Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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The Seeds of Our Extinction

Leslie Basham: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says the original feminist thinkers saw marriage as an oppressive institution.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Now granted, marriage is hard because you’ve got two sinners. So the feminists made some accurate observations about problems, but they drew conclusions that were false. And yet, now our whole culture has bought into those hook, line, and sinker.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Voices of the True Woman Movement, for Monday, March 19, 2018.

What happens when men stop being men and women stop being women? The results are huge. That’s why Revive Our Hearts developed a document called the True Woman Manifesto. As Nancy continues to explore this document, she’ll show us some of the sobering results when we reject God’s plan.

Nancy: We’ve been trying to lay a foundation in this series thus far for how we are to think and to live as true women of God. We’re looking at the True Woman Manifesto, and I hope that you have a copy there with you. You can print a PDF of the document off of ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can contact us and we’ll be glad to send you a pack of brochures. Those brochures have a place where you can sign it and send it back in. You can share the others in that pack with friends in your sphere of influence.

In the first part of the document, as we’ve said, we lay a foundation of what we believe. This is the backdrop that is foundational to living and thinking as true women of God. So let me just review where we’ve been. The first foundational statement was,

We believe that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe and the Creator of life.

Boy, that is so hugely important. It’s not enough to just get it in our heads. We need to be telling ourselves that every time we think that the world is falling apart or that our life is falling apart that God knows. He is sovereign. He is the Creator. “If it pleases You, Lord, it pleases me.”

And learning to relinquish our rights and relinquish our expectations and embrace the things God brings into our lives because He is the sovereign Lord and the Creator of life. And remembering that all created things exist for His pleasure and to bring Him glory.

That’s why we’re here. You’re not here for your husband to make you happy. You’re not here to find a husband who can make you happy. And when you do find him, you’ll realize there’s no husband on the planet who can really make you happy all the time. Married women, am I right?

And that’s not to speak ill of men. There’s no wife who can make a husband happy all the time either. We were not made to fill each other’s souls. God was made to fill us. No created thing can fill us.

So we exist for God’s pleasure, not Him to meet our pleasure. We do get pleasure as we bring Him pleasure and as we bring Him glory. So that’s all tied up in that first foundational statement.

And then the second one about creation and gender:

We believe that the creation of humanity as male and female was a purposeful and magnificent part of God's wise plan, and that men and women were designed to reflect the image of God in complementary and distinct ways.

There are differences between men and women and those are God-created; they’re precious. We shouldn’t try to squash them or eliminate them. How many people get married—they’re attracted by the differences. I saw this recently. I was talking to an engaged gal, and she was telling another young woman who was in our conversation. The engaged woman said, “When you look for a husband, be sure to look for one who’s really quiet.” Apparently with this engaged gal, the guy she’s engaged to is really quiet.

And I looked at her and I kind of had to laugh. I didn’t want to make her feel bad about who she got engaged to. But I thought, How many married women have I talked to who are so upset because their husband is so quiet? They were thrilled when they got engaged because they liked the difference, but once they got married, those differences can become wedges and barriers. The things that drew them together ultimately can be the thing that drives them crazy, drives them apart from each other.

We need to cherish the differences, value them. Don’t try and make men to be women. Don’t try and make your husband to be like you. Let him be who God made him to be in God's image.

So we believe that this man and woman thing, the differences are precious and to be cherished and valued and made the most of.

Then number three, we believe that sin has separated every human being from God. Sin came in and messed up the picture. This beautiful thing that God had created, this holy relationship between men and women and men and women and God, it all got botched when the woman signed her declaration of independence, the man followed suit.

Sin separated every human being from God.

We’re born in that condition. It wasn’t just Eve; it wasn’t just Adam. It’s not just your husband. It’s not just your mother or your women friends. You’re a sinner married to a sinner, dealing in a world of sinful men and women.

[And that sin has] made us incapable of reflecting God’s image as we were created to do. [And then we had that statement of hope for sinners.] Our only hope for restoration and salvation is found in repenting of our sin.

Turning from it, not cherishing it, not defending it, not blaming somebody else for it, not rationalizing or justifying it. “I’m not so bad as somebody else.” Repenting of our sin.

That’s what God said to Adam and Eve in the Garden: “What did you do?” They had a hard time answering that question. Instead, they blamed. But the freedom, the hope for restoration to things as they were intended to be comes when we acknowledge our sin, when we repent of it and then trust in Christ who lived a sinless life, who died in our place, and was raised from the dead. That’s the gospel.

And the gospel is good news; it’s the best news! But it’s not good news until you realize the bad news that we have sinned.

