Archive for February, 2020


Women in Workplace

Picture by Dez Pain

The Logical Outcome of Complementarianism

The sad reality that many of my good Christian brothers and sisters don’t realise is that, in the end, their supposed scripture-tight homey Complementarian view toward women plays out in the suppression of women in society at large. Many may scoff and think that I am exaggerating the reach of this doctrine. However, consider the words of John Piper, a foremost champion of Complementarianism and one of the most influential and well respected Christian leaders and teachers of our time. He says, “To the degree that a woman’s influence over a man, guidance of a man, leadership of a man, is personal and a directive, it will generally offend a man’s good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership, and thus controvert God’s created order.” He goes on to say, “For example, a drill sergeant might epitomize directive influence over the privates in the platoon. And it would be hard for me to see how a woman could be a drill sergeant — hut two, right face, left face, keep your mouth shut, private — over men without violating their sense of manhood and her sense of womanhood.”

Though many Complementarians wouldn’t take it that far, Piper’s view is the sum logical outcome from their interpretations of certain key texts in the Scriptures. And, to the degree that this view is held by men who hold sway (and also by women), and to the extent that they have influence, false notions are imposed upon women, families and churches, and even onto society. The end result is a distortion of God’s creative and redemptive purposes for women, which is a loss to everyone, even to men.

Creation Testifies That Women Can Lead Men

The loss to men is especially ironic considering that Eve was meant to be a gift to Adam and, by extension, women to all of humanity. While this loss is to be expected in humanity’s fallen state, it is sad when it gets perpetuated by those who are in Christ. This leads to the other sad irony of Complementarianism, which is that the world, rather than those who hold Christ’s redemptive message, often benefits by not impeding the potential in women. For example, women are in the senate, in congress and in parliaments, and others successfully lead very significant countries and corporations, not to mention past queens and prime ministers. Creation doesn’t lie, because, like Deborah in the Bible, women have proven to be very good and capable leaders over men.

Scripture Testifies That Women Can Lead Men

Now, to be fair, our faith is based on Scripture alone. And, in this regard, we thankfully have many churches that interpret and teach a better message concerning women by using the very methods of interpretation that Complementarians use, yet with outcomes that are more consistent with Scripture as a whole and with God’s intentions for women specifically. In this regard, Women as Leaders is a link to several posts where I give alternative historical-grammatical interpretations to those of Complementarianism. I believe that you will see them ring true to the rest of Scripture and unintentionally, yet unsurprisingly, to what we see evidenced in life around us.

Just as we have evidenced that the earth is a sphere and are, therefore, not surprised to find that the Bible says the same thing, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Bible teaches that women can be leaders of men. Perhaps culturally and religiously indoctrinated men, and insecure men in particular, will battle with this outcome, but that God’s word. I, for one, would be grateful to be like Barak. He submitted himself to Deborah who commanded him in accomplishing God’s will. Nevertheless, even in the face of excellent alternative biblical interpretations that don’t compromise the Scriptures in any way (as some suppose), we still have Christians who doggedly hold to their interpretations and who teach that the Bible instructs otherwise. And, this despite both biblical and natural evidences of women unshackled.

Finally, I would like to end by recommending this TED Talk that highlights the sad reality of male leadership and women suppression found in varying degrees in many homes and churches and, as a result, in society too: Why I Left an Evangelical Cult | Dawn Smith | TEDxNatick

Rob Morley

The Law

photo by Alex Bruda

Under the Law

In the Bible, ‘the law’ often refers to the covenant that God made with Israel, which Christians know as the Old Covenant. It required of them, amongst other things, to keep God’s moral law. It is especially in this regard that Paul called it a ministry of condemnation (see Gal. 3:10). For, though it was good, in that it highlighted God’s perfect moral law (see Rom. 7:12), it pointed out the error of those who were ‘under’ it, thereby condemning them.

The law was unable to save those who were ‘under’ it from the penalty of their past, present and future sins. Nor could it save them from their sinful nature or enable them to keep its requirements (see Rom. 8:3). It essentially pointed out human sin and sinfulness, and to their desperate need for another way. The Bible puts it like this: ‘Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith’ (Gal. 3:24).

The same principle is also true for those not ‘under the law’ (i.e. those not part of the Old Covenant). This is because, ‘They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them’ (Rom. 2:15 NIV).

In Christ

In contrast, Christians (Jews and Gentiles who believe in Christ) are in a new covenant with God. And, though we also seek to fulfil God’s moral law (see 1 John 5:3), we don’t do this by being ‘under the law’ (i.e. under the Old Covenant), but by being in Christ. We no longer try in our own strength to satisfy the law’s requirements in order to please God or avoid His punishment. Instead, the good news is that Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice satisfies all that the moral law of God requires of us, justifying us (see 2 Cor. 5:21). Furthermore, His life in us enables us to keep His commandments (see Php. 2:13 & Rom. 6:4). This is especially true when we as a matter of lifestyle ask God to empower us by His Spirit and when we walk in step with His Spirit (see Eph. 5:18 & Gal. 5:25).

