Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Extend Compassion

Now, more than ever, we need your help in showcasing Christ’s compassion to a hurting world. By giving toward our year-end need, you empower our efforts to put love into action.

Donate Now

Leslie Basham: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says we’ve witnessed a huge change of attitudes about relationships.

Nancy: So we’re experiencing today the long-term effects of an all-out, intentional, orchestrated effort to undermine what the Bible teaches in relation to gender and sexuality.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Lies Women Believe, for Monday, March 12, 2018.

This year we will mark the ten-year anniversary of the first True Woman conference. At that conference, Revive Our Hearts introduced a document addressing serious needs of our time, the True Woman Manifesto. At that conference ten years ago, various leaders rose one by one to read this important document.

Sarah Stevenson: Marriage, as created by God, is sacred, binding, lifelong covenant between one man and one woman.

Leslie: The manifesto had a rich background, being carefully crafted and refined. It meant a lot to those who signed it at the conference and to those who have signed it since. Nancy is going to walk us through the manifesto through several series throughout this spring and summer. This first series is called The True Woman Manifesto, Part 1—Foundations.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Now, the manifesto has three sections.

  • The first is a section with several foundational belief statements. Those statements start, “We believe.”
  • Then there’s a middle section that’s a set of affirmations. These are various points that are related to our God-given calling as women.
  • Then the third section involves fifteen statements that express our consecration, our desire, to be God’s true women. Those statements start with the phrase, “We will”—this is what we agree to do.

Over the next several weeks, we want to walk through the True Woman Manifesto, point by point, giving a biblical basis for how we arrived at these statements, further explanation and insight, just unpacking this document. The reason for taking this time is that we want you to understand what this document is all about, what the points are all about.

I want you to embrace what this document represents and then to be equipped to share these truths with others and to help them understand and embrace it—your children, your friends, your small group, women in your church. This resource, the True Woman Manifesto, along with this teaching material, will be available for you to use in training women in your circle of influence to be true women of God.

If you go to ReviveOurHearts.com, you can print off a copy of this manifesto, or contact us, and we'll tell you how at the end of the program today to get a pack of True Woman Manifesto brochures. That way you can have multiple copies to share with your church and others in your circle of influence.

Now, I want to start this series with a couple of introductory sessions. Today we’re going to talk about what prompted us to come up with the True Woman Manifesto in the first place, and what is a manifesto, and why do we need a document like this, and a little bit about what the True Woman Manifesto is and is not intended to be. The in the next program I want to overview the purpose of the manifesto.

So first of all, why did we come up with this statement? I think you’d agree that for decades, Western culture has been drifting from whatever biblical and spiritual moorings it may have had at one time.

We have abandoned the Word of God as our ultimate authority, and now we’re facing everywhere in our culture an all-out assault on Christian and biblical values. Nowhere is that more true than in relation to gender issues, what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman, and to live that out in the context of family and culture.

The feminist movement and its underlying ideology has become mainstream. It’s in the air we breathe. If you’re under forty, you probably have never known any other way of thinking unless you’ve been brought up in the Word and the ways of God. So we’re experiencing today the long-term effects of an all-out, intentional, orchestrated effort to undermine what the Bible teaches in relation to gender and sexuality.

We’re seeing the unraveling of the fabric of marriage and family at a rate that’s unprecedented in the history of our country, and the confusion about:

  • what it means to be a woman 
  • what it means to be married
  • what it means to have a family
  • God’s values
  • God’s thinking in these areas

The confusion exists not only out there in the secular world, but sadly, also, in the church, among believers, because we have to such an extent swallowed and bought into the world’s philosophy, the world’s way of thinking, and the world’s practices—and in ways that we don’t even realize.

You may not at all consider yourself to have been influenced by the feminist movement, but in ways that we don’t realize, we’ve imbibed this. We’ve taken its thinking into our system, and that’s where we want to shed light on the world’s system and then show the light of how God thinks in these areas.

