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Warnings About Different Doctrines

The New Testament is full of warnings to not fall for different doctrines.

Romans 16:17 (ESV) I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

 

Ephesians 4:14 (ESV) so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

 

Hebrews 13:9 (ESV)  Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.

 

We are warned to not teach other doctrines.

1 Timothy 1:3 (ESV) As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine,

 

Titus 1:10-11 (ESV)

10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.

11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.

 

We are warned to not listen to those who do teach different doctrines.

1 Timothy 6:3-4a (ESV)

3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness,
4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.

 

We are to handle God’s Word carefully.

2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV) Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker  who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

 

Our church leaders are to be able to teach sound doctrine.  In speaking of elders, Paul says they are to be able to teach sound doctrine.

Titus 1:9 (ESV) He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

Titus 2:1 (ESV) But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

 

Our lives are to adorn God’s doctrine.  That is an interesting concept – adorn.

Titus 2:10 (ESV) not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

Our lives should shine before others and be a reflection of our Lord. (Matthew 5:16)  We are to shine as lights in a dark world.  (Phil 2:15)  That is how we can adorn God’s Word.

Can you think of other ways?

 

We are to mature beyond the basics.

Hebrews 6:1 (ESV) Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Never should we be content in remaining stationary in our faith.  We should strive for more and more maturity.

 

All manner of sin is contrary to sound doctrine.

1 Timothy 1:8-11 (ESV)

8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,
10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series

 


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What Does God’s Word Say About Doctrine?

Last month in studying doctrine we left off with Paul’s solution to being taken captive to false doctrine in 2 Timothy 3:10-17.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (ESV)

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.

12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Paul commends Timothy for following his teaching.  Then he encourages Timothy to continue in all he has learned.  Finally Paul wraps up with the two of the most memorized verses about the Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Then in the next chapter Paul commends Timothy again about sound doctrine.  You think Paul thinks sound doctrine is important?

1 Timothy 4:6-8 (ESV)

6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.
7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

 

Timothy not only has been learning directly from Paul but he learned from the sacred writings, meaning our Old Testament, from his childhood.  Even the Old Testament is able to make us “wise for salvation through faith” verse 15.

While the word Doctrine is not used much in the Old Testament, there are several other names for doctrine.

Truth

Psalms 25:5 (ESV) Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalms 119:160 (ESV) The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Precepts

Psalms 119:93 (ESV) I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Teaching

Proverbs 4:2 (ESV) for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.

Instruction

Proverbs 19:20 (ESV) Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

Statutes

Ezra 7:10 (ESV) For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

Those are just a sampling of the verses in the Old Testament concerning doctrine.  There are many, many more to be found in the New Testament along with warnings against falling for different doctrines.

 



For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Points to Ponder about Weak Women and Creeping Creeps

1. What characteristics listed in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 are issues which you struggle with?

2 Timothy 3:2-5 (ESV)

2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,

3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,

4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.  Avoid such people.

 

 

2. Have you known people who appeared godly and yet broke and revealed they were just hollow shelled “Christians” who had an appearance of godliness without the power?

 

 

3. Have you known false teachers in the church (even the church at large) who have tried to take away the weak with false teaching? What are some ways in which you guard yourself and your family from falling for these false teachers?

 

 

4. Are you a “weak woman” tossed about by every wind of doctrine that comes your way?

 

 

5. What are some false doctrines that you have fallen far? Are there other false doctrines that you’ve recognized and were able to spot the false teaching by being Berean?

 

 

6. What doctrines do you see a need for more Biblical understanding and teaching on?

 

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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So What do We Do?

Paul doesn’t leave us here as weak women, but he tells us what to do. Follow his teaching of Scripture.  Scripture is able to make you wise for Salvation through faith in Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (ESV)

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.

12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

 

We are to follow the teaching of Paul and the Scripture to keep ourselves from being weak women taken captive by false teaching.

Next month we will look more specifically at what God’s Word says about doctrine.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Weak Women Taken Captive

2 Timothy 3:6-7 (ESV)

6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

“Weak women” – gunaikária – this word is hard to arrive at exactly what Paul is referring to here because this word is only used in this passage of the Bible.  An Englishman’s search won’t reveal any other usage.  So we since we can’t find other verses to explain this passage we will have to look closer at what this verse itself tells us about the weak women.

Weak women are “burdened with sins”.  Burdened here means heaped up, piled up or loaded up.  If you went through the Pilgrim’s Progress Bible study with us previously you would remember how Christian was carrying a burden through the beginning of the book. But upon obtaining salvation Christian’s burden rolled away into the empty tomb and was seen no more.  Then we discussed how Christian’s burden wasn’t just his sin, because others sinned and didn’t carry around burdens.   Christian’s burden was the guilt of his sins which weighed on him.  As believers we aren’t to be carrying a burden of sin guilt around with us.  We are to repent and seek forgiveness for our sins.  Then we are to live as forgiven and thankful children.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

We lay aside our burdens and trust in Christ who has finished the work of Salvation for us.

