Friday, August 21, 2015

The LORD bless you and keep you.....

Posted by Sola Sisters

Effective today, the Sola Sisters website and Facebook wall will no longer be active. While we will no longer be publishing articles, we are still available via private message through our Facebook wall if anyone has questions or is seeking counsel. To reach us, please feel free to message either Christine Pack or Cathy Mathews there.

Even though our Facebook wall will no longer be active, we will be leaving it up as a resource, as we have covered many, many topics in the past few years. To access the resources on the Facebook wall, or to search for a subject, use a Google search engine, type "sola sisters" with quote marks, and then put in the topic you are searching for (I've attached an example of this below). The Google search engine will often pull up articles we've written on the website here, as well as Facebook posts we've made where we have had more in-depth discussions.

Please also note that Marcia Montenegro, who has graciously and generously served as an administrator on the Sola Sisters Facebook wall, will still be active on her own Facebook page and website (both entitled "Christian Answers For The New Age"). We encourage you to avail yourself of the resources there. Marcia's Facebook wall is here and her website is here.

Our time here has been such a rich blessing to us. So many of our sisters (and brothers) who have interacted with us have sharpened and encouraged us. Thank you.
"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Josh Duggar's Infidelity Outed in Ashley Madison Website Hack

Posted by Sola Sisters

Screenshot from the TLC website
After being "outed" by the recent Ashley Madison website hack, Josh Duggar, eldest son of the 19 Kids and Counting Duggar clan, released a statement admitting that he was addicted to pornography and had been unfaithful to his wife, Anna, with whom he has four young children. As sad and distasteful as discussing this is, I feel the need to write about this in sort of an informational way, because I think so few Christians, who have only experienced the Duggars through their popular TV show, understand the Duggars' worldview.

When I first heard that Josh Duggar was "outed" in the Ashley Madison hack, I felt sick, and hoped that it wasn't true. This was before the information was verified. But now that it has been verified, it is not wrong or unloving to raise questions about the systematized legalism of Bill Gothard's ATI/IBLP teachings as well as the longstanding relationship between the Duggars and ATI/IBLP. Nor is it wrong to publicly call into question the problems that legalistic systems (like ATI/IBLP) tend to engender in their adherents: chiefly, there is no meaningful or biblical way of dealing with in-dwelling sin. After all, if you have a system to "work" for righteousness, why would you ever cry out to Christ for cleansing and sanctification or help in walking in obedience? or even for salvation, for that matter? You'd just get busy "working" the system, by cranking up your rule-following and hoop-jumping. Take note of the very astute observations by one homeschooling mother, Nikki Roscizewski, who said:
"Growing up in the home school circle I knew a lot of families like the Duggars. The problem I always saw was the pride of being ultra conservative and anyone outside the circle of ATI ultra conservativism was treated like a leper. We were a conservative family but we weren't ATI and we weren't proud in our conservative views. Proud meaning that we did not act puffed up. The kids I grew up with who were brought up in ATI now as adults don't hold to there views anymore. It leads me to believe that the things they were so proud of like not owning a Tv or the fact that they wore skirts and dresses were in obedience to Gothard not God. I even questioned some of my friends about there family rule about wearing skirts and dresses and they told me they were Gothard girls. That scared my dad enough that he said we would never join ATI based on what we saw in our own friends. My mom and I wore skirts and dresses and were very modest in our dress but we did it out of personal conviction not the influence of Gothard.........We need to train our children what is appropriate and not appropriate to look at. I remember watching the Duggars a few years ago and one of the girls and Michelle said they have a code word when they are out and about.. If the girls see someone dressed immodestly the boys are trained to turn their heads when the word is said. When I saw that I just thought that I want to train my boys to know for themselves when to turn their heads. It is a shame that your sister has to tell you when to turn your face I don't think your wife will want to do that when you are married........Christian parents (often) don't have their children's hearts because they only say "no" and don't allow their kids to know why. I have known too many kids that have turned from the faith because they never knew why their families did what they did. We have some great conversations in our house about issues of the day and things that are out there. If our kids can think for themselves from a biblical world view and know we are on their side and can ask us anything without being brought down, then I think our kids have a better fighting chance to survive all of the junk that is out there.......We have such an awesome opportunity to teach our kids to live in the world and survive the culture without being a bitter compromiser."
The Duggars have long been associated with ATI/IBLP, which is an ideology (more on that below). Unfortunately, I think that many who have liked the Duggars in the past (and yes, they are very likeable) don't necessarily understand this, nor do they understand the beliefs that comprise this ideology, and which undergird the Duggars' worldview.

Some of us who spoke up about what we saw as an insincere apology on Josh Duggar's part this past May when his childhood molestation of his sisters came to light were virtually demonized for doing so. We were also chastised for raising concerns about how Duggar's parents (Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar) handled his molestation. It was frustrating, to say the least, to have been portrayed (by fellow Christians no less) as being "professional victims" and "unloving" and "harsh" and "unforgiving," simply because we said, Hmmm, not so sure this was handled correctly, and that Duggar truly is penitent. 

So this is chiefly an informational article about the Duggar family and their ties to Bill Gothard's (pseudo) Christian parachurch organization which is, again, ideologically driven, and is at its core extremely works righteous and legalistic, bordering on cult-like.

 Bill Gothard / ATI / IBLP 

➤ Bill Gothard is the creator and director of a parachurch organization known as IBLP (which stands for Institute in Basic Life Principles). IBLP is alternately known as ATI (Advanced Training Institute).