So I felt the need, as we were developing the first True Woman conference for us to provide a thoughtful, earnest, written response to this point that we’re facing in history and through the True Woman Manifesto, to sound a certain sound, to provide a biblical explanation, clarification, definition, direction, and correction where needed, and a basis for women of God to unite in a movement of revival and reformation.

So this True Woman Manifesto is our attempt to put together a succinct statement with the goal of:

  • educating Christian women in God’s ways of thinking
  • inspiring them
  • motivating them
  • mobilizing us as women to be that army of praying, true women in this culture

Now, what is a manifesto? The word comes from the Latin word manifestus, which means “clear, evident.” If something is manifest, it’s obvious. You can see it for what it is. Dictionary.com says, “A manifesto is a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives.”

This is something that we have publicly declared to be our position. This is what we believe the Bible teaches.

There are those who have asked us, since we released the True Woman Manifesto, why do we even need a document like this? We have the Scripture. Why do we need another written document?

On the True Woman blog, which I hope you go to often . . . You can get that through ReviveOurHearts.com, and you can even subscribe to that blog. We have some great writers—Mary Kassian, Paula Hendricks Marsteller, Kimberly Wagner, others who are teaching day-by-day on that blog about these kinds of issues.  Mary Kassian posted on that blog an entry called, “The Need for a Creed: Reflections on Creeds, Confessions, and Manifestos.”

I want to take a few minutes here to summarize what she said so well on that post and to excerpt from her post several key points about why we need a creed like the True Woman Manifesto. “The word creed,” Mary Kassian pointed out, “comes from the Latin word credo, which means, ‘I believe.’”

A creed, a manifesto, is a statement of beliefs, and Mary says in this post,

Throughout history, individuals and groups have written down their creeds. These have variously been called Declarations, Resolutions, Statements of Belief, Doctrinal Statements, Confessions, or Manifestos. . . . Written creeds have played a vital . . . role in history—in philosophy, politics, and culture, as well as in the Church.

You can think back in history about some creeds, some manifestos that have played a vital role. For example, the United States was founded on a creed called The Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” It was a creed. It was a manifesto.

“The Communist Manifesto”—first published in 1848—dramatically changed the political landscape for generations.

You may not be as familiar with the “Humanist Manifestos,” two of them. The first Humanist Manifesto was published in 1933, the second Humanist Manifesto was published in 1973. These were signed by many leading politicians, scientists, philosophers, educators. The second Humanist Manifesto included that famous line: “No deity will save us; we must save ourselves”

This was the doctrine, the philosophy that was being put forth, and over the past several decades, the tenets of those Humanist Manifestos have penetrated and infiltrated our culture and have become the prevailing worldview of our time.

Now, creeds have also been important in the history of the Church. There have been many critical points, when heresies or issues arose in the Church, when church leaders have realized that a course correction was needed when people have gotten doctrinally off-course. Those creeds have attempted to clarify what the Scripture teaches and to call believers to affirm sound doctrine.

Perhaps you can think of one or more of those church creeds. The most famous one probably is the Apostles’ Creed that was written in the first or second century. We’re not sure exactly when, but that creed emphasized the full humanity of Jesus, that not only was He fully God, but He was also fully man.

It was a creed that was written in response to the Gnostic movement of that time, which taught that the physical world was evil and that Christ did not actually take on human nature. The Apostles’ Creed was written to correct that heresy.

Then in the fourth century, another heresy cropped up. The Arians were a group of people in the church who taught that Christ was not fully God, so the Nicene Creed was written to affirm the deity of Christ.

Then you remember Martin Luther’s “Ninety-Five Theses.” That was a creed that countered the practice of indulgences and sparked the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s, and that creed, posted there on the door of the Wittenberg Chapel, the “Ninety-Five Theses,” radically altered the course of history.

Another creed, “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy,” may not be as familiar to you, but it was a creed that was signed by hundreds of Bible scholars and Christian leaders in 1978. It was formulated to defend against the trend toward liberal and neo-orthodox theology, so it became an important course corrective.

