Ask any Christian woman if she would enjoy basing her faith on satanic lies, and she’ll look at you like you have two heads. Of course not!
No one really wants to be deceived. Yet with so many trends plowing into the modern church, it’s easy to get swept away in the latest, shiniest feel-good craze that looks like biblical Christianity, until you hold it up to the light of Scripture. That’s when the Holy Spirit reveals to us what these trends really are: counterfeit movements that actually point us away from the Jesus of the Bible.
This week I am speaking to women attending the Answers In Genesis Truth: Uncovering Lies We Believe conference, and my presentation is titled, “Discerning 10 Lies Women Believe About the Gospel.” There are many more of course, but I have only an hour to give a high-level overview. This will be my second time at AIG. I spoke at the Defend: Ready to Give an Answer conference in 2017 on the New Apostolic Reformation.
We don’t need cool new fads to grow as Christians and bring us closer to Jesus. Our most desperate need starts with the Gospel. It is the Good News of God reconciling us to Him through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our sins are cleansed through Christ alone, and no other. All He asks is that we follow Him and no other.
Today we need discernment more than ever before. Discernment is the ability to recognize the difference between true and false. That ability is a gift, yes, but it is also a skill that every Christian must hone by knowing her Savior through God’s breathed-out Word. We have an enemy who would like nothing more than to rob us of our discernment and steal our joy.
Lies we as women believe about the Gospel have turned into some of the most popular – and damaging – false gospels leading many away from the nature and character of God. I believe this is happening for three reasons: spiritual blindness, biblical illiteracy, and the belief that Scripture is not enough – that there must be something more.
An example of all three of these at play is the popularity of the book Jesus Calling. More than a decade ago, author Sarah Young told the world that Jesus Himself frequently speaks to her. This “Jesus” tells her that he loves her but doesn’t call her from sin to repentance and holiness. To this day, Young’s worldwide audience cannot get enough of this book and the other spinoff products in the multi-million-dollar franchise. When we know the real Jesus, our Almighty God and Savior, we can easily spot Sarah Young’s Jesus as an imposter.
A more recent trend sweeping through Christendom is the popular enneagram, a nine-pointed symbol that promises to classify your personality from among nine different types and point you to God. Many churches have begun using the enneagram as a “powerful tool for personal and collective transformation.” A simple question: Do you want to be transformed by the enneagram, or by the Holy Spirit as He sanctifies you and shapes you into Christ-likeness?
From enneagrams and personality profiling to mystical practices and the progressive social justice movement, there are many ways we take our eyes off of Christ to follow trends and idols. Jesus warned His followers many times throughout His ministry to avoid being deceived. His beloved apostle John pleaded with the Church, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” We do that by examining the teachings of Scripture, and then the teachings of everyone who instructs us in the faith and shapes our thinking.
Biblical discernment comes from reading and meditating on the Word of God. Every woman you know – whether she is a new believer or a seasoned veteran – needs to read the Word daily in order to equip herself with truth to prevent falling into deception. Read it for yourself every day.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).