➤ Created in 1961, ATI/IBLP are part of a multi-faceted system which "sells" an entire way of life to Christians, with a focus on homeschooling (including ATI/IBLP homeschool curriculum), debt reduction, character training, Bible memorization and extrabiblical rules designed to keep sin at bay. ATI/IBLP conferences have been ongoing for decades (note the busy current schedule under "Events" in the attached graphic).

➤ Bill Gothard, a life-long bachelor, resigned in 2014 under fire from the institute he founded (IBLP) over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and molestation of the young women employed to work for him.

➤ Gothard's view of grace is nothing like the biblical understanding of grace. He has historically taught, and still teaches, that grace is  "the desire and power to do God's will." This is works righteousness.

➤ Gothard has historically taught, and still teaches:
• An extrabiblical view of authority/submission 
• That only parent-approved courtship dating is allowed for teens/young adults
• Unbiblical views on spiritual warfare 
• That women should not go to college
• That victims of sexual abuse are to blame for their abuse
IBLP homeschooling materials: "Many surgeries are performed to correct conditions which can be traced directly or indirectly back to sin or guilt."
• That Christians cannot listen to secular music or go to movies 
• That pork should not be eaten by Christians  
• That Christians have a moral obligation to circumcise their male children
➤ Gothard systematized his skewed views, as noted above, into ATI/IBLP. ATI/IBLP are organizations headed by Gothard, and which produce and sell homeschooling materials. Thus, ATI/IBLP teachings, with their inherent legalism and extrabiblical rules, have been embraced on a large scale by many homeschooling families.

➤ The Duggar family (of the popular TLC show "19 Kids and Counting") has been associated with Bill Gothard and IBLP for more than 15 years. They have regularly spoken at IBLP conferences, and their daughters have been leaders with the IBLP program "Journey To The Heart." Many Christians have been introduced to the ATI/IBLP teachings through the Duggars, who speak regularly at ATI/IBLP conferences.

➤ Christian parents have been enticed by the formulaic structure of IBLP, which gives the impression that following the "system" will ensure that their children will become true, born-again believers ("insert Tab A into Slot A..."). This last one, as a parent, I completely understand: after all, what Christian parent doesn't want their child, or children, to be saved? But children aren't widgets, and there is no "formula" for raising Christian children that guarantees the outcome. If anything, legalism (i.e., following laws/rules for righteousness in God's eyes) causes the flesh to rear up more than ever, as Paul noted in the book of Romans:
"Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death." (Romans 7:9-11) 

 Key Points 

➤ Gothardism is an ideological cult bound up in legalism and works righteousness. And my saying that doesn't mean I hate those ensnared in it. It means that I've got my discernment filter set on "high" when examining anything said by any of its adherents. After all, they are speaking from their platforms as professing Christians,* and so what they say and do will reflect on the rest of us. (*Please note that I am not saying that ALL ATI/IBLP adherents are lost. I do know, in real life, some former ATI/IBLP adherents who were genuinely born again believers while involved in the movement, although they were, by their own admission, terribly immature and undiscerning at the time.)

➤ Lest anyone think that the annual ATI/IBLP conferences are just like the many other Christian conferences which take place very year, and in which speakers can and often do have differing viewpoints, that is NOT the case with Bill Gothard's tightly controlled ATI/IBLP empire. ATI is selling an ideology and an entire lifestyle, and their speakers are in alignment with Gothard-driven legalism, or else they would not be allowed to speak. 

➤ Christians with legitimate concerns about Gothardism shouldn't automatically be characterized (and thus dismissed) as closet liberals who hate homeschooling families. I'm saying this as a conservative, Bible-believing, young earth Christian who formerly homeschooled.

 Bottom Line 

★★I am sincerely praying that the Duggars (including Josh and Anna Duggar) awaken to the fatal flaws of legalistic Gothardism, and get out of it★★

 Miscellaneous ATI / IBLP Terms 

Gothardism - a term given to adherents of cult leader Bill Gothard's pseudo-Christian systemetized legalism, known alternately as both "ATI" and "IBLP."  It is not associated with a denomination or particular church, but is a parachurch organization.

Grace - as redefined by Bill Gothard: "the desire and power to do God's will."

Faith - as redefined by Bill Gothard: "visualizing what God intends to do in my life.”

ATI - Advanced Training Institute

IBLP - Institute In Basic Life Principles

Disease - According to IBLP homeschooling materials: "Many surgeries are performed to correct conditions which can be traced directly or indirectly back to sin or guilt." (online source)

Journey To The Heart - an ATI/IBLP retreat for young women. Two of the Duggar daughters have served as retreat leaders with Journey To The Heart.

Cabbage Patch Dolls - back in the 1980s, Bill Gothard warned (really) that Cabbage Patch dolls were possessed by Satan. (online source)

Pork - must not be eaten by Christians. (online source, #5)

 Important Links 

The Duggar Disaster (by Pastor Carl Trueman)

Growing Up Gothard
 (The Gospel Coalition)

 Additional Resources 

Pastor Carl Trueman: Concerns With Quiverfull / Patriarchy (Sola Sisters)

TLC Pulls 19 Kids Over Josh Duggar Misconduct Scandal (Aquila Report)

The Duggars and the Evil Outside (Aquila Report)

In-Depth Discussions of Patriarchy with Author and Christian Researcher Karen Campbell:
⁃ Quiverfull/Patriarchy, Part I (9 radio programs) 
⁃ Quiverfull Patriarchy, Part II (14 radio programs) 
⁃ Militant Fecundity (Aggressively Raising Up A "Christian Army") vs. Seeing Children As A Blessing (4 radio programs) 
What Are The Quiverfull and Patriarchy Movements? (Got Questions?)