Mary Kassian says in her post on creeds,

History demonstrates that creeds are profoundly important. They are documents that challenge people to change, counter, or correct a current trend of thought . . . Creeds clarify beliefs. Creeds set direction. Creeds create movements.

And that is what we’re believing God for in our day—a movement of true women of God.

Mary Kassian goes on to say,

Creeds are like signposts at a junction. They require travelers to choose and commit to one path or another. Ultimately, this choice determines whether the traveler and those who follow will arrive at one destination, or at a different one, miles apart from the first.

Now, there are a number of significant declarations found in the Scripture, public declarations—“I believe . . . this is my creed.” You remember in Joshua chapter 24 as Joshua came to the end of his life, and he was wanting the next generation in the Promised Land to live in accordance with God’s Word. He said to them, “Choose you this day whom you will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (v. 15, KJV). He made a public declaration. “This is what I believe.”

In 2 Kings chapter 23, we read about King Josiah who led Judah in making a covenant before the Lord, a covenant that they would obey Him, and they would keep His commandments. It was public. It was corporate. It was a signpost saying, “This is what we believe today, and we’re passing this on for generations to come.”

In Daniel chapter 3, remember the declaration of those three Hebrew young men who said to the king in public, “We will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (v. 18). It was a line in the sand. It was a marker. It was a signpost.

Each of these declarations in Scripture was made in the face of opposition. Sometimes it was cultural opposition, political opposition, even religious opposition at times. In each case there was a risk involved. There was personal expense, but at times there is a need for us to make a public, corporate declaration, to draw the line in the sand, to make a spiritual marker for future generations to look back and say, “That’s the truth. That’s what they believed.”

So the True Woman Manifesto is a line in the sand. It is, as Mary Kassian called it, a signpost, and it highlights some major points about what we believe the Bible says to women. It challenges Christian women to commit to traveling that direction.

Now, just a few words about what the True Woman Manifesto is not. First of all, it’s not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the Christian faith. It doesn’t cover everything that matters. That’s why we have the Scripture.

It doesn’t cover every important truth that Christian women need to embrace. What it does do is it highlights and addresses specific points that we believe need to be recovered and emphasized in our day.

Then the True Woman Manifesto is not intended to add to or replace Scripture in any way. Our hope is that this little document, fallible as it is, will point people to the Word of God. It will get them into the Scripture.

This manifesto is not inspired. It’s not infallible. The points are drawn from and supported with the Scripture, and you can see that at the end of the True Woman Manifesto, but it is merely a human document.

It was carefully written. We had a lot of input on it. We had review from Bible scholars and theologians, but as with every other creed written by humans, you could debate certain aspects of the wording, what was included, what was left out. Some people think there was a little too much emphasis on this point, and some people think there should have been more emphasis on this point.

You may not agree with everything exactly as it is stated in the True Woman Manifesto. For that matter, you may not agree with everything that is stated on Revive Our Hearts.

We are fallible, but what I want to encourage you to do is to prayerfully consider this creed, this manifesto, and as with every teaching, hold it up to the standard, the plumb line, of God’s Word. To whatever extent it matches the Word of God, then submit and bow your will to it, and say, “Yes, Lord. This is Your Word. This is Your truth. I accept it.”

The True Woman Manifesto is not a list of rules. It’s not a legalistic structure or system of self-righteous moralism—if you can sign this document, you’re more spiritual; you’re a true woman.

Listen, being a true woman is a matter of the heart. It’s a matter of your relationship with and your surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Signing this document does not make you a true woman. Writing this document does not make me a true woman. What makes us true women is being filled with the Spirit of God, living our lives according to His grace and His Word.

Then, just a reminder that some of us may need, and that is that the True Woman Manifesto is not intended to be used as a “club” to bludgeon those who disagree with us.

This document is counter-cultural. We’re swimming upstream, and many people don’t agree with a lot of what’s in this manifesto. In fact, there’s been quite a bit of pushback in the blogosphere since the manifesto was first released.

