Sunday, October 21, 2012

How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 2

In Part 1 of examining this issue, I brought to your attention the first generation of Christian secret feminists and looked at their lives and their words. I looked at the second generation also, and examined the things they are saying and doing that usurp the biblical role for women as outlined in the bible. They are celebrity bible teachers who, under the guise of ministry and the cloak of Christianese, are in fact living an overt feminist life. I called these women Christian secret feminists.

In this part I would like to look at what biblical womanhood is rather than look at what it isn't. We have seen enough of that in part 1, haven't we?!

In 2007 a half day conference was held titled "Different By Design: A crucial call to faithfulness in gender issues." The session was to be held just prior to the Desiring God conference. Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and Ligon Duncan, Professor at the Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) were the keynotes. If the call was crucial in 2007 almost 6 years ago, it is a siren call today.

Posted on this woman's webpage is an archive of some of the issues discussed at that conference.

Wayne Grudem, Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, wrote a book called Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. The synopsis of the book states, "Egalitarians, or evangelical feminists, consider men’s and women’s roles in the home and church to be interchangeable. In this helpful book, Bible scholar Wayne Grudem considers over a hundred egalitarian arguments and finds them contrary to the Bible. According to Grudem, the Bible teaches that God values men and women equally. However, their roles in home and church are complementary to each other, not interchangeable. Arguing against both feminism on the left and male chauvinism on the right, his carefully researched handbook is a valuable resource defending the complementarian viewpoint."

Professor Grudem wrote it because he was concerned that evangelical feminism (also called “egalitarianism”) has become a new path by which evangelicals are being drawn into the­ theological liberalism."

Grudem defines evangelical feminism (or as I define the worse flavors of it, Christian secret feminists), "When I speak of “evangelical feminism” I mean a movement that claims there are no unique leadership roles for men in marriage or in the church. According to evangelical feminism, there is no leadership role in marriage that belongs to the husband simply because he is the hus­band, but leadership is to be shared between husband and wife accord­ing to their gifts and desires. And there are no leadership roles in the church reserved for men, but women as well as men can be pastors and elders and hold any office in the church.'"

For example, Al Moher explained why the issue of biblical womanhood is so important, "The fault lines of controversy in contemporary Christianity range across a vast terrain of issues, but none seems quite so volatile as the question of gender. As Christians have been thinking and rethinking these issues in recent years, a clear pattern of divergence has appeared. At stake in this debate is something more important than the question of gender, for this controversy reaches the deepest questions of Christian identity and biblical authority." Continuing later in his piece, Mohler said, "The postmodern worldview embraces the notion of gender as a social construct. That is, postmodernists argue that our notions of what it means to be male and female are entirely due to what society has constructed as its theories of masculinity and femininity."

It is important to remember that roles for men and women are not socially defined, but biblically defined. Even those women inside Christianity who attempt to redefine their roles by saying it is a gift or a ministry from God are in themselves redefining the bible because doing this proves they believe the bible to be insufficient as their authoritative guide for life.

So what is Biblical Womanhood? Dr. Georgia Purdom at Answers in Genesis begins her answer to that question by saying:
"The online Free Dictionary defines womanhood as “the composite of qualities thought to be appropriate to or representative of women.” How do we determine the qualities women should possess? Scripture is the ultimate authority."

"Most Christians think immediately of Proverbs 31. While this passage is important to biblical womanhood, it is not the foundation. We need to go back to the beginning—Genesis 1. Here we see that God created both male and female in His image (Genesis 1:27)."

"However, God created men and women with physical, emotional, and mental differences; and while both bear the image of God, they do so uniquely. God also created men and women to have different roles in marriage (Genesis 2:18) and the church (1 Timothy 2:11–13), but again they are both image-bearers and equal in Christ (Galatians 3:28)."
Purdum continues by saying that in biblical womanhood "God has a lot to say about the qualities of a woman made in His image. Let’s take a look at a couple." She cites modesty and work and goes into a solid biblical exposition of those two concepts in light of the biblically defined roles for women. I suggest you read it in context at the site for more depth. (source)

