The problem of excommunication – a response to Desiring God

A couple of weeks ago someone forwarded to me a post from Desiring God that hit me like a punch in the stomach.

In an article called “Kicked Out of Church: How God Brought Me Home” (link), author Scarlett Clay begins her story right after her church had excommunicated her, showing the indignation of her friends at such an injustice, and her own appreciation of their indignation.

But that’s only the first paragraph, and the reason for the excommunication hasn’t yet been divulged. Continue reading

Standing against evildoers—a poster

When our Lord Jesus went to the cross with His mouth closed like a lamb to the slaughter, it was for our salvation.

But have you considered that the reason that happened–in human terms—is because there had been plenty of times before that when He didn’t keep His mouth closed, when He called out evil among God’s people exactly for what it was?

This was why He was forced to go to the cross. He made enemies because He called out evil for what it was.

Our Lord Jesus was never complicit with evil propagated by the religious leaders, covering evil “so He wouldn’t give God a bad reputation.” He solidly stood against it.

God’s people will suffer at the hands of evildoers. But let it never be while we’re pretending that evil is good. 

 

 

 

 

 

A new website exposing a cult

A friend of mine, Sônia Acioli, is passionate to expose the cult she was involved in, so now we have this website, The Truth About the Evergreen Center (link). Please read it to see one possible permutation a cult can take, substituting grievous rules and regulations in place of the righteousness, sanctification, and redemption we have in Jesus Christ.

Continue reading

Righteous anger or sinful? A response to the Women’s Study Bible

Last Friday morning I wrote and posted a response (link) to Michael Pearl’s blog post in which he answered the questions of a woman who, with her children, was living with an abusive husband (link).

The title of my post, “Dear Michael Pearl, this is what righteous anger looks like seemed self-evident. This is because, as it so happened, the previous morning someone else had written to ask me a question that in God’s providence prepared me for Friday morning.

She asked for my thoughts on a short lesson about anger from the Thomas Nelson Women’s Study Bible (WSB), edited by Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Kelley. (There appear to be dozens of editions of this Bible available, but I’m linking to one of the most recent ones.)

Here is the lesson, found at Ecclesiastes 7:9. (in this edition it’s on page 982.)  Continue reading

There weren’t any wicked people in MY part of the world

This coming Friday, the plan is, I’ll be doing another Facebook Live interview with Natalie Klejwa of Emotional Abuse Survivor (aka Visionary Survivor). Because we’re going to be talking about “bitterness,” I was naturally led to think about the wicked.

So here’s a funny story. It’s actually true, too.

Around 25 or 30 years ago when I was reading through the Psalms, I sighed and said to myself, “There sure are a lot of Psalms about the wicked. But I don’t personally know any wicked people, so these psalms seem like they don’t apply to me.”

Yes, it’s true. That’s what I said.

Then I went on to think, Continue reading

The other kind of radical

This  post is also being published today at the blog of Give Her Wings, an organization that helps and supports women leaving abusive spouses. Please visit their site.

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Last September for my Birthday Reflections post (an annual tradition), I wrote about going down into the dark valley called The Valley of Weeping.

Today, though, I want to express my boundless praise for the gift God has given me in that valley, the people I’ve been privileged to get to know there. I want to shout out my thanksgiving to God for the faithful trauma survivors He has put in my life. Most of them were traumatized by people who claimed to be Christians, even Christian leaders. But in spite of that, these women are still following God, or longing to follow Him, in faith.

My heart swells in even thinking about them. I would far rather sit at their feet than at the feet of the most popular speaker.   

Many of them will never stand before a microphone and speak. Many of them will never write a book. Many of them will not have any sort of following at all, because they are simply trying to live their lives. If we take David Platt’s Radical as a mantra, Continue reading