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Topic: Complementarianism

Men and Women in the Household of God

October 15, 2018

Editor’s Note: This post is an introduction to a series. Posts in this series include: “A Word to the Older Men,” “A Word to the Older Women,” “A Word to the Younger Women,” and “A Word to the Younger Men.”

In January of last year, hundreds of thousands of women marched in our nation’s capital and in other major cities around the country in what became known as “The Women’s March”. It was no accident the organizers planned this march to occur right on the heals of the presidential inauguration. They were of course making a political statement. This fact certainly became clear when the organizers kicked-out a pro-life feminist group from being sponsors of the march. They kicked them out precisely because of their prolife views.

Indeed the “Unity Principles” on The Women’s March website says that they were marching for unrestricted abortion rights:

“We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services [by which they mean abortion]… This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.”

Under these same “Unity Principles,” they also said this:

“We must have the power to control our bodies and be free from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes.”

It is right here that we see the real goal of the feminist movement in its second and third waves. Abortion rights are important to feminism because of its larger aim “to be free from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes.” And for women, that means to be free from the obligation motherhood. If a man has the freedom to sleep with whom he wants when he wants with no fear of pregnancy or a baby, then a woman should also have that same freedom. If a man’s economic and professional advancement is free from the encumbrance of child-rearing, then a woman’s should be as well.

And that is why contraception and abortion are fundamental, non-negotiable values to the feminist movement. Women must be free from the consequences of their own fertility, and the only way to ensure that is through abundant access to contraception and abortion. It’s core value is freedom from the restraints that others may put on female economic and social empowerment. And if an unborn baby gets in the way of that freedom, the freedom wins out over the life of the baby. And that is what the pro-choice movement boils down to.

It’s an ugly business. But it should not be surprising to us when sinners act like sinners. Apart from grace, none of us would likely do any better. But it is stunning to us when we find such fallen reasoning among the people of God. And I am concerned that there may be some who may be succumbing to the stiff winds of this particular error blowing against us from the culture. Perhaps there are some evangelicals who would agree with the portion of the feminist “Unity Principles” that says we must be “be free from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes.”

But this raises a question. Is it possible to follow Christ and to pursue freedom “from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes”? The short answer to that question is no. Having said that, we all know there are such things in the world as fallen and sinful “gender norms, expectations and stereotypes.” We know that. But that is a far cry from saying that all gender norms and expectations are fallen—especially since we know that the Bible has norms and expectations that are based on our maleness or femaleness. If you refuse what Christ calls you to be and to do as a male or as a female, you disobey his word.

That is why we have to train our minds to think and believe what the scripture teaches about these things, even when the culture is exerting all its strength to overturn biblical norms. We are not genderless automatons. God has created each and every one of us as male or female, and his special design of male and female has practical implications for the way that we live our lives.

In Titus 2:1-6, Paul gives a short sketch of the way men and women are supposed live their lives. The apostle provides us with practical wisdom about what faithfulness to Christ looks like for both male and female. Over the next several days, we are going to take a closer look at each of these and how they apply to our lives as men and women.

I. A Word to the Older Men (vv. 1-2)
II. A Word to the Older Women (v. 3)
III. A Word to the Younger Women (vv. 4-5)
IV. A Word to the Younger Men (v. 6)

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