Bible Study Fellowship International

BSF (Bible Study Fellowship International) features a seven-year study schedule covering: Genesis, Romans, Matthew, Life of Moses, John, Israel and the Minor Prophets, and Acts of the Apostles.

BSF is a lay Christian organization, not affiliated with any church or group of individuals or underwritten in any way.

Settings
Local churches host day classes for women, evening classes for men, evening classes for women, and evening classes for single young adults (ages 18-35). BSF International recommend a critical mass of 60 participants.

Styles of Learning
Daily questions for personal Bible study, discussion groups where insights from personal study are shared, lectures with applications for daily living, notes distributed to class members attending the lecture each week.

Number of sessions
32 a year for seven years

Length of sessions
2 hours

Aims

  1. introducing people to Jesus Christ through his self-revelation in Scripture
  2. helping individuals develop the habit of daily Bible study
  3. helping people to relate their Bible study to daily life
  4. equipping and motivating “individuals to contribute more effectively to the life and work of their churches.

Theological Perspective
Evangelical

Age Group
Adult, Young Adult, Children

Where to purchase
Materials are offered free of charge from the international office in Texas. Donations are taken to support BSF.

Cost
See above.

Specific leadership requirements
Teaching Leader attends a week-long course in Texas.
Class administrator, discussion leaders (1 per 14 people), sub teaching leader, attend training in Brisbane at the beginning of each year. Training is also provided for childrens’ supervisors and leaders. Each fellowship has a secretary and treasurer.

Country of origin
United States

Resources provided
8 pages of notes for each session, along with 2 pages of personal reflection on Scriptures. Manuals are provided for each role in the fellowship.

Web site
www.bsfinternational.org/

Regional Advisor for Queensland

Uniting Church Congregations hosting Bible Study Fellowship
Robina Surfers Paradise (womens group on Monday nights)

96 thoughts on “Bible Study Fellowship International

  1. Pauline Tabalujan

    I am looking for a BSF study that is close to home in Mt Waverley, Melbourne. Can u let me know where I can go for this study?

    Thank you
    Pauline

  2. Come and See-BSF is Changing!

    Online questions can be found at

    http://www.bsfgroups.org

    If you have not been to BSF in a while or you have never attended…you need to attend-I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Much of what is typed above is not true or it is twisted or misunderstood or changed. Come and See for yourself.

    BSF is adding a new study of Isaiah Sept 2010. It is 2 weeks shorter than previous studies. Many ways they have done things in the past have been changing with the times.

    Any well run organization still has to have rules to offer a valuable service. If you are looking for an indepth Bible Study-BSF is it. BSF is a training center that teaches the Bible and trains leadership. There are many other studies out there to be involved in that offer different ways to study. Find one that fits your needs and stay focused on God’s Word.

  3. Terry

    Very Rigid. This turns a lot of people off. Why would you want to turn anybody off who is seeking God?

  4. Anonymous

    Thank God for BSF. The in-depth study filled in the blanks of the jigsaw puzzle of my bible learning and I keep getting a picture and understanding of God’s Holiness and Righteousness with the study of Romans and The Life of Moses. To all leaders and members – keep up the good work. God bless!

  5. Elizabeth Marsh

    A lot of people seem to have very definate views on women never being allowed to teach men. I wonder if they have really looked into whether the bible actually teaches this. I would like to refer people to a book called ‘Why not women’ which looks at biblical passages concerning women.

  6. JOSEPHINE NG

    I am going to Brisbane this year…can advice me if there is any phone no i can call to check location?

    Thanks….

  7. Gemmel

    I also have been involved in BSF for a number of years and have no issues with men teaching men or women teaching women. My guide through Bible study is God through His Holy Spirit and as it is the Holy Spirits role in transforming our lives I can testify to the results of prayerfully seeking understanding in God’s word where I was struggling and the amazing teaching methods of God in my personal journey. It is a pleasure to study God’s word and find the nourishment I was seeking. Church and home study groups whet our appetite, nothing replaces the daily study of God’s word and the confirming of our understanding with life applications in directions we did not see for ourselves.

