Monthly Reader

Monthly Reader – March 2022

March is ending and it’s been a productive month. Here is a controversial article to close out our review.

Throwback Thursday ~ Women Preaching: It’s Not a Secondary Doctrinal Issue

Pretty challenging argument here. Written by a woman (Michelle Leslie) about women preaching.

Most people are afraid to discuss this issue today.

But it’s not an issue of fully understanding – or else we’d all have to be theologians in order to get saved – it’s an issue of believing.

But when we’re talking about the different levels of doctrine, what you won’t find is questions like these: Is murder a first, second, or third tier doctrine? What about gossip? Rape? Adultery? Lying? Gluttony? Pride?

And it’s not because these issues aren’t important or because the Bible doesn’t address them. It’s because they’re in a different category from the other issues: the category of sin. They aren’t doctrines upon which salvation hinges, they aren’t open to interpretation, and the Bible is clear that we are absolutely not to do these things.

There is no biblical support for anything God prohibits. No one can cite a properly handled, in context Bible verse in which God says, “It’s OK to commit adultery,” or “Women are allowed to preach.” There can be multiple views on a secondary or tertiary issue that can all be considered biblical, but there can only be one view of sin that is biblical.

It was a helpful article to which I always refer people who have questions about tiers of doctrine, and I agree with Dr. Mohler’s thoughts wholeheartedly …except on one point:

“In recent years, the issue of women serving as pastors has emerged as another second-order issue.

”Women serving as pastors, women preaching, women teaching men Scripture in the church, and women exercising authority over men in the church is not a secondary issue. Nor is it a primary or tertiary one. It does not belong in the category of “doctrine” in the same way baptism and eschatology do. It belongs in the category of sin in the same way murder, gossip, and adultery do. Let’s take a look at the reasons for this.

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 1 Timothy 2:12

Since the publication of Dr. Mohler’s article (and perhaps as a result of others teaching the same thing) the idea of the violation of 1 Timothy 2:12 being a “secondary doctrine” has spread in a most unhelpful way, leading many Christians to treat the issue in a c’est la vie, “We can just agree to disagree on this,” manner.

We would not say, “We can agree to disagree,” on lying or adultery or homosexuality or abortion, and we cannot say it about women preaching, teaching men, or holding unbiblical authority, either. We disciple and teach a sister in Christ who is unaware of what the Bible says on these matters, and if she is committing any of these sins, we begin the process of church discipline. But it would not be loving toward her, or honoring God, to allow her to continue in biblical ignorance or in willful sin.

Furthermore, the violation of 1 Timothy 2:12 brings with it dangers to the church that true secondary and tertiary issues, and even many sins, do not…

She may not say it with her lips, but when a woman preaches to men in defiance of Scripture, she’s teaching false doctrine through her behavior. What is the false doctrine she’s teaching? “I don’t have to obey God’s Word, and neither do you. If there’s a part of the Bible you don’t like, you’re free to disregard it.” If your pastor stood up in the pulpit on Sunday morning and said that in words, you’d run him out of town on a rail, and rightly so. Neither should a woman be able to teach that same false doctrine via her actions.

Additionally, I have mentioned several times when dealing with this issue that women preaching to men is highly correlated with women teaching other forms of false doctrine. I have researched scores of women teachers. Every single one of them who unrepentantly teaches men also teaches false doctrine in some other aspect of her theology (usually Word of Faith or New Apostolic Reformation). In other words, if a woman teaches men, you can just about take it to the bank that she also teaches additional false doctrine. False doctrine and heresy are infecting the church – via female preachers – at an alarming rate.

We dare not simply “agree to disagree” on this. (Read the full article at the link above.)

 Michelle Lesley

August 3, 2018

3/28 – Today it’s finally raining in California again. Perhaps will keep the spring flowers going a few weeks into April.

Check out Mike Ratliff’s post: Many are Called but Few are Chosen

It offers a pretty clear explanation of three dimensions of what is necessary to be in Christ.

If you have time look up old John Gill’s commentary on the key passages.

Revelation 17:14; Matthew 22:14; Matthew 20:16; Matthew 22:11; Matthew 22:3

It’s also best not to forget…

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:65-66 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

3/24 – It’s too bad nobody reads my blog. In these monthly posts I try to highlight some really good material from very sound teachers, even if they are not pastors. I’m beginning to pray for God to provide me with a few people locally I can gather with and share thoughts on these things I read. My friend Paul Dickey who passed away five years ago, shared that common insight. Perhaps I would call it a Discernment Kindred Spirit. And what’s best is having another person or persons to soundboard ideas with and weed out the false from the true. At times I envision myself being able to balance and mentor younger men as Paul was able to do. But for whatever reason I’m not yet ready or I haven’t yet seen clearly a call in that direction. If you have time read the legacy story I posted when Paul went to be with our Lord. Kindred Spirit and Mentor. I think I will reposted it as a separate new post here.

Michelle Leslie is definitely not afraid to post on this controversial topic. Old love for women to read this and consider her points. Throwback Thursday ~ Seven Reasons 1 Timothy 2:12 Isn’t the Crazy Aunt We Hide in the Closet when Company Comes Over. (Original in 2018)

3/22 – This one by Mike Ratliff gets pretty specific.

The Man Centered Gospel vs The God Centered Gospel

He quotes Buchanan….from an article by David and Tim Bayly on 05/24/2010 – 8:06am

First, His attributes; second, His Law. We preach the Law in all its brutal severity, trusting in the Holy Spirit to lead the souls under our care through that horror, to grace. But we trust so much in that horror, that we refuse to hop over it. Gospel-centered preaching never neglects the Schoolmaster that alone leads us to the Cross of Jesus Christ.

