Well, let's open our Bibles to Titus chapter 2. In our study of the second chapter of Titus we are considering it under the title, "The character of a healthy church." In this chapter the apostle Paul gives instruction to the church as to how it is to conduct itself. He directs his instruction to older men, older women, younger women, younger men, selecting every category within the church and giving basically some direct and specific instruction to them.
This is very crucial to the life of the church, not only for its own internal well-being but for the sake of its witness. He says in verse 5 that this instruction is “so that the word of God may not be dishonored.” Verse 8, “so that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” And verse 10, “so that we may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.” Those are evangelistic matters. We want the Word of God honored; we want the opponents of Christianity silenced; and we want God our Savior adorned. In order to do that, we have to conduct ourselves in a godly way. That means older men are to behave in a certain way, older women in a certain way, younger women and younger men in a certain way as well.
And so, as we're working our way through this chapter, we are looking at things that identify the character of a healthy church. Healthy internally and healthy in regard to its witness. The two go together - an unhealthy church internally will have an unhealthy witness. And so, it's very important for us to look at these practical instructions.
Now this morning we come to the instruction given to the younger women. Let's look at verses 3, 4 and 5. "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior and not malicious gossips, not enslaved to too much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored."
One of the responsibilities of the older women, which we noted when we discussed that, is that they are to teach the younger women. And here it is very specific what they are to teach, as indicated in verses 4 and 5. God has designed very clearly His own order for the conduct of young women, just as He has for young men and older folks as well. If there is anything in our culture that is being attacked more viciously than any other, it is this matter of the role of young women. In fact, if I were to title this message alone I might title it, "The feminist attack on the divine order for women." We're going through that right now. No matter what I would say about verses 4 and 5, it would be controversial; if I just read it, it would be controversial.
One of the most devastating and debilitating and destructive movements in our day is the Feminist Movement. It is changing not only the world, but sadly it is changing the church. And as a result, the Word of God is being dishonored, opponents are having plenty bad to say about us, and God, our Savior, is being dishonored and shamed. Radical feminism has brainwashed our culture. It has brainwashed our culture to the degree that even the church has fallen victim to this. Church leaders, theologians, professors of theology who are supposed to be profound in the Scripture, as well as lay people in the church, have bought the feminist lies. There is even an organization in America called CBE having to do with Christians for equality. And this is an evangelical group advocating a feminist agenda.
Marriage and the family, the primary building blocks of social and moral order, are in shambles in our country, and the future is even worse than the present. Unthinking Christians, unthinking believers - not just in liberal churches but in evangelical churches - unthinking, untaught Christians are falling prey to this agenda. And the sad thing is that most of us have no idea where it's coming from. Most of us think that this is just a lot of women who really just want some liberation and some freedom, and they're tired of cleaning floors and washing dishes, and they want equal pay, and they want equal jobs, and they want to get out from under the mundane duties and express themselves in more grandiose ways then they think they can in the home. That may be a contemporary component; that isn't even remotely related to the reason for this. The real feminist agenda is frightening. The real feminist agenda is satanic. And you need to understand that. So I'm going to do something this morning that is a bit unusual. Rather than diving right into the text this morning, I want to give you some understanding of where this movement today has come from so that you will see that text in its proper light.
What the public sees is women who want to be free. In fact, there's even a book published by a Christian publisher, written by a Christian woman, called Woman, Be Free. And we think that this is a movement about freedom for women, freedom from strictures that bind them to their husbands and their children and their duties in the home. We see it as a cry for equality in a society that is preoccupied with life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness - a cry for opportunity and privilege to use their abilities and their skills, unhindered and unrestricted. And sometimes the rhetoric does sound reasonable. But the real agenda is not reasonable; it is frightening.
Let me help you to understand some of the philosophy that is behind this movement by giving you some quotes from the recognized leaders of the Feminist Movement. Gloria Steinem, editor of Ms Magazine, says, quote: "By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God." Radical feminist leader Sheila Cronin, who is oft quoted by the way, says this, quote: "Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the Women's Movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage," end quote.