Homeschool Advocate Michael Farris Responds to Sex Scandals of Homeschool Leaders Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips) (Christian Post)

Influential Patriarchy Leader Doug Phillips Resigns, Being Sued By Former Nanny For Sexual Misconduct (Sola Sisters)

Conservative Leader Bill Gothard Resigns Following Abuse Allegations (Religion News Service)

The Duggars, Bill Gothard, Vision Forum, and The Quiverful Movement (I am aware that some of the links in this article are no longer active, but this article still gives a quick thumbnail sketch of Bill Gothard, the Duggars, Vision Forum, Patriarchy and the Quiverfull Movement, and how they are connected)

 Midwest Christian Outreach 

A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life

Josh Duggar, Mike Huckabee and Fodder for Progressives

Is Jesus a Sinner According to Bill Gothard’s Teachings?

If Bill Gothard is Wrong, Then What’s Right?

Bill Gothard: Who Knew What and When? A Question of Accountability


Bill Gothard’s Analogous Teachings

Bill Gothard; Déjà vu All Over Again

Bill Gothard and the Continuing Sex Scandal

Bill Gothard - Truly Repentant?

Leveraging Lunacy: How Bill Gothard Rode a Wave of Evangelical Goofiness

Four part series on Bill Gothard
 - Part 1, Bill Gothard's Evangelical Talmud
 - Part 2, Bill Gothard's Chain of Authority
 - Part 3, Bill Gothard and the Law
 - Part 4, Bill Gothard's Mystical Approach to Medical Issues

An Evening With Bill Gothard

 Websites by Former Gothardites 

Recovering Grace

Abuse Allegations Against Bill Gothard, Founder of Institute In Basic Life Principles
 (Dr. John Cornish and Kari Underwood, co-founders of Recovering Grace)

Under Much Grace

 Facebook Discussions Re: Christian Reconstruction, Theonomy, Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Bill Gothard, the Duggars 

Bill Gothard discussion - 7-2-12

Quiverfull / Duggars discussion - 9-21-14

Quiverfull / Patriarchy discussion - 9-24-14

Christian Reconstruction / Theonomy / Quiverfull / Patriarchy discussion - 10-19-14

 Secular Articles 

When Having Kids Is A Religious Experience
 (ABC News)

Quiverfull: More Children For God's Army (Newsweek writer Kathryn Joyce)

Inside the Duggar Family's Conservative Ideology (Newsweek, Kathryn Joyce)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

For J.T.P. - The Forbidden Chapter in the Tanakh...

Posted by Christine Pack

 Is God Finished With The Jews? 

The Apostle Paul, a Jew who had converted to Christianity, wrote a great deal of the Christian New Testament. Paul loved his fellow Jews so much, and desired so much for them to come to saving faith in the Messiah, that he wished he could have given his own life in order for the Jews to be saved:
"I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen." (Romans 9:1-5)
"Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for (the Jews) is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." (Romans 10:1-4)
But just as He said He would, after the Jewish people rejected (and crucified) the Messiah God had sent to them, God went outside of his chosen people with the gospel proclamation. From Romans 10:
"But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, 'I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, by a nation without understanding will I anger you.' And Isaiah is very bold and says, 'I was found by those who did not seek Me, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.' But as for Israel He says, 'All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.'" (Romans 10:19-21) 
God went outside of the Jewish nation, not because He no longer loved them, but because:
(1) He was being merciful to all the other lost, pagan people groups of the world in offering them the way of salvation, and  
(2) He desired to provoke the Jews to be jealous again for God's love, when they saw how great his mercy was. 
Does this mean God is forever finished with the Jews? No! Many Christians today believe that God, in the very final days and after having thrown wide open the way of salvation for two thousand years to all the lost pagan (Gentile) people groups of the world, will bring back into the faith his beloved Jews, based on this passage from Romans 11:
"For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written:
'The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.'  
From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all." (Romans 11:25-32)
Do you know any Jews? Keep telling them this, and keep praying for them. God is not done with them yet.

 The Forbidden Chapter in the Tanakh 

Even today, there is evidence that God is once again moving among the Jewish people. The video at the link below is entitled "The Forbidden Chapter In The Tanakh" and refers to the 53rd chapter of the book of Isaiah. The 53rd chapter in Isaiah is referred to as "forbidden" not because this passage has been deleted from the Jewish Old Testament (Tanakh), but because it is removed (forbidden, hidden away) from the regular readings in the synagogues today. But why? More on the "why" later; for now, please just take a few minutes to watch this video. It is very encouraging!
Isaiah 53 clearly prophesied a Messiah to come, a Messiah who would suffer and die (make atonement) for the sins of His people.  From Isaiah 53:
"He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." (verse 4) 
"He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities." (verse 5)
"Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed." (verse 5)
"But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him." (verse 6)
"By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?" (verse 8)
"When his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days." (verse 10)

"By his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities." (verse 11)
"He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." (verse 12)
Today's Jews reject this understanding of the Messiah, and which Isaiah 53 proclaims in plain language. But you have just read it for yourself. Does it not say that a servant (Isaiah 52:13) will come forth, and will make atonement for sinners?

One view held by Jews today is that this passage is an allegorization of the Jewish nation, that the Jewish nation is the "suffering servant."

Another view is that the person referenced in this passage referred only to the human, infant son of the king ruling at that time. But how can a mere human make a substitutionary atonement for sinners, as this passage from Isaiah states? We know by plain common sense that an ordinary human being can't offer up his life as atonement for other people's sins, right?

However, because Isaiah 53 is so controversial within Jewish circles, this passage is deleted from the regular readings in the synagogues. And those few Jewish leaders and writers who do try to address this passage are forced to twist and allegorize it in a way that doesn't even make sense. But just watch the Jews in the video above who are reading this passage for the very first time, without having their minds tainted with a skewed version of what this passage means. It means what it means! They can see that instantly.