Psalms 32:1-5 (ESV)

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

 

1 John 1:9 (ESV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Psalm 38:4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

 

Not only are “weak women” burdened by sin, they are also led astray by various passions – tossed to and fro by every idle wind of doctrine.

Ephesians 4:14 (ESV)  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

“Weak women” are always learning and never arriving at the truth.  They are always seeking the newest and best way to live.  You know that miraculous home management program so that you can get everything done with minimal effort.  The newest homeschool curriculum which will teach the children everything in 10 easy steps or maybe it is the “oldies but goodies”, going back to the curriculum our founding fathers used for their children.  The church even often offers up quite a selection of fads to choose from.

The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life

Purpose Driven Life – What on Earth am I Here For?

“Weak women” are not content with doing the hard work that being godly, raising children, homeschooling, teaching, working or even Bible study requires.   They will latch onto every new fad that comes along.

Godliness in 10 easy steps.

Wheat grass juice will cure your every ill.

The Magic Step to flat abs.

Always learning but never arriving at truth – MacArthur doesn’t mince words here speaking of “weak women”.

Sin and lack of discernment neutralized their ability to apprehend God’s truth. If they have been reared in the church, they are especially susceptible to ideas that purport to be Christian. But their ignorance of Scripture and their sinful living make them utterly undiscerning and defenseless against unbiblical and ungodly precepts. They are continually learning about everything except the knowledge of the truth. Because legalism deals only in outward performance, it is very attractive. Many such women, and men as well, are glad to find a way that promises to make them right with God simply by adhering to certain outward forms and conforming to certain behavioral standards.

John MacArthur, in 2 Timothy Commentary

What is the truth?  Of course, it is God’s Word.  Always learning about “Christianity” but never actually learning from Scripture.  Some churches are like that now themselves.  Always studying all kinds of books but never really studying the Bible.  Looking for the “magic” Bible verse that will answer all your questions.

What is the “knowledge of the truth”?  Knowing the Bible would be the average person’s first response.  Yet we have an even better explanation in the Bible.  Paul uses this phrase repeatedly in his epistles.

 

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (ESV)

3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

2 Timothy 2:24-26 (ESV)

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

 

Titus 1:1 (ESV) Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,

 

Hebrews 10:26-27 (ESV)

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Charles Spurgeon on “Knowledge of the Truth”

It is the truth which saves. Jesus Christ is the truth: the whole testimony of God about Christ is the truth. The work of the Holy Ghost in the heart is to work in us the truth.”

Knowledge of the Truth isn’t just knowledge of some truth or knowledge of some doctrine; it is personal life changing knowledge of the salvation of Jesus Christ.

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Creeps Creeping In

These people who have an appearance of Godliness without the Power (2 Timothy 3:5) creep in.  They don’t come boldly teaching false doctrine but they creep into households.  They come in the back door.

2 Timothy 3:6-7 (ESV)

6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Paul also warns the Galatians of these false brothers slipping in secretly to try to pervert the truth.

Galatians 2:4-5 (ESV)

4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—

5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

Paul isn’t the only one warning about those who creep in to distort the truth. Peter also warns about them.

2 Peter 2:1 (ESV) But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Jude warns about them also.

Jude 4 (ESV) For certain people have crept in unnoticed  who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert  the grace of our God into sensuality and  deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

We cannot let our guard down for an instant.  They are out to capture weak women.  Capture is used in the sense of leading away captives like the Israelites to Babylon.  Like slaves.

We are to make every thought captive to Christ and are not to allow ourselves to be carried away captive by peddlers of false doctrine.

2 Corinthians 10:5-6 (ESV)

5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

2 Peter 3:17 (ESV) You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

Colossians 2:8 (ESV) See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

 

Today though we don’t have to have these false teachers physically come into our homes to take us captive, see we often invite them in through the TV or through the books we read or even the music we hear.  We let images and ideas in through seemingly innocuous, (harmless), means such as media.  We deceive ourselves into thinking that we can handle peddlers of false doctrine as long as they are not physically present.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Appearance of Godliness But Denying Its Power

We could probably all name someone who fits each description in 2 Timothy 3:2-4.  There are many, many unbelieving people who live lives exhibiting such sin.  They need the gospel yet we aren’t to judge them.  We can’t expect Unbelievers to live as Believers should.  We are told not to judge unbelievers in 1 Corinthians 5:12-13, God will judge them.

1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (ESV)

12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

We are to share the hope of the gospel with unbelievers.

Yet we are told to judge those in the church.