The Declaration of Feminism goes back to November of 1971 when they laid out their agenda, and this is what it says, quote: "The end of the institution of marriage is necessary for the liberation of women. Therefore, it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not live individually with men. All of history must be rewritten in terms of oppression of women. We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft," end quote. Mark that, “we must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft.”
Annie Laurie Gayler, writing an article called "Feminist Salvation," in the Humanist in 1988, says, quote: "Let's forget about the mythical Jesus and look for encouragement, solace, and inspiration from real women. Two thousand years of patriarchal rule under the shadow of the cross ought to be enough to turn women toward the feminist's salvation of the world," end quote.
Dr. Mary Jo Bain, feminist, assistant professor of education at Wellesly College, and the associate director of the School Center for Research on Women, writes, quote: "In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them," end quote.
And that well-known name Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, writing an article called "Women in the New Race," says this, quote: "The most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it," end quote.
We cannot think lightly about this agenda; we have to think deeply about it. The fact that you may feel in your heart some need to be free because you've become victimized by the current agenda doesn't mean you really understand the agenda. You don't know that behind this entire Feminist Movement is some very satanic religious philosophy, and it runs very deep in the people who are influencing our culture. They are obliterating our culture. They are being taught through every avenue to our youth, and even Christians are falling under the spell of the feminists.
Sheila Cronin, again, writing in the National Organization of [for] Women Times, in January 1988, said, "The simple fact is every woman must be willing to be recognized as a lesbian to be fully feminine," end quote.
Now some people might think that this is some kind of a twentieth-century phenomenon; this is some kind of a new thing connected to American democracy and egalitarianism - it is not. It is old; it is very, very old. So in our time, in our century, it is an expression of the anti-male, homosexual women who generated it. It is not a human creation at all; it is satanic, absolutely and utterly satanic. And I want to take you back to some of its origins so that you can understand it.
Feminism with all of its assorted features and its unique companionship with homosexuality is an old, old heresy that is meant to destroy God's design. It really started in the Garden when Eve, the original feminist, stepped out from under Adam's authority and thought she would act independently and led the whole race into sin. And thus the first act in Satan's feminist agenda was successful.
But let's just go back say to the time of the New Testament. We won't go all the way back into ancient, ancient time; we can learn enough by going back into New Testament times.
When we get back into the time of the New Testament, before the New Testament, running through the New Testament and after, we have a religion that is generally known as Gnosticism, Gnosticism - g-n-o-s - Gnosticism. And it comes from a Greek word gnosis, which means “to know.” Gnosticism was the religion, the mystical religion, of superior knowledge. You could experience mystical, intuitive, spiritual knowledge which was higher than the Bible - that was the whole point of it. It was an anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-biblical religion designed by Satan to lure people away from Scripture.
What you see today in the feminist agenda is a repackaging, a reincarnation, of ancient Gnosticism. In fact, the parallels are very striking. Peter Jones, writing in his book, says, "Gnosticism is a broad term to describe false, anti-God religion, developed before the birth of Christ as the meeting of the mysticism of the Eastern religions and the rationalism of the Greek West," end quote. That's just a broad definition. Gnosticism took Greek rationalism - that is the musings and the mind of man - and Eastern mysticism - those intuitive, esoteric, fanciful, imaginatory experiences that mystics supposedly have - and wed them together and said this is the higher knowledge; this is the lofty knowledge; this is a superior knowledge. The Bible is mundane, earthy, common, and wrong.
It's very hard to pin down specifics in the Gnostic religion because it's a kaleidoscopic mixture of all kinds of mystical things. And any time you have a mystical religion it’s somewhat amorphous or shapeless because it tends to ebb and flow in the minds and the imaginations of its adherents. Today, Gnostic religion is called the New Age philosophy, but it's Gnosticism - it's the same thing. It's a new kind of mystical, higher level of knowledge that supposedly shows the weakness, the mundane character of biblical Christianity.