So today we come to another foundational statement that takes us back a step into this whole issue of sin and its ramifications in our culture and particularly as it relates to gender issues. If we want to be true women of God, we have to understand how our culture got to where it is, because as true women of God, we’re going to be swimming upstream. We’re going to be lights in a dark place.

So we need to realize how it got so dark, and that’s why this fourth foundational statement is so important. It says,

We realize that we live in a culture that does not recognize God's right to rule, does not accept Scripture as the pattern for life, and is experiencing the consequences of abandoning God's design for men and women.

Now again, let’s just take that a phrase at a time and unpack it and see what kind of understanding it will give us of the day in which we live. We live in a culture that does not recognize God’s right to rule nor accepts Scripture as the pattern for life.

Our postmodern culture sees truth and authority as being relative, subjective, existential. It's your idea of truth, and your idea of truth is no better or worse than my idea of truth. It’s relative; it depends on the situation. It depends on how you view it. Postmodern culture rejects the notion of objective, absolute truth or authority being contained in the Scripture or anywhere else.

I hold this book up and I start with the presupposition that this is the absolute authoritative Word of God. It is true!

  • What I think really doesn’t matter.
  • My opinion doesn’t really matter.
  • It’s not my truth and your truth.
  • It’s God’s truth and no truth. And all truth is God’s truth.

But postmodern culture does not accept that.

And that way of thinking has infiltrated even many religious, so-called Christian circles. For example, Hector Avalos who is an associate professor of religious studies at Iowa State University—he teaches religion—has written a book called The End of Biblical Studies. Here is part of the description that you’ll find for that book on Amazon.com. “Biblical scholar Hector Avalos calls for an end to biblical studies as we know them.” Now, he’s a professor of biblical studies, but he’s calling for an end to biblical studies.

He argues that the ancient civilization that produced the Bible held beliefs about the origin, nature, and purpose of the world and humanity that are fundamentally opposed to the views of modern society. The Bible is thus largely irrelevant to the needs and concerns of contemporary human beings. 1

That’s a religion professor.

Now it is true that the Bible promotes beliefs about the origin, nature, and purpose of the world and humanity that are fundamentally opposed to the views of modern society. But his conclusion is wrong. His conclusion is, “Therefore the Bible is irrelevant to the needs and concerns of contemporary human beings.”

The fact is, it’s the Bible that is absolutely relevant and it’s contemporary human beings who need to change their perspective of what matters. This rejection of authority goes with our whole culture, and that’s what this rejection of God’s Word really is. It’s a rejection of authority. We don’t want a sovereign Lord to rule over us. We want to be our own sovereigns. We’ve established ourselves as the authority.

This manifests itself in every area of society: In the area of law where we legislate in favor of what God clearly opposes and we legislates against what He loves. It's seen in academia, in the arts, in media, in entertainment, commercial enterprises, the economy. We see this rejection of God's authority, the authority of His Word, and the establishing of ourselves and our contemporary views as the authority.

In Scripture you can see numerous societies, civilizations, cultures that rejected God and His Word. Think about the tower of Babel. It was a cultural attempt to throw off God’s reign and rule. This is nothing new. This is not postmodern. This is something they’ve done from days of antiquity.

The Canaanite nations and culture—when God told His people to come in and take over the land, the Canaanite nations at that time were pagan, idolatrous, wicked nations who had thrown off God’s authority and were perverse morally.

The Old Testament prophets spoke often to nations that rebelled against God. You see this theme in the prophetic books of the Old Testament. There are words to Israel, but there are also words to Egypt and Moab and Babylon, to these foreign nations that had said, “We do not want God to rule over us.”

And when you come to the book of Revelation, you see in Revelation 18 the downfall of Babylon the great, this powerful world system that rejects God and that attempts to structure life without His rule or interference. In that sense, we are living today in a modern-day Babylon. It had its origins in Babel. That’s what it’s all about.

We have thrown out, we have rejected the Word and the authority of God in every area of life. But as it relates to this matter of being true men and women of God, our culture has thrown out the Word and the authority of God as it relates to gender and marriage and family. And there have been severe consequences.

Feminist ideology, which has been at the forefront of our culture now for half a century or more, has redefined what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman—masculinity and femininity. Those are considered antiquated, outdated ideas. The feminist ideology envisions a world with no concept of male/female distinctions. That to them would be utopia.

Now it’s an exercise in futility if you think about it, because nothing can change—no amount of hype or propaganda or influencing the educational system, articles, media, whatever—can change the fact that God created men different from women. Your three-year-old child is bright enough to recognize that there are differences between boys and girls.

Part of the feminist ideology is to throw out that division of humanity into male and female. According to feminist ideology, traditional or biblical concepts of gender and family are rooted in a patriarchal system that oppresses women. Therefore, that system needs to be deconstructed and thrown out so that women can be liberated from the domination of men. That is the prevailing way of thinking that has been embedded into the fabric of our culture today.

