Question: how do you provide evidential support for something that is either contrary to that which the public has access? Answer: move the evidential support of your claims to the private and subjective realm and tell your disciples that only they are having a truth conducive experience! This removes the pesky problems associated with debating public facts.😝
Of course, there is nothing wrong with private and subjective evidence per se. And there is nothing wrong with someone’s valuing the evidence of their private and subjective experience over public evidence. Private evidence is not the problem. The problem is this: in order for you to think that you have accessed the truth regarding some regard, you have to be able to ensure that (1) your experience really is different from everyone else’s and (2) that your experience (and not the experience of others) really is a reliable testifier of the facts about reality. But how do you do this? 🤔
Regarding the first point, Gwen Shamblin would have you think that it is only her followers who have access to the truth-confirming power of the Holy Spirit. But why would anyone think this? There are countless numbers of Christians living out of the power of the Holy Spirit all over the world, Christians who have accepted what Shamblin calls a “false grace” gospel, i.e., they believe that they are saved from beginning to end by dint of a gift and not because of anything about them whatsoever. 😇 How are they doing this? Is God confirming their “false gospel” with His Spirit? Shamblin is forced to say that their lives must be a sham. But how could she possibly tell? Does she have private access to their private experience? 😂 Shamblin’s teaching is a sham.
Next, how does one tell that their subjective experience is a reliable source for truth? For the sake of argument, let’s just concede that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control are genuinely fruit of God’s Spirit and that the presence of such fruit is truth conducive…that the presence of such things point us to truth. Now, the problem is this: even if you accept that the presence of fruit in your life is an indicator or the truthfulness of some message, how do you tell which message is being confirmed by such fruit?
For example, suppose I share with someone the gospel that Shamblin calls “false” (that you are saved by unmerited favor through believing the good news about God’s Son, namely that God’s Son, Jesus of Nazareth, lived a sinless life, died a sinner’s death and rose from the grave–defeating death and sin in order to rescue us from both, and that this saving act is not a result from something about you; it is the gift of God, not by any merit of your own, lest you be found with a reason to boast–Ephesians 2:8-9). And let’s suppose that through this person’s mere act of believing this news, they are sealed with the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption. Now, lets also assume that such a person, innocently enough, finds themselves duped into following Gwen Shamblin’s teaching, perhaps through her Weigh Down ministry. Given that this person had the power to produce fruit in their life prior to Shamblin’s teachings, how can they then tell that such fruit is an indicator of the truthfulness of Shamblin’s and only Shamblin’s message? They can’t! In as much as Shamblin’s teachings are resulting in genuine (and not rotten) fruit, they are doing so as a parasite of that which they did not earn (or, at least, we can’t reasonably deduce that they are not). To prove that Shamblin’s message alone is the reason or cause for fruit in her disciples’ lives, Shamblin would need to eliminate Jesus from her teachings completely (which she has practically done) and make sure that her disciples are not being plucked from churches where the gospel has been preached (which she is not doing). For if she doesn’t, neither she nor her disciples can tell which “gospel” is the cause for the fruit in their lives. And, consequently, her teachings on experiential theology are worthless.
Experiential theology is fine, properly understood and critically evaluated. But Gwen Shamblin’s experiential theology is a sham. So, Shamblin’s teachings have literally nothing going for them, neither privately nor publically. And that is the importance of her wanting to insulate her disciples from the rest of the Christian world. As long as Remnant Fellowship only interacts with Remnant Fellowship, nothing can challenge her teachings nor their experience.