Here we have yet another example of a professing Christian who claims that God speaks directly to her in her mind instead of through the Bible. According to Gabriel Hughes, the voice and creator of the video series When We Understand the Text, Anna McCarthy “seldom references his words in the Scriptures, but she will quote what she feels like he’s saying in her mind.” Moreover, McCarthy “Does not attempt to teach you anything about what Jesus said, and therefore can’t teach you anything about what it means to follow him.”
Pastor Hughes offers plenty of reasons to flee from this wolf…
Who’s Anna McCarthy, I wondered. I’ve seen her articles bouncing around Facebook and Twitter. The most famous up to this point was entitled When He Became a She, about a time she encountered a former church friend who’s now a different sex. Her most recent article, about a ministry in a strip club, drove me to do a little research.
Her blog is called Just a Jesus Follower. I’ve looked through her material. For claiming to follow Jesus, she doesn’t share many of his words. I scrolled through three articles before I finally found her first reference. She said, “Funny thing is, Jesus said if we followed Him, living in Jesus would be easy — light even. (Matt 11:30)”
I’d be curious to know how she thinks denying yourself and taking up a cross daily is supposed to be easy (Luke 9:23). Jesus clearly said that following him was the difficult road. The easy road is the one that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). In the same passage she quoted, Jesus said the only people who know God are the ones Jesus chose to reveal the Father to (Matthew 11:27). It’s not easy to follow Jesus. It’s downright impossible.
In Matthew 11:30, Jesus was talking about the burden of false teaching. The Pharisees and other teachers were making the people believe they had to keep the law to be saved. But that isn’t possible. Thankfully, Jesus fulfilled all the law and the prophets. For those who know Christ, their load is light indeed, no longer weighed down by guilt and legalism. We can rest forever in Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath (which Jesus went on to talk about in the next chapter).
My friends, these few paragraphs should be enough to inform you that at the very least, this woman who’s “just a Jesus follower” is not following close enough to be teaching about him.James 3:1 says that not everyone should aspire to be a teacher because they will be judged more strictly. Anyone can use his name, but do they know his words? Every teacher needs to be tested — yes, even me.
Whenever I see articles by someone new starting to pop up, I want to know who that person is. One of my jobs as a pastor is to teach sound doctrine and to rebuke those who contradict it (Titus 1:9). This is in loving guidance and careful attention for the flock of Jesus Christ that I examine this person’s teaching. Continue reading