 Messiah Is Prophesied In Other Old Testament Passages 

Prophesies about the Messiah were not just in Isaiah 53. Consider also Daniel 9, where it was prophesied that the person of the Messiah had to come before the second destruction of the temple (and that occurred in 70 A.D.).

And Micah 5 said that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. None of these passages *work* for the view held today by Christ-rejecting Jews who want to allegorize the nation of Israel into somehow being the Messiah for the world in a corporate way. The nation of Israel wasn't "born" in Bethlehem; how could it be? The nation of Israel were first a pagan people group whom God in his great mercy selected out of a lost world to be His own. They didn't come from Bethlehem, they came from Ur (modern day Iraq), out of a pagan people group associated with moon worship.

This is the gospel message that the Old Testament tells: God had so much love for the humans He made in His own image that He used the Jews, the pagan people He chose out of all the pagan cultures of the world, to be His people, and through whom the Messiah, a Saviour, would someday come. He meant for the Jews to be a light to the nations. But He also knew beforehand that even though He (God) had given many, many prophecies that could only point to Jesus as the culmination of all of redemptive history, that the Jews would reject this Messiah. Their Messiah. Was this a horrible accident? No, it was so that God, in an almost infinite display of mercy, could then open up the gospel message to the rest of the world. But He's not done with Israel. One day He will enfold them back into His family, and they will again be sons and daughters of God.

Look at that beautiful video linked above. Jews who haven't been conditioned to twist themselves like pretzels and jump through hoops in order to allegorize Isaiah 53 into the nation of Israel know instantly, upon a plain reading of the passage, that it is describing and pointing to a person, not a nation. And that this Person had to, somehow, have the constitution to be able to withstand upon the Cross, in some mysterious way, the eternal hell of each and every person saved. This required a Person possessing a supernatural nature, because no-one who was only human could have borne that kind of suffering. And yet this Person also had to be human, in order to be our representative. Jesus was both fully God and fully Divine. Adam represented us corporately in the Garden.....and he failed. Christ came and represented us corporately on the Cross.....and He did NOT fail.

God gave us the Law so that we would know what His standard for holiness was and is. It is perfection. It is not trying real hard to be good enough. It's not hoping that we have enough good deeds to offset our sins. It is not even just praying and asking for forgiveness. God set up a very specific way of approaching him in the Old Testament, and that was a sacrificial system whereby an animal was killed in place of the human who deserved death for his sin. God is holy-holy-holy, and sin is serious. God set up this system and gave us the Law so that no serious seeker could look at these things and say, God doesn't really think sin is a big deal. God doesn't really care how I approach Him. And besides, I am a good person. I have kept God's Laws perfectly. I don't need a Saviour. I can save myself.

We're sinners. We've all broken these Laws. We've all lied. We've all stolen. We've all taken the Lord's name in vain. We've all coveted. We've all had impure thoughts.

And yet, Jesus accomplished on the Cross what God set out in eternity past to do, and that was to atone for sins, so that those stained with sin could be cleansed, washed clean, made holy and righteous in God's eyes.
"'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.'" (Isaiah 1:18)
It takes humility to look at one's own heart and admit that no good thing dwells there. That you need a Saviour. But run to Him today! Believe on Christ, as the sinless, perfect One who lived a pure life of righteousness on your behalf, in order to give himself up as your ransom. Will today be the day of salvation for you?  The Bible closes with a beautiful plea, and a promise; a plea, to come, freely, and take what the Lord offers. You don't have to pay a price, and if you did, you couldn't afford it. Jesus paid the price on your behalf.
"Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.....The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost." (Rev 22:1, 17)
"And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Rev 22:7)

 Additional Resources 

What Is Progressive Revelation? (Got Questions?)

More.....and more.....and more archaeological evidence of the early canonicity of the New Testament

Discrepancies Between the Gospel Accounts? Not So Fast..... (Answers in Genesis)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

What Does God Require of Me?

One of the most important questions in all of life is: What does God require of me?

First, let’s start with your nature, who you are.

A. You are sinful by nature.

Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Most people do. I have talked to many people one-on-one about their spiritual state, and almost everyone says ‘Yes, I am a good person.’

Unfortunately, the Scriptures do not say that about you. Let’s start with God’s Law as a standard of what’s truly good. If you believe you are a good person, I have a simple test for you to take. It’s called the ‘Good Person’s Test’, and it’s based on the Ten Commandments (from Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5):

1. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me.

Have you always loved God above everything else? Without fail and without exception? Be honest.

2. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

Have you made a god in your mind that suits your? Have you truly known the biblical God? Or have you changed him to make him more suitable to your lifestyle?

3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

Have you ever used the name of your Creator disrespectfully or as a filthy cussword? God is Holy, and His Name is glorious. Have you ever tossed his name around casually, used it as a swear word, or used it to express anger or disgust?

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Have you kept one day a week aside for the Lord and for His worship? Have you done this every week and given God his proper worship?

5. Honor your father and your mother.

Ever since you were a child, have you always honored your father and your mother? Always? Did you ever disrespect them or their decisions, even once?

6. You shall not murder.

Jesus said: “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” (Matthew 5:21-22)

The Bible also says: “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1John 3:15)

God judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart, not just the outward actions. Ask yourself: have you ever hated?

7. You shall not commit adultery.

Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

Again, this shows that God judges your heart. Be honest with yourself. Have you ever looked upon someone with a lustful heart?

8. You shall not steal.

Ask yourself, have you ever stolen anything, no matter how small? What do you call someone who steals? A thief.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (You shall not lie).

This is a big one. Have you ever told even ONE lie? What do you call someone who lies? A liar.

