I’ve been busy which is why I haven’t been posting. However, this is an important topic to discuss.
Donal’s post on Ashamed of the Faith today reminded me of it. I thought I wrote on this topic before. I just searched my blog, and it seems I didn’t.
About 4-5 months ago I was in a Bible study, and we were discussing marriage roles specifically in context of submission and headship. One of the older men stated how uncomfortable he was with discussing submission, and kept going back to the error of mutual submission except in sex (1 Cor 7) and in sin (Eph 5).
At that time, I didn’t speak up at that point because I didn’t know what to say. It was probably around the beginning of Feb when this blog had just started, and I still hadn’t perused the Scriptures in depth where I was comfortable speaking up in that situation on this particular topic especially to a married man.
However, this is not something that is uncommon with today’s men.
After a couple of days of introspection on this topic, I came to the conclusion that people are “uncomfortable” with what God’s word says. The way Escoffier, Donal and others put it is embarrassed or ashamed. In this situation, all of these words are synonyms for the same thing:
Luke 12:8 “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; 9 but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who [g]speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
I remember contemplating why we are uncomfortable, or ashamed, or embarrassed for God’s Scriptures.
Every single denomination of the faith believes that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God. So why are we afraid of what it says? What does that say about us and our beliefs?
A month later I helped to lead a discussing on the topic of sex and marriage in the same Bible study. Afterward, a couple of people came up to me and thanked me for leading that particular uncomfortable topic.
The way I responded to that assertion was that I had practiced speaking about these different subjects before. Specifically, I covered what I do here: Improving your public and conversational speaking and Improving your public and conversational speaking 2. I muse these topics out loud because I was to be confident speaking on what the Scriptures say.
If I’m uncomfortable talking about what is good then what am I doing? Every single Christian knows that God has created sex in marriage to be good. He created humans to be very good. Why should I be uncomfortable, or embarrassed, or ashamed to talk about what is good?
This is something I definitely still struggle with when talking about God, especially with my non-believing friends. This is something I am focused on working to improve. However, I have made great strides with talking about any uncomfortable topics with Christians which has been excellent for developing relationships and spurring one another on toward Christ.
Unfortunately, we live in a time where many are deceived.
This leads us to one of the more difficult verses in the Scriptures for many to accept:
1 Timothy 2:11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first [h]created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, [i]fell into transgression. 15 But women will be [j]preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with [k]self-restraint.
I’ve heard my pastor explicate this passage well. Paul gives two reasons on why women are not to have authority (exousia) over men.
- First, it goes back to creation order. Adam is created first and then Eve. It could have been that God created humans the other way around, but He didn’t. 1 Corinthians 11 back this up: God is the head of Christ, who is the head of man, who is the head of woman.
- Second, being deceived is worse than the alternative, which is that Adam knowingly committed sin.
The biggest problem with being deceived is that you don’t know you’re doing harm. Mark Driscoll, James Dobson (Focus on the Family), and all of the other Christian pastors who keep pushing Churchianity — with women or women’s feelings as the decider of what is “love” or “how they need to be served” — simply are deceived. They think they are doing what is good, but they are not doing what is good.
The trouble is that most people who would consider themselves Christians believe that the message they preach is true. This is the insidious nature of deception. It is worse because it sounds like the truth but is in actuality a lie. The Scriptures are bent from the full truth to a half truth. This is why Jesus railed vehemently against the Pharisee’s: it is blind men leading other blind men into a pit. This is what happened to Eve in the garden.
Alternatively, when you knowingly commit sin at least you know you are committing sin. You know there will be consequences. This is the choice that Adam made in the garden.
Now, this is not to say that men are never deceived. It is quite clear from Churchianity that many male pastors are deceived. This is not to say that women are always the ones being deceived as that is clearly not true either. However, I think it likely indicates that women may be more prone to being deceived than men. If I had to make a guess given what we know of Churchianity’s alias — the cult of nice — I would say this is due to the more emotional nature of women.
Biological realities tend to lie on a continuum. For example, the average male is about 5’9″ whereas the average female is about 5’5″ the last time I checked. This means that the majority of men will be on average taller than the majority of women. However, there will obviously be some women who are taller than the majority of men (and they will end up playing in the WNBA) just as there will be some men shorter than the average women.
Likewise, the preference for emotional and logical thinking also lies on a similar continuum. I read some research a couple months ago that stated that a man has to be emotional in the 85th percentile to be emotional as the average woman.
This was the general point I was attempting to make when I wrote my since revoked post on “men are logical and women are emotional.” It’s not so much that you’re one or the other, but there is definitely a continuum present in biology for a great many things. Height, sex drive, skin color, disposition, and many other traits that depend on multiple factors are just one. Even in the few differentiating one or the other splits such as sex there are exceptions such as hermaphrodites.
In any case, whether my reasoning above is true or not the reason doesn’t really matter. The Scriptures state that the authoritative structure is this way because of the creation order as well as the deception of the women. At the very least we must take that at face value as difficult as that may be for some to accept. I’m not uncomfortable, embarrassed, or ashamed of that anymore.
- Let us not be afraid to speak of what is Good. The Scriptures speak of what is Good. We should not be uncomfortable, ashamed, or embarrassed of them.
If we are uncomfortable, ashamed, or embarrassed of them that is the same as denying Jesus before men. I don’t particular want Jesus to deny me before the Father, so let us strive to do what is right by boldly proclaiming His truth.
- The deception is real in Christianity today. Both men and women are included in this deception.
I’m not sure how to fix this other than to perhaps bring up the Scriptures above more readily when I talk to other Christians, but we need to realize that this is the case where many are living in this deception. This is the reason I always speak on boldness and fearlessness aside from the fact that it is espoused in the Scriptures. We need to stand firm on the rock.
Most Christians are going to want to avoid what is uncomfortable, embarrassing, or what they feel ashamed of, and so we need to encourage them not to do that. We need to at the very least tell them, so they have that chance to open their eyes to the truth. Whether they take it or not is up to them and their choice.