Mr. Chaffey not only discusses the three most prevalent theories of what the Nephillim might be in a scholarly fashion, he also details when these views arose and held prominence throughout church history. Obviously, for a topic like this, it would be difficult to write a dry book. My concern was that it would be…to use a technical term, goofy.
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to do a book review, so let’s change that with one that was incredibly fascinating. Yesterday I finished my first ever book on the strange topic of Nephilim. Fallen: The Sons of God and the Nephilim by Tim Chaffey popped up on my recommended reads in Kindle Unlimited. I’ve mentioned a few times how neat Kindle Unlimited is, and also how I don’t know when I ever signed up for it. A lot like Audible, I randomly realized one day that I have access to all these books…because I’ve been paying for that access unwittingly. Most likely, there was a free trial, or a button I clicked and instantly forgot about it. Either way, there are a massive amount of books available to read for free with Kindle Unlimited, so I’ve got a lot of book reviews to write!
Fallen is a book which expounds upon all the theories and connections derived from Genesis 6:4 “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—whenever the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, who bore to them children. They were the mighty men of antiquity, men of renown.” Mr. Chaffey not only discusses the three most prevalent theories of what the Nephillim might be in a scholarly fashion, he also details when these views arose and held prominence throughout church history. Obviously, for a topic like this, it would be difficult to write a dry book. My concern was that it would be…to use a technical term, goofy. Or, perhaps the word ‘fantastical’ would be more apt, and I’m sure you understand what I mean if you’ve ever watched a single episode of Ancient Aliens. Tim does a wonderful job of maintaining the scholarly focus, while explaining the Hebrew/Greek terminology in a way even I could understand. In fact, the entire 476 pages of this book (including the appendix) stems from Chaffey’s dissertation, thus creating an intelligently written and extremely well researched book on a topic that is most often treated to goofiness.
While I certainly can’t recommend this book to children, or even preteens, due to the obvious nature of the discussion, I do recommend it to young adults and above. It’s a theological treat, with the mixing in of a historical look into legends of the Tower of Babel, Noah’s Flood, giants, and even elves. He manages to span a vast array of topics all related to the premise of the book, without falling into a deep rabbit hole. It’s very impressive how he brings this back to the authority of Scripture, making God’s Word the most important consideration. Hermeneutics is featured in practice when Scripture is used, which is so very refreshing when you consider the way culture most often treats this topic. If you have Kindle Unlimited you can, of course, read this book there. Or on regular Kindle here, or paperback here. I hope this book will be as edifying for you as it was for me, and let me know in the comments below if you’ve found some resources about this topic that is helpful. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
His honesty and obvious desire to see God glorified through his life and work is so encouraging, you can see it in everything he does at Exposit the Word.
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I am very excited to have dropped an episode today with a special guest. I love getting the chance to talk with other creators, see what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and what the Lord is doing through them. This time I had the tremendous privilege of interviewing David Knight, founder of Exposit the Word. We talked about his testimony, which was incredibly moving! His honesty and obvious desire to see God glorified through his life and work is so encouraging, you can see it in everything he does at Exposit the Word. He also explained expository preaching, hermeneutics, while highlighting their importance.
I hope this interview will be edifying, and if you’d like more information on anything we discussed I’ve made sure to link to all of it below in the timestamped outline. Don’t forget to watch until the end to catch the fun bloopers! Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. Great news, y’all, Tulips & Honey Hub is now officially available on Amazon’s new Podcasting app! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Sadly though, Satan loves to encourage a biblical and beautiful truth to be put in a light it was never meant to be in, to give it weight it’s not supposed to have. What God wants to be a part of a whole is twisted to become the whole focus.
In these evil days, we can fall into despair, feeling desperate for pleasant distraction and joy-filled living. Because of that, it’s easy to find ourselves soaking in whatever uplifting message we can. Christian speakers who talk of joy with such enthusiasm and conviction, who speak assuredly of their daily joy in Jesus, can be very motivating. It can cause us to ponder our own level of joy in the Lord and maybe even come to the conclusion that we are in sin, failing to show the level of joy for Him that a Christian should have.
We know the Bible speaks of joy. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 1 Thessalonians 1:6). We know we should have joy in the Lord (Psalm 32:11, 1 Peter 1:7-9), joy in our salvation (Psalm 95:1, Isaiah 25:9, Habakkuk 3:18) and to have joy in tribulation, trial, and suffering in the name of Christ (James 1:3, Romans 5:3). Christians should exude joy, a joy that can’t be defined by the world or its products. As a Christian, we should have joy because there is so much to be joyous about!
