Let’s examine these views.

The secular idea of love is the most shallow of views. It has many facets and all of them have to do with carnality and the flesh. Here is the definition according to the dictionary- : a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person. : attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship. : a person you love in a romantic way.

My purpose in writing this blog is to clarify the two views and demonstrate how the secular view has now infiltrated the church. This idea that real love is to embrace all and not call attention to any sin is quickly becoming the prominent view. This is why the anti biblical views of CRT (critical race theory), women pastors, and homosexuality are being so welcomed into your local church. This version of love teaches inclusion above truth. If you refuse to embrace these ideas, you are not loving.

Welcome to the false love, the secular love. Let me make this clear, this is NOT the love the Scripture teaches.

Look at this church in my area proudly displaying their version of “secular love.”

This is an outright perversion of the word “love” to justify homosexuality. They have taken this word to twist and pervert it for their own selfish purposes and agenda. It’s devastating to see this distortion from such a glorious attribute of God. Those who are in an openly homosexual lifestyle should be given the gospel and called to repent of their sin. This is not love.

Because we are seeing so many of these different versions of “love” it’s necessary that we examine from a biblical perspective what the love of God really is and how it displays itself through Him and His children.

As far as the biblical definition of love, “the ancient languages differentiate among sexual , brotherly and familial love. Also, the kind of love that God has for His children and that we may have for Him. The Hebrew words “chesed” and “agape” are used to express the kind of love God demonstrates towards His elect. Chesed is often translated as “steadfast love” or “lovingkindness.” A good example of chesed is found in Numbers 14:18, “The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression” (Numbers 14:18, ESV). God’s chesed love is why He never gives up on those He has adopted as His children. Agape love is the goodwill and benevolence of God shown in self-sacrifice and an unconditional commitment to loved one. Agape is similar to chesed in that it is steadfast, regardless of circumstances.” (Find more on this here- https://www.gotquestions.org/definition-of-love.html

Now that we have looked at how God loves us, let’s examine how that love is supposed to be manifested through His children to others.

Where secular love has a carnal, fleshly motive and desire to please and gratify the flesh, biblical love is the opposite. Biblical love has clear objectives and displays itself in distinct ways not desiring to benefit the flesh. In fact, dying to self is an undeniable element of this type of love.

1) Biblical love warns.

One of the elements of the gospel is our desperate need for a Savior since we are hopeless and dead in sin. (Ephesians 2:1, Romans 3:11) We know that eternity will be spent in one of two places and recognize the dire situation of those who are not born again. We are to be warning those around us of the doom to come if they will not repent. Luke 13:3 was a clear warning from Christ-
“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

How about Matthew 3:10? Jesus has a pretty clear warning about those Jews who thought they could enter heaven on the basis of their Jewish lineage- “And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit is being cut down and thrown into the fire.”

You have heard the old story that if you saw a person about to drive on to a bridge that had caved in and didn’t know it surely you would warn them of the danger to come! Here is what the atheist, Penn Gillette, said about Christians who don’t proselytize, warn or share the gospel- “I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” (Video seen here- https://youtu.be/owZc3Xq8obk)

You have a non- negotiable responsibility to share the gospel and warn those around you who are perishing.

2) Biblical love rebukes.

Now we transition from sharing the gospel and warning the unbelievers around us to loving those who are our brethren. I want to list passages that detail this topic since the Scripture is our guide in this matter.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” Proverbs 27:5

But those who persist in sin should be rebuked in front of everyone, so that the others will stand in fear of sin.” 1 Timothy 5:20

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness…” Galatians 6:1

Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” Titus 2:15

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2

Pay attention to yourselves! (A)If your brother sins, (B)rebuke him, and if he repents, (C)forgive him,4 and if he sins against you (D)seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4

Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.” Proverbs 9:8-9

It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:5

One who rebukes a person will afterward find more favor Than one who flatters with the tongue.” Proverbs 28:23

We see verses talking about rebuking other Christians who are in sin all throughout the Word of God. This is a very important aspect of being a Christian.

If you have children, think about the example of how you interact with them. You love your child and if you see them in sin and openly going against the Word of God, you will confront them with it. If my children are acting prideful, I tell them. If one of my children is being selfish, I rebuke them. If they are dishonoring God in any way, because I love them, I use the Scripture and point them back to truth. And they should demonstrate repentance towards God and whomever they have sinned against. We rebuke those whom we love because we desire to see them confess, repent, and be restored to a right fellowship with with Christ. This is not from a self righteous motive, but to see them walking in truth and obedience. We lovingly and gently correct with the Scripture. Contrary to what the world says, to be silent is to not care. And it’s hard because rebuke never feels good and is not usually accepted well at first. But truth must be taught, brethren rebuked, and the Lord can use you and His Word to open their eyes and restore them.

If you have someone in your life who you are close enough with to know they are a believer and have professed Christ, a family member who is a brother or sister in Christ (or claims to be) or even one of your church members, and you see them in open sin, you must be willing to rebuke and correct. Pray about it. Ask the Lord for courage to do it. And ask Him to help you be gracious when you do it. Be faithful to do it and also expect the same in return when you are in sin. You must be able to receive reproof. Also, make sure you have removed the log from your own eye before going to your brother.

