Normally I do not blog on the weekend because this time is specially set aside for my family and friends, however,
today my boys are working with heavy objects. I am graciously bowing out so as not to unnecessarily re-injure my back. This leaves me time to attempt to put into words something that happened to me this week, and something I feel called to share.
Please bear with me as this is a bit lengthy, and without pretty pictures. It’s simply a “need to write it out” blog.
I recently got a “bible cover”, one with a strap and a pockets for pins and a zip around enclosure. I’m such a goof when it comes to “bags” and “organizational” items. I’ve almost grown to enjoy these little treasures more than *dare I say it* shoes! The Bible I’ve been using does not fit in this cover. The other Bible I normally use, I have recently gifted to my son. The conclusion: hop online and check the price of a new Bible.
Do you have any idea how many Bibles there are?
How many different versions exist?
How many different study guides, devotionals, etc?
Now first, AMEN! What a blessing right? What a joy to live in a country where with the simple clickity click of some keys on a computer I can find Bibles galore!
The more I searched though, the more my excitement began to fade. Which one did I want? Did I want one with all the extra devotional material? Did I want one written by this person or by that person? Which version is the best version for me? And the covers? Why do we have so many different Bible’s in the world today that have covers which do not say Holy Bible right there, in bold print, on the cover? Are we hiding? And my new Bible Cover would only hide the cover of a Bible that said Holy Bible on it anyway. Am I hiding?
The more Bibles I saw with blank front covers, no matter how pretty the designs, the more I craved a Bible like the Bible I remember my grandmother reading from everyday. The more I wanted a Bible that was simply, The Bible. No extras. No study guides or articles or daily quotes. No opinions or teachings or pictures. No fancy flowers or swirls or polka dots.
Just a Bible, that said, right on the cover, Holy Bible.
Let’s skip ahead now for the purpose of tying these thoughts together.
A friend of mine and I got together to listen to a new CD series she had. I LOVED it. Absolutely LOVED it. There were some great truths that I heard, as I frantically scribbled down notes. We also watched the speaker on the TV for a few minutes. I loved her conviction as she spoke. I loved her humor. I loved listening and watching and absorbing more information. Loved it.
After agreeing with my friend to meet weekly to go through this series, I rushed home and spent a good thirty minutes allowing my overflowing excitement to bubble out as I told my husband. The full display of my arms flying through the air as I punctuated my excitement with my hands.
I happily fell into the couch, fully prepared to sit down and continue to absorb more of all the excellent stuff I felt the Lord was showing me this week, when my darling husband came into the living room and sat down across from me. I curiously looked at him, as his eyes were very soft, yet concerned. I wondered what of my joy could possibly cause him to look at me in such a way, and so he honestly started with “Oh my love, this is going to be a little awkward”.
He then proceeded, in the most gentle and loving and caring way, to share with me that this woman speaker I had just discovered, had a past of saying and teaching things that were heresy.
In the most loving of ways, my husband sat down, and he spoke to me softly, lovingly, explaining to me everything that he knew about this woman speaker and why he was concerned about me following one of her studies. I felt my excited air “whooooosh” right out from me. Like a balloon that was just filled to the point of bursting, and then released. My mind which had been a delightful whirling spin of worship was suddenly stopped and thrown into a feeling of betrayal.
My husband, knowing me, and knowing how I need to process information, then reaffirmed his love for me, and left me alone to process for a few minutes. The first thing I did, was to dive onto the Google machine and start researching this speaker. I found things that made my heart quicken and my spirit bristle. The more I read, the more I started to think about what I had watched that day and what I had heard on that CD. The more concerned I became at the fact that I could now remember her saying things that had caused me to raise an eyebrow, however, in the goodness of my heart of wanting to believe the best in people, simply ignored.
Then came my own gasp. I needed to share this with my friend. My friend whom I adore, whose love for Jesus and her family encourages me. A friend who when I met her that day, had taken the time to write down a Bible verse she came across and wanted to make sure to share with me as she felt it would help me. A friend whom I have had such wonderful conversations with.
And then I realized why my husband had that look of care and concern in his eyes. He had not wanted to be the person to deflate my happy bubble, just like I didn’t want to be the friend to potentially deflate hers. However, I knew in my heart, I had no choice. There was no way, as a believer of Jesus Christ, I could not tell my SISTER in Christ, that she may need to have her spiritual armor on with this particular speaker.
To say it frankly – it sucked.
Some of what this speaker said however was TRUE. I know it was TRUE because it was BIBLICAL TRUTH. However, this speaker has also been quoted (and I dug deep enough to find the quotes from her directly) as saying things that are absolutely NOT BIBLICAL TRUTH. My husband agreed, that truth is TRUTH, and it is important to hold onto the truth. However, someone who speaks truth and throws in the slightest little untruth, is dangerous. Which I agree with.
