It’s scary, learning to ski. You are trained first to snow-plow, which means that you crawl down the mountain. After even a few trips down the slopes, your legs begin to shake. You haven’t mastered speed, and you’re scared of it. You feel very little momentum. Plus, it’s cold out, and you crave hot chocolate, and the wind is against you.
But then something changes. As you grow up, you learn to use speed, not fight it. The black diamond trails you stand at the top of no longer represent fear. They stand for opportunity. You still feel jitters; you still face the ever-present possibility of a crash, a spectacular one, which on many trails is provided for the viewing pleasure of the chairlift-riders above you. Nonetheless, as you learn to ski, you unlock the exhilaration of the snow. It courses underneath you. A cold, steep mountain is just like the ocean–there’s power coiled in it. It wants to fling you forward. When the skills are in place, momentum is with you, even though the wind is still against you.
I resonate with skiing because I grew up doing so in one of the world’s most beautiful places: Maine. I don’t get to ski much these days, but I do feel momentum. I feel this both at surging Midwestern Seminary and at the organization I have the privilege of leading, the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood. In 2015, CBMW brought in nearly $300,000. The CBMW staff, led by Grant Castleberry, has worked very hard to accomplish this goal. As Matt Damico just chronicled, this represents a third straight year of increased giving to CBMW, with over 300 new donors supporting us in our mission.
I can’t tell you how encouraging this news is. It increasingly seems like all the forces of a secular culture are training their guns on this particular area of Christian doctrine. Complementarity has never been more controversial. This means, however, that complementarity has never been more revolutionary. It has never been more needed. All around us, men and women have no idea who they are. CBMW, with tens of thousands of churches all across the globe, has the thrilling mission of providing gospel-shaped answers to this most modern of dilemmas.
People and churches are responding to this vision. People are tired of a blurry, fuzzy, gender-neutral society. They recognize that transgender ideology leads only to heartbreak and sin. They see that our sexuality has a covenantal shape, that we are not made for the gratification of our lusts, but the glory of our God in happy marriages or chaste singleness. They know that a sexualized culture offers not liberation, but enslavement. They realize that the Bible’s teaching on manhood and womanhood is both true and good, impossibly good.
As the President of CBMW, I want to say a public thank-you to the many, many, many believers who are standing alongside us. I am grateful for the hundreds and hundreds of donors who are giving speed to our work. I am deeply appreciative of the pastors, scholars, and leaders who love Scripture and laugh at Satan’s attacks on biblical truth. The complementarian movement stands against the world, but it is for the world. We may be hated for affirming biblical doctrine, but we love all, even our enemies, and preach the gospel and its outworking in our lives to all we can.
In sum, I give thanks to Almighty God. He is the one who gives success. He has blessed us with three straight years of increasing financial strength. We’ve been able to hold events all the world, publish books (with several more coming, including The Grand Design in a couple weeks!), and joyfully promote glorious truths of the faith, truths that followers of God have held since the dawn of time. We’re throwing a conference with 30 speakers from all over the world in a month (including Piper, MacArthur, Begg, Mohler, DeYoung, Duncan, and more), and it will gather Christians from an array of backgrounds and denominations. In all this, we take nothing for granted, we find no confidence in ourselves, and we have no sense of the future. We haven’t done this. God has done this. But we do feel momentum in all these things, and thank the good Lord for it.
We are speeding down the mountain, and it is exhilarating. There is wind in our face, yes. But like any experienced skier, we’re not focused on what opposes us. We’ve got work before us, exciting work, world-defying work, Christ-exalting work. And here’s the funny thing: it turns out that when you find joy in your labor, you don’t even really feel the wind after all.