“Woman, just try harder!”

Without proper discipleship, we got caught up in all the glitz and programs of today’s celebrity-driven church “bible” studies

Like everyone else, I thought that the celebrity writers of these bright, flowery studies were biblical. They certainly contained some familiar Bible verses and talked about God – and sometimes Jesus. But the narrative almost always seemed to point to the author, and her life, and her countless anecdotes about her kids, her husband, her failings, and her overcomings.  These anecdotes were a highly entertaining path for me. Not toward confession and repentance from my disobedience, but toward legalism and rigid actions which ultimately would lead me to “feel” closer to God.

 

When I first heard the Gospel and believed, I knew I was washed clean and forgiven. But I didn’t have anyone who really understood the full and complete Gospel to disciple me. Nor did my husband. We had just come out of the Catholic system and were on our second or third seekermergent church (hey, we liked the music!), when the Lord graciously opened our eyes to the Scriptures and the truth of who He is – and who we aren’t!

Still, without proper discipleship, we got caught up in all the glitz and programs of today’s celebrity-driven church “bible” studies.  The ones that told me if I just did these 12 things, or adopted these 7 habits, my life would be so much better. I’d be more organized/joyful/tolerant/smart/generous/relaxed, and less angry/sad/busy/ignorant/unloving/greedy/anxious. I’m about to share a book review on just one of the many church studies out there that really aren’t Bible studies at all. It’s one of many books failing to make a clear distinction between the doctrines of Law and the Gospel, which promises the forgiveness of sins in light of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Like everyone else, I thought that the celebrity writers of these bright, flowery studies were biblical. They certainly contained some familiar Bible verses and talked about God – and sometimes Jesus. But the narrative almost always seemed to point to the author, and her life, and her countless anecdotes about her kids, her husband, her failings, and her overcomings.  These anecdotes were a highly entertaining path for me. Not toward confession and repentance from my disobedience, but toward legalism and rigid actions which ultimately would lead me to “feel” closer to God.

These days I will not lay my money down for any of the numerous book studies being cranked out for conferences, written by women about their experiences. I want the real deal. So I study Scripture with other women.  But women I love still gather by the dozens to study the latest ramblings by celebrities, one of them being Jen Hatmaker.

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