“I can’t believe they hired a woman to preach there. What a shame.”
My family and I were driving past the church that my dad had previously pastored. I was nine years old at the time, a firm believer in Christ, and the statement struck me as odd.
“What’s wrong with a woman preaching?” I asked.
“The Bible says women aren’t allowed to preach or pastor churches. That’s only for men.”
A terrible grief pierced my heart. Really, God? I wondered. You would save me from my sins, teach me your Word, fill me with your Spirit, cause me to love you with my whole heart, then say I can’t minister in your church because…I have a vagina?? I just couldn’t believe it. Continue reading →
Thanks, dear readers, for bearing with me through some heavy posts. It’s so good to get back to some practical teaching! I really think this kind of teaching is needed today. Jesus said that in the last days, many false prophets and teachers would appear. According to the Internet, just about every person who has written a Christian book in the past 15 years has been labeled a false prophet at some point: everyone from Joyce Meyer to John Hagee. The label is losing its power. So how can the average believer discern the true gospel from a false one? Here’s a handy guide. Continue reading →
Trigger warning for victims of rape, sexual assault and spiritual abuse.
At the recommendation of several people, I’m currently reading the book Boundaries by Cloud, Henry and Townsend. It’s proving to be a real eye-opener for me. Not only am I unable to say “no” to the bad, I’m apparently unable to say “yes” to the good in my life as well. No wonder I’m so exhausted.
It’s not that I lack self-control. I’ve got that in spades. You won’t catch me chewing out clerks in the checkout line or flirting with hot guys at the bookstore. It’s just that I don’t know where my internal property lines are. I don’t know how to take proper ownership of my feelings, express my needs in healthy ways or let the right people in.
What if you could become the perfect Christian? The kind that when God looks down from heaven, He can say, “I find no fault in that one.” Would you do whatever it takes? Travel to any country? Witness to any person? Give up chocolate and TV for the rest of your life?
Well, what if I told you that you can keep your chocolate and still be a perfect Christian? What if I told you that being a perfect Christian, while perhaps challenging at times, was completely doable? That pleasing God is totally within the realm of possibility, and it won’t require you to move to India and live in a monastery? Well, here it is, straight from the mouth of Jesus: Continue reading →
I hate most sermons on marriage. If there’s to be only one text for the sermon, it’s almost always Ephesians 5:22–you know, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as unto the Lord.” In fact, some teachers claim that the entire success of the marriage hinges on the woman’s level of submissiveness. In other words, if your husband is being an abusive jerk, it means you’re not being submissive enough. (Excuse me while I hurl.)
Sermons like these make marriage sound more like a duty than the joyous, nurturing experience it should be. Even though my husband is not a believer, I’m excited about our marriage–because although he may not be “godly,” our union is. And for us, it’s not so much about my submission, but about our mutual celebration. Let me explain. Continue reading →