The conservative church has become focused on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.* Have you noticed that gender-role emphasis has seeped into sermons, doctrine (mainly the Trinity), kid’s Sunday school lessons, movie reviews and conferences? I admit it might just be my touchiness on the topic that keeps me tuned into its noise. But then I read the mission statement of the a fore-linked Council, and I know it is a purposeful movement with that very goal.
The vision of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is to see the vast majority of evangelical homes, churches, academic institutions, and other ministries adopt the principles of the Danvers Statement as a part of their personal convictions and doctrinal confessions and apply them in consistent, heart-felt practice. (http://www.cbmw.org/Our-Mission-and-Vision)
If I read this correctly, the goal of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) is to include gender roles in our Christian doctrine. Does this bother you?
I have been hesitant to tackle a post on the CBMW.
- Because I admire many men and women who’ve joined.
- Because I value unity in the body of believers.
- Because I realize my knowledge on the Bible and gender is still growing and I may be wrong.
- Because I do not trust my emotions, and I get angry reading CBMW literature.
- Because I am afraid of what people will say about me.
- Because I am ashamed of the CBMW and don’t want to call attention to them.
So, its complicated. But, boiled down to the kernel, I do not agree with the result that CBMW says that gender has on the gospel. Is the good news of Jesus Christ so insecure that we need to spell it out in terms of how I behave as a woman? The CBMW says yes.
…the evangelical community needs to be aware that this debate reaches ultimately to the heart of the gospel.
The advance of the Gospel is at stake.
Ephesians 5 calls husbands and wives to relate to one another as a picture of Christ and the church. The picture involves the humble, sacrificial leadership of the husband and the joyful, intelligent submission to that leadership by the wife. Husbands and wives who model this improperly portray a distorted and false picture of Jesus Christ, the Head and Savior of his bride, the church. Deviation from biblical teaching on manhood and womanhood hinders the advance of the gospel. (http://www.cbmw.org/Our-Mission-and-Vision)
The elevation of gender roles to the level of core doctrine is why I’m touchy. I believe the emphasis on men and women’s behavior as it relates to their gender, and not to the “law of love” as given to all genders, is a perversion of the freedom found in Christ.*I realize I’ll probably need a few disclaimers by linking to that site. 1) I enjoy many of the leaders, authors and teachers that are affiliated with the council. Just because they believe strongly on a different side of this topic than I, does not mean I discount everything else they support. I sift everyone. I don’t mind being sifted myself. 2) I need to pound this again…The Council members are godly. They know Jesus. They preach gospel. My goodness, they are the voice of today’s church! I think its okay to disagree on gender and still serve the same Lord. I’m not sure they would agree. 3)I realize I may sound schizophrenic on this topic, jumping back and forth in what may seem a haphazard fashion (read some older posts and you’ll see what I mean), but you are witnessing my journey. Its messy. As I always say, I reserve the right to change my mind! 😉