10. You shall not covet.

Have you ever looked at something someone else owned with jealous desire?

If you’re a visual learner, here’s a video presentation from Way of the Master of this same concept:

The breaking of God’s Law is sin. Based on the Ten Commandments, if God were to judge you based on that standard alone, how would you fare? Would you still consider yourself to be a good person? If you try to answer 'yes' to that question, consider this Scripture:
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”(1John 1:8)
Also consider:
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
Now that you’ve examined your own heart, let’s consider God:

B. God is a Holy, Just God. His Law is perfect, and it is He who exercises His Righteous Judgment.

Consider the following Scriptures:
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12)
“For the LORD is our judge, The LORD is our lawgiver, The LORD is our king; He will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22)
Not only is God our lawgiver, He is also perfect. Jesus said:
“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
God as the perfect, holy Judge, will judge you one day. Consider this:
“And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.”(Hebrews 9:27)
“You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48).
C. Because you have broken God’s holy Law, you deserve death.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
This is a hard one to swallow. Many people (maybe even you) object to the idea that you deserve death for your sins. I’d like to cover the two main objections people have.

First, many people say that because God is good, He would not give them death for their sins. But this is bad logic. It is precisely BECAUSE God is so good and so just that He will give you what you justly deserve.

Think about it this way: Imagine a murderer killed your family, and was caught. The man is brought to court, and on the day of his trial, you sit in the front of the courtroom anxiously awaiting justice to be served. The judge enters, and he hears the case. The murderer admits that he killed your family, and along with the forensic evidence, it’s plain to all that he did it. However when it comes time for the sentence, the judge says, ‘I am a good judge. There’s no punishment needed for this man’s crimes. Case dismissed. You’re free to go.’ Do you see that this judge would not be a good judge at all, but would be a wicked, corrupt judge?

If that’s the case with a human judge, how can we consider our Holy, Just, Perfect God to be Good if we think He will sweep our sins away and not deal with them? It’s impossible.

The Scriptures tell us:
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.” (Proverbs 17:15)
It is God’s GOODNESS that will prevail, and that means that His justice will be satisfied.

The Scriptures tell us:
“The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good. The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:1-3)
Therefore, because you have broken the laws of the very Creator who made you, you are deserving of death. His wrath (fierce and righteous anger) is upon you for your treachery and your evil acts committed against Him.

D. God Himself made a way for you to be right with Him.

If everything I’ve said so far is true, then what shall you do on Judgment Day, the day on which you are face to face with your sovereign, creator God, the One who made you and has a righteous claim on your life? When your day before the Lord comes, what will be your plea? In honesty, your answer must be that you are 'Guilty' of breaking the law of God.

If that’s true, then how does any man obtain peace with God? After all, God’s justice demands death.

Here then, is the Good News:
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ was born. He is God the Son, and He condescended to come to this world. (Read Matthew 1-3). He lived a sinless, perfect life. He fulfilled the Law of God completely. After approximately 3 years of ministry, Jesus was crucified on a cross, and He died there.
“Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:4-11, my emphasis)
Jesus Christ bore your sins on the Cross! He DIED for you. He took your place. He drank up the wrath of God, and God’s justice is satisfied.

It doesn’t end there, though: Jesus rose from the grave! After the crucifixion, Jesus was laid in a tomb, and three days later He arose!

How could this be?

Why did He die? After all, He was, and is, God.

But since He did die, how then could He be raised from the dead?

Why He died. He died, or more accurately, He gave up his life willingly, as a ransom payment for sinners. He did this out of the great love with which He loves sinners. He lived a perfect, sinless life, a life that none of us, in our fallen and sinful condition, could ever live. Because of this, he would have never died, because the Bible tells us that “the penalty of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). All of us have sinned by breaking God's moral laws, and all of us are therefore under the penalty of death. But Jesus never sinned. He incurred no death penalty, and therefore had within his possession a life of perfect righteousness. Jesus took that sinless life and offered it up to God as a complete and perfect payment for our sins.
“No one takes my life from Me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:18)
Why He rose from the dead. Simply put, death couldn't hold him. Death had no claim on Him because He had broken no Law.
“God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” (Acts 2:24)
After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent a brief time here on earth afterwards, teaching his Apostles, then He ascended to Heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God the Father.

With all this being said, what will YOU do? You cannot earn this salvation from God:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, my emphasis)
You cannot strive to somehow may yourself appealing to God, who then saves you. No! Instead, listen to this:
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 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 by His life.” (Romans 5:8-10)
You don’t deserve salvation. You deserve death. Yet God offers salvation!
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”(John 3:14-18, my emphasis)
“Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.'” (Mark 1:14-15, my emphasis)
“But what does it say? 'THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART'–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, 'WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for 'WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'” (Romans 10:8-13, my emphasis)
Friend, if you have read through all of this, you have read the Gospel (the word Gospel means the ‘Good News’). Indeed this news is VERY GOOD. It’s the best news you will ever hear.

God has provided the perfect sacrifice to make a way for you to be right with Him, if you will just repent (turn away from sin) and believe. Turn from your wickedness and throw yourself on Jesus Christ, the Savior. There is NO OTHER WAY.
“Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'” (John 14:6, my emphasis)
There is no other way to have peace with God, forgiveness of your sins, and true joy except through the death of Jesus Christ on your behalf.

There is no “Sinner’s Prayer” in Scripture. Instead people have been born again for thousands of years the same way:

Repent from your sins. Turn AWAY from wickedness. Turn TOWARDS God. Throw yourself at His feet and beg God to be merciful to you, a sinner. Cry out to God. Plead with Him. Believe the Good News that Jesus Christ saves undeserving, wretched, miserable sinners, just like me, and just like you.