Now let's look at Gnosticism and get some idea of what it is. The best way to define it is by what it attacked, rather than what it is, because as I said, it's so amorphous, it's so subject to imagination and intuition that it can spin off in all kinds of ways. But the one thing you do see in Gnosticism is that it continually blasts everything the Scripture affirms. So you can know it by what it attacks.
At the heart of ancient Gnosticism was a central myth, and that central myth drove the whole heresy. Here is that myth. The myth was that the physical universe was never intended to exist, that the physical universe was never intended to exist. It's part of that old Greek dualism that matter is evil and spirit is good - that the idea was we were all supposed to be free spirits, and free spirits with full self-knowledge would be divine. And we were just supposed to float around in the mystical, free world of spirit life, unencumbered and uninhibited by physical definition and confinement.
But, the physical universe came into being. And it came into being, they said, because a foolish sub-god - they call him a demiurge - a sub-god, the foolish sub-god of the Bible did a stupid thing and He created the universe. If you read ancient Gnostic literature you will see they attack the Creator God, they mock Him, they disdain Him with a disdain that even has components of hatred in it. They hate the Creator God who made matter, because to them matter was evil and it becomes the prison of the free, floating spirit.
According to one recently discovered Gnostic text, God the Creator is presented as blind, ignorant, arrogant, the source of envy, and they call Him the Father of death. That's the God of the Bible, the Creator God. Creation, they say, was done by this sub-god; they call Him a bungling, created being. This sub-god - this bungling, egotistical, stupid God, this impostor masquerading as if He were the true God - created as an act of pride because He wanted it for His own glory. And when you look at the Bible, what you're seeing is not the true God who created for a positive purpose, but this sub-god - for His own selfish reasons created something out of His own stupidity that has been a blight on the world. So you start out, then, with the fact that the God of the Bible is stupid, blind and wicked and self-centered, and that His creation is a big mistake.
Gnostics believe that this fake God somehow - and they have to believe this or their whole thing would fall apart - this fake God somehow, when He created the universe, accidentally infused into humanity some spark of divine life. They'd have to say that or they would have no way to fan the spark of divine life that they want to believe is in them. So that man is divine - there's a little component of divinity in him which he needs to fan until it just consumes him and he becomes fully divine. But here is this man with a divine spark, or this woman with a divine spark, imprisoned in evil matter; and he has to find, or she has to find, a way of escape. The Gnostics taught there's no such thing as sin, because there's no such thing as right or wrong in the human realm. Therefore there's no need for a savior, there's no need for a death on the cross, there's no need for an atonement. What they needed to do to be saved was - listen to this - throw off the God of the Old Testament, this evil God; throw off the God of the New Testament with all of His laws and all of His threats and all of His so-called punishment. Throw off the whole Old and the whole New Testament and free yourself from the encumbering of this sub-god, this bungling Creator who did what He never should have done and created a prison for us in doing it. So, you can see that the first tenet of their system was a blasphemy against God - calling God evil, bungling, ignorant.
They also had some things in their system that attacked Christ, and I'll mention those in a moment. Of course they had to attack Christ, too, because that's what Satan wants to do, and the system did that. But before I look at that, the system also included - listen to this - lies that elevated women. Ancient Gnosticism focused on women. This is what it said, for example, "Eve was a spirit-endowed woman who saved Adam." You say, "Well the Bible doesn't say that." Of course the Bible doesn't say that, because the Bible isn't telling you the truth.
They said, "Final salvation for the whole world from the imprisonment of matter will come through female power." And the key is, "Female self-actualization, self-realization, self- knowledge in which a woman becomes so fully in tune with herself and so well knows herself and actualizes and realizes and fulfills herself that she becomes fully divine, and as she becomes divine she will rescue the rest of these lame men, just like Eve, fully divine, rescued poor Adam."
