Welcome to the Big Picture Podcast. I’m Joel Fieri.
The aim and hope of this podcast is to begin and hopefully sustain a conversation about current trends, ideas and issues both in the Church and greater society.
This week we’re again going to take in the View From The Back Pew, courtesy of the Backrow Baptist. And again if you don’t know a BRB, he’s one of the guys sitting on his hands in the back of the church while everyone else is clapping. But he’s a good Christian guy who sees a lot of things going on that the folks in the front rows miss.
And today he’s going to tread where few men would dare to go, and talk about male and female roles in the church and Christian community, and how that looks in the big picture.
Now the official theological term for this is Complimentarianism vs. Egalitarianism. If you haven’t run across these terms, they go something like this; The Complimentarian view is more Biblically strict, stressing that men have a God-given responsibility to lead, while women compliment their leadership.
In Complimentarianism, roles are more important.
The Egalitarian view is less Biblically strict. holding that women are gifted as much as (or sometimes more than) men, and that we’re all equal in God’s sight. In egalitarianism, equality is more important.
Most churches today come down somewhere on one side or the other on this issue. Complimentarians tend to see Egalitarians as weak on scriptural authority and worldly, while egalitarians tend to see Complimentarians as chauvinistic and culturally irrelevant.
So how should we as churches and individual Christians look at this issue?
I think we need to acknowledge some basic truths about men and women, truths that have gotten lost in our post-modern world.
By nature, and by creation, men and women are very different. God created men and women as the distinct expressions of His nature. In men we see the strength, authority and purposefulness of God. Men tend to be doers who want to impact their world, and as Christians we see God as a King who has a purpose and plan for all mankind that we need to get about DOING.
To put it another way, men see themselves as being players on the winning team, and they want to get in the game!
Women, on the other hand, tend to be nurturers, relational experts who want to see God’s family grow in faith and unity. As Christians, they see God as a loving Father who desires a close relationship with His children, and they see themselves as encouragers, healers and comforters.What they want is to talk and find out what you need and where you hurt!
Now I know what you’re going to say, but this is merely a generalized description and by no means is it set in stone. Yes, there are women doers and male nurturers, to be sure.
But in general, in The Big Picture, the differences do hold up. And since God created both of our natures and saw that they were good, we shouldn’t seek to change or minimize them. Instead, we should embrace them and try to maximize our natural expressions of God’s nature to further BOTH His kingdom and His family, and ultimately His Glory.
So how do we do that? Well, I’m the big Picture guy, so I going to look at this issue through that particular lens.
Since men are more about the greater purpose and Kingdom of God, we should challenge and encourage our boys and men to be leaders in that mission, the mission of winning the world for Christ and ushering in His Kingdom ASAP.
And conversely, since women are about the fellowship and family of God, we should challenge and encourage our girls and women to take the lead in making sure that the world the men save is a healthy one.
Now if that sounds like more of a Complimentarian’s view, it is. I fully admit that I fall on that side of the issue. And for good reason, I think. Because this view takes into account not only our God-given natures, but it stays true to scripture. It also is desperately needed in the Church today, if for no other reason than because folks, we’re losing our Christian boys and men to purposelessness and lack of vision.
To go back to my previous analogy, too many men are sittin’ on the sidelines, and unfortunately, the Egalitarian view just doesn’t offer them a game big enough to pull them off the bench.
And that’s today’s word from the Backrow Baptist, he has to hurry out the back door before he gets hit with a shoe.
In closing, it’s time for the Great Cloud Of Witnesses, the segment of our podcast where we meet and hear the stories of those who have given, and some who are still giving, their lives by faith in the promises of God, and of whom the world was and is not worthy (if you don’t know that reference, please check out Hebrews chapters 11 and 12 in your Bible). Today’s witness is Missionary Chet Bitterman.
Marxist extremists broke into the Wycliff Bible Translation offices in Bogota, Columbia and threatened the staff until they gave up their director.
Instead, Chet Bitterman offered up himself.
Held captive, Chet was to be executed if Wycliff did not shut down their offices and efforts to spread God’s Word throughout the region. The guerrillas even called the White House, demanding that President Reagan publish their manifesto in the New York Times and the Washington Post, or Chet would die.
Prayer groups around the world went to their knees in battle for the missionary in the only way they knew how – in prayer.
Soon, audio tapes surfaced and revealed that, in fact, Chet was ministering to his captors, with Paul as his example.
Chet had reached his goal in life- to broadcast the Gospel wherever it was needed.
His body was eventually found on an abandoned bus – tossed aside by the terrorists.
But his death was not in vain. In fact, he inspired believers all across North America to step forward and continue Chet’s work.
Wycliff applications actually doubled in the year following Chet’s martyrdom.
You see, Chet Bitterman had “The Big Picture” in his mind and heart, knowing that God’s plan was bigger than this world, and for that plan, he stepped forward to give his life for that plan. And for that act of faith, I hereby nominate Chet Bitterman to the Great Cloud of Witnesses, of whom the world is not worthy.
Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this week’s Big Picture Podcast, please go to my web site at gobigpicture.net and also check out our other podcasts and points of view on the E-Squared Podcast network at e2network.net. Wherever you go, leave a few comments and tell your friends about us. See you next time on the Big Picture podcast. Be blessed!
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