In the feminist ideology, individual rights are supreme. And those individual rights, your individual right to do and be whatever you want to do and be, your individual right trumps all other principles. It trumps absolutes. It trumps responsibility for others. “You have it your way.” That is the mantra of feminist ideology as opposed to the biblical and traditional model that talks about giving up personal freedom for the sake and the benefit and the welfare of others. It is too vastly different worldviews—and one is right and the other is not. They cannot both be right.

That’s why we have such a collision of worldviews when Christians start to talk about what the Bible teaches. We will get some emails in response to this series from some people who are really hot and bothered that I would say the things I’m saying because they do not accept the authority of God’s Word. Their belief is that those individual rights trump responsibility for others.

Feminist ideology has redefined marriage and family. Mother, father, and children once were considered a normal family. Now that mother, father, and children is just one of multiple options, one no better than the other. And marriage and family have come under intense attack.

In 1971 there was set out what was called a Declaration of Feminism. It laid out the modern, radical, feminist agenda. It was aimed at eradicating the traditional, biblical view of marriage and family. Let me read to you one quote out of that Declaration of Feminism, 1971.

Marriage has existed for the benefit of men and has been a legally sanctioned method of control over women. . . . Male society has sold us the idea of marriage. . . . Now we know it is the institution that has failed us and we must work to destroy it [the institution of marriage]. . . . The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore, it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men.

That is the manifesto of feminism, a declaration of feminism. And ladies, that’s why we felt we needed a True Woman Manifesto. Now back in 1971 when they wrote this Declaration, people were still thinking feminists were weird. They were way out there. They were fringe. But they were intentional about getting their message out there.

And you think of how many women have bought into this philosophy without even knowing that they were. They have bought into the philosophy, “Marriage is my problem. I need to get out of it. It’s foolish to live with a man! It makes you crazy.” A lot of women believe that. Now granted, marriage is hard because you’ve got two sinners.

So the feminists made some accurate observations about problems, but they drew conclusions that were false. And yet now our whole culture has bought into those hook, line, and sinker.

  • We have rejected God’s way.
  • We have rejected God’s Word.
  • We have rejected God’s sovereign rule.
  • And that results in consequences.

Some of those consequences are personal and individual. When you buy into a lie, when you believe the lies of this world and Satan rather than God’s Word, you will experience personal consequences. But there are also consequences that befall a culture or a society that embraces false ways of thinking.

You read that concept in Romans 1. Let me just read an excerpt from a lengthier passage here.

Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools (vv. 21–22).

Now you say, “Where does manhood and womanhood enter into this? It’s really interesting how when a culture rejects God, one of the implications has to do with how they view gender and how they view sexual issues.

Verse 26 of Romans 1:

For this reason [because they rejected God’s authority] God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error (vv. 26–27).

You see, when a culture rejects God, one of the areas it’s going to go awry is in the issue of gender and sexuality and all related issues. So it’s not just enough today to tackle the fruit of this, the consequences, the symptomatic issues in our culture. We need to get down to the root and say, “Where did these consequences come from?”

They came from rejecting God’s right to rule over our lives. They came from rejecting the authority of Scripture. The consequences of abandoning God’s design for gender—for manhood and womanhood—are huge in our culture.

Let me just give you a small sampling of those consequences. I’ve pulled these from several articles—some by Dr. Al Mohler, some by Andreas Kostenberger. 

Let me just tick off some of the consequences that they have observed and that you’ve observed as well. Some of this is based on U.S. Census statistics that are available as it relates to the condition of American families.

In 1970 . . . Remember when that Declaration of Feminism came out? 1971. That was a watershed point for this country.

  • In 1970, traditional families made up 81% of all households. By 2003 that had dropped to 68%.
  • The whole issue of single parent homes that make up a significant portion of the American sociological landscape, single mother families increased from three million in 1970 to ten million in 2003. [These statistics could all be updated now with additional statistics that are available.]
  • The number of single father families grew to two million in 2003 from less than half a million in 1970.
  • Up to 70% of American children will live at some point with a single parent.
  • Nearly one-third of all American children are born out of wedlock, one child every 25 seconds.
  • More than half of American children will spend some portion of their childhood in never formed or broken families.

Then we could talk about divorce, and you are familiar with that. You could think about it this way, not just in terms of statistics, but every divorce is a gender battle at the personal level—between a man and a woman.

The feminist ideology believes that the contractual nature of marriage oppresses women's personal freedom. That's why they worked so hard to promote no fault divorce laws. In 1977 there were only nine states that had no fault divorce laws, which made divorce very easy. Divorce should have never been easy. But by 1995 all fifty states had no fault divorce laws.