    It is wonderful how God speaks into the lives of individual people who collectively help to build and equip the lives of others to serve God. It is also wonderful to hear the testimonies of people who confirm how their lives have changed. Let us all be careful before a Holy God and prayerfully consider before we testify about Him and His word because it is to Him we will give an account and people who teach are more accoutable than those who seek to be taught and to learn. We are all called to choose our words carefully before a Holy God and to testify to the changes in our lives. BSF is what I was looking for to study and know God’s word. John 1 : 1-2

    Thank you for all those hard workers and volunteers in BSF headquarters who devotedly produce materials to allow a disciplined personal Bible study.

    Thank you to for all the guidelines of BSF that give it strength and stability and uphold its statement of faith and also support Biblical principles. Please do not modify these or water these down.

  8. helen lucas

    i would love to attend bsf so could you let me know what is available in my area… thankyou

    helen

  9. helen lucas

    could you please let me know where the closest BSF is please.
    I live on the northern beaches sydney.
    thankyou

    Helen Lucas

  10. Sally Vermaas

    I attend BSF at St James Anglican Church Turramurra on the North Shore on Tuesdays at 9am

  11. Barbara Gleeson

    I’ve read through the comments given by others. I can understand why people are afraid of these rules, as once it was the rulesI had heard about that kept me from going to a BSF meeting. I remember thinking, ‘I haven’t lived this long to come under such rules…” There were very godly women friends who urged me to attend and I would say, “I just can’t join anything so structured, I can’t abide by such rules, .” Well, two years later, through a most Holy Spirit god-led moment, I was compelled by the Lord by no one’s prompting or invitation except but the Holy Spirit’s leading, to attend one night. OH MY! That night, the sin of my rebellion was revealed by the Holy Spirit as only He can convict as I saw and experienced the meat of the Word as well as the love of the leader for the Word and the people who attend. The amount of work that obviously takes place in preparation by the leader and team leaders, I was aghast! The leaders are professional people who have their own businesses and they were juggling their business, family, and the hours that goes into the Word of preparation…then the Word itself, what good it did me to have a good dig into the Word with such a great study notes and a class to discuss them with. The rules of BSF keep me in check. In the beginning I needed them,(going to BSF even when I had not done my notes, or just not wanting to go) but now, I can’t wait to get there, the rules are not needed, now I just value them. I honestly understand every one of the rules and I am grateful for every one of them. I had always been anti -rule…but I now call myself a Rule Gir! I am grateful for the accountablity of coming to BSF. As a society without structure and rules “do as you feel led” “come when you can” , it is shocking to be a part of something that is so ruled and structured. Yet, it is under this very BSF study that I have become so full of the Word in it’s rich teachings and question studies. I focus totally on the Bible Study, and I don’t even notice any of the other things that are mentioned in some of the earlier comments. The protection of not sharing where you go to church, I am glad of it. I’ve been to many church things in the past and I can understand every single rule BSF has…it’s wisdom and it’s protection for many for the kind of people who eventually come into places of study like these. The rules are for one purpose, to keep people focused on the Word of God and any fellowship that develops from these classes all intimate knowledge can be learned outside of class with them. I love the rules. There is so much safety in BSF. I can explain every one of them as I see it, but the truth is, every one has to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. There is only one that I desire to fear and tremble over and that is my God, and I am learning the holy fear of God I have desired for so long, and I am so grateful I followed the Holy Spirit to my very first BSF meeting, and three years later I am saying to others…”I let myself be robbed of the most inspiring and wonderful Bible Study (BSF)of God’s Word for two full years because of the most rediculous fears about the rules of BSF.” I repented and I reap the benefits of the rich fruit of God’s Word growing with a great harvest as a reward. God Bless the leaders who have answered the call to lead BSF classes. May God bless you in all you do.