In fact, convoluting the creation account, Gnostic texts tell us that Dame Wisdom was the heavenly Eve. There was a mystical, heavenly woman named the heavenly Eve who is the same as Dame Wisdom - she's the source of all wisdom. She entered the snake in the Garden, and she taught both Adam and Eve the true way of salvation. The snake, then, is not called the tempter. The snake in Gnostic literature is the instructor. The snake is ultimate wisdom. The snake was wiser than anybody else. The snake, it says in Gnostic literature, is the redeemer because the snake is the incarnated woman who comes the heavenly Eve and teaches the truth about self-realization, which is self- fulfillment, which is making yourself divine, which delivers you from being encumbered by matter. They also say this: “the serpent in the Garden is the true Christ, the true reflection of God.”
So, they take redemptive history and stand it on its head like a satanist cross in a black mass. God is evil. The serpent in the Garden is the true Christ. Christ in the New Testament, the reflection of God, is equally evil. And He's not the true Christ because the true Christ, the true Christ's spirit, is in the snake, is the Dame Wisdom.
Now again I say, it's hard to pin all this stuff down. It's mystical stuff. But you can see, not so much by what it is, the clarity of it, but by what it attacks, right? It attacks God, Christ, the Bible, creation. Though caught in matter, they say - the Gnostics - humanity once again can become part of the universal whole by a process of self-realization. They say in the book of Genesis itself, "The lack of self-realization is really the problem that man has." And the Bible says man's problem is sin, sin. And that the root of his sin is his self- preoccupation. So they flip that completely around.
So the heart and core of Gnostic religion, then, is the consubstantiality of self with God. You make yourself into God. You're the only God that exists. You get in tune with yourself, you elevate yourself - self-esteem, self-knowledge, self- actualization, self-realization, self-fulfillment - whatever your self wants, that's how you become God. You just give complete sway to your own self desire. So the human plight is not because we have moral offenses against God, but we are ignorant of human potential.
Listen to this. They say that the obedience that led Jesus Christ to the cross has no significance. In fact, there was some man named Jesus who died on a cross, but that's all the stupid Christians know about it. What they don't know, according to Gnostic writing, is that the real Christ, the real Christ's spirit, actually sat on the branch of a tree watching the Christ on the cross and laughed at Him. Let me read you from the Apocalypse of Peter, one of their ancient documents.
This is from that Apocalypse: "He whom you saw on the tree glad and laughing, this is the living Jesus. But the one in whose hands and feet they drive the nails is the fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame, the one who came into being in His likeness. Be strong for you are the one to whom these mysteries have been given, to know them through revelation that He whom they crucified is the firstborn, and the home of demons. And He who stands near Him is the living Savior."
The earthly Christ is a demon. The spiritual, mystical Christ, in the tree laughing, is the true Christ. Further, they said, "Since the true Christ never died, there's no resurrection. Redemption, then, is not a gracious, miraculous transformation of a person through the sacrifice of Christ; redemption is self- understanding, self-actualization, that is, giving sway to anything your self wants." Getting out of the strictures, getting out of the limits, getting out of the prison, being free.
Peter Jones writes that “the Gnostic believers are saved when they realize who they are, a part of the divine, possessing within themselves the kingdom, capable of anything, untrammeled by human traditions, creational structures or divine laws. It follows that part of self-redemption is the rejection of biblical, ethical norms and the promotion of the distortion of biblical sexuality," end quote. In fact, they say that when a person comes to full self-knowledge, he becomes another living Christ. And since the serpent had that knowledge, the serpent who was the woman is also the living - the true living Christ. Everything twisted, perverted.
Gnosticism is the blasphemy of satanic distortion of God's truth. The Bible says God is a good God, and He is the sovereign God. The Gnostics denied it and blasphemed His name. The Bible says Christ is the living God, incarnate in flesh. The Gnostics blasted it, blasphemed His name. The Bible says the snake was a tempter. They say the snake is wisdom personified, who is the instructor. The Bible says Jesus died on a cross for your sins. The Gnostics say the Jesus that died on the cross was a joke. Obviously this is Satan's lying heresy to confound God's truth - this blasphemous stuff the apostle Paul wrote against even in his epistles in the New Testament. It is the doctrine of demons from seducing spirits. This wasn't invented by Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug; this was invented in the pits of hell, millennia ago.