For example, one woman said that the True Woman Manifesto is, quote, “a recipe for turning God's beautiful, intelligent, and capable female creations into door mats."

Another woman said that this manifesto encourages, "all women to be mindless, passive, incapable blow-up dolls doomed to a 1950s TV sitcom existence in the suburbs."

That’s quite a mouthful. Of course, I don’t agree with that assessment, but there are those who strenuously disagree with what we’re about to teach over these next weeks. Our calling is not to beat them over the head with these truths, but to win their hearts by living out, in the most winsome way possible, by God’s grace, what is contained in this document.

So as we walk through it in the days ahead, I want to explain what is and isn't meant by some of these statements to help people better understand it. I hope it will be a resource to clarify our message and God's mission and mandate in our lives as women—a call to realign our lives with the blueprint that He has given us in His Word.

Now, let me just remind us that, realize it or not, each one of us is basing our lives on some creed and some set of beliefs. So many Christian women today unwittingly are living by creeds that have been set forth by the secular women’s movement.

My question to you is:

  • What is your creed?
  • What do you believe?
  • Do you know what you believe?
  • If you say that you believe and accept the Word of God as your creed, your manifesto, your declaration for living, then the question is, does your life reflect that that is your creed?

The challenge over these next days is to evaluate what we believe, and what we believe is evidenced by the way that we live.

O Lord, how I pray that You would, by Your Spirit, open our eyes, open our understanding, open our hearts. Give us understanding into Your ways and Your Word, and make us, by the power of Your Spirit and Your grace and the gospel, make us true women of God for Your glory and for the fame of Your name throughout the world. I pray it in Jesus’ holy name, amen.

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, kicking off a series called "The True Woman Manifesto, Part 1—Foundations." She’ll be teaching through the manifesto over several series this spring and summer. This will include topics of relationships, singleness, childrearing, marriage, sexual identity, and many other practical discussions.

We’re able to bring you biblical teaching for women on practical subjects through the support of listeners who see what God is doing through Revive Our Hearts and want to get involved. Nancy, I’m so grateful these listeners help us do what we do.

Nancy: Absolutely, I’m so thankful for every listener who supports the ministry. You wouldn’t be hearing my voice right now without listener support of those special friends. Perhaps you’re benefiting from the program, and you’ve supported the ministry in the past. Thank you so much for that. 

I want to invite you work alongside Revive Our Hearts at a deeper level by joining our Monthly Partner Team. Monthly partners are a huge part of this ministry; we couldn't do it without them.  

You say, "What is a Monthly Partner"? Well, our Monthly Partners support the ministry by praying for it, by sharing this message with others, and by supporting the ministry financially  at least $30 each month.

This really is a true partnership—we you giving as we give back to you. As a partner you’ll receive a monthly devotional you can use in your quiet time. And you’ll get one complimentary conference registration each year. Which means, this year you could join us for True Woman '18.

This month we are asking the Lord to raise up several hundred new partners. So when you become a partner this month, you’ll get a bonus welcome gift. It’s two copies of the newly re-released, expanded, and updated book Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. You'll get two copies of that book and also two study guides that go along with the book and two bookmarks that list truths that set us free. So why two of everything? That's so you can have material for another woman and perhaps even go through it together. And you’ll also receive my teaching on "Lies Women Believe" on CD.

Again, if you have a heart for this ministry, if you feel like you are a part of it and want to be even more a part of it, I want to encourage you to pray about becoming one of our monthly partners. You can get all the details on how to do that by visiting us at ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can give us a call 1–800–569–5959.

I want to say a huge thank you to all of our current partners for all you do to help us call women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. 

Leslie: Now, what’s the ultimate purpose of the True Woman Manifesto? It’s not about Revive Our Hearts. It’s not about your or me. It’s about Christ, and that’s what we’re going to talk about tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to help you thrive in Christ. It's an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.