This has been a huge shift in our culture.

Here are some other consequences that have come as a result of rejecting, abandoning God’s perspective on gender and sexuality:

  • delays in getting married 
  • mushrooming percentages of young adult who have never married 
  • the increase of co-habitation, small children spending most of their waking hours in daycare 
  • the feminization of society, boys and young men growing up with no concept of what it means to be a man 

This has resulted in this epidemic of extended male adolescence—young men in their twenties and thirties never growing up. I hear women talking about this. This has been a fruit of the feminist ideology that rejected God's position on gender and sexuality.

  • the emergence of a new matriarchial, woman-dominated world order 
  • breaking through new frontiers in artificial reproductive technology 

You think you’ve heard it all on this one. And by the time we air, what I’m about to say will probably be out of date. Gay couples and single men able to produce children. Women’s fertility no longer ended by menopause. These are the things that are on the horizon as we have these breakthroughs, so called, in reproductive technology.

The emphasis on individual rights where sex has become separated from procreation has resulted now in the U.S. birth rate being below the level that it takes to replace ourselves. You do the math, and ultimately we have sown the seeds for our own extinction. It brings to mind Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

That’s why as we live in a culture that does not recognize God’s right to rule, that does not accept Scripture as a pattern for life, and that has abandoned God’s design for men and women. I love what Dr. Al Mohler has to say, and what a challenge this is for all of us. He says,

In this age of rampant confusion, we must recapture the biblical concept of manhood and womanhood. Our authority must be nothing less than the revealed Word of God.

Thank you Dr. Mohler. When we bow to that authority, we will find God redeeming and restoring our lives, our marriages, our churches, and ultimately by God’s grace, a culture that will one day be redeemed and live fully under His Lordship. Amen.

Leslie: It’s amazing how a message so deep can be so practical. We’ve gone deep in God’s Word along with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. Now I pray that we’ll live out what we just heard—putting the needs of others first, embracing God’s design for us as women. I’m so thankful for this kind of teaching. I would miss it if it were gone.

What about you? Is Revive Our Hearts valuable to you? If so, would you help us continue speaking to women in your community. Nancy’s here to explain how you can help.

Nancy: You know, the most important thing you can do is to pray for Revive Our Hearts. I mean that. I take the responsibility of speaking to you each weekday very seriously. I constantly am aware of my need for God’s strength and His anointing as I prepare and deliver these messages. And pray for the team that works behind the scenes to get these programs to you each day. There are a lot of steps involved and our team needs God’s wisdom and enabling.

I know our listeners pray, and I’m so grateful. That includes our Monthly Partners. These special friends not only partner with Revive Our Hearts by giving financially each month, they also commit to praying for us, and that means more than you could possibly know. We’re asking the Lord to raise up a wider base of that prayer and financial support by sending 400 new Monthly Partners by the end of April. If you appreciate Revive Our Hearts, if it has been a blessing to you, if you've seen God at work in the ministry and you are eager to see Him work in others' lives, would you consider joining this team this month?

Maybe you've thought about it before, maybe you've sent occasional support in before, we're so thankful for that. I want you to consider being a part of our Monthly Partner Team—of course, over an above anything you would do to support the ministry of your local church, that should come first. But if the Lord has provided additional resources, we'd love to have you as one of our Monthly Partners.

When you become a Monthly Partner this month we’ll say "thank you" by sending you a kit to help you invest in another woman. You’ll get two copies of my newly released book, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Set Them Free. You may be thinking, I didn't know that was a new book. Well, I first wrote that book many years ago but recently have updated it and significantly expanded it. And that newly released book, Lies Women Believe, you'll get two copies of it. And you’ll get two copies of the revised study guides for the book and two bookmarks that provide a quick reference of liberating truths. You’ll also receive my teaching on "Lies Women Believe" on CD.

There are a lot of other benefits that our partners receive. You can learn more about those by calling us at 1–800–569–5959, or you can visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com.

As one of our partners, that means you'll pray for this ministry, support the ministy financially at $30 or more each month, and you'll help us spread the truth that sets women free.

I want to say a huge "thank you!" to each of our existing partners. We could not be doing this without you. My prayer is over these next several weeks, we see God raise up several hundred additional Monthly Partners. And you'll experience the joy and the blessing and the fruit of knowing that you are investing in the lives of women around the world who are hungry for this truth. Thank you so much for your partnership.

Leslie: You know that the gospel provides hope, but not just hope for eternity. The gospel will start transforming your life and your relationships right now. Nancy will explain how tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to help you live life on a solid foundation. It's an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

1 "Is the Bible Relevant to the Modern World." Sept. 6, 2007. Peter Nathan. http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=3680

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About the Teacher

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.