The amazing part of this is that all who humbly recognize their own sinfulness and need for a Savior, and who place their faith in Jesus' perfect payment made on their behalf, will not only be cleansed and forgiven, but will become sons and daughters of God. They will also be given new hearts and new desires, including the desire and the will to increasingly turn from sin. Glory to God for his great and unfathomable goodness and mercy.

Let me close with two passages of Scripture, which contain a warning, and an offer:
“Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.'” (Luke 13:1-5)
“The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who is thirsty come; let him who thirsts come and take the water of life without charge.” (Revelation 22:17)
* * * * *

Note from Sola Sisters: If you have any questions regarding anything you’ve just read, please feel free to contact us via email ( We will be happy to answer any questions you have.

 Additional Resources 

The Only Road To Heaven (John MacArthur)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Problems With Bestselling Book "Jesus Calling"

Posted by Christine Pack

 Did Author Sarah Young Write Jesus Calling Using Occultic Practice of Automatic Writing? 

The bestselling book Jesus Calling was almost surely written through the occultic practice of "Automatic Writing." A shocking claim? All right, then, I will grant that some of the book could have come from the author's own imagination. However, I also believe it is entirely possible that the book is truly from the spiritual realm; only, it is not the Jesus of the Bible with whom the author got in touch, but rather a demon. And I'm saying this not as just a Christian researcher, but as a former New Ager who practiced Automatic Writing. I should also point out that Christians don't get to flip some switch somewhere and turn occultic practices into biblical practices just by adding biblical terminology to what they are doing.

Automatic Writing is an occultic practice that is a form of divination, a practice that is expressly forbidden by God (see Deut 18). Author Sarah Young recounts how she decided to write the book Jesus Calling:
"My journey began with a devotional book (God Calling) written in the 1930s by two women who practiced waiting in God’s Presence, writing the messages they received as they 'listened.' About a year after I started reading this book, I began to wonder if I too could receive messages during my times of communing with God. . . . So I decided to 'listen' to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I sensed He was saying." (from a Question and Answer session with Sarah Young, CBN)
Now compare Young's description about how she decided to write Jesus Calling to the practice of Automatic Writing as written about in Wikipedia*
"Automatic writing or psychography is an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing. The words are claimed to arise from a subconscious, spiritual or supernatural source." (source)
* NOTE: Don't be hating on me for using Wikipedia. I didn't want to link to a New Age source, and sometimes Wiki actually does get things right, as they do in this instance.
Nowhere in Scripture are Christians told to do as Sarah Young did when writing her book, and that is to sit with pen in hand waiting for a form of channeled dictation from "Jesus." We are to read the Bible, seek to understand it in its proper context, believe it, accept it by faith as truth, and and pray for the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to walk in obedience where we are commanded to take action. But no zoned-out trance states seeking a "fresh" word from God, no. A thousand times no.

For more on the practice of Automatic Writing in Jesus Calling, please read this article by Marcia Montenegro. Like me, Marcia is a former New Ager (she was a professional astrologer). Marcia is now a born again believer who is seminary trained, and in full time apologetics ministry.

You can also read more about this in our article here - Sarah Young's Bestseller Jesus Calling: An Overactive Imagination or a Demon?
“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.” (Deut 18:9-14)
 "Another Jesus" 
"The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don’t know the voice of strangers...... My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:3-5, 27, my emphasis)
The "voice" of the "Jesus" in Jesus Calling does not match the "voice" of the Jesus of the Bible. It just doesn't. And Christians who are very familiar with Scripture know this. If you're not sure about this, just pick up the Bible and read through any one of the gospel accounts. If you do so, you will realize that the "Jesus" of Jesus Calling is not the Jesus of the Bible.......he is "another Jesus," one that the Apostle Paul warned us about receiving and accepting in the second book of Corinthians:
"For if someone comes along and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or should you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you are all too willing to listen." (2 Corinthians 11:4)
In fact, not only is the "voice" of the "Jesus" in Jesus Calling not the "voice" of the Bible's Jesus, but it speaks in a way that is remarkably similar to the demonic spirits I was in touch with while in the New Age. Satan is the father of lies, and has been from the beginning, which means that he, and his demonic legion, have no moral constraints about lying and deceiving those playing around in the supernatural realm, as I was. What this means is that when I was communicating with demons as a New Ager, they didn't identify themselves as demons. Spooky music didn't start playing, and green smoke didn't ooze under the door when they showed up, like we see in the movies. They had beautiful names, and they professed to me to care for me, and to desire to help me grow spiritually. They had a very smooth, soothing way of communicating. (The more Bibley term for that would be 'ear tickling.')

When these demons communicated to me, they would often say 'Trust me' or 'Trust us,' a phrase ('Trust me') that is also often used by the false 'Jesus' in Jesus Calling. If you read through the book, you will see that phrase used repeatedly, yet that is not something that Jesus uttered on a regular basis during his earthly ministry or elsewhere in the Bible, even though we are to trust in the Lord. I think the repetition of this phrase is used by demons to lull humans into, well, trusting them, since their obvious aim is to deceive us and confuse us as they are in the process of communicating to us things that are contrary to what the Bible teaches us about Jesus and God. Their ultimate goal, obviously, is to turn us away from the Jesus of the Bible. And to do this, they often masquerade, as we are told they would, as 'angels of light' (2 Cor 11:14)."

 What's Missing From Jesus Calling? 

Jesus's mission was not social justice, nor was it primarily to model to us how to live a good life (i.e., the social justice "Jesus," the emergent "Jesus," the liberal "Jesus," the Jen Hatmaker "Jesus").

