When I first discovered Heather Lindsey, I simply thought her to be a social media figure who enjoyed encouraging Christian women. In fact, I used to follow her on Instagram and actually found her memes about relationships and sexual purity insightful social media fodder. From what she presents online, Heather is a woman who is easy to adore and admire. She has a beautiful family and her children have tons of personality. Heather is charming and transparent, being willing to share the dark struggles of her past that she is able to relate to and encourage her following. She is also smart and something of a superwoman. She manages to maintain a blog, write multiple books, run a boutique, co-manage a publishing company, and faithfully serve her international women’s organization Pinky Promise. She also frequently travels for speaking engagements all while managing to be a flawless, fit and fashionable beauty, a loving wife, and a doting mother who takes the most amazing “candids” for her active social media presence. (And at the time of this writing, she’s five months pregnant and still on the go like it’s nothing!)
Dear Sisters in Christ,
As many of you may already be aware, March is Women's History Month. For 31 glorious days we have the opportunity to celebrate, commemorate and applaud women who have made (and are making) notable contributions to society. This annual observance, and simply observing women day-to-day, demonstrates we are competent, capable and courageous beings. Outside of our biological differences, we ladies really CAN do nearly anything men can do in general society and across various fields.
But here’s an unchangeable truth with which we all need to come to grips: In the family of God women MAY NOT assume spiritual authority over and teach men (1 Timothy 2:12).
Black Panther did well to bring black representation to the big screen, and I was delighted to see men and women who look like me playing roles that weren't of the “thug” or “slave” variety. Black despondence nor dejection were on the menu for this film, and I am 100% here for it. I’m also here for the diversity this film brings to media and entertainment. As far as film productions go, Black Panther was quality all around, and I sincerely believe it is Oscar-worthy. It really was THAT good!
But as other moviegoers across social media have shared their feedback on the film these past few days, the hype has reached a level that has caused me concern for my people - my Family in Christ.
In her piece, “How to Be a Safe Space for the Same-Sex Attracted,” writer Rachel Gilson issues a guidance to Christians to help us respond to church members who disclose they are same-sex attracted. Gilson presents this matter as a high priority issue because she believes the same-sex attracted are actually more prevalent in the church than we know. Yet, for fear of “ugly assumptions...misunderstanding….and suspicion,” she says these individuals are often forced to remain in the shadows.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Paula White, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, and a host of other false teachers in their generation, is they’ve been scheming Believers and blaspheming the truth of God for 20+ years - and they show no signs of repenting. They don’t flinch or stutter when they preach lies, heresy and the doctrines of demons. Indeed, they are false teachers through and through. The preponderance of the evidence is stacked so highly against them that this fact isn’t even debatable!
But there is a new generation of false teachers following in their footsteps, some of whom they’ve influenced, mentored and even raised from birth. But if it is possible, I pray this new generation will see their error and repent as soon as possible. Like their elders, this rising class of the uncalled are capturing the hearts of professed Believers the world over, especially among millennials, and they’re leading countless souls astray. These preachers are young, funny, charming, wise (according to men), well-dressed, successful, physically attractive - and wholly unqualified to teach the people of God. Their doctrines are dangerous, their speech is destructive, and their errors are damnable. They withhold the Gospel, fail to teach the full counsel of God, and they readily compromise the truth.
Roberts launched One Church of LA in 2002, but he recently joined it to The Potter’s House brand in August 2017. Now officially linked to T.D. Jakes’ business and theological influence, Roberts is contractually obligated to preach false doctrine for as long as he pastors his church. This isn’t to say Roberts wasn’t already a purveyor of compromise and Biblical error in his own right, of course. In fact, Roberts made headlines - secular and faith-based - in 2013 when he called Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland to the pulpit and repented to Destiny’s Child on behalf of Body of Christ!
Jakes-Roberts co-pastors One Church LA, one of the fastest growing churches in Los Angeles, alongside her husband, Touré Roberts. Much like her father, T.D. Jakes, Jakes-Roberts is a poised, articulate speaker who seems to possess a wealth of life wisdom. She appears pensive, and she speaks in paced patterns that suggest she is sincerely delving into the Word of God with great care and divine guidance. Yet, also like her father, she merely employs oratory techniques and leans a lot to her own understanding.
Cobbs-Leonard is not only a Grammy award-winning Gospel artist, she’s also a pastor and a prophet! As a Gospel artist, Cobbs-Leonard is a consistent talent with wonderfully powerful vocals. The messages in her songs can be hit or miss, however. For example, Break Every Chain is a beautiful worship song. It’s not lyrically or theologically dense, but it says enough to remind those who know better that Jesus Christ came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18)! Meanwhile, I’m Getting Ready, featuring Nicki Minaj, takes the focus off Christ and offers up more of a prosperity-focused message. I’ve previously discussed the doctrinal problems with this song as well as the issue with the collaboration.
I was first introduced to Jones-Pothier through Preachers of Atlanta, an Oxygen network reality show chronicling the lives and ministries of select Atlanta-based pastors. Around the time I watched the show I didn’t necessarily see much wrong with it outside of Leandria Johnson’s storyline and ministry and a lot of the things that Judah guy had to say. But by God’s grace, as I’ve grown in Christ since then, I can see how the show as a whole was problematic. And though I once loved me some “Real Talk Kim”, I also now see that her ministry is out of order and her teaching is riddled with error.
Franklin, famously wed to actress Meagan Good, is a Hollywood executive, author, and ordained minister. Getting his start in entertainment as an unpaid intern for Will Smith, Franklin has since climbed the ranks, building an extensive filmography along the way. His works include, but are not limited to, faith-based films such as Heaven is For Real, Not Easily Broken, Miracles from Heaven and, most recently, The Star Movie. In his latest book, The Hollywood Commandments: Spiritual Guide to Secular Success Franklin attributes his Hollywood success to his ability to find a happy middle ground between living by secular and spiritual principles. “Too often, some people are too spiritual and they don’t recognize the value of the secular, and some people are secular and don’t recognize the value of the spiritual. And what I realize is I believe success is a combination of both,” Franklin said in a recent interview with the Breakfast Club. Franklin also argues it is possible to be wildly successful in the secular world without losing one’s faith. In fact, he says God told him to write The Hollywood Commandments to teach the Body of Christ how to be successful. Telling a crowd during one of his preaching engagements, “After 20 years of tremendous favor, God said, ‘DeVon. I want you to teach what you’ve learned in Hollywood to My people.’”