Continuing on our discussion of the Danvers Statement from yesterday, we finish off with Affirmations 6-10. I hope these have been an encouragement to you and not another list of rules to follow. Sometimes it is difficult to know how to apply Scripture to our lives when sin has marred the world we live in. Thank God that He is redeeming all of creation for His glory!
6. Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse, both in the family and in the church. (Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7; 1 Cor 11:2-16)
The death of Christ on the cross is available for all who believe (and if they believe they will be the elect of God). God knows those whom He has saved – both male and female. Males don’t have an easier time being saved. We are all on equal footing: sinners in need of a Savior. While we are equal in that rite, there are some standards and roles that God set up before the foundation of the world, that now that sin has entered the picture, these roles are more difficult to adhere to – but nevertheless, we are told to adhere to them. Husbands and wives have equal partnership but different roles in the home. Elders and roles in the church that require biblical teaching of men needs to be reserved only for men. God has a great purpose in this. We would find great joy in the beauty of submission in these areas.
7. In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission – domestic, religious, or civil – ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin. (Daniel 3:10-18; Acts 4:19-20; 1 Peter 3:1-2)
This definitely was seen with the DOMA voting that occurred in NC recently. Many politicians and even many Christians Iwere agreeing with the government in their allowance of homosexual and lesbian marriages. There were so many issues that were included in this. My thought process started out as one thing, moved to another, and then voting day came and went. We do not live in a theocracy. Even though truth is truth, we can’t expect non-Christians to want to adhere to the same biblical truth that we obey and live under. So, even if we passed a lot (which NC did) that marriage is between one man and one woman, it is only one state – any couple can just choose to up and move to another state. As Christians, we have a different standard in life than non-Christians. Non-Christians will be under the wrath of God at judgment day. We have been freed from the wrath of God because of the blood of Jesus. But we can’t impose biblical standards on those that don’t believe Christ is the only way to heaven. But, we must live according to the Bible. And that goes for every area of our lives: home, church, gender roles, etc.
8. In both men and women a heartfelt call to ministry should never be used to set aside biblical criteria for particular ministries. (1 Tim 2:11-15; 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9)
Earlier on in my life I struggled with this one, primarily because I hadn’t been taught any better. When I was in college, I was assistant to our youth pastor at a church (whom I loved and learned a lot from and loved being in ministry with those girls and families). I was encouraged to go to a certain seminary because the seminary I wanted to attend put too many restraints on women. When I started being taught what the Bible had to say about roles within the church, I learned more about women could do and what women couldn’t do. These mandates are not set up for our punishment, but for our good, for us to thrive under God’s authority. When women will come to me saying they are being led of God to be a pastor, I honestly have to suppress a laugh (which is sinful), but then I’m hurt that they don’t see the laws of God as beautiful. I want them to open their eyes and see God’s beauty. What this is saying is not that women have nothing to say to men or they don’t have the ability to teach, it is just saying God’s way is His way and it is the best for our good and His glory in the church, our families, and the world.
9. With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stress and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world. (1 Cor 12:7-21)
Some people ask this question: can a women lead a man to Christ. By all means, yes. That is declaring the truths of salvation. Whether you are sitting on a bus, waiting at a terminal or hospital, sharing with your husband – this isn’t haven’t Scriptural authority over a man in a church’s teaching role. There are many ministries: orphanages, nursing, sex trafficking freedom, etc that women can do and have such a great impact in this world. Why some women understand that the only way they can have an impact for the kingdom is by preaching to men/leading worship to men is beyond me? There is so much more out there. Women can have a huge impact for the gospel in many arenas that men can’t. Think of Muslim cultures. Men and women don’t talk to each other. How else will these lost women hear the gospel if women don’t share it with them?
10. We are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in our families, our churches, and the culture at large.
This has definitely been the case. Look at: single-parent homes, divorce rate both in and outside the church, the feminization of the church, lack of men’s involvement in local churches, gay marriages and lifestyles on the rise.
The Danvers Statement was written 25 years ago. Men and women have been upholding it by the grace of God ever since. Will you strive to live by the laws and beautiful truths found in God’s Word, or will you demand your own way. Self-enslavement is worse than God-enslavement (taken from Amy Spiegel’s new book, Letting Go of Perfect).
Go in peace and grace.