Take Courage and Stand Strong In Your Faith

  • Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  • From Chapter 6 of Men and Women: Equal Yet Different by Alexander Strauch
    "I’m sure glad we took the time to study the Scriptures together," Tom comments. "I didn’t realize how much the Bible says about gender. I didn’t know how clear it is about this subject. That’s what has impressed me the most." "Tom, let me repeat what I’ve been saying all along. If the Bible is allowed to speak for itself, it plainly teaches that God created men and women equal in His divine image but different in their respective role functions. One has to twist the Scriptures to eliminate gender role differences from the Bible."

    "You’re right, but people believe in gender equality so strongly that they won’t accept role differences no matter who says it." "
    I know! We’re standing against a worldwide wave of opinion."
    "It’s tough to stand against the tide," Tom says.
    "True, but we’ve been called to be faithful to Jesus Christ and His Word, not to popular opinion."
    "Pray that I’ll have the courage to stand for what I believe."
    "I will. Here are some final thoughts to encourage and strengthen your faith."

    First, if you believe God created men and women as equal yet different, you stand firmly on sound, honest biblical scholarship. You are faithful to the biblical record. You allow God to speak for Himself and the Bible to say what it means. You protect the Bible’s credibility to speak plainly. You believe what God’s people have believed since the beginning of human history. You follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and His holy apostles. So be encouraged. "Heaven and earth will pass away," Jesus said, "but My words will not pass away" (Matt. 24:35).

    Second, some top evangelical, Bible-believing scholars are boldly speaking out against the unsound interpretive methods and conclusions of feminist scholars. They are producing exciting new books and journal articles that challenge feminist strongholds and confirm the truth that the Bible teaches headship and submission. If you are open-minded and seek biblical truth on gender, vital, new research information is now at hand for you to study. 1 So "be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15; italics added).

    Third, in spite of the overwhelming cultural pressure to obliterate God-created, gender-defined role differences, millions of local churches and Christian leaders worldwide adamantly refuse to bow the knee to the false idol of egalitarianism. They refuse to accept feminist notions of equality--not because they are wooden-headed literalists, blind traditionalists, or because they fear women--but because God says something different. They also recognize this debate for what it really is--spiritual warfare over the Creator’s sovereign design for marriage, the family, the church family, and godly manhood and womanhood:

    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12). Take courage from the strength, faithfulness, and uncompromising courage of your brothers and sisters to follow the Word of the Lord, and to be truly counter-cultural.

    Fourth, those who follow God’s blueprint for marriage will build happier, stronger marriages, and their children will benefit. Those who know God’s plan for marriage and the sexes can help protect their families from a secularized culture that is super-saturated with rebellion against God’s laws, with sexual promiscuity, with divorce, fatherlessness, lies, loneliness, and heartache. Furthermore, following God’s design for gender will help keep churches doctrinally strong and enable them to grow according to God’s plan. So, I say, as the Lord said to Joshua, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Josh 1:8).

    Fifth, complementarians will not give up appealing to our feminist brothers and sisters. Minds have been changed. Unlike secular and theologically liberal feminists, evangelical feminists believe God to be the author of Scripture, God’s book. This provides us substantial common ground on which to continue to communicate and persuade. Thus we want to appeal to our feminist brothers and sisters and warn you as friends. The best minds can be blinded by egalitarian philosophy that looks fair and just but contradicts the Creator’s decision to make people the way He has.

    Sixth, those who follow God’s plan for the sexes, marriage, and the church family glorify God. By following His plan, they allow God to be sovereign Lord over His creation. This brings God pleasure, and nothing is more important to a child of God than that.

    1 John Piper and Wayne Grudem, eds., Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism (Wheaton: Crossway, 1991); Mary A. Kassian, Women, Creation and the Fall (Westchester: Crossway, 1990); Wayne Grudem, "An Open Letter to Egalitarians," in Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 3:1 (March, 1998); Jack Cottrell, Gender Roles & The Bible: A Critique of Feminist Biblical Interpretation: Gender Roles and the Bible: Creation, the Fall, and Redemption (Joplin, Mo.: College Press Publishing Company, 1994); Wayne Grudem, "The Meaning Source Does Not Exist," Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 2:5 (Dec. 1997); Andreas J. Kostenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin, eds. Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995); S. M. Baugh, "The Apostle Among the Amazons: A Review Article," Westminster Theological Journal 56 (1994): 153-171.


  • Tuesday, May 29, 2007

  • We both enjoyed our time at May's Faith Family Forum. We appreciated both George's devotion and Deb's thoughts on the Biblical design for husbands and wives. We were challenged in several issues and affirmed in a few others. We were thankful that the Forum wanted to tackle this issue. The format allowed us to meet several Faithgoers who were at various stages in their lives and there was also time for fellowship with friends that we had known before the evening. Our time went by quickly as skits, music, and small group discussion time were all well planned and worthwhile. This evening was definitely worth the price of a babysitter.

    Keith & Karin Peters

    Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus

  • Thursday, May 24, 2007
  • This is a post I have taken from Thabiti Anayabile who has a tough pastoring assignment in the Grand Cayman Islands. ....