Sadly though, Satan loves to encourage a biblical and beautiful truth to be put in a light it was never meant to be in, to give it weight it’s not supposed to have. What God wants to be a part of a whole is twisted to become the whole focus.
I didn’t understand the particulars of it at the time, as I wasn’t even aware of this “joy worship”, but it was taking place right under my nose within a certain group I had been a part of for a few years. Perhaps I didn’t see it because there were much bigger fish to fry. Charismatic teachings started infecting this beloved group and discussions among us became more and more somber and serious as false teachings trickled in and I was forced to address them. In my attempts to help them question these teachings, surprisingly I only caused them to question my joy in Jesus. At one point someone literally yelled in my face “you have no joy!”
I sat there stunned, wondering what they thought I was supposed to look like when false teachings were being discussed and rebuked. Was I supposed to look like a kid at Christmas? Was I supposed to be outwardly rejoicing right now? I found it absurd to bring up my “joy problem”, and even my salvation in the Lord as they addressed my “legalism” when discussing these matters.
It wasn’t until recently that I pieced it all together. I had done some reading and listening to podcasts of “Christian” hedonism, something John Piper coined and has taught for years. It struck me that this could have been the reason “joy” was such a focus to these people, being many in this group were faithful followers of Piper’s teachings and often quoted him.
Hedonism can be summed up in one word, pleasure. A hedonist lives to fulfill self; seeks after self-love and satisfaction. It’s all about feelings.
Piper had taken this term and slapped “Christian” in front of it, creating the idea that God has given us the innate desire to pursue happiness and that satisfaction is the central focus we are to have as a Christian. I must say, putting “Christian” in front of something sinful is where the issue starts, but I digress.
This is some of what Piper says about “Christian hedonism”:
In Piper’s book Desiring God, page 55, we read “Could it be that today the most straightforward biblical command for conversion is not “Believe in the Lord,” but, “Delight yourself in the Lord”? And might not many slumbering hearts be stabbed broad awake by the words “Unless a man be born again into a Christian Hedonist he cannot see the kingdom of God”? (Also found here: https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/conversion-to-christ ).
He says, “Christian Hedonism says more; namely, that we should pursuehappiness, and pursue it with all our might. The desire to be happy is a proper motive for every good deed, and if you abandon the pursuit of your own joy, you cannot love man or please God — that’s what makes Christian Hedonism controversial.” (Taken from: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/christian-hedonism )
I don’t want to get into details of Piper’s ministry or what my personal beliefs are on him as a person or preacher. I am not trying to communicate that I believe he is a false teacher here, not yet anyway. I know the Lord has used Piper to teach wonderful, biblical truths. We can praise God for the good done in his ministry! However, we still must not overlook the troubling teachings from those we respect and have spiritually benefited from. There are some things to be concerned about when we look closely at just Piper’s comments on Christian hedonism.
Again, he says “Unless a man be born again into a Christian Hedonist he cannot see the kingdom of God”. I don’t recall seeing that in Scripture, however, I do remember reading, “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.
This, in my opinion, is playing fast and loose with Scripture. We don’t have the right to swap out words or plop in new ones and call it the Gospel. We can’t drop “Christian Hedonist” right there in the middle of John 3:3. That’s a dangerous habit to have. We are to accurately handle the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15).
For him to say “we should pursue happiness, and pursue it with all our might” is ignoring or downplaying verses that say otherwise:
“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14
“The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But He loves one who pursues righteousness.” Proverbs 15:9
“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11.
Is even true joy the most important emotion to experience, especially at salvation? Is that to always take precedence over fear/reverence, sorrow, godly grief, etc.?
“Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy.” Ecclesiastes 7:3
“For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance
without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
What are some of the implications of this hedonist viewpoint when put into practice?
I came upon Jon Harris’ video on John Piper and hedonism. He was actually greatly influenced by Piper and had lightly fallen into Christian hedonism himself at one time. He described how this became such a burden in his personal life, having to make sure to feel this “joy” in the Lord, in every single aspect of life. “Joy was always eluding him” it seemed, “hard to maintain”. Disappointment and impossibility ensued. He heard the same sentiments from others he knew who also fell into it.
He further explains that, instead of the joy of the Spirit being just one of the fruits, it ends up being the “end all be all”. Harris explains that “the hierarchy is rearranged in Christian hedonism.”
