“You wanna be a woman today? Great! How about a-sexual, just to keep things flexible? That’ll work too. Whatever works for you, works out fine, and the government will pick up any plumbing bills.” The agenda of the radical left today includes no absolute truth, but “whatever you want truth to be,” and— Voila!—your fondest wish is reality, according to the current, radical elite.
What is your view of where to find the plumbline to judge what is “the truth” in all questions, issues and disagreements? Christians tend to give the pat answer, “the Bible,” but I would wager that that answer is not actually true for most of us.
The Westminster Confession of Faith, the confessional standard for the Reformed branch of the faith, refers to the Bible as “the standard of faith and practice,” i.e., not only telling us what truth to believe, but also what truth to do! I want to begin to explore today whether or not we really believe the Bible, the written Word of God, is really our ultimate source of all truth in all of life.
I really never thought about the Bible expressing absolute truth in areas of life other than my personal conduct and my relationship with God, until I was in my early 40’s, although I was sure the Bible was completely authoritative in those areas. At that time, Jill and I were totally immersed in raising our three kids, and we were doing so, unconsciously, just like our parents had raised us. All parents, unless they learn a new way, purposefully or by absorbing current cultural norms, naturally do the same thing.
In the process of investigating alternative education for our children as they began to experience the harrowing, public school, middle-school years, I ran across a book that proved to be a milestone in my life. This book was, What the Bible Says About Child Training, by Richard Fugate. In it, Jill and I saw, for the first time, the methods our parents had used to train us loosely followed a biblical pattern that, at the time, was the cultural norm. They had no clue that their personal, child training method was originally prescribed in the Bible!
Over the next 15 years, the main focus of my life and in all my relationships with others was not only child training, but the family as a whole, including husband-wife relationships, preparing our children for marriage, the purpose and meaning of sex, etc. This family focus culminated in teaching a Family Living class in two Christian High Schools; my first book, The Family, God’s Weapon for Victory; and presenting my materials and message at homeschool conventions around the country for several years,
Looking back, I can see this was the beginning of my understanding of how God would fulfill His eternal purpose of ruling over His world through us. The first, God-established institution through which He will do so is the family, and He leaves us detailed “truth” in the Bible on how that occurs.
But the family is not the only weapon God has in His arsenal to achieve His rule (His “kingdom”) over the earth. In my 50’s I began to realize that God has indeed officially ordained two other kingdom institutions besides the family, as well as giving us detailed instructions as to how each is to function. These two, as we have frequently discussed, are the church, begun on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and the civil government (Genesis 9:1-17). In the next few weeks, we will discuss what the Bible says, (“the truth”) about these three institutions—not what they say, but how they are constructed, what they do, and how they do it, according to the Word of God.
All of God’s kingdom institutions on the earth are composed of authority structures, because the kingdom runs by God’s authoritative, righteous law. It consists of “what is beneath us,” our delegated responsibilities here on the earth. However, God’s kingdom functions properly only as those who are in authority in it are energized by “what is above us,” our relationship with God, based, not on obedience (keeping God’s law), but on grace alone.
Know that what you’re about to read is, to many people in today’s culture (even Christians) Looney-Tunes, sexist, subversive, white privileged, misogynistic, and perverse (I don’t even hear “chauvinistic” used much anymore because today that is no longer repulsive enough), but it is what the Bible teaches.
The family is based on the husband-wife relationship, which began in the Garden of Eden: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh “ (Genesis 2:24). When he marries, a man leaves the authority of his parents and begins a new family in the Kingdom, with a new structure, in which this man is directly under the rule of Jesus Himself (1 Corinthians 11:3).
This new husband then has full authority in his family with full responsibility for the condition of it—two factors that always are inseparable. The marriage ceremony is a public declaration of the transfer of authority (“Who gives this woman?” means her father willingly is transferring his authority in her life as her father) to her husband to begin the new family entity. One of the qualifications for elder in the church is a demonstration of a husband’s proficiency in that ruling task (1 Timothy 3:4, 5).
Ruling for the husband means ruling as Jesus ruled. Husbands rule only with responsibility delegated by Jesus to him. There are two components to that rule: 1.) loving his wife “as Christ loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25), with agape love. This means that he initiates that love, seeking nothing in return, and always lays down his life for his wife, (sacrificing his own personal wishes for her welfare by his decisions); 2.) leading his wife. As he loves her in this way, she is so constructed by God to want to follow him, to be his “helper” (Genesis 2:18) as she was meant to be. He must be there to provide that firm, decisive leadership.
The husband is the leader, the visionary, in their mission to rule over the earth for God. As such, he is the decision-maker, the one who determines the direction the family is going, and the path they will take to get there. He listens to her input on this journey, considers all options, but in the final analysis, he must make the final decision himself (even though it may be her idea), because only he will be held accountable to God.
So, ruling in the family is not up for grabs, going to the one who is smartest, most persistent, or who wants to lead the most. It is based totally on plumbing—the leader is the male husband. That rule is by unconditional love and uncompromising leadership. His wife, who was created by God to naturally respond to this kind of love, is exhorted by God to “submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church…Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24).
Is this the universal, absolute truth of God for all His creatures because the Bible teaches it? If so, how will the people of God respond as the church begins to proclaim this truth with conviction, love and grace? Next week we will discuss what the Bible teaches a young couple about how to train their children.