  12. Francis S Darshi

    I have been member of BSF for the past eight years. I confess that God has been good and teaching me about Him and to know Him personally. The study also helping me to grow spritually and be a source of encouragement to many. Now as a Children’s Supervisor, I am also learning through children as I serve them along with my team. The lessons are good and guided by the Holy Spirit to enrich and empower in day to day life as a person, family and the member of the Church community and the soceity at large. Thank you Jesus for the opportunity given to me be part of the BSF. May God bless and heal all who attend BSF and encourage to attend the BSF.

  13. Isolda

    I was a Children’s Leader in BSF for 4 years, and am now the Children’s Supervisor for a day women’s class. As such, I am a staff member, together with the Teaching Leader, the Substitute Teaching Leader, and the Class Administrator. We work very hard to make sure that the “rules” are not the reason why people accept or reject BSF. Yes, there are rules, but these are much prayed over and are indeed subject to change by HQ. In the past year, it was decided that divorced people could indeed become Discussion Leaders (I myself am divorced and we have always been permitted to be CLs, and ALs). People who attend churches where charismatic gifts are used can also become leaders.

    But none of these rules was ever arbitrary. For example, the rule about women leaders having to wear skirts (no longer in effect) was based on the fact that BSF is an international organization with classes in some very conservative countries. HQ did not want to call negative attention to Christians by allowing its leaders to dress in a way that offended non-believers in these countries because that would place a barrier between those people and Christ.
    The rule about Catholics not serving as leaders (and yes, this is still in effect) is because the statement of faith (recognizing the primacy of the Bible as God’s inerrant word) that leaders are required to sign would conflict with the teachings of the Catholic church. BSF does not want to put a person in conflict with his or her own church, since its reason for existing is to equip Christians to serve in their churches. Its mission is to train Christian leaders, not to replace the church.
    BSF is not a perfect organization (this side of heaven, nothing ever will be), but it is a very useful tool for some people (not all, and BSF acknowledges this) to study the Bible in a methodical way.

  14. Donna Yung

    I was a BSF class member, then Children’s Leader then substitute teaching leader over a period of 13 consecutive years. I have been out of BSF for the past 11 years and I will be going back this year because BSF has introduced a new study – on the book of Isaiah.

    BSF is the most comprehensive lay bible study tool I know of – with a four-fold approach to Bible study that enables the Word of God to be embedded deeply within. It focuses purely on teaching participants to know God’s Word for themselves and to apply it to their daily lives through dependance on God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. It does not get distracted from that goal.

    I learnt to walk more closely with the Lord during those 13 years than I could ever possibly have imagined.
    It pains me to read the focus of the negative comments listed here. They are incidental to BSF’s teaching of the Bible. Yes, some of the guidelines can be tedious, but there is a good reason for each of them. Everything BSF does is prayerfully considered before being implemented. 1000 plus worlwide classes (from a group of 5 women in 1952) testify to God’s blessing on the organisation. Because it is a large global organisation change comes very slowly – and only after much prayer and God’s direction. There are so many different cultures studying the Bible through BSF. The guidelines are the same for all classes in all countries – so cultural differences are also a consideration when setting universal guidelines.

    Attendance is a CHOICE, so it is not necessary to attack BSF’s methods if you don’t agree with them. Anyone can attend an Introduction Class and ask questions. Members are free to leave at any time, although that would be sad if it were premature. To do justice to the comprehensive nature of BSF, you really need to attend for at least six classes to get a fair taste of what BSF has to offer. Classes are very structured because there is a lot to get through in a short space of time and classes do not run late – so members can be confident they will get away on time. This is particularly important for working men and women and busy people. Many classes have waiting lists.

    I did not agreed with everything BSF taught during my 13 years in class – and that is my prerogative – but those instances were rare. They certainly have not tainted my appreciation of God’s incredible gift of BSF. For the greater good of the discussion group I kept my (strong) beliefs to myself when Scripture was open to interpretation.

