Dan(vers) in Real Life (Part 2)

posted in: Bible, Women | 1

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.

Dan(vers) in Real Life (part 1)

posted in: Uncategorized, Women | 1

This past Sunday a new “Sunday School” class started at my church on biblical manhood and womanhood.  One of the elders who is teaching the class introduced everyone to the Danvers Statement.  You may be wondering what the Danvers Statement is and what in the world it has to do with your life.  You can read it here:


Since biblical gender roles is something I have been passionate about since somtime in college, I thought I would take this time to walk through the Danvers Statement.  Not for theological purposes, because Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem do such a thorough job of defining terms and basing them on biblical passages.  But, for women in the pew, who didn’t go to seminary, or those who did go to seminary or teach even – how do we put these 10 principles into practice.

1.  Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18)

These verses and this statement (made in 1987) were made long before the political battlew over the definition of marriage.  Our base for politics should be the word of God.  Since the Word of God is the very breath of God, therefore perfect and never changing (2 Tim 3:16-17, Psalm 19), it should determine our decisions on every matter of life and politics.

The joke heard for decades now is “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”  I think that is a crude way of saying the truth.  God had a permanent purpose and grand design in how He perfectly created and placed Adam and Eve in the garden.  Adam and Eve, and all peoples procreated from them for all the generations to come, bear the image of God (imago dei) and should be treated as worthy of that.  Each person bears the image of God, even those who disagree with us or treat us badly.  Something inherent in their very being shows us God.  He is the masterful Creator.

I like the word distinct in this first affirmation.  I can’t play the role my husband has, either sexually or emotionally, in our marriage.  I can’t play the role my pastors and elders have in the church I attend.  God set measures in place that we are to abide by and obey for our good and His glory.  But, we also have distinct roles and priviliges that men don’t – simply because we are women.  What a unique pleasure it is to always feel Baby Campbell kicking in me.  My husband can feel him if he is kicking or see him when he makes my belly move, but he can’t feel him all the time.  That is something unique that God has designed just for women.

2.  Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart. (Genesis 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor 11:7-9; 1 Tim 2:12-14)

Two essential parts of this affirmation: when these distinctions came to be and how that should influence me today.

God is eternal and all of His Words are eternal.  They never change.  The principles of biblical gender were set in place when God first created Adam and Eve, he didn’t wait until after sin occurred in the Garden to set these principles in place.  These distinctions, both in function and person, were foundational from the very beginning.  Sin only makes living these distinctions out difficult.

There are many times when I try to urge my husband to make a decision or try to lead in our relationship.  There are many times when I feel more qualified to teach a class at church because there is lack of strong male authority and teaching ability.  But, as often as these thoughts or actions occur in me, the Spirit checks my Spirit with His and with the Word.  There is an eagerness (praise the Lord) in me to confess those thoughts, pray for strength, and repent of any actions I might have done.  If we walk in step with the Spirit we will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  Oh, the flesh is so strong in women, especially Christian women when we are at daily war with the one who wants his way in our life versus the One who paid the price for our souls.  Stand firm – resist the devil and he will flee from you!

3.  Adam’s headship in marriage was established by God as part of the created order, and was not the result of sin.  (Genesis 3:1-13, and Scriptures listed in 2.)

I love this design of marriage.  I always knew I wanted this in a marriage, but never found someone who was willing to take his rightful place and lead with humility and servanthood (like Jesus) in a marraige.  Being both bold and pursuing, and loving and gently.  My God has been very gracious to me in my marriage.  My husband lives out biblical headship and Christ-like servanthood and meekness to me every day.  He prays for me, leads our marriage, is gentle with me when I need correcting, and meek in his leadership.  This design is for all married men.  Men, don’t give this authority up – neither lord it over your wives.  Jesus lead with meekness and authority.  He was gentle.  He wasn’t effeminate or a tyrant.  He was perfect.  Women, if you see your husbands or your Christian brothers not living this way (or for single brothers, not seeing these qualities in them), pray for them.  I repeatedly didn’t do this service for them, but instead I complained and belittled them, saying there were no good single men left.  That was one of my biggest regrets of my single life.  We are called to encourage our brothers and husbands, not belitlttle them.  Those actions of belittling is the result of sin, not how God wanted us to live.

4.  The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (in the home and in the church) – for further explanation of this affirmation, see the link above) (Genesis 3:1-7, 12, 16)

Oh, how I hate sin.  Sin permeates every aspect of our lives.  Women want to lead in the homes and in the churches.  Men either are patriachal authoritarians or weak spineless shells of real men.  Many of our churches are filled with women who want men to step up and lead and few men who will take their place and lead.  (I see this a lot in the music ministry of churches – where our choirs and orchestras are filled with mostly women, but our praise teams and bands are “cooler” now and include more men – haven’t figured out that one yet).  Women: if you struggle with wanting to lead: pray for the desire to humbly follow your husband’s leadership and pray for him that he will lead humbly and sacrificially.  Men, pray for strength to stand in the position of authority in humility and servanthood that God created you to be in.

5.  Both the Old and New Testaments manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women (Gen 1:26-27, 2:18, Gal 3:28) and affirm the principles of male headship in the family and the covenant community (Genesis 2:18, Eph 5:21-33, 1 Tim 2:11-15).

Some believers only want to take some of God’s Word or take verses out of context.  God saw to it that the the Word was kept for us to read – all of it ordained by Him and kept by Him.  It is perfect.  All of it.  Men and women are equal in that we both stand level at the cross – we are both sinners and in equal need of a Savior.  Men aren’t more worthy of salvation nor do their possess more of God or display God better solely because they are male.

This is the sticky part for some people: God’s entire Word sets up the standards for both the home and church. In God’s Word: it says that men are to be in leadership positions of teaching and authority in our churches not women.  I believe this also goes for worship leading because worship leading is an authority of the Word of God and you are leading and teaching others as you direct the worship of the entire congregation.  Song leading or directing a choir is something different, and then I would lean toward a championing of male leadership by way of example, not by Scriptural authority.  This also has nothing to do with skill level.  I’m sure there are women out there who can teach better than some of the pastors who stand in their pulpits and can sing better/play better than their worship pastors.  Often when sitting in a co-ed SS class I get frustrated because of the depth, or lack thereof, of the teaching.  But my role is not to teach…my role is to submit and learn and pray for growth.

This will be continued tomorrow, affirmations 6-10.  How do you apply these truths to your life, both in the home and church?  What are some ways you see Christians failing to live out these commandments and patterns that God has set up for His children to follow?

Be encouraged.  We need the Gospel daily to live these out.  Rest in Him.  Pursue Him.