Monday, September 21, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: DIVINE DESIGN: God's Complimentary Roles for Men and Women by John MacArthur Jr.

This book was one of many resources obtained free through my Bible study software, Olive Tree. I've had these books for several years now, and haven't taken the time to read them. My goal is to get through them, some of them rather short, by the end of the year -- in alphabetical order as they appear in the index of the software.

Ever pick up a book, suspecting you were going to argue with the author or at least get uncomfortable reading his arguments? This is one of them. MacArthur confronts some of the problems we have in the church today, pointing out the infiltration of poison, weakness, heresy and other types of attacks which are the many weapons of Satan to destroy the church, destroy our witness, and make us ineffective, destroy the salvation message, make us look like idiots in the world. And thanks to the feminist movement, make us look like sexist bigots on top of it. Oh, heaven forbid we should be sexists. Get a clue: men and women ARE constructed differently and have different minds and different abilities and different responses to the world. They are made to work in HARMONY, not unison. Like, duh!

There were places I did argue with him, but he brings out scripture and looks at what it says, rather than doing what so many teachers on both sides of the issue do, and decide what they WANT scripture to say, and then twist and ignore and rewrite and add to what's there. I read a review of one of my books and I was horrified when the reviewer made reference to events that weren't even in the book. Obviously she had been thinking of someone else's book, or decided she wanted those scenes in there, and she was going to act like they were ... yes, weird. But isn't that what so many people nowadays are doing to the Bible? They chop out what doesn't fit how they want God to be, and use the rest of scripture as a weapon to dominate and attack and browbeat anyone who disagrees.

I had to rethink some of my ideas about women's roles and men's roles in the church, but found some clarification. There are many roles men and women can both fill OUTSIDE the church. There's nothing wrong with women writing books and teaching, and speaking at crusades and revivals -- but those aren't worship services, those aren't part of the regular church structure. They're special events.

Here's how I see it: women have stepped into leadership roles in the church and replaced men for TWO reasons: first, the men have wimped out, gotten lazy, and put their own desires first, so that there is a vacuum in the church leadership. And second, men have used the Bible as a weapon (ignoring their responsibilities and focusing on their authority) to crush women and abuse them, so women have fought back. Hey, if England had treated the Colonies properly instead of being abusive and greedy and dictatorial, there wouldn't have been the American Revolution. Like, duh!

If men follow the example of Christ as they fulfill their responsibilities in the leadership of the church, then women won't have any problem acting as the Bride of Christ.

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