This teaching that we must be silent to maintain the unity is antithetical to what the Scripture says. The whole “who am I to judge?” has become the norm in society. The secular version of love wants us to be tolerant of all sin. Embrace all untruths as truth. Tell those who are in the lifestyle of sodomy that God loves them just the way they are. They want you to believe if you don’t embrace their sin and “preferred gender and pronouns” then you don’t truly love them. We must pretend they are in right standing with God and that they are not under His wrath? May it never be! The reality is, those whom are perishing, if we love and care about their souls, we warn them. We don’t want to see them headed for hell. We weep and we pray and beg for God to save them. We give them the gospel. And those who are are between must be rebuked so that they can repent and be restored to right fellowship with Christ. This is Christlike love. Love that cares about a person’s spiritual destination and well being more than their temporary fleshy desires and gratification. Scripture tells us this Carneal; homosexual love is not love, but sin that if not repented of, will prevent you from entering heaven.

Or (K)do you not know that the unrighteous will not (L)inherit the kingdom of God? (M)Do not be deceived; (N)neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [g]homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will (O)inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

3) True love is selfless.

Let’s look at a list of passages that lay out the view of love being selfless.

Do nothing from (A)selfish ambition or (B)conceit, but in (C)humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you (D)look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

26 (A)It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[a]27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,[b] Matthew 20:26-27

(A)”Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” 1 Corinthians 10:24

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a]6 (K)who, though he was in (L)the form of God, did not count equality with God (M)a thing to be grasped,[b]7 but (N)emptied himself, by taking the form of a (O)servant,[c](P)being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by (Q)becoming obedient to the point of death, (R)even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

One aspect of love that gets overlooked is how this selfless love is manifested in our lives. Did you know that pride often presents itself in a self preservation type mentality, or fear of being rejected and wanting to promote one self’s good standing and name among others? Are you aware that it is pride and selfishness that often prevent us from confronting another? While peacemakers are praised in Scripture, the type mentioned and celebrated are the not the types of peacemakers who sacrifice truth for unity. These are not the ones who allow God’s Word to be distorted just so they don’t “rock the boat.” It is NOT charitable to be silent when ones soul is at stake or the Word of God is being compromised.

Are you too worried about your reputation to confront others in sin? Too concerned about being pleasing to the majority? Worried people won’t like you or be your friend? This is the opposite of selfless love. You are stuck in this prideful self preservation mode and it takes the Holy Spirit to break you free from this and give you the boldness to speak the truth in love.

“People sometimes say to me, “Do you worry about what people think when the truth is offensive?” I can tell you in 50 years, I have never had that thought. I am not at all concerned what people think. My responsibility is to be faithful to God, not to navigate people’s desires.” -John MacArthur

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

A selfless love will give others truth no matter what the cost. They may hate us, spit on us, trash our reputations, slander us on social media or in public, but we persevere. Truth is our objective. The glorification of Christ is our goal. We love our enemies by continuing to speak truth. We give them the gospel. Praying for their souls, ministering to them when possible, meeting their needs even though they are God hating individuals who hate us as well. I’ve encountered a lot of God haters in my 14 year ministry as a pastor’s wife. I can vividly remember being lied to, lied about, slandered, and almost forced out of a church- all for standing on the Word of God. All of these have hoped to silence me over the years but I know the Spirit within me gives me the ability to keep loving, speaking, and persevering. I continued to be patient, serve them, not gossip or seek revenge, and give them the gospel. Paul was willing to die to self, become all things to all men that he might see some saved.

To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:22

Our ultimate goal is to see the lost ones around us saved and our brethren walking in truth and obedience to Christ. Dying to self is hard but the Holy Spirit gives us this ability to have this selfless love for those around us. Ask the Lord to help you love your enemies and speak truth wherever you are. Ask Him to help you to represent Christ in an honorable way without compromise and live a life of selfless love.

So the saying “God is love” is actually true.

“but (A)God shows his love for us in that (B)while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.“ Romans 5:8

But as this blog has shown you, God’s love is much different than the secular view of love that is being promoted. Romans 5:8 demonstrates the great love of God to us. He loves His children, sent His son as our substitute and propitiation, and He has satisfied the wrath of God, giving us forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Oh glorious day! So in the end, Love does win! The Love of God conquers all.

What is Monergism? Is it essential to salvation? Or to the gospel?

It wasn’t too long ago that I was introduced to the terms monergism and synergism. You don’t have to know the meaning of these terms to be saved, but the meaning behind these terms is very important to understanding the gospel and the new birth. I did some study on the two words wanting to have a full understanding of what they meant in regards to salvation. Let’s look at the definitions.

Monergism- the view within Christian theology which holds that God works through the Holy Spirit to bring about the salvation of an individual through spiritual regeneration, regardless of the individual’s cooperation.

Synergism- The doctrine within Christian theology that individual salvation is achieved through a combination of human will and divine grace.