First, the attributes of God. Second, the Law of God. And third, the coming judgment and the horrors of Hell prepared for all who have violated God’s attributes and Law. Again, only those who trust in the power of the Holy Spirit rather than themselves, their contextualization and entrepreneurial moxie, will preach and teach and counsel God’s holiness and justice, His Law, and His coming throne of judgment driving every man to the eternity of Hell torments.

Then Buchanan says this:

…and it is not till after it has revealed these [first three] great truths, which might seem to render his salvation hopeless, that [Gospel-centered preaching] reveals a method of Grace and Redemption by which God Himself has solved the problem…

Only when the first three truths have been firmly lodged in the hearts of the precious souls giving themselves to our care, will we give them the fourth great truth: that God in His great mercy and grace, has sent His Son to bear His wrath and justice for all who believe on Him. And those who believe will be justified freely by His grace, hearing a “not guilty” verdict at the Throne of God and being welcomed into His Holy Heaven.

So read the whole discussion and the embedded links.

Btw if you have 3 hours of movie time, check out this one Michelle Leslie recommends…..Movie Tuesday: Church of Tares

3/18 – This one is too good to pass up. I will put some comments and observations in a separate post.

Christian Boldness

One more from today’s reading.….

I need to listen to this whole sermon. But I have heard parts of this before. Raises some very valid issues which I’ve observed. Maybe, just maybe, the changes to the Bible are driving the movement away from, Biblical Christian Worldviews that has happened the last 150+ years.

Jude 1:17-18 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

2 Peter 3:2-7 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

2 Timothy 3:1-7 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

I guess there is nothing new here to experience….

Acts 20:29-31 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

If you listen from the link in the article below, the last 5-6 minutes is some good perspective by the author.

People don’t know this information.

“Frank Logsdon Repudiates the NASB

Frank Logsdon was asked two questions about the Bible version issue and used the occasion to explain why he finally rejected the Critical Text and repented of his involvement in the creation of the New American Standard Version in 1960. Here is an audio recording of the lecture.”

Go to the embedded link here to play it…with the author’s comments at the end.

A transcipt is also included after the comments in that link.

3/16 – It’s half over, March Madness begins. And read about the real St Patrick here. The True History of the Real Patrick of Ireland

Mike Ratliff has a good post today.

Here is a quote….

“The line of demarcation between genuine Christianity and Liberal Christianity is actually very easy to see and understand. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life, No one comes to the Father, but by Him. The exclusivity of genuine Christianity is not only the line of demarcation, but it also the point of contention between liberals and genuine Christians. From this exclusivity flows the doctrines that define our faith. These doctrines tell us that God is Sovereign, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent and immutable. They tell us that He gave us His Word which is perfect and inerrant. They tell us that all who believe God, trusting in the work of Christ dying on the cross for our sins that we shall have eternal life. They tell us that all whom believes and trusts God are saved by grace through faith. They are regenerated into new creations unto good works and are given the Holy Spirit. They tell us that we are commanded to evangelize the world, making disciples until our Lord returns.

However, Liberal theology’s contention starts at this line of demarcation. Liberals proudly tell us that they are free thinkers and open minded. There used to be a web page called “Mainstream Baptists.” It isn’t online anymore. However, the following is a quote directly from their “About us” page: “ Full text.

Add to this another good post. Discernment: Can we be TOO cautious or TOO critical? By Elizabeth Prata. Women should read both her and Michelle Leslie, regularly. They teach solid Biblical doctrines applied in today’s culture which women so need to hear. I do find that women often have a softer heart and are more adept at criticizing those who “appear” judgmental. Elizabeth makes the point that one needs to be discerning…..but it is a balancing act. Just don’t dismiss it.

“So I would ask any person who might say to me that I’m too critical or too cautious, to please explain what they mean by the word critical and cautious. I’d also ask them to use scripture in the conversation. It is good to be critical of false teaching, and to be cautious about what you absorb and from whom. It is equally good to be charitable, kind, and looking for the best in people. But criticalness is sometimes necessary. John Calvin said of pastors especially:”

“The pastor ought to have two voices: one, for gathering the sheep; and another, for warding off and driving away wolves and thieves. The Scripture supplies him with the means of doing both.”

We are well into the month 3/11 and Mike Ratliff has a couple of useful posts……

The Offense of the Cross

How Deep Are We Into The Last Days?

There was another post yesterday that caught my eye. By Elizabeth Prata

There is only one way to heaven

Earlier in March she posted a series of challenging articles. In my observation women in the church appear to be drawn to practices and people she discusses. If you read these at least see the historical context that for the last hundred years or so has drawn the church in this direction.

The History of “Quiet Time”

Guilt trips are so easily sold in today’s culture. How many of these have you experienced?

Defenders of false teachers lay guilt trips and accusations

And this final one from which I borrow this famous quote.

When scripture becomes insufficient

Btw, I said these could be challenging. I personally was drawn in this direction back in the 70’s and 80’s, not by women teachers, but people like Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. For over a decade. Eventually, the Sufficient of Scripture, and the teachings of the Bible and understanding of our historical reformed faith and solid Bible teachers and pastors became my focus. It’s a path I don’t regret.

Jeremiah 6:16-17 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

Matthew 7:13-15 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Notice this immediate warning..

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The Westminster Confession opens with this commentary on God’s Word.

Of the Holy Scripture

1. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing: which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.

2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these: (I didn’t print these to shorten the post)

All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life.

3. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.

4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.

5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.

7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.

8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by his singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.

9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

10. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

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