I have repeated this phrase a lot lately. I read the headlines each morning and I just shake my head. Almost every day someone sends me an article with a comment attached to it saying, “Have you seen this yet? Do you know this person? Are they for real?” Sometimes I laugh at the headlines or articles because they are clearly ridiculous. That’s an easier pill to swallow.
However, lately, I can no longer laugh. We have lost our way. There’s a new phenomenon in the Christian publishing world and I don’t think it’s healthy. We want our favorite Christian blogger, speaker, or author to be our “spiritual everything.” Friend, it’s just not possible. They were never supposed to carry that burden for you. The only “spiritual everything” you will ever encounter is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Just because a person writes books and speaks to large audiences at sold out arenas, and claims to be a Christian, does not mean that everything they say and write is true. Many Christian authors and bloggers are speaking TRUTH, Praise God. Others, sadly, have been deceived. We must have discernment when reading anything a human being writes. It may not necessarily be TRUTH. It may simply be an OPINION, which is very different.
Friend, please remember these women in the limelight are people. Their spoken or written words should never be taken as “gospel” if what they preach does not line up with the actual Bible, the true Word of God. Some authors, bloggers, and speakers have been elevated to rock-star like status, especially among the Christian female market. We as a group are in danger of worshipping the person, rather than the one and only true GOD. These women were never supposed to be a substitute for your church home or your daily time in the Word.
As a money manager, I have been given discretionary authority to make changes in the investments in my clients’ portfolio. I assess what is going on in the world politically, economically, and geographically. Then I make a decision to buy or sell. I ultimately make the decision and then I am responsible for the outcome. In complete contract, human beings do not have discretionary authority when it comes to teaching the Bible. As a matter of fact, Bible teachers are held to a higher standard and will be accountable for what they say.
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. James 1:3
I’ve had the rare privilege to spend time with some of the private personas in the Christian publishing world, rather than just the public figures. They are real people. They certainly are not perfect and they would be the first to tell you that. Most of these amazing women are truly relatable and have a knack for telling fantastic stories. That is one of the reasons we all like them. They are charismatic and you feel like you could be “best friends” after knowing them only a short while. They have lots of energy, endurance, and an extremely strong work ethic. You have to have these qualities to survive the demands and schedules of the publishing world. It is a business, not just a ministry. Many people forget that. There are pressures to promote yourself and sell your books. It’s hard work. It’s also lonely work. You spend a lot of time behind a computer screen all by yourself.
You may be surprised to know that many authors you love and follow still get extremely anxious when asked to sign books or make public appearances. They are introverts by nature. Others are extroverts. Some folks in this arena have forgotten that people are listening to their opinions. They have forgotten that their followers are taking their words as TRUTH, rather than just an opinion. This is a very slippery slope.
Most female Christian authors, speakers, and bloggers that you have come to love and admire have the best of intentions. They are wives, moms, sisters, daughters, and friends. They are an amazing tribe of people. However, they are HUMAN. They are not necessarily prophets as I have heard people mention lately. That’s a serious title that should not be bestowed upon a person lightly. Friend, please listen carefully. If your favorite author or blogger suddenly writes or says something in an interview or an article that clearly does not line up with scripture, the truth did not suddenly change. That person’s opinion changed. That is all. Period. The God of the universe is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. His opinions and His commandments for living life NEVER change, even when they are not convenient or in vogue.
I want you to know, my reader friend, that I’m committed to Biblical truth as it relates to managing money and living a life in communion with Jesus Christ. I’m privileged to be working with the most talented group of individuals at Zondervan Publishing House. Together, we will deliver the message of Faithful Finance to your local bookstores, airports, and grocery stores by January of 2018. I will not give you information unless I have cross checked it with the Bible. I promise to have key advisors and mentors in place to hold me accountable to telling the TRUTH. I will not remain in an echo room with “Yes People.” I believe in the inerrant word of God. I do not believe in progressive Christianity and the authority to pick and choose what I want to follow from God’s word. I’m eternally grateful for the platform I have been given and I want to steward it well. #FaithfulFinance