Monday, October 19, 2009

Women of Faith... Faith in Whom?

This past weekend I attended the Women of Faith conference in St. Paul, MN with a friend of mine.  It was nice to be encouraged by other women about certain life circumstances.  I enjoyed hearing a few testimonies from the speakers and the worship team sang beautifully.   Even after many moments of fun and laughter and encouragement, as I said in my previous post, I was hoping to learn about God at this conference.

After some careful thought I divided the conference into percentages of what occurred during the conference.  I would say that 30% of the the conference was talking about how great and wonderful and life-changing "Women of Faith" conferences are (which is self-promotion), 20% was devoted to the selling of the books, CDs, and DVDs available by the Women of Faith speakers (more self-promotion), 40% was life stories told by the women that taught very little about Christ, the other 10% was some teaching of Biblical principles, but never any solid biblical teaching.



I've compiled a pro/con list about the Women of Faith Conference this weekend:

The Good:

  • Groups of women were able to spend a weekend enjoying fellowship with one another, learning from each other and encouraging each other through difficult times.   There were tears of joy and tears of sadness.   In a way, my "world" broadened as I saw those 12,000 wonderful Christian women in the stands at the conference.   There are so many people in this world and we all go through the same types of struggles.

  • The speakers were all very humorous and made us laugh, a lot!

  • We were blessed to hear the music of Steven Curtis Chapman and to hear his story of losing his 5 year old daughter last year and his struggle to overcome his fears of singing the song "Cinderella".    Let me tell you...there was not a dry eye in the entire room of 12,000 women!

  • Lisa Harper taught a little bit about the Bible, and I learned a couple new things about God through that teaching.

The Bad:

  • Bibles were not used.  They were never even encouraged to use throughout the entire conference.

  • There was no proclaimation of the Gospel.  There was absolutely no mention of Jesus Christ's death on the cross.

  • Women were placed on a pedestal above Christ.

  • Sin was mentioned a total of two times the entire weekend.

  • There was not any explanation of the goal and purpose of the conference.  These were women of faith... but what was their faith in?  The very end of the last day there was one attempt at sharing the Gospel, but Christ's death and resurrection was replaced with a God who wants to change you and make you into a better person.

  • All of the stories shared were about learning how to bring yourself out of difficult situations on your own while using biblical principles.  There was no emphasis on a reliance on God.  There was no mention of God's sovereignty. There were also stories people told that had close to no lesson and no biblical message whatsoever.  There was never any solid substantial Biblical teaching throughout the entire conference.

  • One of the more prominent teachings was the emphasis on the importance and necessity of women having other women friends to confide in.   I wouldn't have had a problem with this had they not completely skipped over the other more important relationships we need such as the one we have with JESUS and our families.  While I do believe women can be of GREAT encouragement to each other, I do not believe it is a necessity to have a best girlfriend.

The bad enormously outweighed the good.  A large percentage of this conference was centered on man (well, technically women) and not God. There are literally hundreds of ways they could have incorporated some good and Biblical teaching into their event, but they did not.  Nevertheless, I know God can and will use this event for good, because I truly believe that many of the women at the conference were in fact Christian and God uses even the worst of situations to draw His people to Himself.   The main problem with this event is that Christ is not the focus and I believe that when Christians gather together, there should be praise to the Lord and a heart of gratitude towards Jesus Christ for all that He has done for us!

I'm going to have to give the event a two thumbs down.  One star.  Not recommended for spiritual growth.   Next time I attend a women's conference I will be attending a solid, Bible-teaching conference where Jesus Christ is focus, such as the True Woman conference or a Revive Our Hearts conference.

5 comments:

  1. "While I do believe women can be of GREAT encouragement to each other, I do not believe it is a necessity. Women are perfectly capable of getting along with just Jesus, their husbands, and their children."

    this is expressed very well. i would add that fellowship in a local church would be very helpful as well.

    i am so thankful to see your insight and discernment completed in humility. i appreciate the attitude with which you give this review.

    God bless you, dear shaina.

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  2. I have never been to one of these events, but I think like you do...

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  3. praise God he has given you discernment into these things. For so many, this may be as deep as they EVER get. Christianity is seen as something to be lived out, what we do, as opposed to what Jesus did FOR us on the cross and in his resurrection.

    Christianity in America is being turned into basic moralism lite. We aren't legalistic anymore about how you can dress or what makeup you can or cannot wear... or if we can dance, go to the movies, smoke, etc. That legalism is gone. The new one that has replaced it is rather... well... APPLY these 7 principles to living your best life now and fulfilling your purpose in your life. These principles are not necessarily bad on their own... some may be good advice. But as you pointed out Shaina, when removed from Christ and repentance and faith in what he did on our account... the principles are just another part of a works-based salvation.

    Thank you for yet another insightful entry. :-)

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  4. I appreciated your observations. May God give us wisdom to be godly women, grounded in His Word, full of faith in HIM!

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  5. Shaina, I LOVED this post. I went to Women of Faith a couple years ago with my unsaved mother and a group of church ladies. I HATED it. It was such a waste, so many missed opportunities to share the gospel. The heartbreaking thing for me was the assumption that all who attended were saved. That probably sounds terrible, but hopefully you know what I mean. I could go on and on, but won't waste your time. Anyways, loved reading several of your posts. My heart truly resonates with yours.
    Shelly
    (psveal from SFmoms)
    psveal@msn.com

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