Think on these things

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.–Philippians 4:8

I know this is a much much quoted scripture in Christianity, so much so that we sometimes gloss it over.  But as Christians, we should be careful about dwelling on the negative, especially if it devalues humanity.  Jesus did not come to condemn, but to call people to salvation.

Yes, Paul had many hard things to say to the Church.  He was not afraid to call out sin.  I can’t ever recall him devaluing half of humanity or reducing them to things.  I do recall him speaking of women who laboured with him in the Gospel.    Yes, he does call women to subjection, submission, godly behavior.  But we need to be careful that that call doesn’t become a jail, chains.  Submission should never be a burden, but a call of love and blessing.   The end result of our speech should be healing, not condemnation.   The Apostle John said, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”  Doug Wilson’s miserable wives need to see that their value is not in themselves or the world but to their families.  When women find value, they will put their whole heart into it.

Men need value as well.  I want to be an equal opportunity exhorter.  Women should use every opportunity to exhort the men in their lives in order to promote healthy relationships.  Respect, reverence, admiration, love.  Not nagging and disrespect.  Unfortunately in our society, ridiculing men has become deeply ingrained.  Godly women should be the first ones to defend true masculinity, and to support our fathers, husbands and sons, as well as our fellows in Christ.

The message of the Gospel wasn’t so much about bemoaning the condition of the world and it’s increasing sin as it was about lifting people out of it.  Peter said “Save yourself from this untoward generation.”    Condemn sin, but heal the sinner.  Women and men are not just so much glob of DNA; we are made in God’s image, both men and women.  We are sinners in need of grace and salvation, both men and women.    If your doctrine doesn’t result in both repentance AND joy, there is something wrong with your doctrine.

Feminism is wrong because it seduces women from their homes and families into a world that is frought with dangers and encourages women to ungodliness.  It ruins whole families.  The men’s movement, conversely, seeks to empower men, but it does so at the expense of women, encouraging men to bitterness and anger, rather than showing them the true path to healing.    It also teaches them to rely on psychology and philosophy that are not of Jesus Christ.

Getting back to our quote, we need to, as Christians, emphasize the positive message there is in the Gospel.  Grace, salvation, healing, love for our fellow man, even our enemies and those who persecute us.   An abused woman can forgive her abuser.  A man who suffers from a broken marriage CAN find healing through Jesus Christ and forgive women.    I’m not saying that all medicine is sweet.  It’s a hard pill sometimes to swallow our pride to Jesus and forgive those who have treated you wrongfully.  But forgiveness is the first step to healing.

Pamela Parizo © 2017