We don’t want false, manufactured, and shallow joy to be our “joy in the Lord”. That sort of joy is deadly.
“Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.” Luke 8:13
Yes, we need to be more joyful and should want more joy. Yet, we want biblical joy. We don’t want self-centered emotionalism wrapped in “the joy of the Lord” veneer.
This hedonistic “joy” becomes the focus and reason for all that is done in the “name of Christ”. To these people the worst possible thing to be, and the most telling reason you are a stale Pharisee in their eyes is when you don’t wear and proclaim this joyful exuberance they’ve found; when you’d rather seek truth in and desire to obey Scripture instead of contemplating your daily joy-o-meter and announce it, and when sorrow over your own sin and the sin of others suck all of their “joy” out of the room. I believe this is why I was met with just rebuke about my joylessness – I was threatening their feeling and confidence of “joy” by sharing the reproving truth of God’s Word.
The fact is, true joy comes in knowing God, through His Word and the working of the Holy Spirit and not only knowing His Word but loving it and obeying it. True joy comes when you know the Lord through His Word and work of the Holy Spirit and when you see God’s loving kindness in the most difficult times or when you aren’t necessarily dancing in the streets but with tears in your eyes, you recount the ways God mercifully got you through and isn’t even obligated to.
To these “joy worshippers”, or “Christian hedonists”, not having this experiential joy is one of the greatest sins. Some come to the conclusion they must seek out and experience a joy in everything in order to be able to rest in their salvation. What a burden that has to be. If we can’t rest in our salvation because we aren’t up-keeping the level of joy we believe we have to have, then there can’t be any real joy in our salvation. This becomes another way legalism sneaks into churches and keeps people bound to something the Lord never required.
Remember, when the Lord emphasizes something, we are to emphasize it and when He doesn’t, we shouldn’t. We are to define things as He defines it, not add or take away from those definitions. The Lord never makes “pursuing our own joy” the crux of our Christian life.
We could all use more joy in our lives. Pray to the Lord to increase your joy in Him, HIS joy. May we grow in the knowledge and love of Christ and rejoice in Him! “and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9
Above is an article written by Gina Cook, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford
How did the church go from 1st century Apostolic teaching all the way to completely rejecting the Gospel? Let’s see where things went wrong and what we can learn from them today.
Hello, dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I’m very excited to be dropping a new episode on the podcast today. As Reformation Day fast approaches I thought it would be helpful to look back through Church History at the moments that led to the need for reform. How did the church go from 1st century Apostolic teaching all the way to completely rejecting the Gospel? Let’s see where things went wrong and what we can learn from them today.
Don’t forget to stick around for the fun blooper real at the end, and check out the links I’ve added in the timestamped outline below. Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. Great news, y’all, Tulips & Honey Hub is now officially available on Amazon’s new Podcasting app! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I wanted to highlight a couple of different resources and talk a little about homeschooling during birthdays. That might seem random, unless you’ve watched Friday’s Not so Live MEGA List. At the end I shared some photos of Kayliegh growing up, and a silly video of her trying to get a gift open. It’s a tradition for us to make gifts difficult to open, it’s something fun she does when wrapping gifts for me or Justin as well.
Life can be full of distractions, but the great thing about homeschooling is that we can use every opportunity to learn. When holidays or birthdays come up, Kayliegh typically has a lot of trouble sleeping. I was the same way when I was little, often I would attempt to stay up all night so that I could still be awake when the big day dawned. All that ever came of that was that I’d fall asleep on accident and sleep in really late. Unfortunately, that’s not what happens with my darling daughter. She tosses and turns, then wakes up really early exhausted. frustrated, and even sometimes panicked about her inability to rest. That puts us in a bit of a bind with lessons, as she’s now distracted by the upcoming event and also quite grumpy. In those situations I pull out the easiest lessons I have, the ones that involve her favorite things like cooking or experimenting. We move slow when she needs to, take breaks when it seems to be overwhelming for her, and pick back up with the heavier lessons the next day. It’s important to remember, as homeschooling teachers, that our little ones will retain more understanding if they’ve rested well. Pushing through lessons on a few hours of sleep won’t accomplish as much as taking it easy for the day.
