I thank God for the voices that help us sort through the confusion about gender that exists not only in our culture, but in our churches and homes. Confusion that results in a redefining of marriage and the family, splits in major denominations, and unisex bathrooms at universities, among other things.
The world has seen too few examples of men and women exercising their complementary gifts and roles, together bringing glory to the triune God who made us in his image. Why mention this on a blog designed for those who lead worship? Because as we embrace God’s ordained order for our lives we bring glory to our Creator and acknowledge the wisdom of his design, both individually and together as men and women.
One of the clearest biblical voices on gender today is the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Their mission is “to help believers and local churches benefit from glorious biblical truths about God’s design of men and women.” A concise statement of their core convictions is found in the Danvers Statement. Here are some excerpts:
Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood (Gen 1:26-27, Gen. 2:18).
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 (Gen 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor 11:7-9; 1 Tim 2:12-14).
In both men and women a heartfelt sense of call to ministry should never be used to set aside Biblical criteria for particular ministries (1 Tim 2:11-15, 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-9). Rather, Biblical teaching should remain the authority for testing our subjective discernment of God’s will.
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 stresses 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).
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.
CBMW has recently updated their website and made it more helpful and much easier to navigate. They offer Recommended Resources, a Gender Blog, Conferences, Audio Messages, and Recommended Products. More specifically, David Prince writes on Family Worship, Randy Stinson and Christopher Cowan give Seven Reasons Why We Cannot Call God “Mother,” and John Piper and Wayne Grudem offer answers to sixteen key questions about biblical masculinity and femininity.
If you’re unclear on how men and women can fulfill their God-given roles for his glory, if you want to sharpen your biblical convictions in this area, or if you’re confused about your own gender, I can’t recommend the CBMW ministry and website highly enough.