    I just had a Mars/Venus kind of experience with my wife and thought I'd share the laugh.Here's a simple illustration in how men and women (pardon the stereotypes) view money differently. My wife just walked into the office and asked, "Do you have any change?"I began to open the desk drawer for the cup of coins I keep there. Looking into the drawer, I ask, "How much?""Fifteen dollars," was her reply.Fellas, when did fifteen whole dollars become "change"? It's expensive living in Cayman... but my word! This helps to explain why when we're in the mall and I ask "do you have any money?" she always says "no." But then three stores later, she "finds" $20-40 (in her change purse) to purchase the blouse on sale. When I say, "I thought you didn't have any money?" She says, "You asked if I had money. Oh, that wasn't money." Apparently, being from Mars, I'm not dealing in big enough denominations! That was just "change"!I will have been married to my wife for 16 years on August 31st, Lord willing. And not until this moment did I realize how different our perspectives on money can be.We had a good laugh (and she gave me permission to post this). But from now on, I'm recalibrating my understanding of what "change" and "money" are. Anybody with me?


  • Friday, May 18, 2007
  • We had a fantastic time Friday night. It was so great to be in a room full of people who are serious about walking with God. We made new friends and enjoyed some old ones. Thank you to everyone who put this on. These things strengthen our faith. Our hearts are so encouraged to be in a church that is faithful to God's Word.”

    Pat and Cathy Ward


  • Thursday, May 17, 2007

  • What an encouraging evening!!! We had such a wonderful time, meeting new people, and building new friendships. It was good to hear straight from the Word! We needed to be reminded on what God has to say about what His desire for us is to be as men and women, how to better our relationship with each other, and how to walk closer with the Lord everyday! We left feeling strengthened to continue on in our battles in this life. Praise the Lord for this evening and Lord willing, we will see you next time!!

    Sean and Elena Downey


  • Saturday, May 12, 2007
  • Deb read from Female Piety by John Angell James.

    The greatest influence on earth, whether for good or for evil, is possessed by woman...Every woman, whether rich or poor, married or single, has a circle of influence within which, according to her character, she is exerting a certain amount of power for good or harm. Every woman, by her virtue or her vice, by her folly or her wisdom, by her levity or her dignity, is adding something to our national evelation or degradation.


  • "Why is there no respect for motherhood? Why does the West not value its women?" - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after the capture of the British Seaman among whom one was a mother of a 3-year old daughter.

    1. Do not love the world or the things of the world. The Biblical view does differ.
    James 4:4,5 “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: ‘He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us.”
    If you crave approval of the world, you will not find God’s plan for being a biblical man or woman.

    2. Men and women are equal in value and dignity
    Genesis 1:26, 27; “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 earth, and over every creeping thing the creeps on the earth.’ And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.
    We were created to be like God and represent God. Only man and woman are in His image and we share that status equally. Where the equality is taken away in this context, there ends up to be abuses based upon the biblical truth being denied. We are equal in value before God and men are not superior and women are not inferior.

    3. The model for equality and differences is found in the Triune Godhead
    “Let Us make man in Our image….male and female He created them.”
    Equality in person but different in function. Authority is not given to One because of ability or gift, but the Father has authority because He is the Father. Authority and submission between the Triune God is fundamental to their relationship.

    4. Equality and Differences are good
    Genesis 1:31, “and God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”We seem to fear the differences. It is a wise plan for God to implement this plan for it honors both men and women.

    5. Function for men and women is based upon the created order.
    I Corinthians 11:7,8 “For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.” What hinders us following God’s plan is sin. Starting in Genesis 3 as part of the curse, we would struggle. Women would “desire” or be aggressive toward their husband and husbands would rule, in a ungodly way, over their wives. But Christ became a curse for us so that we would begin to restore the created order. Colossians 3: 18, 19 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Do you see the contrast? Is your home representing the curse or is it representing the cross?


  • I was so encouraged last night at the Forum! 103 people showed up and I do not think anyone left disappointed even though the ice-cream cake was won by someone who attends Berean! Pastor Mike is calling for a review of our policy. Behind the scenes was the Forum Committee which is made up of Jenny Conklin, Leslie Engel, and Ryan Bliven. These guys are detailed and energized! Jerry put the in the sweat to set up the room by moving all the chairs off to the side and then setting up the tables. How about that MC – Tyler Engel. Do you suppose he makes the jury laugh as much as he does us in the courtroom? Rachel and Joshua Trexel warmed our hearts with their music. The product of hard work and disciplining themselves to the art of music for the glory of God. And once again the talents of Kevin Krausnick and Bill Wegrzyn who wrote the football huddle skit. Thanks to they guys who were in the skit and being the team. Put Friday July 13 on your calendar for the next Faith Family Forum. We promise we will continue to do better and Leslie is already thinking of what kind of ice-cream dessert would be great to serve you.


  • Thursday, May 10, 2007
  • This Friday night (May 11) is our second Faith Family Forum. We will begin at 7:30 sharp and another great night is planned. Don’t forget to bring your tickets so you will be eligible for the door prizes. We will have three different drawings for the evening. The Trexels will be providing music and you will be ministered to by the talent of this family. We have another hilarious skit which the group has been diligently practicing(no wrestling uniforms this time!) We also have an excellent dessert lined up for the sweet tooth and you will be joined by about 130 people who have signed up. Deb and I will be teaching about Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by introducing some of the questions we face as Christians in our culture and we have planned about 40 minutes of roundtable discussions on the topic. We trust everyone will leave with a sharpened focus to believe that our joy in being men and women is under the shield of God’s design. We also trust everyone will leave encouraged, refreshed by fellowship, and rejoicing in Christ our Savior.