That being said, although this has literally never happened, Kayliegh slept well on the lead up to her birthday. This is due to the lingering fatigue from her having COVID, that gift that just won’t stop giving no matter how many times we try to return it. Still, she struggled to focus with all the excitement of her big double digit day, and with all the packing for our next move. What do I do when focus is waning? The same thing I do when she gets no sleep, except I can make the lessons more challenging. When you see that your kiddo is no longer picking up what your putting down, keep a few fun and education lessons hidden you your sleeve to bring them back down out of the clouds. For Kayliegh, this tends to revolve around Home Economics or Science. Slip in some hints about what’s coming up next, and suddenly you’ll have a little one ready to get through their math or piano class.
I haven’t had the chance to write a homeschooling update in such a long time! I wish I had compiled more links and resources. However, these two totally rock. The first one is free, and I mentioned it on that MEGA list I linked to up above. It’s Reformation worksheets, free to print and use to teach about why this month is so awesome! The owner of Theologia Gear also let me know that their shop is having a discount on all their products during Reformation month. That’s pretty exciting! The last resource I have for y’all is not free, but is incredible. Jasmin Davis from The_Clever_Decorator recommended Apologia’s (no connection to Jeff Durbin’s Church) science curriculum when she joined me on the program to discuss evolution. Kayliegh is officially at the point where there is far less free worksheets available, and the lessons are far more complex. So, I did it, I actually paid for a full years worth of curriculum. Yup, that’s right my friends, this is the first time I’ve had to do that. Why? Because there is an insane amount of free curriculums out there for elementary school ages. It gets less and less the older they get, right when the secular evolutionism begins to build. Apologia’s curriculums all follow a Biblical view of Creation. As we learn about anatomy, the end of each chapter brings it back to Gods Word! It’s wonderful! That’s it, that’s my update, hopefully it was a little helpful. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
I had the privilege of being joined by our resident Brother-Bee, Patrick Studabaker from Cave to the Cross Apologetics, to discuss some very difficult subjects. Theocracy, theonomy, autonomy, and Christian anarchy are the main subjects although we through in a few others.
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I had the privilege of being joined by our resident Brother-Bee, Patrick Studabaker from Cave to the Cross Apologetics, to discuss some very difficult subjects. Theocracy, theonomy, autonomy, and Christian anarchy are the main subjects although we threw in a few others. I hope this discussion is as helpful, and fascinating, for everyone else as it was for me! I am so thankful that Patrick took the time to explain all of these things.
As usual, there’s a timestamped outline below, as well as some article links for further research on this topic. Don’t forget to watch until the end to catch the fun bloopers! Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. Great news, y’all, Tulips & Honey Hub is now officially available on Amazon’s new Podcasting app! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
I was tremendously honored to be interviewed by David Knight founder of Exposit the Word. It premiered yesterday afternoon, but you can now check it out over on his YouTube channel which I’ll link below.
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I was tremendously honored to be interviewed by David Knight founder of Exposit the Word. It premiered yesterday afternoon, but you can now check it out over on his YouTube channel which I’ll link below. I hope that this interview will be edifying, and that you’ll take the time to subscribe to his channel and check out some of the other fantastic video’s he has up. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Pauls Big Letter: A Kid-Friendly Journey Through Romans was written by Pastor J. Aaron White, published by H&E Kids, and illustrated by Paul Cox from RefToons.
Pauls Big Letter
A Kid-Friendly Journey Through Romans
By J. Aaron White
Hello dear ones, I hope this finds you all doing well! It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to do a book review, and this one is even more near and dear to my heart. Pauls Big Letter: A Kid-Friendly Journey Through Romans was written by Pastor J. Aaron White, published by H&E Kids, and illustrated by Paul Cox from RefToons. Paul’s Big Letter is geared towards children ages 8-12 and is the first installment of what will be 13 study books that take children through Pauline epistles. I was incredibly honored, and humbled, to have been asked by H&E to endorse this book, which I whole heartedly agreed to after reading through it twice.
This book is a tremendous help to parents who want to teach Roman’s to their children, as it brings the letter into easily digestible chapters which end with key verses, questions to consider, and summations. In each chapter White has done a fantastic job of relating the Biblical principles found in Roman’s to the age range that will be reading this book. It’s not dumbed down, or simplified, but beautifully applied to real life situations. To cap it all off, a theologically sound Gospel presentation is woven throughout, giving parents the opportunity to not only teach their children about Romans, but also to share the Gospel with them as they read and study together. Below is a video with more detail about this book and its author. I’m doing a giveaway over on social media for this book, and an audible copy of Chronic Love: Trusting God While Suffering with Chronic Illness by Brooke Bartz. I’ll be announcing the winner on Friday during the live MEGA list, so keep an eye and ear out for that by subscribing to my YouTube channel. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
People honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me
What do Mark Batterson, Nancy DeMoss, and Priscilla Shirer have in common?