I put a tweet yesterday that had people about ready to hang me and declare me a heretic. It said this- “If you are not a Monergist, you are not a Christian.” Of course, people came out of the woodwork to declare me wrong and also that I should repent and pray about my attitude. To which I will say this- When I see something so clearly taught in Scripture I cannot recant it. I will lay out my case with Scripture as to why Monergism is biblical and is part of the gospel according to Scripture.

The essential foundation of the gospel is realizing our own depravity. We are dead, totally depraved, in bondage to sin, under the wrath of God, our flesh completely unable to to please God and even our righteous acts are like “filthy rags.” We see in Scripture the reaction of those who are confronted with this reality such as the tax collector in Luke 18:13 who stood far off and wouldn’t dare lift his eyes to the heavens and face a holy God- “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!”

We see all throughout Scripture verses detailing our inability to do anything right with our flesh.

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63

“For the mind that is set on the flesh is (A)hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; (B)indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.“ Romans 8:7-8

“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” Ephesians 2:1

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23

“For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh; for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Romans 7:18

Scripture paints this very clear picture of the flesh and nature of man being unable to do anything to please Christ before he is quickened to life by the Spirit. It cannot produce one right thought or action. So how does one get saved? What does the Scripture say?

Look at the verses describing regeneration and the new birth.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

“I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols.” Ezekiel 36:25

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

“In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,” Colossians 2:11

All of these speak of a divine action solely done by God. The individual has nothing to do with his natural birth and nothing to do with his spiritual birth. So where does faith come in? Aren’t we to have faith in Christ in order to be justified? Faith is the result of regeneration. Can any natural man be willing to accept the truth of the gospel?! The Scripture says the natural man cannot even understand, let alone embrace the truth of the gospel of Christ.

If you hold to a synergist view of salvation, you must accept that man in his free will has the natural ability to accept or reject God. So God’s grace takes you part of the way to salvation and then natural, fallen, rebelious man must make the final decision to accept or reject. Blasphemy! This is an absolute contradiction to the Word of God.

The Scripture teaches us that salvation has zero to do with the will of man. “So then, it does not depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:16

God’s will alone is what produces salvation. It is absolute arrogance of a carnal mind that attributes any part of our salvation to our wicked flesh. When we attribute our salvation to anything other than a work of God and His grace and mercy we are not accurately representing the gospel according to Scripture.

“who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13

Salvation is initiated and completed by God.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

If any person contributes any part of their salvation to their fleshly choice, they would have reason to boast and would also have merit. This is a works based, man centered gospel that cannot save. I sat under this type of gospel for salvation for over 20 years and walked the aisle and prayed a prayer and “accepted Jesus.” I wasn’t actually saved because false gospels, such as the synergist gospel, can’t save. I wasn’t actually saved until later in my 20’s when I began reading the Scripture on my own. The Lord just sovereignly gave me a new heart with new desires. Think about the operation of a heart surgeon. How much participation does the one receiving the heart transplant do? They lay there put to sleep, fully unable to do anything in getting that new heart. The surgeon makes the incision and places the new heart. And then the patient has new life. This is how our spiritual salvation works. God does it all. I didn’t have to agree for God to save me. I didn’t choose to be saved. The Scripture says He is the chooser (John 15:16) and the seeker. (Luke 19:10)

This is the gospel of Christ. That we are unable to save our ourselves or do anything to please Christ. He saves us by giving us the gift of faith and the ability to believe. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Belief is given to us through grace- “And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed,..” Acts 18:27

The Scripture teaches us that no man can understand or would seek after God on his own. “no one understands; no one seeks for God.” Romans 3:11 Only after a person is quickened to life by the Spirit can he have faith and believe in Christ and is then justified. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Romans 5:1

Regeneration and justification are two separate entities. Regeneration must occur in order for a man to have faith. 1 Corinthians 12:3 makes this clear. “Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.” In order to call Him Lord and place faith in Him you must have the Holy Spirit. Natural man cannot accept the things of God. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

The Lord must do a work in the heart before you can even understand. “One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.” Acts 16:14

Believing you played a part in your salvation is not in any way consistent with the Scripture and the gospel message taught. The synergist must put some kind of faith in his flesh if he wants to hold to that doctrine. This is a scary place to be. This would leave room for boasting and merit and is clearly a works based salvation that the Bible condemns. True salvation is monergistic and strips away any room whatsoever for fleshly merit or pride.

True salvation does not require our cooperation. The Scripture says all who are drawn will come. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;..” John 6:37

It is described as a “circumcision of the heart” that is done “without hands.” That phrase without hands means it’s a divine act that is done without human participation. “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,” Colossians 2:11

Why are we told we must affirm synergism as if it’s the same gospel taught in the Scripture? It’s antithetical to what the Scripture teaches and leaves room for boasting. “The message of the synergists is “God only helps those who help themselves” and is the opposite of the truth. Monergists say “He helps those who could NOT help themselves.” So I stand by my original statement because I see it clearly in the Word. “If you are not a Monergist, you are not a Christian.”

“ He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:5