1 Corinthians 5:12b Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

Not only judge, but to even purge the evil person from among us.  Who might that be? Paul tells us about some evil people in Timothy 3.

Let us look at 2 Timothy 3 verse 5, it adds a little different twist to who the people in verses 2-4 are.

2 Timothy 3:5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.  Avoid such people.

That is a tough concept.  Appearance of godliness without the power.  What does that mean?  These people appear for all intents and purposes to be very godly.  That means they fulfill the religious expectations placed on them.  They may be part of a church. They may be baptized. They appear to serve the Lord.  Yet there is still a lack; a lack of power.   They are hollow shell “Christians” who will easily break under pressure.  Just like those hollow Chocolate Easter Bunnies there is nothing to them and they crack under pressure.

When a man is a Christian in name only, and not in reality–in outward things only, and not in his inward feelings–in profession only, and not in practice–when his Christianity in short is a mere matter of form, or fashion, or custom, without any influence on his heart or life- -in such a case as this the man has what I call a “formal religion.”  He possesses indeed the “form,” or shell, or surface of religion, but he does not possess its substance or its “power.”

Formal religion pleases the natural laziness of man.  It attaches an excessive importance to that which is the easiest part of Christianity- -the shell and the form.  Man likes this.  He hates exertion in religion.  He wants something which will not meddle with his conscience and inner life.  Only leave his conscience alone, and, it will want to do works or actions.  Formalism seems to open a wider gate, and a more easy way to heaven.

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) in FORMALISM.

 

Now let us look again at those people described in 2 Timothy 3:2-4, that whole list is people who are maybe in the church appearing godly and yet without the power.  It could include anyone of us sitting here.  They look good on the outside but inside are rotten hollow corpses.  Since they have an appearance of godliness then it would appear that the sinful characteristics listed in verses 2-4 are not real blatant such that you would instantly see them.  They may even be the more hidden sins of the heart which often are only revealed during stress or sometimes in their speech.  Yet generally they appear godly.

They are like the scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked.

Matthew 23:25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Matthew 23:27-28

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.

28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

They look clean on the outside but the inside is full of filth.

Who is the ultimate example of this?

Judas Iscariot.  Often children think that Judas was some monster, that he was this obviously horrible person.  But that is false he wasn’t obviously horrible and deceiving.  He appeared to be godly. He was one of twelve chosen by Jesus to be one of his disciples.  Judas went out with the disciples casting out demons and healing people (Matthew 10:5-8).  Judas was so apparently “godly” that the disciples trusted him with the money bag (John 13:29).  The disciples weren’t even concerned when Judas left during the last supper.  Yet we see that Judas was lacking in true godliness.

We aren’t left having no clue who are the true Christians and who are the fakes.  We are told you will recognize them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:15-23

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.

18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.

19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’

23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

There will be those who have a form of godliness who are eager to lead you astray if you will let them. They often seem so nice and holy in the process of leading others astray.  To guard against being made captive to false doctrine you must fill your heart with true Biblical Doctrine so that you can recognize the false doctrine.

We are to be like the Bereans and examine everything we hear in light of Scripture.

Acts 17:10-12 (ESV)

10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue.
11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.

Don’t take anything that you are taught without examining it according to Scripture.  Don’t take anything I’ve said without examining to see if it is correct.  Don’t take anything a pastor says, not even a MacArthur, Piper or Sproul, without examining it to see if it is correct according to Scripture.  Paul even tells the Galatian church to examine his teaching and make sure he isn’t teaching a different gospel from previously.

Galatians 1: 6-9

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—

7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

So if an Angel was to appear right here and tell us that all religions lead to Christ as long as the person is sincere, that would be contrary to Scripture and we are to reject it even if from an Angel.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Silly Weak-Natured Spiritually Dwarfed Women

Silly Weak-Natured Spiritually Dwarfed Women

We started the discussion on Doctrine and Renewing the Attitudes of Our Heart with Titus 2:3-5 and we left off with 2 Timothy 3:6-7 which I posted in several versions.  Here are two of them again.

2 Tim 3:6-7

6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. ESV

 

2 Tim 3:6-7

6 For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses.

7 [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth. AMP

 

Remember those weak, silly, gullible, weak-willed, weak-natured, spiritually dwarfed women we talked about? Hope you’ve had some time to think about these verses over the past month.  None of us would want the Lord to call us any of those names.

Paul seems rather harsh here, but Paul’s writings are inspired by God.  That is what God told him to write.  However, many women have issues with Paul.  I’ve even heard women in the church bad mouth Paul saying he hated women while the preacher just let it slide by.  Paul doesn’t hate women.  Paul has equally harsh things to say about men.  Just women tend to let their emotions cloud everything they hear.  In 2 Timothy 1:5 Paul even commends Timothy’s mother and grandmother for their teaching of Timothy as a child.