    I thank God for the amazing opportunity I had to study His Word through BSF for so many years and to thereby come into a deep and abiding relationship with our lovely Lord Jesus. BSF equipped me to not only serve in my church and community but taught me leadership skills and confidence in whom I am in Christ. Above all, through 13 years of serving the LORD as a volunteer BSF leader and the total commitment that was required, both for preparation and on class day, I was in turn equipped to be “more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ” when my husband died prematurely and I have had to be both mother and father to our children. A deep understanding of God’s ways equipped me to be totally dependant on His faithfulness to His promises and to wait on His timing in all things.

    I’m SO looking forward to reconnecting with BSF this year in a brand new study and to what God has in store for me through the study of Isaiah- there will be both challenges and blessings, I’m sure.

    To anyone considering BSF – please don’t be put off by the attacks on BSF on this website. Be prayerful in your considerations. God will direct you. If you do join a BSF class, commit yourself fully to studying the BSF way and ask God to keep you focused on Him through the study of His Word. You will get out of the study as much as you put into it, and you will be blessed beyond what you can possibly imagine.

    God bless you from ex-BSFer, Sydney, Australia.

  15. Susan

    In the 3rd class I attended (which was just last week), I committed the unpardonable sin – I asked someone what church they went to – GASP!

    She had been talking about a program her kids were involved in and I simply wanted to know where they participated. It really bothered me to be told “I’m not allowed to tell you that.”

    That is just stupid. I understand that we don’t want to spent time talking about our churches and/or get into denominational differences, but I think not being “allowed” to simply state where you attend church is going overboard – following “the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of the law.”

    It really has turned me off and I really don’t even want to continue in BSF, so we’ll see.

  16. Anonymous

    What about the rule that you can’t be a BSF Leader if you are fat! What about other’s hidden sins? Then, there shouldn’t be any BSF Leaders because we all sin!

  17. Ruth

    I have been attending BSF this year and have some comments to offer. Due to life’s many stresses, I felt desperate for an in depth Bible study experience in which I could have fellowship as well with other believers. I liked the idea of just using the Bible as a source instead of another workbook +Bible type of study.I soley wanted the truth of God’s Word to help restore my hurting soul.
    I soon realized that the singing at the beginning with the large group was not for me as the group seemed so depressed and woefully hardly able to squeeze out a tune that it just made me more sad. No joy.
    The discussion group was my next experience. I was refreshed by the fact that others truly had done their homework and wanted to participate in learning about God. The leader kept us on track and in order to do that the sharing was and is highly limited–always with an eye to the clock you know.. because we must file in to hear a lecture that is given again in a joyless atmosphere.
    I relish the study time and love to learn from God’s Word and find the re-entry to the lecture interruptive and disappointing because due to the necessity of getting into the overly long lecture, we also are not allowed to pray together as a group. Unity will never be possible without this “luxury” of praying together and is almost enough in itself for me to not participate anymore. …it sure is constricting to one’s sense of Christian sisterhood.
    I understand the need for guidelines and order, but it seems in this BSF case that the guidelines have become the ruler of the people and not the other way around as Jesus modeled for us in His care and spirit of loving for us. Hope this reaches to someone who is also hurting and disappointed in yet another human made system that falls short of what the glory of God and spirit-filled living have to offer us.
    Winnipeg, MB

  18. Alison Hall

    Hi Everyone,
    Just a few comments on BSF.
    I am currently attending my 8th Year and enjoying it immensely as usual.
    Let me first begin by saying “Yes” when I first started I was so annoyed by all the rules. But praise God even though I grumbled through for about 2 years God eventually changed my attitude and now I actually appreciate all the rules. I must admit when I found BSF and the fantastic teaching I decided I would commit to it no matter “what” as it was a window of opportunity God was granting me to study His word in such a thorough way. After having been to some weird and quiet frankly “wrong” teaching of the bible in many of the “so called” modern churches of our day it was an absolute treasure of a find for me to stumble across BSF and all the fantastic thorough correct teaching of the bible. I thank God for BSF as it has completely changed my life being able to dig so deep into Gods word each week. To some it may not be perfect if you are annoyed by the rules but if you can stick it out God will indeed do an amazing work in your life that you simply could not have got anywhere else in this world! Praise God for BSF and all those wonderful ladies that dedicate their time to teaching etc. Good on you I say! I am sure you will have your reward in Heaven.
    THANKYOU BSF – AND I FOR ONE WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY TO GOD FOR THIS WONDERFUL WORK THAT I KNOW IS AND WILL BRING GLORY TO HIS NAME!!