So then I thought, maybe I can find a different study we can do, by someone who is a more trustworthy source than this! (For those who are wondering, the speaker I have been talking about thus far, is Joyce Meyer. You can read one of the disturbing links I found about her here.)
I started researching other women speakers/teachers. Of course the first one that came to my mind was Beth Moore, whom I know my church has in our church library, whom other sisters in Christ have enjoyed learning from.
To my complete and utter disbelief, the one website I found which truly revealed some very disturbing things about Joyce Meyer, also stated that they could not endorse Beth Moore on the grounds of “She is leading many astray with her approval of contemplative prayer, personal revelations, and faulty biblical exegesis“.
*Insert Hyperventilating Here*
The I took off on a Google driving machine of insanity. Speaker after speaker, teacher after teacher, the names that I had grown to trust were being picked at, and chipped at, and raked over the coals. I found myself wondering, “WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I SUPPOSED TO READ TO LEARN?”
Then came that soft, gentle, loving voice from across the room again. From that man whom is my husband. That man whom I am still learning how to be a Godly wife to. That man who is striving and trying and praying to be the Spiritual Leader to our family God has called him to be.
“Honey, this is why we must be in The Word of God ourselves. We must be in the word so that we will know a false prophet when they speak. We won’t know unless WE know the scriptures ourselves.”
Truth. There it is. Simple Truth.
However, I have read, and agree, that it is helpful sometimes to have a study guide, or a book, or a devotional, to assist us in our journey of learning the Scriptures. The key difference is that whatever book I am using, is to never REPLACE the Word of God. His Word is above ALL OTHERS. And yes, I do need to be in HIS WORD everyday. Even if it’s just a chapter, I need HIS WORD above these other books.
So, I had my husband read over with me what I had found about Beth Moore. And about Max Lucado. The article I found on Beth Moore, he did agree based on the quotes he was reading that she at times takes scripture out of it’s strictest of context. However, even though that particular website really really bashed her, he did not feel it was 100% just. He felt that I should not throw her out of my learning life. He also pointed out to me how completely incorrect the article I found on Max Lucado was, so incorrect that I’m not even linking anything about it back to him.
Whew. OK. Breathing returning to normal.
The most important lesson he shared with me, was knowing, that no matter who it was, Beth Moore, Max Lucado, even our own pastor, it is our responsibility to be in the Word, and to know the Word, to draw closer to Jesus, to live like Jesus, and to teach and share based on Biblical salvation. To live Biblical love. The Love of Christ.
You see, the thing is, we are ALL under attack. The best Christian speakers of the world are under attack. We are never NOT under attack. Our Personal Relationships with Jesus are so incredibly, unbelievably, totally important. I’m only just really beginning to learn this. To really begin to understand this. Like, just the very outer edges of it I think.
Anyway, I did have that conversation with my friend. Even though it was really hard for me. Even though it was completely out of character for me. I did it. She was so sweet, and so amazing. She even tried to apologize to me! I couldn’t accept it though, and I told her I couldn’t.
Why? Because all is for God’s glory.
This lead to my husband having the opportunity to step into his leadership role with me, and gave me an opportunity to submit to his authority as my husband. WOW. (If you have known me all my life, this is a HUGE WOW, like HUGE, me and submitting is an ever growing process, praise God for never giving up on me!)
It allowed me to sit back and really see the importance of simply being in, and meditating on, and praying over, God’s Word. His Holy Bible. The Living Word that is above all other books.
It reminded me of the importance of always having my armor of TRUTH on. No matter what book I’m reading, which Bible I’m combing through, I must always be ready to submit to the All High Authority, His word, His will.
It forced me to step out of my comfort zone and have a conversation, out of love, with a sister in Christ.
So how does this all tie in together?
- It is totally OK to have a Bible with all the “extra stuff” in it, however, I always want to have a Bible that is simply His word with no distractions.
- I must always have my armor of Truth on. Because it will be attacked every single day, it will weaken and dent with the blows. The only way to keep it strong, to reinforce it, is to spend some time in God’s Word daily.
- God gave us teachers to help us. Part of fellowship, of growing, of learning. The key is to test every teacher against the Scriptures. We can only do this if we, ourselves, are learning, living, breathing the Scriptures.
- Why am I sharing all of this? Because somewhere in the day to day happenings of life, I forgot some of this. Because when untruth’s are taught, even slight ones, it damages the hearts of people. It turns people away from the all loving, all wonderful, all amazing Jesus. That my friends, that is what makes it a heart break.
Some of you may be big fans of Mrs. Meyer, or some of the others I have mentioned, or even others I have not mentioned. I will simply end with this, we must always, ALWAYS test our teachers by holding their teachings against the Scriptures and seeing if they match. We must ALWAYS hold ourselves against the Scriptures when we are teaching.
And over it all, I simply fall down, at the cross, and pray for His grace to wash over me daily.