Now to the very central element in this, and that's the issue of feminism. What role did feminism play in Gnosticism? Well, it played a very, very important role. As I told you already, Eve was the savior of Adam, and furthermore the spiritual or heavenly Eve was the personification of wisdom in the serpent who became the instructor. And by thus his instruction sets out to save men.
But let's take a look at some other things. In the Gnostic system, Eve dominates Adam and sexual roles are totally altered. And you can understand this because, you see, Satan wants to totally tear up God's created order. They wrote, the early Gnostics did, that the divine revealer was feminine. The divine revealer says, let me quote, "I am androgynous. I am both mother and father since I copulate with myself. I copulate with myself and with those who love me, and it is through me alone that the all stands firm. I am the womb that gives shape to the all by giving birth to the light that shines in splendor. I am the eon to come. I am the fulfillment of the all, that is, the glory of the mother."
Now all of that double talk is the talk of the androgyny of Gnosticism. That means the wiping out of all sexual distinction. There are Gnostic texts where God the Creator is castigated by a higher feminine power, and that's that heavenly Eve called Sophia, Dame Wisdom. And God the Creator, the Gnostic said, God that sub-god demiurge who stupidly created everything, finally learned the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. In other words, He learned to fear the feminine Sophia, so that the God of the Bible is now in fear of the feminine god Sophia. The feminization then of this higher god, Wisdom, led directly to the ordination of women. The ordination of women flows out of the feminization of deity.
The early Gnostic, well-known to church history students, named Marcion was excommunicated from the church in A.D. 150. He then established his own church in which he appointed women as bishops and priests. In the Valentinian Gnosticism, women functioned as teachers, evangelists, healers, priests, perhaps as bishops. This movement in the church to put women into roles of spiritual leadership is simply reflective of this same kind of religious attitude.
In sum, Gnosticism then rejects the Creator God of Scripture as blind and envious and malicious, not hesitating to commit the most heinous blasphemy of all. The Gnostics even called the God of the Bible the true devil. For the true Gnostic, the real God, whoever this force was, was unknowable, impersonal, untouchable, some kind of unified sum of separated parts, a sort of pantheistic force. But they said this, "The divine being, because he is all in all impersonal, untouchable, just this big force, is best expressed by androgyny, that is the erasure of male and female distinctions." The ideal for the Gnostic was to become sexless, a radical refusal of sexual differentiation and a complete confusion of sexual identity in God's intended role.
See, this is how Satan has always tried to tear up God's moral order in the world. And attacking the family, of course, does the greatest damage. The diabolical reversal of everything is Satan's approach. Destroy God's created order, destroy the integrity of Scripture, destroy the character of God, destroy the name of Christ. And, beloved, I'm telling you this is what is behind today's Feminist Movement. This is not some whimsical deal that popped up in the twentieth century by a few women who wanted to take off the apron and buy a briefcase. This is not that. This is not something that was invented by women who wanted to abort their babies and get into the corporate halls and the executive washrooms. This New Age thinking, that's what it's called today, is nothing but Gnosticism. New Age is a new way of talking about age-old Gnosticism. And the heart of it is that female power is the key to salvation. The goddess cult is back.
Shirley MacLaine, certainly not clever enough to have invented all of this but not clever enough to have avoided becoming a stooge for Satan, wrote a book called Going Within, and in her book she writes this dedication: "Dedicated to Satche, Mother, Kathleen and Bella and all the other women and men who seek the spiritual feminine in themselves." Male is matter; matter is male; matter is evil, male is evil. Feminine is spirit; feminine is spirit; spirit is feminine; and that's good.
By the way, if you look at Hinduism you see where some of this stuff comes from because the savior in Hinduism is a goddess. Radical feminism today is being moved along by the idea that women must be liberated, and they can redeem humanity, they can save humanity. These are the philosophers that are driving the movement, the religionists. The Creator God of Genesis, the foolish sub-god, has to go. He is male, tyrannical; He denies basic human liberties; He demands total obedience; He threatens punishment for evil deeds. Consequently original sin is not to be found in man, they said, but in God. And we've got to get rid of this sinning God. Feminist liberation releases us from God and from all His evil, male values like marriage, fidelity, family, authority, morality. The serpent Eve wants to set us free, and the God of the Bible is a jealous tyrant who wants to stand in her way.