    God Bless You! – Alison (Melbourne BSF Group)
    Australia

  19. angela

    I have attended BSF for 25 years with the exception of brief leave when my youngest 2 children were born. I and thankful and so grateful to the Lord for this unique and serious study of His Word. when we look at the total picture the guidelines surface as insignificant. With the equipping I received and still receive I have been able to see God’s faithfulness and Sovereignity when my son, aged 21, died last year. This is a tool that God uses to expose His Word. It is up to us HOW we use it. I am so so grateful I was able to take some of my children and the comfort given to me in time of crisis. My son made a commitment through BSF and reading his notes now, after his death is amzing. I also have great joy now, after 25 years how the Lord has directed my husband to attend. As christians, let us not squabble over the minor issues and remember WHY we attend BSF. I thank the Lord for this organization that He has used and still using to teach, correct and equip me. I doubt one would find a better or more serious Bible Study.

  20. marie spradling

    What happened to Minor Prophets in the study – Did Isaiah replace it in the 7 year schedule?

  21. Pingback: Study Bible fellowship lessons online

  22. John Martine

    I was introduced to BSF last September in Houston. My work brought me to Brisbane Australia April 6th. I want to find a Mens Study Group. I live near the Queens Street Mall in one of the highrise apartment buildings. From here, my work will take me to Saudi Arabia about October.

  23. Mitch

    I started BSF just a few weeks ago and had an interesting experience my first night in the small group. Our leader taught that the 2nd coming of Christ prophesied by the angels in the beginning of Acts was the rapture. I believe it is the return of Christ after the tribulation. I emailed one of my contacts and asked for our leader’s email so I could ask him about it but I was told emails were not given out. So I decided to bring it up in the group discussion and I was told this was not the time for “those types of questions”. And that was it. I later learned “fellowships” were the time to ask “those types of questions” but was never told what “those types of questions” were. (Since the scenario under which I brought it up was, Does anyone have any questions about last week’s lecture?)
    There was also a passage that tells how the early believers lived and the notes state how that is a model for today. Loving each other, eating together, etc present no problems but the Bible also says they sold all their possessions and basically lived as socialists. So I brought that up, too (should we do that? I was so anxious to hear people’s thoughts)and the guy next to be told be to “stick with the questions on the sheet and do not jump ahead, that happens later”. I was kind of shocked that someone would attempt to embarrass me like that. The discussion leader said nothing and we moved on as if the matter was solved. It was an eye opener for me. I have some background in Bible teaching and my college classes were not like that. Questions were encouraged and so was the exchange of ideas. There were not wrong times to ask questions nor were their others in the class who told people to pipe down; (he was wrong, by the way, the subject to which I was referring was in that context, but it is true it went into more detail on the subject in a later chapter.)I am going to continue to attend because I made a committment to do so but for those of you who said BSF feels odd; well, it feels odd to me, too.
    Mitch

  24. Jo Tinsman

    I am trying to find a Bible Study Fellowship in or near Sequim WA.

    Can you help me? We need this so very much in Sequim WA. Thank you

  25. Margaret L. Goldston

    I attended BSF many years ago. I didn’t like the rules, so I didn’t go back. From what I’m reading, maybe we all just need to see it for what it is. You are being taught the Bible. That’s it. Possibly they need to drop the word Fellowship as part of the title. That would alleviate any expectations for fellowship going in to it. If you long for fellowship, you might need to find it elsewhere.

