Monday, March 03, 2014

Kay Arthur and "Precepts"

Isa 28:7  And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while having visions, They totter when rendering judgment.
Isa 28:8  For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.
Isa 28:9  "To whom would He teach knowledge, And to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast?
Isa 28:10  "For He says, 'Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there.'"
Isa 28:11  Indeed, He will speak to this people Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,
Isa 28:12  He who said to them, "Here is rest, give rest to the weary," And, "Here is repose," but they would not listen.
Isa 28:13  So the word of the LORD to them will be, "Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there," That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.

Isa 28:13  But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.  (KJV)

It seems to me that to take the line "precept upon precept" and use it as the basis and tagline of a ministry to teach the Bible is itself showing that Arthur didn't take the context of this passage. The context is first, the mockery of the drunken priests who considered God's Word to be nothing but childish jibberish that they weren't interested in. God in turn spoke to them with the same mockery, keeping them blind to the Scripture--that the Word would indeed be jibberish that they would stumble backwards and be broken, snared and taken captive.  

This is not the portion of Scripture to teach the fundamentals of teaching and learning Scripture!  Unless of course you are trying to teach how not to consider the Word of God.

The other issue I have had with Arthur is that she teaches men. This is clearly seen on a number of occassions like the Passion Conferences for example, as well as her t.v. and radio teaching; none of which, including her "How To Study the Bible" and her study Bible, make a qualifying statement of "For women only". None.

Moreover I'm finding that as I looked further, Arthur's story mimics that of Beth Moore; their mystic and urban legends of being a "women's Bible study teacher" is not accurate at all.

“2004 Precepts for Life wins National Religious Broadcasters “Best Television Teaching Program”.  Again, not specified “For Women” or “Women’s Teaching program”. Same in 2009.

Then [by 1970] the first Tuesday morning women’s Bible study class began, word spread, and then night classes began when husbands wanted to attend as they saw their wives’ enthusiasm. Soon Kay was traveling to Atlanta, Georgia, to teach a study of eventually 1800 adults every week. Knowing she and Jack would not be able to travel to Atlanta every week at some point, Kay wanted to teach others to learn to study inductively as she studied and share in the joy of learning to study the Word of God for themselves, and so began writing Precept Upon Precept® courses. The Arthurs and Reach Out began to publish their style of Bible studies so believers could go deeper with God anywhere they were, irrespective of a single teacher’s personality or proximity.

Today, Precept Ministries International trains millions of people to discover Truth for themselves. Through Training Workshops and thousands of Bible studies in local churches and small group studies; through Precepts for Life™television, radio and online media; through Bible study tours to biblical sites and Bible-centered conferences; and an international effort with studies in nearly 185 countries and 70 languages, PMI is focused on establishing people in God’s Word.

End quote. Emphasis, mine

That sounds eerily similar to Beth Moore's beginnings which I posted some years ago:

Here's the proof from an archived page from her church's website back in 2004:

"Prior to Water's Edge, Beth taught a class for a small group of ladies that began in 1985. The group grew consistently and in 1997 a small number of men began to attend. At that time, God began to do a new thing, stirring the heart of Beth to move to a new meeting place, meeting time, change the name of the class, and allow men to attend. Since then, the class has changed locations several times to accommodate the growing number of singles and couples of all ages that come to hear the inspired teaching of God's Word.

End quote. 

On their page with Kay's bio

"At the age of 29, a divorced mother of two working as a nurse, Kay called in sick to the hospital where she was working...God’s love poured down upon her in 1965 when she married a missionary with the Pocket Testament League named Jack Arthur"

However on their “History” page they say she was widowed:

“After years serving with the Pocket Testament League, Jack Arthur met a young widow who had two small boys, Mark and Tom, at Tennessee Temple in Chattanooga. After marrying, they went on the mission field together to Mexico, 

So it seems like two different stories. Was she a young divorced woman with two small children, or was she a young widow with two small children? It can't be both. How can someone's biography be so contradictory?

Kay Arthur’s exciting, practical approach to the Scriptures has influenced thousands to use the Inductive Bible Study Method in their personal studies. Her distinguished Christian character, Bible teaching, championing of the Inductive Bible Study Method, and national radio and television programs motivate others to discover truth for themselves. Kay’s passion is for people to be established in God’s Word.

God’s love poured down upon her in 1965 when she married a missionary with the Pocket Testament League named Jack Arthur. Together they served as missionaries in Mexico for three and a half years until health issues led them back to the States. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jack began managing a Christian radio station, and Kay began a teen Bible study. Though the study started as a small gathering in the living room of the couple’s home, it soon grew from teens to college students to adults. From the beginning of the gatherings Kay’s and Jack’s deepest desire was to establish people in God’s Word. The ministry they founded in 1970 became Precept Ministries International where they served together as CO-CEOs until February 2012 when they stepped down and their son David assumed the role of CEO. Both Kay and Jack are still actively working at the Ministry.