So when you hear about the Methodists or the Presbyterians or whoever - the Episcopalians - deciding to change the Bible and put in "she," you know that this is not some human contrivance to make ladies feel better about themselves. This is a satanic religion, as satanic as a black mass.
And, as with ancient Gnosticism - the New Age Movement today - the goal of liberation is total reversal of all God-ordained values. That's why it's so unthinkable that Christians would get sucked into this.
"I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely," said Roman Catholic theologian Carol Crist. "I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely." There you have in one simple statement the whole deal. Where is God? In myself. What is God? Feminine, and I am one with God. And she found God in herself with liberation from all biblical constraint.
The path to the New Age involves destroying the biblical male-female differentiation. That's New Age feminism. Take, for example, New Age author Charlene Spretnak's book The Politics of Women's Spirituality, published by Doubleday - by the way, the same publisher that published the Anchor Bible Commentary series. They're publishing God's Word and Satan's at the same time. This book, The Politics of Women's Spirituality, is a book that calls for an end to Judeo-Christian religion and the call is that we will end Judeo-Christian religion by a feminist movement nourished on goddess worship, paganism, and witchcraft that succeeds in overthrowing the global rule of men. Feminism wants revenge. They want blood.
Their real ideological goal, because it's Satan's goal, is to absolutely erase any recollection of creational structure and biblical morality. Wipe it out! And they're after it. You wonder, don't you, two generations from now whether anybody will know what biblical morality is? Oh, they might be able to read the ancient Bible and see what it looked like, but they certainly are going to have a hard time looking around town to find it. And here witless Christians jump on this feminist bandwagon as if it was some harmless thing. "Well, we have a right to work, and we shouldn't be confined at home - and I have a right to express fully myself, and” - silly women who fall prey and silly men who do as well.
George Gilder is a prominent writer. He makes no claim to be a Christian, but he does understand the agenda. He was once a feminist thinker, but since 1973 he has realized what their agenda is and he's written about it. This is what he says: "The revolutionary members of the Women's Movement say that our sexual relationships are fundamental to all our other institutions and activities. If one could profoundly change the relations between the sexes, they contend, one could radically and unrecognizably transform the society," end quote. Dead right. The satanic agenda is to destroy human society, to just rip the family to shreds and destroy marriage so that God has no means to pass righteousness from one generation to the next, right? Which was always the role of the family. There's no moral order maintained in society. There are no ethical values left. And the way you do that is sexually. You just shred all standard norms sexually so nobody knows how anybody is supposed to be related to anybody, but everybody is free to do whatever they want to do and that's how they become divine.
Gilder rightly affirms that, quote: "Sexuality is not simply a matter of games people play, it is one of the few matters truly of life and death to society." He warns that if the feminist agenda, even its most moderate version, is carried through, quote: "Our society is doomed to years of demoralization and anarchy, possibly ending in a police state," end quote.
Our society is doing exactly what I told you in Romans 1 - happens to a society when God gives them over. What does it say God gave them over? And what did they do? Women with women doing things that aren't even imaginable, and men with men doing things that aren't imaginable. That's what happens to a society under God's wrath. God lets them go, and they're going the way of the satanic lies. Playing right into the hands of satanic lies is our own government. Working hard, aren't they? What are they working hard? Our government, the government of the United States, the state of California, the city of Los Angeles, are doing everything they can do to eliminate all gender differences. That is not an issue of constitutional liberty. That is an issue of satanic religion.