Jesus's mission was not to give us our best life now, or to give us practical life skills in order to enhance and enrich our lives (i.e., the Word of Faith "Jesus," the seeker sensitive "Jesus").

Jesus's mission was not to give us ooey-gooey feelings about Him or about ourselves (the Ann Voskamp "Jesus," the Beth Moore "Jesus," the pop-psychology "Jesus").

Jesus's mission was not to lend his name to the vague New Age term "Christ consciousness," which in the New Age, is the term used to describe a person who is evolving spiritually on their own, through various New Age practices. (i.e., "Robert developed his 'Christ consciousness' through meditation, vegetarianism and learning to avoid bad relationships.")

The Jesus of the Bible is the eternally existent God-man who chose to leave his glory above and be born of a virgin into this sin-sick world in order to undertake a very particular mission, a mission for which "He set his face like flint" (Luke 9:51) in order to accomplish it. His mission was to fulfill all righteousness on the behalf of sinners, and then to offer up his perfect life, by dying on a Roman cross, as a sacrifice for sin. This was his mission, and it is anchored in history both by the historical accounts in the Bible and by extra-biblical accounts form historians living at the time of Jesus. Jesus was a real person, and he incarnated for a very specific purpose, and that was to save sinners.

Proclaiming God's holy, righteous wrath against sin and sinners, and calling sinners to repentance and saving faith in his finished work on the cross was the primary focus of Jesus's earthly ministry.

All of these things are important to bear in mind when evaluating any ministry, any website, any book or any teacher. How is Jesus talked about? What about the cross? What about the gospel message, of how it is that sinful man is reconciled to a high and holy God? Is this front and center in the ministry? Or is it barely mentioned, a sidenote, a cameo?

All that to say this: God's righteous wrath against sinners and the cross do have a cameo appearance here and there in the book Jesus Calling, but only in the way that, say, a movie studio might heavily advertise a well-known actor who has a cameo in a movie. Did you blink? You might have missed his screen time. Well, that's how much screen time sin, God's righteous wrath against sinners, the cross and the atonement get in Jesus Calling. Don't blink, or you'll miss it.

 Final Thoughts 
"And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Cor 11:14)
We've written before about the fact that deception is, well, deceptive. Isn't that the whole point of deception? Deception doesn't announce itself, and give warning that something is afoot. Spooky music won't be playing in the background. Deception can take place anytime and anywhere. It can happen:
......while you are sitting in the cozy nook of your favorite Bible study area in your own home; 
.....through a book recommended by your best friend or Bible study teacher;
...... in Christian bookstores, because the same bookstores that carry Bibles and wonderfully edifying Bible commentaries and study guides also carry books by false teachers who preach "another Jesus" (2 Cor 11:4) and "another gospel" (Gal 1:8, 2 Cor 11:4).
Deception is tricky......cagey......clever.....beguiling: deceptive. We must remember that we are in a spiritual battle, and that Satan is a roaring lion, prowling the earth seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). We must therefore study the Bible diligently in order to present ourselves approved unto God as those who are able to accurately handle the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). This means that we must be prepared to hold up all things taught in the name of God to the actual word of God. And these biblical exhortations to test all things include even runaway bestsellers like Jesus Calling. Christian women, be on guard.

 Additional Resources 

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young: WUI (Writing Under the Influence) (Marcia Montenegro)

Toxic Devotion: A Review of Sarah Young's Jesus Calling
 (Critical Issues Commentary, Pastor Bob DeWaay)

Sarah Young's Bestseller Jesus Calling: An Overactive Imagination or a Demon? (Sola Sisters)

Warning About Bestseller Jesus Calling
 (Sola Sisters)

Tim Challies Reviews Jesus Calling (Challies)

Beth Moore Recommends Jesus Calling Book (Apprising)

Justin Peters on Jesus Calling (10 minute YouTube video)

What Is Automatic Writing? (Wikipedia)

What Does the Bible Say About Channeling? (Got Questions?)

What Does the Bible Say About Divination? (Got Questions?)

"Another Jesus" Calling (book by former New Ager Warren Smith)

Thomas Nelson Publishers Creatively Edit Jesus Calling (Stand Up For The Truth)

Is Jesus Calling A Wrong Number? A Book Review (Stand Up For The Truth)

Changing Jesus Calling: Damage Control For a False Christ (Stand Up For The Truth)

Jesus Calling: Whitewashing The Red Flags (Stand Up For The Truth)

Is Deception Calling? A review of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Stand Up For The Truth)

 Interviews With Sarah Young 

Question and Answer Session with Sarah Young (Christian Broadcasting Network-CBN) (more about God Calling here)

Meet Sarah Young (Christian Retailing, Aug 18, 2010) (Young cites the New Age book God Calling as influential)

Sarah Young: Amid Suffering, Devotion (Publishers Weekly, Nov 14, 2012)

 Sola Sisters Facebook Wall Discussion Threads 

False "Jesus" flatters in Jesus Calling - Dec 14, 2013

The demonic "voice" of Jesus Calling, friends don't let friends read Jesus Calling - Mar 11, 2015

Jesus Calling, occultic practice of Automatic Writing - Mar 11, 2015

Jesus's mission - Mar 12, 2015

The "voice" of the "Jesus" in Jesus Calling vs. the "voice" of the Jesus of the Bible  - Mar 13, 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

Shepherds Conference 2015

Posted by Christine Pack

[UPDATE: The video sessions and audio sessions from ShepCon 2015 are linked here, helpfully compiled by the Domain For Truth blog.]

The 2015 Shepherds Conference (affectionately dubbed "ShepCon"), Grace To You's annual teaching conference for pastors, is wrapping up today, and theology nerds the world over are both thrilled and heartbroken. Thrilled, because this year's livestreamed conference which focused on the inerrancy of the Bible was brilliant. And heartbroken, because now it's almost over.