In another essay at Answers in Genesis called Are Gender Roles a Social Construct? by Steve Golden, the author looks at the curse on men and women after the fall and how this curse might be affecting us today.
"A final point regards the Curse in Genesis 3. Here we see that Adam and Eve already had distinct roles, but as a result of the Curse, their roles became toilsome and painful. In verse 16, God graciously allowed Eve (and her female descendants) to bear children, but childbirth would be associated with a good deal of physical pain as well as concerns about bringing a child into this cursed world. Additionally, God tells Eve, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you" (Genesis 3:16). Christians differ over what this verse means, but two likely interpretations arise: (1) Eve will try to usurp her husband’s role as head, but God is requiring Adam to keep her from doing so, resulting in conflict; or (2) Eve will try to usurp her husband’s role as head, and he will exercise unbiblical male domination over her."
We see the evil results of that sin and its resulting curse today. In my opinion, many men have become tired of the conflict and have given up (by no longer attending church, so as to avoid the whole issue) or have given in (by accepting the recapitulation of the roles as some of the female celebrity teachers' husbands have done.) The second chapter of Titus illustrates what is expected of Godly behavior of men and woman, the youth and the old:

"But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior." (Titus 2:1-10)

Ladies, modest and humble and loving wives do not disrespect their husbands on Facebook. It's ugly when you do that. Just had to get that off my chest while I was thinking about it.

An example I came across of immodesty and irreverence toward the elder women comes from Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer at the 2009 "Deeper Still" Christian Women's Conference in Greensboro NC. Robin Schumacher of Confident Christians used the account from an attendee in his power point teaching called "Got Ethics? Where is the Line?"
An Example of Getting it Wrong: One of the questions that the speakers addressed was, “What is the best part of marriage for you, and what is the most challenging?” When it came time for Priscilla to address the “most challenging part” of her marriage, she explained that she has two small children (one of whom she is still breast-feeding) and well, “I’m often just too tired, if you know what I mean, ladies! [Wink, wink.]”

To my (saddened) surprise, the arena of 10,000 women actually stood up and cheered. Various chimes of laughter, screaming, and “yeah, girl!” boomed in the packed house. This continued for about a minute, while even Beth Moore nodded, laughed and clapped at Ms. Shirer’s comment. Priscilla continued by relating a story of how she often tries to creep into bed after her husband falls asleep so that he won’t start coming on to her. Beth Moore admitted the same, and the more they discussed, the louder the cheering arena shouted and clapped in agreement.

I sat in my seat and was profoundly disturbed. Here I was at a Christian Women’s Conference, and our “trusted” female leaders were joking about avoiding their husbands in bed.

What happened next, I believe, shocked everyone.

An Example of Getting it Right: As all the shouting and cheering continued while Priscilla and Beth discussed the “too tired” syndrome, I turned my attention to Kay Arthur. This very beautiful, very wise woman was silently flipping through her Bible, which she kept on her lap during the discussion. Finally she looked up at her two fellow speakers and said very kindly but unflinchingly, “Now girls, I understand how you feel. We have all been there, myself included. I remember once sleeping on the very edge of my bed so that I could avoid my husband. I know what you mean. But let me show you something, please.” Kay picked up her Bible and then simply spoke:

“1 Corinthians 7:4-5. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Oh if you could have seen the faces on Ms. Moore and Ms. Shirer! Ms. Moore had her mouth half-open in disbelief, and Ms. Shirer raised her eyebrows and opened her eyes wider in shock. The Coliseum’s chorus of cheers changed to a disgruntled murmur. I do believe I was the only one clapping.

After a brief pause, the two rebuked women turned to the audience and said with a half eye-roll, “Oh, well Ms. Kay has a verse for everything, doesn’t she?!” The crowd laughed again. Ms. Shirer continued, commenting that her husband loves to eat, so she was doubtful there would be a lot of abstaining for fasting. Ms. Moore agreed. The crowd continued laughing and cheering.

Kay Arthur continued her uncompromising, yet gentle rebuke. “Girls, again, I understand fully what you’re saying, but I’m merely telling you what God has to say about sex between a husband and wife. You are not to deprive one another, except for prayer or fasting. So, unless you’re doing that, you’re not to avoid your husband… and he should not avoid you either.”

Nervous giggles and pauses were all that remained from Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer. Finally, Priscilla exclaimed, “Well! On to another topic, shall we?!” To which the crowd laughed enthusiastically.
Biblical womanhood is supposed to be submissive to elders, and yet Mrs Moore and Mrs Shirer reportedly disrespected an elder and refused an opportunity to apologize to the audience and repent to God. What an example they could have demonstrated of biblical womanhood to thousands of attendees! They could have edified Jesus! But instead they introduced an off-color topic, disrespected their husbands, engaged in unsound speech, dissed an elder woman, and refused submission to the clear teaching of the Word. (See Titus verses above). This is not biblical womanhood. It is Christian feminism. Mrs Arthur is to be praised for handling the situation in a biblical, loving fashion. THAT is biblical womanhood according to Titus 2!