And that is Hillary's agenda, by the way, in case you haven't noticed. Homosexuality is the companion of feminism because of androgyny. Homosexuality running rampant - no society can survive that. The Roman Empire didn't survive it. This entire system is going right into the pit, tearing up God's order sexually, tearing up families, tearing up marriage, blaspheming God, blaspheming Christ, exalting the serpent. I read one book this week where a man suggested the Antichrist might be a woman if we keep going the way we're going. Satan is very successful with this. Al Gore has written a book called Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. Peter Jones writes about that book, "Gore's involvement in ecology is an expression of his belief in the connectedness of all things, in the great value of all religious faiths, and in his hope that ancient, pagan, goddess worship will help bring us planetary and personal salvation." It's inconceivable that these people call themselves Baptists. No, it's not inconceivable. Undiscerning Christians falling victim to these hellish heresies; the destruction is not restrained by the church - the church has joined it.
There is no doubt about what a woman's role is; there's no doubt what a man's role is. Look at our text again. What has God designed for a woman? Verse 4, "To love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored." That's very clear. You can get in a lot of trouble by suggesting that kind of stuff. Try standing up in this culture and saying, "Women, you're commanded to love your husband and to love your children and to work at home and to be subject to your husband." You'll get screamed down. I mean, you can be in deep trouble just reading that, let alone commenting on it.
It's been amazing since people knew I was approaching this text, they've been telling me, "What are you going to say about this? This is going to be very controversial. Boy, we can't wait till these tapes come out. What's going to happen then?" Well, just to mitigate that a little bit, I've said what I've said this morning, so that if you get upset you know whose side you're on. God has laid out His standards. They're not negotiable. And I'll tell you this, if the church doesn't wake up soon and obey the Word of God, all is lost. We don't need to fall victim to this stuff. You don't need a master's degree to figure out what it means to love your husband, love your children, and work at home. How hard is that? By the way, there are no qualifiers there, no caveats, no footnotes. It's just what it says. Go home, submit to your husband, have children, raise them in godliness, take care of your house. And that's what older women are to teach younger women. They're to teach it not only with their mouth; they're to teach it with their life.
I'm telling you, what I said a few weeks ago now is becoming so vividly true. We are living in Romans 1, aren't we? What's wrong with America? God's wrath is wrong with America. God's let us go, and we're plunging down the path, and the evidence of it is this reversal of sexual roles that Paul talked about in Romans chapter 1, verse 26.
You need to know this because you need to understand what it is we're dealing with. This is part of the warning responsibility that the shepherd has. Now next week I want to go through the specifics of the text - not that they're hard to understand, but just to enrich them a little bit and perhaps make them indelible in your mind. Now, ladies, I want you to come next week. Gentlemen, you come too.
Father, we come to You this morning, and we have been through some very frightening thoughts. We should have known. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world's spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies.” We're not just fooling around with human philosophies. This stuff is doctrines of demons, from seducing spirits coming through hypocritical liars. We must know that Satan is the arch-blasphemer, and that more than anything he wants to blaspheme you and blaspheme Christ and blaspheme Scripture. And so we're not surprised to look at a philosophy that is the inversion of everything You are, everything Christ is, everything Scripture says.
Father, help us not to become conformed to this world, pressed into the world's mold, sucked into its heretical thinking. Help us, Lord, to obey You. Help the women of our church and the men to be all that You've designed them to be. Help us to preserve righteousness in godly marriages and godly families, to be a restraining influence in a culture plunging down the precipice to judgment.
And, Lord, we know that this is essential for the internal blessedness of the church and the external testimony as well. We shall not know joy and blessing and fulfillment if we don't live by Your standards - nor will we have a witness in the world. We must live as You've prescribed or we cannot honor Your Word, we cannot silence the critics, we cannot adorn the teaching that God is a saving God.
So, Lord, we ask that You would call Your church - not just this church, but Your church - back to a biblical understanding of the role of women that we might be faithful. And, Lord, I pray for every dear woman who is here who belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ, that she might be in her own heart willing to bring everything, as it were, before Your throne and seek that You would make her the woman that she should be. For every man I pray the same, that we might know the joy of obedience and that we might have the privilege of an effective witness. And forgive us, Lord, for our many failures to be the people You want us to be, to display Your glory and Your power. In our Savior's name we ask. Amen.
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