A few comments from our Facebook wall:
"Yep dishes getting left piled up."
"But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.' (Luke 10:41,42)"
"No excuses lol. I painted a bedroom while listening to Lawson preach. I remember everything he said but I don't remember the painting much. How great was that!"
"I live in the UK I stayed up late last night to watch some of it won't be much work done today but its totally worth it!"
"I actually really enjoyed listening to the music as much as the conference. A breath of fresh air from all the contemporary stuff."
And a few posts on social media while the event was going on:

A conference for theology nerds - see the ear to ear grins?
GTY's Phil Johnson presenting J.D. Hall of Pulpit and Pen with a Spurgeon
manuscript in honor of Hall's modern day Downgrade Preaching.
(Spurgeon was the original Downgrade preacher.)
Shepherds attendee Gene G Clyatt's lighthearted reference
to a minor skirmish going on at the same time as ShepCon
involving a dispute over how the Inquisition is defined

As soon as the audio and video files have been uploaded, we'll post them here. And until then, enjoy the livestream, friends.

P.S. For those with eagle eyes who might have spotted that the eecard meme above looks suspiciously like our Strange Fire meme from a couple of years ago, yes, you're absolutely right. It's a shameless rip-off of the Strange Fire meme. And now I've got some laundry to go do. Heh.

 Additional Resources 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Theonomy Debate Between Theonomist Joel McDurmon and Pastor J.D. Hall

Posted by Christine Pack

The long-awaited Theonomy debate between Theonomist Joel McDurmon of American Vision and Pastor J.D. Hall of Pulpit and Pen has taken place, and has been posted by American Vision. (To gain an understanding of what Theonomy is, please read this article first: The Fault Lines of Theonomy/Christian Reconstruction. You may also listen to J.D. Hall's pre-debate radio programs, in which he did a 2-part series on Theonomy: Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

In the debate, Pastor Hall did an excellent job of biblically demonstrating the errant views of Theonomy, which flow out of the Dominionist view held by Theonomists.

The debate can be watched here, but don't miss the Q/A session, posted just below the debate.

Here is the Question and Answer session that took place immediately following the debate. And don't miss the part in this session where McDurmon casually discusses stoning for lawbreakers as if it were no big thing. Silly me, I thought the idea of stoning was the dirty little secret that Theonomists always wanted to keep under wraps, but boom, there it was.

 Additional Resources 

The Fault Lines of Christian Reconstructionism/Theonomy (Sola Sisters)

The Errors of Theonomy - Part 1 (J.D. Hall, Pulpit and Pen)

The Errors of Theonomy - Part 2 (J.D. Hall, Pulpit and Pen)

Post Debate Interview with J.D. Hall Part 1 (Red Grace Media)
Post Debate Fall-Out and Aftermath (Landon Chapman)

Kingdom Now? Cultures Being Redeemed? No and no. (The Problems With The Dominionist View) (Sola Sisters)

Beyond Fabrication: Putting The Vision Into Revision (Fred Butler, Hip and Thigh)

Brother's Keeper.....Some of the Problems With Theonomists (Fred Butler, Hip and Thigh)

Judicial Warfare: The Christian Reconstruction Movement and its Blueprints for Dominion (critique by former Christian Reconstructionist Greg Loren Durand)

Theonomy: A Reformed Baptist Assessment (Sam Waldron)

What Is Dominionism? (Derek Gilbert interviews Sarah Leslie of Herescope, beginning at 1:08:00 mark)
A Biblical Examination of the Dominion Mandate and the Christian Reconstruction Movement (Bob DeWaay)

Moses' Law for Modern Government: The Intellectual and Sociological Origins of the Christian Reconstructionist Movement (Ligon Duncan)

Christian Reconstructionist Leader Doug Phillips of Vision Forum Resigns, Cites Moral Failure [UPDATED]

Doug Phillips, Repentance and Justice (Sola Sisters)

Hall of Shame: Doug Phillips and Vision Forum (Mennoknight)

Rethinking Vision Forum

How God Saves Us In Christ (And Why Legalism Can't Help Us) (Pastor Jeff Crippen)

Why The Law Cannot Sanctify (Romans 7:5-6) (Pastor Kevin Williams)

 Bible Thumping Wingnut 

J.D. Hall's Discusses His Debate With Theonomist Joel McDurmon

Reflecting On The Theonomy Debate / Social Media Conduct

Previewing The Upcoming Theonomy Debate 

 Secular Articles About Patriarchy/Quiverfull 

When Having Kids Is A Religious Experience (ABC News)

Quiverfull: More Children For God's Army (Newsweek writer Kathryn Joyce)

Inside the Duggar Family's Conservative Ideology (Newsweek, Kathryn Joyce)

 Miscellaneous Resources / Dominionism In Other Ideologies and Movements 

What Is The New Apostolic Reformation? (And Why Should We Be Concerned About It?)

Signs and Wonders Training Camp for Kids? (Stand Up For The Truth)

A Tale of Two Kingdoms (Stand Up For The Truth)

Pastor Carl Trueman: Concerns With Quiverfull/Patriarchy (Sola Sisters)

In-Depth Discussions of Patriarchy with Author and Christian Researcher Karen Campbell:
⁃ Quiverfull/Patriarchy, Part I (9 radio programs) 
⁃ Quiverfull Patriarchy, Part II (14 radio programs) 
⁃ Militant Fecundity (Aggressively Raising Up A "Christian Army") vs. Seeing Children As A Blessing (4 radio programs) 
What Are The Quiverfull and Patriarchy Movements? (Got Questions?)