As one of the principal Bible teachers at Precept Ministries, Kay speaks extensively domestically and internationally teaching the Word of God and the Inductive Bible Study Method. She has taught in many countries including Israel, India, Romania, Russia, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Taiwan, England, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Scotland, Ukraine, Germany, Guatemala, Poland, and South Africa.
Kay is the teacher and host of Precepts for Life™, a daily television, radio, and online program which takes the student through the Bible book-by-book, verse-by-verse using the Inductive Bible Study Method. Precepts for Life has an audience reach of over 75 million households and broadcasts into over 30 countries. 
 End quote.

You will note that Jack Arthur was never listed or promoted as the teacher. You won't see him teaching Precepts. From the beginning it was his wife Kay and has continued to be Kay, although along the way obviously they've added other teachers, some of them being men, but certainly not all of them. 

Precept's "Who We Are":

Precept Ministries International was raised up by God for the sole purpose of establishing people in God’s Word to produce reverence for Him. It serves as an arm of the church without respect to denomination. God has enabled Precept to reach across denominational lines without compromising the truths of His inerrant Word. We believe every word of the Bible was inspired and given to man as all that is necessary for him to become mature and thoroughly equipped for every good work of life. This ministry does not seek to impose its doctrines on others, but rather to direct people to the Master Himself, who leads and guides by His Spirit into all truth through a systematic study of His Word. The ministry produces a variety of Bible studies and holds conferences and intensive Training Workshops designed to establish attendees in the Word through the Precept™ Inductive Bible Study Method.

Jack Arthur and his wife, Kay, founded Precept Ministries in 1970. Kay and the ministry staff of writers produce a number of different Bible study series including Precept Upon Precept®, In & Out®, the New Inductive Study Series,the "Lord" study series, 40-Minute study series, and Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids. 

Yet Scripture states we ARE to teach doctrine (what else IS there in Scripture?):

1Ti 1:3  As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine,

1Ti 4:6  If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 

Tit 2:1  But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 
Tit 2:2  Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 
Tit 2:3  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 
Tit 2:4  and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 
Tit 2:5  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 

1Ti 6:3  If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 
1Ti 6:4  he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,
1Ti 6:5  and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

"Tidbits About Kay":

In her “How To Study Your Bible” intro she says, “ Over the past 20 years, this nondenominational Bible study ministry has helped hundreds of thousands of men and women in the United States and over 85 countries to learn to study the Bible inductively, “precept upon precept,” through classes and seminar.”

End quote.

To be non-denominational means that the vital command of baptism given by Christ is ignored; the sole authority of Scripture is ignored; the issue of women teaching men is ignored; the Lord's Table is ignored. Why? Because several denominations including the Lutherans and Presbyterians deny the biblical truth about a believer's baptism and the Lord's Table (not to mention some Reformers in the Presbyterian churches hold to Covenantal theology which is also unbiblical, ignoring the distinction between Israel and the church).

To be faithful to the Word one must teach it as it is, which necessitates demolishing arguments (and traditions) that sets itself up against Christ and His Word. It necessitates an unwavering commitment to what Scripture says. In order to appeal to a wide mass of people, such truth, which is by definition narrow, must be ignored or at least not applied and both the truth and its application ARE part of true, biblical Bible study.

Women are forbidden to teach men according to Scripture. College age is by definition dealing with men. "People" includes by definition, men. "Adults" likewise necessarily includes men.

Both Arthur and Moore started early on in their ministries teaching men and have done ever since and are not faithful teachers to the Scripture as a result. It is that very Scripture that prohibits them from teaching men.

1Ti 2:11  Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.
1Ti 2:12  I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
1Ti 2:13  For Adam was formed first, then Eve;
1Ti 2:14  and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
1Ti 2:15  Yet she will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.


Henry M. Morris of ICR also says the same thing about using the Isaiah passage to promote Bible study in this new article from Days of Praise.


Tim Cowell said...


I am a Pastor in Utah and I was studying a passage in John 12 this week and I was doing background research in Isaiah 28. Anyhow, I found your article about Kay Arthur extremely helpful. Praise God for your diligence!!!

Tim Cowell
Grace Family Bible Church, Heber UT

Denise said...

Hi Tim,

I'm so glad it was helpful! Praise the Lord for His wisdom, insight, and Scripture. In these darkening days, what Spurgeon said is still true: "Discernment is not merely the ability to know the difference between right and wrong, but right and almost-right."

May the Lord give you great discernment and power in Christ to earnestly contend for the faith, once for all delivered to the Saints, without wavering.

Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a note of encouragement.