Manhood (Part 5) – Man, Manhood & God (con’t)

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Yesterday we launched out into the deep waters of exploring man/manhood in relation to God. The water is deep because this is foundational stuff to understanding the breakdowns in men and families and culture. This is the starting point. So let’s push forward into this journey. Please remember that these are selected passages from Stu Weber’s book “The Four Pillars of a Man’s Heart” with some additional comments or questions by me:

We, as Christians, must address these gender issues with a whole heart and full energy. If we do not do so, we fail our Lord and His Word at the very point of the most basic contention in our culture. If we do not consistently address this issue over the years to come, we will be guilty of abandoning the Bible when our culture’s very survival depends on it most. If we do not address it, we are guilty of the spiritual equiva­lent of sleeping on guard duty. Or, worse yet, simply going AWOL.

Martin Luther, the great reformer, and a warrior in his own right, said it this way: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposi­tion every portion of the truth of God except precisely that… point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confess­ing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battlefield (elsewhere), is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point (emphasis added). Wow! Those are awesome words. Don’t run right over that. Linger there for just a moment. Let that grip you. Then answer the following question.

Questions to ponder? How would you express the thoughts of Martin Luther here in your own words? Write it down!

We who call ourselves Christian must be hard at it-in study, in understanding, in applying biblical principles of gender to our selves, our marriages, our families, and our daily lives. And we must address our cul­ture. Or, it will cease to exist.

The society that blurs gender realities cannot glorify God.

Questions to ponder? Do you agree with this proposition? How so?

The society that blurs gender realities simply dies. James Dobson, as usual, cuts to the chase on this issue in a recent remark:

In the thousands of years of human history and the thousands of different human cultures that have existed in human history, only a few have managed to blur masculinity and femininity. And every single one of them is extinct. According to Dr. Charles Winich of City University of New York, who has studied more than 2,000 cultures in world history, not one unisexual society has survived for more than a few years.

In a society where men are confused about their masculinity and women are confused about their femininity, there is only disintegration, disorientation, destruction, and death. Ultimately the society collapses.

CONSULTING THE OWNER’S MANUAL

There is one owner’s manual that speaks without stuttering. It sets forth the truth with stunning clarity. I refer, of course, to the Manufacturer’s manual for humanity, the Bible. It’s the owner’s manual for both masculinity and femininity. And, sure enough, the answers begin right there on Page One:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth.. . .” And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

Doesn’t it strike you as incredibly odd that a culture which so prides itself on “diversity” is working so hard to destroy it in its most obvious and beautiful form? That the politically correct buzzword, diversity, does not somehow apply to male and female differences? That somehow men and women must be the same? That God’s chosen vehicle to carry His image, mankind as male and female, is the one form of diversity we seem bent not to accept? Dr. Halverson was right. It is devilish.

Questions to ponder? Have you ever pondered the male/female difference through the lens of diversity? If not, how have we missed that perspective…especially sense we are so “diversity sensitive”?

Are men and women really different? They are! They really are. Listen to one observer:

Granted, men and women are different in physiological and sex­ual ways. The question is, are they essentially the same in all other areas? Feminists insist, “Yes!” A growing chorus of both secular and biblical researchers, however, respond with a firm “No!” Furthermore, a growing body of research indicates that these very basic differences are present from conception. These differences are innate. They are not learned.

It is overwhelmingly clear. Men and women are equal, but they are not the same. The differences in brain structure are present in the womb, and they are recognizable at every stage of human development-in the new­born infant, during early childhood, emphatically during puberty, and undeniably in adulthood. The feminist simply refuses to accept these reali­ties. Feminists are forced to deny scientific fact in order to hold to their “socialization” theory, and in order to retain their dogged determination to engineer change. Feminists are hell-bent on destroying what they consider to be sexual stereotypes, on their way to creating a unisex society.

It will not happen, of course, but many individuals, marriages, and families will pay a terrible price in the unrelenting process. The winds will blow, the peoples will sway, but in the end there is no alternative to the divinely determined realities.

The key question we must ask ourselves is not, “Are there differences between men and women?” That is undeniable. What we must ask is, “How are we going to respond to the differences?” We can deny them and resist them, to our own pain. Or we can recognize them, accept them, and celebrate them to our own fulfillment and joy

So how about you? Given the reality that gender differences are undeniable both scientifically and biblically, can we not safely conclude that God, the Creator Himself chose to author these differences? Of course we can. And so we must if we hope to see health, life, and stability in our marriages, families, and churches.

There is something very profound here. It is deep. It is foundational. It is, by definition, essential. There is something here, related directly to the image of God, that will not go away with the rearranging of a few tasks or roles in society. It will not fade with the eliminating of a few words from our vocabulary. Gender differences are here to stay… by order of the Creator

But many Christians have a tendency to drift with the sociological wishful-thinking of our culture (frustratingly so) which has been dominated by feminist thinking for nearly three decades now.

Questions to ponder? What have you seen in the Christian/Church culture that would reinforce that statement?

We’ll continue on this topic tomorrow. REMEMBER – This series of posts will benefit greatly from the addition of your thoughts, experiences, questions and observations in the comment section.

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