‘Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God’ (Rom. 7:4).

Rob Morley

LGBTQ flag

Picture taken by Ayla87

An Immoral Orientation

The Bible is clear that, ever since the fall of man, all of humankind is innately sinful. Furthermore, the Bible specifically calls homosexuality sinful. It is an orientation against the law of God written on everyone’s heart and is called a “degrading passion” by God in His word.

Unfortunately, in trying to be helpful, some have suggested that sexual orientation should not to be considered a sin and that only homosexual activity is to be judged as sinful. However, if sin is being bent or orientated away from God and His will then isn’t that precisely what homosexual orientation is?

Also, regardless of whether or not the homosexual orientation of an individual is innate or chosen, like all sin, the practice of it is a rebellious choice that stems from a sinful nature. Just as an innately heterosexual man is not overwhelmingly compelled to have an affair with a married woman, regardless of how much he loves her, a homosexually orientated person need not outwardly comply with his sinful nature. Similarly, no heterosexual couple should have sex before marriage no matter how right it may seem to them.

Some contend that they don’t see homosexuality as sin. Who are they to dictate to God what is and isn’t sin, when He has already given us His view? And, God points this out because what He intends for each of us is far better than a life in sin, no matter how good it may seem.

An Unnatural Orientation

Concerning adultery, the Lord said that just to look on a woman with lust already constituted adultery. In other words, orientating oneself toward the sin was equal to the sin. But, unlike the sin of fornication or adultery, which are a moral compromise within the natural heterosexual order, homosexuality is more like paedophilia, incest and bestiality, which are unnatural to begin with.

Are we eventually going see P, I and another B added to the LGBTQ list, just so that those who are supposedly misunderstood as being deviant can be accepted?  Consider, for example, an article in the Telegraph by Andrew Gilligan, entitled, ‘Paedophilia is natural and normal for males’, which reports how ‘some university academics make the case for paedophiles’.

When it comes to psychological deviancy, it appears that what is normally considered unnatural is being deemed “natural” by virtue of it having occurred in the natural. We are being told to adjust what we consider normal to accommodate the existence and experiences of deviants. However, if, for example, someone was born without a nose, even though it occurred naturally, it would be “natural and normal” for humans to think, “That’s not natural!” or “That’s not normal!” Clearly, what occurs in the natural is not always natural.

It is God who decides what is “natural,” not us. And, He makes it very clear that mankind’s “natural” orientation is a heterosexual one. Within that boundary God then is clear that monogamy is His intention for those who wish to marry and that marriage is the only place for sexual intercourse.

Born Again and Transformed

We are all in need of a Savior to rescue us from our sinful nature and the consequences of having one. In other words, we all need rescuing from both our orientation to sin (which is sinful in and of itself) and also from the sins that come from our sinful orientation. If you repent of your sins and turn to God, He will forgive you and you will be born again into eternal life with Him. At that point, deviant mindsets that used to control you, no longer need to be the definers of the new you. Yes, they may tempt you, but they are no longer in charge of you. Christ is! In Him you are connected to a new source of life, God Himself. To the extent that you let Him, His Spirit empowers you to live in a completely new way. He is your new orientation and He resets all your faulty orientations toward Him. With God we can be governed by a new moral orientation, which is His Very Moral Being within us.

When we come to Christ, we are completely spiritually changed, being made spiritually new and alive to God. At this point we begin a journey of further transformation through the renewing of our minds and the putting to death of the improper impulses (lusts/desires) of the body. Certain unsavoury soulish and physical triggers may easily be activated by thoughts that still remain. These have the potential to lure a believer into sin. However, because a Christian has crucified their flesh, as long as they walk in the Spirit, these old ways need no longer influence a person.

In this sense, remnants of a homosexual orientation may still exist in the old mindsets and learned bodily triggers of Christians who were homosexually orientated when they came to Christ. Nevertheless, in Christ, such a person is no longer subject to the flesh (the pull of the mind and body) and is free to walk in the Spirit. In fact, they must, for walking in the Spirit is the Christian life. And, to the extent that they walk in the Spirit, they will be enabled to put to death the misdeeds of their bodies, renew their minds and be transformed.

Conclusion

Like a snake that strikes, it’s innate in humans to sin. This sinful nature is an immoral orientation that we are all conceived in and born with. While some are perhaps bent toward homosexuality at conception, others may have become corrupted by choice. Regardless of our sin or its origin, our inability to change is evidence of just how badly we need rescuing. Whatever your sinful ways may be, whether they are innate or learned, God can undo the consequences of the fall and give you a restored life.

Rob Morley

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