Our world is confused about women. It’s confused about men, too, but I’ve only got so many words here, so forgive me for narrowing my focus. Our world believes that being a woman is so flexible, so all-encompassing, so completely unbounded that even a man can do it.
And while that may sound liberating at first blush, it is the worst kind of freedom for creatures who have been made male and female. It is the kind of liberation that would tell a turtle it’s free to fly while launching them off a rooftop or tell a seagull it’s free to swim after clipping its wings and tossing it in the ocean. It is the sort of freedom that puts the welcome mat out at Hell’s gate and says, this is open to you, you’re free to come inside! The terror is all-inclusive. It’s a ruse that ends in catastrophe.
But it’s a ruse that the church is equipped to unmask, if she would hold fast the confession of her faith and keep her bearings in the Word of God.
How does this unmasking come about? By joining the supernatural and the natural so that they are harmonious—one song with different parts.
Think with me. Without Christ and the Gospel, we are dead in our sins and enemies of God. It takes a supernatural act of God to make us alive and give us new hearts that will actually receive with joy that, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). It also takes a supernatural act of God to make us willing and grateful to be what he made us naturally—that is, human––male or female (Gen 1:27). In our flesh, without the superintending of his Spirit, we reject our natural, created state and opt to be self-makers (Rom 1:25)—whether in obvious, vast, and horrific ways (like body-mutilation and elective sterility) or by a thousand subtle pinpricks of smallish discontent (like claiming we were made for more than being a mere woman).
Without receiving Christ’s death and resurrection on our behalf we are people who know what we ought to be, because of the testimony of the creation––the testimony of our own bodies even–but we are powerless to be what we ought. Without the banner of “Jesus is Lord” flying over our lives, we come to Genesis 1–2 and the whole thing is quite hopeless. “God created man in his own image…male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27)—and just how are we supposed to live that out? We cannot receive it as we ought without faith, because we cannot be truly human—male and female—without the stand-in of the only truly human person to ever walk the earth, Jesus of Nazareth, being it for us.
In other words, we cannot receive the supernatural gift of new birth in Christ without a supernatural work of God, and we cannot receive the natural gift of life in a given body that’s male or female as we ought to without a supernatural work of God. We need him to be able to see everything—even our bodies and our gender—as from him, through him, and to him (Rom 11:26). It is all, both natural and supernatural, for his glory. And it is also, according to the Creator, “very good” (Gen 1:31).
We uncover the ruse that says a woman can be anything and everything by showing that in so declaring, she’s been made into nothing. Then we share the Good News that God can work with nothing. It’s his specialty. There is no sin too deep, no action too irreversible that he cannot redeem. This is the message that we have been sent to share with the whole creation (Col 1:23). When the world deconstructs maleness and femaleness so that they collapse in on each other, we must deconstruct their deconstruction—which is to say, we must rebuild everything on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ.
That’s why I value Bethlehem College and Seminary and why I’m investing every spare nook and cranny of my time and energy to the program that I’m apart of: the Master of Arts in Exegesis and Theology that meets once a week in the evening. Because the work of the ministry has been given to the saints—the body of Christ. It’s our job, duty, privilege, and honor to unmask the lies of the evil one that have permeated our world and offer everyone the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t know any better place to be equipped for that job.
- Pray that God and his Word would not just be known and understood, but loved, feared, honored, and cherished in the deep parts of our hearts and lives.
- Pray that God would do whatever it takes to keep every student and faculty member humble and reliant on him as the giver of every good gift.
- Pray that God would give us the wisdom, courage, and insight to unmask the lies of the evil one and to open the curtains wide, so that the light of Christ would shine brightly into every part of our church and world.
- Pray that God would continue to provide for the Serious Joy Scholarship.
- Pray for our students and faculty as they begin the spring semester on Monday.
- Pray for our conference for pastors and church leaders, that it would be edifying and refreshing.