They have all taught people to draw circles, stand inside and pray for something. Now, I’m not going to rehash all the articles about circle making because I believe the word has gotten out about how very unbiblical Circle Making is, so your welcome. The fad wore off soon after true biblical brothers and sisters started addressing the subject.
Just to quickly recap for those that may not have ever heard of Circle Making, it’s the practice of many Christians by making a circle on the ground by drawing it in the dirt or using tape or whatever and then stand inside the circle and ask God for something.
I mentioned above 3 people that have held teaching on Circle Making and I would like to point out how they teach it and why.
Now, to start off with I want to explain how Mark Batterson was the first in modern days to write about Circle Making.
I’ll quote from this article titled, “The Origins and Evolution of Prayer Circles”,
“In his book, Batterson states that it was Gipsy Smith who inspired him to write the book, which is a retelling of the story of Honi the Circle Maker, a Jewish miracle worker. According to the legend, a group of Jews came to Honi and asked him to pray to God to make it rain and end the drought they were experiencing. Honi prayed, but the rain did not come. So Honi drew a circle on the ground and stood within it and prayed again. This time a very light rain started. Honi was not satisfied so he prayed again to God, saying, “This is not that rain that I prayed for! I prayed for rain that will fill the cisterns!” Then it began to rain very, very hard. Again, Honi stood in his circle and prayed to God, saying, “I did not pray for such a hard rain, but a good rain!” and then it began to rain moderately. One of the Israelites then said to Honi, “You entreat God, and He performs your will!”
“Batterson has taken the pagan ritual of Gipsy Smith, and the legend of Honi the Circle Maker, and thrown in a dash of prosperity gospel to create his various “Circle Maker” books which have sold well throughout the Church, influencing hundreds of churches and Christians. One of the more influential followers of Batterson’s false “Circle Maker” teaching is Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham. Lotz is so enamored with Batterson’s teaching that she has threatened to shut down at least one website that called for her to repent of it.”
So, you’ll see how the newest fad of modern times of Circle Making came from Batterson’s book.
I have to say though the section where the man named Honi seems to push his own weight around with God is a bit cringe. He speaks to God as if he himself is God’s Boss. For example, the first time Honi prayed and it rained he sounds a bit annoyed that God got it wrong. It says in the write-up that he prayed again to God, saying, “This is not that rain that I prayed for! I prayed for rain that will fill the cisterns!”.
I just feel as if this is a correction to God as if Honi is saying God messed up. So, the second time Honi prays again… “Then it began to rain very, very hard. Again, Honi stood in his circle and prayed to God, saying, “I did not pray for such a hard rain, but a good rain!” and then it began to rain moderately.” This appears to really frustrate Honi and he again corrects God. I find this very disrespectful for Honi to talk to the Lord in such away. Honi is not calling the shots, God is, so who is he to address a Holy and Righteous God the Creator of all the living in such a way that makes him look like a spoiled child.
Why would Batterson not see how disturbing this guy’s attitude towards God is?
So shortly after Mark Batterson’s book, you can see how others start practicing circle making and bringing it into their life.
Mark says you can draw a circle with chalk 3 times, stands inside, and prays for any situation you are facing. In his book review, it asks “what impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around?”
Answer: Nothing! God does not call us to draw circles around any dream or situation we have.
Take note that there are two different men involved in the making of this very old story that Mark talks about, Honi and Gipsy Smith. Honi is the man that was asked to pray for rain and then Gipsy Smith the man that follows in Honi’s footsteps teach it as a place to pray for revival.
Next we have Nancy DeMoss, she’s a woman that picked up Circle Making after it became popular and introduced it into her women conferences. Nancy DeMoss tells the same story on the very first night of her conference about the man named Gypsi Smith that made a circle and stood inside it and prayed.
An article titled, “Nancy Leigh DeMoss Endorsing Chalk Circles? Mercy” quotes this: “Nancy Leigh DeMoss also spoke at a True Woman Conference in September 2012, and according to an article on the True Woman website, chalk circles were drawn throughout the conference room, and participants of the conference were encouraged to utilize these circles for prayer. And as a clever little marketing tie-in, the participants were sent home after the conference with little goody bags containing, that’s right, chalk, so that they could all go home and perform their own pagan rituals, umm, prayer circles.”