  26. Jeff

    Bsf now for 3 years; John, Isaiah, and now Acts. Have been very surprised by some of the things I’ve read in these columns, so many complaints! This negativity has not been my, nor my wife’s experience. Yes, the beginning music is from a hymn book, no guitars or drums (I prefer the upbeat tempos personally), but it is okay. Discussion group is usually lively and is a mix of newer and older Christians of multiple denominations, but men taking a stand for the truth of God’s word. By the way, all of my discussion group leaders have always been more accessible (phone, text, and email) than I am! And they call me once weekly to touch base and see if they can help. Lecture and the notes clarify and dispel any lingering issues from a biblical standpoint. I’m not sure of the divorce prohibition on women/ men group leaders, but a Godly friend has a “great” leader who has been divorced. In all, it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me, Christian for 35 years. I’m studying scripture regularly and am growing closer to God.

  27. Kristine

    For the love of God folks, BSF members are studying the BIBLE! They are reading GOD’s words! How can that be bad?? All these petty remarks…”yea but anyone is invited, even sinners”,(God still wants you to study his word). “Yea but leaders can’t have been divorced” (God still wants you to read the Bible). “Yea but women lead discussions and it says in the Bible they shouldn’t teach” (God. Still wants you to study th Bible). Bottom line people who study the Bible are not going to hell just because a women taught it, or because it was led by a BSF group. The person who dives into God’s word will be blessed by God..period.

  28. Larry Pray

    I am a pastor of the United Church of Christ. Some years ago, some folks in our church became involved in BSF. As they did, they drifted away from our church, and finally left. Along the way, they were told they could not read books other than the Bible. The lectures, and small-group Bible study was the be-all and end-all experience. The BSF doorway to meaningful faith became a BSF exclusive. I was sad, and somewhat appalled. If we are to love God with all our heart, strength, soul and mind, should we eschew reading? Such a system locked Jesus out of religious authorities so long ago.

    The fundamental perception that notes how little we study or take the Bible to heart is right on. But to insist on controlled access strikes me as a step away from Truth itself. Narrow truth always insists on its own way. The love of Christ leads to something else, a realization that we are always learning.

    Or so it seems to me. So, I’d say, “Good for you.” And then I’d ask, “Has your work widened and deepened your embrace of life? Or does it insist on its own way?”

    Those of us of a progressive stance, need to be corrected. Those who insist in judgment need to be reminded of the wideness of God’s mercy.

    Or so it seems to me.

  29. Elaine

    As a school teacher, I understand the need for rules and structure in any learning environment. I also know that for some people, rules are a “turn off” and some folks just have to find fault in everything. No organization, school, church or Bible study group can ever be perfect for all people. I can only attest to the joy and fulfillment in God’s Word to which BSF has led me. We have just completed our study of the acts of the Apostles and had our Share session tonight. I thank God for BSF as I continue to grow in my walk with him through the nourishment provided by this organization.

  30. Homeschool Mommy

    I have mixed feelings about BSF. One one hand, my mother and many of my friends have benefited considerably from their participation in BSF classes. My mother is a discussion leader and has been involved with BSF for almost 10 years. I frequently recommend this study to women I disciple who are connected with the ministry with which I am employed. I personally, however, would be driven crazy about all the rules so I don’t attend.

    I am also bothered by the policy discouraging commentary usage. While interpreting scripture with scripture (Theological Analysis) shows responsible hermeneutics, so does commentary usage. BSF seems to elevate one type of Biblical hermeneutic over all others (“Theological Analysis” over “Historical-Grammatical” for example). There are historical and linguistic considerations that influence the interpretation of some passages that the “interpreting scripture with scripture” approach could not possibly address adequately.

    There have been two occasions recently where individuals in my church, who I am almost certain are involved in BSF, have taught passages of scripture using faulty interpretation. Phrases like “I think this means this” or “I’m not sure what this means, I could be wrong.” A simple reading of a few commentaries would have pointed them in the right direction.

