It’s been a few weeks now, but one morning last winter you awoke not feeling your usual perky self. You felt listless and unenergetic – you woke up tired – but not your usual tired – this was different. You didn’t have any appetite for breakfast and then later in the day you felt unusually warm. You had a tickle in your throat; you sneezed a few times; you were inexplicably irritable. Initially without your knowledge, there was a war going on inside your body. Some sort of infection had crept into your lungs and from there it spread into your blood stream. At some point your body reacted by sending out its army of defense, once again testifying to the marvelous creative design of the Almighty God. When you woke up that day there was a battle raging within you and you didn’t realize it.
Similarly, outside our bodies, within society as a whole, there is a war raging, and for the most part the people around us are unaware of it. Even when the fever begins to rise and some are falling victim, others refuse to admit to the conflict. One reason is that the terms used to describe it are foreign to uneducated ears. Just as medical doctors and CDC might use unfamiliar words to talk about your infection, the Bible speaks about “Satan,” “Heavenly rebellion,” “human depravity” and “native weakness” – words which the religious layman might not understand or care to admit. This war to which I refer may not display itself with incendiary bombs, cannon fire and massive explosions. But if we stop to consider, we can smell the smoke and see casualties being carried past us.
I am referring to the conflict which Satan – formerly known as “Lucifer” – has with Jehovah God. The prophet Isaiah describes the beginning and end of that war in chapter 14. ‘How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” There are other scriptures which speak about this satanic attack upon God. But I am more concerned with one area where that war comes closer to home.
Satan’s rebellion against God is seen today in the growth of various forms of atheism. Generally speaking atheists want to pull Jehovah off His throne in Heaven and from the hearts of men. This spiritual battle is seen in the rise of evolution, which is nothing more than another feeble attempt to dethrone God the Creator. This great Heavenly war is seen in the development of more and more forms of human-centered religions. The multiplicity of Bible versions is a demonic attempt at polluting information about Jehovah and about the war itself. There are dozens of social issues which are a part of this war – each of which is designed to whittle away at the authority of God. For example, the promotion of the homosexuality agenda is a part of this war. And an issue related to homosexuality is the battle over gender.
The gender war.
I confess to being more of a feeble Bible student than a diligent observer of current trends in society. This probably limits my ability to minister to certain people and is therefore a blot on my resume. You may know more about this subject than I do, and if so, I hope you can fill in some of the gaps.
There are people in our society screaming about sexual inequality and such things. They say that there are differences between men and women which should not be allowed to continue. And these people are inciting WAR over their perceived inconsistencies. As I was thinking about that last statement, it occurred to me that this could be further broken down. Sometimes this conflict is called “the gender war.” “Gender,” according to Google, is “the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones).” There are a great many physical differences between men and women. There are emotional differences and attitudinal differences, but then there are social differences. The first dissimilarities cannot be effectively denied, but it is the last, the social differences, which have become the battle ground. And to put it yet another way, there are differences between femininity and masculinity. These last two words speak about behavior – and these may be the most important area of difference. Despite the rhetoric, ultimately, this battle is more about femininity versus masculinity than it is about other things. And generally speaking, when a woman warrior opens fire on the problem, she often aims as much at the feminine woman as much as she does any man.
In preparation for this message, I looked at a few web-sites on the subject of gender issues. I learned that about half of all Americans are female, but only 15% of congress is made up of women. And of the largest cities in America only one in ten has a woman mayor. Some people are trying to tell us that is a terrible, terrible tragedy. They think it means that women are being persecuted or their rights are being ignored. But I have to wonder, if there are no laws keeping women from running for office, why aren’t they running? And if more than 50% of voters are women, why aren’t they voting for women. Could it be that most women are smart enough to know they don’t want those jobs? Could it be the women who want to be politics do not represent the opinions of the women voters?
We are told that when two people have equivalent jobs, but one is male while the other is female, the woman usually is paid 10% to 15% less than her male counterpart. I don’t know for sure, but I suppose this might be true in some areas of business. But how much of those numbers come from businesses where physical strength and stamina are required?
Only 32 of the Fortune 500 companies are run by women. We are told that it ought to be 250 women. One website stated that 22% of women have experienced harassment on the job, while it was true of only 7% of men. I am of the opinion that no one should be abused, but why the discrepancy? But by which of the many definitions of harassment is the statistic being generated? I have read that the United States is twentieth out of the twenty most industrialized nations to offer family leave to women. One article I consulted surprised me, but perhaps it wouldn’t surprise you. It said that where there are gender versions of necessary products, women pay 42% more than men. For example, where women’s deodorant costs $5.99 the average male version costs $3.29. You don’t think that advertising and supply and demand have anything to do with that? I could go on and on, as some of the feminists and others do, but I mention these things only as illustrations.
Are there differences and even problems in these areas of gender? I won’t deny that there are. Sometimes these things are obvious. But in some cases the facts have been skewed and in other cases, there are solid and logical reasons for the discrepancies. I can see sin in some of these areas – sins which should be condemned. As I say, no one should harass or abuse another person – physically, emotionally or verbally. But is it abuse to lovingly point out that a person’s lifestyle is contrary to the revealed will of God? Is it abuse to tell an expecting mother perhaps she should quit her job and go home rather than to expect her company to pay her wages for three months work she isn’t going to be doing?