Quotes from it say, “Nancy (conf): And to step inside that circle and say, “Lord, would You send revival to my family? Would You send revival to my church? Would You send an awakening to our nation, to our world? We desperately need it. But oh, Lord, would You start the revival inside this circle? Let it begin in me.
Janet: So let me tell you what happened for me as a speaker when I stepped into that circle. I was under very strong conviction. David said, “My sins are ever before me.” That’s what I felt when I was in that circle. I thought, “Lord, I’m not here to teach these women. I’m here to seek Your face.”
Janet (conf): The point here is Jesus. He’s defying convention. He’s moving deeper into the life of a woman who had some pretty dark secrets, and she’s more thirsty than she can even imagine or knows herself. So Jesus responds. And He says, “Everyone who drinks this water [referring to the well] will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” What a message! What a Teacher!
Janet: And standing in this circle I am very aware of my own sins. And what I want more than anything is to walk away from this experience saying, “Lord, I’ve had a wash, rinse, and spin cycle. My sins have been blotted out. I have a fresh start and a new beginning, and I want to seek Him as Nancy was teaching us. Not once every five years but moment by moment every single day. That’s the only way I can keep my ledger short. That’s the only way I can constantly say “Lord, if there’s going to be revival, I want it so desperately to begin with me. Revive my heart. Change me, Lord. Let me be aware of what You’ve done in my life.”
They are saying being inside the circle “you will feel something“, “you are in the circle to seek God“, “you are asking God to revive you and change you in the circle“.
Now, none of that sounds bad but what I want to ask everyone is, do we seek God in a circle on the ground or do we seek God in His Word? Are we supposed to be led by our feelings and how we “feel” in the circle or by the Truth of God’s Word? Do we change our hearts by standing inside a circle and asking God to revive or change us or do we change our hearts by reading God’s Word?
It seems to me, that the focus is on circle making not praying and asking God for something.
I truly believe the focus solely needs to be on God and His Word. We can pray for revival but don’t make it a ritual or action to get something.
The next teacher I mentioned was Priscilla Shirer (You can see her in the picture with Nancy DeMoss) and, in the video of Priscilla, she tells her audience she got the teaching from Nancy DeMoss. Priscilla tells the same exact story as Nancy did but Nancy gives the name of the man ‘Gipsy Smith’ and Priscilla doesn’t. She just says he’s a preacher yet Mark tells the story from Honi. So, what I’m trying to say is we see all of them teach circle making just a bit different to their audience but all of them still point to the circles as the focus in order to bring God’s blessing.
The only other place I’ve seen “Circle Making” was in witchcraft.
Witches practiced these rituals for protection or whatever they needed at the time but instead of calling it “Circle Making”, they call it the “Circle of Protection” or “Magic Circle”. In an article on circles, they explain a little of how witches do this practice. The link below says, “One of the most basic devices used in ancient pagan spirituality is the “circle of protection.” You find it everywhere from the Eastern mystery religions to modern witchcraft. The circle of protection was commonly used in old Gypsy magic, as it was thought to create an impenetrable barrier of protection around those in which it was created. This “magic” circle, spiritual in nature, could be something physical, such as lines drawn in the dirt or sand, or even a sprinkling of salt. But they could also be imaginary.”
Just like what Mark, Nancy, and Priscilla teach, we can see that witches also require making a circle on the ground, getting inside it, and doing something to get something like protection.
You should know Circle Making does NOT come from the Scriptures. You can look but you will not find God teaching it anywhere in the Scriptures.
As I researched this subject one of the many articles, I read that I felt makes excellent points was Tim Challies’ article called, “Don’t Pray in Circles “. Simply put he discuss circle making as… Extra-Biblical, Un-Biblical, and Anti-Biblical.
Oddly enough at the very end of his article, he does make a point to tell his readers that he is only talking about Mark Batterson and not Nancy DeMoss. I found that to be very odd. You can read the article in this link below.
Now, because Priscilla learned it from Nancy then people believe Priscilla shouldn’t be lumped in with the review that Challies said about Mark either.
So, I wonder if Priscilla even has a problem with Mark’s teaching of it. I am very troubled by the fact that Tim Challies felt he should make that statement.
