Thursday, November 29, 2012

Biblical Manhood & Womanhood -- And Why it Matters

In a world that tries hard to convince Christians otherwise, it is crucial that the church not allow these efforts to distort what is clearly written and revealed in scripture about manhood and womanhood.
The issue of biblical manhood and womanhood is not one which the church should take lightly or handle without deep thought and consideration as well as critical care. There is (and has been over the past several decades) a fairly militant shift in the culture regarding the God-ordained roles for men and women. These distinct differences which, if done rightly, are designed by God to leave men feeling honored & respected...women feeling loved & cherished...and God being glorified in and through the relationship...are now under attack by our culture. No doubt sin is behind much of these efforts to remove any distinctions or differences between the sexes.

On one hand, the church must be willing to acknowledge that some of these efforts are the direct result (and reactions) to the sinful way which men (even profession Christian men) have handled their biblical responsibility of headship. Men who have sinfully abused and misused their God given roles over the years as a way to control, manipulate, and oppress women. These actions are both sinful and dishonoring to God and they have caused a huge amount of damage to women as well as the church. On the other hand, the church must also be willing to acknowledge that some of the resistance to biblical manhood and womanhood is coming from people (even professing Christians) who take exception to the God-ordained distinctions between men and women. Because of sin (namely pride) people are often prone to call evil, that which God has called good (Isaiah 5:20) -- or even, as in this case, what he has called...very good. (Genesis 1:31)

The enemy is a resilient foe. He knows exactly how to use our emotions against us and he will stop at nothing to harden our hearts towards God's good, perfect and acceptable will (Romans 12:2). And if we're honest, we must also accept the reality that the church (and Christians) have given the enemy plenty of examples, over the centuries, to help argue his case. However, as a body of believers who know our primary aim is not to appease our own ego but is instead to glorify God (and his word), we must be willing to (at minimum) invest the time energy and effort required to ensure we are rightly handling the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

In a recent sermon on why his church (Bethlehem Baptist) is complementarian, John Piper made the following claim:
"The deeper differences between manhood and womanhood are not superior or inferior competencies. They are rather, deep dispositions or inclinations. At the heart of mature manhood is the God-given sense (disposition, inclination) that the primary responsibility (not sole responsibility) lies with him when it comes to leadership-initiative, provision, and protection. And at the heart of mature womanhood is the God-given sense (disposition, inclination) that none of this implies her inferiority, but that it will be a beautiful thing to come along side such a man and gladly affirm and receive this kind of leadership and provision and protection." | John Piper 
Folks, theology matters, and unless we are willing (both individually and corporately) to invest serious study, thought, effort and prayer into these matters of utmost importance...we are all but guaranteed to eventually find ourselves in a very troubling predicament. The culture in which we now live is militant towards many of the things which God has ordained and called good. Take a minute to think about the latest marriage amendment which people of Minnesota just voted on. Think of the campaign commercials and the attacks, the name calling and claims of the vote no crowd for anyone who would even consider affirming and honoring God's definition of marriage. While these battles may seem to be distractions from the church's mission to advance the gospel, I'm attempting to make the argument that the church can no longer remain neutral or passive in this battle. We must must be willing to make efforts to affirm (in action and word) that we love the things which God loves and we hate the things which God hates. We can no longer remain silent on these issues, crossing our fingers and hoping beyond hope that somehow they will simply go away. They will not...And in our efforts to reach the world, we must be fully invested into ensuring we are reaching them with the truth. These crucial issues, which the church has come to call insignificant or non-essential over past several decades, are no longer quietly gnawing at the doors of our churches, but are instead infiltrating the hearts, minds and souls of our denominations, our leaders, our congregations and our doctrines. The time to act is now and the reality is that there is far too much at stake to remain silent.

The bible tells us:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. | 1 Peter 5:6-11

For His Glory,


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