While some of these things may be genuine social problems, Remember these issues are actually a part of a greater problem – a war between God and Satan – Christ and Antichrist – divine righteousness and human sinfulness. It used to be said that United States of American was a Christian nation. But even if that was once true, it is less and less true with each passing week, each passed bill in congress and with each supreme court decision. Ultimately, the gender war is a battle against the authority of God. In contrast to the Bible to what the Bible says, these women warriors declare that the differences between men and women, femininity and masculinity are social evils which ought to be eliminated.
But there are gender differences which are undeniable and part of the blessings of the Creator.
The Lord Jesus echoed the words of our text from Genesis when He said, “From the beginning of the creation God made them (us) male and female. And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.” From this and other scriptures we see that God created the two genders to COMPLIMENT each other. God designed men and women for different but CORRESPONDING roles. Not only is this true physically, but in many other ways as well. And unbiased science corroborates the scriptures – without the Bible needing cooroboration.
Science tells us that most of the cells within our bodies have a sort of brain – called a “nucleus.” One notable exception are blood cells which are specially designed by God for a specific purpose. All those cells with nuclei have chromosomes which are either male or female – often called “x” and “y.” This means that the living cells of your skin, for example, are either male or female. Haven’t you noticed that there is a difference between girl’s skin and boy’s skin? For the most part this difference is unrecognizable and unimportant, but it is there nevertheless. The cells which make up your heart are either girl cells or boy cells. Statistics show that men and women have different rates of heart attacks and heart disease. And it is not a matter of life-style Your brain is one or the other gender. I have not seen data on the subject, but I’m reasonably sure that the brain cells of transsexuals prove they are NOT what they are trying to be.
Sometimes these cellular differences manifest themselves in true physical differences. For example, when a popular sleep drug was first developed, it was proscribed to women in the same doses as to men. But the body of a 120 pound woman reacts to the drug differently than a 120 pound man, and the women were being over-medicated, causing a rash of deaths. The same is true with dozens of other drugs. It is an obvious fact that alcohol tends to have a stronger effect on women than men. And I have no doubt that studies will prove the same sort of thing when it comes to marijuana. Some feminists (who are actually anti-feminists) scream that this isn’t true, but the facts are there.
When the female warriors are fighting their imaginary enemies, how often do they bring up the advantages possessed by their gender? How often do they make the right application? As scientific instruments scan their brains while men and women are asked to read a paragraph or look at a detailed picture, women’s brains work differently. As a general rule women are better at observing, recognizing and remembering what they see. Of course everyone is unique and there are exceptions – and age changes things. And also, either gender can train themselves to become more proficient. But on the other hand, individuals can destroy any advantage their gender might possess. Science has found that sleep cycles are different. As babies and young children, little girls tend to go to sleep earlier and to wake up earlier. And when they do, they are more ready to get busy about their chores. This is one reason that girls do better in school than boys. In one article I read that as a whole women make better neurosurgeons because their fine-muscle coordination is better, but men make better diesel mechanics because their gross-muscle coordination is superior. Also women who choose to work tend to want and take careers which are more personal rewarding – jobs like teaching or healthcare – even though their pay is lower. Why is it that more boys enroll in college than girls, but more girls graduate than boys? Why are men three times as likely to commit suicide than women? Why are there far more men in prison than women? And by the way, women receive 65% lesser sentences than men for the same crime. But that is another story.
Despite the rhetoric of the feminists and others, scientific research agrees with the Bible’s declaration that there are more gender differences than simple physical diversity.
And what DOES the Bible say about men and women?
It says a great deal more than what we can read this morning. But among the highlights it says that the differences between the genders and their union in marriage illustrate higher – divine truths. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Proverbs 31 is a chapter which every mother ought to teach to her daughters. And at the same time every father ought to teach it to his sons. Verse 10 basically says, “Here is an example of the finest of women.” “Here is godly femininity.” “Her price is far above rubies.” From verse 10 to the end of the chapter we read of a mother and homemaker. She isn’t a politician, a soldier, a mechanic, a corporate CEO or a professional boxer. It can’t be denied that the Bible describes a few women like Lydia and Deborah. But for every woman in the market place or leading a defending army, there are a dozen who believe their primary responsibility is to stay at home and train their children to be like themselves and their fathers.
In this gender war, the Apostle Paul is often accused by religious liberals (unbelievers) to have been a sexist heretic. But he was nothing more than a Bible student and a prophet of God. In one of his letters to Timothy, after describing some of the female casualties of his day and the women whose philosophies maimed them he said, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan.” Didn’t my introduction this morning echo this last sentence? “Some are turned aside after Satan”? This subject is a part of Satan’s war against Jehovah.
To another young missionary Paul wrote – “Teach sound doctrine.” Teach “the aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
There is no greater, more honorable, more important task than loving and teaching young children the things of God and how to behave in a godly fashion in an ungodly world. It is not the waste of a good female life to stay home, keep a good house, support a husband and train children in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The woman who has been “liberated” from her home may be more the VICTIM than the victor.