Am I the only one that thinks what they all teach is the same? Believing that circles make a difference in your prayer life to receive answered prayers. Mark believes it makes the impossible happen in your life, Nancy believes it gets us revivals and awakenings to the World and Janet says she felt something when she stepped inside of it and it changes you. Priscilla talks of what God wants to do through us and to pray in the circle for a revival of our hearts of the things of God.
But doesn’t this sound like they are practicing man-made traditions? They are all following the lead of a man long ago. God says in Mark 7: 1-13~” Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God) then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
This is a great example that God shows us about how man loves to have traditions of things passed down form long ago. Even just washing hands or pots is seen as man-made traditions that God doesn’t care for or call all us to practice. God says people honor Him with their lips, but their heart is far from Him. That should cause great concern in the things we practice even something as simple as circle making or hand washing.
Priscilla has even written a reply to her fans about the photos they have sent to her showing her the circles they made. Many have used very different things to make the circles. In the link below it shows pictures of women inside circles made of socks, chalk, balls, and even kids (the circle was made from the kids laying down, head to toe with other kids while the mom stood inside to pray). Now that seems to be someone that is very sold on the idea otherwise, she’s making light of the practice that Priscilla has taken seriously or she wouldn’t have taught it.
Now, I wouldn’t say that making a circle is wrong or standing in a circle is a bad thing or even washing hands or a pot are taboo. It’s when they put a lot of focus on them and connect it to God. They are causing people to feel there is an importance to this action.
Many people miss the danger of this practice because they make it sound so good and biblical. People have said things like, “the circle is a reminder to youto ask God to start by helping you”, sound good, doesn’t it? What about this, “the circle helps people to start by looking at their own lives“, yeah this sounds good too. The circle teaches a good biblical principle on how to pray”, or “The circle thing is only a way of drawing attention to revivals“. How do any of those sound bad? They don’t but when you stop to truly think about what it is, they are teaching you and what they are asking you to do it should cause you to worry, especially when it’s not in Scriptures.
What I would like to point out is how easy it is to be deceived by false teachers that use slick words or actions to get you to believe in and participate stuff like Circle Making. How have others gotten caught up in it? Well, from their carefully spoken words. In Priscilla’s reply to her followers, she tells them that, “you have made it priority to create a circle in which to stand and pray”.
“Your circle – no matter what it looks like, how long it has stayed intact or who has gotten into it with you – matters!”
She so subtly speaks to the women that because they make the circles priority and telling the women the circles matter it makes them feel special. Mark, Nancy and Priscilla all know how to convince people to believe in this just by how they talk. They say things that are exciting like do this or that and wonderful things will happen, God is going to do great things through you. This is why they all tell the story about the man that prayed on the outskirts of town and got what he prayed for so why not you?
If you find yourself in a conference like that then just ask questions about the things they are saying. Do you think circles make a difference in your prayers? Do you believe they matter? Do they make God realize how serious you are? Do we need reminders like that? Are they reminders or just acts of works? If I do this then God will answer kind of belief. After all, isn’t that what Honi did as he prayed for rain?
I just have to say, NO! We shouldn’t be making circles, or squares, or ovals priority at all. Priscilla Shirer is wrong; God needs to be priority in our lives, not Circle Making. And NO, Priscilla, Circle Making doesn’t matter. What matters is our salvation, the condition of our hearts, and our desire for the Lord and for His Word and Truth, not circles.
All any of those teachers taught their audience is how to either pray for rain, a dream, a revival, and that it is a priority and that it matters. Where’s the Word of God? Did God teach us to pray this way? How does Circle Making bring us closer to God, or even help us know the Gospel or convict us to repent of our sins? You see, false teachers know how to “talk the talk” because they know how to speak as a seasoned scholar and knows all the right words to use. They can quote scriptures better than most people you know but we need to realize just because a person can quote scriptures doesn’t mean they are biblical because Satan knows the Bible better than anyone on earth and he’s working on us just like he did with Jesus. Satan used scriptures to try and tempt Jesus and he will do it to tempt and deceive us too. This is why we must test, test, test!
1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV~ But test everything; hold fast what is good.
So we see how Mark, Nancy, and Priscilla say to pray but how does God tell us to pray?
The Bible says in Luke 5:16 that Jesus often went away to be by Himself and pray. Matthew 6:5-6 says ~“When you pray, go into your room. Close the door and pray to your Father, who can’t be seen. He will reward you. Your Father sees what is done secretly.” Matthew 6:9-13~ “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”’