The outcome of the curse in Genesis 3 is coming home to roost now. In Revelation 2 we read of a church that Jesus praises in some ways but condemns in others. Let's finish the series with a look at it in terms of what happens to those who accept false teaching from women who rebel.

Christian secret feminists part 1
Christian secret feminists part 3

10 comments:

  1. Truly the Bible does say that (younger women who *WANT* - yes, you read that correctly) sex.... should be glad about this. So I'm not challenging that it's brought up in the Bible. But as our bodies wear on & out... sex after menopause? Forget it! Too painful; hurts. Fortunately we have a good & blessed marriage... but I'd never ever ever marry someone if I thought I was going to have to hop in the sack & perform every day -- or whenever he wanted to. And no, I'm not a "feminist".

    I'm with you in that these women you name should not be feminists & they should not be "preaching". And yes, there IS such a thing as being "too tired" to make love!!! In which case, the men are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church & gave Himself for it. That could translate to if she's too tired, leave her alone. To force her is the same as rape. Elsewhere they are told to "NOT LORD IT OVER OTHERS".

    Being the head of the home does NOT mean he gets his way all the time!! or sex on demand when he snaps his fingers & "feels like it"!!

    And for that matter, the Bible says a lot of things we neglect to do: how many women can truly say they/we wear head coverings every time we pray? That comes from the same N.T. writings as well!! Just saying...

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    1. THAT'S what you got from this? Um, OK. Well, the younger ladies were not challenging that it is brought up in the bible either. But they demonstrated disrespect to the audience by bringing an off color topic to a Christian conference, disrespected their husbands by speaking of private matters, and disrespected Jesus by refusing to bow to the rebuke.

      As for the men, it is clear from scripture that he is to be a husband in the same ways the wife is to be a wife: he has his assigned role, too. One of them is loving his wife, and forcing her is not loving her. I think that is plain and clear with no further explanation or discussion needed.

      If there are a lot of things in the bible you neglect to do, that is a problem for you. I'd see to rectifying that, He is coming soon.

      Here is information on you also to the proper interpretation of the head coverings issue
      http://www.gotquestions.org/head-coverings.html

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    2. A woman's covering is her hair. Women are to have hair, and long enough to be distinguished from men.

      And of course no spouse should force the other in intimate relations, but when we get married, we give ourselves up to our spouse so that we are no longer the sole boss of ourselves. True love is sacrificial, meaning there are things you do out of love, to benefit another person, even if it's something you don't feel like doing. Being intimate with a spouse is a physical pleasure God gave us, and if a spouse doesn't derive pleasure from her spouse in that intimate act, then she must either be extremely ill in some way, or her feelings for her spouse aren't what they should be. You don't always have to be in the mood, but that doesn't matter, because you don't deny your spouse. Being too tired is a cop out. And if it hurts too much physically, there are treatments one should exhaust, to not use it as an excuse, because obviously pain would be an excuse because no spouse who loves their spouse wouldn't want to be physically intimate with them.

      J.L.

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    3. no spouse who loves their spouse wouldn't *not* want to be physically intimate with them.

      J.L.

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  2. I am looking forward to going to Precept Ministries in November to take a three day course on how to study my Bible. I can only hope that Kay teaches at some point in the study. I have taken her studies for the past 25 years and heard her and many of her trainees speak at our womens' retreats, etc. She is a real gem in the world of Christian women.

    Kim

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    Replies
    1. Kay is a heretic just as her husband is. Have nothing to do with these bearers of darkness.

      Christine, CA

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  3. If being a christian feminist makes me a heretic, thank God and hallelujah.

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  4. Anonymous, your comment is very sad to me. However more importantly, remember you said that when you meet Jesus and He demands to know why you rebelled against Him. He remembers every empty word you say and will bring you to account for them. Mt 12:36

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  5. I happen to be a single woman and a virgin. Without being too explicit, is this verse only addressing that marital sex act which creates babies, or is it anything goes? -Veronica

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Which verse, the one just above from Matthew 12:36 or another one from the essay? In general, the Lord decreed that sexual relations of any kind that occur between a man and a woman are for the marital bed only. ( 1 Corinthians 7:1-7). And explicitly between a man and a woman who are married to each other.

      Other sex acts, such as homosexual, lesbian, or with animals, are forbidden and an abomination to Him. (Lev 18:22, 23, Lev 20:15, 16, 1 Timothy 1:10, Romans 1:27 etc).

      Delete

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