  31. Homeschool Mommy

    I am also concerned about the divorce policy. I have several friends, godly women, who were virgins when they married their “godly” Christian husbands. Their husbands ended up leaving them for other women. So these women would not be allowed to be teaching leaders, but other friends of mine who didn’t get married, but were sexually promiscuous before they became believers could be discussion leaders.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I think both groups should be able to be discussion leaders. But, I think it is not Biblically justified to say that the woman divorced due to circumstances which are permitted Biblically can’t teach, but the woman with a sexually promiscuis past can.

    One of my friends was telling me how painful it has been for her to have to recount specific details regarding her divorce whenever she applies for ministry positions in her church. Her husband left her 13 years ago for another woman. She never did consent to the divorce and refused to sign the papers. I have never seen anyone stand more firm in fighting for her marriage. When filling out applications, it’s not enough to simply say “I was divorced because my husband was unfaithful and chose to end the relationship”. She has to go into more he-said she-said detail.. BSF would be wise to allow women such as my friend to become teaching leaders. I have had 5 godly friends in the past 2 years whose husbands have left them. This is becoming more and more prevalent, especially with the advent of internet porn. Accepting women on a case by case basis would be a smart move.

  32. P. Nissila

    I attended BSF about 20 years ago on the invitation of a friend who insisted that the “meat of the Word” was taught. Before attending, I read the biography of the group’s founder. What I really appreciated about her was her dedication to scholarly research and her habit of studying good commentaries on each aspect of the teachings she designed.

    As you can imagine, when I attended the six classes I promised I would and came to understand all the rules and regs I was particularly disappointed in the restrictions on the use of commentaries. That was a huge red flag for me. Other regulations were also disquieting: the weight issue, the divorce issue, all the rules about when you can and when you can’t participate depending upon your attendance and so on.

    At that time I was working in a ministry that counseled people out of cults. I was the office person/newsletter writer. Too many of the elements of BSF resembled too many of the red flag issues of cults for me.

    After I went to my sixth study, my friend asked me if I would return. I thanked her for her interest, but said no. I explained the cult like elements that worried me. She said that was interesting, and that her husband had said the same thing, that is, that it seemed too much like a cult to him, too.

    I guess I’d say be very discerning.

  33. A Believer

    In reading the multitude of entries and comments above, I find 2 glaring omissions:

    1. The NT does not say that women can not be teachers in the church. It does say that women may not teach or have authority over men. BSF does not have women teaching men.

    2. Why ever are there so many feisty comments? If you have issues with BSF, please do not attend. You do have a choice, you know. BSF is not a required course. Just drop your animosity and move on to something else.

    BSF may have some imperfections, but I believer that it is the best Bible study there is.
    Some ladies need an hour or two a week for social fellowship and call it Bible study. There are many places to get that. Personally, I need my time to count for more. I like the in-depth study. Every week, I come away feeling as though I’ve learned something. That’s important to me.

  34. Jennifer

    I’m saddened to see everyone’s desires to be more about correcting “themselves” publicly and more or less trying to argue this battle about who is right and who is wrong!!!!!

    Take all the Christian teaching women out of this world, or off their stand, and you would have a LOT less saved people in this world. Isn’t the point to live our lives sharing the gospel with others, in order that they may be saved? God did not say women couldn’t share the gospel.

    Unfortunately some of you don’t understand the reasoning for the rules, therefor you are stiff-necked about them. A stubborn people, we always have been. It’s our nature. But if you understood it, in it’s context, and allowed God to deal with the specifics(!!) then it would not be a list of rules. Even the grocery stores have rules – no shoes no service…c’mon folks…every fully functioning and “growing”!! ministry has some sort of rules of operation. Why attack B.S.F.’s? I am convinced it’s because of unresolved bitterness in your lives in an area. That’s unfortunate. So much good for the kingdom has come out of BSF and there are never rules that are pushed down peoples backs – they are guidelines, and they offer a lot of grace.

    It’s a bible study that does not beat around any bush – but gets right to the “Bible” and does a lot of studying it!

