Without question, the major battle right now in our culture is redefining gender roles. While this has been building for decades, we have arrived at the point that literally, everything gender related is being redefined. In one sense this is highly disturbing, but on another level it is not surprising at all. This complete flipping of the system is one of the final straws in the revelation that Western culture is a product of Greco-Roman paganism.
Most in the Hebrew roots movement already recognize and reject the pagan elements that have long been hidden within Christianity and have been sifted. But there is much more sifting to come, both for ourselves and our many brothers who are yet in the church system. We have not ‘arrived,’ rather we have simply answered the call in one area…. but, there is more if we are truly to submit ourselves to the whole counsel of God’s Word and seek the restoration of kol Israel.
While I could really chase a tangent about needing to walk in love and grace and cease arrogant assumption that we have all the answers, I’ll leave that up to the Ruach to work in our hearts. 😉
The specific topic I’d like to share a few thoughts on concerns God’s answer to the crazy gender fluid stream of garbage we are being force-fed by mainstream media in all forms as well as government programs, school agendas etc. Feminism has been on an open rampage, evident even in most churches and elements of Torahkeepers. Men are actively being emasculated and openly vilified.
Interestingly, even elements of secular culture recognize how upside-down this is evidenced by the growing number of men who are simply rejecting everything related to culture and women and embracing the MGTOW (pronounced ‘mig-tow’) Movement. A quick internet search will turn up piles of material related to men declaring themselves self-sovereign and rejecting everything related to feminism and any female related commitment. Basically, selfish withdrawal, emerging only to use women for what they want/need and withdrawing to self-centered selfishness.
Demonstrably unBiblical, MGTOW is the wrong response to the flood of attacks leveled against men. (I don’t agree with everything on that site, but the lion’s share is great reading and thought provoking material considering Scripture and gender roles.)
So, what is the proper response from those who claim Scripture as their foundation and guiding principle? If God is right and righteous, how then do we live and act? What are the proper roles, responsibilities and interactions of the sexes?
From Genesis 1 right through Revelation 22, we have clear and direct instruction concerning God’s design for men, women and their interaction. Intensely unpopular because it chafes against our sin nature, we must dig into the Word and then submit ourselves to what it says and not tradition or culture. Women dislike most discussion on submission and men generally avoid the spine-requiring hard and unpopular seat of leadership. Yet, both problems are evidenced in Genesis 1 and 2 with God spelling out in His Word what HIS plan and expectations are.
Tom Shipley, in his excellent book, Man and Woman in Biblical Law, identifies six principles in the Creation account that establish God’s plan.
- Genesis 2:18 tells us that the woman was made “for (the man)”
- Genesis 2:21-23, which tells us that the woman was made from the man
- The temporal sequence of the creation of the man and woman
- Adam’s naming authority and his naming of woman, both in her generic and personal aspect
- God’s act of bringing the woman unto the man
- The name of ‘Adam’ itself. (Collectively, man and woman are referred to by the male gender and ‘in Adam’ however, such is never done with ‘Eve.)
From this point forward in Scripture, further details and supports are given to the headship of man and his role and responsibilities of man and woman toward each other and toward God. Patriarchy, from the Latin, pater, meaning ‘father’, is the very clear design for headship and structure from this point forward. God, evidenced from the very first letter in the Hebrew, is about building a house.
This pattern continues to unfold for us through Genesis as we see the, wait for it, Patriarchs, building houses… (For those unfamiliar with the term, ‘building a house’ is not about a structure, but about building a family, a progeny.) The concept is visible through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with the ‘house of Jacob’ being referred to throughout Scripture. We see as well the houses of Joseph, Israel, Judah, David, etc.
Simply, God’s way is patriarchy. Period. Ironically, even in Christian circles, that word and concept are largely unwelcome, evidencing the condition of man’s heart and chafing against Scriptural authority. Those who would be part of restored Israel, though, will believe in and walk out the concept or they will go the way of rebellious feminists, rejecting basic principles in God’s Word.
Keeping Torah, aka living Biblically, is more than keeping Shabbat, eating clean and observing feasts. It includes studying and accepting all of what the Father says regarding relationships between men and women and how marriage and family is to function. By implication, it means rejecting pagan and traditional influences and ideas contrary to what the Word says. Welcome to another sifter.
At its most basic, the Biblical marriage and family structure is a man and his woman (wife); she in submission to him, he in submission to God. Patriarchal. The man, in submission to God leads the woman and family. Our Father has much more
to say on the matter, a subject I dared to broach here. But be forewarned, what Scripture actually reveals about God’s ways is very challenging to our cultural and Greco-Roman Christian ideals.
The point is, as we look at the attack on gender and roles in the culture around us, how do we respond? We can acquiesce, or we can dig into Scripture and identify the fullness of what GOD says in His Word, embrace it and begin to walk it out as He leads. Which path we each choose determines whether we are sheep or goats; there is no luke-warm middle ground of ignoring the issue. Men, women, welcome to the sifter….