2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

So we need to strive to not be weak women but commendable like Timothy’s mother and grandmother.  We need to not let ourselves be taken captive by false doctrine.

So who creeps into households to make captives?

All we have to do is look backwards to see to whom Paul is referring.

2 Timothy 3:2-5 (ESV)

2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,

3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,

4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.  Avoid such people.

Paul then says in verse 6 that among the above listed people are those who worm their way into homes to make captive weak women.

2 Timothy 3: 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

Most of those descriptions in 2 Timothy 3:2-4 are very easy to understand.

Lovers of self

Lovers of money

Proud

Arrogant

Abusive

Disobedient to their parents

Ungrateful

Unholy

Heartless,

Unappeasable, (greedy, Ravenous, like teenage boys at supper time…)

Slanderous,

Without self-control,

Brutal,

Not loving good,

Treacherous,

Reckless,

Swollen with conceit,

Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god,

These are those who worm their way into households capturing weak women.

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Created To Be His Help Meet – Challies’ Review

Tim Challies has reviewed the book Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl in a two part review.  It is a very interesting review and discussion and worth considering if you have read the book or had it recommended to you.

Created To Be His Help Meet

Created To Be His Help Meet (Part 2)

I have read many of the Pearl’s books (included this one) and they are very interesting.  There are many “pearls” of wisdom that can be found but along with those is much that must be weeded out and sifted through.  Taken 100% at face value there would be many, many problems that could develop by utilizing their methods of parenting and marriage.

Example:  You cannot physically spank some children until they will obey.  That can and will lead to abuse which has happened with devastating consequences based on supposed instructions from the Pearl’s parenting books.

So because of the issues with the Pearl’s books I have a hard time recommending them to others so I don’t.

What is the problem with the Pearl’s books?

Their doctrine.

Remember the series on doctrine I posted earlier?  Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series

Here are two quotes from that series:

A.W. Tozer said in The Knowledge of the Holy:

It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate.”

According to John MacArthur:

Doctrine matters. What you believe about God, the gospel, the nature of man, and every major truth addressed in Scripture filters down to every area of your life. You and I will never rise above our view of God and our understanding of His Word.

That is what happens with the Pearl’s material. Their faulty doctrine shows through and colors their teaching.  A person’s teaching cannot be separated from their doctrine.

Some would say “But the Pearl’s are Biblical and use Scripture to back up their teaching.”  Which is true to an extent.  However, their doctrine is interpreted based on flawed assumptions.

I couldn’t begin to tell all the doctrine issues that occur in their materials but here is a sampling.  Not only that but books will say one thing and then later Micheal Pearl will post a rebuttal to the criticism on their website.  Either they express themselves very poorly or they tone down doctrine at times when confronted.  I could spend time posting quotes from them but that isn’t my point.  Just understand that faulty doctrine can be exhibited in a myriad of ways.

Doctrinal problems with the Pearls:

1)  X + Y = Z  (I only explained this one because it is the most obviously taught but hardest to explain.)

This is a common flaw everyone falls for at times.  If you do X and you do Y the result will be Z, always.  In other words, church plus stay at home mom will lead to saved children.  Or maybe we don’t think life is that simple.  Active church membership plus stay at home mom plus homeschooling plus family devotions plus cutting out TV plus a mission trip will lead to saved children.  Few of us actually think this out but we often unconsciously think that we’ve done all the right things so why isn’t our results working out like we thought.

The Christian Life isn’t a set of hoops we must jump through in order to arrive at the right destination.  Many go through the “hoops” in a different order. Others skipped “hoops” we think are important and achieve better fruit.

The Pearls teach that if  your children are made to be obedient when young that the adult fruit will be good.  Or that if you are the perfect wife your husband won’t divorce you or if he does you can win him back and have an even better marriage.  People do not respond like Pavlov’s dogs.  There are more factors to life than X and Y.  People can choose to sin despite everything.  Other outside influences can affect decisions.  God is Sovereign over all.

2) God’s Sovereignty

3) Christian perfection

4) Gap Theory

5) Infants are born without sin or a sin nature.


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Points to Ponder About the Importance of Doctrine

1. Do you recognize any doctrine which affects your thinking that is contrary to Scripture?

 

2. How might your doctrine be affected by outside influences such as media choices or friends?

 

3. Are your children or grandchildren being affected by false doctrine in their media, friends or activities?

 

4. Do you recognize false doctrine when you hear it? Do you feel uneasy about things you hear but can’t quite point out the problem?

 

5. Think about how the following verses may or may not apply to you. Are you a weak woman when it comes to Biblical doctrine?

2 Tim 3:6-7
6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,
7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. ESV

 

6. How are you strengthening yourself to stand against those who want to creep in and capture you and your family? Have you barred the front door while the back door stands open? How might you have unintentionally invited them in?

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series

 


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