    My hope is people are not brainwashed into thinking that there is anything maligned about it. It’s an awesome in-depth study of the bible – and some of you have no clue…but there are now 9 studies and a lot has changed in the last 2 years. So quit posting old info – and turn your anger towards something positive. Cowardly this one woman with regrets has posted all this negative info, without any way to reach her. Point in case, she knows she’s just angry!

  35. Allison

    Dear Friends,

    1. We haven’t yet arrived in Heaven so as long as we are on earth every Bible study program in the world including BSF will be imperfect (because all of us are imperfect).

    2. BSF has a high view of scripture, and recognizes the need to have spiritually mature leaders of all kinds to shepherd other Christians and help them understand God’s holy word.

    3. DIVORICE IS NO LONGER A DISQUALIFIER FOR LEADERSHIP IN BSF. The reason why the rule was originally included among other rules such as modest dressing and moral purity is to keep other brothers and sisters in Christ from stumbling. (After much prayer at their headquarters, I am sure) they have recently allowed people who have experienced a divorice to serve in leadership, recognizing that such a restriction may be percieved as unmerciful or unloving and may contradict their core value to show others the love of Christ.

    4. BSF is not a cult. The focus of that Bible study is simply the Bible. No other book is used. The only other piece of study material that is used besides the Bible is study notes written by Bible scholars. These notes are punctuated with dozens of scriptual references (usually more than 100 Bible verses per weekly lesson) so that one can verify the accuracy of everything that the notes are saying by checking it against the Bible. (I attend BSF and until I started this Bible study, I had never been to a Bible study that so carefully presents the Bible with such reverence.)

    5. If you are considering joining BSF or any other Bible study I would encourage you to first of all pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you know whether or not your Bible study is legitimate (I believe many are legit, including BSF and many are not legit.)

    1 John 4:1
    “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

    6. If you are a Chirstian and someone has a different view than you do, pray for them, love them, speak the truth to them with lots of love and grace…but leave the judgements to God.

    1.John 13:35
    “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
    James 2:13
    “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

    7. Jesus loves you all. Have a great day!!! :)

  36. ought2

    The fellowship, In fellowship I can see!!…In fellowship I can find not only what the Lord has done for you with His promises, and in turn what I may also lean on and Trust the Lord for on my journey as well. In fellowship I have found the obediance of all of you, and this very thing encourages my walk to no end. In fellowship I am incouraged, in fellowship the Lord would be lifted up and men would make less of their circumstances…in fellowship we are united!!! the fellowship of the Lord is like no other. The world melts away, any and all…In fellowship with the Lord , men can love men and not be ashamed. In fellowship we are united as one, to be one, cause we are one.

    In fellowship I hear confirmations on my own current walk co-insiding with the walk of another and perhaps even the will of the Father for anothers walk, as well as my own. Fellowship in my opinion is fellowship with the Lord I found Jesus talking to me, found Jesus talking to you, found Jesus talks to us. In fellowship I will serve with obediance.

    Fellowship is the 1 thing I have re-confirmed, affirmed, and am thankfull for…I am thank-full for your fellowship because it proves the Lords will, proves your obediance, and proves that Faith is alive!

    Thank-you

  37. BSF Leader

    Just to clarify about the use of commentaries – BSF members are free to use them after the discussion each week – what they want to for the HOLY SPIRIT to reveal scripture as you study instead of members looking up all the “right” answers from commentaries. You are always free to do more study after the lesson – including using all the commentaries you want. I’ve led classes where I know several ladies are just looking up the answers online – they miss the discovery process and the chance to be personallly convicted by the Word.
    One goal of BSF is to encourage members to serve in their churches – the reason we avoid mentioning individual churches and denominations is to keep members loyal to their own church and to focus instead on what we have in common – the passage for the week.
    Also keep in mind that BSF group leaders are just people – well trained but still people who make mistakes. I’ve had 7 teaching leaders in 4 different BSF classes and some are obviously much more dynamic than others.
    I do see BSF changing with the times – wearing jeans for leaders, expanding who can be a leader, not spending day one on “rules”, flexibility with attendance issues, etc. Passing on Biblical literacy to the next generation is a major goal.

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